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...



Saturday, July 26, 2014

36+ weeks. Officially on the home stretch.

This week I will go in for my week 37 appointment. We are no longer considered pre-term, and will have an ultrasound to guesstimate the babies size. Because Maddy was so big (and I am small) there is a possibility I will be induced before week 40. I would rather go into labor naturally but I don't even want to chance a c-section. With Maddy I was only minutes away...but we made it!

I'm still running though not a lot and not very fast. This baby is continuing to drop which makes it really hard to run (the bouncing feels like he might fall out). I don't think running everyday is really a good decision for my pelvic floor long term as pregnant and as big as my belly is, so I have power walked on an incline for an hour on the days when I find running too difficult. It's horribly boring, but it's something.

I'm really very lucky that I am still able to run at all, with my first I found it much more difficult. If I would find the energy to drag my butt out of bed by 5:00am to get the the gym, I could use the elliptical and I'd probably get in a better workout. I'm sort of lacking the motivation to do that.

My pace and distances are so embarrasing that I'm going to refrain from posting a log until I'm back running post-pregnancy. Just know that I am moving forward, though it's less of a run, and more of a slow, uncomfortable waddle...

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Pregnancy running log week 31, 32, 33

One unfortunate event occurred during week 32...I am now unable to handle running on the road. The ligament pain when logging miles outside is just too much for me, plus the humidity is so high right now I struggle to breath throughout most of the run. Therefore I will be stuck with the treadmill for what remaining weeks I have left. I knew this would happen about this time anyway so it's really no big deal. My running this pregnancy has been 100 times better than the last, and for that I am still pretty grateful.

I've had Braxton Hicks contracts quite regularly now, which I'm hoping will mean this child may come faster than Maddy did...which also means I'm freaking out! I've also had backaches, headaches, and morning sickness! At this point with my first child there were no signs that labor would (ever) come, and eventually Maddy had to be evicted at about week 41 weighing in at 8 pounds, 7 ounces. I'm hoping this one will be a bit more ready. In the evenings he moves so much I feel like he's trying to escape...but I also don't want him to come for AT LEAST another 4 weeks. Now that I am nearing the home stretch I am worrying about every single little thing...

Running on the road? Not only can I not do it any more, I wouldn't dare. I am terrified that I'll slip and fall. I'm also very concerned that the heat and humidity is not good for the baby. I'm worried I move around too much. I'm worried that picking up Maddy is too much for him. I'm worried I've had too much artificial sweetener. I'm also craving oranges like crazy....maybe I haven't had enough folic acid? At least I'm not calling my husband every morning to make sure he unplugged the iron...haven't gotten to that point yet.

Speaking of iron, I switched my supplement from pill to liquid. Though it's pretty gross it works much better and I can already tell a difference. I've also started eating more protein in the morning and kept better tabs on my salt intake...which means very little puffiness! My feet and hands are not swollen and I can still tie my own shoes (it is a little difficult, I'll admit) all in all this pregnancy has gone by pretty fast and without many problems.

Week 31 (all my runs are in the am before work on the treadmill)

Monday: 50 min , felt great. Rocked this run. Even passed some other runners (awesome).

Tuesday: slept late, only managed 30 minutes of running before having to get Maddy ready for school. Felt guilt later in the day so walked the long way across campus in the afternoon to a meeting. I almost melted it was so hot...not making that mistake again.

Wednesday: 50 min walk/run. Tried to run outside and made it about a mile and a bit before the ligament pain started. Struggled to get back running for the remaining miles. One of my running friends saw me walking...hate that!

Thursday: 40 min run. I don't remember how I felt during this run...my guess is large and awkward.

Friday: 50 min run with some miles in the 8:00-8:45 range. Felt great all day, such a happy run. Had an appetite today also, which is new.

Saturday: 70 min run before going to work for most of the day. The baby shifted down lower throughout the night, and when I woke up I felt like I was walking with a pole between my legs. I took it easy today just to be careful and ran super slow. It was horribly boring. Just went for time and didn't worry about the distance.

Sunday: I spent most of Saturday working outside in the hot sun. I woke up Sunday completely fried. I made Maddy breakfast and fell asleep on the couch....slept all the way through church. I attempted a workout in the afternoon... 40 minutes of walking with some running thrown in. Felt horrible all day.

Week 32

Monday: 45 minutes. Some fast minutes around 8:30 thrown in. I am feeling super pregnant. Really tired still, not sure if its still my iron or just my blood sugar...or just pregnancy. My husband is also gone all week so I am doing the parent thing solo once again. Makes everything a little bit more difficult.

Tuesday: 45 minutes. Once again had some fast sections, but the baby is still low and I am still dealing with that and being cautious.

Wednesday: 45 min run. I don't remember what I felt like, just that I ran.

Thursday: 30 min run. Just too tired to do anymore. Thursdays are always rough, especially with such an active 3.75 year old.

Friday: 40 min run. Wanted to run more but didn't get up early enough. Getting lazy...

Saturday: 80 min run on the treadmill. Good pace and felt pretty good. Pelvic floor a bit shot for the rest of the weekend.

Sunday: 30 min, a good bit of walking. Pelvic floor pretty sore, maybe I should have taken a day off instead....

Week 33

Monday: 35 min. Felt horrible and "off" because I am freaking out about everything. I decided to call it quits early

Tuesday: 45 min run. Felt pretty good today and had quite a bit of running in the 8:4X range. Energy starting to come back. Could be the liquid iron or my body prepping to have this child. Ohh....the sleepless nights....

Wednesday: 35 min. Slept in, couldn't find the motivation to get out of bed. Oops.

Thursday: 50 minutes. Good run and some fast sections. Less walk breaks too.

Friday: 50 minutes. Very slow day, just didn't feel 100%. Spent the rest of the day making nanaimo bars for a 4th of July party.

Saturday: 62 minutes, some nice faster sections. Pelvic floor really sore after an hour so didn't go the whole 80 min today.

Sunday: Either the baby shifted lower again over night or I've really done a number on my pelvic floor. Running is not possible today, power walking is almost too much. Power walked 40 min and called it a day.

Monday: 50 min of running, baby still really low and head down... but I had energy this morning!

Stats for 33.5 weeks:
Baby head down and engaged!
Baby weight: about 4.4lbs
Mom weight gain: 18 lbs
Cravings: OJ & cheese



Monday, June 16, 2014

Pregnancy running log 7 months

This week was a challenge. My husband was gone from Sunday-Saturday to Eugene for NCAA Track and Field Championships so running was (sort of) the last thing on my mind. I was more concerned with how I would manage single-parent mode all week at just a few days shy of the 7 month mark. By 3pm everyday I have been sick to my stomach with fatigue making the simple parent duties extremely difficult on my own. In order to survive, Maddy and I stuck to a pretty tight schedule all week, and I am happy to say that we both made it to school and work on time. Bonus: I ran everyday, and she never went hungry (kidding, but really I never forgot to feed her). We were in bed by 8pm each night, and I was up by 5am each morning for 50 min of waddling on the treadmill before she got up at about 6:30am demanding a brown sandwich or something similar (she is a princess after all). It turns out in less than a weeks time we will have to repeat this whole adventure one more time! After that, we are pretty much good to go until after the baby arrives.

(All treadmill runs with my husband gone)

Monday: 50 min of waddling. I may be slow but I am running, it's better than riding the trainer, which is horrible as big as my belly is now.

Tuesday: 50 min again. I'm starting to see a trend. Coffee is typically one of my favorite things ever, but lately I find it horrid. Takes me a lot longer to get ready for running in the morning without it.

Wednesday: 47 min. Maddy woke up early and demanded a brown sandwich when I was about half way (this is peanut butter with just a swipe of Nutella)....it took about 3 min to make.

Thursday: 50 min, spent a nice portion of this run in the 8's. I may have a huge bump but I am really rockin this pregnancy running thing.

Friday: Oh my, completely exhausted. This was more of a walk-run. Paying for yesterday. I am a turtle once again. 45 minutes.

Saturday: Slept in and didn't go to our regular running group. My pelvic floor thanks me. 70 min waddle before taking Maddy to the splash pad. Slept 3 hours in the afternoon.

Sunday: what's one more treadmill run? 30 min is all I've got. All running though, may have stopped for a second to grab a sip of water. Just enough running to not feel horrible.

Because I'm so slow, I've stopped counting miles and I mom now just logging minutes. I feel this will be easier on me mentally as baby gets bigger. He's only about 3.3 pounds now and will probably be between 8-9 by the time he is born in (hopefully) 9 weeks. That's a whole lot more baby to carry forward!

Stats for 30-31 weeks:
Baby weight: 3.3-3.5 pounds (measures perfect!)
Mommy weight gain: 17 pounds (spot on!)
Running: an average of 50 min every day
Sleeping: Horribly
Food Carvings: Nearly nothing...is Sprite Zero considered a food item? What about diet cherry limeade? I'm looking forward to enjoying the taste and smell of food again in 9ish weeks....

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Pregnancy running log week 29 (whew!)

Monday: 5 miles (did my new morning loop. A bit of ligament pain! Argh so frustrating. I am so slow I feel like a turtle!)
Tuesday: 5 miles (basically a repeat of Monday. Yay me.)
Wednesday: 40 min on the treadmill. No ligament pain, slept a little late and ran out of time but all in all a good run. Watched the last episode of Suits. Started Rome...not nearly enough eye candy :(
Thursday: Off. Running? Are you kidding me? I'm so exhausted I can barely keep my eyes open! Did you know I am making a human?! I'll get back to running in another life time...
Friday: 5 miles (this took me almost an hour because I had some ligament pain and had to walk large portions of the first 1.5 miles) glad I got out today, felt much better than yesterday. Guess I just needed 24 hrs to feel sorry for myself
Saturday: 11 miles @ 9:12 avg (conservative as it is very hot & humid in Mississippi in June) found some new friends to run with and it was a very nice change of pace. No ligament pain after mile 3. Drank Gatorade every 3 miles when we stopped for water. Pelvic pain later that day and I completely crashed at about 4pm. Surprisingly, felt fine the next morning.
Sunday: 4 miles very slow, recovery. Houston found a turtle on his run today an brought it how. We bonded a bit...

Total: 35 miles at just shy of 30 weeks. About 5 less than I planned on but as tired as I am in the evenings, I'll take it. Really can't handle much more with a full work week and a 3 year old. I've only got 10 weeks left anyway.

Baby's room is almost ready. We spent the weekend re-arranging our house and getting all the new rooms ready. We will definitely be through with house changes by the beginning of July. Things are getting real.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Pregnancy training log week 28

Monday:50 min run. Hot, many walk breaks. Felt horrible. Maybe went 5 miles if lucky.
Tuesday: 65 min total (35min run, 25 min elliptical with intervals of 3,2,1 x2) I tried running pick ups on the treadmill yesterday and it was just too much for my pelvic floor. Opted to use the elliptical from now on when doing any pregnancy intervals.
Wednesday:60 min run (jog, shuffle, whatever you call this. I have a flight phase and I'm sweating, good enough for me.)
Thursday: 70 min total (50 min running + 20 min elliptical w/ pregnancy intervals like Tuesday)
Friday: 60 min elliptical (tired today, didn't even attempt running, worked hard on the elliptical instead)
Saturday: 60 min running + 5 min elliptical. Felt good today, no ligament pain.
Sunday: 30 min run

This entire week I was in Florida for NCAA Track and Field Nationals 1st Round (East Region Prelims) so I ran everyday on a hotel treadmill. I had really no excuse for not getting my workouts in, I had plenty of time and plenty of sleep. I'm sure I stood out like a sore thumb...a very pregnant looking female shuffling along at a 9 min mile pace, sweating bullets and darting out every 20 min for a potty break. Though I look like I may go into labor any second, I still have a little less than 12 weeks to go until the little one makes its appearance (less than 9 weeks until we are full term). I'm not sure how I can be any more prepared. If he decides to come early (like full term early, of course) we will all be ready.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Welcome back third trimester!

I've been so tired in the evening and early mornings that I thought it might be a good idea to split my workout in half (half in the am and half in the pm) to see if it helped my energy levels throughout the day. For about two days I think I felt pretty good...then my body realized what I was doing.

M- 20 min progression run/ 38 min run
T- 35 min run/ 30 min bike w/ pick ups
W-35 min run/ 25 min run
TH- 30min run am/30 min run pm
Friday- Off. The double running was a failed experiment and I woke up so tired Friday morning that I promised myself no physical activity all day. 
Saturday - 10 miles @ 8:30 pace. No walk breaks. Pelvis muscles are going to ache tomorrow. Took a two hour nap to recover.
Sunday - 5 miles recovery, did power walk a good portion of the first two to warm up my lower half. I can actually walk pretty fast, 13:30 per mile! Soon I will be walking faster than I can run...

I still ended up with nearly 40 miles this week! I didn't realize I was still running that much. I'm in my third trimester now and I've gained about 18 pounds, probably 5 pounds up from last time. I'm eating better, running twice as much, and I don't look "fluffy" so my theory is that my body is retaining muscle, unlike last time where I lost a lot of it. Every time I take a step I'm carrying around about an extra twenty pounds so my body is working much harder. 

After our family vacation to Jacksonville, Florida for the first round of NCAAs, I promised myself I would allow more cross training on my schedule. I plan to buy a summer gym pass and use the elliptical when my pelvic floor is just shot. I figure that would help me keep my sanity these next 12 weeks as my family eagerly awaits the arrival of our new son/brother! My are so excited...fingers crossed there are no complications from here until the finish line.

Nursery is painted!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Pregnancy Training Log Week 26-27

Monday: 51 min run (mostly waddling here, I suffered, getting ligament pain like last time, had to take a lot of walking breaks, this loop normally only takes 45 minutes)

Tuesday: 55 min total, ran with Kelly for the first 32 minutes of her warmup. Her warmup was almost too fast for me, I was pretty much done by the time we parted ways. Had to take a break before continuing on. Started to feel very pregnant.

Wednesday: 58 min waddle/jog. Worse ligament pain than Monday! Same loop + 7 minutes on Monday's time...and Monday was 6 minutes slower than usual! Think I'm going to need to break down and buy a support belt!

Thursday: 50 min w/ 3x3min pickups. Less discomfort and much better weather. Did this mini session after traveling to Kentucky with family to watch the SEC Outdoor Meet. My pickups may not be faster than my easy run pace when not pregnant but at least I'm out there and attempting to move forward.

Friday: 10 min run and 50 min elliptical. Watched Suits while working out in the hotel Gym. Tried hard to avoid my reflection in the mirror.

Saturday: about 55 min of running on hotel treadmill and 10 min elliptical. Felt slow but at least it was running. Saw a scale in the gym, weighed myself....depressed for a few hours after that.

Sunday: 45 min w/ 4x pickups of 3-4 minutes. Faster run today and little discomfort. Guessing the treadmill is much easier on the bump.

Running is getting hard now that I'm heading into the final trimester. I'm getting big and slow and more emotional. I'm trying to find ways to think positively about my body, but I look twice a pregnant as I was with Maddy around this same time. Hopefully Things can stay really busy at work for the next few months so I can stop counting weeks and start "taking it all in." 13~ more to go.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Gum Tree 10K recap at 6 months pregnant

15 min w/u
Gum Tree 10k in: 44:40 (7:12 pace) *6 months pregnant*, 1st in Age Group
(1 short walk break)
no cool down

It would break my heart if I didn't run the Gum Tree 10K in 2014. I have ran this race nearly every year since 2007, finishing anywhere from 2nd to 9th, and being that its one of the largest races in the state, stacked with elites, and only 1 hour from Starkville. I have never run particularly fast at Gum Tree (37:10) thought I have always enjoyed the race, course, and post-race celebration. I teared up at the thought of missing it this year.
6 month baby bump w/ my Gum Tree race #
A week or so before I ran the Columbus half I got an email from the Gum Tree elite coordinator basically saying, "We know you are pregnant but we 'll waive your entry anyway." Also, my husband was turning 40 a few days before the race, so we had planned all year to run it at the same time. He was not in the shape he had wanted to be (are we ever), but he was in good enough shape that he thought he may have a shot at the Masters win. I eventually signed us both up and "encouraged" him to do it. (Side note: My husband did win the Masters division, which I was confident he would. He ended up earning himself $400 for the effort, and turned around and purchased me the Garmin 220 for Mother's Day- Awesome husband award!)

I have slowed down a great deal in the last 4 weeks due to fatigue and the largeness factor. This baby is also growing very quickly and putting more pressure on my lungs and pelvis, making running much more difficult. I figured that once I reached 6 months I would really begin to slow down, and that running Gum Tree would be my last official race as a pregnant women (Although, once I was finished I contemplated finding a 5k in the next month if it wasn't too hot).
6 month glamour shot (special thanks to Instagram)
My "goal" was somewhere around 7:15-7:35 pace unless I started to feel horrible or like I was working to hard. I really wasn't sure- I had completed some tempos and a some "pregnancy intervals" at just under 7:00 min pace, but the sun was blaring and I didn't really know what to expect once the gun went off.

My first mile was somewhere around 6:55 and I was surprised how good I felt, and at no point during the first 3 miles did I ever feel like I couldn't hold a conversation. To make the time go by I waved at aid stations and talked to the people around me. I heard, "Hey, that girls pregnant!" about a dozen or so times. I even had a few people tell me, "Awesome job, girl." I hope while I was out there that I made some people realize that pregnant women don't need to hibernate for 9 months, and that exercise, when done to a healthy level, is encouraged during most low-risk pregnancies.

It was about mile 4 that I started to feel a little bit like I was working to hard, so I actually slowed down to a walk to let me heart rate get back to normal. After about 30 seconds I was able to begin running again and ran conservatively until about 150 to go when I let out my best pregnancy sprint-waddle to break 45 minutes.

Some people were rather impressed that I was able to maintain 7:12 pace without much trouble at all- others we sure I actually raced it. Its hard to make someone understand the athlete I was just before I got pregnant (I ran a 2:49 marathon days before I got pregnant -6:27 pace for 26.2 miles) which really wasn't that long ago, especially since I trained pretty normal until the nausea started, and I've been running nearly 50 miles a week throughout. But, when I put myself out there I know there will always be people that will judge my actions, especially living in Mississippi. I'm hoping for that every one person that judged me, someone else was a little bit encouraged. And, who knows, maybe I'll see a few more pregnant ladies at the races next year.

Waddle on my friends!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Being "Thankful"

I was in the middle of a week of chaos, extreme fatigue, and a lot of work. To top it off, my husband left for Penn Relays early, meaning I was once again in single parent mode. I was tired....no, I was exhausted. I kept praying for Friday night, knowing that the weekend brought a much needed long run with friends and added rest. When I am pregnant I really REALLY appreciate the weekends.

And then I had a moment.

I was in my car, just having dropped Maddy off at daycare and almost to work. I was in the far left lane getting ready for the turn, when someone pulled out right in front of me. I slammed on my breaks and pushed back hard on my seat (like it was going to help) but I couldn't stop fast enough.

BANG. We hit. My car their car....

....quiet....

I didn't know what to do, my heart racing. Eventually we both pulled off the road, called the police, did the whole report thing. I was standing there, 5.5 months pregnant thinking about how messed up my day was going to be now..... not even realizing how lucky I was.

On some good advice, I went and got checked out. Being pregnant and all, any sort of accident you should go make sure things are OK. And, things were fine. I am fine. The air bag didn't go off, I didn't hit hard enough for that. And, later on it hit me, what if it had? Things may have been very different right now. My baby may have been in trouble. My car, that's replaceable. The person growing inside me is not.

I took a break from playing catch-up with work and started reading a blog on Salty Running about struggling with infertility. It made me feel guilty somewhat, I have never struggled with this issue, and I feel that most days I do not appreciate the baby making ability that I have been blessed with. This women has tried to have a child for 4 years. I basically just breath wrong and I am pregnant. I need to make sure I take a moment everyday and appreciate what I have. I am healthy, my baby is healthy.

I am thankful. Very, very thankful. Everyday.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Pregnancy training log: Month 5

Saturday: 1 mile w/u, half marathon in 1:36:57 (4th). ~14 miles
Sunday: jogged the neighborhood loop. Groin muscles a bit tight but that's it.~ 2 miles
Monday: wicked rain. Wimped out and ran inside on treadmill.~ 6 miles
Tuesday: 65 min w/ 2x10 min @ light tempo (got dropped on last 3 minutes). ~8.5 miles
Wednesday: 50 minutes. ~ 7 miles
Thursday: exhausted all day. Slept in until 6:30am. Houston not home so decided to take the day off and avoid the treadmill. ~0 miles
Friday: Day off work so got a baby sitter and ran about an hour with a friend. Averaged about 8mpm. ~7 miles
Saturday: long run day, pulled my groin helping with the water after mile 6 and walked a mile just to be cautious. Running about 7:30 pace before that. ~ 9 miles
Sunday: worried about the groin. It was hurting so much Saturday that I had a hard time walking. Decided to take a day off and cross training. 2x30 min on the indoor bike trainer with some 1 min hard, 1 min easy thrown in. ~ equal to about 7 miles based on perceived effort.
Monday: felt much better today, got in a morning run with Micah at 7:15-735 pace. ~ 8 miles

Stats (week 22.5)
Pounds gained: 12
Baby weight: just over a pound
Days running: pretty much everyday unless I'm hurting or overly fatigued
Miles per week: typically 50, down a bit this week with the x-training and fatigue
Strength: started, then quit, then started again. Got to get strong for labor! Already starting to think about it!
Weeks to go: 17!!


Friday, April 18, 2014

Tired.

Ok, I have a confession. Running 50 mpw midway through your second trimester while putting in 45-50 hr work weeks will really knock you on your butt....epecially if you have to be in single parent mode most of the week (my husband has a ridiculous travel schedule until June). Then, race run a half-marathon in the middle of all that, see what happens.

Oh my gosh, tired. Exhausted. Falling asleep at 6:30pm. My daughter just had to tell me to go to bed....and she's three. It's Wednesday. The race was Saturday.

I took a day off Thursday. Never mind that I only ran 20 minutes the day before and after the half. I didn't push it during the half. I shouldn't be this tired. Maybe I'm anemic.

.....maybe I'm just pregnant.

Not only am I larger, slower, hungrier, and more tired, I also don't recover very fast. Long bouts of physical activity takes a lot out of me, sometimes days go by before I feel like my normal self again. Having a baby is such an adventure. I feel like I am in control of nothing.

17 more weeks until baby #2.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Pilgrimage half-marathon at 5 months pregnant


Columbus Pilgrimage Half: 1:36:57, 4th female overall (1st AG)
(Officially 1:37 something, had to stop to pee) 7:24 pace

Running a half-marathon while pregnant was a bucket list item I never had the chance to cross off with Maddy. I was sick, lightheaded and short of breath the whole time with my first, making running much more difficult. Even though I ran the whole way through with my first, my runs were shorter and slower and I pretty much started from square one post-partum. I really want this time to be different.

My first trimester with baby #2 I really suffered. Once I hit 6 weeks I was sick round the clock. It was a battle to finish most runs, not only because I felt so terrible, but also because I lacked motivation. I found that most runs done solo were usually cut short or slower than normal. As a result, I did everything I could to run with my friends.

For the first 15 weeks I made it through morning runs by stuffing a handful of jolly rancher candies in my pocket. As soon as I finished one, I would stuff another in my mouth. For some reason the sugar kept the nausea at bay, and by week 16 I was able to stomach half a copy of coffee and a few rice cakes before setting out for a morning run. As of today, 5 months into my pregnancy, I am still running 50 mpw with my regular running group AND still getting in one workout a week at about 20 seconds per mile slower than my marathon PR pace. Nothing crazy but enough to make the regular runs feel relaxed.

So a few weeks ago I decided to run a half-marathon. I had been running about 11.5-12 miles at least once a week at about a 7:20-7:35 pace. Being that there was a half-marathon 25 minutes from my house, I really couldn't pass it up. I got online a registered.

My husband was a little hesitant, not that I might get the urge to "race" but that he though I might be ridiculed because of it. Being a pregnant women in Mississippi I am often told that I should be "taking it easy" when in reality, I should be doing everything I can to remain healthy and active. I shrugged off his concerns and went anyway. Running while pregnant was nothing new to me....only this time I will be wearing at race number across my swelling stomach.

I rode to Columbus with two former teammates,  who ironically ended up winning both races. I did about a mile warmup beforehand, trying my best to avoid busy streets and awkward glares from other runners. Once the race started, things were pretty smooth, and I felt great throughout. Most of the runners I passed didn't know I was pregnant and most of the spectators didn't have enough time to tell anyway.

I was worried that it would have a hard resisting the urge to race, however I found that I was pretty content just running the 7:20ish effort I had planned for in the beginning. I stayed about the same pace throughout which told me my effort was probably spot on.

I'm proud of myself for getting it in. It's hard being a athlete on the sidelines, but pregnancy is a hard physical journey in its self. I'm hoping to stay in shape for multiple reasons, one including a relatively smooth labor and delivery. With Maddy I pushed so long that I nearly cracked my tail bone and couldn't sit properly for months. Hoping the second time around is a bit of an improvement. However, I'm just praying for a healthy new addition above all else. Physical activity and healthy eating will surely help.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Halfway there

This week I reached the halfway point in my pregnancy. It was a bit overwhelming, with two children my family will officially be complete (we think) and the next chapter of our life will officially start. I will get to hold a new baby in my arms and go through all the same stages I did with Maddy. All that still feels like yesterday, even though Maddy is now 3 1/2 years old. Having children really makes you realize just how fast time goes by.

This pregnancy was much different than the last. Sure, I was blessed with the same 24/7 sickness that I felt with my first pregnancy for 17 or so weeks. Then once I hit week 15, things took another unpleasant twist and I started experiencing uncontrollably hunger. I have never in my life felt something so horrible, every other hour I was sick to my stomach with hunger, nearly keeping an entire drawer in my office full of snacks just so I could make it through the work day.

Though I have stayed pretty consistent with my running throughout, in a period of four weeks I gained almost 8 pounds. I felt out of control. Normally, I try to gain every ounce of the weight recommended by my doctor, but I've never had a problem of gaining too much. I was over eating because I was hungry all the time and I knew it, my doctor new it.

I started making better choices. I eliminated most of the junk and started snacking on large amounts of fruit. I brought an apple, grapefruit and orange with me everyday and when I started to get sick with hunger, I would start eating the fruit. Eventually my weight stabilized and my hunger subsided. I started feeling better.

It was during this time that I had a "moment" with Maddy that changed my entire outlook on my pregnant body. I was standing in the bedroom one morning half dressed, my belly completely exposed. I was frustrated because nothing was fitting the way I wanted and I couldn't find anything to wear to work.
Maddy was standing there watching my every move. Finally, after a few minutes of silence she jumped over to me and wrapped her arms around my expanding waist and said, "Mommy, I can't WAIT to be a grown up like you so my belly and boobies and get big just like yours!" At three years old, she is nothing but brutally honest and completely innocent. I nearly teared up by the comment...it made me laugh and it made me cry. How could I stand here and HATE the way I looked when my daughter was standing there admiring me and idolizing me and my new body? She was fascinated by how quickly my body was changing.

And then I started to wonder...how can I continue to make her feel that way?

I spent the first two years of my college career struggling with body image, I logged my daily intake and limited the number of calories I ate. I believed that all the successful female college runners did this way, and now I believe it all came down to a lack of self confidence and loads of insecurities. Eventually my perceptions changed, but still, I don't want my daughter to ever go through what I did. I never want her to feel insecure about her looks, body, or her abilities. I am not sure if I can even control these things but my actions and comments about my own looks, body, etc. must not feed her insecurities. I need to ensure that I am a good example for my children.
....
In other news, we recently discovered that we are having a boy! I sure hope he likes purple because that is what Maddy said we MUST paint his room. I'm not sure I can bribe her with ice cream to change her mind on this one!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Greatest Women's Running Blog

So the wonderful ladies at Saltyrunning.com have included me in a competition called, "The Greatest Women's Running Blog." It's set up like the NCAA tournament and I need votes to win. 

Honestly, I haven't been blogging due to pregnancy sickness, and my effort was truly lacking for part of last year, but if you have at one time enjoyed my blog and would like to take a minute to vote me..here is the post: http://www.saltyrunning.com/2014/03/26/greatest-womens-running-blog-green-division-round-one/

Thank you!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Running for two

Most know now that Houston and I are expecting our second child in August this year. I am started to look and feel very pregnant, my belly is about twice as big as it was with my first child and I am running short on wearable clothing. I have continued to run, and now that I am in the neighborhood of 15-16 weeks I'm still logging somewhere around 50 miles per week. I don't have the desire or motivation to run much more than that.

As excited as I am to have another child, I really do not enjoy being pregnant. Pregnancy is different for everyone, and I for one get extremely sick. I spent the first semester sick from the moment I woke up until the moment I went to bed at night, only getting relief when I slept. I've stopped throwing up, but I am still gagging up over the smallest things, like someone using the microwave to heat up a sandwich or the smell of a local restaurant I happened to run by...in the morning...at 5:30am....when it wasn't even OPEN. And while some ladies stay virtually symptom free, I am told I am one of the lucky ones because the constant feeling of throw up in the back of my throat means I am having a healthy pregnancy.

Though my appetite is uncontrollable at times, and I can't even function on an almost empty stomach, I am glad and excited for the changes that will soon take place. Every week my stomach grows a little bit more and I start to feel a little bit better. As much as I cannot wait for August to arrive, I am enjoying the mental break from serious training and the Maddy and Mommy time before we welcome the new addition.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

World's latest/worst race recap

(I started writing this in November, added a little in December, and finally finished it in January. It's really not very good, so for anyone that wants to give up 5 minutes of their life reading it, here you go.)

Results: 3rd female (see previous post)

I want to start by saying that we did not go to Hawaii simply to run. Actually, it originally started as a family vacation, and the XTERRA Trail World Champs race happened to be the same weekend. Eventually, nearly everyone on the trip (with the exception of my sister's husband and the kids) ended up running one of the race distances, from the 5k to the half-marathon. Since I had planned all year to run a fall marathon, I originally toyed with the idea of running the 10K with my Dad. However, after Indianapolis Monumental Marathon, my legs seemed to come back pretty quickly, and I figured I could still keep the race honest, and give it a good effort even with only being three weeks removed from the marathon.

I did exactly one workout and one long run (over 13) to prepare for this race. This was intentional so that I could be as fresh and recovered as possible. By the time Sunday arrived I was ready for the effort (so I though) and, ready to get the race out of the way so I could enjoy the rest of the vacation.

The Race
I felt no stress the night before, and in an entire year with over 15 races, I finally slept through the night with no trouble at all. Because Houston and I were both running, that morning we both had to warm-up and watch Maddy until my family arrived at the site. Therefore, I had a terrible race warm-up, but being that it was nearly 75 degrees at start time, I didn't worry to much about it. I figured I would use the opening miles to get into the grove.

Unlike previous trail races there was no wave start, so when the gun went off it was a little bit chaotic. I recognized Lucy Smith right away and followed her lead. Not only was she last year's winner, but she only finished a few seconds in front of me at National Cross last fall. I was confident I could stay with her.

(((Anyone reading this that saw pictures or results will probably notice that Houston finished one second behind me. Yes, we ran the race together, something that couples sometimes do. He didn't pace me or coach me through it, instead he simply wanted to run with me having never ran a trail race. He registered for the race just like everyone else.)))
What we really went to Hawaii for? Vacation! Me and my little pumpkin walking near the North shore of Oahu

Start-6k
The race felt slow after the first kilometer, and before I knew it, I was leading. For a few miles I thought I had it, my legs felt fabulous and the hills were no match for them. I could hear Houston breathing down my neck, and thought for a few seconds, "maybe this is too fast and I should slow down." Eventually, we hit about the 5k mark and I realized, I did in fact go out to hard. I started to feel the marathon in my legs and my breathing labored. It was about to be a very long day.

6k-15k
I was passed by the girl that would eventually win the race at about 6k. I was devastated but I knew I had to slow down if I wanted to stay within the top three. This was about to be the longest (and hottest) trail race I had ever ran, and I wanted it to be as enjoyable as possible. By 11k the winner had already put 45 seconds on me. I was fading fast and my attitude was horrible. Just before 11k Houston and I were running up hill on a wide ATV path, my legs were aching badly and I was having a pity party. I barked out, "this sucks!" Houston said nothing and continued to run beside me. Finally we hit the single track trail and my mood improved. I realized that we were over half way there.

The big climb
At about 9ish miles there is a mile long climb that we were warned about. Having ran Mt. Cranmore I really wasn't worried about it, but I (once again) misjudged the fatigue in my legs and I hiked a good portion of it, much more than I had really wanted to. I cursed most of the way up, and was passed once again, this time by Lucy. There was no stopping her, she put about 2 minutes on me in the last 3 miles. I was now running scared in third.
We played on the beach every morning for an entire week. 

10+ to the finish
I was angry with myself for going out too fast and getting past by two ladies along the way. This was a novice move and one I haven't made since early this Spring. I knew that if I wanted to finish third I was going to have to dig deep. The lady in fourth was coming off a strong year on the track and if she could tell I was slowing down it would be all over. I started to really turn it over on the downhill, dropping Houston a few times. Every time we came to an uphill section I would still slow to the speed of snail, but my downhills were excellent. I was giving it my all on the downs.

From 10 miles until 13.1 miles I raced as hard as I could, I didn't feel confident I would finish third until the last 200m. I crossed the line happy and relieved. This crazy year of running and racing was finally over.

We spend the next few hours talking with some of the American folks we met at World Mountain Champs that had also flew to Hawaii for the race. We waited around for awards and then called it a morning. 

We spent the rest of the day playing on the beach in front of our beach house in Kailua, eventually taking a break for an ice cream cone at the convenient store about a mile from our rental. We stuffed ourselves with fresh fruit, got plenty sun burn, and eventually forgot about or running adventures that morning at Kualoa ranch.

It was, the picture perfect vacation. Sun, beach, sand, and end to my 2013 running season, one without a single PR, but with a mountain of awesome running experiences - a few medals stuffed in a drawer, a singlet with my countries name on it....here's to exciting new changes in 2014.