Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Oh, yes, I have a blog???? And how I have kept running not boring

 

Now that my crazy work season has wrapped itself up until January, I can get back to the other parts of my life that allow me some creativity for a bit.  The month of December is absolutely crazy for me professionally, and then with all the holiday obligations and such, I need to be in bed after all my chores are done…. no blogging, tweeting, etc.  Just sleep!

I did manage to get my Christmas cards out and will shamelessly tell you that I did not even design them myself.  My friend Stephanie, who also photographs baby Jack for me, did.  So much for taking time to be creative!  But, she is wonderful.  If you are in Massachusetts and need a child photographer, I suggest that you check out her site- http://www.stephaniebeth.com/.  She is amazingly talented!

Jack Christmas Card

The picture is off the card from my Iphone so please excuse it.  To see the original picture, it is in the below post which embarrassingly is from almost a month ago.

But, this is a running blog and not an excuse blog, so let’s get to it.  My running has been tame.  Normally at this time of year, I am prepping to start Boston training, but I am not quite there.  Most of my runs have been leisurely and fun.  What have I been up to? Keeping running fresh, that is what!  How have I done this?

(1) Not wearing my Garmin: truth be told, it started because it was dead and my charger was in my desk at work.  And then, I kept forgetting to take it out of my desk.  My dog Cisco hates the Garmin, because its beeps annoy and hurt his ears. Thus, I charge it at work.  However, I grew to appreciate the break.  Coincidently, Lauren of Health on the Run wrote a great post about reasons to ditch the Garmin.  Check it out!

(2) Running with friends: Another Lauren who I know from running club lives near by me in Hingham.  She and I have not wanted to venture to Boston, so we have been running in Hingham.  She is training for the Houston Marathon right now.  Is anyone else jealous that she will be there for the trials?  I could swoon thinking about it.  On the point though, I have always wanted Hingham running buddies, so I am excited to have some!

(3) Running with slower friends:  I have also been running with my friend Elle.  Elle is a bit slower than me, but her attitude about running is 20x better than mine.  Every run with her is a destination.  We have done a long run including six miles on the sand at low tide in Hull that the below picture gives a somewhat feel for.  Running on the beach in the winter is so peaceful.

aerialphoto

We have also ventured into our local statepark which has been awesome.  Full confession- I am not a state park girl and would never run in it alone.  But, with others, I am not freaked out.  But, Elle runs to run and not for speed.  We just chat and take it the surroundings.  I love it.  This experience has given me a whole new appreciation for running.

(4) Run on the treadmill while watching the Patriots: Enough said there, right!  And I should include run on the treadmill while watching the Ironman World Championship on my I Pad.

(5) Running my normal loops backwards:  I love this one because I don’t know exactly where the first mile is going backwards.  Most of my loops are 5.7 or 4.3 miles- weird numbers.   With no Garmin, I am just focused on running and not how far I have gone.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Hingham Turkey Trot 2011

 

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The Turkey Trot has become an annual tradition for me.  I honestly do not remember how many I have run, but I did run it last year when almost 8 months pregnant.  Needless to say, it is a race that I do not miss.

I am NOT in 5K shape right now…. or really any racing shape for that matter.  I had a great great 8 miler last week.  It was awesome and reaffirming.  But, I was still not committed to racing this race at full speed. 

I lined up at the start today after a short little warmup, but I honestly should have arrived earlier.  It was SO crowded.  Terribly so!  I could not get anywhere near the middle, never mind the front.  Full disclosure- I am fully supportive of ALL types of runners.  And, I do not deserve to be on the front line of a race.  I have not earned that! But please, if you plan on run/walking the first mile, do not head towards the front. 

My first mile took me 8:20ish because it took me a bit to get over the line as the gun went off and then I was weaving weaving weaving.  And then I realized, I needed to just race comfortably hard.  I needed to not worry about my time- I even covered my Garmin with my sleeve. I just pushed hard but not so hard that I was gasping.  And guess what- it worked!  I finished in 23:40.  This means I ran in the 7:20s BY FEEL  for the final two miles.  Maybe I am doubting my abilities a bit? Granted, I only had to hold it for 2 miles, but I honestly was not dying out there. 

And now, a shameless “My kid is so cute” picture.  Because he is =)

 

Jack Fall 2011

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Remembering how I became a runner

 

Tonight I had an easy run on my schedule.  Just 25 minutes easy.  For us that marathon, this run is typically harder than seeing a 20 miler on the schedule.  Is 25 minutes even worth it?

Honestly, I did not want to do it.  I had zero motivation except for the fact that my only physical activity had been my two short walks with my dog.  So, after I put the baby to bed, I hopped on the treadmill at 7:35 PM.  I was glad to be there, and honestly, I appreciated this run by the end of it. And, it was not simply because Jillian’s Yoga Meltdown was causing some delayed muscle soreness from yesterday’s tape.

When I ran my first slow mile of 9:20, I recalled when I first started running. I had joined a gym a few months prior and gained the courage to try the treadmill, which was a huge leap from the elliptical.  Then, I made it a habit to run one mile after my elliptical workout at 6.0 (which is a 10 minute mile).  For the first month, that one mile I ran was HARD.  But, I kept at it, and running became easier as I became stronger. And the rest is history.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Moving along and putting life in perspective….

 

Okay, I am getting over myself finally.  Two weeks later, I am finally ready to put Bay State 2011 behind me.  Thank you for your very nice comments.  They all mean SO very much to me! 

I still have no clue if I stressed myself out or had a virus, but looking back, I can highlight a few things that probably caused me some stress that day.

First, I HATE HATE being late…. so arriving to the marathon so close before the start was so very stressful to me.  For me, I was not relaxed at ALL when I started running.

Because I was stressed out, I simply was not in the right frame of mind from the start. I could not put myself in the zone that day.  In my best races, I just go.  There is complete flow, and I just zoom as what feels right.  Very little thinking is involved.  Bay State 2011- I was thinking WAY too much.  Was my husband getting bored while I was running?  Was he able to handle the stroller and the dog?  Why was I not in the zone?  Why did this feel hard?

I also think that my timing with my marathon was slightly off in terms of my work schedule.  The week before the race, I had just returned from a two week work trip to Europe.  We left for Nantucket the next morning and spent the rest of Columbus Day weekend there.  I then came home and threw myself into mothering Jack and Cisco the dog, being a nice wife (as I had left my husband with them for two weeks!) and catching up both in the office and at home.  Needless to say, I wore myself into the ground the week before the marathon, mentally and physically.

This is where I started to put many things in perspective.  I realized that I am placing  a LOT of stress on myself right now. Although life being crazy and hectic is all about perspective, my life is a little bit much for me right now.  I work full time and probably do 90% of the household work.  My husband is awesome, but simply is not domestic.  Also, I am crazy about what we eat, and he would order takeout every night. 

Next, on average, I am commuting three hours a day.  Between drop offs for child and dog daycare and getting to work, it takes about one and a half hours to go 25 miles.  And then, I turn around at the end of the day and do it all over again.  Realizing I managed to train for a marathon while living this life made me appreciate myself a little bit more and cut myself a little slack.

I also need to let my working mother and working wife guilt go a little bit.  My perspective was that I did not want my husband and son to feel any crunch by my busy work schedule.  But, I finally realized that this is not possible.  My life with work is busy, and it will affect my ability to mother and be a good wife.  And, because I was so crazy with this idea, I put some of the things I like to do aside.  I needed to change that.  This past week, I was creative with baking, making Halloween cake-pops.  I love to bake and give to others.  This project was a great outlet!  I went to hot yoga multiple times and bought the Jillian Michaels’ YOGA MELTDOWN DVD.  I took the time to not just read blogs this week, but to actually comment. I made time for me and I feel refreshed.

Okay, I am a little recentered.  Not quite there yet, but aiming for it!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Bay State Marathon 2011

 

I trained so hard for this race.  And, I did not deliver the results that I know I can achieve.

Now that I have started the blog post on that ominous note, here is the bright side.

I was stressed, I was sick and I did not quit.  I have never wanted to quit a race so badly at various points, but I never did! 

My bad karma started the day before the race.  A few months ago, I put my IPod shuffle through the washer and dryer.  It may have been clean, but it was broken.  As a treat to myself, I decided to splurge and buy a new shuffle.  After charging it, loading it with songs, I tested it. AND IT DID NOT WORK!  I normally do not run a marathon with music, but this course is small and does not provide the entertainment of the big city, so I thought I might need it.

I moved on, went to bed fully NUUN hydrated, and woke up at 4AM and puked.

What?  I just got myself back to sleep thinking it was a fluke.

I woke up at 5 AM, fed myself, the dog, the baby and the husband and then we all loaded in the car headed to Lowell.  We arrived exactly 22 minutes before the start.  I needed to pee and get in the corral, but first we needed to move my crew to the start.  I am practically in tears and on the edge as I am stressed by this.  But, my husband was here to support me so I did not want to take it out on him.

I make it to the start with a few minutes to spare and the gun goes off.

Mile 1: 7:59

Perfect for what my goal is

Mile 2: 7:49

Mile 3: 7:45

Mile 4: 7:51

Mile 5: 7:50

Mile 6: 7:56

Does anyone see where this is headed?

Mile 7: 8:01

(Here, we headed across a very wobbly bridge- it reminded me of running in a bouncy house)

I saw there was a water stop coming so I took my GU.

Mile 8: 8:22

Here is when I threw up the GU because the water stop was tiny and I missed getting any liquid.  In retrospect, I should have turned around for it.  But, this is how I learn.

Mile 9: 8:16

Trying to get my head back in the game

Mile 10: 8:07

Mile 11: 8:23

Mile 12: 8:22

Mile 13: 8:50

My husband told me he would find me near the half, and I never found him.  Mentally, I was demoralized and also demoralized that I had to run another loop.  (It was a double loop course.) I totally wanted to quit here.

Mile 14: 8:47

Mile 15: 8:30

Mile 16: 9:08

Mile 17: 8:57

Mile 18: 9:37

Mile 19: 9:14

Mile 20: 9:06

Mile 21: 9:41

Mile 22: 9:44

And during this mile, I threw up again.  A lot!  But, I actually did not want to quit because I was running on some random state highway in Lowell.  I just wanted to be done!

Mile 23: 10:19

Mile 24: 11:26

Mile 25: 10:28

Mile 26: 9:48

Mile 26.38- 3:53

Needless to day, I am still super disappointed with my race results. I went out a few seconds too fast at the beginning, but I really truly believe that I trained to run a much faster race.  For heavens sake, I only ran one minute slower at Boston when I had just had the baby less than 3 months before!

However, I cannot change that I was sick.  I am unsure if I had a virus, or if it was stress, or what it was.  I have no idea.

This splits are definitely up there with how not to pace a marathon (or any race), but I assure you that I had trained to rock the race.  I worked so hard all summer. Like my friend said, some days we have runs where it all clicks.  Other runs just feel miserable.  I just happened to chance upon the latter.  I worked for every minute of the race and worked so hard to not quit.  That I am proud of!

I have lots of other thoughts….. but I think I need to process them a little bit more.  They may involve the morning I had before the race- not relaxing.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Who Loves to Run Almost 21 miles?

 

Me!  That is who!

I ran my longest run since Boston this past year on Sunday. 

20.4 miles in 2:56:26

High 8:40 miles??? (I cannot remember what the Garmin said)

It did not kill me.  I felt good.  I even picked up the pace a few times as part of the plan my coach had for me…. and that did not feel that hard. I ran the next day.  I ran 7:55 miles tonight, two days later.  And, I have a sinus infection and an ear infection.  (Better me than my baby!)

I HOPE I am not jinxing myself.

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On Thursday, I begin two and a half weeks of travel.  First stop, New Orleans, a city that I absolutely adore.  My sister graduated from Tulane in 2007, and I grew to love the city and all its debauchery and revelry while she was there.  NOLA also has a place in my running history, as I ran the Mardi Gras half marathon the February after Katrina demolished the poor city.  (And, my race recap was published in Runner’s World!)

However, I am part of a panel at a national conference, so I will not be celebrating my return by planting myself at Pat O’Brien’s.

Then, onto the big Europe trip.  My traveling buddy Courtney runs as well, so we will run our way through the continent while we represent our schools.

Oh, and, did I mention the big guilt I have leaving my three boys at home?  BIG!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Three Things Thursday

 

Wow!  I am blogging twice in two days.  And, stealing other bloggers ideas for Three Things Thursday

(1) I have been so sick all this week and am finally getting better.  Who gets a cold in September?

(2) My cold apparently went to my head when writing my last post.  I was doing repeats at 5K pace but not 5K repeats at that pace.  I would die at that pace for multiple 5Ks!

(3) I am psyched to do my 20 miler this weekend.  Pumped actually!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Over a Month Without Blogging

 

Wow!  It has been over a month since I have blogged.  Needless to say, I have been busy.  My husband was away for an entire month, leaving me,  the baby and the dog at home alone.  I did manage a weekend away with him during this time in Charleston, SC.  I also did do my long run on 15 miles on a treadmill.  I had never watched the Kardashians so the ladies and Bruce kept me highly entertained during this time.

The whole family (minus poor Cisco the dog) then headed to Washington, D.C. for my husband’s final two days of work.  There were 11 of us down there.  While all the people were not conducive to eating dinner, there were many people to watch Jack.  So, I ran a lot in the three days I was down there.  I love running around the monuments.

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The Vietnam Wall- We saw my father’s friend’s name- =(

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The Entrance to the World War II Memorial

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The Lincoln Memorial

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The Washington Monument in the Distance

Notice the lack of the reflecting pool!

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My MIL and 4 grandchildren at the Capitol

Good Luck to us trying to get them to look!

 

Now, I am back into the full swing of things with work.  I head to NOLA next week and pretty much leave for Europe right after…. for work, not for fun.  But I am sure I will find some.

And running- well, due to pushing the jogging stroller probably, running is finally turning the corner.  It is so much easier when I am not pushing it.

Case in example- today I had 5K repeats on my plan.  I had to split up the run into two because Jack woke up.  Half on the treadmill, half outside with the stroller.

I did not want to do the 5K repeats with a stroller, but I had no choice.  At least half of them were done.

Ones on the treadmill- I put the treadmill on 8.6-8.7 which is sub 7

With the stroller- 7:22 average on the repeats

At least I know I can go somewhat fast with that stroller!

Finally, a cute picture from today

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Enjoying the September day

Monday, August 8, 2011

Nantucket Vacation

 

I am back to reality.  I had a great week in Nantucket.  My husband was only able to go with me from Friday through Sunday, as he began a new job and has training in Washington, D.C. He is super important like that!  Seriously, so proud of him, but that is a whole other conversation.

My little sister (who is 26 and not really little) took vacation for the week and entertained us.  This situation was awesome as she was able to babysit Jack when I went for my runs that Mary had written into the plan.  Despite being on an island, it was so very humid and hot, even at 7 AM.  But, these were my views.

Sankaty Light

 

Nantucket Harbor 2

Nantucket Harbor

Yes, it was heaven.  I just love Nantucket.

 

We also had lots of social fun. 

Jack Nantucket 3

Jack and Ash Nantucket  

And beach time!

Jack and Adrienne Beach Nantucket

Jack Nantucket 1 

 

We enjoyed ourselves to say the least.

And then I came home and faced reality.  First up, 14 miles with the last 6 at an 8:20 pace.  And, it was rainy and humid during the run.  But, I did it somehow.  The only thing I attribute this is the fact that I am a good direction follower.  This is why I have a coach.

Today I went back to work.  I swear, it was almost as hard as going back after maternity leave.  When I went back in April, I hated leaving him because he was so little.  I felt awful because he needed me.  Today I felt horrible leaving because he is so much fun now. I need him now!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Back on the Blog Bandwagon

 

Well, I fell off the blog bandwagon pretty hard, as I have not posted in almost three weeks.  Some of that was a busy life, some of it was not having anything positive to say and some of it was not wanting to put my stress out there.  It would just make it more real!

But, before I recap the past few weeks, a BIG HUGE thank you to all the supportive comments on my last post.  I have done well with cleaning up the eats.  I followed the advice to try fruits among others.  I really appreciated the mental boost!

Here are some pictures from the past week.

A, Leann and Jack

Sqauntum 5 Miler- Just over 41 minutes, and I ran it with Leann.  The plan was not to go out fast as I had Hingham July 4th race just a few days later.  With the heat, humidity, hills and 6:45 PM start time, we certainly did not! I honestly don’t think I will do this race again.  I did not like the late start at all, and I hated the last part of the course.  We basically had to run a square and then run through a true trail that was narrow to finish.  But, it was fun to run with Leann as I have not since she left me in her dust at this year’s marathon!

4th of July

July 1st in the Office- Mark, my colleague, and I styling for America’s birthday

Jack Blue

 

Jack Blur

Jack’s pictures with Stephanie Beth Photography- so very cute

 

Jack 4th

Jack’s first fourth of July

 

I also ran the Hingham 4th of July race and did not have the race I intended to….. but the good thing is that my first mile was an 8:07 and my last one was a 7:13.  Good for distance, but not good for short races!  The best part of the race was that my husband ran it with a giant American flag…. yes, he held a flag for almost 5 miles, after never practicing with it before.  He is pretty awesome!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Dreaming....

I read Elizabeth Waterstraat's blog this morning and a paragraph in her post hit home:


Within weeks of giving birth, I was already dreaming. Of where I wanted to go athletically. Starting over. Where would the story end? You always write your own ending. Mine ended in Hawaii. Why? Dream big. And a very hormonal, post-partum girl can dream, right? Someone told me, the year after pregnancy go big. You’ll need something wow to motivate you, something big to make the sacrifices worth it, something out there that seems so impossible that you, as a driven athlete, will be compelled to work hard to make it possible.


While I do not have any athletic dreams of Hawaii, I had visions of that blue and yelllow finish line on Boylston Street. I had crossed that line four times already, but I really wanted it in 2011, mainly to prove to myself that I could do it.

I ran 3:54 this past April, and I am slightly ashamed to admit that I was a little dissapointed in myself. I know many would love to run a sub 4 marathon, but I ran 3:36 last year and knew that I am capable of more. But that day, I honestly gave everything that I had.

So now, I dream big. I have a fall marathon on the schedule, and I am working with Mary to lay the base to run a solid marathon this fall. I love running right now. Just love it! But, I need a few other building blocks to achieve my goals.

In order to do this, I need to be more accountable to myself. I love running, but I have been sorely slacking in other areas. Since returning to work, I have not been to hot yoga, and its absence is hurting both my flexibility and core strength. It is true that I have little time to get there, but I need to find the time. I am certain that my little butt injury that sidelined me for three weeks was an indirect result of this. Even if it is JUST once a week, it will help!

I also need to clean up my eating. I am constantly craving SUGAR lately. It is so bad! But, I know that this crazy craving is not helping me lose those last pounds. In order to be fast this fall, I need to be a bit leaner and also need to give my body more nutrients.

So there it is, my plan to get to October. Let the dreaming begin!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Commitment

 

Since the marathon ended, I have struggled with my running goals.  Finishing the marathon in one piece so soon after having Jack was the end goal.  Unlike previous years, I knew I could not place time pressures on myself as my training season was so abbreviated.  Post-marathon, I was excited for training, continued on with Mary, and then promptly injured myself doing nothing. Three weeks later, I ran the Harpoon race with my awesome husband, and I devoted myself back to my plan.  Mary has me doing lots of small but specific speed work intervals, and it is hard!  I have not done any real speed work since a year ago, and with the increased temperatures in Boston, I can feel them.

This shift in training requires a new perspective on my part, one that is a bit scary.  The pressure is on, and I have committed myself to it.  No longer can I blame the whole baby thing, because now it is 4 months later.  I am at the point where if I want to improve, I need to commit to doing those workouts that will make me stronger and faster.

It makes me anxious.  Although my next big race is not until an October marathon, I have lots of little races that I hope to feel confident at the start line.  I would love to PR at the Hingham Road Race (which in reality should be easy seeing that the course has been shortened from 4.6 to 4.5!).  But, at the same point, I am not quite where I need to be do that. 

The real struggle comes from how I am being a total wuss at times.  I am still learning to balance the  working mom thing, and I let myself off easy because of this.  The reality is that it was MUCH easier to train when I was on maternity leave.   Then I read some other ladies’ blogs and get a little bit of envy.  She has more kids than I do and is faster!  That one is a mom and works full time and is an Ironwoman. I only have to train about 6 hours a week- what am I complaining about!!!!

Totally a struggle to balance- I want to improve REALLY badly, but I am uncertain whether I am placing too high of expectations on myself too soon…..

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I have had some FUN with running lately.  I ran the Foxboro 5K with Liz and  some other lovely bloggers.  I need to do more social races like this- thanks for a great morning, ladies!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day Reflection

It is finally sunny and nice here in Boston. Though I should be outside, baby Jack is finally taking a nap. Call me crazy, but I will take being inside if it means that the child sleeps.

Sitting here on the couch gives me the opportunity to reflect on Memorial Day. When I first started dating my now husband, I knew very little about the military. A career in the armed forces was just not a common path for the New England crowd that I run in.... except for Bill. I knew when I started dating him that our relationship was going to be somewhat rocked by this whole military thing, but thought initially that the biggest challenges would be due to distance. After all, he was becoming a lawyer in a peacetime military.

Like all Americans, my world was rocked by 9.11. I will never forget the chaos of that day. Was this person okay? Thank heavens that another skipped a breakfast meeting at WTC that morning! I am sure that each and every one of us has not just one story but many. We use that day not just to recall the fallen, but it also serves as a reminder of how truly blessed we all are. No matter how tough life might seem, nothing compares to the tragedy that many families continue to experience each day.

It was after 9.11 that I finally began to understand the military. Bill, then my boyfriend, prepared for deployment to Afghanistan. I marveled at the bravery of the soldiers and also at the strength of the extended military family. Words cannot describe the bonds that develop for those left at home.

Bill and I are very blessed. He served in both Iraq and Afghanistan, and while he certainly saw danger firsthand, he arrived home safely both times. Today, when I think of those who died in the two wars that are still ongoing, I am slapped in the face by the reality that I am so lucky to have him. So very very blessed!

Others are not so fortunate, and I realize that. I will never forget when I heard that a young man named Brian McPhillips was killed in Iraq. I had not thought of Brian in many years when this sad news developed. I did not know Brian well, but he was a friend of my high school boyfriend. A Marine lietenant, Brian was killed in action during the first month of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Today when I go for my run, I will think of Brian. God Bless him.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

My Favorite Fan

Just a late picture from the marathon- here is my favorite fan Olivia greeting me near the 10K mark of Boston!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Harpoon 5 Miler

 

This past Sunday, I ran in the Harpoon 5 Mile Race.  For any blog readers that I might have left after being in a running funk and thus not posting, this occurrence is a bit of a surprise.  All in all, it was a great day!

(Full disclosure- this will not be my most eloquent post- I am rushing to write it- I feel like I have no time these days!!!)

Race Recap

I cannot say enough good things about this race.  My only only only complaint is that I did not get an exact 5 on my Garmin; the course was a little short and some of the mile markers were off.  Otherwise, the logistics were great. 

My husband, sister, baby and I headed to the Harpoon brewery at 9 AM for a 10AM race start.  Despite the 3,500 runners and their guests at the race, we were able to park, retrieve our numbers and hit the portapotties twice before heading to the corals at 9:40. 

We lined up with the 8 minute pace sign.  What was so impressive was that people were actually lining up correctly!  We easily walked up to the 8 minute sign and hung out until the start. I had been injured and cranky about running, but my pulled piformis had been feeling much better in the past two days.  I was not sure what to expect as I had barely run in the past three weeks, and was wincing in pain when running with my Learn to Run group. 

The race is a nice out and back loop.  Our first mile was a 7:45, which I thought was a little fast, but it felt okay.  I had decided to run by feel, and covered up my Garmin so I could not see it.  Because I am still feeling the butt muscle, I did not want to give 100% effort out there and risk getting reinjured.  But, it was a race and I wanted to run it just a tad uncomfortably!  Not too much, but I wanted to be on that edge of knowing there was more to give.

Typically,  my husband and I run every race together except for the Hingham July 4th race- that one we do on our own.  He started falling behind me a little bit at the turn around, and I thought he wanted me to be cautious.  So, although I kept going, I tried to keep him in sight and not lose him.  He claims, the good husband he is, that I was running well, and that he was tired.  The truth is that he is a faster runner than me, and I think he was nervous because I could barely walk earlier in the week!

I finished in 37:36- a 7:32 pace.  The Garmin said I was a 7:35 pace, so I will take that as well!

Race Reflection

I felt like I got my groove back with this race.  Being injured since the Royal Wedding (yes, that was the last day I had ran) had really dampened my spirits.  I had to drop off a relay team because of it, and not running was making me very very sad.  It was as if my best friend in 2nd grade became a mean girl.  That is how sad I felt!

But, we reunited today.  It was a little awkward at first, and I know our relationship still needs some work, but I know we can get there.

Post Race Pictures

Ash and Jack

Jack and his babysitter

Hello I am Jack

Cheering us on!

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Family Picture

Jack Stretching Post Race

Stretching post race

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A Literal P.I.A.

One word to explain my lack of blogging- INJURED! What is a running blog without running to write about?

I literally have a P.I.A. The pain is right in my piformis muscle. At first, I tried to ignore it and kept running. This strategy left me unable to walk the day after I run. Not being able to walk is difficult when one has a three month old.... just saying!

My friend is a GREAT physical therapist, and she gave me a whole routine to do. I have religiously doing them every day for a week, so I thought I might have some results. Nope! I still have a major P.I.A.

I feel very lost without my running. The whole scenario is so very frustrating. I did not get injured during marathon training but now I am for no reason! I ran ten days after having a natural birth and did not get injured. Apparently, the whole experiment is catching up with my body.

I am so torn- I can run, but it hurts. Not childbirth hurt, but it still feels pretty terrible. I cannot decipher whether or not I should try to push through the pain. I cannot figure out what it means that I cannot walk the next day, but then am okay a day later.

Deep breaths that I will get over this soon..... and apologies for a ranting rambling blog post!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Running Class

 

For the past two springs, I have taught a little running class through our town’s recreation department. The goal of the course is to successfully train runners for the annual Fourth of July road race. It is an exciting tradition in our little town- the road even was even striped red, white and blue for the occasion last year.

I began my third installment of this class this past Wednesday evening.  Thirteen students signed up for the course, and I am excited to work with them to achieve this goal.  Although I do not miss teaching high school, I do miss teaching.  This class helps me to get my fix.

Teaching the class this year was a difficult decision for me.  Back to work full time, I feel that any moment spent away from my little baby needs to be purposeful.  But, it came down to the fact that I really enjoy working with the students in this class.  I was not a runner myself, and still think it is pretty amazing that I was able to transform myself into one.  This class brings me back to my first Hingham road race and reminds me of why I became a runner.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

My Little Jack Rabbit…. and My Final Words about Boston 2011

 

Another shameless plug of my little Jack Rabbit- he makes me so happy!

Jack Rabbit

I know I am his mama, but my goodness, his Easter picture may be the cutest thing ever.

My race recap of Boston is now over a week late.  Fortunately, it now means most of the emotion about the race has died down for me, and I can concisely summarize the day.

(1) I went out a little too fast….. Boston #5 and I still am learning….

(2) The weather was a little too hot for my liking, especially after training in this winter.  Next year, I plan on jacking up the heat in  my house and running on my best friend the treadmill.  The HEAT (I am being dramatic) caused me some distress, and I let it get to me.

(3) Although I had a great training cycle for it being so short, I don’t think I was as ready for the race as I would have liked.  At mile 22, running became slow and ugly.  Then again, that could be the result of going out too fast and the heat. 

(4) I really, really, really want to run another marathon soon.  So, as Colleen said in a comment, why don’t I?  A fall marathon is on the horizon!

(5) The end was awesome.  I mean really- look at me as I run onto Boylston!  I love this race no matter the outcome. And that my friends is the spirit of running.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Boston Marathon Recap Prelude- How I Trained for a Marathon after Giving Birth

As I sat down to write my recap of the Boston Marathon, I realized that I wanted to capture the months that led up to the date. Knock on wood- Jack hopefully will not be my only child. I want to be able to look back on these months if I am pregnant and struggling with exercise what I was able to accomplish the first time.

I found out I was pregnant with Jack within a month after the 2010 Boston Marathon. TTC was a struggle for me, so needless to say I was nervous as running was pointed to as one of the possible culprits. Initially, I thought I would stop running when I was pregnant again. However, each spring, I teach a Learn to Run class in our town that prepares participants for our annual Fourth of July Road Race. It starts the week after Boston. So, not only did I need to instruct the class, but I needed to keep my running up so that I stayed faster than the students.

So, run I did- up until the month of my due date. I did not put in serious miles or break any speed records.

I ran with Cisco.



I ran with Bill.



I ran even when I was pushing it at ten minute miles.



(Even though I am huge here, I think it may be my favorite picture of myself. I feel so hardcore!)

I stopped running in the few weeks before the marathon, but I still was walking, going to hot yoga and on the elliptical. When Boston training started in the beginning of January, I devoted every Sunday to spending as much time walking/ellipticalling for the time that I should have been running. Even though it was not running, I know this cardio helped me immensely in the next few months.

Then, Jack was born. Big, big, ouch. I remember walking to the restroom the day I had him and thinking that I could barely make it there, so how could I possibly run Boston. I tried running for the first time 10 days after I had him and did 5 painful miles on the treadmill. EVERYTHING hurt. Everything! I chalked it up to the fact that I needed to start somewhere. Then, I went to the gym about two weeks after I gave birth to Jack and only completed 8 miles on the treadmill (with walking breaks) on a day where I should have been running miles in the high teens to be adequately prepped for Boston. It was a huge struggle. I cried to my husband. I was so upset. And I emailed Mary and asked her to coach me.

And, coach me she did. It was the best money I have ever spent. Much better than any lululemon outfit. Really! I did not technically need a coach; I had run 6 marathons before then after all. But, I needed major confidence that I could pull it off. And, Mary and her program rebuilt both my physical and mental strength. And, despite having a month of from running and starting some mileage, I did not get injured.

I cannot say that I am super happy with my time at this year's Boston. It was 20 minutes slower than last year after all. But, I am so proud of myself that I had the courage to even consider trying this crazy experiment. It was awesome crossing onto Boylston that day- it really took a village to get me there. My parents watched Jack so much so I could run. Mary coached me. My blogging buddies gave me support. My running club friends pushed me to get back with my normal group. And, my husband, well, he never doubted for one second that I could do it. He was my confidence when I did not have any.

I am not anyone special for trying this. There are lots of running moms out there who come back faster after having birth. But, I never considered myself an athlete. Yet, Jack will never know me as anything but a runner. How awesome is that!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

A Little Bit of a Heartbreaker- Boston Marathon 2011

 

What an amazing day!  I did not run a PR, nor did I come close to it.  Yet, I finished this race with a huge smile on my face.

Marathon #7- 3:54:37

I am SO very sad that it is over.  It is a little bit of a heartbreaker for me.  I just will miss marathon training so very much.

Full recap to come, but here are some pictures that capture the day

 

Heading to the coralls with Leann and Steph

Trying to stay strong

On Beacon Street near the end with dead legs but still smiling!

Onto Hereford- the end is near!

#7 Complete

 

Marathon 2011

With my number one fan

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Faithful from start to finish

Faithful from start to finish

When I finished reading this article by Father Brian, tears came to my eyes. He writes that he runs to give praise to God for the creation of life. How beautifully stated! My little Jack illustrates this phrase for me. I simply look at him and am reminded of why I am running tomorrow.

Take the time to read Father Brian's words. Even if you are not Catholic, I promise you will find some gems.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

For Patty

 

Before I begin this blog post, many thanks to all those who posted nice words about the post on Another Mother Runner. You make me blush.  I am just a lady trying to figure this whole balancing act out.

Tis the week before Boston, and of course, the taper is making me a little mad.  Mary still has some runs on my schedule, including one that made me descend in speed.  I did it, and I would stand on my head if she told me too, but there was something so counter-intuitive about slowing down. Especially for me…..

That run was a reminder for me.  My life has been extremely busy since I returned to work.  Jack and I attended a Bachelorette in NYC- he is so wild! And, there have been board meetings and just stuff to go along with the work, the family life and the training. I never imagined how hard it would be.  Jack is in wonderful hands with my parents’ for the month of April, and I do enjoy being back at work.  I love him more than I can express, but leaving him is not the hardest part. Living life is a logistical nightmare right now.  Every day feels rushed and hectic, and I probably need to descend the pace a little bit and cut down on some of my obligations. 

I have been thinking a lot this week about HOW I want to live my life.  Much of this reflection was a result of the passing of my husband’s Aunt Patty this past Monday.  She was 74 years young, but you would have thought she was 16 by the way she acted and lived her life.  The woman was a storm of activity and dominated any room that she entered.  Outspoken, Patty lived her life the way SHE wanted to.  She really did not care what anyone thought of her or her opinions.  I so very much admire her for that. 

Patty was diagnosed with late stage cancers shortly after I had Jack.  The prognosis certainly wasn’t good, and she accepted it with dignity.  My husband and I brought Jack down to meet Patty not even two weeks ago on April 1st.  Though she was very sick and it was hard to see her that way, I will always remember how she held Jack, rocking him and kissing him.  Our last afternoon spent with Patty was so wonderful, and I will be forever grateful for her love.

This weekend, instead of being in Boston with the frenzy of the marathon, I will be in Hartford with our family celebrating the life of this remarkable woman.  God Bless you Patty.  I am privileged to have had you as a part of my life.  This year’s Boston is for you. 

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Thursday, April 7, 2011

Don't Be Afraid to Lose

I stole this from Elizabeth's blog. It provided me with complete inspiration for Boston.

Bring it on!




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On a side note, I am featured by the lovely authors of Another Mother Runner today on their blog! Thank you, Sarah and Dimity!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Balancing Act

 

I returned to work this week.  There may have been some tears shed on Sunday (and maybe even on Saturday too), but Monday was a good day.  There were no tears shed on my part, though I think my husband may have experienced a few from baby Jack during the day. My adult brain functioned, and  I wore a pair of heels for the first time since December.  I would call the day a success based on these two facts alone.

Even better, I managed to fit it two runs since my return.  One did start at the early hour of 4:45 AM and did occur on my second husband, the treadmill.  But, it was completed.

I should mention that it is Wednesday, and I am exhausted from the week already. 

Life for me has evolved into one big balancing act this week.  How do I care for Jack’s needs?  How do my husband and I find time for each other? How do I remain a productive  member of my office?

I admittedly am not good at balancing. This skill is like Mandarin to me, a foreign language that I cannot decipher, read or understand.  I tend to be the type of person who commits 110% to everything she does.  With Jack, I am not sure there is time to give 110% anymore. 

Maybe, just maybe, I don’t need to give 110%.  Maybe I need to be more balanced.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

A Week in Paradise

 

I fell off the face of the earth this week….. no email, no google reader, no twitter, etc.  It was my last week of maternity leave, so we needed to get away.  I love work, but am not ready to go back.  Very conflicting indeed! So, to the Westin St. John we went! More on that later….

But, the day before we left I ran a 20 miler on the Boston course.  For most training for the big day this year, this feat is nothing big.  For a lady who gave birth nine weeks previous, it was a huge feat.  I had not run this far since the marathon last year.  This was a big huge deal for me.  I know I need to get over myself.  Running post pregnancy is all the rage lately (just kidding!) - and some ladies like Dorothy are simply inspiring to me.  Please go ahead and read her recap of the National Half.  You will get what I mean when you read it.  I read about Dorothy and read this Kara Goucher article and realized that it was time to face the music.  I have made the choice to compete in the Boston Marathon this year; no one is forcing me to Hopkinton on April 18th. 

The 20 miler was AWESOME!  I ran with my friend Leann, which is one of my favorite things to do in the world.  I adore this girl and our friendship.  And, she pulled me through this course.  I only left the run with a little apprehension.  What can I pull off?  What if I had a few more weeks?

We headed to St. John on Monday morning.  I love Boston, but I certainly could live in the warm weather year round.  Although I indulged, I nailed my workouts from coach Mary. They may have all been run on a treadmill, but they were all completed and completed well.  I am still jazzed up from the 20 miler!

It was a great vacation, one of the best.  We enjoyed it immensely.

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I think this picture is so funny!  There is no crying in paradise Baby Jack!

IMG_0596 

Popping the color

IMG_0613

I love swimming!

I cannot believe that Monday will be April 4th, the date since before I knew I had a little baby boy that I would return to work.  I am so not ready…. to return to work, for the marathon, to face the new reality that my life will be.  But, I have no choice.  It is time to face the music.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Apprehension

Is it crazy that I am running a marathon next month and this is the least of my concerns?

Lately, I have been wracked with worry and apprehension. Thank goodness I decided to resume running shortly after having Jack; I can only imagine what the state of my mind might be in if I had not. The running is good right now; not great, but good and I am okay with that. I get a little stronger each week, and following a plan is good for me.

However, within two weeks, I return to work. There is no plan unfortunately for me to follow here. I realize that I am not the first woman to face this situation, but since it is the first time I have to deal with it, it is a BIG deal for me. I truthfully like my job and enjoy the company of those I work with each day. I am grateful for this. But, thinking about returning and the logistics of it all cause me to cringe. My whole day right now is consumed by taking care of Jack and trying to keep our little home life in order, and I drive myself crazy thinking about how I will do it all once I am out of the house everyday from 7-6. And, find the time to work out and run as well!

Needless to say, I am freaking out already about how I will keep it all together once I am back to work. I know that I need to breathe and go with the flow, and realize that although it will not be easy, I will manage. I need to have a little more confidence in it. I just wish there was some type of training plan to prepare me for those first few months.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

 

Yes, I am shamelessly posting pictures of my baby…..

Love this little guy

St Pat 2

An Irish Jig

Irish Jig

A Big Smile

Happy Jack

Monday, March 14, 2011

Confidence Boosters

 

Every expectant mother is told horror stories about labor and delivery by well meaning women.  However, no one really shared with me how difficult the first few weeks of recovery are on the body.  I am not sure of what I expected, but I was certainly naive in thinking that I would bounce back quickly. 

My fitness has been coming along slowly but surely in the six weeks since I arrived home with Jack from the hospital. Many in my life have commented to me that I am so good and so lucky to be able to do so much at this point.  Like Jenn, these comments make me cringe a bit, even though I politely smile and say thank you.  I have worked so hard over the past few weeks with the help of Mary.  It is not luck and it is not because I am good. Rather, it is a result of working out up until the day before my water broke and then working with a coach to rebuild my base fitness.  There are definitely times that I would rather sleep or snuggle my little baby, but I know that for the sake of my sanity, I need to embrace the fitness wagon.

Needless to say, it has been frustrating to see how slower miles were hard though I certainly have improved in the six weeks.  Yet, I seemed to still be stuck lately in the 9 minute range, and I was hoping for a breakthrough.

Last week, I could not get Sally Meyerhoff out of my head.  In her last blogpost before her sad and unexpected death, she wrote, “Things are going very well and I couldn't be happier. I can tell my fitness improves weekly, which feels nice, ha! My run fitness is not where I want it to be right now but A is giving me great workouts that test me and improve my strength.” 

She also wrote, “I cannot express how HAPPY I am with where I am in my life right now though, and how grateful I feel for being able to do what I do. I just wouldn't trade it for anything and any time I am feeling not very motivated, I think about how miserable I feel when I am not training or doing something else I don't LOVE. I totally and completely love this life I'm living and the most fabulous thing is that I know it's only going to get 20 times better by the end of the year.”  As I look at my little Jack sleep in my lap as I write this post, these words really hit home.

So sad.  RIP Sally…. her words were resonating with me as I reflected on my own state and my goals for this year.

With Sally in mind, I tackled my workouts for the rest of the week. Luckily, we are beginning to see glimpses of spring in New England.  I was able to run in my running skirt on both Saturday and Sunday.  (Sally was a BIG fan of the running skirt and though I did not know her, I wanted to pay my own little tribute to her.) And no, my white legs were not what boosted my confidence.  My runs were actually both great this weekend; Sally was clearly inspiring me as I traveled along the roads. 

Saturday’s run was short, just 35 minutes on the schedule.  I wore the Garmin but covered it up so that I could just run by feel, knowing where the 2 mile turnaround was and figuring I would be a few minutes over 35 once I returned. What a nice surprise it was to see that I was right at 35 once I returned home- 8:30s felt like a big victory.

I woke on Sunday morning and headed to L St.  My best running friend Leann agree to run with me, and I told her I wanted to hit 9s, feeling bad I as know this is slow for her. We were running a bit fast, but I did not feel as if I was trashing myself. I spent the first 9 miles of the 15 mile run worried that I was going to blow up- could I hold onto this pace?  Why did it feel good? Somehow, I did, and we finished 15 miles in about 2:08.  This run was a huge improvement from last week. I arrived at Sunday night feeling a world better about where my running is and where my fitness is post-baby.

For the rest of marathon training, until April 18th (thanks Liz- how did I mess up the day of the marathon in my last post?),  Sally will inspire me.  I want to be grateful for this opportunity, to be totally in love with the life that I am living.  With all the small things that happen in daily life, it is easy to lose track of this big picture. I need to place that in front of me and use it as my focal point.

 

Trying to Smile

Thursday, March 10, 2011

I Have Not Posted in a Long Time so I Have to Write Random Things

 

I have not posted in a very long time, but I have read all of your blogs religiously.  It is very hard to write an entire post while nursing Baby Jack.  However, blogs bring me countless hours of entertainment while I undergo countless hours of nursing. I think of many, many things to blog about during this time and then forget about them.  I am only able to blog right now as my parents are here and ogling over him. 

Jack is almost 7 weeks old.  Yikes!  I am going back to work on April 4th.  Bigger yikes!  Boston is on April 19th- biggest yikes!

My running continues to be the fourth  love of my life, after the husband, the baby and the puppy.  Honestly, I don’t know how people follow the postpartum directives to not workout for 6 weeks post delivery.  Our bodies were meant to move, and exercise is such a relief and a break from what life has become.  I realize that I am not a medical expert, and that I worked out until the day before my water broke.  But, for me, breaking that rule has been the right decision.

I realize that I run way too much at the gym and on the treadmill.  I have a serious, serious infatuation with the treadmill, so much so that I should probably not be called a runner.  Runners like the outdoors and so forth.  I like a moving belt and watching the captions on tv.  I even ignored my crying baby when I had 5 more minutes to go on the treadmill- mother of the year I know. Seeing that the Boston Marathon will not be run on a treadmill, and that our New England weather is a bit more bearable, I have been making an effort to run outdoors.  Shhh… don’t tell the treadmill, but I enjoyed every one of those runs.

Sunday’s long run was awesome- 16 miles outdoors and in capris and a long sleeve. I ran through Hull, Hingham and Cohasset.  If anyone is local, consider doing the Cohasset by the Sea 10K.  It is a tough course but the scenery is so very worth it.  I loved the run, until I realized how dehydrated I was and bonked at mile 13. And there was no store to buy water…. and I was stupid for only bringing one bottle of Poland Springs with me.  I just slowed down, realized my mistake and got home.

People watching at the gym is the BEST.  Maybe that reason number 54  is why I love the treadmill as well.  When I walked into the gym the other day, a girl walked about and IMMEDIATELY lit up a cigarette!  What????  I guess she was at the gym at least.  And, I love the muscle head men walking on the treadmills.  And, the old ladies with their SPARKLY tops walking on the treadmills (because I tend to go at times of days when they are out).  I guess I should wonder why so many people at my gym are walking…..

My mother wants to leave and thus not let me blog anymore…. Well, see you when I convince her to take care of him the next time….

Monday, February 28, 2011

Running Long

Every time I have reached mile 19 or so in a marathon, I question my sanity. Why do I keep signing up for marathons? What compels me to put myself through the event one more time?

My questions to myself are answered during training. I will never ever be a speed demon. Certainly, I am not a turtle of a runner, but I do not have the desire to train to become a hare. However, when I am running long, I experience complete nirvana. Trudging along, I achieve some sort of zen.

Yesterday, I had 13 miles planned according to my coach. I was planning to get up in the morning and head to South Boston, to connect with my L St running club friends. I got my fussy little baby to bed before 11 which is a miracle; he must know that the only night I need to sleep is on Saturday so he refuses to go to bed on this night. I felt the stars were lining up to get me to Southie.

I woke up in the morning and looked out window. There was snow falling, and my excitement level for my run rose. And then I saw the car in my driveway.... that was blocking in our cars. One of my husband's friends left it there after their night of revelry. It meant that I was not driving in to the club as there were no keys to move the car.

Needless to say, I was not happy. My perfect little plan was set aside. I looked outside and saw our lack of sidewalks and plows rumbling by and realized that it was probably not so safe to head out for a run on the streets of Hingham. But, I was ready to go. Plan C came into action.

Enter my trusty little treadmill. I LOVE running on the treadmill, but 13 is a ominous number to complete on one. I had little choice though but to get on it if I wanted to run at that very moment. The treadmill started up, and I headed along my way.

It was a great run! Honestly! My music motivated me, and I was literally arm dancing on my treadmill while running at times. My shirt that I placed over the display distracted me from how much I had to go and kept me just running by feel. I ran for just over 2 hours without stopping, evenly paced. With my gus and water on the console, there was no reason to stop. And, the realization hit me as it does every training cyle. I love to run long. I think, reflect and connect with my mind and body. The sweat cleanses me, and even though I am technically dirty, the experience purifies me. I need to bottle this little moment, capturing the essence of how I feel when I run long.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Get After It

On Monday, Baby Jack turned one month old. Amazing- my little guy is getting bigger and cuter by the day. He weighs in at a whopping 9 pounds now. More amazing is reflecting on how physically beat up I felt a month ago. I literally felt like I was hit by a truck and had been on a horse too long- simultaneously. I remember walking with my very numb leg in the post-recovery room, on two hours of sleep and thinking that I was absolutely crazy to have registered for the marathon... (and perhaps absolutely crazy that this thought was crossing my mind at the current moment)

I honestly felt that I was never going to be able to run again at that moment. I could barely walk to the bathroom. And, then, the nurse practioner gave me the speech where she tells you not to exercise for six weeks postpartum as she was releasing me from the hospital. I wanted to cry. For the first week home, I felt terrible, sleep deprived and also jealous of my husband when he came up from the treadmill. I was not happy with my fate.

I came to the realization that I could continue to feel lousy or I could get after it.

Get after it- what does this imply for me right now? I need to set goals and go for them. Instead of just wishing I could recover from the labor and delivery, I need to be proactive about recovery. Physical exercise is a huge part of it for me, not just running but also yoga and other things. I also need to be smart about how I try to reach them. I must use a plan to get there so I don't risk injury. Hence why I am using a coach for the first time as I plan to run my seventh marathon.

Our attitude in life largely determines our outcomes. If my attitude is that I can succeed if I put the work in, this whole crazy plan to run Boston will be okay. If I doubt that I can do it, I am setting myself up for failure at the starting line.

Right now, my house may be covered in baby gifts and dog hair, I may not have written one thank you note, but my workouts are completed each day. And, I am so happy because of it.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Adjusting to the new life

There is certainly a new sheriff in town. Baby Jack is the best, but he certainly demands much of my time. I am a woman who loves a schedule and loves being on time, so a newborn with zero sense of time and little obligations is a bit baffling to me. Needless to say, I have had to mellow a bit and go with the flow. This is very hard for me, but I realize that my new boss has not set his own schedule yet.

I have not blogged in almost two weeks, as most of my computer time is done one-handed while nursing. Thus, I have read lots and lots of blogs (and articles and opinion pieces about the BAA and the change in the Boston registration. But, I have been working on writing this blog for four days now!

Although I may not be blogging and my house may be a mess of unopened presents, m workouts have not suffered. I am working with Mary to prep for Boston, and thank heavens I am! I have a bit going on, and it is so easy to simply open up my email and see what I have to do today. I like lists, so for me, this is a great way to train.

I have about 90 different blog posts in my head, and so much to comment on! But for now, I am going to be content with this little post about nothing. Baby steps, right?

Monday, February 7, 2011

8 Measly Miles

Does an 8 mile run count as a long run in marathon training? For old Adrienne, definitely not. For the past two years, that was the minimum length of my Tuesday and Thursday runs during Boston training. For post baby Adrienne, apparently it counts as I finished my first week back running with the longest run that I have completed since finding out I was pregnant.

I blame it on my husband. He wanted to leave the gym, because his workout was done. Otherwise, I would have stayed on longer (or so I tell myself!). Is it depressing that he can run 6 miles and lift weights in the time that it took me to run 8? Very much so- I could not believe that it took me an hour and eighteen minutes to complete that run. Last year at this time, I had the ability to run this same distance in just over an hour.

But, these are merely comparisons, right? I know that I cannot be comparing myself at this time last year to myself at two weeks postpartum. I know that if I tried to run faster at this point, injuries would spring up. Patience has never been a virtue of mine, but I am working very hard to develop it right now.

I am so nervous running right now; it feels fine, but I was told not to run until 6 weeks postpartum. In life, I am a rule follower. I like schedules, and I follow directions very well. Going against doctor's orders is an act of rebellion for me. Unfortunately, I do not have the time to take off if I want to run Boston. I also need the mental release of running right now. It is in EVERYONE's best interest for me to run. I am absolutely in love with my baby boy, but I need a little break sometimes.

8 Measly Miles..... I will take it for what it is, another steppingstone as I journey back to a marathoner.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Newbie

The last few weeks I have felt like such a newbie to everything. I am new to motherhood. I feel as if my husband and I have a new relationship; this little guy has totally strengthened my bond to him. I feel new to running, as I just work with my ten minute miles as I continue my recovery. Even staying at home full time feels new (and a bit awkward I must admit).

Tonight, I returned to yoga for the first time since I had Jack. I had run three miles on the treadmill earlier and was looking to do a little bit more. Once again, I felt new to the entire experience. Though my mind knew the postures, my body acted as if I was learning them all over again. I went to hot yoga just three days before I went into labor with Jack, and I practiced throughout my pregnancy. However, tonight, I did not have a big belly at practice. All the modifications that I had made for the past months were pushed aside. I was not worried about balance during crow so I could challenge myself to do it tonight. There were no more excuses to hold back. However, after not doing this posture for some time, it was as if I was attempting it for the first time. In half moon, I was off balance because it was strange to not have the stomach anymore. My body was retraining itself the entire practice.

Tonight's yoga was a great practice for me. It reminded me that the next few months are going to be full of new challenges. It will be frustrating at times, but I just need to remember that I have to be willing to attempt things. I must remind myself that as everything does with practice, my mind and body will embrace my new life.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Recovering from the Arrival of Baby Jack

 

Poor little baby Jack probably thinks that world is a snow covered place.  It has literally done nothing but snow since he arrived into the world on January 21st at 8AM.  Right now, in Boston, we are experiencing heavy snowfall with an estimated forecast of 15 inches.

The snow covered roads are making me feel a little less guilty about the fact that I have not started training for Boston yet.  Each week, I look at my running club’s homepage and become very jealous about their long runs.  I LOVE long runs.  They are my favorite workout.  But, I am still recovering from the arrival of Baby Jack and just not ready to pound the pavement for hours yet.

No one EVER told me that recovering from birth would be this difficult.  Maybe it was my own naivety, but I did not expect it to take this long.  I thought that keeping myself in shape would help with the recovery.  But, in the ten days since Jack was born, I only have been able to walk, and I ran a whopping two miles very slow on Sunday.  And, according to my hospital discharge instructions, these activities were illegal.  The doctor told me no physical activity for 6 weeks.  Clearly, she is out of her mind. It was not my actual doctor, so she obviously did not read that I worked out until the day before my water broke.

But back to the recovery- it hurts!  Jack was almost 20 inches and 7 pounds 13 ounces upon arrival.  He also required 4 hours of pushing- it took me twenty four LESS minutes to run the marathon last year! Needless to say, he tore me open on his entry into the world, giving me almost 20 stitches in various places and a severe case of anemia due to blood loss.  Last week, I was dizzy and hobbling and wondering why the stork did not deliver him to me.  Jack is TOTALLY worth it, but he certainly did a number on my body.

As a runner, I have learned to push through discomfort.  Recovering from giving birth makes me feel like a new runner again.  I am unsure of what is good pain and what is bad pain.  I am anxious, testing the waters, and uncertain.

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Today, we are once again stuck at home due to the snow.  I intended to go to yoga, but our driveway is VERY steep and I was nervous that I would not get back up it with the snow.  So, I lounged around most of the day (which really translates into nursing and changing the baby most of the day) until I finally decided to walk on the treadmill.  After 1/4 mile, I realized that it was not doing much for me.  I decided to run the next quarter at a ten minute pace.  Since it felt good, I kept going…. until I hit five miles.  It was a HUGE victory for me in this recovery.  It certainly was not my best run, but I felt like me for the first time since I had Jack.

Jack is 100% worth it.  I never imagined that I would have such a sweet little boy.  I cannot believe my body made such a wonderful little thing.  But, selfishly, I was glad today to see that now it can do more than just breastfeed!

 

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My two boys

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Baby Jack

John “Jack” Gerard Ramsey arrived Friday, January 21st at 8:00 AM on the dot during the snowstorm.  Nothing prepared me for the childbirth experience or for how much in love with my little man that I am.

 

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Jack Day 3

Ashley's Little Rock Star

Full recap of the most intense physical endurance event I have ever experienced to come….. but now I need to go nurse Jack for literally the tenth time today.