My baby is an entire month old. Time is weird in that I can’t believe it’s been a month, but I also can’t believe it’s only been a month. Now that I’ve reached the postpartum phase, I’m literally counting the weeks until I can get back into my running shoes. Before I get to my plans for running, here is a picture. Because she’s cute.
As much as I’m itching to get back into things, I’m trying to be smart about my return to running and fitness in general. My main goal is to work on core/hip strength. This is something I have neglected and ignored in the past, but I figure now is the perfect opportunity to focus on it because I’m starting from scratch.
Here’s are my long-term goals:
Winter 2016 – Build base mileage. Comfortably run 3 miles. Do hip/core strength exercises daily.
Spring 2017 – Run a Half Marathon with the goal of finishing. I’m already looking at the Rock n Roll Nashville on April 29, 2017 because my best friend is running it. Win-win!
Summer 2017 – Maintain mileage base, but take the focus off running. Instead, focus on general fitness (increasing strength/weights in the gym, doing more yoga, etc).
Fall 2017 – Run a Half Marathon for time. I haven’t started looking at potential races yet. I’m waiting to see where we will be living, but something fast and flat would be ideal. If you have any suggestions, throw them my way!
Spring 2018 – Run a Full Marathon. I know I said I just wanted to do one, but I went into the Austin Marathon really undertrained (and pregnant). So I would like to commit to the training and run a marathon at my full potential.
Things that have happened since I last blogged in January:
— I successfully completed the Austin Marathon with one of my best friends in February. It was a perfect weekend. I thought I would be one and done with marathons, but I am already planning to do another…
— After the marathon, I took two weeks off running to give my body and my legs a break. Due to unforseen circumstances, I stopped running altogether in March.
— A week before the Austin Marathon, I found out I was pregnant. I ran the race 6 weeks pregnant! I needed a couple extra walk breaks towards the end, but my baby has already run a marathon. She is pretty much a badass.
I always thought I would one of those people who ran right up until they gave birth. That was my plan, and I had every intention of sticking with it. But life doesn’t like when you make plans. Instead, I got thrown a curveball and had to stop running completely.
I was one of the lucky pregnant women to experience Pubic Symphysis Disorder. By the time I was 11/12 weeks, running a slow two miles was enough to put me out of commission for days. The pain was intense. It hurt to walk, get in and out of my car, put on pants in the morning, roll over in bed, etc. As much as I love running, I hated being in that kind of pain even more.
I have been running consistently since 2008/2009. Sure, I’ve taken “breaks” here and there over the past 7 years, but even during the breaks I still ran…just less. It’s a weird feeling to suddenly stop. There were mornings when I would wake up and not know what to do with myself. I resented the strength training and circuit training I replaced running with. I may or may not have cried on several occasions (blaming that on the pregnancy hormones) because I missed running in a way I couldn’t describe. It sounds silly to say now, but it was a hard adjustment to make at the time. This was the biggest reason I stopped blogging. No one wants to listen to me pout because I couldn’t run.
But, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. My baby will be born any day now, and I am counting down the weeks until the doctor clears me to resume physical activity. I have big plans for the next 18-24 months. I have a few goal races in mind, and some running goals to go with them (which I will share in depth in an upcoming blog post). I am really looking forward to this postpartum running journey and seeing where it takes me. Hopefully with a few blog posts documenting it along the way.
Until then, run a couple extra miles for me this week. 🙂
Lucky for me, I live in the part of the country that got covered in snow this past weekend. Yay. (Note the sarcasm here, please. This Texan does not do well with snow. Or cold. Or ice. Or any combination of the three.)
I had a 15 mile long run planned this weekend, and as much as I wanted to blow it off and blame the weather, I couldn’t. I didn’t want to run outside because the back roads were questionably plowed and it was a very warm 21 degrees outside. So, my bright idea was to go to the gym and run on a treadmill.
Have you ever run 15 miles on a treadmill? Well, let me tell you about it. It sucks. As an outdoor runner 98.9% of the time, I wasn’t prepared for how much it was going to suck.
Before leaving the house, I downloaded several podcast episodes, filled up my usual handheld water bottle, and grabbed a pack of Clif Shot Bloks. I drove to the gym, tried not to fall on the ice-covered parking lot, and hopped on a treadmill.
So far, so good.
I turned up the speed to a comfortable 10:30ish pace and got started. The first mile flew by. I was already a 1.5 miles in when I looked down for the first time. Then I looked down again. And again. And again. And I still wasn’t to 2 miles. That was my first inkling this wasn’t going to be that fun.
By the time I reached 3 miles, I was already over the treadmill. I was trying to pay attention to my podcast (Freakanomics, in case you were wondering) and not the time/distance, but oddly, the distance seems so much farther and the time seems so much slower when you are running in place.
I finally found a good stride and was plugging away when the damn treadmill turned off. Apparently, Planet Fitness has set up their treadmills to only operate for an hour. I had only gone about 6 miles. Awesome. My hip flexors were already starting to feel stiff so it took a minute to get going again. That was my second inkling this wasn’t going to be that fun.
Four more miles into it, I was done. Just over it. I gave myself every reason in the world to stop. I even made a contingency plan for my remaining long runs leading up to the Austin Marathon. I was mentally over it and my legs were hurting. Specifically, my feet, my hip flexors, and my glutes.
I sat down to stretch with every intention of leaving, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. Instead, I texted my running buddy/best friend, Amy, so she could convince me to finish the damn run. The best thing about having a friend like Amy is that she knows when I’m just being lazy and when I actually need to take a break. Then responds accordingly. As much as I didn’t want to get back on the treadmill, I also didn’t want to mess up my training plan even more than I already have.
I started up again, and 5 miles and 53 (very long) minutes later I was finally freaking done, and I felt like I had been run over by a truck. Seriously, everything from the ribs down hurt. I expect some discomfort after running 15 miles, but for some reason the treadmill made my body hurt even worse.
As a reward, I bought myself Life Cereal. That pretty much made the previous 2 hours and 36 minutes worth it.
TL:DR – I ran 15 miles on a treadmill and hated it.
How do you feel about the treadmill? Love it? Hate it? What’s the farthest you have ever run on the treadmill?
I have a love/hate relationship with blogging. On one hand, I love to talk about running, and, let’s face it, most of my friends and family don’t care to listen after a while. I also enjoy the blogging community. On the other hand, I feel like there is a lot of pressure (real or perceived) to have a “pinterest-able” blog with edited photos and cool graphics. In addition, not posting regularly or on a schedule is apparently frowned upon. Every blog I follow has, at some point, apologized for taking a blogging/social media break, or only posting once last week, or living their life outside the computer. I am also guilty of that, especially as my posts have been so sporadic since moving to Kentucky. That said, I want to blog and talk about running, but without all the crap. Basically, I don’t care what if my posts are “pinterest worthy” or have regular, unedited iphone photos, or only come once a month. I realize that may not drive a lot of traffic my way, but I’m not doing for a living. So. I do what I want.
As much as I’d love to make this comeback stick (because I miss this space), I’m not going to make any promises. We’ll see how it goes.
How is running going you ask? I don’t think I ever publicly mentioned that I got peer pressured into running a marathon. Well I did. And it’s 4 weeks away. Am I prepared? No. Not even a little bit.
Way back when I lived in El Paso, I semi-committed to running the Austin Marathon with two friends after seeing how awesome the 2015 medals were. (Is it sad that all it takes to convince me to run a marathon is a cool looking medal?) Except when it came to actually register, I had serious reservations. Training needed to start at the end of October, but with the wedding, honeymoon, and holidays, I knew I would have a hard time keeping up with the commitment. Also, I now live in Kentucky – a place single digit temperatures are a real thing – and because I know I hate being cold, I didn’t think I would actually get up and go outside to run when temps dropped below 40*.
Despite all of the reasons I had not to run this race, the intense peer pressure (in the form of motivational quotes and an onslaught of text messages) got to me and I signed up. As expected, my training has not gone well. I am SO UNPREPARED! My longest run since October 24 has been 12 miles this past weekend. Yep. I haven’t even run half the distance yet. My plan going forward is to run 15 miles this weekend, 18 miles next weekend, and the cut back to 10ish miles the weekend before the race. Smart? No, probably not. But, hopefully it gets the job done.
Since this is my first marathon, I will get an automatic PR. Ha. I don’t have any goals other than to finish the damn thing and spend time with my favorite running friends. I am looking forward to simply enjoying the experience. Fingers crossed they don’t have to drag me across the finish line.
My entire running career (for lack of a better word) I have strictly been a road runner with no real desire to venture into trail running. It looks dirty, and I would probably trip over a rock and hurt myself. Plus, it would require driving somewhere to run.
A few weekends ago, I had my first trail running experience. Matt’s family drove down to Mammoth Caves for a weekend of camping. Since that is only about an hour from where we live, we drove down and joined them for a night. (On a side note, I don’t understand camping. His parents have a camper, so we had running water, a refrigerator, and a toilet. So basically, we did everything we could do inside…but outside.)
In the morning, Erin (the younger sister) and I hit the trails for a few miles. I initially wanted to do 10, but we stopped after an hour of running. Trail running is a tad harder than road running. Especially when you go straight up. HA! While I’m not a convert, I see the appeal. It is beautiful!