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 =)