I’m definitely ready to meet this little guy, though it’s scary to think that another human being will be reliant on me for pretty much everything.
But, I’m so excited for this next phase in our lives. And I’m pretty much OVER being pregnant.
I don’t hate being pregnant, and at some times I actually really like it. I’m to the point however, where I’m just ready to be able to touch my toes and chase after my kid without getting out of breath. Or you know, walk up the stairs without huffing and puffing. I get winded from talking sometimes.
Maybe I should talk a little slower?
Anyway, I don’t want to sit and complain about being pregnant. There are good things and bad things about it. The good things definitely outweigh the bad. Like people are really freakin’ nice to me lately. They hold doors for me and pick stuff up when I drop it and tell me I look beautiful. Being super pregnant has actually restored my faith in humanity.
I also give no f**ks about what I eat right now—and it’s pretty fun. I’m a frequent visitor to Dairy Queen and I have now had Chili Mac Supreme from Steak ‘n’ Shake twice this week. Because I can. And I love it.
The only thing that’s a little upsetting is that my running is non-existent right now. I ran the very day I went into labor with Max, but as of 36 weeks this time around I am no longer running. I just have too much pelvic pain and it’s not worth it. I had so many runs the last 5-6 weeks before I stopped where I would ask myself “Why am I doing this?” It wasn’t fun anymore.
Why keep torturing myself?
So, I’m on my bike trainer everyday. I’m also walking and swimming. I feel good. As long as I get those exercise endorphins somehow, I remain sane.
I’ll admit that I’m a little scared about what the return to running will be like. I pushed myself to keep up the running until the end of my pregnancy with Max because I wanted to bounce back quickly. I worked back up to my usual running pretty fast after his birth, but does it really matter? No. Not at all. If it takes me two years to get back to any kind of speedwork after this baby, it’s fine. I know that, and I will keep telling myself that.
One day, I will run races again. One day, I might even run a marathon again. And one day, I might even BQ. We’ll see.
Today is not any of those days. So I will eat my DQ blizzard and ride my bike and enjoy this day for what it is.
Finding running/workout clothes for a growing bump is a BITCH.
I should rephrase that. Finding running/workout clothes for a growing bump without spending ridiculous amounts of money is a BITCH.
When I was pregnant with Max, I bought two maternity training tanks and a pair of pants from Old Navy. I also bought two pairs of Nike running shorts on super sale in bigger sizes. That was it. Part of this was because I didn’t start showing until a lot later in my pregnancy, and also because I wore my regular running clothes and just stretched them out.
This time around, I’m struggling. I’m showing a lot sooner than I did with Max. I swear at almost 20 weeks I look like I did with Max at 28+ weeks. Supposedly this is because your body just remembers what to do and does it way faster. Or maybe because I like Reese’s peanut butter cups a little too much. Whatever, it’s probably some combination of the two.
I also am wiser this time around. I stretched out many of my favorite running items during my previous pregnancy, and they never went back. At the time I thought I was so smart squeezing myself into too tight capris and tanks and that I was saving sooo much money. Then I tried to put those clothes back on a few months after Max was born and they were so stretched out they were unwearable. Fail.
So, I’m faced with needing to buy some new running/workout clothes. “Athleta has some cute stuff!” a well-meaning friend told me. Sure, it’s cute—but not cute enough to pay $80 for a pair of pants I will only wear for another 4.5 months!
“Target has cheap maternity clothes,” they said. Since every other pregnant woman in North America knows this, they scoop up all the good sizes. Sure, if I wear an XL or an XS, I’m in business at Target. But I wear neither, so I’m screwed.
I guess I’m back to the Old Navy drawing board. Fortunately, they have a 30% or 40% off sale nearly every damn day. But hurry, because the sale ends today! And then starts again tomorrow. If anyone ever pays full price at Old Navy or Gap, they are doing life wrong.
I’m starting to forget the point of this post? Oh yeah, I basically wear the same outfit on repeat for running or riding my bike trainer or DVDs. My husband politely informed me the other day that my maternity workout pants smell like mildew. By politely inform, I mean he said, “Gross, you smell disgusting. Like a mildewy wet dog.” Max overheard and has been running around the house chanting “MILDEWY WET DOG!” at the top of his lungs. This is my life in a nutshell.
I’ll just leave you with that. I’m off to buy some clothes that actually fit and don’t smell.
So, I can’t believe it’s been four months since I last blogged! Life has been busy, and I haven’t had much to say. Or maybe, I’ve had stuff to say—I just couldn’t tell anyone yet! BIG things are happening around here…
These last few months have been full of life and fun and exciting new things—and a lot less running. I did end up running the full at the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon in November—I think I was contemplating whether or not to run the half when we last left off. I took it somewhat easy and I ran a 3:57 something, I think 3:57:15, but I am far too lazy to look it up right now
I felt pretty good the whole race, but it was definitely a battle between my legs, which wanted to go faster, and my brain, which knew I needed to take it easy. It was a great race though, because I wasn’t aiming for a goal time. I just ran.
A few days after the race, I found out some exciting news—Actually, I’ll let Max tell you:
We’re beyond excited to be adding another baby boy to the Sharp family! And of course, this development is why I haven’t blogged. I can’t keep secrets very well, and it would be hard to talk about running when there is something huge that’s affecting my running!
Pregnancy has changed my running a lot this time around. When I was pregnant with Max, all I had to do was work and run. I could work all day, come home and rest for a while, run, and then rest some more. Now I have a toddler to look after, and that’s really magnified my exhaustion. Through my first trimester I tried to keep up the early morning wake-ups, but I was struggling to keep my eyes open in the evenings with Max. I now only get up early a couple of mornings a week, and the other days I squeeze a quick workout in at lunch or after Max has gone to sleep.
I’m also running a lot less mileage and zero intensity. I’m having more aches and pains than I did while running with Max, and I’ve had some issues that may lead to me having to stop running through this pregnancy completely. That’s yet to be determined.
In the meantime, I’ve added in a lot more cross training and rest days. You know, things that I should have been doing when I was marathon training. I got a bike trainer so that I can ride my bike inside and it’s really starting to grow on me. Cycling is certainly in my blood, as my father did the Race Across America a few times in the early ‘80s, my brother is a cyclist and manager at a bike shop, and my sister is an ironman. I basically grew up on a bike, so I know my dad is thrilled that I’m finding my way back to it!
I also have found that walking on an incline can be just as heart-pounding as running, and I like to mix that in as well. I’m doing yoga a couple of times a week with some modifications to the poses, and I’m lifting light weights a few times a week as well. Even if I quit running completely until after I deliver the baby, I think all of these things will make the return to running that much easier! Why didn’t I do any of this stuff before?
Anyway, I will do my best to check-in here and update on my workouts, pregnancy and one day—my return to racing!
And because I am a proud mom and am unable to stop myself – here are more pics of my favorite little dude:
Things got pretty serious up in here yesterday. While I started running to get me through some deep stuff, I continue to run because I just plain love it. It’s fun. It helps my mood and keeps me sane. It’s not always serious – in fact, it almost never is
Let’s lighten things up today and talk about Halloween and go over last week’s running, shall we?
It feels weird to be writing about Halloween – it seems like everyone has already moved on to Christmas at this point. My Starbucks this morning is in a red cup, I’ve already begun hearing Christmas music and the Toys ‘R’ Us massive toy catalog came this weekend.
Um, WHAT ABOUT THANKSGIVING PEOPLE?
Sorry for yelling at you guys. I just really like Thanksgiving. I was explaining it to Max last night and he seemed pretty on board. My description was this: “All you have to do is show up at Amma’s house (my mother-in-law), eat lots of yummy food and DO NOTHING. It’s glorious.” He definitely agreed with me.
Let’s rewind though to Halloween. It was Max’s first time trick-or-treating. He was 6-months-old for his first Halloween, so we decided to skip it. Last year, he was 18 months and we were planning on going to a few houses, but it ended up snowing. This year, nothing was stopping us!
We went with my friend and her son, who is Max’s age too. Both of our husbands work at the same restaurant and were both working😦 so we were on our own.
These two little cuties were so much fun! They were bubbling over with the excitement of candy and costumes. They kept ringing doorbells and then immediately saying “Trick-or-treat!” to closed doors. It was so adorable.
We were out for a solid two hours and carried the boys for ¾ of that time. Max asked me to pick him up after about 15 minutes! My arms were burning by the end of the night!
Overall, Max’s first time was a success! The boys ended up playing and eating candy at my house until after 9 :30 or so – which means Max didn’t go to bed until 10:30. We were all exhausted on Sunday.
I woke up Sunday morning to sore arms and a sore hip. Carrying Max for so long kicked my butt. Imagine carrying a 30-ish pound medicine ball for almost 2 hours. And the medicine ball is also moving around, screaming for candy and sticking lolly pops in your hair. That was my arm workout Saturday night. It’s Tuesday, and my arms are still a little sore.
On to running…
What should I call last week? Indianapolis Marathon recovery week #2? Monumental Marathon taper week #2? I have no idea.
I actually took last week easier than the week before (Indianapolis Marathon recovery week 1). I went a bit too hard that first week after the Indy race. Did I really need to run 40 miles? DUMB. I felt good that week, but it caught up to me this past week. I felt pretty run down and a little achy.
And here’s the thing about training for me: I know what I SHOULD do. But, I think I’m some sort of superwoman and I can do what I WANT (which is not take time off from running after a marathon) and that I’ll be fine. Add that to the list of things I need to work on. Acceptance is the first step
So here’s how last week shook out:
Monday: 4 miles 8:56 pace
Tuesday: 6 miles 8:02 pace
Wednesday: 5 miles 8:49 pace
Thursday: 7.2 miles 8:31 pace
Friday: 9.2 miles 9:00 pace
Saturday: 4.25 miles 7:51 pace
TOTAL: 35.65 miles
I took this Monday off as well, and today was a laid-back 7 miles. I’ll probably run 5-6 tomorrow and Thursday, then take Friday completely off. Then MARATHON on Saturday!
I have decided that I will run the full on Saturday. However, I’m going into it with no expectations. My goals are to finish and to listen to my body. If my body wants to run 11-minute miles – then that’s what I am doing! I am making a promise to myself today that I do not need to prove anything, but that I do need to take it easy and treat my body kindly. I need it to keep on running with me for another 50+ years.
The Monumental is a beautiful race through my city, and right now the weather looks good! This will just be a fun jaunt through Indianapolis
That’s all I have today. Anyone run NYC? Who’s racing this weekend? Did you go trick-or-treating?
I’m sill waffling back and forth as to whether I should run the full or the half at the Monumental Marathon. If I don’t decide within the week, I’ll be stuck with a marathon bib.
I can still back out in the middle of the race—the half-marathoners go their own way around mile 6. But then I’ll be the person with the marathon bib that all the volunteers are yelling at to go the other way. And then I have to yell back, “I changed my mind! I’m running the half instead!”
I’ve obviously been there before.
I’m struggling to decide what to do, so I figure the best way to decide is to lay out the reasons for and against running the full.
Reason to Run the Full #1
I want to redeem myself.
The Indianapolis Marathon on October 17th did not pan out how I would have liked it to. I believe that I have a 3:4x:xx somewhere in me.
Reason to Not Run the Full #1
Redeeming myself may not be physically possible.
Realistically, it’s going to be tough to pull out a PR 3 weeks after another marathon. I have done these races back to back before, but I was not going for a time goal. I ran them both fairly easy and my times were only a few minutes apart. BUT, in 2010 and in 2011, I ran the first marathon faster. I remember my legs feel weird at the Monumental both times.
Reason to Run the Full #2
I love running full marathons.
I just do. I’m probably more equipped and better built for half marathons, but fulls are my jam. I love the feeling of accomplishment that comes with running 26.2 miles. I can’t really explain it.
Reason to Not Run the Full #2
Extra time with little man.
I am taking the day before the Monumental off and I have the entire following week off, so I will definitely be getting lots of time with him. But hey, ANYTIME with him is awesome. If I run the half, I get home to him a couple of hours earlier. Plus, I will be able to actually chase him around and play with him, instead of hobbling like a zombie.
Reason to Run the Full #3
I will want to race the half, and may not be ready for racing just yet.
If I choose to run the half, I’m really going to want to race it. It’s hard to keep that competitive drive down. My body may not be ready for the hard effort.
Reason to Not Run the Full #3
I might be able to pull out a big half PR.
On the other hand, after lots of long runs and a recent full, I might be able to pull out a nice half PR. I tested out a few more faster miles this morning, and it felt pretty good:
What this really boils down to is that I want to run another full marathon and have a good race. And by good race, I don’t mean that I have to run the time I’m shooting for or even PR, but I want to HAVE FUN. I did not have fun at the Indianapolis Marathon. I had put to much pressure on myself to enjoy it.
I also have the secret hope that my speed and endurance are still there from this training cycle, and that I will be able to run a PR race. This may just be wishful thinking.
I will continue to change my mind 50 times this week. Indecision is one of my strongest character traits.
Have you ever run goal races in the span of a few weeks? How did it go? Would you do it again?
Thank you all for your kind words about last week’s race. I’m getting over it. I went into the race with 3 goals, the last being to at least have fun, and I missed all of these goals. While this made me feel as if I had “failed” I’m realizing that failing would have been to quit when I knew I wasn’t going to meet these goals (Either to BQ, PR or have fun). But I suffered through it, and I am proud of that.
Re-reading my post and trying to imagine that I was reading someone else’s re-cap, I came to the realization that I am pretty hard on myself. I think that’s part of the nature of runners. We strive to be our best selves and we push ourselves hard to meet goals and if we miss them, we are upset and blame ourselves. We have the inherent need to become better and when we don’t, it’s very upsetting. I do believe that pushing yourself hard can really pay off, but you also need to be kind to yourself and remember that you are human. So, I had a bad day? Who cares? I’m going to use the letdown to fuel me for my next race.
And now, on to last week’s running recap.
Tuesday: Easy 3 AM, Easy 4 lunchtime
Wednesday: Easy 4, PIYO DVD in the evening
Thursday: Easy 5
Friday: 6 miles AM with a few fast miles thrown in, 2 miles PM
Saturday: Attempted long run, quit at 10 – easy pace
Sunday: 6 mile progression
Total miles: 40
Also, lots of foam rolling, stretching and light yoga
And the details:
I woke up Sunday morning pretty sore. I did not run at all, but I did take Max to a birthday party for my niece and nephew who were turning one. I did quite a lot of chasing after Max and playing with kids. Somehow, I always end up as the adult playing with about 10 kids. I suppose I am a kid at heart
By Monday the soreness was greatly reduced, but I again did nothing. I was ITCHING to run. Like, if I didn’t run soon I was going to lose my mind. Maybe I need to find some additional stress relievers?
Tuesday morning I did a short, easy 3 miles. It felt GOOD. I’ve find that the first run back after a race often feels a little stiff, but I didn’t notice any of that. I still had a little bit of soreness, and this run helped to release it.
I had a light day at work, and the opportunity to run at lunch that day. Who am I to turn down a run opportunity? I ran 4 easy miles on part of the marathon course from the Indianapolis Marathon. It was weird how different I felt on Tuesday as opposed to race day. I felt relaxed and smooth and I wasn’t hating life, like I had been at the race. What a difference it makes to run without the pressure of a race. I realize the pressure is self-imposed, but it’s just amazing how different it feels to run for fun versus race.
Wednesday, Thursday and Friday’s runs were fairly unremarkable. I was able to get some speed out of these legs on Friday, so that was encouraging.
Saturday, I intended to run 14-16 miles. I am running the Monumental in 2 weeks, and in that weird place where I’m recovering from a marathon, but preparing for another. I figured a semi-long run at a very slow pace might give me some confidence and keep my endurance up.
In hindsight, this probably wasn’t a good idea. I felt pretty worn out by about mile 6. I cut my loop short and ended the run at 10 miles. My body needed some more recovery and I was fine with that.
I slept from 9 PM to 7 AM Saturday night, which is a lot more sleep than I usually get. My body is definitely craving rest, so these next two weeks before the Monumental will be all about easy runs and as much sleep as possible.
Sunday, I did eek out a pretty decent run. It was an unplanned progression, with my last mile at 7:58. Then, I slept 10 hours again last night.
I’m still not 100% sure I will run the full at the Monumental on November 6th. I’m going to see how this week of running goes.
How was your week in running? Are you recovering from a race or getting ready for one?
What happened? Well, I’m not 100% sure. I’ve thought about it a lot and I think there were a few factors that led to my missed goal.
We’ll get to those in a minute. First, let’s rewind and recap the race.
I took the day off on Friday, the day before the race. I slept in till 8 and then had to wake Max up at 8:30. WHO IS THIS KID? I think he knew I needed the rest.
We spent the day as a family, picking apples, drinking cider slushies and relaxing. I felt very anxious all day—a total departure from my zen-like attitude toward the race of late. To be honest, I was doubting my ability to finish, second-guessing my training and just worried. It was weird, because I don’t normally feel this way before a race. I’m usually a little nervous, but mainly excited. It wasn’t fun.
Race morning I got up at 6, dressed and ate a bagel. It was chilly out – about 32 – with a predicted high of 55. I wore a lightweight long-sleeve tech shirt and shorts, with a throwaway hoodie and pants.
I got to the race early, stayed warm in my car and then met up with my sister. I felt like I might puke for some reason. I got in my corral and the gun went off. Go time!
*NOTE: I am using the split times I have from Strava. These times are innacurate from about mile 19 on because Strava auto-pauses when I stop—and I stopped a lot those last few miles. For 19 on, I’ll give an estimated time based on my finish time. If I can get garmin connect to load up, I’ll update the splits at a later time, as these are more accurate.
The race started and I struggled to get in a good position. I was jumping and dodging people and I could tell that I was going pretty fast. My Garmin was jumping all over the place as I slowed down when I was stuck behind people and sped up to pass. Mile 1- 7:59
The next few miles were a blur. I knew I was going too fast. But I thought that I might be able to hang on. I did plenty of fast finish long runs. I can do this.Miles 2-7 – 8:04, 8:17, 8:12, 8:18, 8:24, 8:26
Around mile 8, this hills started. Damn, I should have done more hill training. Just hang on around 8:30 pace and you’ll make it up after the hill section. Around mile 10, a guy running barefoot fell into step with me. I was fascinated by his feet, which were so dirty and calloused, they made mine look pretty. He was a badass. Miles 8-11 –8:33, 8:13, 8:26, 8:41
The hills were finally over. Instead of picking up the pace, I found myself slipping. I was hurting. Already? We got to the point where the half-marathoners turn to finish. I want to go finish with them. I convinced myself to keep going. I knew, right there, that it was going to be a rough 13 more miles. Miles 12-13-8:33, 8:31
At this point, I figured I could salvage the race as long as I held onto an 8:30-8:40 pace. I could still PR. But hanging on proved harder than I thought. At some point during these miles, I told myself that a 9:00 pace was fine. So I stuck to that. This is when I mentally gave up. I even asked myself, “Why am I doing this?” And I could not come up with one reason why. I was hurting. I was tired. My brain was done. I couldn’t believe how early in the race this had happened. WTF is happening? Miles 14-19 –8:40, 8:42, 8:45, 8:55, 9:00, 8:57
At mile 21, I saw my sister. This is an out and back course, and you run adjacent to other runners ahead of you for a few miles. She was at 17 and looked so strong. She yelled and waved and told me how awesome I was doing. She gave me some life I desperately needed. I can do this. Just hang on to a 9 min pace. Nope, the pace continued to slip. And then I started stopping at every water stop, which was about every mile. I stopped for up to 30 seconds each time. I was OVER IT. Miles 20-26 –roughly 9:30 average (don’t have correct splits from my Strava due to auto-pause feature)
We crested the only real hill in the second half and then took a curvy road to the finish. I knew I was almost done and tried to dig deep, but I had nothing. My legs felt like lead and my left hamstring was screaming at me. And then, I saw my husband holding Max, my mother- and father-in-law, and my husband’s aunt and uncle. I nearly lost it as Max cheered for me. Seeing all these people that care about me out there helped me finish.
I was done. Thank God it’s OVER!
Max ran to me and then got really upset about the foil blanket. I threw it out and hugged my sweet boy and my husband. His parents and aunt and uncle told me how great I did and were just so nice. I tried to hold back the tears because I was so disappointed. I just couldn’t figure out what happened.
Overall Stats: Final Time: 3:53:54. (8:56 pace)
9th out of 55 in my division
38Th female out of 286
129th place overall
I am disappointed, sad and a little embarrassed. I told so many people, including anyone who reads this blog, that I was going for a BQ. It sucks to have people ask how it went and have to tell them that not only did I not BQ, but I didn’t even PR and I missed my goal by almost 20 minutes.
I’m frustrated with myself and with the marathon distance. Pretty sure I told my father-in-law as we walked back to the car after the race that I was done with marathons.
After processing this race for a few days, I’ve come to few conclusions as to why this race went so poorly for me and some solutions to these issues to put into practice ASAP:
I went out too fast. RUN SLOW AT THE BEGINNING OF RACES EVEN IF YOU FEEL GOOD. Duh.
I gave up mentally. Stay positive and believe in yourself. YOU CAN DO THIS.
I should’ve done more hill training. Run hills once a week. Boom. Easy.
I’m not as physically strong as I need to be. Do more strength training. Cut back on mileage if necessary to squeeze it in. No excuses.
I’m sure there’s other things that I did wrong at the race and during training, but these seem like the most likely culprits and the most fixable.
It’s disheartening to me that I trained pretty hard for 4 months, getting up at the crack of dawn most days and running 6-7 days a week only to fail. I’m still kind of bitter about that.
I’m also really humbled to realize that after 8 full marathons and 7 half marathons, I’m only just now learning how to race. I find it easier to do the training and the workouts than it is to mentally figure out racing and follow-through with a race plan. It’s just plain hard.
But, I’m trying to put this all into perspective. This is not a big deal. There are people with real problems out there. It’s just running. I just need to get over it. 2 years ago I would have been over the moon about a sub-4. I have to remember how far I’ve come.
So, here’s what’s next: I am signed up for the Monumental Marathon on November 7th. I originally signed up on a whim a few weeks ago when they posted on Facebook that they were 95% full. I blame taper crazies and the race director’s clever ploy to add urgency to the purchase. I figured Fort Harrison would be my “A” race and then I would take it really easy at the Monumental or step down to the half if I didn’t feel rested enough. I did run these two races back to back in 2010 and 2011, so I believe I can do it. But, I’m feeling so over the marathon distance that I’m not sure what I’m going to do yet.
My husband planted the seed that the Monumental could be my redemption race, but I’m almost positive I won’t be recovered enough to full out race. I’ll decide the week of whether I will run the full or half, and whether I feel recovered enough to try to PR (3:52:11 is my PR).
I still feel like I have a ton to say about this race, about how frustrated and mad at myself I am and how jaded I am with marathons, but I think this post is getting a little long. If you’ve made it this far, I applaud you for listening to my whining this long.