We did it!

We finished half marathon training! This is what I said to Margo as I parked the BOB in the garage this morning after our 2 mile run, the last and gloriously quick training run in my 3-month program.

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Seems like a good time to reflect on the last three months, especially since the past 4 days I’ve been on the taper part of the program, which is pretty sweet.  I’d say 85% of the time, training has been challenging and rewarding. There’s been a few days fitting a 5 mile run in was way hard, but I did all the runs (except for one 3 miler last week when we had some Daddy->daughter->Mommy germs & sicknesses being passed around that took me off schedule a little.)  It feels great to be on the other side of all that training and “only” have 13.1 miles left to run.

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Running with Margo is, on the whole, not nearly as hard as I was afraid it’d be. She has never once fussed or cried, even on the 5 mile runs which put her in the stroller for over an hour, including the warm up and warm down walking time. The hardest part of running with her is I had to be a lot more picky about weather than I’d otherwise be. If there’s a threat of rain or a strong wind, I can’t just chance it like I could if I were alone. It’s harder, but I do think it’s helped me get into even better shape. I never, ever thought I’d be one of those people who run with one of these, but now I so want one. Oh, another thing that was hard was scheduling runs around naps and meals… that’s another reason there was no sadness in my heart when I finished the 5 mile runs.

I’m going into Sunday’s race optimistic about my time. My previous personal record is 2:05, and I’d love to get a new PR. It’s hard to compare my shape now to my shape then, but I feel pretty darn good. Maybe it’s because I started off basically from scratch. Over the 3 and a half months I’ve been training (I started 2 weeks early to be a little in shape for the official 3 month plan), I’ve knocked 2 minutes off my mile pace. That alone makes me so proud. Over that 3.5 months I’ve run 206 miles, and 92 of them with the stroller. (That surprised me, but I guess all of the long weekend runs were sans bebe and in the beginning when it was light out till 9ish, I used to go after she went to bed.) Looking back on how much I’ve done and how far I’ve come, it actually feels like a little tiny thing I have to do on Sunday! I’m so excited to cross the finish line and hug my baby & husband!

I’ve also given some thought to what’s next. I love being in shape and I love that Margo is so nonplussed with my running. I want to keep it up, but I’m quite looking forward to not having it be such a hard and fast obligation hanging over my head. I feel if I can run 3x a week in the 2-4 mile distance I’d be in good shape and happy. And I might even be able to get back into doing some P90X videos during naptime and work on my muscles.

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Operation Hot Mother

Lol, that’s for my Arrested Development fan readers. Everyone else will probably just think I’m weird. (And they wouldn’t be totally wrong.)

So, I mentioned in a previous post I’m doing the Outer Banks Half Marathon this year! I did it two years ago and had a blast, though training wasn’t easy. It’s tough work, but I think it’s so sadistically fun to see your body go farther than you ever thought it could. Before doing it, 13.1 miles seemed like a long distance to drive. It’s still far, and it’s not like training this time around will be any easier, but I know my body can do it.

Fitting in workouts has become a little more complicated since Margo’s come into the picture. I’m currently doing two 3 mile runs and one 2 mile run during the week, and 1 long run on the weekends (right now it’s 4). The distances of all of the aforementioned will increase over the 3 months of training. Right now it’s a little daunting to see a 10 mile run the week before the race, but I’ll get there. I’m also aiming to get two P90X strength workouts in per week. And I just figured out how to make it so I don’t have to listen to Tony the whole time so yay, that just got way less annoying! Today I did arms & shoulders while listening to npr, during Margo’s nap. And I know I’m like the only one who likes the P90X yoga dvd, but I hope to do it every weekend on the non-long run day, or maybe switch it up with another good yoga dvd if anyone has any recs!

So yeah, that’s a pretty exhausting week! Last week, the first official week of training, I was very tired by Friday (the day of rest). I ran with the stroller for two of the three runs during the week. It’s fun to have Margo with me, but so exciting to go for runs without her! I’ve also been trying to stay honest to the tips the nutritionist gave me. I’ve been much more mindful about protein. I got some of the Whey Protein Powder from Whole Foods, and tried it in chocolate milk. Um, bad idea. I will have to try to find other things to put it in… the protein shake feels like a lot of work right now! My new favorite healthy snack is grapes and Babybel cheese! Mmmm!

This post is a little ADD, but oh well 🙂 I’m enjoying my Hot Mother regimen so far, hopefully the energy level stays up!

My visit with the Nutritionist

So, like most people, my husband’s employer provides a free nutritionist for employees ant their dependents. What? That’s a crazy-cool and uncommon bene? Oh, my bad. Anyway, being that I’m about to start some intense running & strength training AND that I intend to continue breastfeeding through Margo’s first year, I got to thinking maybe I should just check in and make sure I am eating the right amounts of the right things. And also, is there a way to not feel like I just want to lay on the couch all day after running more than 6 miles? To help me process all of this, I thought I’d put together a Cliff’s Notes in case anyone out there might have similar needs.

I might have forgotten to mention: I’m doing a half marathon on 11/14 on the OBX! Cause I decided being able to walk on my birthday (11/15) isn’t that important to me.

So, the answer to basically all of my nutritional needs is PROTEIN. I’m SUCH a slacker in this department. Scott will tell you, I don’t crave meat at all and he hast to really beg & plead for me to add it to meals. Sorry, honey. Rest assured, those days are over. You’re reading the blog of a person who now needs 70 to 90 g of protein a day. That’s a lot, right? It feels like a lot to me, the last time I had meat was in the Groff’s sweet bologna sandwich a few days ago (thanks Fuddys). She gave me a good list of suggestions for protein enhanced snacks (like with peanut butter or greek yogurt or an egg.)

While running, different strategies will be necessary to keep the energy up and avoid any adverse impacts on my BF supply and energy level. It’s all about water, carbs & electrolytes at that point. Meaning, if I’m running for more than 1/2 hour, I need to have 45-60 g of carbohydrates (in the form of Gu or those chewy thingers – Shot Bloks or Sport Beans – or part Gatorade.) She also said I should take 5-6 gulps of water every 15 minutes when running. So, I’m not sure how I’m going to pack that much water once we get up to the higher distances, but we’ll see. I might need a Fuel Belt. Or several.

Fun fact: I was all hyper crazy about HFCS in Gatorade for a while. She said that the issue w/ High Fructose Corn Syrup is that it’s two different types of sugar (fructose & glucose) which is actually beneficial to the recuperating athlete for some reason. IDK, I’ll take it. I love Haterade (that’s what I call it, cause I like to make up words.)

Another lesson was on refueling after a big run (anything over 60 min). She said there’s a 30-minute window in which you can refuel and your body will rebound throughout the day without feeling crappy (my words). So, it’s pretty important to strap on the feedbag quickly after running a long distance & get protein (again…) in your system. Fruit smoothies w/ whey protein powder was one suggestion… I feel like such a meathead.

So, hopefully I can take these lessons to heart and eat healthy so I feel good in my new endurance workouts 🙂

:)

Guess what happens in one week? I get cleared to exercise! Not that I haven’t been trying to push the limits a little in the past week and a half, but then I’ll actually get to run! I’m pretty pumped about this, especially since Spring has been giving us little sneak previews. Today, Margo and I went for a good 3 mile walk in the 60 degree weather. It’s been a long and cold winter in NC (though I know not as bad as back home in PA…) So, I get to start enjoying the weather and running – score! It feels like things are kind of all on the up and up… I’m feeling good, Margo of course is doing well, the weather is getting better… I’m even making dinner tonight!

I recently bit the bullet and bought the infant carseat adapter for my BOB Revolution stroller… it was hard to justify spending more money on the already pricey stroller, however it feels like we’ve already used it a ton and made it worth it. You can’t run with it, but it makes walking a lot easier than using the Graco stroller I have.  I love the BOB, and can’t wait for Margo’s neck strength to get there so we can run together! My mom got it for us through work for free, so no money was technically exchanged in our obtaining this stroller. BUT, I’d totally pay the nearly $400 for it. It’s an amazing piece of machinery 🙂

I’m not sure how to embed a youtube video, but here’s a link to some playmat time. I tried to keep it fairly short (only a minute… we could easily take like 8 or 9 min of the range of noises and faces…). You get to see a little laugh/coo thing at the end!! And a sneeze!

And because Margo’s outfit is too cute, here’s what she wore today. Well, for some of the day. Baby jeans are cute but pretty impractical. Who knew??

Random Updates with pictures


We were up in PA this past weekend for our niece Sophie’s 1st birthday party and christening! She is too cute, and because of this overabundance of cuteness, we didn’t take a picture of ANYTHING ELSE other than her. Oh well. you know kids. She’s at such a cute age, so fun to be around. Though I will say, Scott and I came home exhausted. Note: all comments that read “Ohhhh, just wait” will be deleted. 🙂 So, Happy Birthday (Tomorrow), Sophie Monster!

And this is me, mid 25 weeks. Fall has arrived in NC, and it’s a freaking blast! It’s almost noon and still not 70 degrees here. I’m LOVING it! So this morning I got all ambitious and decided to go for a little run, but remembered, oh yeah, it’s cool out! What does one wear to run in 60 degree weather? And once I zipped up the jacket, I had to take a pic bc… my oh my, it was tight. Also, as soon as I went outside I ditched it and went with short sleeves and pants. And ran 1.5 miles. Cause I’m still a rock star.

Things are going well with the pregnancy, this past weekend was the first few days where I really *felt* pregnant… like I had a belly that was observable and I’ve started this thing where I can’t get up out of a chair or sofa without saying “uuuuuuugh.” It’s adorable, really. Stuff like that. It just felt more real and different this weekend. (Again, comments saying “Just you wait, missy” will be deleted. I. Know.) 🙂

After a really long weekend, I was kind of irresponsible and put off a lot of schoolwork, which I’m catching up on this week. School is going pretty well, and surprisingly hard with only two classes this semester. I love what I’m studying though, I was just thinking this morning about what my *favorite* class has been within my program and I’m not really sure! I’d have to pick at least 4 or 5, and I’ve only taken 9. So yeah, good choice, good investment, good use of time.

I love this semester also because with two classes and no job, it does give me time to keep up with life… like keep the house generally cleaner than I’ve ever been able to do before, and read! I’m enjoying it while it lasts 🙂 Cause, you know… juuuust wait. I just read The Hour I First Believed by Wally Lamb and, though it was long, I ended up LOVING it. Absolutely love and recommend it.

One more random thing – I am getting a seasonal flu shot on Friday and have already started dreaming/nightmaring about it. I’m such a shot wussy, I’m screwed.

My changing relationship with Running

The day before I found out I was pregnant, I ran ten miles the Philly Broad Street Run. And that’s the most hardcore thing I’ve done “during my pregnancy.” 🙂 It has always been a goal of mine to remain active during pregnancy and though it’s been hard, I’ve been able to maintain some level of fitness. Not *nearly* what it used to be, but that’s pretty much what they tell you to do.

Running while pregnant seems to be a vastly misunderstood thing. It’s okay, and I’m going to do it for as long as I want to and feel good doing it. I realize that at some point the belly will interfere, and I’m down w/ that. But for now I’m still enjoying it, just in a very different way. For instance, last night I ran 2 miles at an average pace of 11:30. It has taken me a few weeks to come to terms w/ these numbers. I kind of had to abandon the way I used to think of the numbers – constantly wanting to get a good pace or go farther – and think of them as merely a gauge that I am putting forth the correct amount of effort and hitting a time threshhold (run for 30 minutes) rather than distance threshhold. It’s different. In some ways, it’s not as fun, but in others, it’s a lot less pressure. I’m just going for a leisurely run with my child. 🙂 The new challenge is getting myself out there!

I’ve been going to the gym at work too, which is good because, let’s be honest, it’s hot as crap outside in July here. I’ve been doing more on the treadmill than I typically like over the past few weeks, but it is helpful because it keeps me at a respectable and advieable pace without requiring much monitoring on my part. And it’s climate controlled! I’ve been doing *some* lifting, but that’s not my favorite. But the upside is of all the geeky nerds that work here, very few workout. 😉

I’m going to transition to using the gym at Scott’s work in the coming weeks. They have a POOL! I’m kind of excited to start swimming again. Should be fun and it’s a highly recommended way for pregnant women to work out.

Broad Street Run Training: Commence


So, it is time. I have been equivocating all over the place on my running intentions. I WAS going to run the Raleigh Rocks Half Marathon on the 28th, but seeing as we’re moving that weekend I decided to scrap it. Which I am okay with, but like clockwork as soon as I made that decision, I dropped off the running bandwagon. All of the sudden stuff like “it’s too cold” or “I just don’t wanna” were excuses that I let myself use.

No more, my friends. I am rededicating myself to training. We are going up to Philly in the beginning of May for Ginty’s wedding, and spending the weekend in Philly w/ some of my friends (like I did last year!) And I loved the Broad Street last year, so I’m officially officially doing it now. I think I’ll be using the same plan I did last year: Hal Higdon’s 15K plan. It worked well for me (and it’s less intense than the half marathon training as it only requires 3 runs a week, not 4.) I think I’m one of those super fun and non-uptight people who need to have a PLAN at all times. (Scott’s nodding his head because he’s known this for years.) I’ll be jumping in a few weeks into it, since I have run maybe 2-3x a week (okay, 2x a week) for the past few weeks. Anyway, I feel like I can handle Week 3 this week, and might skip Week 4 (it’s for pansies).

It’s good to have a plan 🙂