Mainely Running

A Maine runner trying to run a marathon on all 7 continents

Thursday, November 10, 2016

A runner who isn't running

Image result for runner who can't run

In the past month or so I've been shortening my running intervals and adding more walking. Running was getting a lot less comfortable as the baby bump got bigger. I started having pubic symphysis pain, round ligament pain, and constantly felt like I had to pee. As much as I want it to, running just doesn't feel good. 

Now I am definitely walking more than I am running and I know the day is coming soon where it won't make sense to try and run at all. 

It's been a core part of my identity for so long that I feel a little lost without it. Walking is certainly better than nothing, but it isn't the same. 

Am I still a runner if I can't run?

Monday, October 31, 2016

Here Today, Gone Tomorrow

I've been doing "track workouts" with some friends on Sunday. I used the quotation marks because while I am at the track, I am not doing anything approaching speed-work. 

Image result for pregnant runners peeing meme
I need to buy this shirt
It's a great place for a pregnant runner because the softer surface is easier on my body and there are bathrooms....... or at least there were bathrooms. 

Yesterday morning I figured it was fine to have a cup of coffee and drink a bunch of water because there were porta-potties at the track. And then I got there and found that they had been removed during the week. Noooooooooooooo. 

After 15 minutes of "running," it was clear that I either needed to find a place to pee or give up. The challenge is that the track is surrounded by fairly busy roads on 3 sides. There was no place where I couldn't be seen by someone. But desperate times call for desperate measures so I squatted behind a little shed- it was quasi sheltered, but I am sure someone saw me. And then I did it again 15 minutes later...... and 15 minutes after that. 

Sacrificing my dignity was totally worth it to make it through the whole workout. 

Where is the strangest place you've ever had to go to the bathroom while running?

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Second Trimester Recap

Holy moly, I can't believe I am now in my third trimester! That means I'm going to have a baby pretty darn soon. This trimester seemed both very short and very long. Here's a recap!

13 weeks!

Unpleasant symptoms: The nausea and vomiting did not go away right at 12 weeks, like I had hoped it would. I continued to have the constant nausea and need Zofran in order to be able to eat until about 16-17 weeks. Then, it slowly ebbed and I started to feel like my old self. Hallelujah! Once I stopped taking the Zofran, the constipation also got a lot better, although I continued to need Colace. The heartburn on the other hand, starting increasing as the nausea decreased. But I will take heartburn over constant nausea any day! I can manage the heartburn by eating smaller meals, staying upright after I eat, and with drugs when necessary. Other than that, the second trimester felt like a breeze compared to the first- I had a lot more energy and overall felt pretty good.

18 weeks
Exercise:  I'm still running and doing pretty much everything I did pre-pregnancy, just more slowly. I was travelling for work most of this trimester- so most of my running was on the treadmill. It was a real reality check the first week when my pace was right there staring me in the face and I realized that my old easy pace was now my hard pace. But I just keep reminding myself that this isn't a time to set records- it is about staying active to keep me sane and healthy. I've kept going to my metabolic conditioning classes- I've just lightened up on the weights and made some modifications (I can still do a burpee but it is pretty funny looking!).

22 weeks
Food:  Once the nausea subsided it was so nice to get back to my regular diet. I had missed fruits and vegetables and protein. I didn't have crazy weird cravings, but I did find that certain things tasted amazing and I wanted to eat them over and over. My poor husband was stuck eating Caesar salad every night for about a month, and during that same period I ate a mozzarella, tomato, and pesto sandwich every day for lunch. I definitely craved a lot more salty, crunchy foods than I did pre-pregnancy (Omg have you tried the Cape Cod Aged White Cheddar & Sour Cream chips), but I also started to enjoy my favorite sweet treats again.

25 weeks
Highs & Lows:  The absolute high was our 20 week ultrasound. Getting to see his little face made him seem so much more real (once he finally rolled over that it- he was so stubborn and only wanted to show us his butt!)  My other favorite part was starting to feel him move. It went from the faintest flutters to real kicks and jabs. Even though it is a little uncomfortable at times, it is reassuring to feel him bopping around in there. The low was losing my mother in law to cancer at the end of August. It was much sooner than we expected, and it breaks my heart that the baby won't get to meet her. She would have been such a good grandmother. I am so grateful though, that she at least got to be there for half of the pregnancy. She also got to give him the greatest gift- his name.

27 weeks!
I am excited, and nervous, as I enter the third trimester. I'm excited for my baby shower and setting up the nursery. But I know that the third trimester will have a lot more physical discomforts and that at the end of it I am going to have to give birth to a baby and learn how to become a Mom. Scary Stuff!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

I'm an RN

Even though I graduated with my BSN more than a month ago, I was waiting to write anything about it because the degree meant nothing until I passed the boards........ which I did yesterday! I am officially an RN!

I'd never had so much riding on one exam, so it was a very nerve wracking weekend as I waited to get my results. Now that the whole going back to school and changing careers thing is over, I am kind of at a loss. It was such an intense experience that I am feeling a little lost without it. So I am trying to use this time to reflect on the experience and see what I can take away from it.

I need to believe in myself. 
First I didn't think I'd get in (getting in to my accelerated BSN program is harder than getting into Harvard undergrad). Then I didn't think I belonged there and felt so intimidated by the other students. Then I didn't think I had the tenacity or the stamina to make it through the grueling program. Then I didn't think I would pass the NCLEX.

In all of those cases I was so wrong. I got in. I got a 4.0 GPA and was near the top of my class. I made it through. I passed the boards with the minimum number of questions. Like in marathon running, I need to believe in myself. I am tough, I have made it through so many challenging things. I need to remind myself of that when I have doubts.

It's all about the people
The members of my cohort are what made this program for me. Instead of being competitive, we chose to come together and support each other. It would have been so much harder without them. In the end, I will remember the people more than any single thing I learned.

This is important for me to remember because I tend to draw inward when challenged or stressed. I block people out, thinking it will make it easier. It won't. Form relationships, support people, and let them support you. It will make it easier and give it so much more meaning.

And now if anyone needs me, I'll be applying for a million and ten jobs.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Letting Go

I've never been terribly competitive about my running. It is something I do for myself in order to stay healthy. I get my sense of accomplishment from finishing races and runs, not so much from my time.

my old enemy
So I am surprised how hard it is for me to let go and stop caring about my pace now that I'm pregnant.

It's really been more apparently lately because I am doing a consulting job that involves weekly travel, so I am running on the treadmill in the hotel gym instead of outside. My pace is right there in my face the whole run, mocking me. When I was outside, I didn't check my watch until the end of the run so I could at least pretend that I was going fast. I hadn't been on a treadmill during my pregnancy until now and it was a shock to find out that what used to be my recovery pace is now my fast interval pace.

I have this arbitrary idea that in order to make it worth running, I have to be under a 10 min/mile. And now I'm realizing that I can't do that anymore. It's a lot harder to accept than I thought.

Most of my brain knows that I am just running so that the baby and I are both healthy. I am running to relieve stress and maintain a sense of normalcy when so much else is changing. I know that it is normal to be getting slower and slower, and that this is only temporary. But I still can't let go of that little bit of disappointment when I log my run and see it calculate my pace.

Has anyone else ever struggled with this? 

Thursday, September 1, 2016


Once again sorry for the all the silence around here, but life has just been coming at me full force lately. Last week especially was a culmination of so many of the big things that have been happening in my life lately. In just 7 days so much happened:

I graduated from nursing school

We lost my Mother-in-law to cancer

I got to see my baby's face on ultrasound for the first time

It's amazing how much joy and sadness can co-exist.

It is just this week as I took a few days up at my Mom's house to slow down and rest that I could finally begin to process things. I will have more to say about all of these things, but for now I just wanted to let you know that I'm still here.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

The First Trimester

Hi! I'm finally into my second trimester and so I thought I'd share the details of my first trimester with you. I promise this won't become a pregnancy themed blog, but even before I was expecting, I thought it was interesting to see how runners handled pregnancy. 

Weeks 4 and 5
These were the “OMG I’m pregnant weeks.” I kept taking pregnancy tests to make sure they were still positive because I didn’t feel pregnant. Obviously as soon as I got the first positive test I stopped drinking and switched to half calf coffee. It was so strange because I felt like such a huge thing was happening to me and no one knew except my husband!

Running: I felt great running and my pace even dropped a bit these 2 weeks. The only way I could tell I was pregnant was my boobs. They seemed to double in size overnight and were really painful. Even my best sports bras did not cut it and I wished it were acceptable to run down the street holding up my chest.

Weeks 6 and 7
As soon as week 6 hit I knew I was pregnant. I was so sick. I rarely threw up, but I was nauseated all day and all night. I was completely repelled by coffee, meat, and vegetables. I basically lived on Annie’s white cheddar mac and cheese and peanut butter toast. I did my best to get in enough calories and fluid, but I obviously failed because I passed out in my patient’s room during clinical. He pushed his code button so I woke up to about 50 people standing around me. So embarrassing! Due to this my midwife moved my first appointment. She told me that I could try ½ of a Unisom and B6 for the nausea and it definitely helped. I still didn’t feel good, but it definitely took the edge off. We also had our first ultrasound and got to see our little peanut. It is so amazing that something so tiny already has a heart beat!

Running: Obviously these were not great weeks for running. In week 6 I only managed 1 run and it was a run-walk. I was just SO tired and sick. After I started the unisom/B6, I did better in week 7. I found that if I took my meds, ate half a PB&J in bed before even sitting up, and then waited about 15 minutes before rising, I felt a lot better and that translated into better running. In fact I often felt the better while running than I did the whole rest of the day.

Weeks 8 and 9
These weeks were more of the same. Constant nausea and a lot of carbs. I expanded my menu to include plain pasta with parmesan, pretzels, gnocchi, naan, wheat thins, and cheerios. All the carbs. At this point I was feeling pretty worn down from constantly feeling so crappy and from just plain fatigue. I was in bed by 8:30 every night and still kept falling asleep during the day.

Running: I invested in some bigger and better sports bras, which made me a lot more comfortable. I kept reminding myself that I was just running to feel good and because moderate exercise is good for the baby. It was hard though to completely let go of the idea of training and trying to get faster.

Weeks 10 and 11
I had a breakdown in week 10. It was my birthday and I tried to go to the beach, which is normally my favorite place in the world. I left after an hour because I felt so sick and couldn’t handle the sun. I cancelled all my plans for the evening because I knew I couldn’t possibly eat cake or ice cream. I spent the night alone on the couch crying. The unrelenting nausea had broken me. My husband made me call the midwives and they decided to try me on Methergine. I tried it over the weekend, but it didn’t help the nausea at all. Plus it made it incredibly tired. So I called the midwives back Monday and they prescribed Zofran. I felt really guilty having to resort to medication since we don’t really know how it affects the baby. But everyone kept reminding me that I needed to take care of myself in order to take care of the baby. Zofran was a miracle. I felt so much better.

Running: Running happened during these weeks, but it wasn’t pretty.

Weeks 12-13
Thanks to Zofran, I started to feel a lot more like myself. I even ate some vegetables for first time in a couple months! I knew it was important to try and eat better food and more food, because I ended my first trimester 5lbs lighter than I started! I didn’t expect that when I got pregnant. We got to hear the baby’s heartbeat which was exciting and reminded me that this is all for a very important reason. We also got the blood test drawn to look for chromosomal abnormalities and to find out the sex!

Running: Right as I started to feel better, it got HOT! Since I was worried about overheating, I added in walk breaks, carried cold water, and tried to find shady routes. Even with the heat, I was feeling better even started adding some speed work back in. I am way slower than I was pre-pregnancy, but it is still fun to mix up my pace a little.