“At first an ordeal and then an accomplishment, the daily run becomes a staple, like bread, or wine, a fine marriage, or air. It is also a free pass to friendship.”
~ Benjamin Cheever, Strides

Saturday, April 16, 2011

A Change in Training

I was so excited to begin training for Cap City with MIT in December 2010.  It couldn't start soon enough.  So, Mark and I ran the Flying Feather 4 miler on Thanksgiving as a warm up.

I was speedy (for me) at that race - finishing in 45:15 for an average pace of 11:19 minute/mile!  I couldn't wait to get training with MIT and improve my pace over longer distances!

So much so - that I was impatient with my original pace group's slower-than-advertised start and sprinted to catch the slightly faster pace group.  BIG MISTAKE.  I was out of practice from my little hiatus, and ran out of steam before I could catch the 11:30 group.  One of the coaches was nice enough to run back and finish that first 2 mile run with me.  

That was my last run before the Christmas holidays and we left for Texas the next week.

Full Stop.  Back up.  I forgot to explain one crucial fact.  My husband and I had finally decided - that after almost 10 years of marriage - it was time for children.  We started trying to get pregnant that December.

I had one last strength training workout before heading to Texas and family.  I almost threw up more than once during the workout.  Something that had never happened to me.  I was so sure that I was pregnant - that I told my trainer I was pregnant before I even left for Texas, and over a week before I could even take a home pregnancy test.

The weather in Texas in December is so much better than the weather in Ohio in December - for running at least.  So, we tried to get a few runs in while in Texas.  Again - I kept getting nauseous whenever I pushed too hard.  My husband thought I was crazy - and I didn't tell him I already tried to take an early pregnancy test and that the negative result didn't phase me because I took it so early.

December 23rd found us at my in-laws preparing for the big family gathering on the 25th.  I was nauseous all day - and talked my mother-in-law into getting me some ginger ale at the store and some saltines.  By now, Mark was giving me looks.  I was so nauseous that day -that I took another test....and saw a faint blue line.  I told my husband we were pregnant.  He asked if I was sure - it was so faint.  I politely informed him "Mark, you can't be sort of pregnant." 

To make him happy - and because I still had another test - I took another test on the morning of the 25th.  Clear blue line.  Pregnant.  Because our family lives so far away, we decided to tell them while we were still in Texas and could tell them in person.

And then the question came - Are you going to keep running?

Honestly - I don't think I'd ever considered NOT running until someone asked.  I'd previously had a pre-conception appointment with my doctor and asked if I could keep running and was told "sure, no problem".  Of course, I don't think it was clear how many miles I wanted to run.  LOL.

Long story short - I made an appt with my doctor for when we got back.  Had an absolutely HORRIBLE experience with her nurse.  Called my friends with children for doctor recommendations and fired her immediately.  Scheduled a new appt with the new doctor....and went to my first pregnant run with MIT in 2011.

We'd registered to run the First on the First 5K since a lot of MIT people were doing it.   The weather that day was cold after Texas - and I was nauseous again, so we didn't go.   I was excited for the first big meeting/run with MIT in January as a result.

MIT Winter Group
First thing I did when I arrived - change my pace group!  I was so nervous about trying to run while pregnant.  Running is such a mental game - and it was already getting in my head!

I will never forget meeting Duane, one of my pace coaches that first morning, and promptly telling him I was pregnant.   I'm sure not many coaches get that kind of an announcement first thing!

My Awesome Pace Group

Those first few weeks with the MIT Lucky 13's and running pregnant were relatively easy.   My body hadn't changed much yet - and I found 2, 4, 5 miles weren't that difficult at all.  I was thrilled.

Then I met with the new obstetrician.  I told him I was a runner and running, and while he applauded exercise, his idea of running while pregnant was 2 or 3 miles maximum.  I was devastated.  I promptly posted in Daily Mile about whether or not I should still run Cap City.  One thing was clear - I wasn't going to get a medical okay to run the whole thing and would have to walk parts of it at least.

To be honest - in hindsight - I wish I hadn't let it get into my head.  Shortly after his statement - we had a 6 mile run with MIT that went very badly for me - I struggled the entire run and even had to do some walking.   As most of us know - EVERYONE has bad runs from time to time.  Instead of acknowledging that and continuing with training as usual....I took it as a sign that I shouldn't be running that much while pregnant.  SIGH.

I decided that I was going to have to walk part of Cap City in order to finish and not risk me or the baby.  Once I crossed that mental line - motivation flooded out of me in droves.  I began to miss the occasional mid-week run.  I began to struggle in the ones I didn't skip.

Then the day of the shin splint attacks.  It was actually warm out - I was so excited to get out and run - and took off without watching my pace.  About 0.6 miles out - I was in so much pain from shin splints (which I hadn't suffered since I first started running) that I was in tears.  I turned around and pitied myself the whole way home.   I posted a pitiful run on Dailymile - and was sure I was done running.   I did suck it up and take the dog with me for a 2 mile walk to get SOME miles in.

The support I got from my DM and MIT buddies after that post is something you think only happens in movies.   It encouraged me to go to Fleet Feet and look into replacing my well broken in favorite running shoes.  At Fleet Feet, I made the startling discovery, that not just my belly and more were going to change with pregnancy.  My feet had grown a size...and my arches were collapsing.  I walked out of Fleet Feet with new shoes and inserts and new excitement that I could still run.

The next run - I still struggled a bit with shin splints - although they didn't appear quite as soon. I did more reading on shin splints and realized - they needed time off.  I'd intended to take a week off and start again.  Of course - that's when My husband and my 10th anniversary trip to Maui started.  

We both packed 5 running outfits to run in while we were in Maui.  What did we do instead?  Ate breakfast and watched the other fit people running on their vacations.  We'd comment - "Wow, she's really flying," and insisted we'd run the next day.   Nausea on my part or something else always seemed to interfere.

When we got back - I did jump out on a run after a 3 week hiatus and did well.  For the first time since running pregnant I wasn't nauseous on a run and finished with a great pace!   I think that was the last good pace run for me though.

I continued to struggle with getting in my runs.  I found that I was even more sensitive to the cold - or more inclined to whine about it and use it as an excuse.  As a result - the runs I did do, weren't fast enough for me and the mental road blocks began to appear everywhere.   I was usually at the back of the pack in my run groups - and finished a lot of them by myself a few minutes after everyone else.

I finally admitted - with being pregnant - and with the poor training practices that had resulted - and my doctor's complaints - I was going to have to walk a decent portion of Cap City.  With that renewed realization, all motivation failed me.   Getting my mid-week runs in became the anomaly rather than the norm.  

I am now beginning to look pregnant as well, rather than just a bit chubby...and running clothes are becoming a problem.  I finally found one pair of maternity shorts online and ordered them.  However - when I run - I wear them inside out.  What idiot decides to put a giant tag on the inside thigh of running shorts?????  Even with it cut out - not comfortable.  So I'm unusual and wear my pants inside out.

With new pants and new motivation attempting to creep in...I signed up for the Dam Fool 5 miler because a bunch of my pace group was doing it.

I finished SLOW.  I walked 2.5-3 of the 5 miles...many of those with another MIter Jaime.  I had fun talking with her and pacing with her - until I looked at my garmin and thought - my husband's already done with the race.  I passed the last water station.  The nice volunteer told me - because he could see I was struggling and slow - "the hard part is over."  I jokingly responded, "I'm over 4 months pregnant - the whole thing is hard."

Turns out - I was slow enough that my husband got concerned.  The medical staff of the race asked him if he was waiting for someone - and he admitted that he was waiting for his wife and she was over 4 months pregnant and he was worried he hadn't seen me.  They called the balloon girls at the back of the race to see if I'd fallen along the way.

Mark and I before the race

The MIT Gang post race

Nope!  I finished.  Didn't anyone tell Mark that slow is the new fast?  LOL!  I wasn't even last.  I finished in 1:22:04 for an average pace of over a 16 min/mile. I decided though - that I'd finished first in the pregnant runners division and that I was going to suck it up and be better at my training.

The next week???  I ran one of my mid-week runs.  I did 2 miles of intervals.  I'm finding - now that the baby is showing - I am exhausted the day after any sort of physical exertion.  So, back-to-back runs will not happen often.  Still, I know I can do better than ONE mid week run.

Today?  I ran/walked 11 miles!  I never would have done it as fast as I did without a good MIT buddy Sara who kept me company.  THANK YOU SARA!  One of my favorite comments of the morning though?  When Wendy, who hadn't seen me in a couple weeks - said "Mandy, where did that baby come from?"  HAHAHA!  

The bottom line - can you run while pregnant?  ABSOLUTELY!  Different things will be sore after runs then pre-pregnancy though.  I'm just saying.  
Also - what to run in will become a challenge.  Surprisingly - there aren't that many maternity running options.  Imagine that.  Hahaha.

Ok - now that y'all had to suffer to bring everyone up to date - I will try to be more regular with my postings.

1 comment:

  1. Haha, I definitely have had to explain to a friend that a line is al ine cause you can't be sort of pregnant!

    I think it's great that you are running at all. Everyone tells me that pregnancy is exhausting, so I don't blame you for not being up to back to back runs.


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