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.