Hitting the Pavement: 4 Mile Training Run

Earlier I posted about getting back to healthy, getting back to me. Well, there’s no better way to do that than to dive right into half marathon training! And that’s exactly what I did this weekend.

The weekend forecast was awesome, perfect for the first outdoor run of 2016–40s in the morning, 50s during the day. I had a full plate for my Saturday, so I couldn’t relish the 50s, but I did relish it being 38 degrees at 10 am (which was the earliest I could get out). I drove to the gym for a warmup on the elliptical and then hit the walking/running trail that was behind the building. Hamilton County (Indiana) has been working to add more and more trails for walkers, bikers, and runners. This particular trail was called the Midland Trace, and it runs through all of Westfield. It was my first time running on it, and I have to say I got a little lost at one point because there was no signage to point me in the direction of where to go once we hit a busy street. So I just ran along the road on the sidewalk for a while before turning back around to head back to the gym. Next time I’m hoping to be a little more prepared.

I started off the run nice and easy, and it wasn’t until I hit the spot that I “lost” the trail that I realized I was phoning in the run. That might not be so bad, but I really wanted to see how I’d feel during those 4 miles, after not running much this fall/winter (minus the treadmill runs on my lunch break).

After the second mile, I had to shed my pullover. I had a few issues during that third mile, and that really reflected in my split time. I really kicked it into gear for the final mile, wanting to push myself to finish with a 10 minute/mile pace.

4 Mile training run splits

What really kicked me into gear was running by the local Bible college. They had a sign that just seemed perfect for the start of training season. I stopped and took a photo because, c’mon, who wouldn’t think this was God talking to them during their time of seeking inspiration?

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When I returned to the gym, I did a quarter mile cool down on the elliptical, followed by some nice, long stretches. I decided it was definitely nicer to run from the gym than from my house because my cool down was still about me–I could take my time to properly cool down and properly stretch, gather my thoughts and reflect on that run. If I were at home, I’d rush inside to stretch a little bit, rush in the shower, and be dressed in no time to get back to being a mom. This forced me to continue thinking about me and thinking about my health.

When I returned home, I was starting to feel under the weather (a cold has crept up on me), and so was Baby A&W. We’re not sure if it’s teething or she’s just not feeling good, but after I showered and dressed, I gathered up my little girl for a snuggle session in the recliner so she could sleep some and momma could relax.

Poor Baby A&W

Poor Baby A&W, snuggled up with her blankie and her momma.

In my pre-momma training days, long run days were either spent recovering while binge-watching Mad Men, or going out and training the dogs in agility for an hour followed by log walks, etc. Now, it seems like I might be spending those days cuddled up with my little girl. And I think I’m OK with that.

 

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Getting Back to Healthy

The beginning of the year always seems to be the time people look for a change. Everyone wants to be a better version of themselves in the previous year. They start off with so much hope and great intentions. But, unfortunately, they don’t tend to stay on the course.

Well, guess what…I’m joining those ranks (the ones looking for a change, not the one straying off course). However, I started my journey at the end of November.

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When I finally got a full-time job that allowed me to have a little more cash flow, I knew I immediately needed to get back into the gym. While I haven’t been in a “normal gym” for three years, I knew that I had to make the most of it, until I can afford to join a new CrossFit box. So I joined Anytime Fitness in my hometown. I chose this gym because it was close to my office, and open 24 hours a day. My plan has been to use my lunch break the days I work in the office to workout to get in short cardio sessions (25 minute hill or speed intervals on the treadmill). On days that I work from work from home I hope to hit the gym early in the morning before my husband has to leave for work for some weights.

It’s been so hard to be my normal self. When I lived in Lexington I had the support and community of Man O’War CrossFit. My guys were always looking for me every morning. Even after Baby A&W was born, I still managed to go almost every day. But that’s when she would sleep throughout our WODs, which made it more manageable. Our neighborhood was so perfect for walks of all lengths, and I would walk the dogs everyday after work (whether Baby A&W was in her carrier or stroller).

But now, I don’t have the CrossFit community for support. I don’t have the flexibility of a sleeping baby in her carseat to bring with me. I don’t have sidewalks, street lamps, or multiple routes for walks–country roads aren’t the best to walk on come dusk/dark. And the winter weather isn’t conducive for a baby to be out in the elements for long periods of time.

But I can’t continue with the excuses. I’m at a stage in my health that I never thought I would be at, and it’s frustrating.

So I looked for what I call “Forced Motivation.” Knowing that I’m paying for a gym membership means I need to make the most of it. For Christmas my sister paid for my registration in two half marathons (April 16 and May 7). Knowing that I have two big races. so close together, means that I need to be getting my strength back before adding the mileage.

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So, I’ve been hitting the gym more regularly now. I’ve set goals–not only in weight loss but also in ability when it comes to getting back to my old self. I’m already feeling a difference and I look forward to the workouts. There have been some exhausting nights with A&W not sleeping through the night, teething, or just being sick, not to mention that I’ve worked a lot of late nights trying to hit my freelancing deadlines. But those aren’t an excuse.

I’m thankful for Coach Taylor that he continues to post the weekly WODs for MOWCF on their Facebook page. When I’m preparing for my weight lifting days, I check to see what my old CrossFit family did as far as WODs and then try to see if I can do them in some form or fashion at my “boring gym.” Or, I’ll make up my own.

Here are some workouts I’ve done:

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I’m also going to get back to blogging more regularly, as I want to use this as an accountability tool again. I’m excited about the two half marathons I’ve got coming up, but also very nervous about training on my own and getting back to being fit.

Your turn: How are you getting back to being fit in 2016?

Red, White & Rose 5K – Another Stroller run

September means the start of Fall festivals and lots of activities. This past weekend my mom’s shop had a booth at a local winery’s Fall Harvest Festival, which was also the second stop on a tour of races at Central Indiana wineries called the Red, White, & Rose race series. You can choose between running a 5K or 10K, and at the finish is a glass of wine, medal (corresponding with how many races in the series you’ve run), and free wine!

I’m not much of a wine drinker, but sign me up! My sister wanted to do the 5K, her first in four years. I was trying to decide between running in the 10K or pushing Baby A&W in the stroller for the 5K (she doesn’t like to go much longer than 4 miles in the stroller). At the last minute I decided I’d stick with pushing A in the stroller for at least one more 5K race.

Baby A&W has her game face on for the race.

Baby A&W has her game face on for the race.

The race small, about 215 running in both the 5 and 10Ks, but it was nice. The route was run along country roads by the winery, with very little traffic, and held in the early evening. The weather was perfect, especially after the chilly, wet start to the day.

Start of the race was a little tight with the country road.

Start of the race was a little tight with the country road.

I started next to my sister, but then slowly pulled away. I wanted to just go at a comfortable pace, but I also wanted to push our speed a little bit more. Then I just made my way through the crowd.

When we turned west after a half mile, we hit a strong headwind and the sunset. Headwinds suck, but they suck more while pushing a stroller! Plus I wanted to try to get A out of the sun as quickly as possible, so I pushed the pace a little faster. Once we turned south, we were out of the headwind and I was in a groove.

Finishing strong, A does not look too thrilled in this photo, but it was time for her dinner (which we promptly fed her as soon as I got her back to my mom's booth).

Finishing strong, A does not look too thrilled in this photo, but it was time for her dinner (which we promptly fed her as soon as I got her back to my mom’s booth).

We ended up finishing 26th overall, with a time of 30:00 and fourth in my age group (30-39)…with a stroller! I had a lot of compliments as to how I ran the race while pushing A. I’m sure I would have done better without the stroller, but it was more fun to let A experience the countryside and another race with her momma.

I’m continuing my race training for a half marathon in early November, but the mileage build up is slow. I’m not sure how many more races I’ll do this year with the stroller, but I hope to try to continue running with A until it gets too cold. It’s hard to believe summer is over!

Baby's first race medal!

Baby’s first race medal!

Link Love: Strong Women for Girl Power

This edition of Link Love is all about being a strong woman and having girl power. I want Baby A to be a strong woman and believe in girl power!

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Why Your Daughter Should Do CrossFit (Tabata Times): Can I love this any more?? I would love for Baby A&W to follow in her mom’s footsteps of being active, as well as loving CrossFit. M and I are always talking about what sports she’ll play (she’s a natural swimmer, but I’d also love for her to play volleyball), and how she’ll be a horse girl. But I know she might not like all of that, and might surprise us. But I would love for her to workout with her mom, be healthy, and just happy with her body from the very beginning, and CrossFit helps all of that.

PSA: It’s Time to Stop Body Shaming Once and For All (Snacking in Sneakers): When Chrissy posted she wanted to write this post on the Sweat Pink Facebook page, I had to share my story about the doctor and my “abnormal athletic female body.” Her story, as well as the story of others in this post, really burns my biscuits that we are OK with this type of conversation. Again, this shines a light on how I want Baby A&W to grow up, and this isn’t one of those ways.

Loving Your Body is a Marathon, Not a Sprint (Lifting Revolution): Taylorr posted an eye-opening number, that 91% of women hate their bodies. Can you imagine Gisele hating her body? (OK, she might definitely be in the 9%) But, it reminds me that I’m not alone. I’m struggling with my body image because I still haven’t lost all the baby weight. I don’t fit in all of my pre-pregnancy clothes very well (just because it zips doesn’t mean it fits), so it’s frustrating to get dressed in the morning. But then I stop myself…I don’t want Baby A&W to be in that 91%. I don’t want her to hear me talk about negatively about my body, which will, in turn, make her feel like it’s alright to do the same about herself. It’s time we flip the stats around!

Colts 5K — First Race with a Stroller

Competing in the Colts 5K was a fun time. I only had a little bit of nerves because of my running partner–it was her first race so I wasn’t sure how she’d handle it. Would she be alright with the crowds? Would I push her too fast? Would she have a blowout in her diaper mid-race?

Hold up…blowout in her diaper? Yep, my running partner was my baby girl! We’ve been working for this race, slowly adding miles in the stroller to get her accustomed to the time spent and me accustomed to the extra weight and resistance that comes with pushing something up and down hills.

Race day dawned bright and early…about 30 minutes earlier than planned (apparently Baby A&W didn’t know I had set my alarm). That was OK, I got up and dressed quickly (I laid out my race outfit the night before, as well as hers), then got A up. I changed her diaper and got her dressed in her Colts onesie and shorts, plus a fresh diaper, and headed down for our pre-race meal–a piece of whole wheat toast with peanut butter for me, and a bottle of formula and bowl of oatmeal for her.

The stroller was already packed in the car, and so was her diaper bag. For the race, I didn’t want to be weighed down by my giant diaper bag, so I threw my Brica goPad Diaper Changer, which was great because it held 3 diapers, plus a small pack of wipes, and some small trash bags to dispose of the dirty diapers. It worked great! We ended up having to change A’s diaper after the race…in the end zone of the Colts’ stadium (Lucas Oil Stadium). (Hey, how many babies can say that??)

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The race started a little after 8. I lined up with a friend in the 10 minute pace, towards the back of that pack. I was going to do my best to not the stroller wheel into anyone, but I couldn’t guarantee it. Well, I only hit three people, and it was only minor, so I was proud of myself for that!

I had to remind myself to be patient with my weaving and moving around if we needed to pass people. Running with a stroller isn’t as flexible as running alone. I made sure to give us a wider berth in our route, and didn’t cut corners tightly. There were a few inconsiderate runners–one guy dashed across our running path, cutting it so close he almost hit my front tire.

Overall, the course was stroller-friendly, especially runner friendly. We started in front of the stadium, then ran the last tenth of a mile into and through the stadium. That part was really cool–we actually ran through the tunnel that the Indianapolis Colts run through when they come onto the field on game day. Then the finish line was the 50 yard line. The energy was awesome, and it was fun seeing the Colts cheerleaders lining up the last part of the race.

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We waited around and took photos while waiting for M and my brother-in-law, who were walking the race. Then we had to hurry on out because I needed to be on the road to Lexington for a friend’s baby shower.

But not before A met Blue, the Indianapolis Colts mascot… (she wasn’t sure about his furry arms and kept trying to pluck them LOL)

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I’m already looking forward to another fun race to do with the stroller. I hope to make running something Baby A&W can do together for a long time. While I don’t know if I see myself racing further than a 5K with a stroller (maybe a 10K, if I can build up her patience), they’re more fun that way.

I wasn’t able to get my race photo at this time, but once I do, I’ll post it–I’m pretty proud of it! 🙂

Your turn: Have you, or would you, run a race pushing a stroller?

Running While Pushing — Stroller Runs!

You might remember that while I was pregnant, I wanted to continue running for as long as I could, even completing a half marathon around 7 months pregnant. Shortly thereafter I stopped doing long training runs and just did short one milers interspersed with some weight training while doing CrossFit. Then it just became too uncomfortable to run very far (read: away from a toilet) and I knew it was time to slow it down and just walk.

Now that Baby A&W is 6 months old, I’ve been getting back into running and increasing my distance. I’ve been running again for a while now, I started back in April, but the distances weren’t too great, and the runs were irregular. I had to go only when M was home and could watch the baby, or when I got my jogging stroller, we could go for short runs while I pushed. (Let me tell you, pushing a baby, in her carseat in the jogging stroller, up and over the hills in my old neighborhood sucked, especially being out of shape!)

First stroller runs were rough, with the addition of the carseat (since A was too small to sit in the big kids seat) and just getting back into running after giving birth.

First stroller runs were rough, with the addition of the carseat (since A was too small to sit in the big kids seat) and just getting back into running after giving birth.

Now that life is a little different, I’m able to get out and run more, but mostly the same strip over and over. One of the disadvantages to living in the country is there’s not much to spice up the run like when I lived in Lexington–there were all kinds of different routes I could take from my house, and I could meet up with running buddies or my running group. Now I’m missing my running group, and my running buddies, who kept me motivated and kept me running regularly. However, I am making sure I get at least one run in a week, though I know it needs to be more.

I quickly learned that running with a stroller is a lot different than running on your own. You’ve already got a built-in head wind/resistance thing going for you. And you’re not necessarily the one who calls the shots as to how long your runs get to be–if baby’s unhappy, that run better be fast and short. Luckily, Baby A&W has been pretty good about the runs. Sometimes she gets a little too warm (no shade along the road doesn’t help), but she’s pretty good.

We’ve slowly worked our way up to running 4 miles with the stroller, which is great! I try to run with the stroller one day, then if I can talk someone into watching A for about an hour, I’ll sneak in a run by myself. Those runs are when I test my pace and I test my distance–I should be able to run a little further without the stroller than I do with the stroller because it should be easier, right?

Aubrey and I are getting ready to run in our first 5K together–it’ll be my first race since I finished the Iron Horse Half Marathon back in October, and it’ll be my first race pushing a stroller! We’re running in the Colts Kickoff 5K in downtown Indianapolis, where we’ll start the race outside Lucas Oil Stadium, and then finish at the 50 yard line of the field! I’m excited for the race, but a little nervous as to how things will go with a big crowd and me pushing the stroller. Plus, how will A act?

Don’t worry, I plan to chronicle our race and show you what I did to prepare not only myself, but baby, for the 5K. My goals for the race are to try to run the whole 5K without walking (or, rather, needing to walk, as I’m sure the crowd might force me to walk) and to not run into anyone with the stroller (the dogs will tell you that sometimes I don’t see what’s going on directly in front of the stroller sometimes).