Posted by: runawaynotes | April 17, 2015

The Game Plan

Well, I had my 6 week postpartum appointment on Tuesday, and the doctor has cleared me to resume all physical activity without any restrictions. Yay! Of course, I still have the restrictions of having a newborn baby to care for, so resuming physical activity is going to be easier said than done. My baby girl was cooperative enough though to allow me to have an hour long chiropractor appointment this week, which has made a huge difference in how I feel. I was actually able to run 2 miles at 12:15 pace without feeling like my pelvis was about to crumple at any moment.

So, now I need to come up with a game plan for how I am going to re-join the wonderful world of running. Clearly, I am going to have to take baby steps (he-he), and it will take some trial and error to figure out what works for my “new normal”. It is pretty clear to me that any type of organized training program is out of the question at this point since I am very much on my baby’s feeding and sleeping schedule. Plus, there are days when I am so exhausted that my only goal for the day is to get my 8 hours of sleep. However, I still need a fairly decent level of structure and some specific goals. Otherwise, it will be just way to easy to talk myself out of going for a run when I don’t necessarily feel like it. Taking all this into consideration (and accounting for my current fitness level), I think I am going to try and aim to complete the Must-Dash 5K on June 20. It’s a nice manageable distance; I will have 2 months to get ready for it; this particular race is small, fun, and very family friendly; and, finally, June 20 just happens to be my birthday, so it was too good to pass up :-) I am setting no time goal for myself. All I want is to run a 5K and feel good after I finish.

As for the training itself, I will try to run at least once a week, but ideally two or three times, if the baby allows it. She has been waking up around 6 or 7 am, so I am hoping that maybe we can work out a routine where I feed her, put her back to sleep, and go for a run while my husband is watching her. This way I can get my run in before it gets super hot (Texas summer is almost upon us), and since my running distance is still fairly short, I should be back home before baby girl wakes and demands to be fed again. I think this plan is genius, and I am very proud of it. I will let you know how screwed up it will get when reality interferes.

The main challenge will actually be getting out of bed at 7 am, considering how sleep deprived I am. The only way to remedy this is to go to bed as soon as the baby falls asleep in the evening, which can be as early as 9 or 10 pm. This way I would be able to take full advantage of the 4 hour stretch of sleep that she typically has. Of course, this sucks for me, since my usual bed time is around midnight, and falling asleep so early is not always realistic. But hey, this should get me ready for that fun time when I have to return to work. After all, I did manage to train myself to nap during the day while the baby is napping, which used to be impossible for me to do. So, this is what I am making my goal for the upcoming week – to adjust my evening routine and switch to a much earlier bedtime. Like I said, it’s all about baby steps at the moment.

 

Posted by: runawaynotes | April 14, 2015

Back in the game

Well, it has certainly been quite some time since I posted anything. I had my reasons for disappearing for so long. It started as a simple burnout. After training so hard for so long, running stopped being fun and felt more like a chore. Plus, I have sort of plateaued distance-wise. Long runs no longer felt like an accomplishment because I knew I could push myself harder and run longer (I just didn’t want to). Writing about running was no longer fun either. I enjoyed chronicling the struggles and triumphs of my marathon training, but I had no clue how to write about everyday stuff. I mean, I wouldn’t want to read about someone’s yet another 5 mile run (on the same course, with no particular goal in mind), so why would I want to write about this? So, I was burnt out, and I decided to take a break.

This break ended up taking a lot longer than I originally anticipated because in June of last year I learned that I was going to be running for two (if I chose to do so). I was super excited – for obvious reason, primarily – but also because this would give me both a new purpose in running and some great writing material. I was already envisioning myself with a nice round belly wearing a tech shirt emblazoned with “Baby’s first half marathon”. I mean, you see at least one pregnant woman at every race, and there are so many blogs of running mothers and mothers-to-be who knocked out an easy 5-miler in the morning before giving birth to their bundle of joy in the afternoon. If they could do it, I could do it. How hard can it be?

Well, apparently it was much harder than I ever imagined. Even though my doctor was unbelievably cool with me running, my body had other ideas. I was placed on partial bed rest for the entire first trimester due to some pregnancy-related issues, so I wasn’t even allowed to start running again until I was 13 weeks along. At that point, my heart rate started going all over the place. I could be sitting in my car waiting for my Garmin to locate satellites, and my heart rate was a nice 70 bpm. By the time I climbed out of the car, it would be at 90 bpm. My easy warm-up walking mile brought me to 120 bpm, and if I dared to even try to jog, it would soar all the way to 140-160 bpm. In addition to the heart rate issues, my feet and knees simply refused to support the extra pounds that I was putting on, and my lower back was threatening to quit as well. So, my runs quickly turned into run-walks, which then turned into fast-ish walks. I stubbornly pushed through until I was 27 weeks along. This is when my friends and I ran Dallas Marathon Relay (I did a 5 mile leg), and I promised myself that I would not even look at running shoes until after I give birth.

So, here I am today, waiting for my doctor to clear me to start exercising again at my 6 week postpartum appointment tomorrow. I am about 10 lbs heavier than I was when I ran MCM; my knees, hips, and lower back are sort of jacked from pregnancy, labor, and carrying around a constantly growing baby; and the longest distance I can run at the moment (yes, I already tried running even before talking to a doctor) is 2 miles at 12:41 min/mile pace, which makes me feel like I am going to die. The other things working against me are constant sleep deprivation and being unable to commit to any type of rigid schedule do the the fact that you can’t ask a hungry 6-week old infant to wait while her mom finishes an easy 3-miler. Oh, and I am planning on going back to work full time at the end of May. Given all these things, getting back in shape is going to be… interesting, to say the least. And “interesting” means that, finally, I will have something to write about :-) So, please wish me luck!

Posted by: runawaynotes | November 14, 2013

Thoughts…

This week I came across two different articles about running. One was in WSJ, the other in Runner’s World. One was filled with derision, the other was sad but uplifting. The first one left me feeling annoyed and a bit defensive. And the second one… the second one showed me exactly why the first article was completely irrelevant. If you are a runner, you’ve probably come across at least one of these articles. The first one is “Ok, You’re a Runner. Get Over it” by Chad Stafko. The second one is “Jim’s Last Group Run” by Jason Andersen.  Read More…

Posted by: runawaynotes | October 20, 2013

One week to go…

Well, so much for me keeping up with my writing during this training season. I could come up with some pretty valid excuses – busy work schedule, my computer dying on me, etc. But the truth is – I just really didn’t feel like writing during these past 4 months. So, now that I only have one week left to go before my race, I am trying to sort out what was going through my head during this training season that made me not feel like sharing my experience this time.  Read More…

Posted by: runawaynotes | July 28, 2013

Friendship

Friendships are a beautiful thing. They enrich our lives. They lift us up. They are usually based on things like trust, mutual respect, and some shared interests. Except when it comes to me and my friend Megan. Our friendship is based on mutual torture, humiliation, and huge amount of inappropriateness. :-)

Read More…

Posted by: runawaynotes | July 28, 2013

Long time no see

Yes, I know that I’ve been MIA for quite some time. But I promise, I have a good excuse reason. First, there were two weeks of vacation (in two different countries). Then, there was a week of having no computer due to the fact that my Garmin had killed it (I’ll have more to say about this later). Finally, there was an overseas business trip (yet to another country). So, I do have a lot of catching up to do.
Read More…

Posted by: runawaynotes | June 11, 2013

MCM Training Week 3 Summary

Weekly summary:

Monday – rest
Tuesday – 7 miles base
Wednesday – 4 miles easy
Thursday – Friday – missed runs
Saturday – 3 miles easy
Sunday – missed run
Total Miles: 14 :-( Read More…

Posted by: runawaynotes | June 3, 2013

MCM Training Week 2 Summary

Weekly Summary:

Monday – rest
Tuesday – 5 miles base
Wednesday – 3 miles easy
Thursday – 6 miles base
Friday – rest (did a lot of walking that day though)
Saturday – 4 miles (Bloomin’ 4 mile race)
Sunday – 9 miles base
Total Miles: 27

Read More…

Posted by: runawaynotes | May 26, 2013

MCM Training Week 1 Summary

Weekly Summary:

Monday – cross training (arms, back, abs)
Tuesday – 5 miles base
Wednesday – 3 miles easy run
Thursday – 5 miles base
Friday – rest
Saturday – 3 miles easy run
Sunday – 8 miles base
Total mileage: 24

Read More…

Posted by: runawaynotes | May 16, 2013

Well, this is going to be a very different training season

This Wednesday, I went to the orientation meeting for RunOn early marathon/15K training program, and my main takeaway from that meeting was “This training season is definitely going to be very different from what I am used to.” Even the orientation itself was like nothing I would have expected at DRC. An orientation at DRC is like a first day of school. Everyone is there – the place is completely packed. You have your freshmen (first timers) who are sorta looking shell-shocked and are hanging on to every word the principal (that would be Vishal) says. You have your sophomores (the returning runners), who have already done this once and know the drill, and are coming back for another round. You have your juniors (those who have done the training before and are moving on to the next level) – those guys have done their half training, and are getting ready to take on their first full marathon training season. So, there is this feeling of familiarity and comfort, yet a whole new level of excitement and slight apprehension because you are about to joing “the cool kids” club. And then there are seniors – those are the guys that have done marathon training before, kicked that marathon’s butt, and came back to do it again. Everyone is excited; you see a lot of old friends; you high-five each other, ask about latest races that people have done, and tell your own “battle stories”. All the pace leaders are lined up along the walls like proud teachers, and you can come up to them and chat and get a feel for what they are like. Well, RunOn orientation was nothing like that.  Read More…

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