Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Statistically improbable?

HOLY SHIT.



Anyone know what the odds were? I was looking for motivation to stay fit for running with non-running exercise for my last trimester, but this isn't quite what I had in mind!

I was counting on this being my third rejection so I would have an automatic "in" for 2014 (I was grandfathered in on this policy back in 2011).

With all the Hurricane Sandy entrants having priority this year, I figured there was NO WAY I WOULD GET IN!

The NYC Marathon is on November 3rd. That's a mere 9 weeks after I'm expected to have a baby via c-section. 9 weeks to recover from surgery and train.

The excitement about getting in on a lottery is thrilling me and I'm thoroughly enjoying it. However, I plan to defer to 2014.

It will cost $$$, but for what is likely a once-in-a-lifetime race I will make it work.

Plus, I know many others who also are grandfathered in to the 4-year guaranteed entry that will be running in 2014. And, my local training partner, SL, magically got in this year (her second lucky lottery entry) but is strongly considering deferring to 2014.

2014 will be the big party on the course year!

B & Elizabeth, is it too early to plan travel for 2014?

I'm so excited to run with you ladies in the BIG APPLE!




Monday, May 27, 2013

Reassessment, pep talk, kick in the rear - whatever

For I while, I made a conscious effort to NOT blog about being pregnant but as you've noticed I've given that up. I can't "ignore" it anymore as it most certainly affects my running.

My activity levels have dropped significantly since the Eugene Half Marathon and I'm having a hard time, on many fronts. 

In fact, I (and doc) think the sudden decrease (in combination with fetal development phase I just went through + other work/life stress) messed with my already volatile hormone levels because I've struggled this month, emotionally/mentally, in a way that I never have. I went to a very dark place that I don't want to go back to. I fell slowly then hit hard, and now am climbing back out. I fear that door opening again and particularly fear for what may happen post-partum. 

I didn't have any of these issues with my first pregnancy so don't have the tools in place to handle these things. I'm working on it so I can be ready if/when it happens again. Such a strange feeling. Why does no one ever talk about this stuff happening DURING pregnancy, only AFTER pregnancy? 

Anyway, with all that crap and some lower back and allergy/cold issues, it's been tough trying to pick up the activity levels again in an effort to buoy my mental & emotional game. Let me tell you, this is tougher than any other training I've done to date. I'm really struggling to find the energy and time to exercise outside of my commute, even though I know it is CRITICAL.  

This makes me nervous. 
  • I don't want to go back to the dark place. 
  • I also don't want to lose the fitness I've maintained so well into this pregnancy. 
  • I want to go into my delivery as physically and mentally strong as possible; exercise is critical.
  • If I stop exercising this early in pregnancy, it will be much more difficult to regain fitness after delivery. 
  • Running, and only running, gives me significant emotional and mental peace and strength. 
  • Other forms of exercise will help me arrive at delivery strong but don't quite soothe the savage beast within. 
  • Running is becoming increasingly challenging, physically, for my lower back and feet/ankles. 
  • I fear that if I continue to run much longer, I will cause injury that I will need to rehab post-pregnancy (over-extending already loose ligaments).
  • I need to find a way to get the same mental benefits from non-running exercise.  
I need to temporarily let go of running without letting my activity level continue to drop.

Time to channel Amy Cuddy and FAKE IT UNTIL I MAKE IT; pretend other exercise is as fulfilling as running.  

It's so strange to STOP when, unlike with an injury, I know I CAN run but just think it's not the best choice for my back/ligaments right now. I need to stop soon so I can run injury free in the future...

I need to force myself to hit that pool, free weight section, and elliptical as if it were a refreshing run on a perfectly cool, drizzly day that washes away all the stress. 

Any tips? Should I ask my husband to hide all my running shoes? 
How do you motivate yourself to exercise in a gym while we are having a lovely spring and summer is coming? 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Quick tip on run-commuting

Tie a piece of string on your finger to help you remember to check your pack twice before leaving the house: 

Remember that no matter how great your run to work was and how cool it felt to wear your Altra Zero-drop shoes for nearly 3 miles...

the elation will rapidly disappear if you arrive at the gym, shower, and dig your work clothes out of your backpack only to find...

you forgot...

CLEAN underwear and a bra. 

Learn from the distracted & forgetful Average Woman Runner. 

Is there anything worse post-shower than having to put on sweaty wet underwear and/or sports bra? 

Nasty.  

Lucky for me, I caught my husband before he left the house. I was ok to just go cowboy & wear the nasty sweaty bra just long enough to run outside of the gym to meet my husband who had kindly picked up some clean, dry undergarments for me, tagging on an extra 30 minutes to his commute.

Thank you, sweetie, for saving my bacon today. 

I will continue to run commute another day but will NOT forgot to check my pack twice before leaving the house! 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The run commute (en fotos)

After having to pedal downhill against yesterday's mighty gusts of wind, I decided I would run commute to work today and then take the light rail home. Safer. Less effort. A few blocks in, it occurred to me to photo document the run, as I'm never sure how much longer I will continue to run (@ gestation week 24 today).

We begin by heading north toward downtown Seattle...

This is my 'hood, but not my bumper

Love this creepy hospital (also former Amazon.com HQ)
Then, cross over toward town via the Jose Rizal Bridge...

Downtown from Jose Rizal Bridge (creepy hospital building is behind me), Elliot Bay in distance
This was taken about mid-point along the bridge. NOT a good thing for a hormonal pregnant lady thinking about future sleepless nights to see.

The bridge leads us into Little Saigon and from there we head west toward the International District...

 
Chinese Baptist Church

I love biking/running by here in the early mornings. Next door to the capoeira academy, the Tsue Chong Company makes FORTUNE COOKIES which makes the air smell DELICIOUS. It reminds me of my high school job of making waffle cones at Haagen Dazs. That may have been the best job ever.

Just a park
Looking to buy the best dumplings in Seattle to take home? Look no further than Ping's Dumpling House! Stock up & fill yer freezer! I also like those scallion pancake things. What are they called?

Welcome gates to the ID, but watch out for the guards...


Funny thing, I've lived here forever but not sure I've ever been inside Union Station. What the heck is in here? Can anyone tell me? I should find out next time I'm running by.
King St. Station is where you go to catch the train. THIS place I've been to. The Amtrak ride to Portland is quite lovely.
This little view downtown few people probably see. This is where the trains come/go to King St.Station from the north. If you've been to one of our Mariner baseball games, you are familiar with our trains that run past the stadium and upset the visiting teams (see Safeco Field in dist)!

One of several "wedge" shaped buildings in town
Heading north from the ID and King St. Station you get into the downtown core with a long, slow, steady climb. You will probably pass a few coffee shops along the way and think about stopping. But you won't, because you are not done climbing yet.

New construction = my 28th floor office views will soon change. At least they post nice art on the walls around the jobs site. This installment features agricultural  & pea patch scenes.
The end of my 2.8 mile journey was the Y's locker room. With all the photo taking, I'd missed out on any time to strength train, ah well...
Kitty-corner from the Y is our famous public library

Here is a better shot of the library, taken from the front steps of the Y.
If you made it this far, you get a lovely photo of my feet. Yesterday someone asked me why I tape my feet. I had to explain that because of all the relaxin coursing through my blood causing my ligaments to loosen, I needed the tape to hold my feet together to prevent injury. The person's response: "Wow! How long have you been on this relaxin stuff?"

I couldn't help but laugh. I forgot that not everyone is tuned into pregnancy hormones. Of course, there is absolutely no reason to know about that junk if you're not pregnant. So, I had to explain that I'd been "on it" for a few months now and that I would continue for another few months or so until my pregnancy is complete but that the relaxin was a totally endogenous compound. Not a drug I was taking! 

Embellishments compliments of RockTape
After getting cleaned up, it was off to work to make the doughnuts or bring home the bacon...or whatever. I was happy to start my day with a nice little run to work!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Randoms from & since Eugene: voodoo, swoob, wild game cake and more

I've been wanting to check out a Voo Doo Doughnuts for a long time. The burly construction guy behind me recommended the cock & balls. "It really is the best one, but it's a big committment. Better if you have 2 people to eat it, it's so big." Yes, it has a white creamy filling. I asked him what his #2 favorite was: Old Dirty Bastard. So, I ordered the ODB and was quite pleased.

ODB is toward the back with the oreo cookie topping.
T-shirt gifted to me by my co-worker & her beau who flew in from Denver.
Hallowed ground 


First time I've ever seen a hunting-themed cake. This was actually ice cream cake from DQ. Pretty awesome. 
 
Eugene accomplishment: I seem to have mastered the SWOOB. 
Pre-race with Jess & SL who rocked their marathons

  • Since Eugene, I've been taking it easy. I have taken a couple summery 3-mile runs that felt fine DURING but I'm really starting to feel the effects on my feet (sore post-run) and lower back. Double-drat. Actually, I think I've been complaining about this for a month now and yet I keep running because of the "feel good during" part and the fact that it's been in the 70's-80's here.
  • Biking to/from work has been fun & refreshing and is also the most efficient means of getting between points but the uphill climb home is really getting tough. How much longer will I be able to pull that hill off? Another drawback is that this "May Bike to Work Month" thing means our bike cage at work is packed all the time & I end up having to park at a rack outside the secure cage. Do you think these new bikers will give up in another week? I know that sounds shitty but it is a bit of an inconvenience. Maybe I should arrive earlier. 
  • This week I even made it into the gym to lift & hope to do that one more time before the week's end then repeat next week.
  • Everyone says swimming is the best activity while pregnant. I do like to swim but for some reason I'm having motivation problems with the pool. Maybe because it's too nice outside to be indoors? Maybe because I'm scared to put on a swimsuit? Yes.
  • As I figure out my post-half marathon, increasing belly size & weight exercise routine, I do want to pick a couple more fun runs to work into my schedule. It seems there are several every weekend between now & September. 
  • Sadly, it's not likely I will be able to fit a race in during a June business trip to Arizona. It will be my third trip down in the last couple years and I have yet to check that state off my list! BUT, I might be able to squeeze a race in (with some luck & schedule manipulating) when I travel to Montana in July. Crossing my fingers on that one so that 2013 isn't a complete 0 for new states raced. 
That's all the randoms I have for now. Happy hump day!