Sunday, June 5, 2011

Momma Needs a New Pair of Shoes

And got them, admittedly a few weeks ago.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Easy Running

I've gone on a number of short runs in the past week, including a great 4.5 miles today. Every day it gets a little easier, and I feel a little stronger. Don't get me wrong--I still take a break every so often, but those breaks are becoming more few and far between. My pace is improving (meaning it now outpaces a snail, though is at least getting closer to my standard mediocre pre-baby pace). I can feel the strength of my arms, chest, and legs, and the smoothing out of my gait and pace. My lungs are gasping less and easing closer toward the smooth, rhythmic in and out that all runners know so well...and I can't say that it feels like anything less than fantastic.

Today's mileage was two loops of Fresh Pond with Copley, while Jared and Eden walked a loop. We had dropped off my beloved's car at the nearby Honda dealership for a routine service, and it seemed like a great idea to cross the street to loop around the pond (I can't take credit for it; the idea was all Jared's).

It was a perfect day for running--cool at around 55 degrees or so, with a hint of rain laying in the air, but holding off for we fleet of foot. The breeze was light and refreshing, making it the perfect weather for shorts and long sleeves for the first mile, short sleeves for the rest. This is my ideal clime for running--warm enough for the body to reach and maintain an elevated temperature, but shady and cool enough to ease through any miles without feeling the strain that only heat and sun can bring on.

There's little enough to say about this run, other than that is was exceptionally good. For the first time since getting pregnant last June, I began to again feel like a runner, like my legs, arms, heart, and lungs were working in harmony, and that my body and mind were strong and united in what they both wanted to do and were capable of doing.

As the runners among you will know, there's nothing so intoxicating.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Three in the (Admittedly Small) Bag

At long last, I'm able to get back to running, albeit not quickly or well. Since last Friday, I've gone on three runs--each of about 2 miles, with jags of running followed by jags of walking, then running, then walking...and so on. I'm certainly not up to just plain running yet. I've decided to consider it a fartlek, or interval run--as if I were training for something rather than getting my pitifully out-of-shape self back into at least decent running condition.

My better half and I have entered a 5K for May 7th, no less. He'll be walking with Eden in a Baby Bjorn, and I'll (ostensibly) be running, though again, in a drunken stuttering, start-stop manner. Ah well. It's still bliss!

Monday, April 11, 2011

All Aquiver with Anticipation

It's a good day. Temperatures reached into the 70s, the sun made an appearance after all, and I was able to go for a (short) walk with the newly expanded family.

Eden, who joined us on March 16 (see her with my better half at right), traveled á la the über-stylish (and über-Swedish) Baby Bjorn. After only a short jaunt, she verbalized her displeasure with the Swedes and their contraption, necessitating a quick about-face back to the car to change a diaper laden with all kinds of horrible gifts.

Which is OK. Because, honestly, yesterday's 3-mile walk around the Wellesley campus wore me out. And my beloved can and does manage to get better and better every day--this time by stopping to pick up one of my favorite seasonal beers on the way home--Leinenkugel's Summer Shandy. (It tastes like sunshine in a bottle!)

Sadly, I'm not back to running yet. The good news is, though, that I'm healing from my labor/delivery very well, and should be able to soon. My better half and I have gone on several walks, most of which Eden was happy to join us for (in the aforementioned Bjorn). I've also started to do some (very light) strength training in the comfort of my living room.

Today's fine weather and admittedly somewhat aborted walk brought with it the heady smell of...anticipation. (Or was it body odor? These days it often takes longer for me to make it to the matter.)

It will at last be weeks, not months, before I'm back on the roads, even if it's a slow process. (Can stopping every block to gasp for air accurately considered "interval training" or "fartleks"? I say "Yes.")

In the meantime, here's a picture from one of our recent walks--this one at the Fells.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Running Update

Today is just shy of the middle of March, and the highlights of this year, 2011, so far are less than stellar:
  • Miles run: 0
  • Miles walked: less than 15
  • Hours spent doing prenatal yoga: less than 5
  • Babies delivered: 0
That's right. A whole lot of...nothing much. 2010 closed out with a chilly 3 or 4-mile run on New Year's Eve leading to early contractions--nothing terribly concerning overall, but enough of a symptom that running was taken off the table for the rest of my (interminable) pregnancy. Pregnancy-induced hypertension popped up in late January/early February, necessitating a lack of much activity at all.

And yet. Here I am in mid-March--Still. Pregnant. (Happily though, it sounds like the finish line is in sight this week.)

That said, and the fact that this blog is meant to be about my running (egomaniacal, I know), just because I can't run myself doesn't mean that I'm not enjoying seeing everyone else out running.

New England's heavy snow is all but gone now, with only small piles leaving dirty traces here and there in shaded areas and alleys. And true to form, the fair-weather runners have emerged from their apartment lairs, pale-skinned and athletically appareled, peeking out of their doorways and gyms like so many wan, sun-starved gypsies on the lam from their holiday over-indulgences. I see them lurching around the river, up the side streets near my house, and I want to do as I've done every year at this time--mutter too loudly about their fair-weather selves, all while mentally congratulating myself for my myriad cold miles over snow, sleet, and salt-covered roads and sidewalks.

But this year, I can't. I ran a handful of miles up to and just after Christmas, and since then have hibernated in my toasty Medford cave. Instead of adding on miles, I've added on pounds, and instead of sashaying about feeling svelte in my running tights, I've waddled around in increasingly large maternity pants.

While I imagine this reads a bit like a whine, and at least in part it is that, I'm actually not terribly bummed about what I'm going to call my "lost winter of running." There are many miles to come, some of which I imagine I'll be pushing a stroller through. (If only you could stand on the back of the stroller on the downhills, as if a middle-schooler on a grocery cart.) There are medals and t-shirts to be collected, assorted shoe company coupons to be discarded, free energy gels to consume, and miles to be explored on new, and hopefully fast courses. There are many races yet to come, and countless finish lines yet to cross.

Added to that, the summer looms ahead of me in breathless anticipation--if I close my eyes, I swear I can feel the sun's heat on a long trail run, or the heavy rasp in my lungs upon reaching the top of a too-steep hill. I can feel the gloppiness of an overheated Gu sliding down my sweaty throat, and taste the post-run Gatorade, too warm from being in the sun, but refreshing all the same. I can fell that familiar ache in the backs of my legs and knees--the one that tells me it's been a good run, one that my very bones were craving.

Until then, though, I'll be focusing on my next event, even though it doesn't require any actual running...and keeping in mind that it wouldn't be any fun if all races were the same anyway.

Wish my beloved and I well, as we usher another runner into the fold and onto the road..

Monday, November 1, 2010

Training Season Begins! Or Does It?

With its hint of bonfires and falling leaves, and just enough of a bite in the air to leave you pink-cheeked and runny-nosed, there's no hiding that fall is here, and winter just around the corner. And with it comes a plethora of bright-eyed and weary-tailed runners, recovering from a fall marathon, or just starting to increase mileage in expectation of a spring marathon.

Those of you who know me well already know that I've decided to yet again opt out of a spring marathon. That's not to say I'm not running, though, or that my reason isn't a good beloved and I are continuing to log many a [few] mile locally in our favorite Fells haunt. The difference is that now it's Jared, Abby, Copley, and one extra teeny tiny future runner. That's right, there's a runner in the tank, a baby on board, a bun in the [Dutch] oven, if you will. (I really am Dutch, so this is technically an accurate description.)

Our latest addition, a girl to go with our first "baby" and Danish lady, is due March 12, only a little over a month before Boston's latest and greatest running event. The downside to this is, of course, that the marathon simply isn't an option. The upside is that not only do I have an excuse to gain those out-of-season lbs, but I'll be on maternity leave for marathon Monday, and won't have to take it off as a vacation day;)

So instead of logging mile after mile, I'm logging...walks here and there, sporadic (and I really mean sporadic, I've done it twice now) yoga, (really) short runs, and the occasional stint on an elliptical or other instrument of gym torture. A few people have asked about, or made suggestions for, my running during pregnancy. The upshot is this--I can run as long as it's comfortable for me, up to my due date, barring complications. The caveat is that it's harder, slower, and, well, harder. Some days a mile and a half at an 11:00+/mile pace is nearly impossible, and other days, 3 or 4 zips by at a decent (though certainly still not anything approaching fast) clip, as easy as pie.

My goal now is to run 3 miles 3 times a week throughout the next 19 weeks, or to at least make a legitimate attempt to do so. (I'm 21 weeks now; see Halloween fun run pot belly for reference.) Jared has been as fabulous as ever, logging slow miles with me, and taking a break anytime I need one, with nary a complaint. (I will say that, recently, while panting my way up a short hill, I turned to find him casually strolling next to me a the same pace--but he insisted that he wasn't mocking me in the slightest, and I believe him.) He's a good egg, that man, and has been incredible about my sleepiness, crankiness, weight gain, emotional tumult, slower pace, and taking on pretty much the full thrust of RunBoston work and tours.

I'm hoping to be better about blogging, but hopefully this happy news will at least partly explain my lengthy silence and the reasons my running plans have changed so dramatically. Happy news, and more miles to come, but fewer in duration and longer in pace, while my beloved and I get ready to welcome our new addition!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Summer Miles

Six weeks covers a lot of miles, and a lot of interesting events. First, the miles...Jared and I ran our first race as the Mr. and Mrs. P on Sunday. Though our chip time was (or should have been, but strangely wasn't) embarrassingly slow at a whopping 2:14(ish), we worked our overheated cans off for it. Boston's Run to Remember was easily the BEST organized race I've ever run, and one I'd happily do again. It was a hot day, something the race organizers can hardly help. What they could and did do, though, was provided plenty of water stops (one every two miles), enough volunteers to man them, a convenient day of the week to run on (Sunday, when the scenic Memorial Drive is closed to road traffic), and gorgeous, varied, and familiar course to run on--through Boston's financial district, along the Charles River, through Chinatown and Downtown Crossing, and back to the docks near the Seaport Hotel and World Trade Convention Center. And lastly, I'm happy to see that I didn't kill myself on the (hot) hills, and nary a step was walked.

Leading up to this, my beloved and I had fantasticly huge amounts of family in town for our lovely wedding, signed an assortment of paperwork on our new house, and ran any number of fabulous miles, with each other, with friends, and with strangers visiting and traveling with RunBoston.

In two weeks, we move into our house in Medford, and from there we'll be plotting new courses, both in terms of our personal lives and our training--Jared will begin ramping up for an August triathlon, and me....well, there isn't a trail I've met yet I haven't liked.