Monday, October 29, 2012

Pregnancy Roundup

The last of the Running:

After that race at about 35 weeks, I did mostly run/walk interval type workouts at easy paces, just a few times each week... (you know, like run 3 minutes, walk 1 minute kind of deals). I thought about doing more or getting back into solid jogs, and really, I probably would have been fine to do so. But mentally, I was feeling done. So after about the 38 week mark, I pretty much stopped it all, minus some short walks outside with the kids for some fresh air. Other than that, I rested and prepped for the coming events.

The Birth:

I was due on October 10th, but at my appointment on the 11th, I still wasn't feeling any contractions or anything.... so they scheduled an induction for me on October 18th. But we didn't make it to that date. On Saturday, the 13th, I woke up, had some breakfast, and the contractions started. They kept going throughout the day, anywhere from 6-15 minutes apart. Of course, they got progressively more painful and more frequent as the day went on, so Adam and I left the kids with G-mom and Pa at about 5 pm, (we were visiting with them in Stafford since I appeared to be nowhere near labor... hahaha... so it goes), and we drove the 2 hours down to the hospital I was supposed to deliver at. By the time I got there, the contractions were steady and painful at about 4-5 minutes apart. And we were just praying that we didn't drive two hours only to have them turn me away and say I wasn't ready enough (which happened with my first pregnancy).

Luckily, they didn't even talk about the possibility of sending us away. They admitted me a little after 7 pm, and when the doc checked, I was at about 6 cm. We did all of the in-processing, Adam left to get himself some food (since the cafeteria was closed at the hospital), and I got into the jacuzzi tub... I had never done this before, but the nurse offered and said it sometimes helps move things along or even lessen the pain of the contractions, so I figured why not. Stayed in there for a little while, then got back out shortly after Adam returned. Not too long after that, the contractions got serious. And by 9 pm, I was asking to push. My water hadn't broken, so the doc broke it for me, and about 2 minutes later, I was pushing. And about another 2 minutes later, there was a baby crying on my chest.

This was my first ever natural birth. I didn't really plan on doing it that way, but was approaching it with an open mind. I figured, if it seems to be going fast, I'll try it without the epidural. There was no way of telling for sure, but I felt like it would be quick, so I turned down the drugs. After it was over, the nurses (and friends on the phone) were asking me if I would go natural again. To which I said, "I don't know... maybe not". Holy cow, that is one intense experience. Sooooo painful, but when it's done, it's done. And my recovery has been great. So unless the labor was dragging on slowly and painfully, I would be likely to do it again... probably.... maybe... I don't know. Ha! Childbirth is too unpredictable to decide that now.... can you tell? I prefer to just go with the flow and decide when it comes, I think. But it was nice to be able to get up and shower and go to the bathroom after, and just walk right on over to my recovery room. Definitely some good perks, but no lie... it hurts like crazy in the moment.

How running helped:

I have no science to back up my findings. This is just what I felt myself. The pregnancy itself was super easy. Being active, in shape, and healthy helped immensely. I felt like my body was able to handle carrying that baby really well. I didn't gain a lot of weight (more on that later), and I was ready for the extra burden, so I had very minimal aches and pains, and again, have had a great recovery these first couple of weeks.

Adam and I both feel like it has made labor a different story as well. Running has made me stronger, tougher, and better at mentally dealing with pain. I felt like I was ready to endure and breathe through the contractions so much more so than with my previous births. It hurt, but I knew I could handle it. My body was ready and armed for the task. Thank you, running. I even had the nurses and doctor telling me over and over that I couldn't really be in labor, since I was laughing and smiling every time that I was between contractions.

For the weight gain, my goal with this pregnancy was to keep it at or under 30 lbs. My first pregnancy was about 50 lbs of extra weight (yikes!). My second was probably 35-40 lbs. And this one, I started at a lower starting weight (thanks to my running), and was still able to meet my goal. I was right at 30 lbs when they weighed me at the hospital check in. (Starting weight was 135, end of pregnancy weight was 165). I am super proud of this! And it was 90% due to running, since my eating is nowhere near perfect.


If you can run during your pregnancy, do it! It is so worth the time and effort. It will energize you, it will give you a great stress outlet, and it will keep your mind and body strong and prepped for the craziness that is childbirth. And at the end of it all, you get an adorable, healthy, little baby to cuddle with. Good motivation.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Let's just pretend I was tapering...

Last week was a bad week in my running life. Sunday, I started to feel a cold coming on, which never got too severe, but was enough to suck the pregnant life out of me with the lack of breathing and the on-again, off-again sore throat. And whether or not it was related, I don't know, but I also had this sudden transformation into full-on pregnant mode. Like... where any movement I made resulted in a fully contracted, and fully uncomfortable, tummy. Yeah, not a fun way to try and get around, let alone exercise. I just felt down and out.

Took Monday off to continue recovering from the XC workout the previous Friday and to make sure the cold didn't attack me too hard.

Tuesday, tried to run on the treadmill, but had the extreme tummy tightness, among other discomforts, in full force. So I ended up doing a 1 lap jog, 1 lap walk deal. (Laps being the usual 1/4 mile each). And both the walking and the jogging were significantly slower than my usual. Ended up logging a total of 3 miles in 46:05. So technically 1.5 miles run.

Wednesday meant a trek to the Doc up in Fishersville for an appointment. Still wasn't feeling good. Didn't run.

Thursday, took some advice from the husband coach and tried to do a super gradual workout to try and keep the contracting discomforts at bay. And really, it pretty much worked. Walked 1/5 mi to warmup, starting at a very slow walk and settling into a pace that was just short of forcing me to lengthen my stride too much (since that makes the pelvic muscles extremely unhappy lately). Then started jogging, beginning at something way slower than I usually do, like 13:30ish or something. Then each lap, I tried to kick it up a little. Wasn't feeling great by the time I got to a 12:00 min pace, but kept pushing through it anyway, and kept speeding up each lap, finishing at 9:40 pace, which was a nice mental boost. 3 miles run.

Friday, took the kids out in the stroller, but it was CRAZY hot. I ran about a 1/2 mile, then walked 1/2 mile, then the kids were asleep and sweating, so I decided to take them back into the house so they didn't melt. Thought about getting myself on the treadmill to turn it into a real workout, but let the crappy feeling of the week take over.

Saturday, lots of things going on, and no workout motivation still, so nothing.

Sad week. Feeling depressed about the chance that maybe my running was done for this pregnancy. I know, most people don't get to run, especially for 34 weeks, but with how things have gone, I just couldn't accept the idea of it ending so suddenly. That would mean 6 pregnant weeks, plus however long the postpartum healing takes before I could even start hobbling along on any kind of run. Not wanting to think about that at all. So after letting myself feel discouraged and worried about the discomforts of last week, I talked with Adam about where I should go from here. There was a Labor Day 5k we had considered having me do for fun, but I was feeling less than excited about that idea at this point.

In then end, my decision was to pretend that last week was a taper week for this race. I was going to go out and run Monday morning, and if I still felt just as miserable as I had all week, I would consider this mostly the end, and begin limiting my running greatly and searching for other ways to get a little workout in. Or, if the magic of race day had me feeling good again, I'd try to continue the running as I have been doing and hope it was just a bad week I was having.

Pre-race... enjoying some water and my favorite Vanilla Bean Gu!
Thank heavens, the race magic was there. The adrenaline, the competitive feeling I tend to thrive on, and the fun of running with people around you (especially people you can pass and beat--told you I was too competitive), all worked in my favor. I didn't feel the pelvic pain, the tummy was tight, but not uncomfortable, and my legs were so happy to be moving at a reasonable pace. I was a little worried when I hit the first mile at 8:23 (I haven't run that fast in quite some time), and tried to tell myself it might all be downhill from here. But luckily, I was able to hold on pretty well. I finished in 26:28 (the Garmin measuring exactly. 5.00k). So my average pace was about 8:31. Amazing. I felt so good, and even had a semi-decent little kick in the last 150-200 meters.

Of course, within a few minutes of stopping, the pelvic pain kicked in, just like after the XC workout, but at least I went through that recently, and I know it just takes a day or two for that to get mostly back to normal. So yeah, verdict is that I am to keep running. Today (Tuesday), I probably won't as I am still letting the pelvic muscles recover, but tomorrow I plan to be back at it, in whatever capacity the body decides to allow. Yay for races... they are always good at motivating me when I need it most.

Post Race. Sitting, of course, since I couldn't stand incredibly well. :) But I was happy nonetheless. 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Quality Week

Surprised at the quality of running that I got in last week. I didn't do anything crazy mileage-wise, but even without the treadmill for a few days, I survived.

First, I have to say I felt very blessed that last week was like the coolest week temp-wise that we have had in quite some time. The mornings were actually kind of chilly. Wonderful hints of fall. Got the treadmill part in the mail on Wednesday and had a working treadmill on Thursday. Thank you, handy husband! Took a lot of messing around and tinkering, but he was quite determined, and the belt has been staying pretty much centered. Hurray!

So here's how the week went:

Monday: 3 miles in downtown BV on a nice, cool morning, pushing the double stroller of course. Went downtown for the flat, quiet neighborhood roads. Ran 3 miles, with a short 1-2 minute water/check the kids break after each one. Didn't feel amazing on the first one... some pelvic soreness (my recent uninvited companion in pregnant running), so I decided to try and relax through the next 2 miles and let my body run whatever pace it wanted. Yeah, I went from 10:45 the first mile, to 10:40 for the next two. I guess I'm not that good at consciously slowing down. Oh well. Felt fine. Then let the kids play at the playground for a while. Good times.

Tuesday: Did another 3 miles with breaks in between, this time pushing the stroller in the afternoon. It wasn't cool,, but it was a doable hot, less humid than most the summer has been. Did it on the close to flat, 1/2 mi stretch of road oustide the house. It was boring to run back and forth, but there is just enough incline in one direction to give a slight challenge followed by relief at the turnaround. Seemed to work in my favor, as my first mile was right at 10 minutes, the second at 9:50, and the third at like 9:38. Awesome. 

Wednesday: Dental appointments and such... didn't run. 

Thursday: Got to use the treadmill, and was slightly disappointed. After only a couple of runs outside, I was finding it impossible to get into a rhythm on that thing. I guess I just need to give it time. Did 3 miles in a little in like 31:05.

Friday: Adam is working at a volunteer assistant coach of sorts for the SVU cross country team (guys and girls). He was off work and went to their practice that morning, and called me after a little while saying I should come let the kids play by him and get my own run in out there while the team practiced. When I got there, I was actually just in time to run the 2 mile course with the two slower girls on the team. It was a super challenging course for me with some killer hill sections and some rough surface. But it was a lot of fun. And I enjoyed talking to and helping the girls I ran with. One in particular was struggling a bit and feeling out of shape from summer break, and I was able to pass on some tips and help her though those harder sections so that she could keep going. So fun to do that. Makes me want to find more people to run with and help. It was a very cool and fulfilling way to get a workout in. Anyway, we did 2 of those 2 miles loops. The first was in 19:30, and the second was about 18:55. Awesome workout.

Saturday: no run. And I knew there wouldn't be. I was SOOO sore after doing the XC stuff on Friday. My pelvic muscles get super sore after tough runs, and this was the toughest I've done this pregnancy, so I was plenty sore... like had trouble getting up and walking most the day on Friday. Still worth it, I think. And I am recovered now (on Monday). 

Week Total: 13 GOOD miles. :)

Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Treadmill Saga

32.5 weeks along.
Still running.
Still feeling good.

The last few weeks have been good ones. Other than scheduling issues with traveling and such, I have still been getting in 14-20 miles each week. Some were even outside while I was in Stafford... which felt amazing and were at a faster pace with less brakes than when I run on the treadmill at home. That was fun to see... although a little depressing to know that I could be doing that if schedules and kids allowed. Oh well. Still nice to know it is there.

Highlights from these weeks:
-a 5 miler outside in 45:17 (Yes, just over 9 minutes pace on hill I used to think were bad).
-a 6 miler on the Chessie trail here in Buena Vista where I fought off nature, climbed through pasture gates, tip-toed through mud/manure bogs, fought off hissing geese with a large stick, and lost a standoff with a bunch of momma cows and their calves. Okay, maybe that's more of a low-light, especially with how sore it left me... but I feel tough for surviving it at 29 weeks.
-a 2 miler this week. Short, I know... but it was about feeling the speed just for old time's sake. Well, speed is relative at 32 weeks.... so did a 10 minute warmup mile, then sped up each lap of the next mile, with the last lap under 8 minute pace... total mile was 8:47. Nothing for my non-pregnant self to care for, but great for where I am. Won't do it again this pregnancy, but still glad I let myself once.

32 weeks along... following the quick 2 miler.
 The Sad News:
My beloved treadmill has a broken part that is keeping the belt from staying centered, rendering it unsafe for this pregnant lady to use. It stopped being usable Friday, and with our busy schedules and my lack of motivation to run in the heat of day, I ended up missing Friday and Saturday. And I was SO on track for a 20 mile week, but got halted at 14. Oh well. We are ordering the needed part for the treadmill and hoping it will do the job. But it probably won't get here in time to help me this week, so I am still figuring out what to do.

The husband is usually up at 5 am for his runs, with no time in between them and work. Then by the time he returns from work, it's dinner time and the evening is consumed with cleanup, kid maintenance, Adam's study time, bed time, and prep for the next day. So really, it's got to happen during the day. Which means... heat and double strollers outside... or lame cross-training inside. Bleh. I guess I'll figure something out.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Back in the game!

Hello, World.

Yet again, just putting it out there that I am still running. I won't bore anyone with the details of the rest of June and first half of July--- they were pretty uneventful. I kept up my run/walk, with recovery/cross-training days in between. I did stretches and things more. I listened to my body and tried not to overdo any of my workouts, hoping it would all give my ankle a good chance at healing. And guess what?? All that slowdown, the running only 2-3 days a week, the PT stretching, the caution---- it worked! My ankle has felt pretty much no pain over the last 2 weeks. That first pain free week, I ran 3 days, totaling like 16 miles. Then last week, we decided to see how my legs would handle adding in 2 more days of running, just light days. So last week went as follows:

Monday: 5 miles
Tuesday: 2 miles run, 1 mile walk cooldown
Wednesday: 4 miles
Thursday: off
Friday: 2 miles
Saturday: 7 miles

Such a good week! And I hit 20 miles! The ankle was just fine and dandy. My leg felt slightly wobbly after a mile and a half on Tuesday, hence the 1 mile walk at the end. (Look at me, being all thoughtful and flexible in my running!) Another accomplishment: I have reconciled myself with the idea of settling into a slow and comfortable pace for the vast majority of my running, which through this healing/growing belly process has been 10 min miles. It took time to accept this and feel good about it, but I am in a happy place now. Just loving the fact that I am going into my 3rd trimester (currently 28.5 weeks along) feeling this way, running these miles, and feeling optimistic about what is to come.

So, moral of the story, you can overcome minor injuries in pregnancy if you are flexible and careful about your training. And then you can feel good running again. It is possible!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Last week's fun, then recovery

Monday: Had a glimmer of hope in me after a weekend where my leg wasn't feeling much of anything. Like... pretty much normal. I got on the treadmill and cautiously started at a 10 minute pace. And rightly so. Sure enough, running is the motion that always brings back the pain in that injury. I did 1 mile at a time, jogging that 10 minute pace, followed by a quarter mile walk/recovery. Did 5 miles total, 4 jogged, 1 walked.

Tuesday: Started out wanting to do a stroller walk outside. But it was horribly hot and humid. Seth fell asleep right away, but Ellie was already trying to convince me to go home all through that first .75 mi loop around our street. Didn't want to make her suffer the heat and boredom, so we did that .75 mi walk as a warmup, came in, laid Seth down for his nap, then found a workout on YouTube to do some cross-training since one loop on those hills was already killing my leg. Many thanks to Jillian Michaels (or her production company or whatever) for being willing to post full workouts online. I did her "Banish Fat Boost Metabolism" workout since it seemed to be a good cardio replacement. I had to watch very short commercials in between each circuit, but that worked out well and helped me make sure I stayed hydrated. With the commercials and all, it took about 45 minutes to do it all, plus the walk. So a good workout day. And I only had to modify a couple of moves for the pregnant belly.

Wednesday: Not much of a day for miles, but a fun day just to try and be a little faster. Went to a little local  open track meet at the Washington and Lee University track. Ellie won her heat in the 100m! She was a very proud little girl, since she always claims to be fastest. I offered to run with her in the race, but she said "No Mom, I too fast for you. You just watch." So young, so competitive, so cute. I, however, was last in both my events. But since I'm pretty sure I was the only pregnant one out there (and only one of 2 females competing), I'm not too concerned about it. I did the 400m in 1:22. Then after about 2 minutes of rest, I did the 800m in 3:11. Considering, just last summer, not pregnant, I ran 3:09, I'll call it good! My ankle killed in those sprints, but not enough to keep me from pushing through it. Did maybe a mile or more in warmups, cooldowns, whatevers. So not much running, but it's always fun to hit the track after a long drought. Worth a few days of pain in recovering.
Heading for the sandpit to practice her long jump. She was so happy there!
Thursday: Did the same Jillian workout online. Turns out it skipped a circuit on autoplay Tuesday, so it was a little longer than the day before. Good workout. Very aerobic and varied to keep me interested.

Friday: Same Jillian again. I enjoy this one a lot because of the mix of kickboxing, plyometrics, etc. It's good stuff, makes me feel like I'm working the whole time, and lasts long enough to give me a good extended cardio time.

Saturday: Had initially planned to try and do an easy run this day, but still felt like that same old leg needed more recovery from the track stuff, so I tried a different Jillian workout for some extra variety. Bad choice... didn't really care for it. It was the 30 Day Shred: Level 1 workout. I think it just wasn't enough cardio for what I wanted. Plus, it was less than 30 minutes, even with a warmup and a stretching cooldown. Just not enough. I was a little sore from the pushups and such the next day or two since I don't do them much anymore, but otherwise, it felt too slow and boring for my personal tastes in workouts.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Goal adjustments

Monday: So as much as I loved running with a friend Saturday, it would seem my body wasn't totally prepared for the workout on the trail. My leg was killing me Sunday. Monday, I tried to get on the treadmill, but immediately had to slow down and walk to warm up. Ended up doing 4.25 miles total... 3 of them jogging at 10 minute pace and 1.25 walking at 15 minute pace to give the leg a period of recovery every 2-3 laps (or quarter miles).

Tuesday: I did 5 on the treadmill. Happy I was able to run the whole time. I did speed up each mile, going from 10 minutes in the first to 8:30 for the last 1-2 miles. Much better than Monday.

Wednesday: Had a busy morning, followed by an OB appointment (40 miles from home), then kids and dinner to worry about, so I didn't get any running in during the day. Then I decided the kids and I would drive Adam to The Fields at SVU and get some exercise running around on the soft turf field. But of course, it started raining the minute we left the house. So I sat and played in the car with kids for the first 25 minutes, then, when Adam came back from the trails, we all put our jackets on and ran around playing soccer and running little races. Not a ton of real exercise. But it was a lot of fun. We will probably go back there often because the kids loved it so much. And hopefully it won't be raining next time!

Thursday: Better day for running. Did 6 on the treadmill, with the gradual speedups as usual. Starting at 10 min pace then working my way up to 8:30ish. Anyhow, felt pretty good and enjoyed it all thanks to Neal Caffrey and some old White Collar episodes I haven't seen in a long time. Nice way to pass the run. Even felt like I might want to go longer, but the kids had already been getting anxious for that last half mile or so, so I decided it was time to stop. Total time was just over 55 minutes.

Friday: Took an impromptu trip to NOVA with the kids to hang out with my momma. So that evening, I used her elliptical while she did the bike. did 45 minutes at a good pace, resistance level 4, whatever that means.

Saturday: Had to make the drive back home to Buena Vista, And this pregnant lady felt completely drained. Was tempted in my mind to try and fit something in, but the body said it just wasn't going to happen. The hot car ride had left me stiff and dehydrated... and hungry for dinner. So I just played with the kids at the park in the evening and called it good.

Definitely not meeting the mileage goals anymore, but I have realized the obvious and clear pattern to my workouts that has made me okay with changing the goals. It is clear that I usually have 2-3 good running days most weeks, each one followed by1 or 2 not so good days where my leg hurts again and doesn't want me to run much, if at all. So, until the leg pain finally goes away for good (which at this rate, may not be until post-pregnancy), I'm going to try to work in 1-2 recovery/cross-training days after each longer or harder run that I do. Coach Adam and I have decided that the main thing needs to be to try and get a minimum of 30-45 minutes of whatever I decide to do those days (walk/run, walk the stroller, workout videos, whatever). This way I can try to maintain my fitness level as much as possible, while cutting down the miles to try and give my leg/ankle a rest and hopefully a chance to heal itself the rest of the way. Nothing exciting, but I feel good about it all and know it's the best way to proceed from here. Then we can reevaluate later.

Cross-training, here I come.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Odd Week for Workouts

Okay, so maybe the week itself hasn't been that odd. Maybe it's just me. Either way.

Tuesday: The kids needed to get out, and I wanted some time in the sun, so I decided to try for a long walk/run. Mostly walk, with just some running on the downhills (which is almost impossible to avoid anyway with the double stroller pulling you on those steep grades). Anyway,the street we live on is quiet and safe to walk with the stroller, and it's just a .75ish mile loop. So I did lots of loops.... well 4 miles worth of loops, then some out and back over and over on the milder side of the loop since the steep hills on the other side were starting to make my ankle/shin flare up again. The kids were asleep before the first mile hit, and I had the convenience of passing the house for a bathroom break and such, which was nice. But yeah, ended up pushing those 100+ lbs in the afternoon heat for 5.6 miles. Not bad... and definitely a workout. Took me a little over an hour and a half, including bathroom breaks and helping kids while they were awake.

Wednesday: Not my best day. I wasn't feeling well to begin with, but thought I'd force myself onto the treadmill anyway. But alas, even starting at a super slow pace, my ankle was killing me (I'm assuming from walking all those hills with the stroller). So I gave in to the pain and called it recovery/rest day instead.

Thursday: Woke up feeling terrible, like first trimester all over again nausea and such. Not fun. So after lying around wishing I could feel better for the first half of the morning, I decided.... "The Lord doesn't want me feeling this way... or passing the day this way." So I got up, showered, ran some errands, and by afternoon, felt ready for a run. Did 5 on the treadmill, gradually speeding up from the slow 9's to fairly well under 8 for the last mile. Felt pretty good. Total time was 42:44.

Friday: Another non-motivated day. Didn't feel up to running at all, and my ankle was hurting. So I followed one of Coach Adam's old sayings he always gives me on these days... "Just do 2... you can do 2." Some days this ends up being 4 or 5, but it only turned unto 3 this day. 3 slow miles at a steady 10 minute pace. No fun, but it was done.

Saturday: Best run I've had for a while. Adam went out and did his 20-miler nice and early, so that I could meet a new running friend by the river trail at like 8:30. It was awesome. I don't get many (like not any) opportunities to run with people, but it made such a huge difference. The time just flew by and I didn't think about it at all since we were talking the whole time. We did run pretty good for my current state though. We ended up doing a little under 7 miles in... well, I can't remember now, but it was under an hour. I think we were between 8:30 and 8:45 pace for most of it. And the trail was very nice. Had to jump some puddles and branches, but it was very pleasant. Great way to end an off week.

Side note: We finally tried out a green smoothie recipe this week, and I have to say, we loved it. Of course, we did choose one of the sweeter-looking ones without a lot of crazy ingredients. But it was yummy, and I was more than pleased to watch my children happily consuming something with a good amount of spinach in it! Miracles do happen! If you want to try the one they like, it's a Paula Deen (of course... she's the only one I trusted to have a green smoothie that actually tasted good and sweet). hahaha.

Monday, May 28, 2012

If you can't take the heat, stay on the treadmill

I did it. I ran outside. It was all kinds of miserable, but all kinds of perfect too.

So I did 5 miles, and I don't know what my time ended up being because Dr. Adam's watch gave out on me a little after halfway and apparently said it was full of data and refused to create anymore, so it stopped tracking my workout. But I know the first two miles were in the 8:35-8:45 range, and I probably slowed down a little on some of those later miles with the difficult conditions, so I'm guessing I averaged just at or just under 9 minute miles for the whole thing. That might be optimistic, but that's okay.

It was a pretty difficult run for me for a number of reasons:

A. It was super hot.
B. There was ZERO shade on or near the lovely river trail I was running.
C. I am not used to gravel trail... this was all gravel... and grass, which I am also not used to.
D. I didn't have water with me or anywhere along this hot run.
E. I'm pregnant. Okay... maybe that doesn't count given the nature of this blog.

BUT... the run was awesome for me for a number of reasons:

A. I was outside!
B. The scenery here is gorgeous! River on one side, pretty hillsides and mini-mountains on the other.
C. No stroller.
D. Mostly flat course on the river walk.
E. Dr. Adam always says I look hot in sunglasses (which were very helpful in the 100% sunshine of my 10 AM run). He also told me my singlet and such made me look "legit". I'll take it. Hahaha. Love my husband.

20+ weeks... you can kinda see a bump, right? 
Anyway, I better end this so I can get up from this chair and stop being critiqued on my posture. (Another thing I am trying to fix). The joys of being married to a PT. It's all because they care.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Still alive, still pregnant, still running

So, yeah. It's been like 2 months. I know. I even faithfully wrote down most my workouts with pure intentions of posting them when I was able to make the time. But I never bothered to make the time. But yes, I am still pregnant, and yes, I am still running.

The last two months were some up and down weeks, trying to get over that ankle pain that just didn't want to go away. We think it was a sprain that just didn't want to heal while the pregnancy hormones kept loosening me up and messing up the process. So I had some days of cross-training and lower, slower miles, along with my PT stretches from Coach Adam (Now Dr. Adam) that have helped the pain all but disappear by now. I had some good weeks too... they were all anywhere between 10 and 32 miles, depending on how the ankle was doing and what else was going on.

Then Coach Adam graduated and we moved. We now live in Central VA, enjoying the small town life. I just did treadmill running this first week here. Feeling a little weary of running the crazy hills in this beautiful Shenandoah Valley. But I have plans this week to get out a little just for a change, which should be nice. And I may even be running with a cool lady my husband met at work last week. And I'm not embarrassed to say that the idea of actually having a running buddy around gets me all kinds of giddy. It's not something I've been able to find in the past, so I am hoping to find some fun people in this little town.

Anyway, the last week got me a total of 20 miles, only because I took two days off... one because we were super busy with visitors and another because I let myself get a little stress-depressed with all the moving transitions that were just not working out for me in the least. Let's just say, I strongly dislike relying on others who seem completely unable to do their jobs...

But enough of that!

Let's stay positive... I am almost 21 weeks pregnant, still running, an feeling pretty darn good. My weight gain this pregnancy has been pretty minimal and I still get the, "What?! You're pregnant? You don't look like it at all!"... which this time around, is absolutely okay with me. There will be plenty of time at the end to be huge. :)

Sunday, April 1, 2012

The next crazy week...

So, to recap this week.

Monday: 5 on the treadmill. Still at a fairly slow pace because of the ankle.

Tuesday: 0 miles. Managed to break or badly sprain the middle toe on my left foot. Couldn't walk well the rest of that day, so no run. Just ice on the foot. Yay.

Wednesday: 0 miles. Still trying to wait it out, still not walking great. Plus, Seth started getting sick. Another case of bronchiolitis. Yay.

Thursday: 0 miles, but Jillian Michaels workout video. I had to do something.

Friday: 0 miles. busy, and still depressed about the toe.

Saturday: 3 miles on tread!!! plus, Jillian Michaels (by request of my 3-yr-old... she loves "exercise movies").
My toe felt pretty good. I could feel it was there and not normal, but it didn't stop the run at all. However, my ankle STILL slowed me down a lot. Coach Adam says I sprained it. So, I'm trying to do some weighted PT work on it, and I'm gonna try running outside more this week since Adam will be home more (and my outdoor stuff seems to hurt a little less). But I'm already fed up with these "injuries" slowing and even stopping my running... so I gotta make this week happen. On to better things!

Weekly Total: ..........8 miles..... (lowest in a loooooooooong time).

Friday, March 30, 2012

Where to begin.....

It's been a messed up couple of weeks.

Apparently, I messed up my ankle trying to run on a rather rough field during my cool-down at that 5k I last wrote about. As soon as I tried to run on Monday, I was like "WHOA... that's not gonna happen!" I had to slow down to 8:30 or slower for all of my runs that week, otherwise I was killing the ankle. And even at those slow paces, I was still hobbling to keep up with the treadmill for a lot of the miles. Bleh. No fun. Here's the rundown for that week:

Monday: 5 miles. slow.
Tuesday: 4 miles. slow.
Wednesday: 5 miles. slow.
Thursday: 6 miles. slow-ish.
Friday: Got busy with family stuff and took the day off, hoping to be ready for Saturday's 5k.
Saturday: 3.1 miles. 22:40ish at Run Rogue 5k.

Race Recap: This is actually a race that a good friend of ours at Rogue Racers organized. She did an amazing job, and the race raised an incredible amount of money for some amazing charities. Not only that, but it was always an extremely well-organized and fun event!... and not just like, "wow, that was really good for a first-year race event", but like "that was an awesome event... period." So well done! I spent the morning working as a volunteer at the registration booth, which was crowded, but a lot of fun. We were working fast, and it all seemed to go smoothly.
Anyway, since I was working the booth, I didn't do any kind of warmup or strides or anything for this race. My entry was actually free and not optional according to my good friends and my husband... so I just decided to go out and see what I could do without worrying about it the way I would a regular race. It is a famously terrible course (a whole lot of uphill, followed by turns that lead to more uphills). Last summer, I ran it in 24:something, so I was pretty pleased to come off a bad week and run it in 22:40. Plus, it was a lot of fun. Thanks, Rogue Racers!

So, for the week: 23+ miles.

And now, pregnancy is calling me to the kitchen... so I'll recap this even less productive week later today!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Slow week, but good race

Sorry. I am already a terrible poster on this blog. So it goes. Here is the rundown for last week:

Monday: 0 miles. Plenty of excuses. But mostly, I still just felt exhausted and messed up from travelling that previous weekend. Oh well.

Tuesday: 5 miles on the treadmill, just barely under 8 min pace.

Wednesday: 7 miles outside. Didn't feel good at all. In fact, I stopped and took a break after all but one of those miles. It was the only way I could keep myself from just going home or walking. Depressing day.

Thursday: 6 miles on the treadmill. Still sluggish, but done.

Friday: 6 miles on the treadmill, but finally forced myself to try and pick things up a little. Sped up gradually, with the last mile being under 7:30 pace. Didn't feel amazing, but still felt better just making myself push it a little more than I have been.

Then Friday evening, we went to dinner, and stopped to say hi at the running store on the way. A few minutes later, we left the store with a comp entry to a little 5k just a few minutes from our house the next morning. I wasn't excited about the prospect of running a race after the slow 2 weeks I've had, but I was hopeful that maybe the racing adrenaline and such would get me out of the little funk I've been in.

Saturday: 5+ miles total. 1 mile warm up, then the 5k, then a mile cool down. The race definitely helped do the trick for me. It was a tough course, out-and-back with the first half being almost all downhill and the second half being almost all uphill. Not fun for the mind or the body. And I took the first half pretty fast, like faster than 7 minute pace... just praying I would crash and burn when I turned around to climb back up. Of course, I did slow down in the second half, and my breathing sounded TERRIBLE, but I kept pushing. I was even complimented later by a nice, older gentleman who runs pretty much every race in this area. He said, "great job pushing to the finish... you sounded like you were hurting. And nice job on the tangents!" Yes, sir I was hurting, and yes, I took every tangent to the max... it's the only way I was able to reel in the girl in front of me and take 3rd overall for the females. Always take the tangents. She didn't, and that's how I got her.

Anyway, I ended up tying my 5k PR at 22:20. A little sad that I was in such a survival mode that I didn't look at the clock soon enough to see that I could have gotten a new PR, but at least I proved that I can still do it... even feeling like a sick pregnant lady. Good mental boost. And a good end to the week.

Week: 29 miles... I know, missed my 30 mark, but there just wasn't time to fit any more miles in on Saturday... to much going on with the family and such. It's all good.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Busy week, busy miles

Sorry for the lack of updates. It was a busy week. I knew it would be a busy week. So I ran accordingly.

Monday: 7 AM miles on the tread. Right about 55 min.

Tuesday: 7 AM miles on the tread. Just over 55 min.

Wednesday: 6 PM miles on the tread. SLOW. I wanna say somewhere close to 50 min.? Either way, slower than 8 minute pace for pretty much the whole thing.

Thursday: 10 AM miles outside. That's right, I said 10. Time was 1:20:57

Friday: 3 miles on the hotel treadmill. Just under 8 min pace.

Saturday: No run.

WEEK TOTAL: 33 miles

So, this week, among many other happenings, we were preparing for a trip to Columbia, SC for Coach Adam's marathon. We drove down Friday (about 7 hours), then race Saturday morning, followed by the 7 hour drive home... with the kiddos of course.

So, knowing that I wasn't likely to hit a lot of miles on Friday or Saturday, if I hit any at all, Adam gave me the challenge of running some back-to-back higher mileage (at least much more so than I have ever done in the past). It was kind of fun, I'll admit, just ticking the numbers off in my head... "yep, it's only Tuesday, and I'm at 14!" But it was also pretty tiring. I did feel more fatigue and my legs felt kind of tired most the week. Of course, I'm also pregnant, a busy mom, and the driver of at least 11 of our 13 cross-country hours this weekend.

The 10 miler was a good challenge. I was excited to do it just because I really haven't done anything over 8 since early November. So that was good to get back. But coming off of a tougher early week felt like it did weigh me down a little. I intentionally took Wednesday night slow and easy, to prepare for Thursday morning. But I found myself, even in the first couple of miles, having a lot of trouble even getting down to 8 minute pace. Normally, when I get outside, I'm at 7:50 or faster right at the first mile. So yeah, my body went into a slower, endurance kind of mode, no matter what I did. I stopped for a quick water and gel bursts break at the halfway point, then went out and did the second 5. I really should be pleased with this run, cause even with all the negative factors, that's probably the fastest 10 I've ever done. I guess I just expected it to be faster, or maybe just easier, based on the shape I've gotten into in the last few months. And on a good day, I think it would/will be. No need to fret over it now. I think I should be happy enough to be a pregnant lady out running 10 miles on a Thursday morning, right? Right.

A press guy took this photo of us after the finish. Poor Adam was too sore to bend down, Seth was out cold, and the wind wouldn't stop blowing all of my hair into my face. It all seems appropriate for a post-race pic, right? At least we got Ellie to stop hiding her face in my neck!

On a side note, the trip to SC was great. It was a fun little Marathon in its first year, and Adam did great, in spite of running so many miles in isolation and with some crazy wind in his face. He managed to get 4th overall and 1st in his age group. I am a proud wife!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Fight the Power...

... the power of pregnancy nausea, that is. Saturday, I felt about as miserable as I ever get during a pregnancy. 

Most of my mornings this week were all the same: complete nausea and dread the second I open my eyes in the morning (or in the middle of the night when the kids decide to wake me). Yes, it is joyous. But I still don't feel like I can complain too much, as I know many women who have no way of getting over the nausea. Whereas for me, I generally feel better once I can get some food in my stomach, or once I get moving or showered. 

Saturday was different. For one thing, I had an 8 miler planned with Coach Adam. On top of that, my nausea was not going away after my giant bowl of cereal. In fact, I felt worse every time I stood up. 

So there I was, sitting on the couch, sleepy-eyed kids sprawled around me, as I debated whether or not I could even attempt this run. And Adam needed to get out the door so we could be back for him to head off to work... no real time to let the nausea pass on its own. Adam told me to just get up and then I'd feel better. Sounds like a risky thing for a husband to say to his pregnant wife, right? Normally, maybe. But Adam is Adam. He is a runner, a coach, a medical professional, and a person whose guidance I try to follow as much as possible. So I let the offense slide (well, maybe there was a slight eye-roll, but that hardly counts), and I got off that couch, went up the stairs, put on some running clothes, and we were out the door in the next 10 minutes (after we set the kids up with food and let our wonderful baby-sitter, G-mom, know that we were leaving). 

8 Miles. Done. We didn't take any watches. Adam wasn't doing that kind of workout, and I was too lazy to go back up the stairs and get one for myself. So we just went. And honestly, for at least half of the run, I could feel that nausea just under the surface. Not enough to stop me, but enough to let me know it was still there. But I was able to keep it at bay and run a pretty good pace. I'm glad I didn't let the pregnancy symptoms stop me on this one. It was good to get that 8 in. And.... it totally makes up for my bad missed day this week and gets me to 30 miles for the week! It's amazing the things we can do when we just get up and go.

According to the clocks, we were out about 1:02ish. Not bad at all for a morning sickness run. I will take it. 

Friday, March 2, 2012

Pushing it... literally and figuratively

Seriously... it does not take me long to get behind on blogs. Oh well. Here's the rundown for this week:

Monday: 5 miles on the treadmill, nothing crazy. I think I was feeling a little tired from last week.

Tuesday: 6 miles outside. I want to say my average pace was about 7:38. I know it was something really close to that. And really, I could go look it up. But does it really matter that much? I think not. Good run.

Wednesday: 5 miles in the morning. Felt sluggish, but needed to get it in before we left for an overnight roadtrip. I think it was just a little under 40 minutes.

Thursday: I was bad. I thought about trying to get it done on the hotel treadmill, but the idea of keeping kids happy in a tiny, cramped hotel gym didn't sound very enticing. And the hubby was stuck at the job interview we were there for... so I waited. Then we got home in the afternoon, and the driving plus the pregnancy meant sore and exhausted Hayley. So I did a good stretching workout as prescribed by Coach Adam and let that be my workout (and trust me, it is its own workout... just doesn't give me miles). Oh well.

Friday: So maybe I was punishing myself for missing yesterday... because today, I decided to go with Adam to the nearby National Forest and push the double stroller for my planned 6 miles. Yeah,

65 lbs of kid + 35 lbs of stroller = 100 lbs of loving resistance on wheels (a.k.a. torture).

Then, factor in pregnancy and you've got a whole other equation... but at least that one doesn't weigh anything yet.

Kiddos all loaded up before we started. You see my little man already passed out... awesome.
The run started off pretty slow. I was definitely feeling the stroller. I was slow, my breathing was super loud and labored, and I felt like it was going to be a never-ending 6 miles. This continued for at least the first 2 miles.

As I got into the 3rd mile or so, I started to have moments of feeling better and speeding up a little. (My first mile was in the 8:40's or so). And I have to put this out there: I take breaks when I push strollers. I never take breaks when I run outside on my own, but with the stroller, it feels necessary. It gives me a chance to help/adjust kids, and a chance to breath and regroup, maybe eat a gel burst or something, even if it is only for 30 seconds or so. I always feel better when I restart after a mini break.

By the time I hit my 3 mile turnaround, I was on my 4th break. Like I said, they were short, but sweet... and very helpful.

The next 2 miles felt the best. I knew I was moving (especially since the rolling hills feel like more of a net downhill coming back to the parking lot). But when I looked at my watch, I totally doubted its validity. I just didn't think there was any way I'd ever be moving that fast with the stroller. Under 7:30 pace? Really? Impossible.

I kept moving and took one more break at about 4.75 mile mark, then tried to push it pretty good coming back to the finish. Felt good, and the watch said I finished my 6 miles in 48:54. I still didn't believe it. I've never gone that fast with a stroller, let alone the double. My doubts were so strong, in fact, that I clocked the watch's measurements with the car after we were done. And amazingly, it was right on.

My average pace for the run was about 8:09. I was expecting much slower based on my starting paces, but I guess it just goes to show that you can't count yourself out too early in any run. You just have to give your body that chance to adjust and warm up, and then be willing to push it once you do start feeling better. I love to push it. And I especially love when my body tells me to push it. Love, love, love.

Cooling down on a nature walk we promised to Ellie in exchange for her willingness to ride in the stroller instead of walking on her own like she wanted.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Saturday Recap... and Inspiration

Slow to post, but Saturday was a pretty good day. I was considering only doing a 5-miler, since that would put me at 31 again for the week, which would be fine.

Then I wandered onto Facebook...

... and of course, my amazing sisters had posted some videos of a SUPER-WINDY 7 miler they did together in the chilly Utah hills. I have a lot of inspirational people around me... especially when it comes to running. I have a husband who is incredible in his achievements, and these sisters (in-law actually, but since I never had sisters growing up, they are like my real sisters... very awesome ones) who accomplish any amazing goal they put in their minds. And generally, with more outside responsibilities... and more kids. They are tough chicks.

So, if they could get out there in that nasty wind, I said "okay, I can do 7 on my flat treadmill with a nice cool fan on my back." And I did. I can't remember the exact time (I have it written down in the basement, but I'm too lazy to go check). But I know the average was in the low 7:40's per mile... so it was a good run. I used the gel blasts again, and felt great... none of those drained or dehydrated, running-on-empty, kind of moments.

So THANK YOU, Cathy and Joy, for making me want to do more! Love you guys!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

More tricks

Thursday: Did 5 on the treadmill in 39:05. Nothing special, but it's done.

Friday: 6 on the treadmill in 46:45.

Yet again, I was feeling super tired, with a little bit of nausea here and there. Never enough to make me throw up, but just enough to make the thought go through my mind. But I tried to focus on drinking a lot of water throughout the day. Also, we got a big container of Gatorade powder mix... so we can save some money on that. For some reason, a bottle of Gatorade really helps me lately when I am feeling that hollow and drained pregnant thing. So I have been having one in the mid-morning hours most days this week. And I do feel a difference. Sometimes water just isn't enough for a busy, running mom I guess.

Also, to help the drowsiness, I swiped some of Adam's Powerbar Gel Blasts... ate a few shortly before the run, a couple halfway through, and then the last few when I finished, always accompanied by some water. I don't know for sure that those made the difference, but I know that I was over the tiredness quickly and felt pretty good and less thirsty throughout the entire run... so I might start trying to use those more often... probably just on my longer days, unless I'm feeling really desperate for energy.

I have to say, I am enjoying trying out all of these different things and seeing the effect they have on my pregnancy symptoms, especially in relation to my running. I feel like I am already doing a lot more to keep things running smoothly than I ever thought to do in the last pregnancy. So I'm hoping for a bright future these next 7-8 months. Here's hoping!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Work through it

I got to spend the first half of my day yesterday running errands, which included way too much driving on these winding Virginia roads that surround our home. Normally, it doesn't get to me often. Just another one of those pregnancy things. Oh the joys of motherhood.

So the headache and drowsiness were pretty intense after lunch, but I knew a nap was nowhere in the forecast, so I decided my only choice was to try and work through the misery and hope I could get the best of it. Luckily, that pretty much worked. I prepped dinner items ahead (so that I could just pop them in the oven when it was time to eat)... did some dishes... and felt like I was better enough to change into my running duds. 

The kids and I headed down to the basement (which is one-part gym, and one-part playroom). And they were extra good for whatever reason, so I was able to do my 6 miles with only one stop... and really, that was probably just as much for me as it was for them. I find myself so much more thirsty lately on my runs. 

Anyway, my total time was 46:35. Started at 8:00 pace, then just kicked it up one notch on the tread for each subsequent mile, which left me at 7:30 pace for the last one. It all felt pretty good. Glad I was able to get over the yucky pregnancy-related feelings and get a decent run in. 

And really, isn't all the nausea, belly-expanding, nose-wiping, and diaper-changing worth it in the end? 


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Mind Games

Yesterday, still felt super sluggish. Haven't caught up on sleep... and that whole first-trimester exhaustion thing must be kicking in more than I wanted to accept. Anyway, I was not feeling like hitting the treadmill... but sitting on a stationary bike sounded slightly more appealing... at least I'd be sitting, right? 

So I go to Coach Adam and ask his opinion on the matter. And being the genius he is, his reply is... "No bike, just run 2 miles." ....... 2 miles, I can do that. And it's a much shorter time than I had thought to do the bike. Fine, I'll do 2. 

But of course, once you've done 2, and you're already there on the treadmill sweating it out, your mind automatically says, "well, I may as well do one more"........

5 minutes later... "Okay, I'll just make it an even 4 miles... it's only a few more minutes anyway."

4 miles in 31:05.

Adam always knows the answers. So if you are thinking of skipping a run, "Just go do 2" and you'll likely end up with 4 or more. I love my coach.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Post Run Snacks

I think the weekend is still on me right now. That early outing for Adam's run, then some not so peaceful nights with kids, and an early wake-up for church yesterday has left me super worn out. 

I had a pretty productive day today, but through it all, I've felt like I could fall over and go to sleep at any point.  In fact, I did at one point when the kids wanted me to come in their room while they played. That's what I get for choosing the bed to sit on. 

Anyway, did 5 miles this afternoon. Didn't feel like my legs and body were waking up till after mile 3 or so... so it wasn't the funnest run ever, but it was alright. Time was 39:35. 

But the kids and I were happy in the end because runs always mean post run snacks! A banana and some chocolate milk for me AND  for them. Happy times. 

Saturday, February 18, 2012

A Sympathy Long Run

Friday: Did 5 on the trusty old treadmill. Planned to use it as a recovery day of sorts, but felt pretty good, so I ended up pushing it a little more. Finished in 38:10.

Saturday: Feels like I did a long run today. I served as the drive along help on a 23 mile training run for my husband and a friend. Obviously, they are out of my league, but I like to support their awesome efforts, so I drove ahead and stopped every 4 miles to set up a water/gu stop on the tailgate of the truck, then followed after, picked up the bottles, and went to the next check point. I even had the two kiddos strapped in the truck the whole time (they were pretty darn good, considering how long we were out). Anyway, the guys had a good run, and I came home happy to have contributed, but exhausted from the early wake up and endless driving. Felt like I was running right along with them. Of course, Adam had to head to work shortly after we got home, so I did my 4 easy miles on the treadmill pretending I was on the beautiful back roads from their run this morning. 31:30. That brings my week to 31. Good enough.

Pregnancy note: Keep drinks handy... always. Not just on runs, but all day long. Water is of course the key priority, but I have been finding that those smaller bottles of Gatorade can be a real pick-me-up when I'm feeling that drained, empty, or light feeling that I get on those busy pregnant days.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Gu got me through...

Warning to other mom's: If you're going to decide at the last minute to attend a playgroup with some friends... don't do it on a day where they are doing a potluck. Now what in the world am I going to pull together in the next 45 minutes?...... I guess I will figure something out. In the meantime, here's last night's report:

So... 5:30 started creeping up last night, and it was my turn to get onto the treadmill and get those 6 miles done. I complained to Coach Adam that I was feeling super sleepy and not pumped for a run (one of those lovely pregnancy and just general motherhood symptoms). And being the smart and helpful coach that he is, he ran up and down two flights of stairs (after just having completed his second run of the day) and brought me a Gu with some water to wash it down. He always has the answers.

This is actually only the second time ever that I have used a Gu or other energy gel pack... so I don't have a lot to compare to. They may be hard to swallow sometimes, but I do know that both times I have used them have been days where I was feeling drowsy and heavy, and they have totally done the trick. Just a short few minutes into the run, and I was feeling much better.

I ended up just doing 1 mile warmup (8:00 pace, as always), then .25 mile intervals... one on, one off. The on's ranged from 7:30 pace, up to 6:57 pace on the last one, with the recoveries at about 7:47 pace. It all felt pretty good, especially with that little caffeine boost I got from the Gu. My total time for 6 miles ended up being 45:50, or 7:38 pace. Not too shabby at all.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Workouts for the week...

So, since I started this blog midweek. Here is a quick recap of what I've done so far:

Monday: 6 miles on the tread. Started the first mile at 8:00 pace, then kept increasing speed gradually. Ended up with a total time of 46:30. Not bad.

Tuesday: Got to run outside! Just did a quick 5. Felt sluggish, but happy to be out (I even got to run 2ish of those miles with my wonderful husband who was out to complete 12 I think... crazy man). Time was 38:13.

Wednesday: Got busy all day, so didn't get to run until after dinner in the evening. Not my favorite thing, I always feel heavy and sluggish when I run after dinner... guess I eat too much. Either way, got 5 done and in 38:52. I'll take it.

Today, I plan to get 6 done in the afternoon once lunch and all that has settled. Wish me luck. I will report later.

In the mean time, time to go be crazy with the kids. There are no moments of peace in this house. Unless you are lucky enough to have both kids asleep at the same time. A rare occurrence. Trust me.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A pleasant surprise... with a challenge

Yes, it's official. As of 2 days ago, I have confirmed that I am indeed pregnant. Honestly, it came as a relief. My body was feeling very off the last few weeks, and I felt like pregnancy was the only cause that made sense of it all... so at least I know what's wrong with me.

This is my 3rd pregnancy. I have a 3 year old daughter, and a 1 year old son (and of course our little mystery now on the way). Life is crazy and will only get crazier. But I wouldn't have it any other way. I am excited for our growing family!

I am also excited for the new challenge ahead of me in my running life. I started running off and on when I first got married. That's what happens when you marry a runner. Can't stop them, might as well join them. At first, it was painful and obligatory, but now I love it (most days, that is). I didn't run during my first pregnancy, but picked it up again a few months post. For my second pregnancy, I cut down in the first trimester (it was a long, snowy winter), but then ran from the second trimester right through my due date. Not much mileage, but I did it at least. It made me feel so much better... mentally and physically. And after the easiest birth I ever dreamed possible, I decided at that moment that I HAD to run all the way through any subsequent pregnancies. I just had to.

This is me at the 8 month mark of my second pregnancy.

So here I am, surprised with pregnancy #3. But I feel ready. I average about 30 miles per week right now. I just got a new 5k PR on New Year's Eve with 22:19, which was super exciting. Most of my runs average between 7:30 and 8:00 miles. I haven't decided on a lot of specific goals yet... like I said, this is all still new. But for now, my general goal is to maintain through the first trimester. This maintenance is two-fold:

1. Keep my 30 mpw average

2. Keep all my runs at or below 8:00 pace

And because of how desperate I was for any blogs by other pregnant runners when I was first deciding to make the effort in my second pregnancy, I have decided to share my journey for others to observe, learn from, or scoff at (if you feel that's necessary)... Don't worry, I won't take it personal. I grew up in a house full of boys... I can take it.