Monday, March 31, 2014

15 Weeks

15 weeks (with dogs, and MUCH looser pants)
I've been using a paper running log since the beginning of the year. I'm testing the theory that physically writing goals down is more productive than simply thinking them in my head. I guess it's working? I'm already so goal-oriented that it's just reaffirming my obsessive need to track numbers. (See: my budget spreadsheets)

But, anyway, the weekly log starts on a Monday. A fresh page. A fresh week, ready to be moulded according to my desires. Good morning, Monday. Let's do this.

And I can quickly scan through the pages and see which weeks have evenly-spaced, evenly-paced runs, and which have nothing until Thursday when I get 10 miles in the last 3 days of the week (Ahem, last week). So here it is. 9am... Monday morning... It's go time.

Make it or Break it
Do or Not Do
Man or a Mouse
Now or Never
... or maybe after 5 more minutes of quiet coffee-sipping.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

I'll Bite Your Kneecaps!

It finally happened. It finally clicked.

I ran out a 1/2 mile, stopped for water. Went out for a mile, stopped to pee. Went out for another mile, and just kept going.... Because I felt invincible. I finished the 5 mile run with a sub-12 minute final mile.

Yep. That, is how I do THAT.

Sunday, March 23, 2014


Forgive me, Internet, for I have slacked. It has been four weeks since I last hit a goal. Obviously, there have been a myriad of reasons for the lower-mileage weeks. And I'm pretty mellow about it. This week I ran 10.5, and I'm only 18 miles behind where I should be for my yearly goal. Not too bad.

I squeezed in the 3.5 mile run today because of this conversation:

Me: I have a terrible headache. And probably an ear infection because I'm dizzy. I've been bleeding on and off for weeks, but the doctor said I'm fine. The kiddo has been screaming and hitting all day. Yesterday I ate only Doritos. Sigh. Should I go for a run?

Him: Obviously.

{{45 minutes later}}

Me: Ugh! YES!! I feel SO much better!! I forgot how much better I feel after a decent run. Wow. Thank you! I needed that.

Him: And that's why I'm not a "runner." I NEVER feel like that. I just feel an absence of guilt.

Me: Are you sure you're not Catholic?

Friday, March 21, 2014

No Pants Dance

In my life, I'm excited to announce that none of my pants fit. The maternity pants are too giant huge and fall down. The non-maternity pants are too small and fall under the no-man's-land below my beer-belly.

So I don't want to wear pants, but neither does this kid.... Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

13 Weeks

I celebrated the beautiful weather, and my lack of any sort of sickness today with a 4.0 mile run! It was toward the end of the day and I kept watching the funny shadow I was making. From the front I could see the hour glass shape I'm used to. But from the side... well... I started wondering if people who saw me knew there was a baby in there, or if I just looked like a slow, new runner.

The run was still pretty slow, with a walk-and-water-break about every half mile. Toward the end I started feeling extra fluid in my hands and stopped at 4.0 (I felt like I could run all night, with enough breaks, but the swelling startled me).

The thoughts that rocked around centered on why I'm not as impressed with running pregnant as I thought I would be. I'm still pretty hard on myself for walking, and being pretty slow (12-14 min/mile). So I started playing with my mind: what if I was running this pace through shin-deep mud? I would be impressed with that. What if I ran as rehab for some broken leg or foot bone? I would be impressed with that. Or running as part of a chemo treatment? Or with some weird exhaustive disease (I'm thinking MS, RA, or something equally activity-limiting). I even pictured the Runner's World article about the Dwarves running the Boston Marathon. That's SO badass!

So with a shift in focus I'm telling myself that I AM a badass. And that shadow is only going to get more curvy. And dang it, I'm going to keep going. Because I love this.

Friday, March 14, 2014

The Most Important Thing II

I started typing this post and remembered I had titled another post the same thing, about 7 years ago. It's one of my favorite life-memories.

So, with that experience in mind (yeah, go back and read it. Maybe you'll need tissue), I started repeating an unintentional mantra during today's run/walk. It was, "The most important thing is..." I kept coming up with different endings to it, and every time I thought of one, I immediately thought of a better or more accurate one (this is why I love running). Here are a few of them, with their rationalizations.

The most important thing is... keep to the scheduled 10 miles a week.
Well, that isn't realistic. The last two weeks I ran 3 and 2 miles, since Stephan put me on quasi-bedrest. So then what? just keep running no matter what.
Also, probably not ideal. If I run out of breath while running I need to slow down. And I need to be kind to myself even while walking and not get frustrated and quit. take regular walk breaks.
Ok, closer. Maybe if I went into a workout with a run/walk plan, the walking wouldn't seem like a concession to laziness. take care of myself.
Seriously? That's not any kind of standard. On any given day I could justify sitting on the couch for hours eating chips as "much needed rest." keep moving, whatever that looks like today.
Now, there! There is something I might be able to hang my hat on. I still need to conquer that old demon that tells me that if Nike+ doesn't count it as a mile, it never happened. Yoga happens (I should make that a tshirt). Walks happen. Small efforts don't mean failure. ANY effort is a success. Now... how do I make myself believe that??

The first trimester exhaustion and sickness should be ending any day now. I've been looking forward to a surge of wonderful energy to get myself back on track. I've spent the last 12 weeks doing my best, and, for the most part, getting in those 10 mile weeks, and being excited that I'm still so active. I have a 5k planned for May, for which I will be an obviously pregnant runner at a Mother's Day race. I'm really looking forward to impressing myself with my ability to stay motivated, even when I have a good excuse to let everything slide for a few months. Wheeeee!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Roommates and Friends

I'm starting this post with the non-offensive story first. Warning: After this story, things start to get real.

We got a hamster last week. Here is a list of things about hamsters you may not know:

1. Hamster is German for Hoarder. They hoard their food and it's kind of adorable.

2. Sawyer named the hamster Sweetie (which he pronounces Schweedie).

3. I totally love Sweetie. Watching her is more relaxing than anything else in the world.

4. I have never touched Sweetie.

5. I am scared to death of hamsters.

So having Sweetie in the house is a lot like those old episodes of Maury Povich (before paternity tests were so popular) where hypnotists treated people with phobias. I can watch her, but just the thought of her tiny face or claws touching my skin makes me start twitching. I'll keep you guys updated- but so far I love her from afar.

Now, here's where parents, and those under 18, should turn away. It's an Overheard: text message edition.

Me: :d

Me: I don't know what that is.

Clare: Tape mouth?

Me: It's a lower case d. So.... dickface?

Clare: But it looks like a roll of scotch tape. Dickface is more like :<>

Me: That's a vagina.

Clare: :<3 p="">
Me: :8=o

Clare: Yeas!

Me: I just handed the phone to Stephan and said, "We are trying to make a penis face. Help me." and he refused to look at the phone. He said he's glad I have you for a friend.

Clare: I feel like if he meant that HE'D BE HELPFUL!

Clare: Sometimes I also feel like if we posted our text conversations directly to a blog we'd be millionaires. With less friends, because of the smack we talk.

Me: Now he's doubting our collective creativity.

Clare: He's such a poser.

Me: I can post it, but it's a little racy for my running friends.

Clare: No. Don't post it on your blog. It should be its own anonymous nonsense.

Me: :-3=>

Clare: That's a dude with balls for a nose.

Me: I'm laughing so hard I'm snorting.


Sunday, March 9, 2014

Quoting the Big Book

I spent a few years in Al-anon. They use a lot of catch-phrases there. One of them is "Let go and let God." I paraphrase this in my head constantly (as much as the "Keep Calm and..." people do). This morning I started repeating, "Let go and... assume the miles will pile on soon enough."

I ended February 7 miles short of my goal, and this week I'm behind 4 miles. The outlook for next week isn't very positive either. Cramps, dizziness, dehydration or just lack of being able to eat, have all slid running down the list of priorities. There is no sucking it up when something tiny and amazing is sucking it all out of you. Which sucks, but in a way I wouldn't ever trade.

So being 11 miles behind, I've had to let go of my iron grip on the goal, and trust the process. I trust that, in a few weeks, I'll be back on my feet, and watching the miles tick by again. Sure, I'll slow down in the summer, and might miss an entire month or so later... but 10 miles a week is a doable goal if I can see the entire year in my mind's eye.

Let go and let it ride.
Let go and, seriously, let go.
Let go and it'll happen.

Keep calm and... seriously, just calm the 'f' down.
Keep calm and try to run tomorrow.

Friday, March 7, 2014


Runner's World was delivered today, and by chance I opened to Peter Sagal's article about being safely in the finish area at the Boston Marathon last year when the bombs went off. What he describes sounds like a type of survivor guilt... but a gentler form.

And I get it. It's why I always (purposely) forget to tell people I'm a cancer survivor. I just feel survivor-adjacent. But Peter Sagal is running Boston again this year. A LOT of people are running Boston again this year, to show the world that Boston will not be defeated by two villains.

And that's why I keep running (well, not a lot this week)... to show people that we're not going down without a fight. No matter what I'm surviving, I'm still running. And no matter what anyone survives, they can keep going.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Rookie Mistake

"Do you need to potty before we leave?"

No lines!

3 mile run
22 degrees with wind
actively snowing
about 2" in the street pre-and-post-snowplow

I didn't even think about it. But a mile and a half into my badassery I started to feel sharp cramps, then, slowing to a walk, realized it was my bladder sending emergency signals. I, like Neo, had to make a choice- the path to the right would bring me home in less than a mile (leaving me short of today's goal), the one on the left would finish the 1.5 mile loop.

I chose poorly. It only took another .5 mile to realize that it's impossible to do kegel exercises while running. And after an entire mile, it hurts to keep walking. I thought about trying to catch a ride with a passing snow plow, or begging a snow-blowing neighbor to let me into their house. But I did none of those. I tried to run to get home faster, but then walk to keep from peeing.

Man, I love running.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

White Flag

Dude. Guys. Seriously. Are you ready for this? Are you sitting down? Let me explain...

The last few months I've been very whiny. I've complained about- just about- everything. The running stuff, the weather, everything. I've blamed a lot of it on the endless winter. The endless cold. The endless everything. But I've kept up the 10 miles per week for the last 7 weeks. It was a triumph. And then I bailed this week. BUT in my defense... I'm 11 weeks pregnant.

YAY!!!! Yay!!!!!! Wooo hoooo!!!! If you've been a blog fan for a while, you know this is pretty much as much of a miracle as you can get. We'd been told we had a less than 10% chance of this happening. We were ready to start looking at other options. We were saving money, we were starting to research herbs, doctors, medical procedures. We'd taken every test they could think of. And then for no apparent reason, boom. Like my brother said, "What happened? Did you pull the goalie??"

So I've been running 10 miles/week with the most insane all-day sickness. Crazy food cravings, aversions, sensitivities... lack of sleep... some of the most painful chest-related symptoms (I have not figured out what combination of sports bras I can run in), and the exhaustion. But this week I'm calling it done for now. I ran 3 this week, and I'm tapped.

I've read as many running blogs as I can find that deal with running through pregnancy. The only solid advice I've taken to heart is, "You're pregnant? Throw away your training plan, and just move at whatever your new pace is."

Which is about 12:30/mile. Doc says I can run as long as I don't get short of breath. Some days that's just walking. La la la, increasing blood volume, growing a human, etc. means my heart races sometimes at the slightest exertion.

So from now on, until the end of September, this is officially a Running While Pregnant blog. I am taking ANY AND ALL advice you guys might have, especially about what I could wear while running to make this more comfortable. I've developed an amazing set of blisters and road rashes from my sports bras.... Do I make the plunge and go for another fitting now? Do I hang my head and just walk the 10 miles a week? Annie... I'm looking at you!!