Monday, February 27, 2012

Mondays on Hold

Just checking in to say that I have to miss my regularly scheduled Monday post. Things will be back to normal again on Wednesday, with a belated Mondays in Love and a February in Review. Also, I promise  I will get caught up on your beautiful posts throughout this week! Until Wednesday, run strong!!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Mondays in Love: Two-thirds

It seems like it's been far more than a week since last Monday. Is that just me? Ok, so this Mondays in Love is all about the fraction two-thirds. Two-thirds of it is about running, and two-thirds of it is about things I actually loved.

#1: Running and Thing I Loved
Friday morning I greeted the day with the best run I've had in weeks. It was sunny and crisp at about 30 degrees. The miles clipped by at what now seems fast: 10:11, 10:33, 10:18, and a slower cool-down mile. After a pretty stressful week, it was just what I needed. That feeling of being free. That feeling of smiling because I felt so free. The beautiful morning. love the run. It was perfect.

#2: Thing I Loved and Not Running
Donuts. Specifically, heart-shaped homemade baked donuts, made with the kiddo. I impulse purchased a donut pan a few weeks ago and it had been crying about its neglect ever since. It came with a recipe on the back that was easy to make and tastes yummy.

#3: Running and Thing I Did Not Love
You've almost certainly heard of the tendency for enormously pregnant women to nest. Well, I'm there. I've taken to washing practically everything that isn't nailed down, and feel the need to get out the baby clothes, wash them and get everything organized. Some of this I've made myself wait to do, but a lot of it I've started. Well, yesterday morning it seemed like a great idea to mop the first floor of my house. WRONG. Yes, my floors are gloriously clean. But my back has also been killing me since then. It hurts to walk across the house, which meant my planned afternoon run/walk was promptly cancelled. Boo!! Here's to hoping I'm back up and running--literally--within a few days!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Mondays in Love: A Beautiful Weekend

Let's just call last week a cut-back week, shall we? Like happens during marathon training, I found myself exhausted and opting for naps/sleeping in rather than running. And where normally I would harbor some amount of guilt about this, I am A-OK with it. At long last, I am at peace with being slow and cutting back if I need to rest. And it's an easy pill to swallow when you had as beautiful a weekend as I've had.

Saturday: I'm loving snow angels from a little boy who couldn't possibly have been happier about a half inch of snow (if that). This warranted snow pants, snow boots, a hat, gloves, and even sunglasses. 

Saturday night Mr. Joanna wanted to go out, so he looked online and found a local Mexican place we'd never been to. Huge success! This burrito was gigantic (obviously) and ridiculously delicious. This is about as far as I got into it. Hooray for finding good places to eat. 

Sunday: I'm continually thankful for sunshine, reasonable temps, and sidewalks/paths clear of ice and snow so I can run/walk. I know I just posted a belly picture last week, but when I put on my running top yesterday I was surprised by how much bigger I look in spandex than in everyday clothes. This is what I look like coming down the trail in the park! I don't get a lot of horrified looks, but I do get a lot of "Huh, really??" kind of looks.

After my run my little boy and I made Valentine's Day cards, and it was totally worth turning my dining room table into a small circus. It was great. We made cards for Daddy (Mr. Joanna) and The Princess of Detroit (little boy's cousin). The card he made for his Daddy is pretty much the sweetest thing I've ever seen. Then Mr. Joanna joined us and we made cards for the grandparents. 

Thank you guys so much for all your kind words and encouragement on last Monday's post. It means so much to me! In a time when running is a little sparse, it's great to know that you guys are still cheering me on. Here's to another week!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Mondays in Love: Running is good for you

I know this sounds obvious, but I'm periodically amazed at the research that keeps coming in that shows just how good running is for you, and at the same time, how accessible a sport it is.

A recent issue of Runners World talked about how in the long term running actually improves joint health. Other studies have shown that exercise helps you focus. But just yesterday I was reading through the current RW and found this:
"Following 1,000 adults (all older than 50, some of whom ran) over the course of 21 years, researchers found that runners had a 56 percent lower mortality rate. The same study found that running delayed so-called disability--the inability to perform basic tasks--by 16 years. 

How awesome is it that something I love so much loves me right back? 

The Newbie Chronicles column in the current RW also talks about how frequently people say they're just not built for running. I have to tell you, I laughed out loud when I read that. Do I look like I'm built for running right now??!! If I can do this, the vast majority of people can. Ain't no reason not to do something good for yourself!* 

unless you're seriously injured. Then don't run. That's just stupid. 

Friday, February 3, 2012

January in Review

Running Stats
# Miles Ran: 45.2

# Runs: 11

Favorite Run: a 5-miler on 1/7. I ran 9:49, 9:31, 9:54, 9:20 splits on the first four miles and felt amazing. It was a huge confidence booster. I honestly didn't even know I could still run that fast!

Most hardcore run: 1/17 run with a friend across town. The run itself wasn't crazy, but overnight we'd had fierce storms complete with tornado sirens and hail, and almost immediately after our run the temps plummeted and the wind picked up. It was a little surreal to find 45 minutes of relative peace in the middle of such chaotic weather, but we did it!

Other running related highlights: My Chickbands giveaway and the Freeze Your Thorns Off Virtual 5k. It's fun to be part of stuff like this.

Current obsession: Getting everything ready for baby. He could be here next month! (last week March/first week April) I had a dream about it last night.

Current triumph: The last day in January I left my house for a run and realized it just was not going to happen. It was just uncomfortable. So I changed plans and went for a 2.3 mile walk. I felt great about being flexible and getting my exercise in one way or another.

Current less-than-triumph: I am periodically having shin splints. I guess it's just the change in my gait, because my shoes are not over-worn.

Pregnancy Stats
# Weeks: 31/40 (7 months)

Weight gained: 18 pounds (this was earlier this week, when I hit 31 weeks), right where I should be. And still only 4 pounds more than I weighed at Christmas 2010.

How this affected my running: I'm getting asked this with increased frequency. Mostly, it's changed running in 4 ways:

  1. I run slower. With each passing week, more slowly. It's now rare for me to break a 10 minute mile, and I take walk breaks at least once during most runs, usually on hills. 
  2. I'm much more vigilant about hydration, and always carry my Nathan handheld now. 
  3. Sometimes runs get cut short. See "current triumph", and yesterday I cut my standard 4-miler to 3 because it just wasn't in me. I felt fine, I just knew it wasn't there. 
  4. I am much more careful about running on the sidewalks around here. Those of you who have been reading for a while may recall how badly I bit it soon after we moved here. I'd really like to avoid that.
How it affects the rest of life: It hasn't affected work too much, thankfully. Sleep on the other hand, yes. We're working on getting ready around the house. We still have all the stuff from our older kid, so there isn't a lot of stocking up to be done. We try to talk to our older kid about the baby, try to get him ready for it. He has such a big heart, I actually get a little choked up sometimes. A couple nights ago, for instance, he had a sheet of stickers and wanted to share them with baby brother. This was his effort. And yes, he lined them up like that. That's his thing. 

That's all I've got! Run strong in February everyone!! I may be waddling strong!