Thursday, August 6, 2009

Mile 15

This is starting to get hard. I'm uncomfortable, I'm tired. My feet hurt, I'm hungry, I'm tired of the scenery, it's difficult to move, I get irritated easily.

Sort of sounds like mile 15 in a marathon. Or, perhaps it's just week 31, or the beginning of the 8th month.

I was elated when I reached 30 weeks. It just sounds like you're almost done. So much better than say, week 28. I'm in the 30s now man. I'm experienced. But then I came back to reality and realized I still have about 10 weeks to go. 10 weeks is a long time. 10 weeks ago was 20 weeks. And that was a long time ago. Like May 20! A lot has happened since then, and I still have that to do again before I get this baby out of me? Help!

This feeling one that I feel at about mile 15 when running a marathon. Which, by the way, I would do any day over this! At mile 15, the halfway mark is 15 minutes back, and it's the beginning of no-man's land. It's like far along but not really. There's still 11 miles to go. But the feet are really starting to hurt and things are starting to get a little boring. It's the point in the Chicago Marathon where I have crack all three times I've run that race. The scenery is starting to get a little sad. No more buildings and the crowds have diminished by more than half. The excitement of starting, having a smooth stride, and feeling all great are no longer. It's starting to get pretty hard. I want to be done.

That's like week 31. It's hard. Every day, like every step during the race, gets more difficult. When does no-man's land end? Mile 22? 23? Oh boy. That's still like 6 weeks away. A long time. I think I'll go soak my feet.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

And oh

I suppose I should add, since this blog is somewhat about staying fit while pregnant, that I haven't worked out since Saturday and feel no regret whatsoever. Obviously. But these days, a big workout is ellipitcalling or Gravitroning for 40 minutes and then doing some core work on the ball. Last week I managed 3 sessions of this, with just one complete with core work. The other two were simply Gravitroning. If I don't make it to the gym for one reason or another (like boredom) I walk for an hour. I'm fairly certain it burns as many calories as a 40 minute stint on the machines. And that's what I'm after lately - simple calorie burn to keep my metabolism aware that I usually run 40 miles a week and wear size 27 jeans.

My Flowers

One of the things I do like about living in the Midwest is the abundance of Cone Flowers and the discovery of Bee Balm. I planted two perennial gardens this spring, and here are some of the blooms. Since it's been a fairly wet summer, the leaves aren't as green as I'd like, but hey. Next year will bring another chance. And bigger and more plants!

Speaking of bigger, here's my 30 week belly. I expect each week will bring noticeable change for the next 2 months. So amazing! This past week has been a bit of a struggle for me. I got this horrific GI illness Saturday morning that made me so weak and comatose. After it all, I ended up going to the hospital to get an IV. Thinking it would be a quick saline IV and then we'd be on our way, we learned that I had low potassium (an electrolite) and needed to get a potassium drip. This takes 6 hours. Ten long hours later, I was home and feeling closer to normal. I'm still waiting to feel completely normal, and hoping that comes tomorrow. But babies in bellies take everything! And as full as I am, refilling everything is quite the task.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

And Baby Makes 4

I feel "officially" pregnant these days. People no longer glance at my belly without saying anything, secretly wondering if I'm expecting or if I perhaps have been eating too many burritos. People now are confident enough to ask the question, "Congrats. When are you due?" And yesterday my sister clued me in that I am waddling. And, I'm starting to dread bedtime, knowing that the chances are high I'll be uncomfortable for most of the night. So yes, I'm officially a pregnant lady.

Today I decided to stay home and do some more crafts. Yay! Camille is off at Safety Village and then has babysitter, so I am free to spend my day as I please. This is one luxury I'm not sure I can ever give up; the weekly "me" time.

As I was ironing my new fabric, I turned on A Baby Story on TLC. The epitome of pregnant women shows. I watched it religiously while I was pregnant with Camille from about week 30 on. (It still amazes/disgusts me that 95% of those women have cesarean, but hey, we live in the US.) Today's episode featured a family who had just one other child, a 4 year old boy. I'm intrigued with families who have two kids because that's what we'll be, and especially intrigued with those who have a 4.5 year age difference.

I haven't really thought so much about missing time alone with Camille, more so because I just don't want to think about it. But this lady on the show today was so dramatic about it, I thought maybe I should be thinking about it. I plan on taking time alone with her, continuing our "Wednesdays" now and doing something fun, just us. But understand that this won't be so easy until the baby is a little older and I feel comfortable leaving her alone with a sitter or more importantly, she can go longer than a couple of hours without her milk-maid. We're doing our best to talk to Camille about the time that's needed to care for a newborn, but whether or not she really understands it is still questionable. And really, it's an unknown to us as all babies are different.

I also wonder about Camille's first visit to the hospital after the baby is born. How am I going to feel when I see her, and how is she going to feel when she sees her new baby sister? Will she feel jealous? Happy? Excited? Will I feel sad? Will she feel sad? And then upon going home. Will I want to spend more time with the baby, or with Camille? And will I neglect one more than the other? How do you balance that? And how do I balance myself? And the big question, will I love one more than the other?

I think the good thing about having the two of them so far apart is that Camille is old enough to express herself with words. She's old enough now to express her emotions and talk to me or Barry about how she's feeling. She knows when she's sad, happy or has hurt feelings and this should help us all.

Monday, July 20, 2009

28.5 weeks

I'm lookin' pregnant!

Art Projects

I'm beginning to nest. Mostly I think I'm doing this because moving around is starting to become quite a chore. And tires me out so much. And my foot, which has this giant neuroma in it, is screaming at me so loudly lately. So walking, standing, shuffling along is even more so uncomfortable.

Anyway, here are some of the things I've been working on to prepare for baby girl's arrival.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

I don't get

Why random people tell me I'm pregnant. Like I didn't know. This one lady said, "Uh oh. Someone's pregnant!" I mummered "uh oh, someone's fat." She was sitting at a deserted craft sale table. Deserted in the sense that no one was at this particular craft fair. Then she continued to comment to her friend that it must be really uncomfortable to be pregnant in the summer. She was pregnant in the summer but not THAT pregnant. Sorry lady. You haven't seen anything yet. A 6 month belly is nothing compared to a 9 month belly.

Barry was appalled. "It's not like you're a zoo animal," he said. Oh how I love him.

Or why grocery checkers think they can ask me when I'm due, what I'm having, and what I'm thinking of naming her.

Or why anyone would ask me what we're naming her. I know some people announce their baby's name before it's born, but it makes me feel a little uncomfortable. I am always really aware of what my facial expression might look like.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Fire Works

Wow. It's the 4th of July! You wouldn't know it, looking outside. I think the universe is being especially evil to us this year. We've had enough Portland weather around here to start actually complaining about the rain. Something I really dislike doing, because in all honesty, I like the rain. And Barry and I are missing Portland more and more all the time. Or at least I am.

This morning we went to the Glen Ellyn Parade and it lightly rained. The fire engines screamed, and the little pumpkin squirmed and danced all around. She's especially excited today. Perhaps it's because I have declared it an "eat anything" day. She is hanging out so high already that eating is getting nearly impossible. And my appetite is gigantic! So far today I've had my normal breakfast of Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Hot Cereal, almond butter, a little Cinnamon Life and All Bran mixed in, and cottage cheese on the side, I made banana muffins (I ate 1/4 one), 1/2 granola bar, 1/2 apple, some grapes, hummus and mushrooms, 3 slices roast beef, 1/2 slice cheese, blueberries and strawberries with whipped cream, and last, a few chips and salsa. I may not be able to eat a lot at once, but I eat often!

So far I've gained 18 pounds at 26 weeks. My arse is a wide load, along with my thighs. But mostly it's my belly. 13.5 weeks to go! Officially I am in my 3rd trimester tomorrow. Yay!

And I realized it's about time I start acting like a pregnant lady. Running is becoming harder and harder. Trouble is my belly feels like a big bowling ball and the weight of it is not all that comfortable. I found walk/runs are good, but mostly I end up walking more than running. Yesterday I just walked. But walked way too long. My mom and I walked for a good 90 minutes and that effort left me napping the majority of the afternoon. And still today, after walking to and from the parade, I found I needed to close my eyes for a while this afternoon.

It's difficult for me to NOT move though. I feel my behind growing and growing and it freaks me out. How big will it get? Yes, I know I'll lose it, but that doesn't come without work. And time. I don't want to wear stretch pants all winter.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Baby Legs

You'd think I was 35 weeks along. I am already feeling stuffed when I eat anything comparable to the volume of an apple. And if I am drinking water with it, forget it. It took me 2 hours to eat my dinner tonight, which was about 3 oz baby spinach, tofu, and some mushrooms.

I can't remember if this started this early with my last pregnancy. I do remember when she dropped though, and I could eat again in normal amounts.

Another thing that is just blowing my mind is the size of my rear. It's giant! I look in the mirror and it doesn't look as big as it must be in real life. But my clothes are telling me something completely different. And don't they always say clothes don't lie? Well, I sure wish they could. I guess I should just stick to stretchy skirts and yoga pants rather than put on jeans or anything with an actual size. I fear how big my rear and upper thighs will get in the next 14 weeks.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Frances the French Toast

I have to admit it. I really do enjoy not having to go running first thing in order to get in my hour or two in. Being pregnant gives me so much time. Now my workout takes a maximum of 75 minutes, and mostly, since it's excessively hot, is inside at the gym. I don't even have to worry about a sitter, or Barry being home to watch Camille. I can bring her with me and put her in the Children's Activity Center.

This morning Camille wanted a change from her usual milk and cereal. Which is odd to me since milk and cereal is one of my favorite things to eat lately. But alas, she wanted french toast. So being the awesome fun mom I am, I made her french toast and then some. For protein, I added cottage cheese for hair. And added fresh blueberries as a smile, and grapes for eyes. I even added a little bow made of strawberry slices.

In my normal running like a mad woman state, this gourmet breakfast could have only been created on a lazy Sunday morning. Now, most mornings are lazy. So Wednesday it is! Frances!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Today with the rain again, we passed on our plans to go to Brookfield Zoo and went to go see Up! instead. It was so great! Camille was scared at the end, but I couldn't tell if it was too get attention or if she was really scared. The movie was loud and the baby flipped and kicked through at least half of it.

I'm feeling quite large these days. Twenty-four weeks! It all just happened. Just about over night, Tuesday night in fact, I just got very large. After I eat I have a shelf right under my boobs. And if I haven't eaten in a while I have a soccer ball in my belly. I won't talk about my thighs. Not pretty. I prefer avoiding the mirror if I'm wearing shorts or my running skirt. Which, by the way, is the only thing I can still wear to the gym.

I went to the gym 3 times this week and worked too hard. So today I took a much needed day off. Totally eating today, and feel ok about it. Instead of cookies tonight, I have 2 cups of cereal. Yum. Don't know what tastes better - the milk or the cereal.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Clunking Along

I know I'm not very good at posting on a regular basis. It's difficult for me to think of something to say, and when I do have a good subject, I don't seem to find enough quiet time to actually compose a blog. I think that if I did it on a schedule, I would post more often. Let's see if I can start doing this. 

So enough excuses. Here's the latest: 
  • I'm 23 weeks along (17 to go!)
  • We're having a GIRL
  • I'm still running...a little
  • I'm feeling GREAT!
This whole pregnancy, I've tried to remember what I was like when I was pregnant with Camille. How big I was, how much weight I'd gained, what I was doing for activity. At first, I think I was way ahead in all of these. But now, passing the half-way point, I've pretty much evened out. In fact, I might have even gained less than I did with Camille at this point. I don't remember precisely, but at the rate I'm going, I might not make it to the whole 32 pounds I gained with Camille. Knock on wood! That's just less I need to loose later. Belly bigness, I think I'm about the same as well. I feel monsterous, but my doctor says I'm right on track. Exercise wise, I'm mostly on the elliptical or gravitron, but a couple days a week I run a few miles on the treadmill. Somedays, she sits lower in my belly and puts too much pressure down there. Other days she's just fine and I barely notice I'm even pregnant. Expect for having to go to the bathroom about once every mile. 

I found some great core work I can still do with my big belly, using the Fit Ball. One exercise I'm simply rolling into a knee plank position and back. It gets the whole mid-section and is really quite comfortable. The other one is going into push-up position with the ball - my ankles are resting on the ball and my arms are holding me up. I slowly roll the ball towards my torso and back. I'm hoping these simple, comfortable exercises keep my core strong so that I don't have as much work to do once the baby is born. 

I've also started swimming. I never knew how hard this was. Currently, I can swim one full length of the pool without stopping. I have a lot of practicing to do. But as it seems, I will have plenty of opportunity since my foot has been acting up quite a bit lately. I can't take any anti-inflammatory, so this is making the neuroma louder than normal. Add that to the fact that all my ligaments are loosening, my feet are taking the brunt of the changes. 

Last week I saw a podiatrist to see if there was anything I could do to relieve the pain. He reported there's not. Physical therapy, massage, ultrasound is about all I can do. And as I've learned, these modalities don't help all that much with the pain. So until the little pumpkin is born, I have to put up with it all and keep hobbling along with a very angry nerve in my foot. 

Friday, May 8, 2009

Almost Half Way

This week marks the 18 week point in my pregnancy. I find myself comparing this pregnancy to when I was pregnant with Camille. I remember I found out what I was having, was starting to show, and starting to feel pregnant. And I have to say that things are going just about the same, but definitely exaggerated. I'm bigger with this one (or just have more fat) and absolutely feel more pregnant. We don't have our ultrasound until 20 weeks so we don't know what we're having yet.

I'm still running but have cut down quite a lot. I can manage about 40-45 minutes, but know that if I want any extra energy for the rest of the day I should keep the run around 30-35 minutes. If I want a longer workout, I do the elliptical. It's much less jarring and takes less energy in general. 30 minutes just seems so whimpy. I mean, I'm used to running 10 miles any 'ol day, so this 30 minute business is quite a shift. The running itself isn't so uncomfortable, but the pace is really uncomfortable to me. My stride is short and my feet barely leave the ground. I'm not even sure I can call it running. But still, it leaves me feeling powerful and I enjoy breathing hard, so I continue to crave and need it.

Some would say that 18 weeks is just about half way through the 40 week pregnancy. But I view it more like a marathon. The second half is much more difficult than the first, and especially week 35-40. Those weeks are like mile 20 in a marathon. You could feel great all the way up until then, and even then, but it can turn very quickly. Just wen you think you couldn't feel much worse, you do. And just when you think your belly couldn't possibly get any bigger, it does.

So right now, I guess I'm about at mile 10. I still feel pretty good, but really need to start taking care and paying attention to the task at hand. I still have a lot of work to do growing this little baby! And finishing the marathon...

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Last weekend I attended a baby shower for my cousin's wife. She and her husband are having their first baby in June. It's obviously exciting for them, and scary too, and seeing that excitement was uplifting. I'm excited for our baby to come, but also know the work that's going to be involved so I think I'm trying to enjoy the quite(-er) times I have now.

The shower was one of those showers where we played games. But they were good games - thoughtful games where we didn't have to interact with others and embarrass ourselves. My cousin Mary Ann must have had my Grandma June by her side because she won the first two "competition games" of BINGO and word unscramble. For the third game, we had to think of something that our mothers did when we were little that still makes us smile. I decided to not write about the time when my mom, sister and I were grocery shopping at the Jewel. It was a morning after my parents were out having an exceptionally good time and I think we were maybe 10 and 13. I remember my mom looking not so good. She was in her sweat pants, no make-up, and very tired looking. Ann and I went off to the toy or school supply aisle until we heard over the intercom "clean up on aisle 7. Bring a mop." We looked at each other and scurried off, praying to not be embarrassed. Thankfully, she was fine, stomach contents still intact. But the story cracks us up to this day. I just thought this shower not being that kind of party, I'd think of something else.

One of the more pure things that we used to do was whenever we were walking holding hands, she'd squeeze my hand, I'd squeeze hers, then she'd squeeze mine, and on and on. Now, I do this with Camille and she loves the game. And it's so funny to see the force she puts behind it. To get the squeeze just right. When Camille stayed with my mom and dad when barry and I were in Portland, my mom did it with Camille and she knew just what to do. My mom thought that was just great.

Wednesdays have always been our special day. It used to be the only day I didn't work, but these days, it's kind of just a normal day. But what does still make it special is that we're on our own schedule - Barry is usually traveling, we don't have any commitments, and we do whatever we want. Today we're going to the pottery studio to paint. I'm hoping to walk it being Earth Day. And then perhaps we'll have lunch. We usually go to Panera Bread together. She gets a blueberry bagel with cream cheese, but not too much cream cheese. Then this afternoon, we'll probably head down to Ikea and get an art table for her. (I'm getting a little tired of all the art projects being created on the kitchen table.) Then we'll set it up and do some sort of project.

I love these days because it's just her and me. And now, even more so, these days are special. I need to figure out a way that we can still do these days so that she remembers them and writes them down on her smile list.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Two day record

I suppose actually acknowledging that I hadn't run in more than two weeks made me feel guilty about not running. Either that or it inspired me to get out there and run. It's not that cold anymore in the mornings, and the last two have been near my ideal temps of the 40s and 50s, not the 30s. It's mid-April for christ sake.

So Friday morning, Barry was home and I took advantage of the time and glorious morning and went for a little run. I ran just about 3.5 miles, which is good for me considering I usually way over do it after a lay-off. I feel so fresh after some time off that I think I can run 6 miles right off the bat. I did feel very fresh, and even NOT pregnant. But I didn't want to be dead the rest of the day. I felt amazing. Legs strong under me, form chi-like. Even with my pregnant belly.

This morning, I headed out again. This time for 5 miles; long these days. Again I felt pretty good. I'm finding it's taking me a little longer to feel warmed up and into a rhythm. I ran out one mile and back and a the end of the two miles, I wanted to call it a day. But I drank my water and continued on. Pregnancy is not going to stop me from moving. I'm glad I did, because by the time I reached mile 4, I got a new energy and was able to pick up the pace without feeling like I was digging too deep. I actually ended up running the 5th mile as fast as I ran the first, which has not happened since pre-preggo.

I feel like I am needing more fuel lately. More food, more sleep, more rest. Up until now I've been giving in to cravings and desires of taste. Sweets, salt, fat. I've been letting myself go. I mean I don't totally indulge, but I think I've been using the excuse that I'm pregnant a little too liberally. I've become tired of it. Now if I want a snack at night I won't eat a cookie, I'll have milk and some cereal instead. Milk is just fantastic to me right now. So clean, rich, light, nourishing. No wonder they call it the perfect drink.

So tomorrow, I hope to get out again for a short little run. 3-4 miles would be ideal. This energy I'm having right now is wonderful and I want to take full advantage. And, if I run 3 days in a row, I'll be tying my record of consecutive days since pre-preggo.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Lazy Legs

I have not run since our trip to Portland. And I don't know how I feel about this. When I found out I was preggo, I was all gung-ho about being one of those women who ran the whole time. Bouncing along at 8 months feeling fabulous. Well, you know, I don't feel fabulous. I feel like hell.

Every night my head feels like it's in a vice. Tylenol does nothing. Drinking water does nothing. Sleeping doesn't do much either. I guess it's "hormones." Sheesh. Why can't my body just deal with it? I also feel like hell in my running clothes. I've gained about 7-8 pounds and my capri pants don't fit all that well anymore. The cutting into my belly and the back fat really turns me off. And this recession doesn't bode well for shopping, especially for clothes that I may or may not wear that much. My shirts are ok, but soon I will be showing skin of my mid belly. It won't be so embarrassing once I actually look pregnant, rather than just fat, but for now it's embarrassing. I feel like my belly jiggles as I run down the path. And it just makes me not want to do it so much. And it's cold. I hate cold. One day here and there is doable, but every day... for months and months drives me a little batty.

So instead of running I've been doing the elliptical machine. Last year I used the elliptical to help me prepare for Boston while my neuroma healed. It works and is minimal impact. So that means no belly fat jiggling. I feel like I get a pretty good workout on it, especially if I can make it to 45 minutes. Sad that 45 min is about my max. In January I was running 50 mile weeks without too much trouble. Somedays even 45 minutes is hard because of boredom or, I get hypo-glycemic. One of the lovely aspects of being pregnant.

I'm not complaining. I'm excited to be pregnant and especially excited to not be pregnant and have a new little baby.

I'm also doing yoga. And it's hard! It doesn't feel like all that much while in class but the next day I really feel it. I don't make all the poses as I am not all that great at it, and I do get tired, but still, it is more relaxing to me than hard work. It's hard in another way, not like running 18 miles hard. I am going to resist the pre-natal classes for as long as I can. I hear that those classes are just too easy. If I can get to at least 1 class a week I'm happy, but 2 is ideal.

Anyway, more later. My new show, Southland, is on and I'm hungry for some cottage cheese and cereal...

Friday, March 20, 2009

Big Sister in Training

Camille is very excited that she will be a big sister later this year. She doesn't understand progression of time yet, but she knows she has to wait a long time until the baby arrives. I avoid telling her that a long time is longer than five sleeps. She says things like, "mommy, you need to eat because you need to feed your baby." (Not that I usually have any trouble eating. It's more so that I have trouble NOT eating!) And "your belly is getting bigger because your baby is in there." And, one of the best, she tells Barry "mommy and I are going to be soooo busy (with the baby)."

I hope that these statements are a sign that she knows change is coming. She's been the center of attention for 4 years now, and adding a new little person to the mix is going to change that quite a bit. I'd like to think that Barry and I have done a good job teaching her that there is a world outside of her world. Teaching her about waiting her turn to speak; that there's an appropriate and inappropriate time to act silly and play; the act of sharing not only toys but also friends, etc. But even so, there's only so much a four year old can comprehend.

Last night I was put at ease a bit more about how she'll adapt to having to share mom and dad. She miraculously took a nap yesterday afternoon so getting her to fall asleep at bed time was more challenging than usual. It was after the fifth time she came out of her room to ask me "how long until morning? It takes sooooo long. Can I get a back rub to fall asleep?" that I told her no more coming out of her room because I'M going to bed. (Barry was out of town so on those nights I tend to go to bed earlier than usual and try to catch up on some reading. It was 8:30) She agreed. I gave her a back rub, sang some lullabyes, and then told her she could read books if she's still having trouble falling asleep, but NO COMING OUT OF YOUR ROOM.

Ten minutes passed. I could hear her reading her Dora book, telling the story out loud. I was in bed, finishing my book (Wally Lamb's The Hour I First Believed - fabulous. Long but fabulous). At fifteen minutes, her door opens. She came to my door anticipating my frustraion and said, "I'm just going potty. I'm not coming out of my room to tell you anything except that I have to go potty." "OK, " I say "thank you." Oh I want to eat her up. She goes, and goes back to her room. Ten minutes later, her door opens again. "What?!" "Umm I want to sing you a song." Although frustrated, I want to hear the song.

It's one I've never heard before and have never heard Barry sing to her. And I got one of those feelings that my daughter is the smartest kid in the world for remembering all these words. The song was about falling asleep will let you do whatever you want to do tomorrow. And then she started listing all the things I could do tomorrow after I fall asleep. And they were not things that she would do; they were really things I could do, like go to work, cook, bake, go for a run. When she was finished, she kissed me good night, turned off my light and closed the door. After that I didn't hear anything from her. I laid there for a few minutes in the dark and realized what a great big sister she will be.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Let the truth be told

So, I have a confession to make. In my last blog entry I said I wasn't running Boston because I needed a break from running, wasn't enjoying training in the winter, etc.

While that is all true, there is a bigger truth to it all. The main reason I am not running Boston this year is because Barry and I found out we're expecting a baby in October. It came as a complete surprise to us! My body was about a week ahead of itself to have made this happen. But even so, it is quite the exciting news. Camille is thrilled to be expecting a new baby brother or sister.

I'm still running and do plan to run throughout the entire pregnancy. When I was pregnant with Camille, I was new to running and was really OK with NOT running. But this time around I am a more experienced runner and want to keep the motor running (so to speak) as long as I can.

I've completely cut down on the volume that I run already. I'm 11 weeks and currently try 30-60 minutes 4-5 times a week. Sometimes I can manage only 3-4 times because some days I succumb to fatigue. I figure that's just ok.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Oh Boston

I decided to take a break. Moving back to Illinois has been good. It's nice to be back in familiar territory and be close to family again. It's great to be close to good, long time friends and know that these people will be there through whatever comes along. It's also comforting knowing that Camille will have an excellent education in a public school.

But the weather sucks. Before we moved we hated the weather here. (I know, hate is such a strong word.) And now I think we hate it more. Weather isn't everything, but it's a lot when 98% of your recreation is done outdoors. It was a good thing we moved here in June rather than January or February, because we might have committed ourselves.

I ran several 40-50 mile weeks indoors and finally, when it was nice enough for me to run outside (must be above 20 degrees without too much ice) my legs just killed me. I just don't like running in the cold. My legs cramp, my hamstring seizes, and my jaw freezes in place. I don't like running in multiple layers feeling like a snowman. Running in the cold wipes me out for the whole day and I just don't think that's all that worth it. I have other things I need to do all day in addition to running. It mostly just puts me in a bad mood. So, instead I did my runs on the treadmill. Some may say 17 or 18 miles inside is insane. And it's true, it does sort of turn your brain into a strange being for a while, but at least it's relatively comfortable and sweat doesn't freeze to your ears.

But the treadmill isn't the same as running on the road, even if it's set at an incline. The first run I did on the pavement killed my quads. I wondered what all that running was for the last 6 weeks. Then I started wondering what all this running is for anyway. I wasn't enjoying it. Going to the gym for hours to run wasn't all that fun and neither was running in the cold sun. And I'd been sick for about a month with a hacking cough. So I decided to give it up. No Boston for me.

Ah! I feel FREE. I can run when I feel like it (although still 4-5 times a week); not have to run 12 miles on a Tuesday; not have to run 18 on a Saturday. Instead I'm keeping it in maintenance mode. 30-35 miles a week, indoors if it's cold (according to me) outdoors if it's nice.

I don't know what I'll do next. And for now that is just great with me. I need this break. I have nothing to prove but to myself that I can relax and enjoy.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The crud, the blood and the cough

This week was supposed to be one of my biggest weeks so far of the training plan. I've started the threshold portion of the training plan and also entering the first week of 50+ miles per week. Monday I ran 10 with 5 miles at 7.40-7.20; Tuesday 11 miles in 1.32; and Wednesday rest. I think that rest gave my body a chance to develop this cough and cold. Fighting it for the past two weeks, I gave in. I think I was getting more tired from fighting it. So this morning, the first morning in weeks when it's above 20 degrees, I'm contemplating not running and resting instead to fight this horrible hacking thing. Bed sounds nice.

I'm coughing some yellow crud, blowing bloody snot from my nose, and feel relatively hot in the chest. I've been searching the Web for reasons why I should run, but can't find too many. Perhaps I should visit the doctor instead.

"Hey doc, I really need some antibiotics so that I can run my 18 miler this weekend."

That's always my plea. Always for running. But wait. I need to find a doctor since our insurance changed and my doctor is not on my plan. Oy. I'm all for natural health but when it comes to colds and coughs and such, give me the meds.

Last night I tried out my new pasta roller. I made homemade pasta for the first time and it was fantastic. A little time consuming, but totally worth it. We had just a little pasta with some olive oil and herbs, chicken sausage, and roasted asparagus. Just lovely.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Boston bound

I realize that I have not entered any blogs of recent. The post marathon relaxing got to me and then the holidays took over. Now, being cold January, and I mean COLD, here I am.

Barry and I joined a gym in December. I thought I'd be able to run outdoors most of the winter but quickly found that it's more difficult than you would think. It's one thing to just go out for a run and not have a goal. But I really don't like two stepping along in the icey and I especially don't like slipping on ice. So since early December, most of my miles have been indoors.

The treadmill is better than I thought. At first it felt like time stood still. One mile seemed to take 15 minutes. But now, since I've been on it for over a month, I'm used to it and time has normalized. Updating my playlist weekly helps, and This American Life helps on my long runs. Mixing it up bit helps on those mentally challenging days. Our gym has an indoor track where 1 mile equals eleven-and-a-half times around. I do 2 miles at once - 23 laps is about all my brain can handle. One day I ran 6 miles on the track and it wasn't until one of my clients (who also goes to that gym) asked me how many times around that was. 69.

This week I'm running my biggest week since starting my 18 week program. 46 miles, including a 17 miler today. (I plan to do 11 on the treadmill and then 6 on the track) I've never done this 18 week plan but figure Boston deserves some special attention. I actually might get there well prepared despite running so much indoors since the treadmill helps me to keep easy runs easy, long runs at long run pace and tempo runs at tempo pace. Outdoors I end to fall into one pace - 8 minute miles no matter what. That makes me pretty fit but mostly tired by marathon day.

But anyway, time to pack my gym bag and my gu. More soon.