Friday, October 26, 2012

Happy birthday to me =)

A few weeks ago my birthday came and went. My family, not ones to forget marking the occasion, was gracious enough to gift me some $. So, what to do with my new windfall? Why running-related things, of course!

First, I selected some motivational items from roadrunnersports.com. I love shopping there; they have decent selection and it's cheaper then my local running store.

My loot

I scored some new Nike shorts (in my pre-pregnancy size, yay!), a new sweatshirt (okay, not really running related, but I'm living in sweats during these early baby months), and a package of Clif shot bloks, to help motivate me to do some long(er) runs!

Finally, I had some $ left and I knew just where to put it: babysitting. After my (semi) recent revelation that running sans kids is needed to maintain my sanity it was a full 10 days before I got out there alone again. My husband's work schedule and the baby's eating schedule are conspiring against me. 

Now, with my husband out of town for two+ weeks, a couple of hours of babysitting are exactly what I needed. I got in a 9 mile run (since when did 10 min/mile pace feel hard? Oy, out of shape!), a shower and a grocery run. What a luxury three hours alone was!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Run Happy

Just like pregnancy, the postpartum period is a necessary evil. It is completely worth it, but evil nonetheless. At least when you're pregnant you look 'cute'. The postpartum shape is just icky. Also, there is no hit to the self esteem like someone congratulating you on your pregnancy when you've already had the baby!

With this general feeling of blah I sat down during nap time today to watch the documentary Happy.


The film takes a look at different cultures and examines the research in a poignant look at what 'makes people happy'. It was a decent watch, if a bit slow at points, and I'd recommend it. The main take-away, for me, was that; 50% of happiness is genetic predisposition (termed your 'set point'), 10% comes from what happens to you, and a whopping 40% is due to choices you make. The relevant choices vary from person to person, of course. Yet, a common thread was that 'happy people' spend more time doing things where they feel 'in the zone'. That point where one is doing something they love and it seems to flow effortlessly.

So, I thought to myself; 'what puts me in the zone?'. I realized that it used to be running, but I hadn't felt that way about running recently. Then it occurred to me that I haven't really been running, I have been pushing a BOB stroller. It's hard to find your 'zen' when you are pushing ~your weight, listening to constant jabber/screaming, and stopping every quarter of a mile to replace a pacifier or retrieve an ejected sippy cup. No wonder I wasn't feeling relaxed and rejuvenated from my runs.

Don't get me wrong, I love the freedom my BOB strollers bring me. Especially during times like the past week when my husband was out of town. It's the only exercise I can get. 

Tonight, however, as soon as Daddy came home from work Mommy went out the door. This was my first run alone, without at least one of the kids, in months. Man, was it nice! After 7 miles of quiet, watching the sun set behind the Golden Gate Bridge, I arrived home a much happier and more centered Mommy.

Lesson learned; I won't forget to run to my happy place on at least an occasional basis. I'll be a better mom/wife/person for it =)

Monday, September 3, 2012

I went for a run!

Two weeks post delivery, I finally made it out for a run! Yay!

It was only two miles; there was no 'timing' involved and there was some walking. That's okay, though, I'll go easy on myself. After all, I haven't run in two months and I was pushing this:

First run post baby and first run with the new BOB SUS stroller!

I'll do a review of the new stroller once we have had some more miles together. I will say now, though; that's a lot of baby + stroller weight to be pushing =) It's a strength training workout and a cardio workout all in one!

The road ahead: I have actually felt 'good enough' to try running for a bit now, but imposed a two-week mandated rest on myself before giving it a go. The last few days were particularly tempting, since the new stroller had arrived early and was all ready to go.

I'll try a 'real' run (sans stroller) over the next few days to get an idea of how I'm really feeling. After so much time off (an extra month than with my first pregnancy) I'm sure my return to fitness will be frustratingly slow. Having made it back from pregnancy ruin once, and even PRing in the marathon, I know that it's possible and all I need is a little patience. So, I'll just try to enjoy each (very slow) BOB run with the girls and know that I'll get there eventually =)

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Natural Childbirth vs. Running a Marathon

(Disclaimer: This post is entirely my opinion based only on my individual experiences. I have no medical training and am certainly no expert! Do your own research, consult your own Dr. etc.)

Running and Pregnancy go together =)

If you've spent any time reading running and or pregnancy magazines/articles (especially if you're a woman) you have likely come across a comparison between the relative pain of Natural Childbirth and Marathon Running. Some say it's about equal while others say one is worse/better then the other.

If I've learned anything from my six marathons and two deliveries it's that no two marathons or deliveries are alike. I can say, however, that from a pain (and duration) perspective I'd take a marathon over a delivery any day. My deliveries were definitely more painful then my marathons. There are a lot of similarities, though, in the mental preparation and toughness needed to make it through both and a comparison of the processes isn't entirely useless =)

Summary of Labors: My first labor (story here) was a long back labor. After missing several nights of sleep, I got an epidural so I could try and rest. It worked for a few hours, and then it only worked about 50% through the delivery stage. I wasn't pleased with it, but it was definitely needed to help me get through that long labor. Fortunately, everyone turned out okay with a vaginal delivery and minimal recovery time.

My second labor (story here) was pretty much, I think, a textbook natural delivery. I had about 11 hours of 'normal' active labor that progressed steadily w/out any interventions. I labored at home as long as possible and then for about 5 hours at the hospital (I needed antibiotics since I was GBS positive). I did transition labor in a tub and then delivered vaginally with a pretty quick pushing stage. Recovery was very very easy - lucky here!

Pain Level: If I've learned anything from my marathon experiences and labor experiences, it's that no two are alike. Not even close. While there was pain involved at some point in each marathon, especially the last 6 miles, it was very different each time; sometimes I was nursing a recent injury; other times it was just the 'wow, I'm really taxing my body' kind of ache.

My two labors were also completely different and felt completely different. With the first, the back pain was so severe I didn't even notice any pain in the front/abdomen. The second time around, I was surprised that yes, in fact, contractions can hurt in the front (uterus), go figure! =)

If I had to generalize, I would say this about relative pain:

Early Labor < Last 6 miles of marathon < Late Labor/Delivery

Early labor for me, to about 5 cm dilation, give or take, is more annoying then terribly painful. I'd have to stop what I was doing and focus, but then there was relative pain relief between contractions. The last six miles or so of a marathon are almost always pretty obnoxious and uncomfortable. Transition labor and delivery, however, wins hands down in the pain department; in my experience. This is true even for the first labor where I had a partially effective epidural.
Mental Preparation: Completing either a marathon or a delivery (natural or not!) requires going into it w/ open eyes - prepared to do the work and see it through to the end. I found that with both endeavors, you can't over-educate yourself in advance. The more you know, the more informed and confident decisions you can make. This is as true for your training plan as for your birth plan/medical choices. Information is power; so research research research and you'll greatly reduce your stress level with making decisions in training, during pregnancy, on the course, and in the delivery room.

Physical Preparation: Marathon running is hard on your body. Months of careful training (at least 4) are needed to get yourself ready to run the distance w/out serious injury. You can try to run a marathon w/out this preparation, but it's not recommended!

Pregnancy is hard on your body. Months of careful 'training' (9 months, give or take) are needed to get ready to figuratively run the distance (aka, labor and delivery). You can't attempt labor and delivery w/out this preparation =) Pregnancy takes you all the way from 'normal' to this:

With pregnancy #1, I gained ~30 lbs and had a 8 lbs, 8 oz baby girl. For pregnancy #2, I gained ~22 lbs and had a 9 lbs, 2 oz baby girl (less weight gain + more baby = pregnancy learning curve, score!). The destruction to my midsection (aka parachute pouch) is pretty much the same the second time around, unfortunately.

Support System: Marathon training affects those around you. You're out running or tired from running most of the time. Pregnancy also affects those around you, especially in the first and third trimester. You're uncomfortable and/or cranky from being pregnant most of the time =)

Support is also crucial during a marathon and especially during delivery. I had a strained IT band for my first marathon, but wanted to 'just finish' it anyway; since I was so excited about doing it. Knowing my husband, then boyfriend, was waiting for me at certain points along the course was a huge motivator to keep my going!

For my first labor, a back labor, my husband and doula had a very active role in providing support. For almost every contraction, over a long period of time, they helped apply counter pressure to my back during. They were almost as tired as me when we were finally done =)

My second labor was very different for my support crew. For whatever reason, I didn't want to be touched or talked to during contractions. What I did need, though, was help relaxing between contractions - and they were crucial in helping me do this. In both labors, getting the right support when I needed it made all the difference, just as it does in marathons.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Baby girl has arrived!

Welcome, Baby Cora!

Hurray, I'm no longer pregnant! Oh, and I have an adorable baby girl. That too! =)

Delivery went as well as it could and we were home in less than 24 hours. So, hopefully a speedy return to running will follow. Right now, though, we're focused on other things.

Huh, who is that?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

First vs. Second Pregnancy: The Third Trimester

Today is my due date! No Baby! Anticlimactic! Just kidding, a little. I have had the pleasure of a billion, or so, statistics classes. So, I understand the due date is just a mean, exceeded 50% of the time. Still, I'd like to be in the other 50% =)

As a distraction, I give you installment #3 of first vs. second pregnancy. Check out the First Trimester and Second Trimester comparisons, too!

Month 7

Month 8

Month 9

Sunday, July 29, 2012

We're now a marathon family!

DH completed his first marathon this morning! Congratulations, honey =)

Happy to see 'Dada' at the finish!

With that, we're officially a marathon family. He didn't think it was that bad; he even said he'd do one with me in the future Yay!

While I was a little sad to not be running, it was actually a lot of fun spectating with little miss. We went and saw her daddy at mile 21 before taking the BART back to the finish and meeting up with him there. Poor little girl didn't understand what was going on and was sooo upset when daddy ran away after visiting with her at his mile 21 'pit stop'. She was very happy once reunited with him at the finish.

Looking at this picture I think two things. 1) Yay, congratulations! and 2) Holly cow, did my little girl really grow that much in just one year? I know kids grow fast, but geez! At last year's finish she was definitely just a baby. Perhaps one day she'll do a marathon and then we'll really have the family in the game =)

Friday, July 27, 2012

Ready to Race!

I'm not ready to race, unfortunately. I'm 37 weeks preggo and not running. Sigh.

DH, however, is all set for his first marathon this weekend! He'll be running the San Francisco Marathon on Sunday =)

All ready to go!?!

He has done a good job with his training and I'm super proud of him. I'm also jealous, and not just because he's running and I'm not (this is my favorite marathon so far - I PRed at SF last year). I'm jealous because he is running his first marathon. No marathon experience is quite like the first one!

I hope he enjoys it and ends up getting hooked. Then, sometime, we could do a marathon together =)

Friday, June 29, 2012

Run/Walk

What a beautiful trail!

I did not, technically, get my target of 20 miles running last week. When DH and I headed out for a 9 mile run on Sunday morning, I knew about 1 mile into it that it just wasn't one of those running days. I just was not feeling it. Oh well. Rather then scrap the whole outing (we had a beautiful route planed) we turned it into a 9 mile walk instead. Does that still count? =)

Our run walk was so beautiful because we are visiting upstate New York. We'll be moving here in about 6 months and took this week for an initial house hunting/pre-baby get-away trip.

With all of the house hunting related walking, I haven't been doing much running on top of it. So, no mileage target for this week. DH has been doing *GREAT* with his marathon training, though, and is still on track!

All of a sudden, at 33 weeks preggo (which isn't that far along), I feel HUGE. Sigh, I may be hitting the run-to-walk transition much earlier with this pregnancy (ran until ~38 weeks the first time around).

I have gained about 6 pounds less so far in this pregnancy and am measuring a little smaller (by two cm). So, I was confused why I feel so much worse. It occurred to me today, though, that there are likely two reasons contributing to my general discomfort:

1. Between caring for the toddler, busy work, and travel/house-hunting, I just haven't been resting properly
2. Thanks to already destroyed ab muscles from pregnancy #1, I think I'm carrying a little lower; thus increasing pressure and discomfort.

Whatever the cause, I'm just going to try and rest, relax, and do the best I can! If that means more walking and less running, eh, I'm okay with that.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Does this make my bump look big?

In truth, there are few good things about preggo running. You're slow, you're uncomfortable, but it's usually worth it because you feel good afterward.

One good thing, though, is getting cute new running clothes =) If you have to be out there with a basketball shoved under your shirt, may as well dress it up!

My new maternity running skirt!*

I love running skirts when non-preggo and the maternity ones are no exception. They are quite expensive, though. Fortunately, I scored the one above for 50% off!

Running: I don't have anything super exciting to report re. preggo running right now. I'm just plodding along. I do still hope to hit my 20 mile goal for the week, though!

*I don't know why the dogs were so excited. In the picture I had just gotten home from a run. So, they can't have thought that they were getting to go somewhere =)

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Marathon Training Envy

In May, for DH's birthday, I committed the cardinal sin of gift-giving; I gave him something I really wanted for myself: entry into the 2012 San Francisco Marathon. Come race day, July 29th, I'll be 8 1/2 months preggo. While I'd love to do this race again (I PR'ed there last year and had my most enjoyable marathon experience to date! (report here)) the closest I'll get is living it vicariously through DH.

In defense of my poor gift-giving, DH has been making noises about wanting to do a marathon for years. I knew, and he admits, that if I didn't go ahead and sign him up he probably would never have done it himself. Since we ran a half marathon together at the end of May (Pasadena half, report here), it seemed like a good spring-board into full marathon training.

That brings us to this weekend, and why I'm jealous. This morning DH completed one of my favorite training runs, through the Berkeley hills and then up/down the East Bay waterfront trail. In fact, it's such a nice run and he was feeling so good that he did 20 miles instead of the planned 18 miles. Man, was I jealous as he glowed from his long-run-high all afternoon!

Of course, I'm super proud of him and how far he has come with his running! He has never been much of a runner and now he seems to be 'getting' what is so great about it (for me at least). The long, quite, beautiful morning runs to yourself are therapeutic in a special kind of way. I can't wait until I'm no longer restricted to two-mile loops around the neighborhood for reliable bathroom access =)

What I really need right now is something new to make me accountable. With some recent travel on DH's part, a busy work schedule of my own, and no real goal in sight my running has been suffering terribly. So, I'm giving myself a realistic but still challenging goal (challenging at this point, anyway) to run 20 miles this week. It's completely arbitrary to set such a number target, but I bet it will help get me out the door!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Joggermom Marathon: Complete!

All Done!

The toddler and I completed our BOB marathon tonight with our 7th run. Yipee! Above, she models proper post-marathon re-hydration =)

Ready to get this race finished!

Our run tonight was not a very long run, but was just what we needed to reach our goal. The toddler wasn't up for much running; I don't blame her after Sunday's six-miler. So, we headed straight for a local park where she could get busy playing.

I'm so glad that we completed our Joggermom Marathon miles with the jogging stroller. It really motivated us to get out there more together and, as a result, we had some beautiful, fun-filled outings that otherwise would have been just boring car trips. Perhaps we can make this a monthly goal. We'll see how the pregnancy goes!

Joggermom Marathon Run 7

Race medal!
All Joggermom Marathon Runs: run 1, run 2, run 3, run 4, run 5, run 6, run 7.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Joggermom Marathon: Part 6

Today DH had his first run ever over the 1/2 marathon distance, 14 miles. He's training for the San Francisco Marathon in July (more to come on that)! To celebrate his big run, the toddler and I met him for the last six miles along the Bay Trail.

The toddler was a trooper, putting up with such a long (for her) run in the stroller. I was very tempted to go the extra mile we need to finish our marathon, but she was ready to be done =) One more run and we should be there!

Re-hydrating together after the long run

Mommy looks like she ran 14 miles, but she only did 6 =)

Joggermom Marathon Run 6

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Joggermom Marathon: Part 5

This morning we headed out for a BOB run on our way to daycare. I took a long route (hoped it would be longer!) but headed back to our destination when it was clear that the toddler was ready to get her morning play session going =) Just a few more runs and we should be done!

Joggermom Marathon Run 5

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Pasadena Half Marathon Race Report

Last weekend DH and I had a wonderful time running the Pasadena Half Marathon!

Last year, DH was a resident adviser at Avery, a Caltech Dorm, and we ran a training group together for a group of undergraduates to prepare for the 2011 half marathon. Due to a wedding, we weren't able to run the actual race ourselves. So, we promised to come back and run it with them in 2012. Little did I know when I made that promise that I'd be 6 months pregnant. I am so glad that we made that commitment though, because it served to motivate me to keep running a lot and complete a half marathon at 27 weeks pregnant; something I probably wouldn't have done without the extra support. Thanks, guys!

The whole event really couldn't have gone smoother. I love small(er) marathons for that. Plus, we really made things easy on ourselves by staying at a hotel, the Saga Motor Hotel, which is located right at the start/finish line. The hotel even let us use their conference room, free of charge, to host a little pre-race breakfast with our group!

Before; all ready to run


After; happy to be done!*

I think my running will scale back a bit now, though I hope to keep a weekly 10 miler in there for a bit longer. We'll see how it goes =)

For any local runners who are interested, here's a review of the actual event:

Race Review: Again, this is a small(er), mostly local race so expectations should be set accordingly. There were some great aspects to this year's race (the 4th running) and some areas that could use some improvement.


Pros:
  • Excellent coarse support: Water stations at roughly 2 mile intervals were all well stocked with water, Ultima, and friendly volunteers.
  • Traffic management: Major intersections were well staffed with police officers and lane/road closings were done appropriately for the volume of runners at each point along the course. I didn't feel like there were any bottlenecks or overcrowding anywhere along the way.
  • Course route improved: The course was tweaked this year in a very good way. Some of the North/South (uphill/downhill) out-and-backs were replaced with a great out-and-back across the Colorado St. Bridge. One of Pasadena's most noticeable landmarks, running across this bridge was a great addition! Plus, because the course goes under this bridge a few miles later, we were treated to a glimpse of the super-speed runners ahead of us =)
  • Very convenient: I prefer small events over large ones for this very reason!
Cons:
  • Inconvenient and disappointing Expo: I didn't go to the expo myself (DH did the pickup for us) but from what I hear it was a real let down over past years. The first three years the expo was at the Pasadena Convention Center; a nice space that's easy to get to with lots of room, facilities and, as it's indoors, shade. For some unknown reason, this year's expo was at the Santa Anita Park. While not terribly far away, it's in another town so that was inconvenient for our group of students. Everyone estimated that there were only about half as many vendors as years past. Also, because it was held in the infield of the park, there was no shade and everyone came away with sun burn. Not a good idea to have runners baking out in the sun the day before an endurance event! The race organizers billed this new location as an improvement, but I think it was a big fail.
  • Absolutely NO COURSE ENTERTAINMENT?!? What happened here? In past years there was some music and bands positioned at strategic points along the course. The limited fan support is to be expected and is not a big deal. However, the organizers didn't have a single high school band or even a guy with a boom box, anywhere. The local Lululemon store along the course had some staffers out dancing and playing music and one church along the course was playing their sound system loud. That's it. There area lot of hills on this course and it sure would have been nice to have a band or two on them to help keep things peppy.
  • No additional course support. Past years had some misting stations on the large hills and other nice perks. None of that was present this year.
  • Not enough on-course porta-potties. The few that were out there always had lines, through the whole race. I finally gave up finding one w/ out a line and took a 5-min pit stop standing in line around mile 9; very frustrating.
While my 'con' list is longer then my 'pro', that's just because it's easy to be a critic =) Overall, I rate this as a wonderful event that I definitely recommend to local runners. I'm sad that we likely won't ever do this event again, since we're moving back East in a few months.
* Don't worry, everyone finished and we didn't lose five people; we just couldn't find everyone for a post-race picture because some folks finished too far ahead of us. I blame the baby bump =)

Monday, May 21, 2012

First vs. Second Pregnancy: The Second Trimester

We had a great run this past weekend. Check back for a Pasadena Half Marathon race report once I get some pictures =)

Unfortunately, this last week was also the end of the second trimester. Of course, I'm thrilled to be that much closer to my new baby girl. The energy and relative comfort that comes with the second trimester, though, is soon to be replaced by the obnoxious discomfort that is the third. Oh well, only three months to go!

Here's part two of my first/second pregnancy recap. If you missed part 1, you can find it here.

Month 4

Month 5

Month 6

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Joggermom Marathon: Part 4

This morning I was woken up by an extremely painful cramp (is there any other kind?) in my right calf and foot. Ugh, after writhing in pain for what seemed like forever (aka 10 minutes) I was finally able to get up and proceed with the morning. I've been hobbling around and cramping throughout the day, though. Have I mentioned that I hate pregnancy?

So, still a bit gimpy, I was going to scrap this evening's run. However, we needed to get some twine (to hang a piƱata, fun times ahead!) before heading out for a weekend trip tomorrow. So, we set out on a quick jog to Home Depot as our 4th BOB run. Here's my passenger chilling during our pit-stop:

Riding in style! (you can see why I haven't removed the car seat bar!)

We're past the half marathon mark, yay! It's a good thing, too, since this weekend will be busy with the Pasadena Half Marathon and we won't be getting any BOB runs in. I have my fingers crossed for a good (and by that I mean completed slowly with minimal pit stops!) half marathon this weekend. Something tells me that, at 27 weeks pregnant, this will be my last half marathon for awhile!

Joggermom Marathon Run 4

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Joggermom Marathon: Part 3

Today I got a wonderful surprise, an unexpected afternoon with the toddler! Unfortunately, it's because her daycare provider was sick, but I'll take extra time with the little miss however I can get it =)

Naturally, we seized the opportunity for a nice afternoon run and park-visiting session. We drove two miles to the waterfront and then headed out on the East Bay section of the Bay Trail. This trail is definitely one of my favorite things about living in the East Bay. On most days you're treated to beautiful Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco views. Even though today was a bit too hazy for that, it was still sunny and beautiful. Check out these pictures:

Wonderful Biking/Running Path (how do you like the shoes she insisted on wearing? =))

Beautiful views of the bay...

...and of the marshland along the waterfront

Plus, a tired toddler chilling in the stroller is always good!*

We ran two miles North to a nice little park near the Richmond Marina. There, we had a busy, fun-filled play session. It was very windy, as it often is near the water, but that didn't hamper our enjoyment any. In fact, the wind practically pushed the stroller home for me!

We're starting to close in on the half marathon mark! Twelve miles and counting =)

Joggermom Marathon Run 3

*Notice the just-finished sucker stick in her hand? Dum-Dums are worth their weight in gold when it come to getting a run in!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Joggermom Marathon: Part 2

Tonight the toddler and I headed out for installment #2 of our Joggermom Marathon. Again, we're trying to only use BOB stroller miles towards our marathon!

Ready to 'Race'

 My little passenger was more interested in her race number than the run itself. Not surprisingly, the race number (and her socks & shoes) didn't survive the run intact. No one was left behind though =)

All Done 

Oh yeah, that's some running mama sexiness right there. I'm back to wearing the support belt this week (26 weeks preggo). With pregnancy #1 I made it past 30 weeks before I needed some extra 'help'. Sigh, I hate preggo running. At least there are fun little events like this one to help keep me motivated!

Joggermom Marathon Run 2

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Joggermom Marathon: Part 1

This evening I finally got to my first BOB run of the month for the Joggermom marathon. We had a beautiful evening run. Little miss especially liked it because we stopped half way through the run for some ice cream =)  All runs should be like that!

Joggermom Marathon Run 1

Who knows how many runs this will take us? Likely at least 6 or 7, since it's a miracle when I can get her to sit happily through 4 miles =)

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Joggermom Virtual Marathon - sign me up!


Joggermom is hosting a virtual marathon during the month of May. It's an easy concept; run 26.2 miles anytime, in any increments, during the month of May and you're a winner! What an awesome idea! Why haven't I heard of this before? (thanks, JillWillRun!)

I have done virtual races in the past and always loved them. They're cheap ($15 in this case), provide extra motivation to get out there and often, as with this race, come with an entry to receive awesome prizes!

Any miles run during the month of May count. Since I'm still running well (17 miles May 1-3 already!) I've decided to 'up-the-ante' for myself and attempt to only use BOB Stroller miles to complete my virtual marathon. So, baby toddler girl and I will be doing a whole marathon together! (in bits and pieces, of course =)).


As I mentioned, this race comes with a chance to win some awesome prizes, including...
  • B.O.B. Revolution SE Single Stroller ($449.00 value)
  • Baby Jogger FIT Single Stroller ($299.99 value)
  • Mountain Buggy Terrain Single Stroller ($499.99 value)
  • Bumbleride Indie Movement Single Stroller (529.99 value)
...and much more. Since you need proof of having covered the distance to be eligible for the prizes, expect many blog posts over the next month showing the progress made by the toddler and me!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Pasadena Half Marathon in My Sights!

I finally took the leap and registered for the Pasadena Half Marathon =)

For the last month or so I have been wavering on whether or not I thought I should try and run it this year since I'll be 27.5 weeks pregnant. My running has been going well, though. A nice, easy 10 mile run on Friday gave me the last boost of confidence to go ahead and register!

2012 will be the 4th year for this marathon/half marathon. My husband ran it with me in 2009 (his first half) and 2010 (when I was 14 weeks pregnant with baby toddler girl). We missed 2011 for a wedding, but still trained for it with a group of Caltech undergraduates (he was a RA at the time). This year, we're very excited to go back and run it with the students!

I recognize, of course, that I still may not run it. A half marathon at 27 weeks pregnant must be approached only under the best of conditions, I'm sure. As long as I still have my Dr.'s okay, feel great, and it's not too hot (a common problem in Pasadena) I'll give it a go!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Pregnant Running & Back Pain

Back Pain in Pregnancy; Lumbar (A) & Pelvic (B) source

Nice picture, huh? For my first pregnancy I was blissfully back pain free until the 9th month. I knew I was lucky. So, I realize that I'm 'due' for my share this time around. It's option 'B', above, that's giving me a hard time.

Perhaps it's because my first labor was a long back labor (wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy), or just because my hips have already 'spread' before (thanks, Relaxin); but the last month or so I've been feeling some pretty annoying sacrum pain, especially while/after running.

Naturally, I turned to Google for help. Here's what I learned in my thorough 2 minute search (source):
****************************************
Pregnancy Pelvic Pain
Posterior pelvic pain in pregnancy can extend down into the buttock and upper portion of the posterior (in back of) thighs, and does not usually radiate below the knees. It can be associated with pubic pain. The pain does not quickly resolve with rest, and morning stiffness may also be present.
Posterior pelvic pain during pregnancy can be brought on or exacerbated by the following activities:
  • Rolling in bed
  • Climbing stairs
  • Sitting and rising from a seated position (such as getting in and out of cars, bathtubs, bed)
  • Lifting, twisting, bending forward
  • Running and walking.
Unlike many other forms of lower back pain in pregnancy, a previous high level of fitness does not necessarily prevent posterior pelvic pain while pregnant.
*****************************************

So, basically, I've learned that:
  1. Yes, it hurts
  2. Being in shape before pregnancy doesn't help
  3. Running makes it worse
  4. Rest doesn't necessarily help any
Wonderful. Well, the only option I see is to stop complaining (consider this rant the end of it!) and suck it up. Dan Wieden was a genius when he coined the Nike slogan: "Just Do It!"  =)

Sunday, April 15, 2012

My family runs too =)

Daddy and baby girl went out for a run while I was out on mine. I had time to shower and then head outside to take a picture of these guys finishing. How cute! =)

The whole family likes to run!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Half Marathon Halfway Through Pregnancy!

Last Saturday I was able to celebrate hitting the halfway point in my pregnancy with a half marathon! At first, I was skeptical that running a half marathon while 20 weeks pregnant was the best idea. The half marathon, and how good I felt running it, both exceeded my expectations =)


I was very excited to discover that on my second-to-last day in WI, the city of Waukesha (45 min drive away) was hosting their annual full/half marathon. Describing the course, the race website (link) says: "Runners will experience the scenic views of the historic City of Waukesha, the Fox River and the Kettle Moraine scenery of southeast Wisconsin countryside." They weren't kidding. This was a beautiful course! Almost the whole thing was run an a quite bike path either along the river or through the countryside. I could have stayed out there much longer!

Before the race I was a little concerned about how I would feel running it 20 weeks pregnant. My longest runs of late have only been ~8 miles. So, I decided to take it very easy the first 7 miles, running (I think) around a 9:30 to 9:45 pace. In order to just relax and enjoy the scenery, I didn't wear my Garmin. I asked some runners around me for the time at the 7 mile mark, so, I think that is about where I sat.

Since I was feeling so good, I decided to have a little fun with the second half of the race. I gradually sped up over the next few miles and let myself comfortably push it the last 4 miles or so. Man, did it feel good to go a little faster for a change. I made sure my breathing was still easy, etc, but definitely had some fun out there.
Enjoying the run! (credit)

One thing this event did really well was stagger the full/half marathon starts. The full marathon (which covers the half marathon course +6 more miles out and back on the same trail) started 1.5 hours before the half marathon. Not only did this ensure that the trail wasn't too crowded at any given time (it was either sidewalks or a narrow bike path) but had the added bonus of some speedy (I consider 3:30 a speedy marathon time =)) marathoners finishing around the same time I did. Since I had sped up, I was keeping pace with some of the marathoners toward the end (they were likely going around 8:00/mile). This made the finish more fun and exciting! I was shocked, and pleased, when I came in at 1:58 feeling so good! While that's not a 'fast' time for me, it's ~9 minutes faster then the half I ran 10 weeks ago. I'll take it!

At the finish! (credit)

After having that much fun, I really hope my running continues to go well. If it does, perhaps I'll try another half marathon at 27 weeks. It's one of my favorites (Pasadena) and I was really sad when I thought I'd have to miss it this year, since this is likely the last year I could do it (we're moving out of CA soon). Maybe I'll get lucky and make it to that one too =)

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Vacation is the best!

Post run silliness =)

I'm currently on a ten-day vacation with baby girl in WI, visiting Grandparents. Love being on vacation! It's wonderful watching baby girl play with others, I get to spend all day with her (yay!) and I've been getting some wonderful mid-day runs in.

A wonderful addition has been made to the area since I graduated from high school: the Ozaukee County Interurban Trail.  I can pick up this wonderfully maintained, paved trail (running along a railroad track) less than a mile from my parent's house.