Monday, July 16, 2012

Re-united with a long-lost love!

It's been a long time since writing an entry, I suppose I have not been too inspired over the last couple of months. I did complete CrossFit Diesel's nutrition challenge, eating mostly paleo, and definitely could have written about that, but everytime I did something on the computer related to that it was filling out my food log on This post is inspired by my new-found love of running. Since becoming pregnant 4+ months ago I admit I sort-of gave up on my love of running. It seemed that as I would get larger it would just become more difficult to keep up with the pace and mileage. Plus I CrossFit about 5 days per week and I know that would be sufficient to keep me fit throughout my pregnancy.
Then I ran the NorthFace Endurance Challenge Relay Marathon (early June!) with friends from CrossFit and I just gotta tell ya, fate has a funny way of bringing things into your life that are really supposed to be there. I had asked about at least 4 people if they would want to take my 10K leg of the challenge and they were all unable for various very good reasons. As I could not come up with a very good reason to not do it I just figured, 'it's fate, I gotta do this'. No, being pregnant is never a good reason to not challenge yourself. Especially if it is a matter of doing something that prior to your pregnancy you could do with relative ease. The night before the relay marathon there were severe thunderstorms with tornado's in the region (rare occurance in Maryland) and our power went out. When I found out that our power went out I momentarily felt relief. Relief that I would not have to do my part in the relay marathon. I thought maybe it would not really happen or that maybe if the apartment got very hot (no power means no A/C) then I would not be able to sleep all night and THAT would be a GREAT reason to not run. But just as soon as that idea came into my mind a moment later I knew that would not be enough. I knew I could not let the other runners down. And I really didn't want to let myself down. I then asked a co-worker how the electricity going out could possibly get me out of running a 10K the next day. She said I could say my alarm never went off. I thought "I'm looking for an excuse, a really good reason, not a lie!" And I knew then that I was of course just fearing something I did not know. I did not know how my 4+ month pregnant body would deal with terrain and distance that I had not trained for. I didn't actually think it was silly that I did not train. Running 1-2 miles during various CrossFit WOD's was torture enough. I didn't train for this 10K because I did not want to put up with the repetitively disappointing running experiences I was having. I wanted to be surprised. I wanted to be forced to adapt to something as it was happening. I wanted to experience just where my comfort zone was and how malleable it might be under pressure. A couple of hours prior to my start time I secretly brainstormed some 'scaling' options and checked with the relay marathon staff to be sure one option in particular would be acceptable. You see, 2.4 miles out on the course there is a rest-stop. Beyond this rest-stop there is a 1 point something mile loop in the woods and you return to the same rest-stop and retrace your steps back to the finish line. So I figured that if I was unsure about things when I got to the rest-stop I would just skip the mile loop and head back. I was so not happy with that option however, for several reasons. Anyone who can run 5 miles can run 6.25 miles. To skip 1.25 miles and have my team's time not be an official whole marathon distance is crap. Also, when Neale said the real trail terrain was in those woods I knew I had to get out there. I signed up for this trail race because I LOVE trail runs. I wish the entire course was out in the woods. That is what a true train race is! Hence I knew I was going to do the whole distance. Another 'scaled' option that was still on the table when I started the run was to simply go as slow as I needed to. But again, I did not want my team's timed score to heavily reflect someone with a major handicap. I did not want to go out there for a jog. I could jog at home on my own time. Why should I go for a jog in the woods on three other people's time? This was about running. This was a challenge. I needed to work my body up and then push. I needed to allow myself to not hold back. As I received the transponder belt from Tyler and started moving, throwing the belt around my waist and snapping it on I knew I was going the whole distance, I knew I wasn't going to stop unless I was very uncomfortable, and I knew there would be a lot on the course that I did not expect. Of all three of these the last thing I knew suprised me the most. I did jog at a comfortable and only mildly challenging pace the first 2 miles, mostly to get my body ready for the second half which I knew I was going to push through. I was not even on the course for a tenth of a mile when my left ankle said 'HELLO I HATE THESE SNEAKERS!' Damn, I forgot about that! So for around 2 miles I had to pay attention to NOT toe striking on my left foot but always heal striking on that foot, which is of course against the natural way that I have been trained to run. Also, within the first quarter mile I got an ache in the right side of my abdomen, one of those aches like you just ate something, a cramp, but I had not eaten for about 45 minutes prior. Uh, annoying! That lasted at least a mile. There were other aches and pains here and there those first couple of miles, but then I was in the clear, I was in 'the zone'. I had a lot of doubt about how my body, with a 4-month old baby in my belly, was going to handle this, but in fact it was like my body started to scream at me 'what took you so long to get back to running!!!??' Once I was in the woods (the REAL trail!) I was then completely driven, pacing myself all the while, and so so happy! I ended up finishing in 1:09, which I think is pretty good ;) (I wrote this post within a week of the event, posting late due to being very busy.) I am still running, not as much as I'd like by any means, and now that I'm nearly 6 months pregnant I am super slow, but I never stop my slow trot when running is part of a CrossFit WOD. I plan to continue my slow jog throughout the rest of the pregnancy. Then I'll be getting back to running. (However, I do have a very annoying bunion on my left big toe... which is another story altogether.)