Category: running

Friday Five: What’s (Still) in My Gym Bag?

Oh, whoops … I totally missed a week there, didn’t?! I had a baby update all in my head to share and kept thinking that I just needed to take a picture. That never did happen, partly because Kid #3 was up all of Saturday night/Sunday morning with a stomach virus. Then I took one at work – in the bathroom, of course, because that’s the only full-length mirror I have access to. I hated that picture because it was IN A BATHROOM. Ugh. Then it’s Friday and I’m passing another week tomorrow, and well … why I don’t just combine and 16/17 week update on Monday, okay?

(Everything baby is peachy, btw.)

This week’s Friday Five theme is “What’s in your gym bag?”

I haven’t been to the gym for running, yoga, cross-training, or anything other than customer meetings since I got pregnant. See, I work in HR and we’re assigned to organizations to support and have regular meetings to hear what’s going on and what help they might want. My gym is at my workplace, one of my customer organizations runs the gym, so … ta da!

Since I hadn’t been in so long, I thought it’d be fun to see what’s STILL in my gym bag after four months of not using it.

Running Shoes

First up: the running shoes, of course. Adidas Supernova Boost, I think. Purple, for sure. You can see my ID tag from the local running store and the pod-holder for my Nike+ Sportswatch. I like these shoes a lot, but my favorites are still my Mizuno Wave Riders.

Spare Change

Ah yes: the collection of spare “change.” Spare shorts, socks, and underwear. Spare Bondi Band to keep bangs and hair off my face (running pet peeve). Spare Velcro roller and flat iron for the post-run-and-shower beautifying.

Nuun and Honey Stinger Chews

Nuun! I love you, Nuun. You’ve helped me even during pregnancy when it’s so hard to choke down regular water without vomiting. The Strawberry Lemonade is probably my favorite, although Grape + Tropical is pretty good, too … especially after a nasty Houston summer run when I need the double help. And some chews for fuel … love me some chews.

Plastic bags

The always important plastic bags! I keep the runDisney bag from last year’s WDW Marathon Weekend 10K in my gym bag. It’s great for putting either my work clothes (post-work run) or my sweaty running clothes (pre-work run) in until I get home and can throw them in the laundry. You never know when you’ll need a plastic bag.

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And finally: my secret weapon. Wonderful for both runner mama’s occasional monkey butt and chafing (don’t lie, it happens to all of us) AND for the baby’s diaper rash. Best stuff ever. Except maybe coconut oil (for the same issues), but the Dr. Smith’s diaper rash ointment is more portable.

Now I’m all nostalgic … the prenatal yoga has been wonderful, but I can’t wait to go run again! On my drive home from work the other day I was getting all emotional looking at the sidewalks in our neighborhood and remembering how they look in sunrise runs. That, my friends, is what pregnancy hormones do to you!

Enjoy the Friday Five Link-up that’s hosted by Mar, Cynthia, and Courtney! It’s a great way to find more running blogs!

Thinking & Planning Ahead

Yes, it is definitely the time of year for resolutions, goals, purposeful declarations, positive intentions, claiming your destiny … um, did I cover it all?

Okay, good — it’s my turn to do all of those things. I don’t care if they’re goals, resolutions, intentions, whatever … choose the name that works for you. What’s important is to clarify what you want out of a situation or time period, state it so you understand it yourself, and then put it out there to keep yourself accountable.

I work with organizations in strategic planning a lot of the time, and that usually involves some sort of goal-setting. It’s super-easy to get caught up in the headiness that comes with making goals. “We can change the world! We can improve everything!” A lot of the times, though, we set our sights so high that it’s totally impossible to achieve any steps toward those ultimate goals. I mean, you don’t want to set your sights so low that you’re not actually challenging yourself, right? But you DO want to set your goals, resolutions, and purpose so you actually see progress toward your goals.

Here are my five goals (using the #AMRResolution template from the lovely ladies at AMR):

* Keep moving and stretching while growing Baby #4 (walking and yoga)
* Respect & appreciate my “mother’s body” through pregnancy and beyond – don’t push too hard, but challenge myself
* Be finished or in the middle of a 13.1 training plan by the end of 2014
* More Bible reading – spiritual nourishment
* More greens, less browns – physical nourishment

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Small steps. The moving and stretching has already been a challenge because of ongoing morning sickness and lingering fatigue, even though I’m a few weeks into the second trimester. Last night I did get the old running shoes and the old dog together for a good walk. I’d like to blame the dog for the slow pace, but let’s be honest … it was me. We kept a decent 15-16 minute mile while walking, but the poo breaks for her did give us some pause time.

I’ll be honest – after two years of trying to reclaim fitness (after Jude’s birth), it’s been a bit of a mind game to see my middle thickening and belly pooching more again. Other than the fatigue and nausea, I haven’t had many indicators of “Hey – baby in there!” That makes it hard to remember that there’s a reason for the pooch and the weight gain, instead of just getting discouraged.

I don’t want it to be an excuse, though. I pretty much need to stop giving myself excuses in all areas, which is where the rest of the goals come from. Respecting the body and life is one thing … letting yourself off the hook for the things that make you better? That’s something different.

There you go: positive intentions, purposeful statements, hopefully realistic goals. That half marathon training might be a stretch, but that’s my challenge goal, right?

The beauty of life isn’t in the plan, it’s in being resilient and embracing how your plan changes.

Or so I try to tell myself.

And for the first time, I’m joining a link-up I enjoy reading on other runner blogs: the Friday Five from the DC Trifecta of Mar On the Run, You Signed Up for What?, and Eat Run Pray DC. Cheers, friends!

Revise THAT Training Plan …

Back in the summer I started a half-marathon training plan with the women from Another Mother Runner. It’s the 13.FUN challenge, and I did the run/walk training plan. It was a great plan and a lot of fun. We had a private support / accountability group on Strava, and I really enjoyed having that network during the training plan.

In mid-September I did an 8-mile run that felt absolutely great … except for a tweaked left knee and hip. Not really a surprise to me since I’ve had multiple long-standing issues on my left side: torn ankle ligament, lateral release on my left knee, scar tissue/blood clot behind my kneecap (from a fall), piriformis syndrome, IT band syndrome … You get the picture. I took some time off from running and slowed down my training plan. “No biggie!”  I thought. “I’ll take a couple of weeks slowly and then get back to it.”

8 mile run for Gray

Well, by the time I got back to it in early October, I was starting to feel winded and slow. UGH. I hate that feeling, but attributed it to being off the plan a few weeks. I tried again. I went for a run on the National Mall in DC in October, which should be great compared to Houston. My same nice and flat, but with the bonus of cooler temperatures. Why, then, was I so much slower and struggling to breathe?

Somewhere around the end of October, I figured it out.

Newest Baby M - due June 2015
Newest Baby M – due June 2015

(This picture is almost 9 weeks after that, btw …)

Yes, that would be baby #4, quietly making his or her presence known when I tried to go for a run. Even at 6 weeks pregnant, my heart rate was climbing too fast and my breathing was too labored. My heart rate calms back down when walking, but I can’t shake the shortness of breath. I’ve tried to be a pregnant runner twice now (with Jude and now with this baby), and it just doesn’t work for me and my body. Whatever my body does to grow babies, it isn’t very compatible with still running.

So let’s just say that I’ve moved on to a new training plan … a nine-month walking and yoga strength and conditioning plan. I’ll follow that up next summer and fall with a “back to running” and eventual half marathon training plan. This could also be a great time to get focused on the healthier eating choices.

Well, once this morning sickness goes away. All bets are off until then.

 

So it begins!

Half marathon training has officially begun!

I saw so many of my bunny friends out this morning, so it felt like a good start to the plan.

This may sound silly, but a simple change for summer running has made a big difference: tank tops. I didn’t think that removing sleeve would make such a huge difference in body temperature, but it’s been night and day. Feeling a breeze (such as it is) on my shoulders has been a great change to my running quality of life!

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This morning was a gorgeous sunrise. I’m trying to be appreciative while I’m out running, taking the time to think about what’s good about the day and run itself instead of just wanting to stop breathing or go home.

I’m looking for the race I’ll use to complete the training in mid-October … right at my birthday!