Friday, March 1, 2013

Running and Morning Sickness

I was recently doing some googling around, looking for a support belt to wear while running. I never got one when I was pregnant with LMS, and I thought I should see what my options are. When I was pregnant with LMS my hips were so messed up I was barely able to walk around our small house and sweep up the dust bunnies (wood floors somehow breed dust bunnies); I definitely wasn't doing any running.

One thing I saw mentioned was that some women really liked running while pregnant because it helped with the nausea. I would have to agree- the days I spend some time on the treadmill I feel less nauseous for several hours after. Yay!

Thankfully my doctor said I could keep running as long as it feels good, and it feels good, so I'll keep running as long as I can.

Did you find that exercise helped you with morning sickness?

Monday, February 25, 2013

Mud Run Results

Saturday I ran in my first mud run. I had registered for it before I found out I was pregnant, and had been debating whether to go through with it or not. My doctor said as long as it feels good to keep running, I can, so despite the cold and possibility of freezing rain, I decided to give it a go.

But what do you wear in a race of indeterminate length when you're going to be crawling through the mud, splashing through puddles, maneuvering obstacles, and climbing a 6' wall and a 12' pile of hay bales?

I opted for the old running shoes I've been wearing when I paint, old long johns I purchased as a college freshman from an Army surplus store, a running skirt for modesty, a tech shirt that I think is ugly (it was on clearance, and looked a lot cuter on the rack), and an old fleece I picked up at Goodwill. I wasn't sure if any of my clothes would get ruined, so I only wore things I wouldn't be too sad to lose. As it turned out, my clothes fared a lot better than I was afraid they would.

I can only guess that the organizers of this race scheduled it in February because it would add an element of fun or adventure. I'm not so sure about that. I think we were all trying as hard as possible not to get too wet or muddy since the temps were in the mid-30s. If it had been summer, it wouldn't have been an issue.

Once I arrived, I finally found out that the race was a smidge longer than 4 miles (I couldn't find anything online saying how long the race was, so I was going into this blind). Overall, the race was fun, with most of the obstacles in the first mile and a half. Unfortunately, they didn't stagger the beginning and those of us not at the very front ended up having to wait our turn to go over the first 3 or 4 obstacles. All told, I probably lost about 20 minutes standing and waiting. I wasn't too concerned though, since I wasn't going for a time, I was just trying to finish.

I will say that those who are taller had an advantage over those of us who are short. Luckily people were nice and helped those around them (including me) get over the obstacles that were too tall for us.

I didn't get too muddy till the second mile, but most of it washed off when we went through a culvert under the highway (!) at the third mile marker. I collected a bit more mud during the third mile, but not much.

This puts my total races for the year up to 3: a 5ka half marathon, and now a 4 miler.

Will I run this race next year?
I don't know.

Will I run a mud race when it's warmer?
Most likely.

Have you run a mud race?

Monday, February 18, 2013

Mud Run

any ideas what this is a picture of?

Have you ever run a mud race?

I'm signed up for one this Saturday, and I'm a bit nervous.

  1. I've never done a mud race
  2. It's February!
  3. I'm not actually sure how long the race is- they just talk about the different obstacles we have to get through

I was going to do this race last year, but my physical therapist wanted me to stop running for awhile while we focused on strengthening my muscles, so I wasn't able to.

This is just a small, local race. I saw that one of the big, national races was being run here last year, but the cost was ridiculous. Even spectators had to pay to get in!

I plan on wearing old clothes and old shoes, and just having fun- my goal is to finish. That being said, any tips on how a 5' person can best climb a 6' wall would be greatly appreciated!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Disney World Half Marathon

tail end of the fireworks starting corral A- I was in corral C

Saturday I ran the Disney World Half Marathon again (here’s last year’s re-cap).  Despite not training as much as I’d have liked, I felt better prepared than I did last year. I had a 9 mile long run, as opposed to a 6 mile long run, my knee hasn’t been giving me any problems, and I had a great, fast 5k on New Year’s Day.

Since it was so cold last year, we made sure we were prepared this year: fleece pants and jacket for LMS, as well as an extra jacket for layering, and I brought a $3 fleece from Goodwill that I could wear and take off when I got warm, leaving it on the side of the road to be donated back to Goodwill.

So naturally it was on the warm side. Unseasonably warm, in fact, and they were warning us to make sure we stayed properly hydrated and not over-exert ourselves.

Cinderella's castle during the race. Mr M wasn't able to get a pic of me running past because of a very rude person's incredibly bad timing just as I ran past.

This year I managed to figure out how to use my Garmin (I haven’t used it much because I’ve been doing more treadmill running than outdoor running) and was able to accurately track my pace and split times. And according to it, I actually ran 13.23 miles, not 13.1 miles J

Because I love comparisons and seeing my progress, here’s how I did this year, compared to how I did last year:


pace per mile


pace per mile

How much faster I was this year (min:sec)
How much faster my average pace per mile  was this year (:sec)
5k split
(3.1 miles)
10k split
(6.2 miles)
15k split
(9.3 miles)
Finish time (13.1 miles)

Overall, I was faster, and I managed to keep my pace up even as the race went on. Last year my pace slowed as the race progressed, and my overall speed was slower.

And the damage? Just two small blisters- one on each foot, though I didn’t notice them till I took my shoes and socks off, as well as some {not unexpected} sore muscles. I did the same basic prep as last year (BodyGlide, etc) and carried the same items, though I ditched the Fuel Belt pouches in favor of the RooSport pocket I picked up at the prerace convention.

convention craziness

I know you’re not supposed to try new things during a race, but I was fairly confident it would work better than the Fuel Belt pouches I used last year. This proved to be the case: I loved it! So much easier to get stuff in and out of, and it felt more secure. It uses strong magnets that hook it securely to your waistband. You put the pocket inside your pants/shorts/capris/whatever, and it doesn’t bounce around (the Fuel Belt pouches did a lot of bouncing). Wonderful! 

The only potential problem I saw was that the pocket holds a lot, and overloading it could cause your pants/shorts/capris/whatever to sag down a bit. The easy fix is to not carry too much. I had two packages of ShotBlox, my clip-on sunglasses, and my chapstick in it during the race. Towards the end of the race I moved my iphone from the pocket in the small of my back in my capris into the RooSport pocket because there was only a couple ShotBlox left. This weighed it down more, but it still felt secure.

I had half-hoped to beat my previous PR of 2:29:46, but I missed that mark by 2 minutes and 42 seconds. If I hadn’t been sick all week, I might have made it. Despite that, I am pleased with how I did- I finished almost 5 minutes faster than last year. I may be getting older, but I’m getting faster!

Finish Time
Disneyland Half
Sept 2007
Top of Utah Half
Aug 2008
Disney World Half
Jan 2012
Disney World Half
Jan 2013

I brought my travel size foam roller and used it, which helped keep everything looser. I can definitely tell a difference in my knees and hips when I’m rolling. Going to physical therapy last year really made a huge difference in my body mechanics. I learned which parts of my body need more work to stay loose and how to keep things better aligned. They also gave me pointers on improving my running form (focus on shorter strides and forefoot strikes rather than longer strides and heel strikes).

LMS caught a cold while at a play date on New Year’s Eve and she was kind enough to share it with me. By the time race day came around, she felt fine, with just an occasional phlegmy cough. I, on the other hand, have been fighting a fever and a nasty cough since last Tuesday. If I coughed, my lungs hurt, but if I didn’t cough, I couldn’t get the phlegm moving. It was a conundrum I don’t want to have again.

I felt bad enough that I stayed in the hotel room Thursday afternoon while everyone else hit up the Magic Kingdom (and it only bothered me a little to miss out, if that tells you anything). I kept dosing up with broth, Advil, and Airborne and took detoxing baths and by Saturday morning I felt well enough to run, but knew that I was definitely not at a hundred percent. Experimental coughs did not yield good results, so I determined to make sure I avoided future coughs if at all possible. Thankfully, I didn’t need to cough, and my lungs cooperated. I was really afraid that the air would be cold and would cause me to start coughing and have my lungs seize up while I was running.  My lungs did not feel good before or after the race, but they held up throughout the race, and the warm air didn’t aggravate them.

Mr M's brother, LMS, and I pre-race

Other than that, I ran strong and my legs felt good. I kept a fairly steady pace, but I had to work harder the second part of the race to keep my pace up, since I was trying to break 2:30. The heat ratcheted up the last mile or so and my body started telling me it was really feeling the effects of the cold virus and not appreciating what I was demanding of it. Consequently, I had to stop and walk several times during the last mile (I’d only stopped to walk 3 times before that). Physically I just couldn’t push my body enough to shave off that extra 2 minutes and 42 seconds. On the other hand, I beat last year’s time by just under 5 minutes!

Mr M's brother and I post-race

I was able to run the first 8.3 miles without stopping- a personal record for me, since I tend to do the run/walk thing, even on training runs. I was still feeling pretty good at the 10k mark (that’s 6.2 miles, for those wondering), so I think I’ll try to run at least one 10k this year to see how I do.

I'm definitely happy with how I did in my fourth half marathon and am now planning out my race schedule for the rest of the year. So many races, so little time....

Me and my cheering section after the race

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

New Years Day 5k

look! my sparkle skirt matches my shoes!
(or my shoes match my sparkle skirt, since they're newer)

I know I said I wasn't going to be posting again for a bit, but I can't help myself on this one.

Yesterday morning I ran a 5k hosted by the local running club. It was pretty low-key (and cost a lot less as a result): no shirts or fancy things. We parked in a farmer's field and ran an out-and-back course on country roads. It was fairly flat, with no steep hills- just some gentle hills that weren't too horrible.

There's two reasons I'm excited about this race:
1. I ran the entire course without stopping, which is not how I've been running races the last few years.
2. I finished in under 30 minutes! 29:36 to be exact. I haven't done that since high school. Maybe in college I managed it, but I don't have a record of those times, so I'm not sure. I know that in the last 5 or so years since I started running races again I haven't completed a 5k in under 30 minutes. This is super exciting for me :)

So why did I finally break the 30 minute barrier? I figure it's a combination of things:

  • I have increased energy and am physically feeling better since going gluten free and free of all the other foods that cause problems for my body.
  • Since I'm training for a half marathon, my mileage is higher than it's been for previous 5ks. It's not as high as I'd like, but I'm making progress. Saturday I did a long slow 9 mile run, and I think that made a huge difference for my endurance yesterday.
  • I've lost 20 pounds- less weight being carried around is definitely easier on the body and exercise takes a bit less effort.
  • GAPS is helping my body heal, and nutrients are getting absorbed much better, so I have fewer injuries, more energy, and am more healthy overall.
I did run this race hard- I haven't put that much effort into a race in a long time. Not pushing LMS in the jogger helped my speed and endurance :) I haven't done a lot of speed work so I used this race as a good last speed workout before the half marathon. I'd like to say it was a tempo run, but at this point, I'm not capable of maintaining a 9:30 pace for 13.1 miles. My last two half marathons were 2:37:27 (in 2012) and 2:29:46 (in 2008), and my goal for this one is under 2:30, which would be about an 11:30/mile pace (much more manageable than a 9:30 pace). A PR would be great, but I'm not stressing too much about it since there's a lot of variables I don't have control over that could affect how I feel physically that day.

How did  you start the New Year?

Monday, December 31, 2012

Briefly Checking In

Once again, I've been incommunicado for a couple weeks. This seems to happen most often when I find myself super busy with other projects- my internet time drastically decreases and my blogging slows from a trickle to a sporadic drip.

I have about two more weeks of busyness (despite my efforts I did not finish all the painting before Christmas), and then I hope to be more regular with my posting.

On the upside, I will have lots of pictures to share from all the painting and remodeling work I've been doing, as well as Christmas photos, GAPS updates, goals accountability and updates, and Disney photos (parks and races).

In the meantime, here's a photo I took while running on a canal towpath Christmas Eve morning. Parts of it were covered with snow and ice, but a lot of it was fairly clear, so while it was colder than I'm used to (I've been doing a lot of treadmill running), I was able to go for a nice four mile run.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

I finally found my stride today

don't you wish you were this flexible?

I've been running regularly the last few weeks, doing my standard alternating 5 minutes walking/5 minutes running. I'd be watching the clock on the treadmill, just waiting for the 5 minutes to end so I could walk again.

Today, everything felt good. It felt right. When each 5 minute segment was finished, I wanted to keep running- it felt effortless.

I've been increasing my mileage faster than I should, though, so I decided not to push my luck by running more than 5 minutes at a time.

It's so nice to finally reach the point where running feels good again. It hasn't felt this good in years. I need to make sure I don't get over-zealous and push too hard, too fast, but with my next half marathon just 6 weeks away it is tempting.

 I also like how my workout clothes fit- the 20 pounds I've lost so far really shows. Female-cut technical shirts run a bit small, but now I can wear several race shirts that were too tight in the past. Yay!