Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Running Through the Dirt

I signed up for a small low key 5k two weeks ago.  It was being held at the Sunrise picnic area, which is less than 5 minutes from home.  I figured it would be nice to go out and be social with other runners. This race was intended to be a tune up for next months Legends of Cross Country race. This race would be off road to simulate a cross country course. The Las Vegas Track club is really a great resource for our local runners. They use these low key races to raise money for scholarships at the end of the season for local area high school students. There were also lots of younger runners out there that morning getting ready for the upcoming cross country season.

The conditions for this race were not ideal. It was really hot and the course was in the dirt with gravel and small rocks. I knew this would not be a "fast" course. My goal was to be really careful and have fun.  When the gun went off the younger runners took off like jackrabbits. I kind of eased my way into it. I kept my eyes focused on the ground right in front of me. It was really rocky.  I almost felt like I was tippy toeing over the rocks but, I figured that I can't be too careful.  When I was pregnant two years ago I had a really bad scare. I was about 18  weeks pregnant and I was running with a friend. We were chit chatting and I took my eyes off the sidewalk for a minute and I tripped over a raised edge of sidewalk and I fell hard on my belly. It was one of the scariest things that had ever happened to me.  Fortunately the baby was just fine but, I was really shaken up by the experience and now I'm just extra careful..

I brought my trusty Nathan handheld water bottle with me for the race. It was loaded full of ice water and I used as a spray gun to pour water down my back, front and on top of my head.  I was getting close to the turn around point and the leaders were running back in. It felt good to cheer on the other younger runners. It reminds me of what it was like to be a teenager running cross country.  I'm glad I started off slow. I didn't feel like I was pushing my self too hard and I had energy to chase down a few runners towards the end.  I finished 26:06. After the race I talked to a few of the other runners but, the heat was getting to me and I went home soon after the race.

I didn't race at all during  my first pregnancy. I thought I would be too competitive and I wouldn't know how to back off. I was also foolishly vain, I didn't want to have slower times show up under my results list.  Since then I have learned that it may be awhile before I am back to where I used to be. I may never be back where I used to be. But, to sit on the sidelines and not participate in anything is just lame.  I really enjoy going to these low key races.  I hope there are at least one or two more this Fall.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Running while pregnant, the second time around

Lately I have been dealing with first trimester nausea and feeling tired all of the time. I feel as though I am over the hump with the nausea.  The tired feeling is still there but, I'm just learning to deal with it.

Running is going well. I'm mostly indoors on the treadmill. It's nice to be in an air conditioned room with a big fan blowing on you.  Today I ran 5 miles in about 43 minutes. I've been doing my 5 mile treadmill run a couple of times a week. It's a progression run where I start out slow and I increase the speed on the treadmill every so often.   The hardest part is getting dressed and getting started.  I almost talked myself out of working out today but, I managed to get it done. My motivation to keep running is the fact that it's not going to get any easier as the months go on. I'm not going to wake up at 6 months pregnant and  feel like running 5 miles at  8 minute pace. It's not so bad either, once the legs get going and I find my rhythm I have a really good time.  

Over the weekend I tried to recreate the magic that was the solo 8 miler that I ran last week. I set out to run at least six miles without the stroller. I was a bit overexcited and I took off too fast for the first two miles. I felt it during the middle miles, and I ended up running just six miles. The weather in Las Vegas has cooled off (it's only temporary), but the humidity has increased and it sucked the energy out of me during the run.

During my last pregnancy I made it to about 5 1/2 months before I had to stop running.  I think it was because I wasn't watching my calories too closely and I gained more weight than I should have. This time around I'm trying to be more mindful  of my diet. I would like to run as long as possible (within reason). I also plan on purchasing a maternity belt. It's  almost like a sports bra for your tummy.

I think with this pregnancy I am having more "fun" with my running. On the weekends when I push my son in his stroller it is near impossible to run faster than 10 min miles. So I'm not worried about how fast I'm running. During my first pregnancy I didn't know how to slow it down. I think I expected too much from myself.  I started reading fitness/running blogs in the Summer of 2010. I was looking for "training tips for running while pregnant".  I was surprised at how many blogs I was able to find. But, it can be a slippery slope when you see someone running at 35 weeks pregnant and you think, "that should be me too".  Or when you seen someone running the Boston Marathon 3 months postpartum.  I think my views on recovery were a little skewed.    It will be quite a while before I will seriously race again. I will miss the competition but, I'm not going to put crazy pressure on myself to get back to my pre baby race times.

Monday, July 9, 2012

8 miles solo. It's been a long time

I had the best run the other day.  I don't get to run outside very often, so I really got to appreciate the joy of running last Friday morning.

Summer in Las Vegas. It is what it is......  And what it is; HOT really fricking HOT!! So hot, that I have not been outside to run by myself in almost two months. During the week my son is up at 5:30am so unless I want to run at 4:30am (that's not going to happen) I am usually stuck on the treadmill at lunchtime. On the weekends I take my son with me in his stroller.  My husband does air conditioning and refrigeration,  this time of year is the busy season for him.  For the last month he has been picking up work on Saturday mornings.  When he's not working he will be doing chores around the house (sweeping the pool, trimming trees, & other yard work).  I feel guilty leaving him with our son. The farthest I have ever taken my son out running is 6 miles.  It's just too hot to be outside running after 8:30am.
Total lifesaver in the Summer
This weekend I had my parents and my mother-in-law staying with me for the weekend. I was excited because I knew I would have someone to watch my little guy. On Friday morning I filled up my Nathan Handheld bottle full of ice with a splash of water and I headed out.

I wanted to run at least 6 miles.  Because I'm pregnant I knew I had to be careful, it was 85 degrees when I left the house and the temps were climbing fast.  I was about two and half miles into my route when I decided to make this an 8 mile out and back run. My motivation was that there would be a gas station at mile 4, where I could refill my bottle with ice. It was good motivation! The climb up the hill to the gas station was tough.  I took a few rest breaks. There is no need to get my heart rate too high up.

When I arrived at gas station I realized that I forgot to bring money with me, but the lady working at the gas station was very nice and she let me refill my bottle with ice for free.

The ride back home was great. 4 miles of gradual downhill running. I also get a wonderful view of the Strip. I never get tired of the view.
These pictures were taken last winter but, it's from the
 same route I ran on Friday

I felt so happy, relaxed, and grateful to enjoy something that I sometimes take for granted. Even with the heat it was one of those perfect runs.