Gaining Momentum

I’ve started to get back in the groove of running again and it’s feeling good!  I’ve been doing 4-5 miles a few days a week averaging about 11-11:30min/mile.  It’s always amazing to me how much better I feel when I’m exercising regularly.  My overall mood improves as well as my well being.  I’ve been a little more relaxed as far as checking my heart rate and just going by how I feel.  I’ve been able to go on a couple runs with a friend and keep up a conversation so I know that I’m on track.  Another thing that I’m trying to incorporate is more stretching and yoga.  I have never been very flexible, and things you aren’t good at aren’t fun, so I’ve generally avoided yoga.  But, I know that staying loose and working on flexibility will improve my running and overall health so I’m making an effort to keep up with it.  It certainly helps that my husband is all about it too.

One thing I’m really enjoying with my more “relaxed” running schedule is the ability to take things slow and not feel guilty about it.  This last weekend I ran with the boys in the stroller to our local farmers market.  On the way back they both wanted to run with me.  At times I would have encouraged them to stay in the stroller so that I could actually run, but instead I let them out and they “ran” with me.  My older son is really into it.  My younger son mostly walks and picks up any stick he can find.  It is nice to spend this time with them and, who knows, maybe I’ll inspire in them a love of running and some day we can actually run together!

And, Go!

Well 2018 has begun and I’m excited to start things off on the right foot.  As mentioned in the last post, the first trimester was rough.  But, now, at 16 weeks, I have finally started to feel better and have even been able to go on two runs!  For a little perspective, I am no speed demon, but I feel that I can hold my own and run at a respectable pace.  I ran my 50K at a decent overall pace (6:05) and while training for that race I had a marathon PR (4:05) in June.  Before the pregnancy one of my 2018 race goals was training for a marathon PR, but that will have to wait.  So, starting off 2018 with a poor aerobic base, a fetus growing inside me and 10 pounds of weight off from constant puking, I knew things would be slow.  But, I’m overall happy to be out there and running again.  On New Years day I was able to get in 3.2 miles at 13:30/mile pace and today I felt the best I have in a long time and got in 5 miles at 11:09 pace.  Certainly no world records, but I’m happy.

One thing I have thought a lot about recently is how I should be adjusting my running and biking and working out in general with the pregnancy.  My first two pregnancies I was a surgery resident and/or new attending building a practice so I wasn’t doing much in the way of exercise.  The resources out there aren’t the best, and as a doctor I want what I do to be evidence based.  I was able to find ACOG recommendations that originally said not going above a heart rate greater than 140, but those recs were discarded in 2010.  Most of what I read basically says if you are active, it’s ok to stay active, but stay at a pace where you can talk comfortably.  Unfortunately, the research seems to be lacking, but that seems like the best to go by.  So, far now, that is my plan.  I do have a HR monitor and my Garmin Forerunner so I am well equipped to monitor what I’m doing.  It seems as if I stay at a heart rate at or below the 160s I’m in a pretty good place.

So, here’s to 2018!  I hope you all have a happy, healthy New Year and maybe I’ll see you out on the roads or trails!

A little change in direction…

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Here, finally, is my much delayed second blog post.  There is a good reason for the long delay.  You see, shortly after starting this blog we found out that we’re pregnant with baby #3!  We are thrilled, but for obvious reasons wanted to keep the news under wraps for a bit.  I felt a bit disingenuous writing about ultra running goals that I knew would not be attainable this year and so I stayed silent.

This pregnancy has been rough so far!  Although I’m technically considered advanced maternal age (35 or over) I was feeling optimistic about coming into this pregnancy more my fit than my previous two and really in some of the best shape of my life.  I had visions of running 3-6 miles a day, maybe a 10 miler on the weekends, at least up until 30+ weeks or so.  However, my body had a different plan in mind.  My first trimester was rough.  I was very lucky to have had two prior easy pregnancies but boy has that changed this time around.  The nausea and vomiting were almost incapacitating.  I am so thankful that I had such a strong body to handle it.  Now, hopefully on the other side of that first trimester misery, I am looking at a body that has been decimated of hard-built muscle, weighing less than my fit pre-pregnancy weight and a complete loss of my aerobic fitness.  I went out for a run for the first time in ages yesterday (in part motivated by my new Garmin Forerunner 935 – thanks, babe!) and was a bit overcome with emotion at my snail’s pace.  My heart rate was up in the 150s with fairly minimal effort.  I am trying to keep a close on those things to make sure I don’t overexert myself as I am prone to push it and have trouble holding back.  I took a spin on my Peloton (more on that in a future post for sure) today and again had to keep things pretty light and easy.

I remain thankful for my health, my wonderful family and new adventures to come.  My blog focus is certainly going to shift, at least in the immediate future.  Mostly I’ll be posting about staying fit and healthy as the pregnancy continues.  My future ultra running plans will have to hold off for a bit.  I hope you continue to read and enjoy following along.  Here’s to a fit, active, healthy pregnancy and baby!  And I hope everyone had a Happy Holidays!

Family 5K

While I love having solo time on long runs, one of the things that makes me happiest is family time spent being active and healthy.  I am lucky enough to live in a town with many local running events that the whole family can enjoy.  Yesterday we all took part in the Dia de los Muertos 5K run.  My 3 year old did the kids run and then my husband and I each pushed a kid in a stroller for the 5K.  We even took the dog along on the run!  While I didn’t get my fastest time I can always justify it by saying that I was stuck with the bigger kid and the heavier stroller!  There was even a musical performance afterwards that the whole family enjoyed.  I’ve been doing these races with my kids for a couple of years now and it’s been really cool to see the progression and growing interest from my 3 year old. At first he didn’t want to run, which I was fine with, and would rather just ride in the stroller.  Yesterday he was SUPER excited for his run, ran most of the way, and then even wanted to run with me on the 5K.  But, I must admit that I did make him get in the stroller so that I could get a run in too.

I’ve been battling some knee pain and a pretty nasty cold recently so my mileage hasn’t been much.  I had big plans for potentially running my age this weekend (I turned 35 on the 25th), but unfortunately that has had to be sidelined for now.   I am grateful for this time with my family and the fact that all of us are able to get out and enjoy an event like this.  I certainly hope for many more family runs in the future.

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