Wednesday, December 31, 2008
I started to make this a post about 2008, but realized that I have a lot to say and that most of it that I want to share is already on this blog elsewhere. I might take up my long lost New Years tradition of curling up with a journal and committing it all to paper. I miss writing, both personal sorts of things and short stories.
Sunday, December 21, 2008
1. First up is my new favorite video. It needs no introduction.
2. Elliot has a tooth! One of the two center lower teeth has broken through. It's still very short, but it's there! I'm surprised how sharp it feels. He hasn't been too upset about it, but I know that may change as other teeth follow.
3. The Munchkin bottle brush is great. I just heard about it a few weeks ago when a guy behind me in line at the grocery store was buying one. If you have a baby and you don't own a bottle brush yet, go buy one. It was $4 or so well spent.
4. We finally put up our Christmas tree today. Elliot has enjoyed looking at the lights and attempting to grab at the tree skirt. Today he opened his first, and a very special, Christmas present. His Godparents have helped us to start a tradition of reading the nativity story each Christmas, and of assembling a nativity set for Elliot. Here are two pictures of the event. We also have a video of it (which is adorable), but we took it sideways somehow and haven't figured out how to rotate it just yet.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Maybe it's not that simple. Maybe God uses anxiety as a motivator, to push me to look hard for and strive for something. But I doubt it.
Friday, December 5, 2008
The following weekend I was scheduled for 14 miles. When I got up to feed the baby at 6 on Saturday morning, the weather looked bleak. I decided there was no way I was going to run 14 miles that morning. I would rather do it the following day, when the weather promised to be better, even if it meant running it alone. Later in the day I discovered that my coach had made the same call, rescheduling practice for Sunday morning. So Sunday came and I rolled out of bed, into my winter running gear, and headed to the park, only to find that.....I was the only one there besides our coach! She patiently waited over 2 hours for me to finish the 14 miles. I was proud of myself for doing it, both because of the distance and the weather.
Then I went home and wrote an email to the Team coordinator and told her that I found out that I don't have funding for the spring (I'm working on this), and in conjunction with some other personal reasons, I needed to withdraw from the Disney Marathon. Realizing that it was not feasible for me was heartbreaking. It was also the best thing for my family. The coordinator was completely understanding. For those of you who have donated to my race, I will be emailing you about this. Rest assured that the money you have donated will not only still go toward a great cause, but will also still be supporting my quest to complete a marathon. I am planning to run the Chicago Marathon with the Team next October. It will be glorious.
We spent Thanksgiving in Maryland with our families. Elliot got to spend more time hanging out with his 2-month-old cousin, Nadia (I'll post some pictures when I have access to them), and met some of his Nana's closest friends. I got to see my best friend, and she got to meet Elliot. It was a lovely time.
In other news, Elliot had his 6 month check-up on Wednesday. He weighed 16 lb. 15 oz. and was 26" tall. The doctor said he's a good looking kid, and I have to agree! He seems to be enjoying fruits and vegetables, except peas. Really, who can blame him for refusing pureed peas? He can sit up on his own with no support for long periods of time now, though every here and there he still wobbles just a bit. He has the best smile and laugh I've ever seen or heard. Of course, I'm biased. :)
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Thursday, November 13, 2008
I have one more workout tomorrow before my Saturday morning long run. It's supposed to snow on Saturday, so wish me luck. It will be my longest run ever--14 miles!
In other news, things at school have been...exciting? My funding for spring is uncertain, so I have been searching for opportunities on campus and trying to make plans in case nothing comes through. Also, as of today, I can see the light at the end of the long, dark tunnel between the qual and the prelim. I think I will be able to schedule it pretty soon. Stay tuned.
Sunday, November 9, 2008
On the fundraising front, my husband had a great idea--raffle off a Wii! I've talked to several teammates about this and everyone thinks it's a great idea. I'm working now to nail down a ticket price. Let me know if you are interested in buying a chance on the Wii!!
Thursday, November 6, 2008
I don't want to make this an Elliot blog, but every now and then I just can't resist. He has a new favorite toy: a shiny silver bow. That's right. As in a bow you would put on a Christmas present. He is completely mesmerized by it.
I love that little boy.
Saturday, November 1, 2008
Fundraising is going more slowly than I had hoped. I had a few nice donations from friends this week, but I haven't heard back from the corporate and institutional contacts I've tried. Hopefully there will be some news this week!
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Today marked another milestone too--I recommitted to the Team to run the Disney Marathon. The new countdown is until January 11, 2009!! In large part I was able to recommit due to your support. Thank you SO MUCH to everyone who responded to my call for support last week for donations. I met the minimum that I needed to continue training, and surpassed it even! Thank you so much. I'm kicking the fundraising campaign into high gear from here on out. I've started contacting local organizations, businesses, and planning events to raise funds. I will keep you posted on my progress. Again, thank you so much to everyone who has helped!
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Monday, October 20, 2008
We kept a reasonably constant pace, Meg tells me. The race felt pretty good. I didn't feel like I was struggling like I did at our first race. Like any long run, we had periods of faster and slower running. Our training definitely paid off. We ate at a perfect point in the race. Just when I started to feel sluggish my beans kicked in. We also knew not to get carried away early in the race, but to pick a pace we could sustain. I started getting tired around mile 11, but by then we were so close that it wasn't hard to keep up our pace and keep going. At mile 12 we picked up the pace, then at about 100 meters out we started a sprint to the finish. We finished in 2:08:26--three and a half minutes faster than our last race. Woohooo!!! Here is a picture of us approaching the finish line (we're the two people just behind the blue strip). And, true confession, even though training was spotty (no Monday workouts and no speed workouts to speak of), started slow (remember the pain expressed in my posts in July), Elliot isn't even 5 months old, and we said our goal was just to finish, I've been kicking myself since mile 12 for not running this race faster. Secretly, I really want to break that 2 hour mark. And we will. Eventually.My friend Kate also ran the race. Here's a picture of her on the course (in the middle with her arms up). Her husband, who is also a good friend of ours, was also there to support her. I wish we had taken pictures of all of us! My mother-in-law was also there. She drove all the way from Maryland just to see the race and hang out with us. It was a great day. Also below is a picture of me with my baby post-race. I really wanted a picture with Elliot post-race. I want to always be able to look back at this and show him that I did something I loved and he was part of it. I also want to always be able to look back and know that I did this when he was not quite 5 months old. That's something I'm proud of.
After the race we ate a little bit, then headed back to my friend Jenn's to hang out with her for a little while. Again, I wish I'd thought to take a picture! It was great to hang out with her and introduce her to Elliot a bit more. She's good people. We've promised to make more of a point of getting together, which I'm looking forward to.
After hanging out with Jenn we headed back to Champaign. We spent the evening at home with our parents, then later with my brother, sister-in-law, and niece, when they arrived after their drive from Detroit.
Sunday was a HUGE day in Elliot's life. He was baptized! Below is a picture of us with our fabulous Pastor Donna and Elliot's sponsors/Godparents. I want to thank M & J for sponsoring Elliot. We feel incredibly blessed to have a community of faith and such friends supporting us in the Christian upbringing of our son. Not only are they good friends of ours, but are also a family that we respect for their values and deeds to say the least. We are so blessed! We were also thrilled to celebrate this day with our friends that could come to the worship service.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
And then...it happened. Friday night I got up from feeding Elliot and had incredible pain along the right side of my back. It hurt to walk, to twist at all, to do much of anything. I know this sounds sad, but I think I wrenched it somehow during one of the 100 times a day I pick up his car seat. Saturday morning I was still having acute pain when I moved the wrong way. I still got up at 6am though and got dressed (in jeans and a t-shirt) to go to practice, at least to cheer for everyone else. When Meg pulled up to my house at 6:45 and saw my attire we decided that breakfast at the pancake house would be a better use of our time. I still had pain on Sunday, and Monday and running just don't mix. Today I finally got to the gym for some light cross-training. My lower back is still tight, but nothing hurts any more. It scares me that I missed that last long-ish run before the race, but I have to trust that we're prepared.
That said, I am SO EXCITED about this weekend. Brendan and Elliot are coming along. My mother-in-law is going to try to meet up with us at the race. I may get to see my friend Jenn. My friend Kate is also running the race and her husband is coming for moral support. It should be a really good time. Plus, this weekend is Elliot's baptism! So we'll have other family in town for that.
On the fundraising front, I'm up to $870 I think. I need $1000 by 10/29. I'm going to start writing letters to local businesses and associations and pestering my friends and family.
Other odds and ends: apparently I have fall allergies. I'm going to the doctor in the morning to hopefully get some allergy medicine. This has to stop. In happier news, I finally finished my wedding scrapbook! I love it and am so pleased to have it to look back through. Now, it's onwards to my niece's baby album, then a Christmas stocking for Elliot. Finally, I've had some nice things happen professionally in the last few weeks. After a difficult period in the PhD process, these signs of encouragement are welcome!
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Someone asked how fundraising is going, so I thought I'd add a bit about that. I ended up selling another $100 worth of stuff from my yard sale. I have a bake sale next week and another one the week after. So I'm up to about $750 and still counting.
And in Elliot news, he was 14.0 lb. at his 4-month check-up. He's doing the things he's supposed to be doing and he's doing well. His baptism is the weekend of the race. We're really looking forward to it. Our families are planning to come out for it. We're also thrilled to have some great sponsors for Elliot. :)
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Mixing training and going back to work, along with raising Elliot and catching up on various projects, has proven to be a challenge in time management. So far it's going....okay. Not fabulous, but okay. I haven't figured out how to work in a Monday run just yet. Tuesdays I think I'm going to schedule cross-training in the middle of the afternoon, as a break from work (it worked this week). Wednesdays I've accepted that I won't see my son very much, since I run when I get home. Fridays Meg and I are meeting at 4 to run. I lose a little bit of work time with this plan, but so far I've been able to make it up in the evenings at home.
I'm pleased about my return to mid-week workouts (aka speed workouts). Three weeks ago I went to a mid-week workout with the team. The week after that it rained and I had Elliot with me, so I skipped it. Last week and this week (today) I did the mid-week on my own. Tonight I ran a 1.25 mile warm-up then 4x800 followed by a brief cool-down. I ran each of the 800s in 4:15-4:20. I'm going to check my time from last year to see how that compares.
Long runs are coming along too. This past Saturday we hit eight miles. It was HARD, but part of that was the crazy humidity. We're doing eight again this weekend. I'm hopeful that it will be easier. We have only about a month to go until the race!
On the fundraising front, I had a yard sale a week and a half ago that raised $211. I am still working on selling some additional items, like a camera and a nice decorative bench. I expect the final amount to be closer to $300. I'm also planning a bake sale and we're working on a team fundraiser. So, it's coming!
In non-running news, I'm an aunt! Nadia Simone Paulson was born on September 15 at 10:48pm in Detroit. We are very anxiously awaiting pictures! Congratulations Kirsten and Dan!! The morning after Nadia's birth I wanted to send flowers. Not knowing a good florist in their area, I decided to call the hospital for a recommendation.
Me: "Hello. My brother and sister-in-law had a baby there last night. I'd like to send them flowers. Could you recommend a florist? Is there someone you work with?"
Receptionist: "You're calling for your brother? Is he a patient here?"
Me: "No, no. He and his wife had a baby there last night. I'm trying to send some flowers. Do you have any information on a florist I might use?
Receptionist: "What's her name?"
Me: "Kirsten Paulson."
Receptionist: "Ok, I'll connect you to her room."
Me: "No, no, I don't need to talk to her or bother her. I'm just trying to send flowers. Is there a florist the hospital works with?"
Receptionist: "Oh, you want to send flowers. I can give you the phone number for a florist."
Me: "Yeah, thanks."
Also, I am two pages (one spread) and a few captions away from being FINISHED with my wedding scrapbook (finally! three plus years later!). After I finish that, I will be moving on to baby albums for Nadia and Elliot. After that, I'll be knitting a Christmas stocking for Elliot. I have quite the agenda lined up! And I'm looking forward to all of it.
Sunday, August 24, 2008
I started my fundraising effort in earnest this past week. I've already raised close to $300! Thank you so much to everyone who responded to my initial call for support!! For anyone interested in helping out, my fundraising page can be found here. I'm also organizing a yard sale. I think I'm going to push the date back to September 6 to give myself more time to find donations for the sale. If you're local and have anything you'd like to donate, please let me know!
In other news, it's official: maternity leave is over. Elliot goes to day care in the morning. Even while I feel good about the daycare provider we chose, I can't help but be a little bit anxious. I think it would be unnatural not to be. It hasn't quite sunk in yet that my daily routine of life in Mumford starts again tomorrow as well. Wish me luck!
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
This past weekend we attended a wedding in Sabina (that's with a long i), Ohio. It was great to get to see our friends Kevin and Jamie and celebrate with them. The reception was at Jamie's parents' home just outside of town. They couldn't have asked for a nicer day for their wedding. It was just gorgeous! Here are some pictures.
Sabina is only about 4.5 hours from here, but travelling with baby meant that it took about 6 hours each way. Elliot was mostly pretty well behaved. Here are some family pictures from the wedding and the trip each way. The first was taken at the reception. The second and third were taken at rest stops on the way home.
That'll teach me
I did my weekend long run, about 4.1 miles, on Sunday night. It had been almost a week since I ran. I finished the run and it was fine, but it hurt a little bit that night and yesterday. I'm even a little bit tight this morning still. So, I'm back to the training schedule now! This weekend I'm going to try a six mile long run. Wish me luck!
Saturday, August 9, 2008
Elliot has two new-ish tricks. He has started to intentionally and consistently roll from his back onto his tummy. He can't roll back to his back though, which sometimes frustrates him. The other trick is that for the last week or two he's taken great joy in his favorite new game--kicking off a blanket.
Thursday, August 7, 2008
On Sunday Kirsten mapped out a 4.1 mile loop for me to run through nearby neighborhoods. I was a little bit apprehensive, since I didn't know the area and would be alone, but it went smoothly. I ran, map in hand. The neighborhoods all had sidewalks, which isn't always the case here. I had a lot of shade from the trees along the streets. Most importantly, I finished the 4.1 miles and it didn't feel as hard as my "long" runs have the last few weeks. I think I'm starting to turn a corner. When I got back from the run I found Dan (my brother) cleaning my car. The man just can't stand a dirty car. It makes me laugh in that familiar, familial sort of way. I'm enjoying having a clean car!
This week has been hectic. I fit in a cross-training day, but haven't been able to run. I'm planning to run in the coming days. After this weekend I should be able to get back to the training schedule.
On the scrapbooking front, I'm starting to collect patterned paper, ribbon, and accessories for my niece's album. I'm finding such fun things! Last night I bought a pack of pink fabric brads, among other things. I'm starting to think about how the pages will come together. I'm determined to finish my wedding album first (which I'm slowly closing in on), but I'm so anxious to get started on the baby album!
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
It's amazing what two months can do. When I was pregnant someone told me that the first month after birth is all about survival, and she was right. Now at the end of two months, though, I feel like I can sort of anticipate how the days will go. That makes running SO much easier! My husband has been phenomenal at working with me to mesh our schedules so that I have time to run and he still has time to do his things. I still worry that it's going to be very difficult to mix parenting with the training schedule once the miles get longer, but so far so good.
This week I'm starting to use a diet plan. Over the weekend I wrote out meals for the week. I'm doing this to help myself eat well, which can only make running easier, and to help myself lose more of the baby weight. I'm using old eDiets menus and some that I got from Dannon's website a few years ago. I will probably post a link to my FitDay account at some point, if anyone is curious. It's nice to eat things I don't normally eat. For instance, last night we had teriyaki salmon, steamed carrots, and sweet potatoes. Yum!
I'm headed to Detroit this weekend for my sister-in-law's baby shower. I want to try a 4-miler for this weekend's long-run. Not sure if I'll try it there or on Sunday when I get back. Wish me luck!
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Friday, July 11, 2008
Today I'm going to try Lynn's full body workout plan. I bet that's gonna hurt in the morning! I'm also working with Lynn and some people on this website to get my diet under control. It's fun to work out a healthy diet for someone who is a) trying to shed some fat, b) breastfeeding, and c) training for a half-marathon. It's a bit of a challenge, but will hopefully be a fun one. My husband has been so supportive. We worked out a schedule so I could go run last night. Then he sat down with me to plan some healthy, veggie-packed dinners for this coming week. I'll be honest, I'm a little bit intimidated by how much work is ahead of me, but I'm up to the challenge.
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
The first is a pedometer on Google. N told me about this. You can click on a map to enter the route you walk or run and it tells you how long the route is. You can also save your routes. I love this! I like my carry-it-on-me-while-I-run pedometer, but it has to be calibrated separately for running and walking. With the Google pedometer there's no re-calibrating. It's just a simple measure of distance. Check it out: http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/
The second tool is an online site to keep track of what you've eaten. My friend Lynn told me about this. You enter in everything you ate in a day and it breaks down your calorie sources: carbs, fats, and protein. It uses a catalogue of most foods, which simplifies things. For instance, you can just type in "strawberries" and it knows everything, nutritionally, about strawberries, so you don't have to enter anything. Allegedly you can enter recipes, but I haven't figured that part out yet. Entering packaged foods that aren't stored in the database, like specific granola bars, is really easy though.
My bid to get back into running is going well. I've done my 2 mile loop three or four times now. Thankfully it's starting to get easier. I think I might add half a mile next time I go out. It's hard to believe that in a month or so two miles will seem like nothing. I did a full body workout on Sunday (the second half of the yoga dvd I posted about, actually). I was sore, to be honest. With my friend Lynn's help I'm adding more full body weight lifting routines to the mix. I'm going to do the weight lifting for the first time today. I love feeling my body start to pull itself together. I love knowing that slowly I'll get there...slowly.
Friday, June 27, 2008
Life at home with a newborn has been a learning experience. I love watching him figure things out about the world, like the fact that he can control his arms and hands. My husband has been a great father and an amazing source of comfort and support for me over the last five weeks. All told, we're a happy, healthy little family.
Finally, some pictures. The first is (obviously) me right before he was born. This was taken 4 days before, actually. The second picture was taken about 2 minutes after his birth. The third was taken at home maybe a week later. Of course, I have many, many more pictures of him. Let me know if you'd like to see more!
Friday, May 9, 2008
At the risk of sounding like a commercial, I'm going to endorse the DVD I use. For Christmas my husband gave me "Prenatal Vinyasa Yoga with Jennifer Wolfe." I had read reviews of it online before asking him for it. I was afraid of getting a DVD that was, well, frankly, lame. The Jennifer Wolfe DVD is for people who have done yoga before. It's rigorous enough that I think I'll continue to use it after the baby is born. It's also nice in that it demonstrates alternative poses for women in various stages of pregnancy.
My due date is two weeks from today, so it could be any time now! Stay tuned.
Thursday, May 1, 2008
Why has no one thought of this? It's brilliant. Runners could still (sort of) have their morning coffee, hydrate rather than dehydrate, and get all of those electrolytes. Starbucks could cash in on this.
"What will it be this morning?"
"I'll have a mocha latte Gatorade, please. Hold the whipped cream."
"That will be $4.73."
I'm buying stock now. You'll soon find this in my Catalog of Obscure Running Gear, right after the maternity dry-fit clothing section.
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
As for my efforts, it isn't even particularly comfortable to walk much anymore. The baby has moved down as far as humanly possible, so there is a good bit of pressure from time to time. I will however be walking and/or doing prenatal yoga tomorrow. It's high time! In either case I'm not sure how much I'll be able to do, but it will feel good to get some exercise.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
I also heard through the grapevine that some of my teammates are gearing up for their next races. It looks like one will be running Indy with Meg and me in October. A few are planning on doing the Chicago Marathon. Two of my former teammates are coaching the TNT fall team. I think they'll be great coaches. The fall team kicks off here in a few weeks. I can't wait to take my baby for early morning strolls and see the team while they train! All around, very exciting news from my little community of runners!
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
We ran/walked about 2.9 miles. We walked at least as much of it as we ran, and the running was not particularly fast. Following doctor's orders, I was careful and walked when I felt tired or too heavy. I have to admit, after the fact I'm feeling a bit uncomfortable, but it was worth it. Tomorrow I will do prenatal yoga and loosen my muscles back up again.
I apologize to my mother because I told her that "the last mile" a few weeks ago would be it. She worried about that mile even, and breathed a sigh of relief when it was over. To the concerned members of the public, I apologize because I know it's surprising and odd to see a woman 8 months pregnant running. I understand your confusion and concern and I assure you, I'm being careful and talking regularly with my OB.
Earlier this week I walked and did prenatal yoga. I'm still liking that combination in these final weeks. It keeps me active and maintains some muscle tone without making the muscles too tight. My doctor recommends prenatal yoga, since loose muscles make for easier delivery. Today may really have been the last running I will do; my hips really are not happy about it. Stay tuned though.
Friday, April 11, 2008
I just saw this article on MSN and wanted to post it. When I started running in earnest, just about a year ago, I had concerns about my left knee. I had surgery on it in 1995 and was concerned that running would further tear the cartilage. I was concerned enough to talk to my general practitioner about it. She told me that many people have noisy knees and that it's no cause for concern vis-a-vis running. She said that if I start to get an ache, take some glucosamine and ice my knee. In the whole course of training for the CDC last year it never became a problem. As the article mentions, I hear a lot of people use this fear as a reason not to begin running. I'm encouraged that the article advocates responsible running and points out the dangers of sitting on the sideline.
In the world of Joanna, things are going well. I've been mixing walking, light to moderate weight lifting, and prenatal yoga. Never before have my muscles been as consistently tight as they are now (I'm at 34 weeks, for anyone who is curious). The yoga makes a noticeable impact by loosening up my legs, back, and arms. I feel like brisk walking is keeping my cardiovascular strength up somewhat, for which I'm grateful. My doctor gave me the best news of the week, though. As long as I slow down and am careful, I can still go run the occasional mile. Given what the nurse had told me at the last visit, and the fact that my ligaments are loose now, I had thought it was discouraged. There may yet be another mile or two left in this pregnancy. Now that the weather is turning toward spring, it's torture for me not to run a lap here and there.
And finally, I have some commentary on spring runners. When it's 55 or 60 degrees out, you do not need long sleeves to run. Regardless, it makes me happy to see everyone out putting in some miles, enjoying the spring weather.
Thursday, March 27, 2008
After my mile, I walked for a few minutes then did some weight lifting. It's always awkward to lift in a gym that you're unaccustomed to. For instance, I usually do about 50 lbs. on the tricep pulldown at my regular gym (all I ever do on campus is walk or run. Brendan and I go to a local gym together, where I do other cardio and weights). On campus, I think I had 22 or 27 lbs. on the tricep pulldown. The tension is just different from machine to machine. It's also disorienting not to know where things are in the gym. I'm sure I'll learn the layout better over the coming weeks. It was nice that Meg could keep running and I could work on my upper body. It's a convenient setup.
For the next 3 months or so this blog probably ought to be called "Joanna Walks" or "Joanna Waddles." It's not that I plan to do nothing, it's just that the mix has to change. For a while, you'll get to read about my progress with walking, prenatal yoga, weight lifting (mild), and perhaps the elliptical machine. Yay for fitness during pregnancy! And hopefully the weight will come off afterwards without too much of a fight...
Saturday, March 8, 2008
Here I am with the Coke Bear, in the Coke Store on the Strip. The store is three stories of Coke merchandise. I know it sounds absurdly commercial, but they do have fun and sometimes whimsical things.
Our last night in Vegas we went to a French restaurant, Mon Ami Gabi, for dinner. We ate on the patio overlooking the Bellagio fountain so we could watch the light and water show. Near the end of our dinner I asked for more decaf. In response, the waiter picked up, along with all the other dishes, both my coffee cup and the cream pitcher. So this is me, clinging to the remaining sugar dispenser, mourning the premature loss of my coffee cup. He did come back with a "fresh cup" (his words) for me a few minutes later.
And finally, here is Brendan with the Bellagio fountain show behind him. What a perfect evening!
Friday, February 22, 2008
Some mandatory changes to the schedule
In September I told my fabulous friend and running partner to expect some changes in my running habits...because I am pregnant! We didn't tell family or friends about the pregnancy until Thanksgiving, but I did tell Meg because she's fabulous and she needed to know, for her sanity and my safety. Before I get into the implications of this development, let me first say that she's been incredibly supportive and enthusiastic about the impending birth.
At first I was very aware of my heart rate and tried to keep it in check. I was unsure what was safe and what was too much, and consequently probably veered into the over-cautious in my attempts to be mindful of baby. I also started limiting my long runs to 4-5 miles, again in an effort to keep my calories balanced and keep myself and the baby hydrated enough. Then for a while eating became difficult. I just wasn't taking in enough calories in a day to warrant burning a few hundred by running. So even initially, before many people knew I was pregnant, it had some impact on my life as a runner, but I kept running. I didn't keep a log of miles through most of the late fall, so I can't say with any certainty how regular my runs were.
Over winter break I transitioned to walking several days a week (which I've been doing with a great walking partner since last spring) and doing more cross-training. When Meg got back from winter break I started to work running back into the mix one day per week. So far that combination has worked well for me. I feel like I've been able to maintain a reasonable level of cardiovascular health (my pulse on Monday was 64!!) and have controlled my weight gain fairly well. For the purposes of a church project, not this blog, I've kept a record of my activity since the end of December. I'm hesitant about posting it here but I'm going to. Here goes:
12/30/2007, Walking, 2 miles
1/3/2008, Walking, 25 minutes
1/4/2008, Walking, 2 miles
1/8/2008, Walking, 30 minutes
1/10/2008, Walking, 30 minutes
1/12/2008, Running, 3.7 miles
1/14/2008, Yoga, 60 minutes (prenatal yoga is hard!)
1/17/2008, Walking, 30 minutes
1/19/2008, Elliptical/Biking, 32 minutes
1/22/2008, Walking, 30 minutes; Elliptical, 24 minutes; Weight lifting, 10-15 minutes
1/24/2008, Running, 35 minutes + 5 min cool down
1/25/3008, Running, 35 minutes + 5 min cool down
1/28/2008, Elliptical, 20 minutes; Weight lifting, 10-15 minutes
1/31/2008, Walking, 25 minutes
2/7/2008, Walking, 30 minutes; Running, 45 minutes
2/9/2008, Yoga, 45 minutes
2/12/2008, Walking, 30 minutes
2/14/2008, Walking, 30 minutes
2/15/2008, Running, 40 minutes
2/21/2008, Walking, 30 minutes
2/22/2008, Running, 20 minutes; Walking, 20 minutes
Clearly I ran earlier today. In general, running still feels good. It's easier now to run than it is to walk quickly. People definitely stare at me when I run, but that's ok. People seem surprised when I tell them I'm still running. I have two lines of commentary on this. First, pregnant women need to be physically active! I keep meeting women who say they ate what they wanted during their pregnancies and used pregnancy as an excuse to do nothing. Not cool. Second, people need to understand that it isn't 1950 anymore. It's perfectly safe for pregnant women to work out. That said, there are some catches. For instance, it is not recommended that pregnant women run if they weren't runners before the pregnancy. Certainly there can be complicating physical factors with any pregnancy. I'm not advocating that any pregnant woman work out without first discussing it with her OB, but in general, it's pretty safe. It is also possible to take it too far. Running too much late in pregnancy can result in low birth weight babies, so caution is required. I was just told, for instance, to keep my runs to 3 miles each and no more than 3 times per week. So even for healthy runners, there are limitations as the baby grows. For those of you who are concerned, my winter running has been almost exclusively on an indoor track, for safety's sake.
I thought about renaming this blog "Running Round" but decided that frequent name changes aren't my style. Anyway, for the time being I'll keep chuckling about the responses I get, and will continue to direct naysayers to an article in this month's Runners' World. Paula Radcliffe is officially my current running hero.
An education in winter running
As we got into the winter season in earnest I saw a whole new side of running. It started out with an innocent looking runners' catalog in my mailbox. I thought it would sell a wider range of clothing, but similar in its nature, to what I saw in the local Target and Dick's. Not so. I had no idea how much gear is made for serious winter running. For example, you can buy cleats, essentially, so facilitate running on the snow or ice. Special high-end runners' shoes are made with less mesh, to protect your feet from the cold. There are special gloves, made out of technical fabric. Who knew? Then of course the catalog did sell the range of products I expected: tights, vests, hats, etc. Basically, if you like to run in the cold, there are companies out there that can outfit you (for a hefty price, I might add) for any weather condition. Going into the winter, Runners' World also published a guide to dressing for the elements. It outlined how many layers you should have on your upper and lower body for various temperature ranges. They also host a bulletin board on the topic, for those of you who are interested.
I also learned that among people willing to run in extremely cold weather, there is an appreciable range of education, common sense, and experience. On the high end is my TNT coach. I see him on a fairly regular basis, geared up and leaving for his noon run. Even on days when I'm grumbling about walking from my office to the gym to walk on the indoor track, he has a huge grin on his face as he begins his outdoor run. On the other end of the spectrum are the college-aged guys who run in 15-20 degree weather (I live in the Midwest--it's cold) in shorts and cotton t-shirts. Granted, sometimes they are running very quickly (probably for survival, upon realizing the folly of their ways), but there is no excuse. I watch them and hope that if they keep up with running enough to take it seriously, one day they'll discover the running catalog described in the previous paragraph.
The next race
At some point this winter Meg and I started to discuss our next race. I briefly considered doing the Chicago Distance Classic again, but decided that it is too close to my due date to adequately prepare. A more realistic race has been chosen: the Indianapolis Half-Marathon in October. Having a race on the horizon keeps me motivated. It will also help me transition back into running with more enthusiasm once the baby is born. I've heard great things about this course. Plus, the entry fee is pretty low. I'm already excited about it!! I know it's only February, but I'm excited. At the moment I don't feel like much of a runner. Even if I weren't pregnant, I've done only one race and I'm not currently training. I think training for Indy will help me feel more like a real runner again.
Team in Training News
Finally, I'm VERY happy to report that a friend of mine has decided to train for the Chicago Distance Classic with Team in Training!! She will begin training in early May. She thought I put her on a TNT mailing list to encourage her to sign up. Not the case, as I told her! I didn't even have her correct address at the time. Even after discovering that I didn't sign her up for the team information session, she decided to attend anyway. I'm proud of her for making this commitment, to herself and to a great cause. Yay Erin!!