Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Spectating--My Latest "Sport"

I am 31 weeks pregnant tomorrow and still running!  Because I'd started to feel discomfort below my belly when I ran, I opted to buy a pregnancy weight belt.  I tried it out for a 10-miler this past Saturday.  It works great!  I am able to run without really feeling the weight of my stomach.  It is really comfortable too.  I forgot to wear it when I ran today (4 miles), and I could really tell the difference.  I was tempted to run with a hand under my stomach!

Third trimester running and exercising is going well.  My pregnancy has slowed my pace to roughly 10-12 minute miles, and just this past week I dropped from mainly 60 minutes of elliptical or 6 miles of road running a day to 40-50 minutes or 4-5 miles.  An unfortunate side effort of my bigger body has been chaffing in my armpits (of all places!).  The bigger bra and my swollen glands just rub in ways that I do not rub normally.  These are the main changes I've noticed running while pregnant.   Dropping pace and distance, feeling tired and needing weight support for my stomach, and strange chaffing!  I can't complain.

So I haven't entered a race in months.  It's mostly a financial decision.  I can run for free, so why enter a race just to get my run in?  We are trying to save for Baby #3.  It's just been easier to run alone, with Rick and the kids, and with my running group.  I have missed racing, but I will be back.

Not racing has given me opportunities to volunteer and to spectate!  I went to the For Life Ministries 5K on Saturday, March 29 to watch Rick run.  The race was super small (50 finishers), and my kids and I set up the water station (visited twice by runners on the out-and-back course).  It was a drizzly, slightly chilly morning.  We met some nice people also volunteering at the water station with us that day.  I could tell they were new to running when one called the Powerade "juice" (which I quickly corrected, knowing that runners would not understand why juice was offered on the course!).

Pictures were taken by Gregg Gelmis.

Race start

Rick finishes 2nd overall!

After the race, we went back to the start/finish.  There was a one mile race getting started, but since we had not paid I did not intend for us to run.  Then the director of the race said, "Anyone who wants to run the one mile, please come to the start line!"  My kids both really wanted to run.  Rick lined up with my son, and I decided to stay with my daughter.  Nevermind the fact that I was in jeans and a raincoat or that my daughter was in flip-flops and tending to a cup of busy snails!  It led to a first for me--first time running a race pregnant and in jeans!  Surprisingly, we finished around 11 minutes!  Both kids wanted another mile and went back out with Rick.  So my daughter finished 2 miles in flip-flops!  By her picture, you can tell it didn't bother her a bit!

Five Points of Life Kids Marathon was the following weekend on Saturday, April 5.  This event is free for kids to enter, but they have to log 25 miles prior to the event day's 1.2 miles.  My kids participated last year and wanted to again this year.  They love finishing on the baseball field, getting a medal, and having pizza and popsicles afterwards.  

Pictures from Five Points Facebook page

Will I run any more races this pregnancy?  Well, I signed up for the Cotton Row Run 5K, but I'll be almost 36 weeks pregnant then, and heat might be a factor.  I have really learned to enjoy my easier runs and the joy I get as a spectator to my husband and kids as they run.  That's enough for me right now!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

27 Weeks, 27 cm on March the 27th!

24 weeks pregnant

Not much new to report.  Things are staying almost boring right now!  Today I found out that I passed my glucose screening test, have gained a total of 19 pounds in this pregnancy, and am measuring right on track (27 cm and 27 weeks).

On the running front, things are going okay too.  We've still had some colder mornings here, so I work out on the elliptical on those days.  Except for a brief setback on our beach trip a couple of weeks ago (only worked out 1 time in 5 days!), I have kept up the 5-6 days of workouts a week.  Sometimes I am able to run 3 times a week, but mostly I am aiming for 2 runs a week.  My last 2 runs were my weekly "long" run with my usual running group (I wanted 10 miles but ended up finishing the run with them for 12 miles at a 9:40 pace last Saturday) and today's 5.5 mile run (around a 10:30 pace, included a potty stop since I'd had a big glass of water before heading out).  I feel fine when I run--no cramping or aches, but I have had some chaffing in some unusual spots for me.  So now I am remembering to use Body Glide before my runs!  Also, the weight of my tummy is getting a little much, so I am looking into a running belt to support me as I run.

As I head into the third trimester, I am looking towards other women who have "braved" running in this trimester to guide me.  I found this blog when searching the internet for blogs and really admired this girl's openness and thoroughness in describing her running.  Rick has casually mentioned a fall marathon, but I honestly think it is easier for me to run now (at 27 weeks pregnant) than it will be for me to run late summer with no sleep and while nursing a newborn!  How would I train for a marathon??  Of course, it is a very tempting offer and something that is fun to think about right now.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

21 Weeks and All is Well!

20 Weeks Pregnant
I am about 21 1/2 weeks now, and I'm still doing well.  We found out that we are having a girl!  The one thing I am struggling with is carrying the extra weight.  I gained a lot last month, and it is harder for me to move around already.  With 4 months left to go, it seems like it will be forever before I feel back to normal again.  I had a great run today with Jane (finally a warm day in the 50s!), where she really encouraged me to enjoy this season and to remember that I will get back to my "old me" soon.  Feeling this little girl move around has been so exciting, and it is all very worth it in the end!  But I crave the feeling I get after a good, hard run and miss the competitiveness of racing.

I will try to do a post on this later, but for now I will briefly recap Mountain Mist 2014.  I was able to slowly run some of the course thanks to good weather and a sitter for the kids.  I wanted to start this race that I love so much.  I was seeded first for the women (401) and enjoyed hearing about the women's race after I dropped out.  I was around 18 1/2 weeks pregnant in the pictures below.

Photos by Gregg Gelmis, We Run Huntsville

Friday, January 10, 2014

2014 Running...or Not??

So I have news which you may have suspected due to my lack of running-related posts lately.  I am expecting a baby!  I am 16 weeks along, and, thanks to my kids, I hope to have a nice picture with a chalkboard sign each week.  Yes, they are taking turns writing the sign and also taking the pictures!  It's so fun to have kids excited about the baby (with my first 2 only 14 months apart I've never had that before!).  As you can see from my picture, I am showing quite a bit already!  And even though we waited until the first trimester was over to tell people, many already suspected!  They were nice and said, "It's only because you were so tiny to begin with," but..ahem...a few areas grew so much (not just tummy) that it really was easy to tell.

What does this mean for my running?  Well, right now, I am still running but at a much lower intensity and lower miles.  In the first trimester, I was VERY fatigued and had to struggle to just carry on with normal life.  Running helped me feel less nauseous, but I found that it was hard to get motivated to go running.  I relied on the elliptical machine for most workouts.  My weekly "miles" (including these workouts) were around 30-40 miles of 5-6 days of working out.  I usually did 5-6 miles with one longer "run" (sometimes 10-12 miles of elliptical).  All of this was approved by my ObGyn.

Now in the second trimester, I am doing well---gaining weight and feeling MUCH more energy throughout the day.  I can run and feel fine later in the day, so I am trying to run 2-3 times a week and do the elliptical the rest of the days (usually taking a day off to rest).  This is all weather-dependent as we've had some COLD days, and I won't run in that.  Some of my holiday runs were alongside my children as they biked and we tried out our town's new greenway (about a 2.5 mile trip to a playground, a pause there to play, and the repeat trip back), pushing my daughter in the jogging stroller and then continuing the run on my own for a total of 12 miles, and even a very slow trail run with my husband for our New Year's Eve traditional run (done a few days early this year).  Most of my workouts are 5-6 miles on the elliptical still, but today I did get up early and do a run with my running group.  I will miss their company so much when I can no longer keep up with them!

I have never run this far into my pregnancies before.  I am listening to my body and doctor's advice.  My body has supported this pregnancy better than the others before it (I've had low progesterone levels in the past).  My doctor has said that every level of everything they've checked in this pregnancy is "perfect."  I plan to continue taking the running one day at a time.  For awhile there, I was having to pee at least once during a 6 mile run, and that just isn't possible when running with a group in a neighborhood.  So if that becomes an issue, or I don't feel good while running, or anything else, I will transition to other workouts designed for specifically for pregnant women (yoga, pilates, etc.).  But for now, I'm going to enjoy this stage I'm in.

A final word about 2014...I think not being able to run marathons really gets them stuck in your head!  I am excited to train after the baby is born (end of June).  My first marathon back will hopefully be our local Rocket City Marathon, where runners will experience an entirely new course for 2014!  I am excited about it already.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Here are some pictures of my running group at our Christmas GNO.  We met for dinner and an ornament exchange at Outback.  Although some of us didn't bring ornaments to exchange, our friend, Julia, handmade a running ornament for each one of us!  It is gorgeous and will be a keepsake for me for many years to come.  The back of it lists all sorts of words that relate to our running group, and you can see the front pictured below.  What a special night and a great group of friends!

front left: Michelle, Alice, Jamie, Jane, Allison
second row: me, Kristen, Tiffany
third row: Julia, Anna
back row: Courtney, Carey, Erin, Jan

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

HTC Awards Banquet

Last night was our annual HTC Awards Banquet.  I've gone to these on-and-off over the years, but this year I was very motivated to go.  I'd been told beforehand that Kylie, a good friend and teammate, would be receiving the Female Performance Award.  Back in 2004, I received this award, but I must say that Kylie deserves it much more than I did back then!  Her times are so fast!  But when Eric Charette, her award presenter, asked me if I could add anything about Kylie, I chose to tell him about what a great teammate she's been.  She's united us girls and included me on many training runs, and she's humble and very likable.  I couldn't wait to see her reaction when she found out she'd won!

If you're an HTC member, these banquets and meetings are free for you, and they include a nice catered meal at the Monte Sano Lodge (this time it was Zoe's Kitchen kabobs, salad, rice, and cookies).  The chance to socialize with the other runners is a big highlight for me too.  I brought my daughter with me tonight, and Rick took our son to basketball practice. 

Anyway, Eric's presentation of Kylie's award went great.  I thought I knew about Kylie's amazing performances this year, but Eric really knew her very well and gave many reasons why she was chosen for this award.  I enjoyed seeing someone so deserving get the award.  Others that received awards included Dink Taylor (he got many!), Josh Whitehead (Male Performance), and the Holiday Inn (our beloved Rocket City host hotel which is closing the day after the marathon this year).

I wasn't expecting an award, so I was surprised to receive 2nd place in the Female Grand Prix!  You can find results here, but the Grand Prix is basically a series of races throughout the year.  HTC members earn points based on how they finish in these events.  I've been as high as first place in the Grand Prix (also in 2004), but of course I dropped way down when I had my kids and slowly worked my way back up.  This year, I hadn't paid any attention to my rank (I do look it over when I get my HTC newsletter mailed to me each quarter), so I was totally surprised!  Kathy was first place, and we both received Fleet Feet gift cards!  Here are all of the winners (top 10% in their divisions):

Picture by James Hurley

I guess with this many runners it's a guarantee that someone will ruin the picture by wearing reflective clothing.  Way to go, Katie!

I looked over the results of the past few years, and I usually finished top 5, but finishing in 2nd place is really a honor...and kind of just "luck of the draw."  Sometimes it's your year, and sometimes it's not.  It's hard for runners to stay on top of their game year after year.  This year, it just so happened that I came out near the top.  I certainly was happy to receive the award though, and I am thankful for our wonderful track club and for the many benefits I am able to enjoy as a member.

Krispy Kreme Challenge!

So what do you do if you are just recovering from a marathon with no plans to race anything?  Why, you run the Krispy Kreme Challenge, of course!  This is a race where you run 2 miles to a Krispy Kreme where they have boxes of donuts waiting for you.  The challenge is to eat the entire dozen donuts and run back two more miles to the finish.  There is always someone from our racing team that goes out hard to win this race.  I, on the other hand, entered because our team was given a comp entry that no one else wanted (I waited until a couple of days before the race to ask for it), and I was NOT planning to eat the entire dozen.  If you don't eat the whole box, you can carry it back, and you receive a different colored finisher's shirt.  I could live with that.

I arrived at the race and did a 2-mile warm up with some team members.  Our great local photographer, Gregg Gelmis, was out capturing the event.  These pictures are all from him unless noted.

As the race started, I fell back and let many people in front of me.  I just took it easy.  When I arrived at the shop, I had no idea what to expect.  I found my teammate, Jill, going for first place.  I tucked in next to her and her friends to eat a few donuts.  I like this picture from James Hurley.  I'm all like, "Yes, I usually just stand around with a box of donuts in my hand in the middle of a race."  I'm actually looking away from the stack of donuts the guy in front of me is scarfing down!  Jill looks pretty miserable here.  That girl was doing amazing!

So after 4 donuts, I called it quits!  I took my box and started running (this was as per the instructions given on the race website, "Casual runners who are not competing to complete the Challenge may race back with a box of doughnuts to take home if they so choose.").  I look really happy about my finish here!  I just remembered to look up my time, and I was 4th female in the "non-challenge" category with a time of 38:04, or around an 8:00 minute pace for the running portion of my race (I ate for around 6 minutes).

Closing Thoughts
This race is for a good cause (United Cerebral Palsy), and it was a lot of fun.  I've never seen so many people having fun in a race!  I was able to bring home donuts to my kids and also get in a little run, so that was a win-win for me.  But, this race started as a fraternity challenge (so I heard anyway), and it's not really a good idea for anyone to eat an entire dozen donuts.  I didn't feel like I fit with the people scarfing down donuts.  There was the option to do teams of four, where the entire team eats only one dozen donuts.  I think that is a better option for me in the future.  Congrats to my teammates, Eric and Jill, who managed to eat the whole dozen and still post great running times with only a few minutes spent eating the donuts.  You guys sure helped me make a memory today!