Running On Average

Running and Life Update

Gooood morning! It’s Tuesday! Today will be filled with cleaning and, of course, a run. My in-laws are coming into town tomorrow to watch R and J so Dave and I can go on our first kid-free overnight! I’m so excited. I love my babies to the moon and back, but I’m excited to spend some alone time with my husband. Smile

Last Thursday, we went on our first family double jogger run of the season. I know it’s so nerdy and nuclear family of us, but I love running with my little squad. We only covered 2.5 miles, but it was enough to just get out of the house on a beautiful night and spend time together.

IMG_6042

Fast forward to yesterday, I got a 5.25 miler in on the treadmill. I wanted to run outside so badly, but my intestines gave that a hard no so treadmill it was. I swear treadmills are harder for me. I think- I know- it’s a mental game, so I try to mix it up as much as I can. Last night it was a speed ladder. I ran 3 songs at 9:40 pace, then every song I increased the treadmill by .2 (so like 20 seconds?) for 6 songs, eventually getting up to 8-minute pace, then 3 more songs at 9:40 pace and a cool-down walk to get me 5.25. Ba-bam! Love it. I’m also loving Panic! At the Disco for running lately.

IMG_6095

Tonight will probably be a quick 3- to 4-miler because, again, deep cleaning.

I’ve also been going on a bit of a spring cleaning/Marie Kondo craze lately and am organizing and nesting like I’m pregnant (I’m not!!). Anyway, the Vietnam Veteran’s Association does this great donation project called Pick-Up Please and today they are coming to pick-up a bunch of clothing and shoes and bedding, some of which I’ve had since childhood. Yeah, I know. This was long overdue. But at least it’s getting done.

IMG_6113

What are your plans for the day? The week? Have you ever taken an overnight without your babies? Let me know in the comments!

Entyvio, the ER, and a Sunset Run

You may or may not remember, but I’ve been on Humira for ulcerative colitis since May. In October, they doubled my dose after a colonoscopy showed still severely active inflammation. Even after the doubled dose, however, I still have inflammation and symptoms, so after some back and forth with insurance (of course, right?), I got approved for Entyvio and yesterday was my first loading dose. Hurray!

IMG_5915

It was pretty straightforward and weirdly relaxing. The nurse took me took me to the infusion office and set me up in a nice chair and explained the process. The infusion would start slowly to see how my body reacted to it, then she would increase it as we went. She hooked me up and I pulled out my book and read for the next hour and a half while she periodically checked my blood pressure and increased the Entyvio.

At the end of the 90 minutes, she unhooked me and I was good to go.

I felt so much better today then I did on Humira days when I’d feel exhausted and just all around bummy. Of course, that could also have been the beautiful weather today, but we’ll see. My next infusion is in two weeks.

Which brings me to my next topic. I WENT ON A DUSK RUN TODAY!

IMG_5952

Evening-sunset-dusk runs are my favorite and the winter keeps me from them. But since daylight savings time is back, I have time to go outside after Dave gets home from work. This week was chaotic with my baby boy in the ER on Monday night (he’s okay now) and yesterday just being a general nightmare, but today made up for it all.

IMG_5896

I ran an 8:11 mile and kept a sub-9 average pace which felt waaaay easier than the same run on a treadmill so I will take that win!

When is your favorite time to run? Do you love daylight savings time as much as I do?

P.S. Happy Birthday to my big sister!! Smile Love ya!

Marathon Deferment

Last week was a doozy. My kids both had a stomach virus, which then Dave got. Then while he was on a business trip, I got it. Needless to say, marathon training did not go according to plan.

IMG_5687

I got my Monday and Tuesday runs in all right, but Wednesday I pretty much just put on cartoons for the babies and when they got bored I parented from the couch.

IMG_5744

I began Googling “should I defer my marathon” and 10,000 related searches. Most of the articles that popped up seemed confident that I could still run my race even with numerous missed runs. Maybe it wouldn’t be the race I planned, but I could still be in marathon shape.

But the more I found that answer, the more I realized that I was just looking for an article to tell me, “look, Jess. You’ve missed too much. You won’t be prepared to run this race.”

I realized that my heart just wasn’t into training this time around and that’s when I made the decision to defer my race. Coming to that decision was hard and took hours (or let’s be honest, I’ve been wondering this for weeks since I had the flu) of debating, but once I submitted my deferral I didn’t feel upset at all. I felt relieved, as if a huge weight was off my chest.

And that’s how I knew I made the right decision.

d8j8ehZe_400x400

It wasn’t that I wouldn’t be able to run the marathon in May- I know I could have- my heart just wasn’t into the strict schedule and I’d found myself dreading every long run instead of looking forward to them.

And I think that’s really important for a lot of runners to realize. Sometimes it’s better to walk away from a race and let yourself be happier than it is to sludge through training simply because you feel like you have to, like you still CAN make up those miles so you SHOULD. But if we’re not enjoying running, what’s the point?

It’s just not my season for training and that’s fine. It’s my season to get healthy, get my babies healthy, and run to build up my endurance not break down my body by running through the flu or sinus infection or stomach virus or whatever else the kids give me next.

Yesterday I took the kiddos to the gym and dropped them off at child care while I did a 4.5 mile tempo run, reaching 7:30 pace, followed by some shoulders/chest weight lifting and abs. The last few races I’ve run, I’ve really slacked on weight lifting in favor of running, so I want to rebuild a solid weight training routine and when I begin training for my next race I can incorporate weights in more.

Have you ever deferred a race? Did you feel better or worse about it? Did you ever wish you’d deferred?

New Year’s Do Over

My 2018 got off to a rocky start. On New Year’s Day, we made the trek home from Christmas vacation visiting family that took longer than it should have due to traffic and accidents. When we got home, we were out of food, the grocery store was closed, and Target was out of sauerkraut. So I had to improvise and made an Asian-inspired PA Dutch “pork and sauerkraut” of sorts: freezer orange chicken with pork egg rolls.

It was also the first day of marathon training… but that got moved to the next day. Which worked out well enough, because Wednesday’s run was cancelled due to fasting in preparation for Thursday’s UC procedure (nothing like starting the year with a clean colon! hahaha)

So today is my soft reset. It’s not going to be perfect- I’ve already made mistakes- but I look forward to the opportunity to improve, to better myself, to stop making excuses and getting in my own way.

That’s the great thing about changing and becoming who we want to be; we can start whenever we want. A week from now, a month from now, or even just RIGHT now. If we want to improve, we can. And I do.

The last few months for me have been plagued by postpartum anxiety and I won’t even pretend that it is all behind me now. It’s still very present and on the forefront of my mind. Even the idea of change and a better year makes me anxious. But as someone once said, on the other side of fear lies freedom, right?

That’s all for today, but stay tuned for more details on my marathon training and my new year’s resolutions!

What are your goals for this year? Do you plan to make this your year? YOU SHOULD! Smile

Running Through Pregnancy

I am now 36 weeks into my second pregnancy (whaaa??!). I ran until 35 weeks the first time around, and plan to keep going as long as I can this time. While I don’t qualify myself as an “expert” on either pregnancy or running, I’ve definitely learned a thing or two and feel like I know enough to pass along some advice and tips that got me through these last two baby baking times. So, if you are hesitant about how it goes, fear not!, it’s not so bad.

IMG_0479

Tips For Running Through Pregnancy

1. Give Yourself Grace

This could probably encompass all the other tips I’m about to provide, but I want to put it here first. Whether you are a casual jogger or hardcore, daily runner, your running is going to change over these nine months. It’s not just you anymore. Even before you feel those sweet fetal movements or see the scale start to climb, there is so much happening inside that can affect your daily life and running. So as easy as it is to get frustrated that you aren’t reaching the same mileage or pace, don’t be hard on yourself during these months. If you are too tired or sore or sick to get a run in, THAT’S OKAY. Don’t beat yourself up. You are growing a tiny human inside you and that, my friend, is amazing.

IMG_1529

2. Get Your Doctor’s Okay

In most cases, running and exercise during pregnancy are beneficial and encouraged, but just make sure with your doctor first, please. There is no need to put the baby’s health at risk if you don’t have to.

3. Hydrate More

When I was a young girl in my early 20s, I never took water on a run under at least 10 miles. I just didn’t need it. Was it stupid? Possibly. But I survived (a fine example of “do as I say, not as I do”).

Now, if I am on the treadmill or running with the stroller, I almost ALWAYS have water with me. When I’m out on my own, I still don’t (#fail), but I do drink like it’s going out of style the rest of the day and make sure that I’ve replenished any water lost.

Even though you’ll have to pee even more (is that possible?!) it’s so important to stay hydrated for yourself and for your baby. Plus, it will boost your energy (relatively speaking… you’re still pregnant).

4. Focus on Effort

I can’t say that I’ve ditched my Garmin during pregnancy because I have a small obsession with knowing my mileage. Even when my mileage is low (30-40 miles per month), I still like to track it  so I 1) don’t get too lazy and 2) have an idea of what to expect postpartum. BUT, I have let go of running certain paces. I walk now if I need to, no shame in that game. Especially when I’m pushing Roo up a hill? Yeah, there’s no way me and my extra 25 lb. + stroller/toddler are running up a hill.

IMG_1523

Keep a steady effort and push yourself a little- but now isn’t the time to keeping going out of your comfort zone. Run for the joy of the run- not the numbers. You’ll still get a workout, I promise.

5. Train Safely

The other week I decided to take Roo out for a run while Dave mowed the lawn. It was an unusually hot day of 85 degrees. I knew going into the run that I would not be running the whole thing, or that if I did, it would be slow. I accepted the conditions before I took my first step.

I’m not saying to never run in the heat or to skip trails (at least not manicured trails) during your pregnancy, but be aware of your surroundings. Are you getting too hot? Slow down, walk, drink some water. On a trail? Keep an eye out for roots, uneven surfaces, and any other unexpected nature. Your gait may change, so pay attention to your footing. I’ve tripped more than once this pregnancy and had flashes of falling on my baby. Not what you want!

IMG_8093

You don’t have to give up running; you just have to be smart about it.

6. Listen to Your Body

If you’re tired, take a break. If you’re not recovering as fast as you once did, take more rest days. If something hurts, talk to your doctor. Like with my first pregnancy, I’ve reached the point now where I get shooting pains down the front of my pelvis during runs and you bet I chatted with my doctor about it (twice). I still have the okay to run, but I’m definitely being more cautious and realizing that my running days may be numbered and I may have to start exclusively walking soon. It does bum me out a little, but it’s worth it to not have those holy hell shooting pains and to know I’m doing what’s best for both my body and my baby.

IMG_1358

I’m no doctor and no running guru. I’m just a girl who loves to hit the pavement at an average pace for average mileage. But I remember being new to the pregnant runner game and looking for others who’d been through it before. So I hope this helps you, if that’s where you are.

Enjoy your pregnancy, enjoy your running, and if you’re worried at all…. talk to your doc! Smile They won’t mind (and if they do, they’re terrible and you should find someone else Winking smile)