Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Pregnancy Review Part 4

Month 7- This month was awesome.  Granted that the baby was growing, it wasn't enough to slow me down and I could really feel the extra blood flowing through my veins.  I could even see my veins popping out in places I don't usually do all through my arms, hands, palms, feet, legs and even stomach.  I also was able to get a few races in! The first one I did was a new years day race in my hometown, Berkeley.  It was a VERY low key five mile race, but it was fun to have an excuse to get a hard effort in with the help of a little adrenaline.  I did the race in 30:52 and it was five miles and 200 meters, so roughly 6:10 pace per mile.  My husband did it also and we almost went one and two, but there was another fast guy who was a minute or so after Jeff.  At least I won for the women though!

The next race I did was the Bay Area Cross Country Challenge.  This race was also a ton of fun.  I felt a little silly on the starting line as there was a large number or pros on the starting line in their bunners and sports bras.  I did a minimal amount of strides because I felt kinda frumpy in my long tights and tank top with my huge belly plunging through.  The race still turned out to be a great decision however as the announcer hyped the crowd up for me every time I came by one of the 2k loops despite being so far behind.  This race due to the terrain (dirt/mud instead of pavement) was a little slower than my five miler I did a few weeks before.  My time was 23:23 for the 6k course, so roughly 6:15 pace.  I'll talk it for being just about 7 months pregnant!!!

My mileage was mainly in the mid 50's this month though I came close to hitting 60 the last week.  As far as workouts, I did the races along with a few tempos.   Here is a sample week:

Week of January 16- January 22

SUN- BAXC Race! 23 minute warm up + strides, 8 min cool down very slowly!! 6k race in 23:23 in Golden Gate Park.  total miles: 8 miles

MON- Ran 60 mins with Liz and YiOu from Concrete Pipeline trail in Fairfax around Bon Tempe and back (same as 1/15) @ 7:15 pace total miles: 8 miles

TUE-  6 miles (easy recovery run) on Crown Road with doggie (Carolina).  Needed alone easy day after racing and hilly runs!  42 mins total miles: 6 miles

WED- Ran with Magda 57-58 mins @ 7:15 pace from parent's house in Berkeley down The Uplands, up Chabot adjacent to freeway to Temescal to almost Montclaire village and back home total miles: 8 miles

THUR- Very easy run with a girl from Impalas @ like 8:00 min pace (way too slow, hurt to go that slow!) 63 mins total miles: 8 miles

FRID- Out/ back on Crown road (20 mins per outback) with a random add on in the middle (because I ran into a friend) and then an additional add on in the end.  58 mins total @ 7:10 pace total miles: 8 miles

SAT- 50 mins from house to Phoenix Lake around and back.   Didn't feel too good but great, sunny day! 7:30 pace total miles: 7 miles

total miles for the week: 53 miles

 Me running in Ocean beach (early February)

Month 8- This month I definitely started to feel the weight of the baby start to settle in.  I got some incredible runs in, but my hard efforts started becoming more scarce.  For the most part, I would consider a run with a local, fast friend named YiOu up to the top of Concrete Pipe from Ross Common and back. This was about a 9 mile run and involves a serious climb up the mountain.  Hills as a pregnant lady, running are so hard!  I did this run at least once sometimes twice a week with YiOu and always felt pretty pooped out for the rest of the day afterwords.  Additionally the amount of pee breaks I started needing per run were climbing for sure.  I was lucky this month if I only had to stop twice, but 3-5 times was more of the average.

We also went to Hawaii at the end of this month!  The training there was so hard!  The heat + being pregnant made it feel like I was going into labor after some of the runs because dehydration causes braxton hicks contractions.  These are not a big deal and easy to make go away after a large glass of pineapple juice mixed with water :-).  To solve the heat problem, I ended up running at 7 am every morning to beat the heat.  We were there with a bunch of my husband's triathlon friends, so I rotated running with them (while Jeff, my husband, pushed Ramsey in the jogger stroller) and running with one of the guys girl friend's, Rebecca, who was a wonderful companion.  Rebecca and I would run an easy 7ish miles at about 7:45 pace together, which was perfect to balance out the 6-8 milers my husband's friends would run with me at closer to 7 min pace.  I also took a really easy 3 mile day in the middle of the trip in fear of over doing it and having the baby in Hawaii!

What was great about this month was the increase of attention!  I hate to admit it, but who doesn't like a little bit of attention right??  This month I was starting to get so huge (well mostly my stomach) that I could visibly see heads turning in cars and people giving crazy looks while I ran by them.  I also got lots of positive attention as well from other women on the trails.  They would say things like "You go girl" or "I ran through all of my pregnancies too, you look great!".  I don't know if this positive encouragement would have happened to a women running while 8 months pregnant 15 years ago, but it is common enough and proven to be safe now, so I am loving all of the cheerleaders surrounding me everyday!!!

Week of February 13th- 19th

SUN- Ran with YiOu to the end of Concrete Pipe and back in 66 mins (7 min pace) got to the end in 34mins, one of our fastest ever, totally pooped out the rest of the day! total miles- 9 miles

MON- Ran alone in the pouring rain!  Just on the roads from woodlands market around bike paths in Marin @ 7:20 pace.  50 mins total and total miles: 7 miles 

TUE- Ran with YiOu again from my house (due to rain) ran to bike path (starts in Ross) down to the hospital and back home and then added on another 10 mins.  Ran at 7:10 pace, felt great! total miles: 8 miles

WED- Outback on Crown road really easy.  Didn't feel so great!!!  total miles: 6 miles

THUR- 58 mins from my parents house in Berkeley down the Uplands, then Claremont, then Chabot and to Temescal and just before Montclair Village (same run I did with Magda last month) this time with a new friend named Kelly from UNC and husband went to DUke yay! SHe is fun and fast! SO glad I met her! 7:15 pace total miles: 8 miles

FRID- 67 mins with YiOu (same run as Sunday) to the end of Concrete Pipeline and back from Ross common via trail by Phoenix lake.  Hill felt hard!!!  Pooped out the rest of the day again! Got an  iphone though and Ramsey got his first haircut!  (Totally irrelevant!) total miles: 9 miles

SAT- Ran an easy 24 mins from the house downtown to Lagunitas road and back through the Seminary neighborhood (my classic day off loop) don't want to go into labor on the plane to Hawaii tomorrow and haven't taken an easy day in way too long!  total miles: 3.5 miles

total miles for the week: 51ish miles (with one day almost off!!!)

Pics of Me in Hawaii!!!!!

Friday, February 11, 2011

My Pregnancy Review Part 3

Month 5- This month was easy.  I wasn't huge yet and just starting to feel the effects of the extra blood production.  By the end of the month, I was starting to feel a bit of the physical weight that was beginning to build around my belly, and people were definitely starting to notice and were not afraid to ask how far along I was, but for the most part this month was great!  As far as workouts went, my mileage was still up at 55-60 miles a week but with only one solid workout a week instead of two.  Additionally the workouts kind of started all turning into effort based on/offs on the trail rather than timed track workouts.  I started doing it this way for a few reasons, one, I started having some planter pain in my right foot, so racing flats and running in circles we decided wasn't the best idea.  Two, this is a month where I could feel myself start to slow down a little, and mentally its tough to watch your interval times start to plunge.

  By doing effort based stuff on the trails, I not only got to run with Magda (because the hard efforts were easy enough for her her that she just considered it part of her run, plus she was taking a recovery month after Chicago) but I could still feel great about myself for keeping up workouts despite the baby getting bigger.  I also ran a Turkey Trot this month, which was a blast!  It was a 5 mile XC race (that Magda did also for fun and for the Turkey, Pie and Wine you get when you win!).  I ran the race in 30:40 which means I was running a little slower than 6 min pace.  I was happy with this effort, especially because it was hilly and muddy.  :-)

This was also the month that Jeff and I found out that it is going to be a girl too!  This was very exciting because naturally it is exciting to know that we are going to have the experience of having one of each gender.

Week of November 7th- 13th

SUN- 10.5 miles in Healdsburg (at my Parent's Vineyard) with Jeff and his triathlon buddies (Scott, Curt and Seth) we held a nice 7 min pace the entire way and I felt pretty good :-)  10 miles total

MON- 2 miles easy pushing the Jogger Stroller with Ramsey  (After finding out its a Girl!!!) I needed some recovery after all the pavement pounding the day before) 2 miles total

TUE- 78 mins with Magda on trials (Skyline) with 36 mins of 1 min on and 1 min off.  Felt super!  Day off was worth it. 10 miles total

WED- 8 miles on the treadmill while Ramsey napped.  (Quad kinda tight, but felt better after a few miles).  7.8-8.0 mph  8 miles total

THUR- Ran with local speedster, YiOu at a very fast pace (6:45ish) for 45 mins from my house to all of the bike paths in Marin.  Good enough to call it 7 miles.  7 miles total

FRI- Ran again with Magda.  Exact same workout as Tuesday @ Skyline. 78 mins total with 36 mins of 1 min on, 1 min off.  Felt great!  10 miles total

SAT- Out back on Crown road + 12 extra minutes.  Ran into Jake Schmitt (BATC member/ super cool friend who also is coached by Magda).  52 minutes total @ 6:45-7 min pace) Felt pretty good.  8ish miles total

Total mies for the week: 55 miles with one day almost off 

                                                           Me Running in the Turkey Trot!

Month 6- This month I really began to feel the pressure settling in on the bladder.  At 6 months pregnant the baby really began to get to be pretty big.  I was showing extra this month too for sure!  Someone even asked me once if I was expecting a Christmas Baby!  I was like, "try Easter!"  I was totally not insulted though, I take pride in showing off my big belly rather than being only a few months pregnant when it just looks like I may have over eaten at my last meal.  As far as workouts went, I minimized my workouts to mainly on offs (usually with 14-16 on's for about a min) on the trails.  I also did a tempo run that I used to do when I was pregnant with Ramsey just to compare my fitness level and I did it a minute faster!  My mileage this month was mostly between 55-60 miles and all of them felt pretty good!  Check out a sample week:

Week of December 5th- December 11th

SUN- 75 mins with Liz (super fast local friend) Started at Concrete Pipe (trail head) and ran Lake Bon Tempe and Lake Lagunitas and then back. 7-7:15 pace. A few killer hills in the middle 10.5 miles total

MON- Ran 7 miles from the house.  Did a Creek loop and back.  Legs felt tired! 7:20-30 pace
 7 miles total

TUE- Ran from Skyline gate to Bay View head and back.  Did 14 x (1 min on and 1 min off) on the way back.  Felt pretty good! 56 mins total 8 miles total

WED- Ran 7 miles on treadmill while Ramsey napped next to me in the car seat.  Felt terrible! Had to pee like so many times!  7 miles total

THURS- Ran from the house again, creek loop plus added on to Phoenix lake trail head and back.  Felt awesome! 7 min pace for sure.  8 + miles total

FRID- Ran with David from BATC from Skyline to Bay View head and back.  Felt great!  Only peed like twice, pretty good, didn't want to make David stop!  8 miles total

SAT- Ran with Jeff and Ramsey (Jeff pushed him) and our Doggie (Carolina)  at Alpine Damn to a secret trial.  It was amazing!! We ran fast (6:45 pace) and it made me have to pee so many times!
8 miles total

Total Miles for the week: 57 miles

Ramsey and I after the Alpine Damn Run!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

My Pregnancy Review Part 2

Month 3- This month was a total drag!  I felt so pregnant!  In and out sickness all day.  The sick feeling was a very specific sick feeling that I have only felt during those first three months of pregnancy (for me, it usually starts around week 7 and goes to about week 11).  Luckily however, running always made me feel better.  It was always hard to get runs started because the first 10 minutes or so of any run or workout didn’t feel good (just weird sick feelings, sort of a combination so nausea and grogginess).  Following workouts though, would always have a magical 3-4 hours of feeling great.

With Ramsey, I was anemic the first three months (which is very common during pregnancy), so I was incredibly exhausted the first trimester.  There were multiple times that I slept up to 14 hours!  This time around I was a pro, and got on an iron supplement ASAP.  Of course, I was a little more tired than usual that third month (and the months before) but never enough to have it get in my way.

Food and eating during this month was totally weird and it was exactly the same with my first pregnancy also.  Anything that had a hint of artificial ingredient or that was processed not only made me feel so sick, but even the thought of eating it made me feel sick.  In addition, if there was not fat or salt in a food, it just wasn’t worth eating.  Things that I loved before just didn’t taste good or seem appealing at all.  My favorite thing to eat with Ramsey was a rotisserie chicken with BBQ potatoes chips, and for this pregnancy it was a taco salad from a tacarilla near my house called Mi Pueblo.  I don’t really know if I would call it a salad though.   It was more like a fried tortilla shell stuffed with sour cream, guacamole, re-fried beans, meat, salsa and a little bit of lettuce on top.  Pretty much my body just wanted anything with fat.  If I was feeling sick, fatty foods almost always made me feel better and if food lacked fat, it really just wasn’t worth eating.  

As far as training went, I got some pretty awesome workouts in.  I consistently met with Magda on the track and got a chance to work on some speed as well.  (Kind of a funny time to work on it, but there were a few things about my form that I wanted to go over with some help from Tony Kauke, another fantastic coach/friend in the area who is a part of the Bay Area Track Club).  I was able to maintain 60 + miles a week during this month with two workouts and also began experimenting with some of Jay Johnson’s strength routines.  Granted that the workouts all went well, it was still in perspective.  My heart rate was still very high this month, and my limits for times and pace have completely altered in comparison to my pre-pregnancy training and paces.  Here is a sample week:

Week of September 12-18:

SUN- 74 mins with Madga from Skyline gate (I did half of her 22 miler with her!) @ 7:00 min pace.  Felt great! 11 miles

MON-  7 miles on treadmill @ 8 mph while Ramsey napped 7 miles

TUE- WORKOUT! 3+ mile warm up and cool down with Magda from Cal’s track.  2 x (800,400,400,200,200,200,200 with 30 sec recovery, not supposed to be too hard). 

Set 1               Set 2
800- 2:52        800-2:48
400-79            400-80
400-83            400-80
200-37            200-37
200-37            200-37
200-38            200-37
200-37            200-37

Jay Johnson Strength routines afterwards   11 miles total

WED- Recovery run on treadmill.  6 miles

THUR- 54 mins with the Jogger stroller.  Ran into friend Brian Pilcher who did his outdoor Eliptical next to me (he is injured) that machine is crazy!  Ran all over town by my house @ 7:30 pace (because I was pushing).  7ish miles

FRI- WORKOUT!  25 min warm up and cool down. Worked out at Drake High School.  3 mile tempo: Mile 1-6:10, Mile 2-6:12, Mile 3-5:53.  Followed up with some Jay Johnson strength stuff.  9 miles total

SAT- 52 mins easy from my house to Deer Park trail (up the hill half way) and back @ 7:30 pace 7 miles

 Ramsey and I hanging out at Evan's (Jeff's 11-yeat-old Brother who lives with us) Cross- Country Race.   You can kind of see my bump getting bigger!

Month 4- This month I finally started feeling better.  Less pregnant but still with very picky feelings about appetite.  My running went well also aside from a small planter fasciitis flair up that lasted a few days.  After a couple days in the pool, it went away pretty fast but I still have needed to stay on top of it.  Especially because I have only been getting heavier!  This month my stomach definitely started to blossom as there were a few times people had the nerve to ask how far along I was.  Four months is pretty early on to get that question, so what they say is true about showing faster with the second!  They also say that this is the time that your body starts to start producing more blood, which I was hoping would help with the heart rate elevation, but I pretty much felt exactly the same in that department.  Nonetheless, I still had a fantastic month of training (for being pregnant) and things went very smoothly in month four. 

Week of October 10-16:

SUN- 75 mins @6:50 pace on crown road.  Felt Good! 11+ miles

MON- 61 mins easy (@7:30 pace) Felt tired.  Ran at Skyline.  8 miles

TUE- 7 miles on treadmill next to friend Suzy in the Gym @ 8-8.5 mph 7 miles

WED- 70 mins with jogger stroller from house all over town (covered all bike paths and watched part of Jeff’s workout while running opposite direction at Piper park) Super hot out!!!  9+ miles

THUR- 55 mins on bike path from house @ 7:15 pace 7.5 miles

FRI- WORKOUT! 3 miles warm up and down (from my mom’s house in Berekeley to the track @ Cal)  10 x (400, 100 jog, 100 fast stride w/ 30-40 sec recovery)

400- 85, 100 jog, 100 stride     400- 82, 100 jog, 100 stride
400- 85, 100 jog, 100 stride     400- 82, 100 jog, 100 stride
400- 82, 100 jog, 100 stride     400- 83, 100 jog, 100 stride
400- 82, 100 jog, 100 stride     400- 81, 100 jog, 100 stride
400- 82, 100 jog, 100 stride     400- 82, 100 jog, 100 stride

3 Jay Johnson Routines and 10 miles total

SAT- Planter a little sore, 80 mins of X training (50 mins in pool, 30 mins on elliptical)

Ultra sound picture taken on October 7th, the baby is Lying on its side.  :-)


I just ran in the first ever Bay Area Cross-Country race and it was awesome!  The field the BATC put together was amazing.  Molly Huddle took the win with a close following of Renee Mativier and then Magda Boulet.  Granted that I am 6 + months preggers, I had a blast!  I am definitely showing big time compared to Ramsey, some people even thought that I was more like 8 months, but I am still running strong and felt great.  I am at around 55 miles a week still, so a 6k through beautiful Golden Gate Park felt like no problem.

I ran the race at around 6:15 per mile pace, so I was plenty conservative (I have to keep the baby's health in mind of course) but the rush of being in a race with fast runners again was motivating to keep on top of my running and get back into shape asap as soon as the baby comes.

The event in general was so well put together.  There was a DJ and Josh Muxen (Elite Athlete coordinator for the Bay to Breakers and many other large running events) did the announcing.  Because it was a 2k loop, we got to run by spectators multiple times.   Josh did a great job hyping up the crowd calling me Clara "the Belly" Peterson every time I ran by, it was hilarious!  It was nice to get a little attention in the running world right when I am really starting to get so huge!

Overall it was a great day today in Golden Gate Park (aside from the chilly weather) and I am glad that I am still running strong at 6 and a 1/2 months into baby number two!!!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

My Pregnancy Review Part 1

So I am six months into my pregnancy and I am having regrets about not starting my blog from day one.  I figure while everything is fresh in my mind however, that I would write a summary of what each month has been like so far.

Month One:  The first month of pregnancy is a breeze!  You don't even know you are pregnant and experience none of the side effects.  For me, this would be the month of July, 2010.  Under the guidance of my new coach Magdelana Lewy-Boulet, I my running was finally taking a turn for the better.  I competed in the 7 mile national championship in Iowa (called the Bix 7) where I placed 7th.  I also started venturing into some real workouts that I hadn't even thought about doing since the birth of my son the spring before (trying to be a professional runner without a coach is virtually impossible!).  

Training Week of July 4-10th

SUN- 90 mins with Jeff @ 6:50 pace.  Felt great, ran in Healdsburg from Rio Lago (my parents        Vineyard) down Chalk Hill Road 45ish mins and back.  VERY HOT! 13 miles

MON- 50 mins @ 7 min pace with Jeff and Ramsey in the Jogger from home.  Jeff pushed way out, then I turned back sooner than him, so I pushed for 25 mins on way back.  7 miles

TUE- WORK OUT!  2 mile warm-up and cool-down.  6 x 1 mile on trails (uphill on three, downhill on three) 1 min recovery btw miles.  4x30 seconds fast following mile repeats.
Mile 1 (downhill)- 5:34
Mile 2 (uphill)- 5:57
Mile 3 (downhill)- 5:27
Mile 4 (uphill)- 5:50
Mile 5 (downhill)- 5:26
Mile 6 (uphill)- 5:50
Short recovery was killer, but the workout felt great! 10 Miles STRENGTH- TRX and light lifting

WED- 60 mins with Jake Schmitt (another BATC member) @6:50 pace on bike path/trail in Marin (Madrone Canyon) 8.5 miles

THUR-  8 miles on the treadmill (I have a woodway!) @ 8.0-8.5 mph and Drills (Ramsey slept next to the treadmill in his car seat, thanks Rambo!) 8 miles

FRI- 8 miles on tread again while Ramsey slept @ 8.0-8.5 mph.  8 miles

SAT- 4 mile warm up and cool down 4x200 with 200 rec, 2x400 with 400 rec, 4x200 with 200 rec
200 #1- 33     400 #1- 70    200 #5- 35
200 #2- 36     400 #2- 71    200 #6- 35
200 #3- 33                          200 #7- 35
200 #4- 34                          200 #8- 35
200's not supposed to be too fast, just some turn over during a run.  Completed W.O. @ Drake H.S. in San Anselmo.  10 miles total 

WEEK Total: 66.5 miles

Ramsey and I in the Airport on the Way to Bix 7 mile national road race champs at the end of July


Month Two:  Found out I was pregnant!  Found out due to poor performance at Beach to Beacon 10k in Portland, Maine.  (Was over two mins off what I planned on running!)  My heart rate just elevated like crazy.  Also started feeling a little fatigued.  I noticed in my training log that I made a comment that I slept 12 hours a few days before the race!  That is crazy and not like me at all!  (Similar things happened to me around the time I found out I was pregnant with Ramsey).  Aside from the elevated heart rate, most of month two was pretty easy breezy.  It wasn't till the end of this month (August), that I began to feel a little queasy off and on throughout the day.  I also began to become ravishingly hungry at random times for salty/ fatty foods, and anything with chemicals, artificial ingredients, and too processed literally made me want to puke.  Some of my favorite things like frozen yogurt, puffins (the cereal), salads, trident gum all taste inedible!!  Here is a sample training week from August: 

Training Week of August 22-28th

SUN- 75 mins total @ 6:55 pace on trail called Crown Road (flat fire road, 3mile long, did out back + almost all the way out and back again).  Super Hot!! (Not good for being preggers, oh well!) 11.5 miles

MON- 50 mins @ 6:50 pace in San Francisco (Crissy Feild) (part way with buddy Keith).  Again, very hot!!!  felt great. 7+ miles

TUE- WORK OUT!  25 min (3+miles) warm up with Magda and Jake.  Super Hot!!! Workout is 16x400 with 30 sec recovery Worked out at Cal Berkeley's  Edwards Stadium
200 #1-83      200 #5-82      200 #9-81      200 #13- 83
200 #2-82      200 #6-82      200 #10-81    200 #14- 83
200 #3-82      200 #7- 81      200 #11-82   200 #15-83
200 #4-83      200 #8-82      200 #12-80     200 #16-80
6 x strides at the end with a 1 mile cool down (too hot for more!!) Madga brought me ice to hold in my hands to keep core temp down :-) STRENGTH- TRX+ Light lifting 9 Miles

WED- Ran 52 mins @6:50 pace in San Francisco (Crissy Field) with buddy Keith (super fast guy from Asics Aggies) 8 miles 

THUR- am- pushed jogger on Crown road 6 miles
              pm- 2 miles on treadmill      8 miles

FRI- WORKOUT  3 miles to the track, 3 miles of jogging curves, fast strides the straights, 3 miles back home (worked out on Edwards track on the Cal Campus, near Mom's House) 64 mins total 9 miles

SAT- 6 miles on the treadmill 7.7-8.0 mph (Jeff was on bike trainer and Rams was sleeping :-)) Starting to feel really sick today!!!! 6 miles

WEEK TOTAL: 58 miles

Starting to look pregnant already!!  Man, you really start to show early the second time around!  

Monday, January 10, 2011

How I found out

It was this past August when I toed the line for Beach to Beacon, a very exciting 10k put on by Joan Benoit Samuelson every year in Portland, Maine. Conveniently my family happens to go to Northeast Harbor, Maine every August, but this was the first time it worked for my schedule to do the race and I was thrilled. Finally after having my son, Ramsey, I was really beginning to feel like a runner again. I was roughly seven weeks into being coached by Magda and I was the fittest I had been in months.

After the three-hour drive from Northeast Harbor to Portland with my husband, dad and Ramsey, everything was going perfectly. A delicious pre-race dinner, stroll through the cobble stone streets of Portland and very restful night sleep, I wouldn’t have changed a thing. It wasn’t until the warm up that I knew something was off. Nothing specific hurt, but nothing felt especially good either. Granted that I didn’t feel great, I brushed it off as nerves. Just to be sure however, I asked my husband if he could run it with me (he is a professional triathlete and former UNC runner, so he can still school me any day of the week). Plus our anniversary was the next day and I thought it would be fun for us to run together, somehow having him there made me feel better about not having a great warm up.

A mile into the race, which is roughly all down hill, I knew something was still off. It was so hard to breath! I am one of those runners who never has breathing issues; it’s always my legs that get me first. I have always considered my endurance strength to be my best quality as a runner, so sucking wind in the first mile of the race was a foreign feeling for me. The first mile certainly wasn’t slow (5:08 or so), but it was downhill and I was hanging on to the back of the elite pack of women for dear life. Before I knew it, I was loosing the lead pack by the second. My husband looked over at me and asked why I wasn’t going with them. Under my very heavy breathing, I just said, “I can’t” and I think that was the last thing I could mutter out the entire race.

Mile after mile just kept getting slower and slower. Finally there was only one to go, and I barley pulled off a 5:30 (which was a vast improvement from the 5:50 I had run before). Before this race, I was sure this race was going to be a PR for me on the roads. “Low 33’s for sure at the worst” I believe were my words in the car on the way there. When I looked up at the clock coming through the line I couldn’t believe my eyes. 35:42! I hadn’t run that slow since, well ever in my life! I literally had no excuse. I was over two minutes slower than what I had planned on running and nothing like this had ever happened to me before.

It was at that moment it occurred to me what had just happened. It was at this time two years earlier that we found out that we were pregnant with our son Ramsey and two years before that that we got engaged. The only excuse I had and was sure about was that I was pregnant! There is just something about early August in my life when exciting things happen, planned or not! After a trip to the drug store as soon as possible, my prediction was correct. I was pregnant.

I was relieved to have a terrific excuse for my poor performance (your heart rate goes up close to 20 beats per minute when you are pregnant in the first trimester, this explained my inability to breath), but I was also confused. Finally on the right track to running fast after being injured, then pregnant, this next pregnancy came as a bit of a shock and felt like the wrong time. After some self reflecting and embracing the news however, I realized as a runner, there is never a “right time”. I decided that I am thankful to get the whole baby chapter of my life done in my mid-twenties, as my long-term goals are to have success in the longer distances, which usually comes with age anyways.

Additionally, the journey of being a mother is so much more rewarding and fun than I could ever have imagined. By having another baby close to the first, my family will be complete (for at least the next 6-7 years at least, not ruling out a third) and I can truly focus on running goals and perusing a career as a professional, something I still have yet to do since graduating from Duke in 2006.

At almost six months in, my training has been going tremendously. I have been able to hold 60 miles a week with two effort-based workouts (much more than I did during my first pregnancy). It was also inspiring to read about Carrie Tollefson, Paula Radcliffe and Kara Goucher through their pregnancies. I am in good company as well with Deena Kastor who is due a few weeks before me. Of course it always helps having a coach who has been through it also (Magda has been a tremendous support for my pursuing my running goals despite this nine month detour!)

Running pregnant is an interesting process. Your body is slowly growing and hormones are changing- all in a way that makes you feel a little less comfortable everyday. Obstacles such as constant bladder pressure and flat feet get worse by the day. Sticking to it and knowing it is only temporary always helps. The reward of a baby (Girl in our case!) reminds me that that every time eight miles feels like twenty, it will all be worth it in the end.

People say that having babies makes you a stronger runner. I think that they immediately assume that it is because if you can endure the pain of labor, then the pain of a 10k is nothing. I don’t think it is the labor specifically that makes you stronger, but the pregnancy itself. Getting out there everyday and putting one foot in front of the other during a time that your body really just wants to lay down and get fat, is the best time in the world to truly get tough.