Saturday, December 31, 2011

Good bye 2011

I always have the lofty goal of counting up all my miles for the year but am never quite that organized. Other than a brief hiatus (when I hit whale size and was too heavy to run) I ran for most of the year. No half marathons or marathons but crossed the finish line at plenty of 5k's, a 4 miler, 10k, and 2 tri's. I've manage to return to a moderate level of training while still in boot camp for new parents. For me it was a good year with some really good runs. Other than the delivery of my son a highlight and real sense of accomplishment has been returning to running after pregnancy and delivery. I don't mean to brag but I ran a 4 miler when he was less than 3 months old and finished a tri when he was 4 months old, you have to give credit where credit is due. After all is said and done, I'm here as the Mom to a 6 month old who is still able to find the time to train. I love that look I get when people ask if I'm still able to run. Yep, I am and if you really want to know I'm enjoying it more now than ever before. Here's to another great year running with friends and family.

Miles run today: 9

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

So tempting

Man, there are times I really wished I didn't train, there are days I day dream of a life filled with cinnamon rolls, sausage links, naps and day time TV. Last week ended up being a recovery week, it was a crazy weekend and long workouts just weren't going to fit and I kept yesterday as a planned day off. Today was back at it and the desire wasn't there after 3 days off. I took my sweet time getting the kid down for a nap and then took about 20 minutes before I made it down to the treadmill. Thought HARD about getting off after a mile. Then the excuses started coming fast and furious: This is all just basework, I don't need to take it too seriously...I'll run this afternoon...I'll bike and run tomorrow...and so on like that for the entire 4 miles. I know why I keep going, I like to eat and hate to diet. That and I really love the feel at the finish line.

Miles run today: 4

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Putting the cart before the horse

Today was the day I was going to add in a speed workout. Repeat miles sounded good, as I knew I could keep the pace a bit slower than if I had went with repeat 800's. Off I go and realize very quickly that I have no idea what I want or need for a pace. If it were just the Hyannis Half I was training for things would be easier, but I have no idea what to expect for a half iron man which is the real goal of all this training. My PR for a half is just under 2 hours but that was several years ago and I didn't swim or bike beforehand. I'm also not sure that sprint races are a good gauge either, the distance doesn't really compare and I never took the training seriously. But lets be real for a moment, IF I register for the half iron man and IF I get to the start and IF I finish I likely won't give a damn about pace and will be overjoyed with a finishing time. So again where do I start with speed. 8 miles last weekend was at a 10:32 pace which would get me a 2:18 half. SO do I go with 10 min pace for repeat miles and a 9:30 for the 800's? I also figure that in a half iron man my running pace will be at least a min slower meaning that an 11:30 pace would bring me in at about 2:31. Now I've only confused myself more.

Miles run today: 4

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Rejuvenated legs

I've been on a kick, since hearing Jason Fowler speak, to not miss a workout. So that means I'm going 6 days a week with my rest day being Monday and it also means that there are times I've felt a bit stale. The nice thing is I'm varying a lot between running, cycling and swimming so there different muscle groups are being taxed but there is an undeniable cumulative effect. That combined with 6 hours of sleep a night (I don't want to hear it from those friends who get less, I'm used to a solid 10-12) and I'm pooped. Yesterday I said fuck it and skipped my bike ride. I did feel guilty about it all day and contemplated riding after work, only contemplated did not act on it. I had forgotten what fresh legs feel like and it's almost as nice as fresh sheets on the bed. Man it was great, I didn't care about being on the treadmill or the fact that the Internet was messed up so no movies. I stopped at 5 miles so I would have time to shower before my pint sized companion woke up but felt like I could have gone further. Played with pace a little, not enough for it to count as a speed workout but enough that I might do a speed workout next week. The problem is I can't take 2 rest days every week so days like to day will remain few and far between.

Miles run today: 5

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Ah, the routine

It's been a while but I'm a regular runner again. I'm consistently getting in 3 runs a week and don't have the need yet to add in another although that's coming eventually. The kid has whipped me into shape, I used to be known for skipping workouts and trying to make them up later in the week. That's a no go now, if I squander my chance it's gone for good until the same time next week. I also never really cared about pace but as he's become more predicatable so have the times I have to run. The slower I go the less miles I accumulate, the baby monitor is an unforgiving reminder of my time constraints. Once the red lights start to flicker, it's only a short matter of minutes before he hits full pitch so I got to get it in before they start. I used to hope for false alarms, he's not really awake or maybe it's picking up the dogs but that's never the case; it's the kid signaling the end of another workout. So all in all he's helping my workouts. He's forcing me not to skip and to run faster...who needs a coach when you have a kid snoozing upstairs.

Miles run today: 4

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Adding back in the distance

So I came close to not running, procrastination is a bitch, what can I say. My running club was off in Warwick, which the Rhode Island in me had determined was too far of a drive and it was too cold for a family fun run. I briefly thought about hitting the treadmill but I feel like too much of my recent weeks have been spent with that piece of machinery. So after nap time I headed off solo, planning for 7 miles but to be honest would have been happy with 3. Things felt great til about mile 3.7 where at the corner of Branch and Charles I checked the distance. I was less than a mile from home and was hoping I had run further and could have taken a left towards home. Nope, not far enough and I was forced to go straight. Once I get beyond running 5 miles there is a point during a run where I always get a bit stressed about how far from home I am. It's not always rational but it's been a while since I've had this feeling, I start to worry about how I could get home other than walking or running. I'm not sure how much the bus costs but I start to worry about having enough for bus fare or how I could call for a ride. Right about the intersection of North Main and Rochambeau I started to groan about where I was. It wasn't long though before I hit Smithfield and each step brought me closer to home. For the longest run in over a year it felt good. The long runs aren't feeling too arduous and I still have confidence about the Hyannis Half. Tomorrow's workout is the only thing between me and a rest day on Monday and I'm so ready, who knows maybe I can convince the kid that we should sleep til 10am on Mon morning.

Miles run today: 7

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The indoor/outdoor dilema

This has to be one of my favorite times of year to run outdoors. The leaves, the air, everything. It's cool enough to call for some layers but you don't finish your run assessing yourself for frostbite. Here's my problem, running outdoors interrupts nap time. I really didn't think I would be one of those people who would care about naps and we were not going to follow any kind of schedule. That was until I fell in love with naps, it's a sacred time of day that allows me to regain any sanity lost throughout the day. So I've been sacrificing outdoor runs in favor of nap time, meaning I've spend a considerable amount of time on the treadmill. Perfect? Nope, but I'll say it again...I love nap time. As a result I'm flying though the movies on HBO GO and have a new found interest in making my basement a bit more welcoming. Ah well, at least I'm still running in the end it doesn't matter how I'm getting the miles in.

Miles run today: 4

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

stop assuming

I had the chance to hear 2009 Kona winner, Jason Fowler, speak last night and to say his story is inspiring just doesn't do it justice. This guy is out of this world with what he's accomplished and the way he tells his story. If you have the chance to listen to him, do it. I've been meaning to be more focused in my workouts and it's been coming along but he gave me a new fire. One thing he mentioned was stop making excuses and assumptions for why you can't do something and this is a pitfall I know too well. With the kid, as much as I love him, he comes with a solid list of excuses why I won't get a workout in and often these are valid reasons. What it comes down to is if I want to cross that finish line the excuses need to stop as well as the reasons why I won't be able to reach the finish. It's funny how quickly you can fall into old habits. As fired up as I was when I got home last night that all seemed to fade when the alarm went off at 5:45 for a pool workout. Do I want this or not? And yes it sucked this morning, get up and pump then hit the pool only to come home finish breakfast and play time with the kid, once he's down for a nap it was a mad dash onto the treadmill to get my run in. But each workout is one workout closer to the end goal and each workout is a victory over the excuses and assumptions.

Miles run today: 3

Saturday, November 12, 2011

You really don't want to run?!?

When Joe decided he wanted to stay home with the kid this morning while I went for a run I had to contain my enthusiasm so he wouldn't feel badly. Finally a run completely alone. Not with the jogger, not with him trailing behind with the jogger, just me alone. I lived on the edge and ran an old route that isn't jogger friendly and enjoyed every moment. I ran with my music on full volume and didn't care where the sun was or how hard the wind was blowing. Don't get me wrong it would have been nice to have Joe there but I certainly didn't miss the jogger, it's unwieldy and when the kid is around it's too distracting. The cross training is paying off as this run felt very smooth, it was a confidence booster after a few rocky runs this week. I'm still having trouble with a side stitch that seems to have come out of the blue, I wonder if it has anything to do with the colder air. It was better today so I'm less concerned.

Miles run today: 6

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A very long 3 miles

Daylight Savings Time is ruining my life, the guaranteed naps we had established have suddenly vanished into thin air this week. The bigger deal about this is the guaranteed times I had to run/bike are gone as well and won't return until the naps do. I knew I should run but was having a hard time finding the motivation. It wasn't until late in the afternoon I finally decided to chance it. This was after the kid had been down for a half hour, if I had only run right away I would have been in the clear. I was less than a mile in when the lights started to flash on the baby monitor and in a matter of minutes it was clear that he wasn't going to cut me some slack and let me run an additional 2 miles. Fast forward 45 minutes and kid is settled and muffins are out of the oven; I have 2o mins before my scheduled "get ready for work hour begins" and I decide to go for it. Off we went on a rare late afternoon run. Lesson learned, don't procrastinate the week following day light savings. And just for the record, if things don't improve quickly we are relocating to AZ to escape any future meaningless time changes.

Miles run today: 3

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Time to get serious

Alright enough fooling around. The kid is out of the newborn phase and it's time for me to take running seriously again. I have some goals for next year and not unlike high school math my goals will build upon each other. I had 2 good weeks then we had a week of no sleeping followed by a week of illness now things are getting back on track. I'm hoping the kid reads this, NO MORE SLEEP PROBLEMS PLEASE! First up is the Hyannis Half Feb of 2012. To get there I'm planning on 4 runs a week, 3 with Miles and one on the weekend. Weekly runs will likely not get longer than 4 miles each and the weekend run will peak at 10. If I can run 10, I can run 13.1. If successful in Hyannis I'll start to look at summer races and events. We brought the kid out with us this morning for an easy 5 with the running club, when we left our house it was 34 degrees and that is likely as cold as he can tolerate. I'm on the lookout for a portable heater we can hook up to the jogger because as the temps drop this is going to be harder to run in shifts.

Miles run today: 5

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Another reason to appreciate sleep

After last week I'm reminded why I won't trade in my kid for a new model, he's a pretty good sleeper, most of the time. You don't appreciate things until they are gone and the same goes for sleep. With him sleeping I had been able to amp up my workouts with little problem. Sure there were adjustments (the jogger, the blvd, dealing with naps) but for the most part I was still getting out there. Until last week that is. He stopped sleeping and almost instantly I stopped running. It was all I could do in the mornings to open my eyes never mind go outdoors. It wasn't even a conscious decision I had no choice in the matter, my body wasn't going to have it. After a few days I wondered if I would ever workout again. I know that working out is supposed to provide one with energy but that's bullshit to someone whose not sleeping. Slowly the kid I've grown accustomed too returned and his evil twin left and we all got some sleep. And after an unexpected recovery week I'm back at it again. I have a new found respect for any parent who can maintain fitness sleep deprived, I wasn't up to the task.

Miles run today: 3

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Am I missing out?

It occurred to me today, during my late morning run, that it might be time for long sleeves and/or long pants for running. I wouldn't know because by the time I get out there the sun has warmed everything up. Miles has been going out in more layers, but I've been able to rock the capri's and t-shirts without being cold. It was the breeze that made me think about it today, I wished for a minute that I had a jacket with me but then warmed up fairly quickly. So I'm thinking I've finally found the benefit to this mid-day running schedule. Funny side note though, I'm never quite sure when it's too cold for Miles to go for a run and unfortunately for him unless it's pouring we go. Last week we were out there and it was chilly but not really cold, so he was wearing sweats and I had him under a few blankets. My measure of his discomfort is his screaming, he didn't yell at me so off we went. Things were fine till I ran by another parent who was quickly running from their car to the house with their baby and the kid was wrapped head to to in a snow suit like outfit, you could barely see the kid under all the layers; either their kid was very over dressed or mine was terrible under-dressed!

Miles run today: 3

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Running as a last resort

I was not going to run today, I talked to Joe about it before he left. Early this morning I had been in the pool for a work out and yesterday I took off on the bike for a while. There was no need to run today, the last thing I need is to over do it. Plans took a sudden change when all hell broke loose around 9:30 this am. The kid needed to sleep, should have slept and refused to cooperate. After 45 minutes of trying everything I could to get him to stop crying and settle down I was close to loosing it. When I found myself sitting at the bottom of the basement stairs listening to him I realized this was not going to end well. Before taking the ultimate step of calling in relief I changed in to my running clothes and hauled the kid out of the house and into the jogger. Yes, I did this while he was screaming at the top of his lungs, I told you it had gotten very ugly. Surprisingly enough, he shut up before we even got out of sight of our house. We got through the whole run in silence, I don't know if he slept or not and it this point don't care. At least all tempers have been calmed, no one is crying and we are both a bit more level headed. That said I type this from my backyard as I'm too fearful to take him out of the stroller and have it start all over again.

Miles run today: 3
Swam 1700 yards

Sunday, October 2, 2011

1 baby and 2 races = insanity

I don't know why we do this to ourselves but like always we complicated life by deciding to both run races this morning. Yes, 2 different races. I think Joe has had enough of life as a new Dad on the side lines and was itching to get back out there. Before he could blaze by us in a show of glory, I ran the Women's Classic. I was surprisingly un-nerved by the thought of running without the jogger. It acts as a nice distraction, no worries I had Jenn who stepped right in and chatted with me for 29 minutes straight. After an olympic finish we quickly regrouped and hit the road for Joe's race. There was a moment of lunacy where I thought about running both but at this time an injury would push me right over the edge. We had enough time for a diaper change and quick meal (for Miles) before hitting the sidelines to cheer on the New Dad! In true Joe fashion he made his momentous return to racing with a quick time (requiring no training) in basketball shorts that he was hiking up the whole race. Reward for the new parents after competing in 2 races on the same day, Miles choose to nap during a celebratory lunch with friends!

Miles raced today: 3.2 Miles

Monday, September 26, 2011

Come on now, it's September!

Seriously, this weather is too much. One of the things that keeps me running in the heat of the summer is reminding myself that summers in New England are SHORT! June is never too bad, as long as you run off hours and by the time it's kind of nasty the month is over with. July and August are pretty awful for runners but everyone finds there own way. Part of it is acceptance, it's going to be tough but if you are going to compete come fall you have to just tough it out. Just about 8 weeks of summer running then September comes with the promise of gradually falling temps and drops in humidity. Now it's September and really it's the end of September, we made it and my expectations are being crushed. I should be out and running in the best weather; crisp air, a refreshing breeze and rewarding myself after with a pumpkin beer. Instead I'm out there in 80+ degrees and much too much humidity, the pumpkin beer is in the fridge and that's the only good part to this story. I'm over it, I'm ready to worry about if it's too cold to bring the kid out in the jogger. I'm ready to complain about starting with long sleeves and getting too warm. I'm ready for some nice fall feeling runs.

Miles run today: 3

Thursday, September 22, 2011

A new appreciation

I'm starting to appreciate the jogging stroller. Yes, it is helping me with my training. I was able to pull a PR out of my ass at the FUNtastic Tri for the running leg last weekend and that was due solely to the jogger. There is something to be said for hauling that thing up and down hills day after day. In addition to the training benefit I'm really enjoying the break it gives me during the day. My kid is refusing to nap the way I want him to so like any good Mom, I've given up and we are doing it his way. Trust me it's easier that arguing with him about the schedule that the book says we should have. That half hour or so that he's in the jogger is a time out for both of us. He's typically quite and I'm able to forget that I'm in charge of him. We don't have to speak to each other or even look at each other. When the run is over we resume the Miles and Mom show and move on to the next activity. If he's not going to nap in the mornings this is the next best thing; and if his nap strikes continues I'll start looking at double sessions for the afternoons.

Miles run today: 3

Sunday, September 18, 2011

FUNtastic Tri 2011 Race report

Pregame – Again I didn’t do much in this area and likely should have been better prepared but what can I say. The night before was Chinese food and a few beers. That morning, I had almonds and dried apricots followed by a cliff bar. Once I was waiting around in my wetsuit I realized I was hungry but it was too late.

Swim .25 in 10:31 - This was by far the most challenging swim I’ve done to date. I was terrified when I pulled up and saw how choppy the ocean was. Surf report had the waves measured at 2 feet, doesn’t sound like much but it was very disorienting. Several times I found myself completely out of the water after swimming up a wave only to then land and get a mouthful of water. A few people in my wave were pulled from the water before reaching the buoy. The water temp was 62 degrees and the air was 65 at start time so it was cold. There was also a strong current pulling us across the beach. In addition to the water conditions the water was very shallow for quite a ways so going in and coming out there was a good deal of walking. Heading out this wasn’t bad but coming back in I’m not sure if I stood too early or was exhausted from the swim but I had a hard time getting out of the water. I also miscalculated how to adjust for the current, I thought it would impact going out but it was the swim back in where I found myself really fighting to stay on track and sighting was really impaired by the height of the waves. All of that said it was my fastest ocean swim by 2 almost 2 minutes so the training is paying off.

T1 in 2:58 - This transition was never ending or at least that’s how it felt. I had a hard time getting on my shoes b/c I couldn’t feel my toes. I did simplify my transition area and found it much easier to maneuver during the transitions. The transition area for this race was fairly roomy, but the center walkways got littered by people’s belongings making it a bit dicey.

10m bike in 37:31 - I got to break in the new ride, an orbea aqua dama, and what a ride it was! Finally I had some speed on the road and really enjoyed it. The loop was great, 5 out and back, heading back had a nasty headwind that would have destroyed me on the old bike but this time around I was able to hold my own. I need to come up with a better nutrition system, I spent the first mile fighting to open my shot blocks. I’m looking forward to more races with the new ride and seeing what I’m able to do as I get more comfortable with it.

T2 in .56 - Short and quick. I still couldn’t feel my toes from the water. I did stop and get a sip of water and believe that was a smart move. I think this transition area was helped by the simplification of my area as a whole.

5k run in 32:06 - Beautiful run on the beach! Out and back. This was actually the best feeling run and a PR for the run part of tri’s for me. It’s the running with the jogging stroller that is really helping me here. I stopped at both water stops at miles 1 and 2. The sand was nicely packed for the whole run and it was GORGEOUS! I knew I felt good so I just enjoyed myself and didn’t push the pace. Coming across the finish line I was announced as the “Pride of North Providence”.

Overall 1:24: - This was a great event that was very well organized and supported. One of the most beautiful courses I’ve done to date. Fastest ocean swim, fastest pace on bike (but shortest distance), best T2 time and fastest 5k time so I’m thinking this counts as a PR?? All the training I’m doing seems to be paying off. The goal of this race was to help calm the nerves and I mentally felt better today as compared to how worked up I’ve been at previous events.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

47 minutes

A benefit to warm weather running is always how easy it can be to get out there. Shorts, t-shirt, socks and should be able to head out your front door in a matter of minutes. It's the winter that requires layer after layer of often hard to get on running gear. So today when we headed out for a family fun run it should have been easy. We were only going 3 miles out the front door....and it only took 47 minutes before all 3 of us were standing on the side walk. That's right the alarm went off at 6am and we didn't start running til 6:47. Pre-baby we could get up at 5 and be running by 5:10 maybe 5:15 on a slow moving day. At least we got out there and I can only hope practice will improve our timing. I would say that it can't get worse but I know not to bank on that!

Miles run today: 3

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

New Route

It was just one of those mornings where I needed to run but was lacking the desire. Getting into the car and heading to the Blvd would take just long enough to talk myself out of it. I quickly mapped out a new route in the neighborhood that would be stroller friendly and headed out the back door. It was nice to be able to run from the house but I quickly got my a$$ kicked by the hills. Any ideas I had about ever going to Lincoln Woods with the jogger have been eliminated. This route could be considered just as tough. Pre-baby I wasn't much for running up hills and now pushing 38 plus pounds in front of me I really dislike them. The most difficult part is coming back down the hills. The jogger messes up all attempts of having a recognizable form both going up and back down the hills. So in the end I'm happy to have both a local route and a new challenge, I need to improve my time on this route.

Miles run today: 3

Sunday, September 11, 2011


So delayed gratification has never been my thing and it was only last week I pledged to hold out on buying a new bike to ensure my commitment to it's use. Well today I took my new phat whip out on it's maiden voyage and man, oh man what a ride it was! I had been told that a new bike would change my life and I didn't believe it...until today. It was only a short ride but just enough for me to realize that this was the right push prize. What's a push prize? That's my gift for surviving pregnancy, labor, delivery and the first 12 weeks. I don't want to hear any of that jazz about the baby being my prize, he's cute but too much work to count as a prize. Shopping for this bike, I intentionally chose the model that would NOT allow for the addition of a baby seat on the back. Him and I have the jogging stroller, this bike is for me and me alone. Next week I debut my new phat whip at a race and I'm starting to think that a PR might be in reach, I don't want to get too excited yet but the possibility is there.

Miles ridden today: 11

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Running interrupted

Today was one of those days where it looked like my run wasn't going to happen. I was too tired to get up early and hit the track and by the time breakfast was done the rain was coming down hard. Never mind forcing myself out in the rain drops, I couldn't see dragging the kid with me. Then just as it seemed to be drying out the kid fell asleep and as much as I'm pro-exercise I am more so pro-nap. It dawned on me that I could give the treadmill a try, not that I really wanted to run in my disgusting basement alone but it would have to do. Unfortunately by the time the idea came to me, I found my running clothes and figured out the baby monitor I only had time for a mile before the kid woke up and we had other things to worry about. I thought maybe we could head out later but again when he was awake it was pouring outside. And the minute he fell asleep it stopped raining. So I did the unthinkable, I ran on the treadmill for the 2nd time in one day. Just a quick 2 miles and even had time for a shower. Would I have rather run outdoors in one shot, of course, that just wasn't in my cards today. Another lesson in how creative I am going to have to be in balancing motherhood and training.

Miles run today: 3

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Difference between wanting and needing

I really want a new bike. I really don't need a new bike. In an effort to change this want to a need I'm trying to ride a bit more than once a year. To say there is nothing wrong with my bike is an understatement, it's a disastrously old antique like thing. It hasn't been well maintained and although gets me from point A to B, I would get there faster with a new ride. That said I think I got it for $20 on craigslist a few years ago so won't complain about it. Today we hit the country roads of Swansea and Rehoboth; not really a hilly route but not bike path flat either. I have to say it was much nicer than running would have been. When we started it was 82 degrees and up to 87 by the time we hit the parking lot on the way home, but on the bike it didn't feel nearly that hot. Since having a kid I've lost my desire to go crazy with my running training and have really enjoyed throwing in some swims and rides in addition to the runs. Lately, being in the water or on a bike feels a hell of a lot better than the running has felt. The other draw is that both biking and swimming are not kid friendly activities. I feel a bit guilty if I take off on a run without the kid but this morning I didn't think twice about going for a ride without him. Judge me if you like, but doing things like this solo makes me better able to deal when at home. So back to the desire for a new ride, if I compete in 1-2 more tri's this season and ride at least once a week for the next 2 months I feel that I would have been able to change my want to a need. The problem with this plan is that it's an awful lot of miles on my old purple people eater.

Miles biked today: 17.7

Saturday, September 3, 2011

trade off

My plants would be the first to tell you that some tasks have fallen by the wayside since the kid's arrival. Some of them haven't survived the first 12 weeks. I've worked hard for running not to go the way of my Christmas Cactus. So this morning we peeled ourselves out of bed and hit the pavement. It helps that the kid doesn't understand the concept of weekends yet and continues to follow his routine of a 6:30am wake up call. During the week Joe and I haven't been running together meaning that when either of us goes out with the kid we are stuck with him the whole time. Today was nice, once we hit the middle point of our out and back route I was able to free myself of the safety strap and pass the kid off to Joe. Not meaning too, I took off and left the two of them a ways behind. A man passed me and laughed, he had passed us earlier on the route when I was pushing the kid and must have looked a bit more unhappy. There is something to be said for trading off the stroller mid-run, after pushing 38lbs you appreciate the freedom of running solo. The key to this though will be to ensure that I run the first half with the kid and Joe always gets the 2nd half.

Miles run today: 4.5

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Welcome to my new life

Today marks the end of my maternity leave, although not that all that much will change. I'm lucky enough to still be at home during the day. But for some reason things seem more official today. Already, I've started to run later with the kid. For a while I would wake him up so I could get my 6 or 6:30am workouts started but that seemed like I was playing with fire. So our little fam all got up around 7 or so and breakfast ensued for all. Breakfast will be our only meal as a family so we are trying to be a bit more formal about it, although the kid continues to be clueless and our formality is a bit of a joke. As Joe left for work, the kid and I headed for the Blvd. My evening running days are long gone. I thought about skipping my run completely, I really hate running that late in the morning but I have to get used to this. The kid also has to get used to it, it won't be long before he can voice an opinion and I want him to enjoy these runs and expect them as part of our new daily routine. Thankfully the heat has broken so running at 8:30 or 9 isn't completely unbearable, I'm not sure what we'll do come really cold weather but like everything else I'll figure it out. So for the time being I'm that lady on the Blvd mid-morning running behind the stroller a far cry from the lady who would start 7 mile runs at 5am with my headphones blaring. Welcome to my new life.

Miles run today: 3

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Cranberry Tri

Completing a tri takes a pretty good amount of coordination. I bring a basket with swim stuff, biking stuff and bike, running stuff, transition area stuff, nutrition stuff and clothes for after. Add a baby to this mix and oh goodness! Today was about dividing and conquering, Joe was on baby duty and I had everything else with the added addition of boob stuff. Yes, a pump and 4 bras. Why 4? One to wear to the race that allows for pumping in the car, 2 for racing and 1 for after. I said this was complicated. The race itself was a good time, once it started and I stopped freaking out about what I was getting myself into. I would argue with the race directors that it was not a half mile swim, seemed short to me, but that doesn't really matter. The master's swimming has helped tremendously with my stroke and confidence, maybe next time I'll start with my wave rather than hanging back and letting everyone else go. The bike was not my favorite but what can I ask for given I refuse to train on my bike. It was also broken, yep a broken spoke that I remembered needed to be fixed after last year's race. Eventually I would like to try a longer distance so with that goal in mind I will train better and race with a bike that's not broken. The run felt better than anticipated, see it's this whole low expectation thing working out for me. I didn't break any records but had a good time out there. The highlight of my day was not my own finish but being able to watch a friend finish her first tri. Being a part of someone else's celebration made all the hassle and pre-race jitters worth it. Like always, I finish with the tri bug, wanting to do more and more.

Miles raced today: .5 swimming, 11 biking and 3 running

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Clubbing it

Never having been part of sports in high school or college this whole group thing is somewhat new to me and I continue to be amazed by it. How a group of adults with nothing in common beyond running can gather together and form bonds and connections is kind of amazing to watch and be a part of. I've run with the same club for the last several years and made many great friends and had wonderful experiences. It never ceases to inspire me, this morning I watched as 3 people who did not appear to be close friends connect over the difficulty of understanding their nutritional needs with marathon training. At the same time 2 other people were celebrating their perceived end of summer with the kids returning to school. Mind you this was all at 6am on a track. After these connections everyone took off for their repeat 800's at differing speeds but you could hear quiet words of encouragement when groups ran by each other. Recently I've started to swim with another group and they do it as well. This week there was no coach but it would have been difficult for an outsider to see as everyone showed up and helped each other through a planned workout. And again the same thing this weekend with a group that completes open water swims together. I went with a friend and we must have looked terrified but people came over and engaged us in conversation. At the end of the swim those who lapped us offered words of encouragement and well wishes for an upcoming race. There were many invitations for us to join them again. Even places like yoga it happens, just by going and practicing with the same people week after week these connections form. Without the running club I wouldn't have achieved many of my accomplishments over the last few years and I certainly would not have had as many laughs. I guess what I'm trying to say is go and try it. Too often our own fears and worries hold us back but these groups are filled with people having a good time doing what they love and enjoy sharing it with others.
Miles run today: 3

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Man that felt good

It was just me and the kid on the Blvd this morning. I have to admit these jaunts around the Blvd are getting a bit old but it's a nice route when I'm running with the jogger. I'm not quite ready to tackle the hills at Lincoln Woods with him yet. Every run around the Blvd is exactly the same, I start by Lippitt Park and head down towards Lincoln School, running against traffic. Of course the downhill side always goes much faster. As I started back up and was loosing interest in the run I spotted a man running ahead of me and decided to catch him. He couldn't have been that far ahead and clearly wasn't moving fast if I thought I could over take him but off I went in hot pursuit. I passed him at Rochambeau. Yep, he got passed by a lady and a baby carriage. I can't tell you how many times I've been passed by someone with a carriage but man it felt good to finally be the one doing the passing.

Miles run today: 3.7

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Chasing the rabbit

There was a brief moment I thought about skipping track and running on the road with Joe and the kid but then I remembered The Duel. I need speed to win and I'm not going to get any faster without the workouts. Little did I know that I would be chasing my rabbit tonight. I was like a cheetah analyzing my prey. Watching for her short comings and planning on how I'll take her down. As she makes jokes about costumes and flings vulgar hand motions in my direction I'm taking this all seriously, very seriously. It was hard not to spring into action tonight, but I have to take it slow. My confidence is building and my running is feeling more smooth, come October it's on. As far as tonight, I barely made it out of the house with my running sneakers never mind the Garmin so I'm not sure what I was running for time, but things are starting to feel a bit better. I did note that my rabbit didn't seem that much quicker than me, her recovery was faster but during The Duel there will be no recovery. My knees aren't as sore as they had been so I'll take that as a positive. After the race on Sunday I wasn't crying for PT or a massage. Falmouth is the next challenge and lets just be honest, it's going to suck. What can you do, I got the chance at a number and I am too stupid to pass it up :)

Miles run today: 3

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Run 4 Keri = Success

It was a bit touch and go in the morning. Remember the running rules? I could hear the rain from bed when I got up. What to do, what to do?? With the city shut down for the half and the rain I knew that if we didn't make it to the race my feet weren't going further than my couch today. Then we also had to deal with the kid, the rain, the new schedule...things are very complicated now. In the end we packed up the car and hit the road. Luckily it wasn't raining in South Kingstown like it was at home. The race itself was like most others, I had the pit in my stomach at the starting line, wishing I was anywhere but minutes from a race. Once I got going it wasn't terrible. I owe a lot to my running nemesis who sacrificed her time to stay with me and act as a distraction (nemesis title only due to The Duel, sorry). Having the rain and cloud cover was nice as the humidity was high and when the sun is out this course can be brutal. In the end I finished in under my goal time (beating the Q-Tip), the husband was at the finish cheering and the kid was snoozing in the stroller. Hopefully he'll wake up in time for my next finish, but at this point I'll be happy he wasn't screaming. Now I need to psych myself up for Falmouth and convince myself that 7 miles is no biggie.

Miles raced today: 4

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Ready for Sunday

The Run 4 Keri has been one of my favorite races since starting running. It's one that we try to do most years, I think only missing it once since starting running. It's a good sized 4 mile race that happens to be located right at our beach. Nothing better than a road race followed by a dip in the ocean. I'm planning to run it on Sunday and had been a bit worried about the distance. Today was just the test I needed. I ran the track workout which happened to be intervals on the Blvd. I now know I can run the distance and to be honest I might use the intervals to get me through the race. It was easier to focus on my watch and running to the next minute or 2 minutes, rather than get lost in my head about how much longer I had to be out there. Tonight it was run 1 min fast, 1 min slow, 2 mins fast, 1 min slow, 3 mins fast and 2 mins slow repeated 3 times. I only had to get through 2 of them before heading home, that and running the 3rd repeat would have brought my mileage higher than I needed or wanted it to go yet. We'll see how it works to get me through on Sunday. The only goal is to finish with a smile, time doesn't matter yet. Time won't matter until the Duel.

Miles run tonight: 4

Monday, August 1, 2011

First Family Fun Run

Today was the day, Joe was finally ready to allow the kid out on the road. This was after he allowed the kid to sit in the jogger in our living room, then a few days after that he went for a walk with the kid in the jogger. So this morning, we laced up our running shoes, Joe took an ativan (not really but he should have) and off we went with the kid in the jogger still in his PJ's. I'm a little surprised that Joe didn't have us all dress in construction orange and have a police detail to stop traffic. Running with the jogger wasn't as hard or as unwieldy as I had anticipated but it's not until you run without it that you appreciate the effort it does take. Joe and I switched off throughout the run. The kid passed out after the first mile. I'm hoping this allows for us to run on a more consistent basis. And I'm sure next on Joe's to do list today is a trip to the pediatrician to ensure there was no lasting damage from the run!

Miles run today: 3

Saturday, July 30, 2011

An old friend

As I was scurrying off to my run this morning, I was looking around for my headphones and found my Garmin. It was at the bottom of the pit that sits between the front seats of my car. The bottom of the pit is usually a deathtrap for anything that gets stuck down there for too long. I'm not sure what makes it so sticky and gross in there but it's pretty nasty. I grabbed my Garmin without thinking much and turned it on as I pulled away from the house, never expecting it to work. Low and behold when I finally made it to The Edge the Garmin was on and working. Up till now I've been reluctant to time my runs, but off I went with it strapped to my wrist. It was helpful in terms of measuring my run and where to turn around. It was also somewhat helpful to see that I am indeed tragically slow. What I really needed it to do though was morph into a babysitter so that I could have run with Joe instead.

Miles run today: 3

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Duel

I've been challenged and am too stupid to pass on it. A friend has challenged me, although she tells the story differently, and I accepted. Very simple, a race around the track, looser buys drinks. There is almost nothing I love more than some friendly competition, I can turn almost anything in to a bet or a race so this is just what I need. The rules are simple. The duel will be scheduled in 12 weeks from this week. I figure that gives me 6 weeks to forget about pregnancy and another 6 weeks to really figure out how to win. It also gives my challenger 12 weeks to get injured (not that I'm wishing injury on any of my fellow runners but I'll take any advantage I can at this point). The duel will happen on a track, distance will be 1 mile. I feel more confident about my ability to kill her on a track than the road. She often reads this blog so I can't share why I feel I have an advantage on the track, you are going to have to trust me. To be honest I would have been happy with a shorter distance but Joe was there and piped in his 2 cents and that's where the mile came from. So now what? Now we wait. Wait for her to get cocky and forget about this, I'll take her over confidence and use it to my advantage. Wait for my speed to return, I just laughed as I typed this. Not to worry more details will come....

Miles run today: not sure exactly, short warm up followed by 6x800 = 3.5ish

PS - I secretly timed some of the 800's today and I'm not as slow as previously thought.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Low Expectations

Keeping low expectations has gotten me far lately. It kept me going during pregnancy and made labor and delivery easier. Just think about it, if you keep your expectations low then it's hard to get disappointed, especially when you don't know what you are getting yourself into. It has also worked well with this whole parenting thing. More often than not, I have no idea how over my head I really am, so by expecting close to the worst I'm often pleasantly surprised.

I haven't been as successful in implementing this same mindset with running, I think being competitive messes it up for me. Today I was slow getting out there, one thing or another came up as is now the norm for me. When I finally arrived on the treadmill (yes, it's muggy and disgusting again today and I'm not going to make it more misreable than needs to be) I expected to be slow and deal with sore knees again. As I started I realized that things weren't feeling that terrible and ever so slowly kept amping up the pace. Before I knew it I had hit a pre-pregnancy pace and finished all 3 miles without stopping. I realize this isn't much to brag about but it's a milestone that has been difficult to obtain since popping out the kid.

I wish I knew what was the magic formula that made today so much better than yesterday, I had come close to blowing off running for the elliptical. Maybe it's that "F-it" attitude, who knows, or the challenge to beat a certain somebody on the track.

Miles run today: 3

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Indoors already

It didn't take long. When I was banished into the gym this winter, I was so envious of those who were running on the road. I remember leaving work and glaring at runners out on the blvd, promising that I would never needlessly run on the treadmill again. Where did I find myself this morning? That's right, on the treadmill. The kid did not cooperate last night and as a result no one in our house slept longer than 90 minute increments, meaning there was no way I was going to make it to The Edge. It was around 10am when Joe and I finally conceded defeat and got out of bed, it was also already into the 80's and humid out. Realizing that I would feel better after leaving the kid and forgetting the hell he had reigned on us for the last 12 hours I remembered the old gym membership we had been neglecting since his birth. Suddenly the treadmill with it's a/c never seemed more appealing (not to mention the kid isn't on the membership yet meaning I would be gaurenteed some alone time). The next 45 minutes were spent sweating on a machine with music blaring through my headphones running in place. At times I caught myself closing my eyes and am not sure it was due to exhaustion or just relishing the moments alone. My body continues to reject the idea of returning to running but we are working that out. And to those getting concerned about the tone I am using to refer to the kid and his terrible nighttime antics, please relax, after this run I was met at the gym by a father and a happy baby. We may have been beaten last night but hope remains eternal.

Miles run today: 3

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

What was that about accepting reality?

So it wasn't the glorious return I had in my head but I went back to track tonight. The plan had been to go for 6am, but the kid was up at 4am rather than 5am and there was no way I was starting my day at 4am. Getting ready tonight I realized rather quickly that my hormones are still out of whack when I was having a melt down about what to wear. It was a modified workout at a pace that I don't even want to think about but I finished it. What it comes down to is that I've learned that running alone sucks, so if I can run with the club during 1 workout and on Saturday mornings then that leaves only 1 run a week that will be lonely. I feel like I can manage one lonely run a week. It's also becoming apparent that just as those first 2 hellish nights at home with the kid are a fuzzy distant memory so will this returning to running period. I'm holding on to the hope that a few months out, I'll be running and finishing entire workouts and no longer complaining about it. OK, we can be honest, I'll always be a complainer, but at least I'll be a bit better with the whole running thing.

Miles run today: too exhausted to count.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Accepting reality

So after my downer of a run earlier this week, I can't say I was looking forward to getting back out there. This morning I ran out of excuses and the kid cooperated so that both Joe and I were able to run (separately of course). My first few steps were taken tenderly and I almost turned back before even hitting the main road. I had a different play list going today and got lost in a song before I was able to make the decision to turn back. Since running 3 miles straight is an exercise in futility and just causing me to get annoyed I decided to run to the lights. There are 3 stop lights on my route (really 4 but I'm only counting 3), I figured if I could make it to each light I would reward myself with 90 seconds of guilt free walking. Overall a successful strategy, I finished my run faster than earlier this week and in a better mood. I hope this is a temporary solution but for now I finished my run smiling (not really but I'm pleased that I did it and it's done).

Miles run today: 3

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


I know this is going to take time. I know that I'm already ahead of schedule but please it's old already. I can't run 3 miles without stopping. I think it's a combination of loosing my previous level of fitness, the heat and humidity and having to run alone.
To be honest I'm a bit surprised that this feels as hard as it does. Granted it has been a long time since my last run, I walked and swam right up until the day before labor. I thought I had stayed in alright shape. On the hills especially it feels like I've lost muscle in my legs. All I can do for this is to stay with it and hope that over time things come back. I'm a little nervous for Falmouth in a few weeks, if I can't run 3 how am I going to be able to do 7?
As for the heat I can't do anything but acknowledge the role it's playing in my return to running. I know if I was coming back in more ideal weather conditions it would be a bit easier but I'm not sure I would appreciate it. That said I'm not waiting till October to run again, nor am I going to a treadmill that would be in the A/C, so I'll quit my b*tching.
Running alone sucks. Joe has to stay with the kid and I'm at the mercy of the kid so I can't even plan to meet other people (not that I know anyone who runs this slow). A few more months and we'll be able to get a jogger and bring the kid with us but for now it's miserable. I always found running with others helpful, it would get me out the door and keep me going. The only companion I can thing of bringing along is my trusty 10 minute mile dog, Mia.
All that aside I did get out there, and I know that at some point this will be a distant memory and I'll be running like I always did.
Miles run today: 3

Friday, July 8, 2011

What rain?

There once was a day when rain would be enough to stop me from running. The rule has always been if I can hear it from my bed then I'm not running in it. This morning I couldn't hear it from my bed but I heard it in the bathroom and when I went to leave it was pouring. Here's the problem though, for me to run everything has to be just so. Baby needs to have eaten a large meal, Joe has to be home, I have to be awake. There are no guarantees that all 3 will happen at the same time more than once a day so I can't throw away the opportunity. Rain wasn't going to stop me this morning. I'm still recovering and learning to run again so there was nothing special about today's run. I could still feel the after effects of my run earlier this week and quickly realized I wasn't going to be ready for the Little Compton Road Race tomorrow. The best part other than time alone, completely alone, was coming home and seeing that both baby and husband were sleeping; giving me time to shower and enjoy my coffee with nothing but my thoughts.

Miles run today 3

Monday, July 4, 2011

107 days

March 10, 2011. That was my last documented run, until today that is. I couldn't wait any longer. My coping skills were quickly dwindling, I was starting to loose it. Forgetting who I am outside of this new parenting thing. I laced up the old running shoes and pulled out my i-pod. Baby was fed and off I went. Fully expected this to feel worse than terrible, but was quickly surprised. My body hadn't forgotten what this was about. If felt so good to have the breeze in my face, sun on my shoulders and pavement beneath my feet. Instantly I was lost in the run. No thoughts running through my head, no worries about the next feeding or diaper change. No worries about who was visiting next. I hate to admit it but I had a feeling of sadness when I saw my house in the distance, it was over too quickly. It was only 2 miles but it was just what I needed and where I needed to begin. What I have to remember is that it will not be 107 days till my next run.
Miles run today: 2.2

Monday, June 6, 2011

Time Change

No, I'm not talking about day light savings, although that time change messes with me as well. Today is day 1 of my new life as a second shift employee. This is actually something I have wanted for most of my professional life, and here I sit today. It's 10:30 and I'm having breakfast in my backyard with the sun shining on my back. We'll see how happy I am at 10pm just leaving work for the day but so far so good. For this to work I won't be getting up at 5am for a workout any longer. Today I was in the pool for 9, and it felt very odd. Even on the weekends a 9am workout seems too late for me. I will admit I'm a tad worried for when I am allowed to return to my running shoes, the weather is typically better for runners in the early morning hours rather than mid morning or even afternoon. Running after work doesn't make sense, even for me it would be too late. As odd as this feels today, I'm trying to picture it with a little one and get even more concerned. Rather than overwhelm myself I'll focus on the here and now.

Yards swam today: 1650

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Spit out yer gum!

My thinking is not always clear before a morning workout. Today without realizing it I climbed into the pool with my gum in my mouth. Why I was chewing gum at 5:30am is unknown to me, I don't remember popping it in my mouth. I realized it quickly, not even halfway down the pool. Now I have run with gum and never had a problem, when I get sick of it I spit it out. I've been on the elliptical with gum and again no issues. I was suddenly disgusted by the fact that my gum was covered in pool water. It completely skeeved me out. Again makes no sense, pool water is always in my mouth, it's part of having to breathe in the water. For some reason I didn't have it in me to swallow this gum that had now been contaminated by the pool. I was into a 20 lap series so couldn't really climb out and find a trash can and there was no way this toxic piece of gum was going to end up neatly placed on my flip flop at the end of the pool. I toyed with the idea of spitting it out in the pool but thought that would be a ticket straight to hell, if I was going to do that I might as well just start peeing in the pool! This distraction lasted my entire workout, at times causing periods of panic. If nothing else a distraction to the workout it's self. And I will admit to the most disgusting part of this story when the workout was finally complete and I walked by the trash I realized that my gum was gone. I have no recollection of swallowing it, nor did I intentionally "loose it" in the pool but it was gone. I'm completely grossed out and learned a valuable lesson: no gum in the pool.

Yards swam today: 1600

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Just a granola bar

I'll admit, I had pushed off getting back into the pool this week. After our last work out I felt pretty terrible afterwards. Being so new to swimming it was hard to figure out why, if it was related to just the length of the workout or something else. But the stubborn ass in me has decided that unless instructed otherwise by my mid-wife, I'm finishing the mile. I think it was a pretty easy fix though, a granola bar on the way to the pool. We got right in and took the workout easy and the aftermath was much more pleasant. No nausea, no dizziness, no feelings of complete exhaustion and the workout itself felt better. Starting with an easy 20 laps, followed by 4x100 and 4x50. One more swim tomorrow then we begin the final week, granola bars in hand! Would it be too much to ask for a crowd with sparkly signs to be present for the mile?

Yards swam today: 1600

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Now with a rotisserie chicken...

There are now only 5 workouts between myself and the elusive mile. Tonight's workout started with 20 long laps. And surprisingly things felt good, that was the beginning of the end. Following the 20 was 4x100 then 4x50 and those last 2 parts were hellish. The hardest part of the 20 lapper was keeping track of where we were. My concentration sucks at baseline right about now and counting to 20 over a 30 minute period is nearly impossible. I did feel better after realizing Joe was as unsure of our count as I was. After an 8 breath break we started in on the 100's. All I can compare these swim workouts is to imagine going for a nice 3-4 mile run, feeling great. You finish the run and are accomplished, things are working like they should be. You want to stop but then you climb onto the track and do half a Bob/Jon workout. It's brutal, just brutal. Now add 30lbs and a rotisserie chicken in your belly, you get my point. I do understand the madness, those 100's and 50's have helped each week when our larger swim gets longer and longer at the start. I keep reminding my self 1 down and only 5 to go but man it's getting tough.

Yards swam today: 1600

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Watch out now!

After a week’s vacation from the pool and other forms of exercise, we dragged ourselves into the water this morning. I found that swimming like running, feels good after a bit of a break. But I really think today’s awesomeness was less about the break and more about my brand spanking new goggles. I had a pregnancy moment last week before we took off and my old trusty pair are now missing. It was a hidden gift. These new ones have transformed me into the female Michael Phelps. I’m not kidding; I cut through the water like a hot knife going through butter. The tinted lenses make me look cool even in my tent of a bathing suit. People were stopping to stare, well not really but they are really nice. It did hit me though that we are close to the mile and I’m starting to believe that we are going to be able to finish it!

Yards swam today: 1550

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

End of an era

We are getting close to this all coming to an end. For years now Joe and I have gotten out of bed at 5 am and embarked on some kind of workout. Before the running club and marathons there were gyms and weights, now there is the pool and lap after lap. It was this morning where we discussed this is the end, the 5-6:30am babysitting shift will be a hard one to fill. Yeah, there are always the weekends with the kid in the jogging stroller but that won't be the same. It's hard to think back about all that we have trained for together in the mornings. The gym in Attleboro that neither of us can remember the name of followed by our very first attempts at running in Pawtucket. There was Maureen's Boston Marathon, those were the months that lead to our own marathon endeavors. Training for 5k's 10k's, half and full marathons. The triathlon bug followed after that. Now we find ourselves in the pool reaching for a mile before parenthood begins.

Most of the time just the 2 of us, we've always enjoyed company although are likely known for cancelling at the last minute. We have some strange morning rules, there can't be too much talking. We won't drive further than Providence for a morning workout. It has to start no later than 5:30 and Joe won't allow anything earlier than 5am (although there was that one real early 14 miler). If we can hear the rain from our bed we are out and low wind chills make us cry. It better not be too hot or humid. Regardless of all of this we have been getting out there in one way or another for close to 10 years.

There are those who have seemed to take joy in telling me our workout days are over come Junior's arrival. I want to tell them to shove it, but rather I smile and say we'll see. I have no doubt that it will be different but that said I don't expect the training to end. That said, I will miss these morning workouts, just the 2 of us.

Yards swam today: 1250

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A taste of what's to come?

I preface this with I have no idea what we are in for when Lil Macedo arrives, nor do I pass judgement on those who are up at nights with their own little ones. I think last night and this morning was a minor, a very minor, peek into what life will be like. We had a very eventful night leading to little sleep at all. Things kicked off around midnight with Joe falling down the stairs. Why was he up? It's not clear, he tells a story about hearing the cat arguing with a neighbor but I'm not sure I believe him. Regardless we were both up for a while, and that was the end of it. Filled ourselves in on the end of yet another terrible Sox game, the birds begin to chirp around ten minutes of 2. At 3am I had a fit about the hour and turned on a sound machine, that was the last I remember. The alarm buzzes at 5 and I thought I was going to die. This can't be happening. It was the kind of wake up where I had to get in the car as fast as possible. If I even became slightly aware of what I was doing I would have talked myself back into bed and skipped the whole workout. Low and behold, somehow for reasons unknown to either of us, we landed in the pool. It might have been due to having little sleep the night before or the workout being just a tad longer than last week but it was brutal. Every stroke took effort, there was a moment I thought I might be in the pool until lunch time finishing up this workout. 35 minutes later we were in the locker room, bad night and brutal workout behind us. I sit here with coffee brewing and toothpicks in my eyes, and remind myself that this was only a taste of what's in store for us. Yards swam today: 1100

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Major Fail

All I have to say is that I hope chlorinated water is good for the baby, because we drank a disgusting amount of it this morning. Today I tried, I really tried to breathe on both sides while swimming. I failed. It felt similar to trying to write with your left hand if you are right handed, just all wrong. Every time I came up on the left for a breath I would get a mouth full of water, sometimes throwing me off to the point that I would have to stop mid lane and catch my bearings. I think at one point the lifeguard questioned why I was in the pool at all, it looked that bad. It was frustrating, even more so when we started the workout and my slow poke of a husband dashed out ahead. I gave up. It was too frustrating and unnatural. After swimming how, I know how I caught up to him and eventually passed him, found a smooth rhythm and enjoyed the swim. This is going to be a problem later on when the workouts get longer but I'll have to accept that punishment then. And who knows maybe it will all be just fine and I'll never need to learn to breathe on the left side. Yards swam today: 900

Friday, April 8, 2011

Day 2 week 1

Day 2 of learning how to swim a mile. Low expectations remain but man does it feel good to be in the pool. For the last several weeks my ribs have been feeling very cramped but swimming makes me feel like I'm about 6 feet tall with plenty of space for Junior to grow. Things started a little tight but quickly loosened up. I need to learn to breathe on both sides, currently I only breathe on my right side every 4th breath. Anytime I go to breathe on the left I get all confused and stop swimming. This is going to be a problem a few weeks from now when I'm swimming for longer intervals. I'll try tomorrow or Sunday. Other than that form felt good, speed was acceptable. I could benefit from from some nicer goggles but my cheapo deapo ones are getting the job done. Also, I have not hoisted myself out of the pool since swimming while pregnant and really hate, more like despise, having to dog paddle over to the ladder.

Yards swam: 900

Thursday, April 7, 2011

A swimmer's ramblings

Today started a new adventure, my attempt at training to swim a mile. As spring arrives my need to train for something has reached new heights, and this pregnancy continues to prevent much training, really any training at all. I have whined and complained about not being able to train for any of the spring races, I have critiqued the plans of others, spent wasted hours looking at old plans. My feet continue to hurt preventing any real road running and track is completely not an option currently. In a fit of frustration I accidentally came across the zero to 1650 training plan, how to swim a mile in 6 weeks (tried to post the link but was told it was spam). Today marked day 1. I think the furthest I have swam life time is somewhere between a half and 3/4's of a mile and that would have been last spring. The plan is only 6 weeks and yesterday when Joe and I were looking at the workouts in weeks 5 and 6 "Oh Shit" is the only thing that came to mind. Interestingly enough, last night at yoga seeing 2 women who are 6 weeks further along in pregnancy than me, I had the same thought. Either way the next 6 weeks is going to be full of challenges: like how not to waddle while I continue to rock 5 inch heels at work and how to learn to breathe on both sides while lap swimming. So we'll see how this plays out. I would be very happy to be able to successfully complete this plan in the next 6 weeks and be able to boast about my new distance. If nothing else it will serve as a nice distraction from lists about invitations and announcements. Yards swam today: 900

Saturday, March 19, 2011

27 weeks, 3.2 miles, 34:34

The hardest part of today was deciding on an outfit. I'm at a point where clothing choices are limited and I have no purchased any maternity running clothes (a benefit of the elliptical is it's OK to wear sweats). Surprisingly, I was able to piece together a running outfit that covered the enormous Buddha belly I've been sporting.

Walking to pick up our numbers is when the anxiety began to set in. It's been weeks since the last time I ran and I get winded walking up a flight of stairs. Today was seeming to be an exercise in stupidity. I kept telling myself it's only 3 miles, but God 3 miles can seem like an eternity.

As we waited for the start I had no idea how this was going to turn out. The joke was, I'll get a better time if I roll myself along the course. Off we went, I was running with a co-worker and his 2 kids. The pace seemed a bit fast to me at first, but had no idea what we were running. Almost immediately I had to pee, my bladder and uterus are in a delicate fight for space and the bladder almost always looses. Too bad there were NO porta john's along the course. It wasn't long before things settled in and my body ran.

It's funny how somethings require no effort. I found myself feeling very relaxed, feeling in some ways at home among all the other runners. I wasn't cheering, nor walking behind, I was running.

I'm not sure today was a good thing or not, I had given up on the idea of running until post delivery but today felt good. The dangerous snow mounds are gone. Maybe it's time to add in a slow 3 miles with my old 10 min miler dog once or twice a week. Although it won't be much longer till I'll need Joe to tie my shoes for me before we hit the pavement.

Miles raced today: 3.2

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The beginning of the end?

I think I'm getting close, running is getting too uncomfortable. I lasted only 10 minutes this morning before switching to an elliptical machine and experiencing instant relief. On the elliptical I was able to push my pace and things just felt better. I hate to admit it, I can't imagine not running for the next 16 weeks and if you think about post delivery recovery add another 6-8 weeks to that. On the other hand, running hurts and not in a good hurt kind of way. For now I'm reinventing my plan. 45 mins on the elliptical 5 days a week, 2 days a week in the pool and yoga. It's not running, it's not training for a half marathon but it's something. Maybe after a week or so my body will admit it was wrong and I can start again but for now this is good bye.

Miles run today: 1

Saturday, February 12, 2011


Yep, that's all I have to say about my refreshing 3 mile run. I feel good, like I haven't felt most of the week. It's been a long week with many distractions, most of which have been unpleasant. My last run was Tuesday and was terrible. Since I waited too long get new shoes the feet were pissed off and let me have it. It was a combination of taking it easy because I don't want to deal with a foot injury and not having the time or more likely the motivation that made me stay away for so many days. Today I needed it and I ran hard. I needed to be reminded that I am still here, it's still me and things will be alright. I needed to have trouble catching my breath not because I walked up a flight of stairs. I needed to have my legs pump hard and feel the sweat drip down my temples. I needed to give "eye's of death" to the old woman next to me who stared at my belly with concern. Next time I'm this overwhelmed I need to turn to my running shoes and remember they will always bring back my sanity.

Miles run today: 3

Thursday, February 3, 2011

My apologies

I must apologize to the women I hated on in my 1/25 entry. You know, those idiots who talked loudly during their morning workout. I will admit that I was one of those women today. It was unintended and I felt shame when I realized it, but continued to talk and laugh during my workout. Blame it on Junior or snow psychosis, we will never know the direct cause. I hope I did not interrupt any one else trying to enjoy their workout. I pledge never ever to be loud in the morning, that time is still sacred but today I had some good laughs.

Miles run today: 3

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Half time

We have made it to the half way point and for quiet a while I have been focused on this milestone. During a rather terrible 3 miles this morning I wondered if it really meant anything. I'll be the first to tell you that a half marathon does NOT compare to a full, that is unless I'm trying to get you to register with me. Also during the 2 marathons I've completed I have never breathed a sigh of relief at the 13 mile marker, most will agree that the worst is yet to come (Hello Queeensboro Bridge and Central Park!). So has the worst of pregnancy occurred or am I doomed? Joe thinks that from an anxiety perspective the worst has passed, that might be wishful thinking on his part. From a comfort perspective I truly have no idea what's in store and don't even want to imagine, I should stop complaining about the baby elephant. On a regular run the half way marks the point where I commit to finishing, but again that would apply more to shorter distances. For the longer distances I have to get within 3 miles of the goal distance to commit to finishing. How does that translate? I'm not sure, I have no control over any of this. For today I'll bask the the glow of the half way point and not worry too much about what's in store for the coming weeks.

Miles run today: 3

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Feeling slightly better

It was one of those runs where the only goal was to cool off. I was livid, to the point where I gave consideration to punching a wall. They don't give good pain meds to pregnant women so that option was quickly ruled out. Joe's solution of a Jack and Coke carried the risks of fetal alcohol syndrome, so I found myself on the treadmill. My pace quickened and the TV was off, soon I turned off the light above me and had the music loud enough to hurt. I kept the pace quick enough that I was close to falling off the back, I needed to focus on the run and forget about everything else. Ever so slowly I found my breathing to be more controlled and my thoughts slowing. It was a quick run, that's all I needed. Just enough to regain my control and composure. Things returned to a normal perspective and I slowed to a walk for my cool down. Not 100% but at least now able to focus and no longer weighing the risks and benefits of property destruction, I'll consider this a success.

Miles run: 3

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

This is ok, but not cell phones

I made a BIG mistake today at the gym, I forgot my headphones. Refusing to go back out to the cold car to get them, I decided to run without music. Little did I realize how I would regret this later.

I can't tell you when I noticed the conversation, but at some point my quiet workout was interrupted by the cackle of laughter. Not just a simple laugh but a conversation. Typically gym conversations in the mornings are hushed and short, this conversation went on and on and on. I glanced back it was 2 girls on the elliptical machines. I figured they had just started and would settle down, WRONG. It kept up for the rest of my workout. Just loud enough to break my focus but not lout enough for me to hear what they were saying. Now a few weeks ago I was at the gym and got a call on my phone. Seconds after answering the phone a staff member asked me to leave the gym, fair enough. The assumption is you are there to WORK OUT. I finished my conversation in the hall and returned to my treadmill.

Granted I'm never much of a conversationalist during a run, but these girls appeared to be at a coffee shop not on a piece of exercise equipment. I happen to be a strong believer of the if you can talk you aren't moving fast enough. It's one thing to have a good time joking during an outdoor workout where you aren't bothering anyone. But the 5:30am gym crowd appears to be a quiet down-to-business like group that are focused on finishing their workouts and getting to their warm showers and morning cups of coffee.

After leaving I figured I was being hormonal and too judgemental, I mentioned it to Joe in passing, who knew immediately what I was talking about. "I had to turn up the volume on my music because of those girls." So here are 2 people holding court in a manner that is just as disruptive as those on cell phones but yet no one intervenes. I guess this is what I get for forgetting my headphones, here's hoping these girls belong to the New Year's Resolution Crowd and will be quickly weeded out!

Miles run today: 3

Monday, January 24, 2011

Training for the bladder and the legs

This is a big week, a MD visit looms on the calender for Thursday, including the dreaded monthly weigh in. So there is no room for joking around with the running this week. We got up and decided to hit the gym with the temps being as cold as they are. It was after a lowly mile that I found myself running off the treadmill, through the gym, down the stairs and into the locker room. By now I have accepted that most runs will be interrupted and plan accordingly. It was only minutes before I was back on the machine moving along. Not even a half mile later the feeling returns. I know I don't have to go, I've been 3 times already and it's barely 6am. My full water bottle sitting next to me, taunting me, no sips till we're done or I'll never get through this. Decisions had to be made. There is a mile and a half to go, so I did the irresponsible thing, I jacked up the pace and ignored the feeling. The whole time praying that my gamble would pay off, I'm not ready for any accidents! In addition to wanting to be done and go home, I have at least 2 more races on the schedule before June. Although there will be bathroom stops during these races, no race has a bathroom every mile or less. All body parts need to work together. The bladder needs to get a grip and the legs might need to move a bit faster than they have to get us done with the run. Or at the very least the gym could move my treadmill to the locker room so my breaks are faster.

Miles run today: 3

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Change of scenery

I started today with the highest intentions. My goal was to join the group for an outdoor run this am. I prepped myself last night for the frigid temps and was ready, the alarm just went off a little too late. So rather than my dirty basement and the treadmill I've been spending way too much time on I hit the gym with a new i-pod playlist. This was seriously all I needed to re-energize my runs. The pace was no faster than yesterdays run but the miles flew by much quicker. Seeing as how the gym was much warmer than the outdoors today this was a nice surprise! The Hyannis 10k is an outdoor run regardless of my preference so I need to go back to the streets eventually or this race is going to be mighty painful!

Miles trained today: 5

Friday, January 14, 2011

Indoor runner's lung?

Runner's lung is what I have affectionately called that cough that follows a cold outdoor run, that cough that seems to linger forever. It's been established that my clothes don't fit, so that combined with the temps lately, the snow on the ground, and my overall lack of motivation I haven't run outdoors since New Years. Please give me some credit, I have put in miles on the treadmill 4 times a week every week, I know that this doesn't count to the dedicated but I'm going to count it. Today I got off the treadmill and ran into my old friend, runner's lung. That familiar dry cough that has followed me home countless mornings after a run at Brown; made me miss those morning runs.

Miles trained today: 3

Friday, January 7, 2011

You can keep that duct tape...for now

Please note: I'm laying it all out there today. If you don't want to read about my girls please stop reading.

Yep, I'm going there. I have to, they won't be ignored, ask my co-workers if you don't believe me. They have provided quite the comic relief for those watching this happen. All my Mom friends lied, you know who you are. No one told me that pregnancy would mean that my girls would take on a life of their very own. For those of you who want to see a bump, I don't have a bump yet; just 2 camel humps on the front where the girls used to reside. As if running hasn't been complicated enough, I didn't need this. To be honest I was caught by surprise. Maybe 2 months ago after a run I had to check to make sure I hadn't lost one on the Blvd. I chalked it up to a bad day, well that day hasn't gone away and it's only gotten worse. To the point where I have been tempted, seriously tempted by the duct tape. I have walked to the finish line in races due to the level of discomfort. The CIA should find a way to replicate this pain in their torture methods. I don't want to buy more bra's. I'm sick of buying clothes that won't fit a few months from now. Yesterday I think I figured it out. I didn't want to speak too soon, for fear that it was a fluke. But today makes 2 runs in a row where the girls stayed put. I didn't spend the last mile holding my chest. The trick currently is layering 2 sports bra's. Now this won't last forever as the small one is about to burst and it's only because I have another one over it that it hasn't ripped at the seams. It feels like it's been a very very long time since I was able to run and not worry that one of them dropped to the ground behind me. I'm going to leave the duct tape alone for now, but I might need it later.

Miles trained today: 3

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Oh Hello...Jack Black

I've been running outside and mastered my pregnant runner outfit. As of last weekend it hid all evidence of my expanding waistline and is still very comfortable. Today was going to be a treadmill run and it's been a few weeks. Luckily I bailed on the gym and decided on using our basement treadmill. This morning I had already chosen a standard running outfit, many of you have seen it at the track. I believe that Anne-Marie fondly refers to me as Barney when I pull out the purple short and tank. Well today I looked more like Jack Black than Barney (minus the cape of course). I would have died if I put that on in the gym locker room, really died. All I could do in my bathroom was laugh, I give it another 2 weeks before the shirt doesn't cover the belly. I confirmed my suspicions of my foolish appearance when Joe came home, stifled a laugh and said I don't look like Jack Black, just pregnant. This would have been a good enough reason to skip and pout on the couch, but I brought my get up down stairs and ran by myself where no one could compare the resemblance.
Miles run today: 3

Sunday, January 2, 2011

To buy or not to buy

I think I am getting sick. Never have I put off shoe shopping, never. I need new running shoes, have needed them for several weeks. But I can't bring myself to make the purchase.Part of me feels like it's a waste of a shoe purchase. Let's be honest, I'm getting out there but it's getting to be laughable. I'm more focused on pee breaks than my mile splits. The signs are there though, some soreness in my knee and this weird ankle pain that only happens when I put off new shoes. Logically I know I can't make it to June without new shoes, but I keep thinking that way. Let's just run till Junior's arrival, I'll take a break and figure out how to be a Mom. When I reunite with the roads I'll bring with me a new pair of shoes as an apology gift for being away for so long. The problem with that logic is that it's January and my shoes are tired and beat up. I've been buying other shoes, just welcomed a sick pair of black heels into the family last night. Maybe next weekend I'll go visit Rhode Runner and get some new running shoes while I look more closely at their jogging stroller.

Miles trained today: 3

Saturday, January 1, 2011

What a difference a year makes

This time last year I was training for the Providence Marathon, going on and on about 40-50 miles a week. All that talk and if I recall correctly that training program ended up in disaster with my running shoes tossed in a corner and my feet at the mercy of PT for what seemed like an endless amount of time. This date a year ago it was too cold and I was too hungover to run the Hangover Classic. Fast forward 1 year and here I sit, happy when I get 20 miles a week, looking for nothing longer than a 10k. Completed the Hangover Classic without a hangover and with warm temps. My running is no longer centered around endless training logs, rather a weekly countdown to June 19th and Junior's arrival. My races aren't chosen based on distance, swag, or location; rather if they have port-a-john's on the course. But a new year and I'm still running. This year will bring a new set of challenges. How much longer can I run without teetering over, (I am getting a bit top heavy)? What will running be like when Junior arrives? What jogging stroller to buy and will Joe agree to push it for the first 9 months? Will there be time for training in the future? I'm confident that I'll figure most of these issues out, and those I don't figure out I'll learn to live with. Junior has raced with me 6 times so far and has at least one more scheduled event on the books before retiring until June. Who knows maybe I'm growing the next Meb or Paula!

Miles trained today: 5