Category Archives: Running

Watching.

The last time I watched a marathon was probably nearly ten years ago.  I was still in college and over that period of time, a few sorority sisters decided they would like to train and run one.  I remember those fall mornings, standing on Minnehaha Parkway, watching them run by.

Today Whitney was registered to run the marathon and even though I am honestly the worst race spectator ever (this probably also has to do with the fact that I don’t like running with other people) I bundled up with my coffee and a bag full of cowbells, snacks and water (for me) and headed down to Lake Bde Maka Ska (FKA Calhoun).


My relationship with running right now is fraught.  I am not doing it.  I haven’t run regularly in nearly a year now.  I still consider myself “a runner” and yet I am not running at all as a combination of choice and circumstance.  The time simply doesn’t exist if I want to enjoy time with my son, spend time with my husband, eat a hot meal at night, or rest.  All of these things are non-negotiables to me but I cannot stop thinking of the people who would sacrifice food and rest in a heartbeat to move their feet.  Sometimes I doubt myself and think If only I was stronger.  More efficient.  More organized with my time.   But in my heart I know that I am.  I am doing the best I can with Right Now.  I have committed to starting again when Critter either starts sleeping through the night regularly (and I can wake before him), or when he starts to take a regular nap of at least an hour at some point during the day.  Then we can begin again.  Just not yet.

As I approached the Basilica driving down the  I-94 exit, I rolled down my windows so I could listen to the bells ringing for the runners.  It was really too cold for that, but this is the only time of year that they ring the bells for Other People and it is the nicest sound.

When I pulled my car over and parked it on the street, I saw dozens of other cars filled with people bundled up, getting ready to go and watch also.  Door after door opened and out hopped a cavalcade of spectators.  Some with signs.  Some with coffees.  Some with phones that they were eyeing intently.  Some ran toward the lake, afraid that they would miss Their Person.  Others enjoyed the walk around one of our prettiest lakes.  There were people on bikes and people in wheelchairs.  Moms.  Dads.  Grandparents.  Friends.  Babies.  Kids.  All traveling in the same direction.


Who are you here to watch? I asked.  Friends.  Fiances.  Brother-in-laws.  All Our People.


The lakes are one of the noisiest places to run and to watch.  From a half mile away I could hear the whooping and the clacking of the cowbells.  And then I was whooping and ringing my cowbell too.  Because I arrived so early, I didn’t see Whitney for nearly 40 minutes.  Even shouting for strangers, I had the best fun. 

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22 Weeks: Still Running

Critter and I are officially in Week 22 of pregnancy!

There’s really not a lot to write in a blog post about running during pregnancy because last week it was all crystal clear to me: Running during pregnancy works as long as your body will allow it.  There are no secret tricks.  For some people that means that they cannot run ever, for others it means they can run some, and for still more it means they can run all the way through.

Though my speed has been getting progressively slower, I’m still running about 15 miles a week.  Three miles per day, five times per week.

Last week was easily the worst week of running I’ve had so far during this pregnancy (and for the longest time in recent running memory) for a host of reasons.  One run, I had to go to the bathroom constantly (this has been a pretty consistent thing since Week 12 or so), another run I felt oddly breathless approaching the last half mile and had to stop, on still another one I felt like an ab muscle was going to separate so that run lasted all of five minutes before it was over.

It was like hitting the wall on a long run.  Everything moving along just fine (or with a little willpower!) and then, boom.  By Thursday I was seriously asking myself if this was perhaps my body telling me that it was time to give it up and take a break from running until March (don’t even get me started on that).  But, I made a pact with myself to give it a few more tries and I was so glad to have really excellent runs on Saturday and Sunday.  So for now, it appears that running is not over.

Anyway, this is me.

Running

What’s going on with my running clothes?

The normal running capris I wear still fit (C9 by Target), because they are drawstring, and they tuck under the tummy just fine.  I am down to one running top (snapped above) that is long enough and looks like it may have another month or so in it.

On Labor Day I ordered some new sports bras directly from Champion because my pre-pregnancy ones finally felt like they were sort of maybe strangling me.   Sidebar about Champion Sports Bras: They last forever and they are the only kind I wear and even though they are not fancy they are GREAT for support.  I think I’ve had a total of four sets (I wear two when I run) since 2010.  So when I had to order a new set for this, naturally they had discontinued the styles I was using before.  This always happens and it is an exercise in frustration.  Pro to the new sports bras: They fit much better and I don’t feel like I’m being strangled!  Con to the new sports bras: They are inferior in all ways to the ones that don’t fit anymore.

I bet you also noticed the sweet support belt I am sporting.  This is obviously the coolest garment I have ever owned.  It is the Elastic Maternity Belt by Gabrialla and I bought it because Sarah said it was The One To Buy and since Sarah teaches fitness classes (and did so through her whole pregnancy), I knew it was The Only Choice.  I only started wearing the support belt in the last week and I ordered it because even though I didn’t feel any strain on the front of my body when I was running, I started to feel like maybe I was running like a hunchback and that had to stop.  Wearing it during the Week 21 Running Debacle was contentious at best, but this week I think we’re off to a better start!

So, that’s running in a nutshell right now.  Realistically I don’t actually think I’ll be running all the way through January, which means that I’m trying to really pay attention to when it is time to stop and start up with the power walking Olympics.  Until then, I’ll be glad for what I have.

Medal Rack

Oh gosh, you guys.  How I have made it through five years of running without some sort of medal rack/bib display wall is totally beyond me.  I think that it’s because the few times I thought that I was ready to buy a rack, I then talked myself into believing that I would have the energy to make my own and that it would be cheaper to boot.

I think we all know I never found the energy (or the creativity!) to make my own.  Crafting = so not my thing.

When I got around to decluttering our house this spring, I cleared out the many areas in the house where I had stashed running stuff and realized that I really needed to do something with the medals and bibs, or I needed to stop keeping them.  That was just the kick in the pants that I needed.  I hopped on Etsy, home of handicrafters, and I placed my order.

It arrived yesterday and we hung it up at eye level on the wall next to the treadmill.

Medal Rack

I really should have done this years ago.

Back on the old running trail

Cabin Running

I went for my first run of the season Up North on Sunday morning.  It was a brisk 41 degrees out with a real-feel of 36 degrees.  As we all know, that’s not really within my “acceptable” outdoor running range, but I did it anyway because (1) I really did want to get back on my summer running trail and (2) I didn’t want to have to run at back at home after eating Happy’s for lunch.

We all know how THAT goes.

My reward for this fortitude in the face of less-than-ideal-conditions was a Bald Eagle-spotting mid run.  He was hunting about 15 feet above me and about 15 feet away from me, so that pretty much counts as a wildlife encounter in my book!  As he swooped down and lowered his talons every other loop, I hoped he was going for the fish under the bridge separating Cross Lake from Daggett Lake and not for me!  Thankfully, that last dive brought him down to the water and (hopefully) breakfast.  I’ve watched Eagles hunt before, but to be this close was a pretty cool thing to experience.

BRK 2015: Invest In Yourself 5k Race Recap

Woohoo!  First, and possibly only race of 2015 on the books!

Pre-Race

Berkshire Hathaway owns Brooks Running.  When I learned this fact probably four years ago, I was deeply pleased because all of my running shoes are Brooks.  I think the shoes are high quality, and over the course of what is now five years, I’ve probably burned through 20 or so pairs.  It feels a lot better to shell out that amount of cash when you know it is going back to the company.

ANYWAY.  Brooks evangelism aside there was this race, the Brooks Running Invest In Yourself 5k, as yet another part of Berkshire Hathaway weekend.  It is way nicer than any other 5k you’ll run at the price point of $35.  There was this fancy start line.

Starting Gate

As I’m sure you can see, there were also Brooks technical tees for the participant shirts – this is the only race on earth where everyone wears the shirt to the start line.  I do not run in t-shirts and these were unisex so I got mine in Marcus’ size.

There were two water stops.

And these ridiculous medals.

Post-Race

My finishing time, as promised, was not a PR but it was 26:53.  That is not too bad!

Before Berkshire weekend, I told Mom and Dad that I didn’t think I would see any Berkshire CEOs up close until race day and of those, I specifically felt that I would see Todd Combs and Ted Weschler.  Well.  As I was running past the 3 mile marker, I saw a man wearing the #2 bib clapping on the left side of the course, cheering for those of us who were finishing after him.  I raised my hand and said “thank you” because as we all know, post-race spectating is somewhat thankless.  He smiled and waved back.  I remembered his number because #2 is a really low bib number to have and usually the elites are the runners wearing the low numbers.  I made a mental note to look #2 up when the race results were posted.  As luck would have it, #2 was Ted Weschler.  Par for the course.

A Running Update

Running

We haven’t had an actual running report in a long time, so I think we’re overdue.

On Saturday, I ran four miles. That is the farthest I have run since I had my mole re-removed in January.   I’ve been really quite happy with running three miles/day, but as it gets nicer outside, I also want to spend more time running outside.  So, more miles it is!

I have yet to make any real race plans for the year (tentative goal: Twin Cities 10 Mile), and I don’t know that I ultimately will, but I am registered for the Brooks Invest In Yourself 5k in Omaha on Sunday.  I’ll be sure to provide a full race report on how that goes.  There is a 100% chance I will not be PR-ing.

I am also ‘Tis The Season for sun protection as of late.

For better or worse, I have never been a Wear Sunscreen When You Run Outside-type of person.  As we all know, this really has to change because I do not have the time or the money for any more abnormal moles.  I bought a can of the spray-on stuff at Target last weekend so that I can start making this a habit.  Just the thought of having to put it on sounds exhausting, but I also know that this is an obnoxiously small thing to be whining about.  If you have any favorite sport-sunscreens, by all means, share in the comments section.

I also bought a UV-safe swim top from LL Bean for swimming at The Cabin.Swim Top

It’s sort of surfer-chic, right?  I may find myself asking, Are we on Big Pine Lake or is this the Pacific Ocean?  As mom put it so succinctly, Your dock days are done.  This is another small tragedy, to be mourned over the course of some months.  I don’t anticipate that this will get any use at all until probably late June (hello, Minnesota summer), but I’ll be sure to report back once it does.

 

Running Again

Running

Last week I got the Go Ahead to actually exercise again (AKA really raise my heart rate and stretch my incision) and that was wonderful.

Which is not to say that the two weeks of rest were totally terrible.  It was (admittedly) a good break for my joints.  I  power walked each day and that was sort of a good thing and sort of ponderous.  Generally speaking, I like power walking – it’s a nice way to break-up my workouts throughout the week because you can’t run every day.  Allegedly it puts you in a heart rate zone that is fat burning, but I can’t really confirm or deny that since I don’t actually have a heart rate monitor.  But after 14 days, it was sort of like, enough was enough.

On the other hand, it was a great reminder that we don’t always get to choose what sort of exercise we get to do.  We’re not always in shape to run.  We don’t always have the upper body strength to do push-ups.  It’s like they say in yoga – I am working with the body I have today, not the body that I had yesterday, and not the body that I hope to have tomorrow.

I know that I shared my worries about gaining weight while I wasn’t running.  On the contrary, I lost weight.  Who could have guessed.  I ate the same amount of food I usually eat and just didn’t worry about it and that was that.  There were a few nights where I went out to eat and I definitely enjoyed those meals, but on the same hand, I also tried to make sure that I didn’t overdo it.  As we all know, one treat here and there won’t make a difference but an all-treat lifestyle definitely will.

I think that every runner’s greatest fear is that when they’re able to start running again, they won’t be able to.  Like either their body will have completely forgotten how, or they won’t be able to run a full mile, or it just won’t feel like it’s supposed to.  Good news: it feels like it’s supposed to AND I can run a full mile (or three).  And so I’m back into a routine.