I started 2017 with 7 miles. I took a couple days off at the end of 2016 for a tight groin muscle, but wanted to start 2017 running. I’m glad I did. The morning was cold and dark and quiet and I had the streets and lingering Christmas lights all to myself.
I don’t know how many miles I ran in 2016. I started logging miles, took a break, logged some more, then forgot again. I ran 2 marathons and PRed both, which was unexpected and so exciting. I learned to run in the cold and actually enjoy it. I logged miles with friends and plenty alone. I ran circles around the pond and up and down the main streets. I got faster, slower, faster again. I found more of myself in the steady drum of my feet, cleared my head, worked out emotions, rehashed conversations, made mental notes, prayed, cried, and recited scraps of poetry. I created mantras and then never spoke them. I wondered what would be next, worried about what would be next, pushed after what was next. I wore out shoes and recharged my Garmin, I chafed and blistered and lost a toenail (maybe forever). I grew leaner, stronger. I remembered what I loved in running, in myself.
I’ve been pregnant or nursing for some, if not most, of every year since 2011. This will be my first year back just me and I’m really excited to see what I can do, what else will wake up inside of me. Some thoughts:
- This 50K in June with Kimberly. It’s really cheap and doing an ultra (or more) has been a goal of mine since 2010. Starting with a 50K would be a great way to test the waters and really doable from a training perspective.
- My tenth marathon. Not sure if I’ll go big (something like Chicago or Cleveland or Indianapolis or Grand Rapids) or small and scenic, like Presque Isle.
- PR the half marathon. My current half marathon PR is from May of 2010, so I’d like to go after a new one.
- Keep running for fun and for me. It’s easy for me to sometimes get lost in the “should” of running – I’m training for a race or to keep weight off – but when it comes down to it I run because I love it and because it makes me more me.
I’d love to do some strength training and yoga in there, too, but I’m not certain enough that I’ll really do it to make it an official goal. But maybe!
January 1, 2014 I ran 2 miles – my first postpartum run after having Kate. I ended the year at 15 weeks pregnant and 840 miles for the year. I ran two half marathons: the Parlor City Trot in Bluffton Indiana (2:14, Kate in stroller) and the Haunted Hilly Half (1:58:48). Parlor City Trot was my half marathon with Kate and she did really well for most of the race, aside from a few fussy spots where she was tired or wanted a snack. I was not really trained for the 13 miles and hoped that all my miles pushing the double stroller would help me get across the finish line. It worked… but was painful. The Haunted Half was my attempt at going sub-2 for the first time since having kids and thanks to the help of Kimberly, I mostly achieved it. I say “mostly” because the course was a little short, so technically I would have been just under 2:01 if it had been full length. But the HILLS. Yowza. Kimberly had to drag my sorry 6 week pregnant butt over them (and she was 16 weeks pregnant at the time). My highest mileage month was October, with 122 miles. As of right now I’m still running. I had a dip in November and December where I was tired and didn’t run as much, but now that I’m in the second trimester I’m finding my energy is back up, as well as my speed (for the most part). I’m in the sweet spot right now where I don’t have first trimester fatigue or third trimester body bulk. I’m loving it!
I don’t have tons of goals for 2015. I’d like to run through pregnancy as much as possible and as my body is willing and able. I’d like to come back running postpartum. And I’d like to do a half marathon in the fall with Kimberly, as a postpartum comeback. I’d love to do some stroller runs in the spring and late summer and fall, as it’s a great way to build strength and endurance and share running with the kids (as well as get them outside).
How was your 2014? What goals do you have for 2015?
I ended up running 64 miles in February. I had hoped to run 5 miles in February and I did, twice! I also started adding in some Jillian Michaels’ workout videos a couple times a week, in addition to running. Except now my knees are all wonky and I’m looking at a good couple days of no-running-no-activity-rest-days. Boo.
So last week on Wednesday I did the 3-2-1 treadmill workout and later my knees felt a little sore but I figured it was from doing Jillian the day before because Jillian always leaves me pretty sore. On Friday I was ready to run again and I wasn’t sure what to do so I thought I would do the 3-2-1 workout again. I had really liked how it crammed in some miles and some speed but kept things changing. After Friday’s run I noticed my knees felt sore again… and by Friday afternoon I was hobbling around. Both my knees but especially my right were aching and sore, slightly tender to the touch along the outside, and felt really weak, like my stabilizing muscles were too fatigued or stressed to hold correctly.
Today my knees are better and seem to be improving as the day wears on. At first I thought it might be my IT band, because of the pain on the outside of my knee, but now I’m thinking I just did too much and it’s just general overuse and fatigued muscles. To be honest, I’ve never had to watch my running very closely because I’ve never had an issue with injury. I’ve run what I’ve wanted, when I’ve wanted. If it’s a big increase in mileage it hasn’t seemed to bother me. If I’ve pushed it super hard one week at the most I’ve only noticed tired legs, but never twinges of injury. So to have my knees flare up like this really took me back and surprised me! I’m definitely going to give them complete rest until they feel better and then I’ll very slowly ease in to running to make sure they’re handling it okay. My best guess, right now, is that I just did too much at once in a week – too many speed intervals, too many miles, too many Jillian workouts. I’m hoping with rest and then spacing out hard workouts I’ll skip over any future issues and get back to running strong!
January was my first month back running. I did my first postpartum run on January 1 and logged 59 miles for the month. I’ve been doing 3 miles most days, sometimes 2 if I’m really crunched for time or tired, and just once managed to get in 4 miles before duty called! I’m hoping to log more miles in February, maybe a couple more 4 milers or even 5 miles if the stars align. Realistically most days I’ll still hang at 3, but I’ve been trying to challenge myself with speed and yesterday did 3 miles in 24:24, which is really fast for me (it helps to use the treadmill)!
This week in meals:
- Monday: mexican lasagna – I did mine with corn tortillas in a 9×13 casserole dish. We loved this meal!
- Tuesday: zucchini, peppers, and green beans stir fry with rice noodles
- Wednesday: leftovers
- Thursday: chickpea crockpot soup
- Friday: lasagna rolls with tofu
- Saturday: split pea quinoa crockpot soup
- snacks: steel cut oatmeal muffins – we love these! Two would be great for a breakfast on the go, although we like just one for a snack. You could pack them full of nuts and seeds and dry fruit… although we love them with just chocolate chips. We’ll definitely be making another batch to keep on hand!
What have you been making lately?
I know we’re already a week in to 2014, but I wanted to do a recap of my running in 2013 (it’s fun for me to look back!). I ran 941.8 miles in 2013. 701 miles were during pregnancy. Remember when I was overdue and still running? Kim had jokingly told me that Kate was waiting until I hit 700 miles to be born. Turns out, she was right! On Friday, November 15 I hit 700 miles. On Sunday, November 17 I tried to run again, but quit after a mile because it was really really uncomfortable (probably because Kate was really really low in my pelvis). I went in to labor that evening and delivered Kate the next morning!
And just in case you wondered what running at 41 weeks pregnant looks like:
I ran one half marathon, in Wisconsin, at 13 weeks pregnant. It was a lot of fun and I felt really good during the race. I came in 2:13:02, just a minute shy of my pregnancy half marathon PR. I also did a lot of trail 5ks throughout the summer, including a few where it was 98 and 99 degrees!
So now that we’re in 2014 and I’ve just started running again, it’s fair enough to talk about some goals and races plans for this year. Initially I was planning on doing a spring marathon and a fall marathon, but right now I’m thinking I’ll scrap the spring marathon because I don’t want to jeopardize my milk supply by jumping right in to intense training. Dave and I are planning on running the Crossroad half marathon in Lowell, Indiana on April 27. Interested in running it? We bought our entries using this GroupOn offer! I’m also considering the Holy Half marathon at Notre Dame University in April and the Women’s Half marathon in June in Indianapolis (hopefully both with friends). During the summer I’ll run the trail 5ks here in town when I can. And then if all goes well, I’m hoping to run the Presque Isle marathon in September. This is my favorite marathon (I’ve ran it twice before) and I’d love to run it again. It’s flat, gorgeous, decently priced, well managed, and near my sister’s house!
For now I’m logging 2 miles at a time, although I think I’ll bump up to 3 soon. So far I’ve been able to keep a decent pace and not feel sore or out of breath, so that’s awesome! It feels so good to run again!
How did running (or exercise) in 2013 go for you? What goals do you have for 2014?
I came in at 67 miles for October, which was lower than my previous months but definitely expected as I hit the end of pregnancy. My highest mileage day was 7.25, when I did 4 in the morning and 3.25 more when I met up with Kimberly for some trails. I’m on the treadmill now pretty much all the time. I started because it was getting super cold in the mornings, but I’ve stayed there because I figure this late in my pregnancy maybe it’s wiser to run at home in case labor would start up. And it’s still been pretty cold in the mornings, or rainy. Although I’ll admit that on some afternoons when the sun is out and the leaves are all so pretty I am itching to go for a second run and enjoy that fall air. Maybe that needs to happen this weekend.
This month I read 9 books:
- The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown – I’ve had a gift certificate to the local bookstore for almost a year and never used it. It’s REALLY hard for me to buy books because I don’t want to buy a book I’ve never read and then hate it. But I bit the bullet and picked this one out and guess what? I liked it!
- the Harry Potter series – once a year I read the series again. I read this completely out of order but yeah, loved it again. As always.
- The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon – I haven’t had a chance to get to the library lately so I’ve been re-reading books off my bookshelf and it had been awhile since I’d read this one. It’s so good!
I finished The Curious Incident a week or two ago and haven’t picked up a book since. I need to go to the library, as I’m completely unmotivated to re-read any books on the shelf right now.
Do you have any book recommendations for me? I’m hoping to get to the library soon!
September runs: 100 miles. I just made it. As the end of the month approach (basically the last four days) I realized I was very close to being able to hit 100 miles. I had to run at least 3 on Monday, which didn’t seem that hard, except I really didn’t feel like running Monday morning. I drank decaf that morning instead of half-caf and it apparently made a huge difference. I just felt tired and draggy on the run, but managed to pull out 3 all the same. Phew. I’m pretty excited that nearing the end of the 8th month of pregnancy I still got 100 miles in and that running is still going well. I’m pretty much only doing solo runs. Running with the stroller is just plain hard now, so most mornings if we can work it out schedule-wise, I run solo and Dave fields Leo at home. It’s made a huge difference!
- Claire of the Sea Light by Edwidge Danticat
- Sleeping in Eden by Nicole Baart
- How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents by Julia Alvarez
- The Accidental Tourist by Anne Tyler
- The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards
The last three books are all re-reads from my bookshelf, but ones I always love. I actually hadn’t read any of them in a couple years, so it was particularly satisfying to read them again since I couldn’t exactly remember what was going to happen.
And lastly, 34 weeks (as of last Friday):
Baby girl is in posterior position, or head down but facing out instead of toward my back. The midwife gave me some exercises to do to encourage her to turn (basically some movements on my hands and knees). If she hasn’t switched by my 36 week appointment I’ll probably make a call to a chiropractor – they can do a technique that is pretty reliable in turning babies as well. And if all else fails, we just go with it. Sometimes babies turn in labor and sometimes they are just born posterior (generally is a longer and more painful labor – woohoo!). Everyone with me now: spin, baby girl!