Mainely Running

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

Monday, February 27, 2017

A New Normal

According to TimeHop, three years ago I was in Japan.

I ate this amazing breakfast

 And then had an amazing day of skiing on the slopes where the Nagano Olympics were held.

Two years ago today, we were just getting to New Zealand for the start of a 3 week road trip.

Today my big excitement was tummy time with the baby and steam mopping the bathroom floor (seriously you need a steam mop, they are amazing!)

It's hard sometimes not to miss my old life. The life where I went on fabulous adventures. The life where I could go run for hours and then go to a long yoga class. The life where I could wear a real bra and some part of me wasn't always damp from spilled milk and spit up. 

But then this sweet baby gives me a big smile. 

Or nestles into me and falls asleep and stays there for hours snoring a cute baby snore.

And it is all worth it.

It's a big adjustment. It's learning to appreciate the little pleasures. It is finding satisfaction in someone else's happiness, achievement, and growth. It is finding your identity in a new role.

I'm getting there.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

How I Ran Through my Pregnancy

Before I get to my current life with a newborn I wanted to back up and talk about being pregnant. It was really important to me that I remained active right up until the end because exercise is what keeps me sane! I ran until about 34 weeks and worked out in other ways right up until the day I delivered. In fact, I went to a kickboxing class about 2 hours before I went into labor.

1) Intervals
"Racing" at 18 weeks pregnant = just having fun
It was summer during my first trimester, so I started introducing intervals into my running as a way to cool down my body and keep myself from overheating. I started with 5-6 minutes of running and then a minute of walking. I also had terrible nausea, so breaking my runs up into small segments made it mentally a lot easier to get out there. As I got larger and it got harder to breathe, and more uncomfortable to run, I started shortening my run intervals so I was taking more frequent walk breaks. At the very end I was doing 30 seconds of running and 30 seconds of walking- but I figured that any running was better than none at all!

2) Lowering Expectations/Getting Rid of Technology
I'm a very goal oriented person so it was hard to adjust to the mind-set that I was no longer training. I wasn't trying to run faster or further. I was just trying to stay healthy and sane. To help myself I turned off the GPS on my Garmin and stopped wearing my Fitbit. Not seeing my pace and not striving for a certain number of steps every day really helped me to just listen to my body.

3) Changing up my Location
I ran my normal road routes near my house for my first trimester and the first half of my second. As the baby grew and was heavier, I moved to the track and crushed gravel trails to help provide a little bit of cushion. As I got into my third trimester, I stuck primarily to the track because it had a bathroom, which I needed to use often! Once we started getting snow and ice, I moved inside to the indoor track or treadmill because I didn't want to risk falling (and because they took away the porta-potties at the outdoor track).

4) Fuel and Hydrate
I've always been an early morning runner so I used to just roll out of bed and hit the road. When I was pregnant though, I woke up starving (once the morning sickness wore off that is). I knew it was extra important to keep my blood sugar stable and stay hydrated while pregnant, so I started taking the time to drink a glass of water and eat something before I went running.

Overall, exercising while pregnant was just about listening to my body and adapting. Letting go of expectations and my competitive side was hard, but in the end it wasn't about me anymore, it was about growing a healthy baby.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Introducing Cooper

Well hello. It's been quite awhile since I posted, but with good reason. I was busy growing, birthing, and then trying to keep alive a tiny human!

I am proud to announce that Cooper was born on January 17th weighing 6lbs 4.5oz.

The day after my due date I went to a kickboxing class in the morning to try and shake him out. It worked! A couple hours after class I went into labor! There was no easing into it for this baby- I went right to having contractions every 2 minutes lasting for a full minute. Unfortunately it took my body about 20 hours to figure out that this meant get ready to push the baby out. But eventually things starting opening up and Cooper was born. It certainly wasn't easy, but it was worth it as soon as they put that little baby on my belly.

I am settling into life as a new mother. It isn't easy, but I have an amazing husband, family, and friends all supporting me. This little guy has so much love in life already.

As for this blog- I have been feeling the urge to write again, especially since I've started running again (more on that another day!). But I am also realistic- it is all I can do to shower some days. So I am not making any promises about regular posts, but I am also not calling it quits.

Any advice from Moms out there about the first few months? What is new in your world?

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.