Friday, April 15, 2016

Running + Pregnancy

I have been asked frequently how I can run so much with a baby on board. I will be honest; I didn’t think I was going to be able to run as much as I have. My first pregnancy was relatively easy, but I lacked energy and started to experience hip pain around 20 weeks. Looking back, I believe that the hip pain stemmed from the added weight gain. I gained a lot of weight with Alexis (ballpark of 50 lbs!!!!) and learned the hard way how difficult it is to lose post-partum. This pregnancy is polar opposite. I eat a lot more fruits, veggies, and protein. Avocado is one of main cravings and sriracha! All the sriracha! With Alexis, Arby’s was consumed a lot. Probably not the best place to eat at in general.  

Running has definitely helped keep my weight gain in moderation. At the 20 week mark, there was a 30 lb weight difference between Alexis and Baby boy- weighing less this time. Seriously, just because you are “eating for two” doesn’t give you a ticket to eat everything in sight. Moderation is key!

With Alexis, I went to farmgirlfit a few days a week, but didn’t run often. As soon as I started to experience hip pain around week 20, I backed off of running and only ran 2-3 days a week, if that. Barely averaging 10-12 miles. Around 30 weeks I was probably only running 5-6 miles per week. It would take me a couple of days just to recover from a 2 mile run.

This time I am running at least 5-6 days week with zero lifting. I average around 30 miles per week and have been able to main a pretty consistent pace of 8:00- 9:00 minute miles. The first mile is always the hardest for me and is always the slowest mile of my run. Each day I can run is a great day so I try to not take advantage of it.

I have been fortunate to be able to run as much as I have and even complete a few races. To date I have ran (1) 5K, (1) 5 miler and (2) half marathons with a few virtual 5K runs too. I am planning on several more races before baby boy arrives later this summer. My goal is to be able to finish two more half marathons if my body will allow it. I haven’t registered for them yet because I am taking each day/week at a time.

What has really helped me is stretching frequently since we are more prone to pulled/strain muscles during pregnancy. I make it a point to stretch good before and after my run. I use my massage stick before and after each run as part of my stretching routine. If anything feels remotely off, I ice and rest. A few weeks ago I strained my groin muscle and that resulted in one week of barely any running.  After some extra recovery time it felt fine.
My 2 must haves:

Compression socks: I wear them on most runs and even to bed.

Massage Stick: I use this constantly throughout the day. Sometimes I even bring it with me to work.

My post baby running goals are something that I think about daily. Prior to this pregnancy I had been battling compartment syndrome for the second time. So far I have had no symptoms for about 10 months (knock on wood!). After I had Alexis I took my first run at exactly 6 weeks post-partum. It was AWFUL. So painful!!!! I continued to push forward knowing that I had Hood to Coast in less than 2 months. Each run was just as painful as the last so in the end I had to put running on hold until I could give my body the time that it needed to heal. Alexis was born at the end of April and it wasn’t until December of that year, 8 months post-partum, that my body felt okay enough to resume running.
I am in no rush, but I hope that I can resume running much sooner post-partum. I want to run another BQ in the next few years. I am hoping to run a few spring half marathons next year and then determine if a fall marathon would be a good idea. Nothing set in stone, just lots of dreaming.


Friday, April 8, 2016

San Francisco Rock n Roll {Race Recap}

Last weekend I completed my 20th half marathon- the San Francisco Rock n Roll! I was nervous going into the race and doubted my decision to run at 23 weeks pregnant. I wondered if I was doing the right thing by running in the first place and woke up a bundle of nerves on race morning. I didn’t sleep much the night before and was wide awake at 4 am. I didn’t want to wake up Little so I had laid out my race attire in the bathroom the night before.

Pre race selfies- check!

After getting ready I woke up Cam so he could walk me downstairs with me to get me an Uber to the race shuttles. The finish line was only about a 10 minute walk from the hotel, but we didn’t have time to figure out how I could walk down the day before and I was nervous to figure it out on my own at 5 am. I saw the start the day before because it was over by the zoo and knew that it was at least a 30 minute bus ride away. I had no problems getting to the race shuttle and was dropped off at the race start about 40 minutes prior to the start at 6:30 am. It was chilly, but not super cold. I walked around for a bit and then with about 15 minutes left until “go time” I handed over my gear bag and went to get a spot in my corral.

Starting line, check!
Unintentionally we had driven part of the course the day before as we were leaving the zoo, but I wasn’t sure which direction we would go once the race started. Within the first 3 minutes we hit hill numero one. It was a doozy!!!!! With people already walking I kept repeating “just keep running” over and over in my head and powered through without stopping. After some rolling rolls we had some gentle downhill running and one more uphill at mile 3 that had amazing views of Golden Gate.

Golden Gate

I remember last time I ran this race how windy it was running over Golden Gate and how crowded it was because they didn’t close off lanes of traffic. This wasn’t the case this year. The wind both directions was minimal and they closed off two lanes of traffic for runners clearing out a lot of the congestion issues. Once you completed the Golden Gate out and back we headed towards downtown with just a little over a 5K left.

Golden Gate with San Francisco in background
Screenshot of a race photo taken on Golden Gate

Running back over golden Gate at mile 7

My first goal for the race was to just finish, my second goal was to finish between 2:00- 2:15. I passed the 2:00 hour pacer about mile 8 so I knew as long as I didn’t stop or I didn’t need a port-a-potty stop I should be able to finish close to the 2:00 hour mark. Cam had texted me earlier and told me to have fun, enjoy the course and to not kill myself. He might know that I am a competitive person.

My free race photo- Just beyond mile 10
At mile 10 I texted Cam and told him where I was at because morning of the athlete tracker wouldn’t download to his phone. By then Little should have been up so that they could walk down and meet me at the finish. There were a few more uphills sprinkled in the last few miles with a monster of a hill in the last mile. I was dying at this point and walked twice. I looked down at my garmin to see how much further I had left when I realized it wasn’t working- what?! It stopped tracking my mileage at 12.09 miles. UGH!!!!! By now the 2:00 pacer caught up and passed me so I stepped it up a notch, knowing that the top of the hill was close and that there had to be a downhill. I passed the pacer again, hit the top of the hill and saw a huge downhill with the finish line off in the far distance. The finish was so close and I knew that my favorite Little person would be waiting for me. They spotted me first, but once I saw my husband waving I ran over and quickly said “hi” to Little. Her face just lit up, it was the best.

Seeing my favorites! Photo credit goes to the husband
After I finished I made it through the finish line corral and then called Cam so that we could walk back to the hotel. We had a tight schedule and I knew that he wanted to get checked out of the hotel as soon as possible so we could head to the aquarium in Monterrey.

#20 is in the books! Thanks San Francisco!

My official finish time was 2:01:35. Now to get ready for half marathon #21 this Sunday.


Thursday, March 31, 2016

March Recap

My motto for March

I set the lofty goal at the beginning of March to run at least 100 miles for the month. The month went surprisingly well considering I missed a few days of running due to a pesky strained muscle. By the end of month I was able to crush my original goal and ended with 123.62 miles. In January I ran 62.95 miles and in February I completed 83.30 miles.
Each month I have been able to add 20 + miles per month. In some strange way, running has given me a lot of energy during this pregnancy and has let me gain some of my sanity back. This entire pregnancy is flying by, in just a few short weeks I will be into my 3rd trimester.  I am looking forward to my two upcoming half marathons, but haven’t signed up for any races other than Bloomsday on May 1st. I am contemplating adding one, maybe two, more half marathons, but don’t want to commit just yet. Each day I get to run during this pregnancy is a happy day. I don’t want to take these days for granted.

Week 1: 30.75 miles
Week 2: 32 miles
Week 3: 24.43 miles {extra rest days}
Week 4: 24.92 miles {extra rest days}
March 28th-31st: 11.56 miles

Rainy day Easter miles with a view of downtown Spokane

I am nervous to be running San Francisco this weekend, but like last time I ran there, I am just doing it for the experience. I was ¾ of the way through marathon training when I last ran the SF half a couple of years ago. I remember it as being one of the more difficult races I have ever finished, but it also had the best scenery. It will be a bonus to have my Little person there too! I am more excited to take her with us so that we can take her to zoo and aquarium. She is obsessed with monkeys so a visit to them is a “must do” event!

After we get back from our mini vacay it will be another lower mileage week with half marathon #21 on Sunday. This will also be a hilly half, but in an area that I frequently run so I am familiar with what I am getting myself into.

My goal for running into my 3rd trimester is to run 20-25 miles per week, more if I feel like it. For the month of April I would like to run at least 100 miles again. I doubt I will be able to run more miles than March since I feel like I am “growing” every single day.

There are PLENTY of days I don't "feel" like running, but I always feel a million times better after the first step

Little doesn't want to be friends with the EB

22 week comparison- I am definitely starting to grow now!


Friday, March 25, 2016

Being P-A-T-I-E-N-T

I set the lofty goal at the beginning of March to run at least 100 miles for the month. My running was going great, almost too good to be true so when my right groin muscle got grouchy I had to be patient and take some extra rest days scaling back on my mileage. I had just completed a 7 mile early morning treadmill and felt great the entire run. When I hopped off the treadmill and felt a twinge, I knew that it was not a good sign. However, I have had a tight muscle like that before and usually by the end of the day it isn’t noticeable and I carry on. However, this time that was not the case. By that night I was hobbling and in pain. I broke out my True Blue muscle rub and an icepack with my fingers crossed it would feel better in time for an early morning run on Friday (3/18). I ended up being in pain all night. Every toss and turn was a not so friendly reminder. I ended up turning off my alarm, knowing that I would not be going to the gym. By Saturday it felt fairly decent so I decided to run a few miles to test it out. Not even a ½ mile in, I noticed that it was already bothering me, but not too bad. So I kept running and ran a bit over 5 miles (why are runners, including myself so stubborn?!). After I got done running I felt fine. I stretched out good and carried on with my morning until it was time to go to the gym. At the gym I wanted to finish my daily mileage so I ran another 4 miles to make it 9 for the day. Muscle felt okay until I was done running and then it went downhill from there. I was sore for the rest of the day and ended up deciding I needed to smarten my dumb ass up because of my two upcoming half marathons. I ended up making the executive decision to rest Sunday AND Monday. Not an easy decision to make, especially for me!

Less than 19 weeks to go Baby Boy {give or take}

Birks are my new love!

21 week pregnancy comparison

Tuesday (3/22) I woke up still feeling not 100% so instead of risking it, I rode the stationary bike for 8 miles and called it a morning. Glaring at everyone on the treadmills because I was jealous. I felt great for the rest of the day and when I woke up on Wednesday so I decided to test it out and run a few miles before work. I walked for 5 minutes on the TM to warm up, followed by some good stretching. I was hoping to run 3-4 miles, but when I hit the 20 minute mark I didn’t feel like pushing it any further. It still felt sore, but nothing like it had a few days ago. Definitely played it safe, 2.15 slow miles is better than none! Thursday night (3/24) I had an amazing run on the Centennial Trail and was able to get in 5 pain free miles. Woohoo!!! If I hadn’t have told the husband I would be back to the Y no later than 45 minutes I would have run even further. I stretched good and iced before I went to bed as a precaution. This morning I got up early and ran a little over 4 miles watch free before work. I had slight pain, but nothing bad and it only flared up in the last mile. As soon as I got home I stretched and iced really good while Little and I watched cartoons on her tablet.

Early morning sunrise miles are good for the soul

I had a little cutie patootie waiting for me to get back from my run this AM

Depending on how the rest of my day goes, I hope to run another 3-4 miles tonight, complete a short run Saturday morning before Easter festivities kick off and do a run no more than 8 miles on Sunday. However, I am being good and being patient so if something doesn't feel right, I will take some additional rest days. I am just thrilled that I have been able to run as much as I have with this pregnancy. I want to be able to run up until baby boy's due date!

Little got to practice collecting eggs on Wednesday- she is all ready for the Easter Bunny!

Our trip to San Francisco is just 1 week away! I am excited to be running my 20th HALF MARATHON in one of my favorite cities with Little in tow and baby boy on board. <3


Tuesday, March 22, 2016

April and 2 half marathons

I have two half marathons coming up- commence freak out?! One I registered for months ago and is the sole reason why I pulled out my half marathon training plan and dusted it off. The second half marathon is a late development that I only registered for a couple of weeks, just before it sold out. On April 3rd I will once again tackle the hills of San Francisco and run the Rock n Roll Half Marathon. One of the races I said I would probably NEVER run again. I really need to stop saying that, I am stupid and always go back. This time the course is different so maybe it will be fun? You can read my recap from my previous race experience HERE.

Old course at SF Rock n Roll

We ended up having a companion ticket that needed to be used by April 5th so after some back and forth discussion we settled on a family trip to San Francisco. In true fashion we are waiting until the very last minute to use our ticket, but it is getting used.  It will be fun taking Little to one of our favorite cities. Instead of trips to breweries and a tour through wine country we will be going to family friendly places like the zoo and the aquarium. How lives change in just a few short years. J

I know that I will be more than capable of finishing both races. My running has been going great despite being pregnant. Each week I have averaged around 30 miles and I have completed several long runs ranging from 9 miles to over 13. This week will be my last week running around 30 and then the next two weeks I will taper off.  The original half that I signed up for is the following Sunday on 4/10. And there will be more hills.

Depending on how both races go, I might sign up for an additional half at the end of May. My running has been going so good this pregnancy that I feel really confident that I can run the race in May. It was my first half marathon ages ago and is relatively flat. There is also another half the first weekend of June that is pancake flat with a slight downhill. Perhaps I will just run both of them! J






Tuesday, March 15, 2016

March 1-15th: Recap

Last week was a fantastic week and then daylight savings time happened. I am exhausted and it’s only Tuesday. Gah! I am scaling back a few miles this week (or so I say that I am) because last week was another mileage high at 32. I am ahead of my March mileage goal and it’s only the 15th. I feel pretty good about that considering I “grow” every single week. Ha.

The first week of March I ran a total of 30.75 miles. I ended Sunday with a cold/windy 13.20 miles that was nice confidence booster for both of my upcoming half marathons. I even threw in a relatively hilly 4 mile run from my office after work one day.

Running @ 19 weeks

In the second week I ended up with 32 miles and even threw in a 5 mile race (recap HERE) on Sunday. Bonus of the week was managing to go to the gym in the morning on Tuesday AND on Friday. I definitely need to be better about that, but I am making strides and regaining my love affair with 5 am workouts.
An early morning run for the virtual Pi Day 5k on Pi day (I ran 3.14 miles)

Baby M is officially half baked so give or take will be here in around 20 weeks.  Can I start freaking out now?!
20 week comparison


Monday, March 14, 2016

St. Paddy's 5: Race Recap

St. Paddy’s 5

A race recap? Who am I?!

Pre race with the fam!

Over the weekend my little family and I ran the St. Paddy’s 5 and it was a lot of fun. I have run this race a couple of different times, but it has been a few years. We almost didn’t do it because the weather forecast was looking crummy and without childcare I didn’t want to take Little and risk her getting sick. Thankfully the weather held out and was perfect!

 Mile 1- 8:04

I was surprised how much faster I started and was a bit worried I was going to do myself in, but I felt good so I thought if I could just maintain my current pace I would be fine. My original plan was to run the first mile in the 8:30 range. I was a bit concerned thinking about the last 2.5 miles knowing that I would be running against the wind.

 Mile 2- 7:48

So much for slowing down. Ha. I still felt good so I just kept going and hoped to maintain my pace around an 8 minute average.

 Mile 3- 7:57

Slowed down a bit, but running against the wind wasn’t as bad as I had anticipated. Was still feeling good and was passing a lot of people.

 Mile 4- 8:08

At this point, I was getting a little tired. Had a slight uphill to run up on the bridge, but knew that I was almost done. Just keep running, right?

 Mile 5- 7:27

I surprised myself! I thought that this was my slowest mile because my legs and lungs were burning and I felt like I was running in slow motion. I even told Cam that the last mile hurt and that it was my slowest.

 Total time- 39:23 (7:52 pace)

Finish! Photo credit BRRC

My goal for this run was to finish in under 45 minutes, thinking that around 41-43 minutes would be my anticipated finish time. I was VERY surprised that I ran a sub 40 at 20 weeks pregnant and averaged less than 8:00 min miles.

After I crossed the finish line I ran back out to find Little and Cam and then ran back into the finish with them. Cam really surprised me and was actually running with the BOB and did awesome. I thought I would have to run back and meet him around the 3 mile mark, but I met him with about ¾ left. He did so good and Little looked like she was having a lot of fun. They finished in 1 hr 53 seconds.  Can’t wait until she can tell us to run faster. Ha.

I haven’t felt this good running in a long time! I have had zero compartment syndrome symptoms and have made strides in continuing to work on my form. Wearing compression sleeves/socks more frequently and using my massage stick really appears to be helping me. It is really making me excited to run post baby!