Thursday, March 12, 2015

Putting in the work

Friday: AM: 30 min easy, PM: 14min w/u, 12x400m @76-78, 60 sec rest, 37 min c/d
Saturday: AM: 80 minutes
Sunday: AM: 20 min shake out, PM: 20min w/u, 3 miles in 18:00 (6:00), mile jog, 2 miles in 11:30 (5:45), 2 min rest, 1 mile @ 5:42, 1.5 mile c/d
Monday: AM: 20 min shakeout, PM: 56 min w/ Houston
Tuesday: AM: 81 minutes
Wednesday: AM: 30 min easy, PM: 10 min w/u, 4x1.65 miles, 6:23 pace (up), 6:04 pace (d), 6:18 (u), 6:00 (d), 8 min c/d
Thursday: 72 minutes

I took advantage of the team's spring break schedule to get in some good workouts with the ladies. Though I suffered (mostly in the 400s) I was surprised at how good it felt to run fast. I know I still have a ways to go, but it's relieving to know that my fitness is still coming back.

I'm doing my best to balance motherhood, work, and training all the while doing my best to get enough sleep and to eat right. I'm finding it necessary to sometimes sacrifice miles for sleep. I run so much better well rested. I also need more sleep than normal because Patrick is still breastfeeding. I just don't have the motivation to go full tilt right now.
Yet.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Honesty

It is 4:36pm and I am drinking red wine while watching my son try to craw (he's failing, though he is massive so its quite a task at 5 months old). My 4 year old daughter is napping, much needed as she spent the morning playing at the roller skating rink when I got home from my long run. It's Saturday, we are alone. My husband is in New York City but will return soon. My mother-in-law was here for a few days, but left this morning. I'm doing my best right now.

I ran 16 miles this morning, about 11 at or under 6:35, which just so happens to be the pace I ran for a half-marathon 7 days ago. However, last Saturday I was dying, and nearly pulled of course because I doubted I could finish the race. Today, I talked the entire way and was barely labored.

I'm exhausted. I made a cup of coffee about 2 hours ago because I felt like I could fall asleep at my computer. Thirty minutes ago I submitted a grant report that was due today by 5:00p.m. (yes, on a Saturday). I made the deadline by 54 minutes. I feel like any moment I could just lay my head back and fall asleep for days. I think about sleep a lot. I day dream about sleeping.

Six weeks ago I almost quit running. Not quit like stop completely, quit like stop chasing goals, just running for the pure enjoyment of it. I was going to put a limit on the number of miles I would run a week, I was going to allow myself to miss a full day of running out of seven, I was going to stop counting mileage. All these things, I was like, ok.

I had surgery in December. It changed things. I don't like talking about it or thinking about it, but there was a high possibility that the surgery saved my life. However I prepared for best case scenario A....and I ended up for best case scenario B. I didn't emotionally prepare for best case scenario B. I'm stilling dealing with that.

I thought the surgery would change me and my running, but it didn't (at least not as of yet). And, when nothing changed I realized I am not done with dreams and goals (yet). Balancing kids, husband, work, and running is not hard, its just a little bit challenging. I can still do it all, I'm just going to have to be a bit more creative.

I've found a way to run more. I get up early (4:10am) and run. I go out on my lunch break and run again. When my lunch run is short I do circuit and strength. I eat like a horse too because I'm still breastfeeding and continuously raising my mileage. The baby weight doesn't exist anymore.

And so here I am, finding my grove, getting fitter everyday. From week to week my workouts change drastically, I am finding a way to fit it all in. Time for kids, time for husband, time for work, time to run. My life is full. It is overflowing.

I'm not done yet.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Long road ahead. 14 week pp training log.

Sunday: 90 min progressive treadmill run. I've been super sick so I ran inside giving myself the option of quitting if I was too sick to continue. Started at 7:20 pace, worked my way down to 6:44 pace. Good run.
Monday: 30 min at a snail pace. Legs really hurt
Tuesday: 9.5 miles, easy pace (7:55-8:05)
Wednesday: 2 mile w/u, 6x1k on mugshots loop (3:39, 3:41, 3:40, 3:42, 3:39, 3:44) 2 mile c/d
Thursday: 11.2 miles easy paced
Friday: legs hurt every where. AM: 20 min. PM: 30 min
Saturday: 13.5 miles, w/ fast miles from 3-12  (6:58, 6:45, 6:45, 4:33 for .66) 5 min water break, 6:37, 6:39, 6:47, 6:48, 4 min water break, 6:38, 2:24 for .35) 

I had planned on running St.Jude but my Achilles, quad, and feet were killing me. I decided to play it safe and run a tempo during my long run instead.

The workout went fine, though I suffered more than I would have liked due to the humidity and warmer temps than normal for this time of year. I'm not as fit as I would like to be, and I've lost a significant amount of leg strength. (And I ran twice as much with this pregnancy- explain that?!) Houston suggested I focus on incorporating more hill work in my schedule for the next few weeks. I guess I probably won't be racing again until late January. Here's to slow progress...

I've been waking most mornings at 4:10am, and putting Patrick to bed at night between 8:30-9:00pm. I don't feel tired, but I'm not sure I'm getting enough sleep for the training I'm putting in. Plus, I'm not napping during the day- I'm at work 8am-5pm. I'm really not sure what my running future holds but I figure I will continue to put in the work and see if I end up back where I once was. Right now, I'm loving the mommy time and enjoyin my kids with whatever free time I have. 



Sunday, November 23, 2014

Turkey Trot 10K Recap + First Postpartum Win

11/15/14 - Turkey Trot 10k - 40:51 for 1st overall person (11 weeks postpartum)
2 mile w/u, 1.5 mile c/d

Results

As much as I hate to say it, I was a tiny bit disappointed with this race. It was suppose to be more of a "see where I am" type effort, but I got a little too competitive in the first half mile and I paid for it big time. Never mind that the course was a little bit short (let's just forget that part) but I also had a 7:00 mile thrown in there...not something that I'm super proud of.

I ran the first mile fartlek style. When the gun went of a couple of guys sprinted in front of me. After about 400m they started huffing and puffing loudly and it was clear that they were working too hard. I passed everyone with the exception of the winner of the 5k, running the first half mile a little over 5:30 pace and the second a little over 7:30 pace to try and fix the damage. It didn't work, after about mile 3 I was pretty much toast. With no one around me to share in my misery, I jogged in the last three miles, all the while praying that no one would come up and challenge me because I wasn't sure I would put up much of a fight.
Finishing

In the end I actually felt pretty good, and based on Wednesday's workout and Saturday's long run, I definitely received a (much needed) boost of fitness from the effort.

Awards

I'm still dealing with postpartum aches and pains, and I've still got some weight to drop before I consider myself race ready. Training with two children (versus one) and a 40+ hour work week is quite challenging and I've decided to not rush things. Most days I'm just happy to get out there regardless of whatever pace I'm able to run. I'm just going to continue gradually increasing my miledge and the intensity of my workouts, eventually I will get back into the shape I once was...it just may take a little bit more effort the second time around.

Training log (11-12 weeks postpartum)

Saturday: 10k race in 40:51 (2 mile w/u, 1.5 mile c/d)
---
Sunday: 40 min easy + rehab
Monday: 67 min (8.5 miles) felt decent
Tuesday: 60 min, about 7:35 pace & 1.0 incline (t-mill)
Wednesday: 45 min w/ 35 min of tempo, starting at 6:40 down to 6:18 @ .5-1.0 incline (t-mill)
Thursday: 91 minutes (11) ran easy, felt pretty good the entire way
Friday: 40 min w/ 4x 80m strides
Saturday: 13.2 miles (8:23, 7:25, 6:58, 6:58, 6:55, 6:59, 7:32, 6:38, 6:53, 7:06, 7:12, 7:10, 8:22) felt
great, slowed to run with friends part of the way. Not too difficult and legs feeling pretty good the rest of the day. Progress.

56-57 miles

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Training Log: 7 Weeks Postpartum


  • Monday: 50 minutes light progressive run (still tight from Saturday)
  • Tuesday: 8.3 miles 7:40-8:00
  • Wednesday: 30 min recovery
  • Thursday: 8.3 miles w/ 2 miles fast (6:25, 6:21) & 5x 1 min fast, full jog recovery (5:35-5:55)
  • Friday: 45 min progressive 8:00-7:24
  • Saturday: Off (worked/volunteered all day)
  • Sunday: 10.5 miles 7:20-8:00, south farm, hamstring killing me. This run could have been much faster but my hamstring gave me a really hard time.
Total: 42.5 miles


The Saturday before I did a workout on the MSU XC course with the team (well, technically not WITH the team) and about died. I ran a 20 minute tempo sandwiched between two 30 minute runs. I ran with Jay (who was in the middle of a 20 mile run) for 20 minutes and averaged 6:54. It was hot and hilly and I thought I might pass out by the time we were finished. It took so much out of me that I'm not sure I covered much over 2 miles in the 30 minute cool down. If a stranger in a white van with no windows would have stopped and asked me if I wanted a ride, I definitely would have accepted. 

Momma always said there'd be days like this...

And then Thursday I went out and ran a 2 mile tempo during my workout and averaged 6:20s. It is amazing how much stuff changes week to week right now. 

Patrick had his 8 week appointment yesterday and weighed more than most children do at 4 months. I'm not really sure what to make of it. Doctor said he is big and healthy and progressing nicely. He also regressed with his sleep a little bit. I googled "8 week old sleep regression" and obviously there is no such thing. Most 8 week olds still have a good bit of trouble sleeping, so I should be happy I'm only getting up twice to feed him and go straight back to sleep. He's really a super good baby. I think he may be a better sleeper than Maddy was but I'm not totally sure....I forget most of the really early struggles.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Weighing in

If you clicked on the link to my blog thinking that I was going to tell you how much I weigh post-baby, I'm sorry I misled you. I was going to write about the "weight" issue, pregnancy weight, and post pregnancy weight and why I think we (men, ladies, humans) make more of a deal about it than we should.

I gained a healthy 27 pounds this pregnancy, 22 of it in the first two trimesters. I was starving all the time. There were weeks when I ate a foot-long subway sandwich for lunch everyday, only to be starving again at 3:00pm. It was uncontrollable and alarming and as a result of my eating I put on weight quickly, more than what is considered "normal" in the first 28 weeks of pregnancy.

I hate doctors appointments when your pregnant, it makes women feel like cattle. They open the door and yell your name when you know its "your turn" and you waddle inside. They go through the same routine every-time, weight, blood pressure, pee in cup, sit here again and wait some more. Early one it happens only every 4 weeks, but later in your pregnancy it happens every other week and then every freakin week.

I got tired of the scale. It frustrated me for 28 weeks because I knew that if I gained more than the "normal" amount of weight that my doctor was going to mention it. Never mind that I ran 50mpw up until I was at least 6 months pregnant, that even though I may have been eating a foot-long sub for lunch, I was choosing chicken, no cheese, no mayo, loads of vegetables, and no salt. I was also passing on dessert all the time, and picking fruits instead of candy bars when I had hunger pains when I really should not have been having hunger pains. As a results I gained what doctors considered a normal amount of weight in the very end, but I still believe my body wanted to gain more.

I recently found out I have been anemic for a good portion of my pregnancy. I was able to review some of my test results online and it was a bit of a shocker. More so because I started taking liquid iron early in the third trimester because my fatigue was so bad. The supplement did help the fatigue, but I still went into the hospital to have Patrick clearly anemic, and came out extremely anemic. Houston told me it was the lowest levels he had seen in all his time coaching.

Well....damn. It all makes sense now. Because weight is such a concern with pregnancy, I was led to believe I was gaining too much too fast. I watched what I ate too much and as a result, spent most of my pregnancy exhausted (lack of calorie dense food, maybe?) and anemic because much of the iron rich food I should have been eating, I probably nixed because it was also full of calories.

It bothers me now because I felt like I wasted so much energy worrying about something that doesn't even matter. As someone that normally runs 85 mpw, I could and probably should gain more weight than the average female, but we live in such a weight conscious world that my weight gain was cautioned when it should have been charted as healthy.

Regardless of my weight gain, my baby still topped the scales at 9lbs 2 ounces which was considered big and healthy. I also ended up loosing a good portion of my weight shortly after. Right now I still have weight to lose in awkward places, but I don't feel heavy anymore when I run.
I do still feel the fatigue...and I am still anemic.

I think its terrible that people talk about how much a woman gains when she is pregnant like its a bad thing. They say things like, "Woo she got soooo big!" Weight gain should really be celebrated to an extent because it means the mom is getting enough to eat to sustain her pregnancy. Plus gaining weight is what our bodies are designed to do.

1) You have to build a human.
2) You've got to feed that human when it is finally born 9-10 months later. 

One of the first things people do when they see you post-baby is tell you how great you look (even if you don't look great, they usually lie anyway). But how close you are to your post-baby body shouldn't be something to celebrate. The focus should really be the birth of a healthy baby and that you (quite honestly) survived the labor process.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Patrick's Birth Story

He's here! Baby Patrick arrived at 2:02pm on August 26, 2014. At birth he was 9lbs 2 ounces and 19 3/4 inches long. He was quickly approaching 41 weeks when we realized we had waited as long as we could for me to go into labor naturally, because we were a little worried about his size. Given that my first child was 8lbs 7 ounces, we both guessed he would end up being just a few ounces bigger than our first, but we didn't want to chance a rough delivery and possible c-section if he ended up being too large for me to deliver. 

I was extremely disappointed when I finally decided it was time to induce because going into labor naturally was something I was really looking forward to this time around. I had also been having contractions every 8-12 min for three days before my induction date. Though they were stronger than the braxton hicks I had been having for weeks, they were not overwhelmingly painful and they still failed to amount to anything. 

I had also tried every (safe) method that has been said to kick start labor...accupuncture, prenatal massage, reflexology, evening primrose oil, raspberry leaf tea, pineapple, eggplant, curry, using my breast pump, loads of walking and running, nearly everything I have read or been told will get it going (with the exception of castor oil- which can have horrible consequences if your cervix isn't ready). Nothing ended up working, in fact when I went in the morning of Aug 25 for my last check-up, I had made little progress from the week before (and the week before that). The only positive was that my cervix was a bit softer but still longer than my doctor would have liked, though he also felt it was time to induce. 

Mid-morning after my appointment I started having regular back pain along with contractions and though my water didn't break, I had other symptoms that told me labor was coming soon. We rested most of the day, took a two hour nap from 10pm-12, and left for the hospital just shortly after 12:30am. When we got there, me and baby were placed on a monitor in L&D and I was given the smallest dose of cytotec to prep my cervix. Things took off from there and I had contractions between 8-3 minutes apart all the way up until 5am when they started my pictocin and I officially went into labor. By then I was already 4.5 cm from laboring on my own with the cytotec.

I was really worried that I would need the epidural quickly once they started my pitocin. Because my first labor was induced I remember the contractions being unbearable, and the epidural I had at 6cm stopped my labor and brought me within minutes of a c-section (which I did avoid, but still it way too close for comfort ). I didn't want to get that close again, so I turned on my pandora radio, put my headphones in my ears and hummed my way through the pain. Though I was uncomfortable, the pain wasn't unbearable like I remembered it. I could feel each contraction rise up, peak, and gradually fall back to a resting state. In some ways I was actually enjoying the experience, it was physically difficult and I was sweating and having to control my effort. In a way it almost felt like a hard workout or a difficult race. 

Things really didn't get difficult with the pitocin like I remembered they did with my first, the contractions were manageable, or at least I learned to manage them. I ended up laboring on my own (ok, my husband held my hand through the late stages!!) all they way until I was 10cm in about 4 hrs. It was quick and I didn't start to have any difficulty managing the contractions until I was well past 8 cm dilated.

Once I hit 10cm, I continued to tell my nurse I needed to go to the bathroom. She checked me and told me the news that I was fully dilated. The pressure I was dealing started to become unbearable, and my body started to make me push during each contraction. It was horrible and I couldn't fight it or stop it. The contractions eventually turned into horrible gut wrenching pressure and my humming turned into moaning as I grabbed the bed rails to steady myself during each push. The nurses set me up properly to push and I did for about 20-30 minutes, until the head nurse came in to check my progress, and gave me some pretty bad news. Even though I was getting to sensation to push, my baby was being protected by an additional bag of water called a forebag, that failed to break when my water broke (on its own) at 6 cm. this was one of the reasons that my baby was still up way too high and not dropping. And the horribly bad news- it was probably going to take 2-3 hours of pushing to get him to drop low enough for me to push him out. 

I was horribly devastated because I was exhausted at this point not to mention that I had not slept all night (with the exception of a 2 hr nap before midnight) and the pressure and push sensation were more than I could handle for another 2-3 hours. I was once again worried that I would et to the very end and have no energy to push him out, resulting in a c-section. In a matter of minutes I went from thinking things were about over, to feeling completely hopeless.

Minutes later my doctor came in, he had been in surgery for 2 hours, which I knew, and told me that if I got an epidural, I could sleep for 2 hours, and they would wake me up when he dropped, and I could push him out. By now, I was all the way at 10cm on my own, so there was no way my labor would be prolonged or stop if I got the epidural, which was my worry going in. So I agreed and was given an epidural minutes later, which seemed to take the edge off almost immediatly. I feel asleep quickly, waking every 20-30 minutes or so by a family member or a nurse checking on me. I started to feel my energy return with each 20-30 min stretch.
Two-three hours later I awoke and felt ready. I had woke up about an hour before and threw up, which I know for me is my body's signal that he had dropped low enough for me to push. My doctor came in and told me it was time. A little numb from the epidural, but refreshed from the big nap I had just taken, I was able to push him out without any trouble in just 5 pushes. It was absolutely a perfect birth experience for me and baby. Within hours of Patrick's birth my daughter had me up and we walked the halls of L&D in search of a snickers bar and a diet coke (for me of course). 

He was bigger than we all expected at 9lbs and 2 ounces, but all in all it was a much better labor/delivery experience than my first (18 hours of labor), and no c-section which was my biggest fears with a big baby and an induction. Everyone had their ideas of a perfect labor, some prefer home births and others prefer to go completely unmedicated. Regardless, my experience was perfect for me, and would have me up and running (not literally) very quickly. I  could not have asked for a better experience this time around!

Welcome to the world, Patrick!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Week 40

Here I am just a couple days shy of 40 weeks pregnant and just...waiting. Honestly I never thought we would actually get this far.

Three weeks ago we had a sonogram to estimate the babies size and they told us he probably weighed 7lbs 3 ounces. Because my first baby was large we started to get worried, and came up with a plan to induce early, possibly in the middle of week 39.

Four days later I went in for my next appointment and was told we had already made so much progress that we may not even make it that far. We went home, and I continued to be as active as before thinking that I would just continue to make progress. I was confident that by the time I hit the middle of August our baby would be on his way out anyway.

Monday the 10th I went in and hadn't made much progress from the week before but was still looking good, so I opted to wait another week versus possibly inducing on Aug 15. I was 100% sure that by then I would be so ready that our induction process would be quick and easy (versus the one with Maddy that was long and painful). I was also extremely confident going into my Aug 18th appointment...only to be told that I had made no progress from the week before. 

Zero. Zilch. NONE.

My doctor started talking about having to bring me in the night before to "prep me" and starting the drip in the morning. Then reality hit and I realized my body was not ready. My baby was not ready. I was not going to have this child tomorrow. I was not going to have this baby this week AT ALL.

Because the thought of going through my first labor experience terrified me more than delivering a large child, I decided to wait until the 25th. Possibly at that point he may still be a good size for me to deliver him naturally, and possibly not. There is really no telling as estimating size using a sonogram is really just a guess anyways.

So here I am...waiting. My babies face still clearly etched in my mind from my last sonogram, and I am growing increasingly impatient. I am power walking like a made women and still running when my pelvic floor allows it.

Pregnancy is not a race, but it is a marathon. And as Houston mentioned to me yesterday, "your kick was never really very good."

...Doing my best to rally...