Monday, January 6, 2014

This is the end

With the new year, I have decided to pull my blog and permanently stop posting.  I wanted to thank everyone for all the support and nice comments over the past years and I am so glad that I have been able to "meet" many of you over the internet.  I will be deleting my blog in another week or so.  Some of you know me on facebook or dailymile, and if you wish to contact me, feel free at morningrunner12 {@} gmail {dot} com

Thanks everyone and happy new year!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Running while pregnant

Thank you so much for all your kind words on my last post! It feels so good to have the secret out!

Running while pregnant has always been something that I hope I could do.  Obviously I had no idea what to expect while being pregnant but I hoped that I could continue to run.  Over the course of this year I had maintained mostly 40 mile weeks with some mid 30 mile weeks thrown in when I got busy with social events.

At the beginning of July I had two weddings on back to back weekends, followed by a bridal shower and a bachelorette party.  That left no weekends in July free for any down time.  My mileage took a bit of a hit and I started to run lower 30 mile weeks. I was trying to get pregnant and wasn't sure if running was causing a problem or not. 

August rolled around and although my social schedule freed up, I didn't really pick up the mileage and just stayed with 30 mile weeks.  I was enjoying it and for the first time in a long time I felt relaxed and almost stress free (if that is possible). The month passed quickly and soon Labor Day was almost here.  I felt normal, I continued to run in the mornings.  I have heard from friends and other bloggers that they have started a run and felt horrible and that was when they knew they were pregnant.  I did not have that.  I really had no idea.

Most mornings when I ran before I got pregnant, I had the dead legs feeling for the first few miles and I would struggle on the hills.  My pace was usually a little slower than any afternoon runs so there was nothing out of the ordinary for me.  I never noticed a change until weeks later but by then I already knew I was pregnant.

I kept running - I listened to my body most days.  Sometimes running in the morning was not even an option because I would wake up too hungry and need to eat. Thankfully I never had any morning sickness or nasuea and was able to continue running as long as I kept my body fueled.  Some days I didn't want to exercise at all but on those days I would make myself go to the gym.  I would tell myself to just walk on the treadmill or run if I felt like it.  Every time I made myself exercise I would feel better.  Of course there were days when I knew I shouldn't exercise and I didn't and just rested.  But on days when I was just having an off day, I would try to run and just manage as many miles as I could.

My weekly mileage since finding out I was pregnant has been 25 miles a week and it has worked well for me.  Most runs in the first 12 weeks were about 3-5 miles and I was able to keep my easy pace and not slow down too much.  Running on the treadmill was so much easier because it was constantly flat.  Hills are just tough for me and I get out of breath really fast.  When I found out I was having twins I knew that exercise was going to be an important part of my pregnancy.  I don't know how long I will be able to run but I know that I want to try and stay active and exercise until the end, even if that means giving up running. 

I still run the hills though.  In the past 2-3 weeks I have finally started to almost back to normal.  This past weekend I ran 8 miles for the first time since August(when I ran 10 miles).  The previous highest mileage was in week 5 when I ran 7.  Most days I don't really set a mileage goal for myself. I try to think of a route I want to run and if I start out and feel good I just keep going until I don't.  Most days it is about 5 miles and then I feel like I am ready to stop.

This past week I also made my return to my running club.  It was good to be back running with people since I have done almost 100% of my runs solo since July/August.  I wasn't sure how I would hold up for an easy speed workout but it actually went really well.  I did 2.5 miles warm up at 8:50 pace then did 2x10 mins at 8:20 and 8:00 pace.  I threw in 2x400m at the end, both at 7:24 pace and really enjoyed those.  But by the end of the second 400m I knew I was done and called it quits with a total of 6 miles.

I am really surprised at what my body capable of while being pregnant.  I am also very thankful that my body is able to run and to feel good while running.  I am just taking it day by day and hoping to feel good for as long as possible.

And now for one little baby bump photo.  This is from before heading to running club on Tuesday night after work. 

Thursday, October 31, 2013

My next "race"

Wow it has been a while since I have posted. I didn't realize it had been so long.  But I am just dropping in now to share some news with you all.

For the most part of this past year my schedule has been jammed pack with social events and it has been busy.  Training for a race just didn't seem to be right and my heart wasn't in it so I decided to relax my training and just get through most of the summer before deciding what to train for.

It was the most relaxing spring and summer I have ever had. There was no pressure to get up at 5am to run long miles (even though I do love that).  I still maintained a good base and really enjoyed running each and every mile. 

August finally rolled around and my social schedule really lightened up.  I had two weddings left in September but really most of my obligations were finished and my mind started to think about what was next.  It was too late to try and run the September half marathon that I usually do but I thought maybe I could squeeze in a few 5ks in the fall, especially with my best running friend, who had her baby in late July, and was making her comeback to running and getting back in shape.

As the end of August approached I was feeling really good, I even ran 10 miles at 8 min pace and felt like I had not even lost much of my speed.  Then two days later I found out I was pregnant.  It was the most excited news!

My plans for racing in the fall went out the window, but I knew I wanted to keep running.  My mileage decreased a bit but I just took it easy and enjoyed each run.  I was surprised that I never really felt that bad while running. Sure there were slower days and morning running got tough when the weather started to get colder but I just plugged along and felt pretty good on most of my runs.

Then when I was about 8 weeks along we had the first ultrasound and I found out that I was having not just one baby BUT TWO! We were shocked to find out that it was twins.  I didn't feel any different, my runs still felt great and I was doing well.

And so things have continued from there.  Today I am 13 weeks along and feeling really good.  I did have some fatigue in the beginning and most nights I am in bed by 9pm at the latest but I am so thankful for no morning sickness. 

The one unique thing about my pregnancy so far is that I am lactose intolerant.  I had a small touch of this before hand - I have always had a sensitive stomach and I had trouble when I ate a lot of ice cream; Iwould never feel good but now it seems with being pregnant everything is exaggerated for my stomach.  Not only can I not handle dairy, but I also can't handle greasy foods or anything really fatty or sugary.  I think its the first time in my entire life that I have not craved candy, cookies or cake. 

A lot has happened to me this year and it has made me begin to think about blogging.  I feel like I lost the desire to write back in the spring when I wasn't training for anything and just running for fun.  Maintaining a blog, taking pictures of everything is a lot of work and it just became too much.  I know I enjoy reading about women's journeys through pregnancy and running but I am not sure I really have any desire to blog about this.  It is quite personal and I am becoming more protective of my little twins. 

I really hope to continue running for as long as possible and I hope to exercise until the very end.  It is a new kind of training plan for a very special race day but so far I am really enjoying it. 

Happy Running!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Why I don't eat organic produce

Note: I would like preface this post with the fact that this is my opinion.  I do not believe that everyone should think the way I do or make the same decisions that I make. I believe that everyone should do what they think is best for them and their family.  Since this is a running blog and fueling is an important part of running, I wanted to discuss and see what others opinions were.

Running is a high priority in my life. I plan my days and weeks around running. But in order to run far and fast I need to eat. I have always been a healthy eater (thanks to my mom) but I never really looked into what exactly I was eating.  My mom would buy the food when I was growing up and I learned from her how to buy what I needed for meals and use what I had bought, not letting too much go to waste.

My mom taught me to be a budget grocery shopper. I take pride that I can feed Brian and I with weekly breakfast, lunch and dinners and not spend a fortune.  Each week I buy what we need and really try to stay close to buying what is on my list. And then we usually eat what I buy and if we don't, I freeze it for later.

On my grocery list each week is always a few things - A few (produce) staples that I always buy (depending on season).

Oranges and grapes (spring/summer)
spinach (summer)
tomatoes (spring/summer/fall)
brussel sprouts
lettuce and fixings (summer)
apples (fall)
Blueberries/strawberries (summer)

I try to buy fruits and vegetables that are in season.  Only if Brian requests something out of season will I buy it because often I don't want to spend the extra money.

And that is also one of the reasons I don't buy organic fruits and vegetables.  I can't bring myself to pay more for a fruit or vegetable just because it says organic. And just because it says organic - I really have no idea where that fruit or vegetable comes from or what exactly organic means for the farm producing the products.

That doesn't mean I don't buy organic. In fact I buy this big container of organic spinach because it is in fact cheaper than any other container of spinach at the store. And that spinach really seems to last a long time in the fridge. I also bought organic carrots a few weeks ago because the grocery store was out of regular carrots.  And I needed carrots - I was making carrot cake for Easter.

 I do frequent my local farmers market from May through October and buy local whenever I can. I support local farms but in all honesty I have no idea what kind of practices my local farms have. I always wash my fruits or vegetables before eating them in order to wash anything that may be on the surface but beside that I just eat it.  I am also lucky to have a great grocery store which often supplies its stores with locally grown produce. In fact - my grocery store also tries to help educate shoppers as to what fruits and vegetables are in season.

Part of me wonders about all these people choosing to buy organic - what did they eat growing up? I highly doubt that the previous generations (including my own) grew up eating Organic produce.  I certainly did not eat organic - I was raised on the very similar fruits and vegetables that I buy weekly, from the same grocery store in fact.   Do you think starting to eat organic food now at age 20 or 30 or 40 will somehow make your body better and take away from all that you ate or drank while you were young?  What about all that alcohol you drank in college? Will eating organic reverse any damage you did then?

My point in all this is that I personally believe that eating organic isn't worth it.  Who knows what "organic" really means or what "organic" pesticides are put onto organic produce.  I haven't done a lot of research on this subject (because I know there is a ton) but from what I have heard, apparently organic pesticides aren't that great for you either.

I just wonder what the generation of today's children will have to deal with when they have been raised on organic produce and years and years later we finally find out the harmful effects of something.  And I don't think that eating organic or not eating organic can specifically be linked to any diseases. There are so many different factors to weigh and so many different possibilities - everyone is different.  There is no real way to know what will happen when we are older based on what we eat right now.

And I could go on and on, but I wont.  Its a tough subject and there really is no wrong or right answer. Its basically just what is right for you and that is all that matters.  I have many friends and family who eat organic and that's the choice they make. I don't judge them or think they are wrong. And I hope they don't judge me or think I am wrong for my choices.

For further reading on this topic, I suggest reading this article or reading about this study.

Do you buy organic? Why or why not?

Monday, April 22, 2013

Cheating on Mornings, with Lunch.

It has been a rough couple of days.  First, two weeks ago Brian came down with this flu/cold that has been going around work.  Symptoms are a fever and cough with a runny nose.  Sounds awful and it was - it knocked out Brian for a good four days.

Just as I thought the sickness had left our house, I got a sore throat and chest congestion.  It was the worst thing ever and there were times I thought I would never breath normally again.  I suffered for over 5 days and finally was able to breath normally again a few days ago.  I wasn't totally knocked out like Brian was (thank goodness) but with the chest congestion, there was no way I could run and so I resigned myself to my longest streak of off days in over a year.

It was what my body needed.  Plus the weather was horrible.  A cold front blew in last week and we had snow. Not a lot of snow but there were flurries falling from the sky and it put me in no mood to be outside.

It feels like the last two weeks have just been a dream.  Before Brian got sick, we were planning to go to Boston.  Unintentionally I had scheduled a trip to visit my college roommate on the weekend of the Boston marathon.  We hadn't planned to be at the race on Monday, but I had really wanted to spectate.

The closest I have been to the Boston finish line
 When the bombs went off on Monday, I got a stream of texts. Many friends thought I might have been in Boston.  Thankfully we weren't.  It was horrifying to see the devastation and every time I re-watch the videos of the bombs going off (From the perspective of the runners) I get chills and have to look away. I can't even begin to think about what it was like to be there, to be a runner on the course, to be spectating.

So that has been the last two weeks for me. Nursing my husband back to health and then just trying to keep myself alive last week.  All in the midst of  watching the sport I love attacked.  It felt like I was in a fog for most of the week. Partially unbelieveing that something like that happened and then feeling so helpless because I couldn't even run when I most wanted to. 

But it feels like I am back now and feeling pretty good except for this lingering cough.  Hopefully in another few days that will be gone too.

This morning I had plans to get back into the groove of morning running.  It had been 3 weeks since I had run at 5am and even though the forecasted temperature was 30F, I thought I would definitely get out for a run before work.  30F in spring is wayyy different than 30F in winter, right?  Well seems I can't force myself to run in cold weather anymore.  I just have no desire to bundle up and I am so ready for warm weather. I am so ready to wear shorts all the time.

So the lunch run has returned this year and although it is tough to slip out in the middle of the day, it feels so good to run in the sunshine instead of the dark.  It is a great way to break up the day and get some fresh air and exercise. 

I am only running once during the week at Lunch and it usually happens to be Mondays but its a nice change from the dark mornings.  I am hoping to get back to morning runs this week - lets hope I can pull myself out of bed at 5am.