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Archive for March, 2012

To kick off the weekend I thought I would share a few running related links all courtesy of the CBC.

The Perfect Runner

This documentary “celebrates the modern love of long-distance running by exploring our evolutionary past as a species defined by its ability to run.”

I’m not sure if those of you outside of Canada will be able to watch it but definitely give it a shot.

Q&A with Harvard anthropologist Daniel Lieberman on why humans run

“Every year, on the third Monday of April, 20,000 people line up to run the world’s oldest marathon, in Boston, Mass. — a horrible place to run. The weather can range from rainy to snowy to unbearably warm — sometimes in the same day.

So why do people do it?

Harvard University anthropology professor Daniel Lieberman and his collaborator, University of Utah biology Prof. Dennis Bramble, argue that humans were born to run.

Their groundbreaking study, published in the journal Nature in November 2004, got the scientific community pondering the hypothesis that it’s our ability to run, not walk, that sets humans apart as the world’s dominant species.”

Q&A with Kathrine Switzer – the first woman to officially run the Boston Marathon!

“April 19, 1967. The Toronto Maple Leafs were in the early stages of their march to their most recent Stanley Cup championship. Expo 67 was preparing to open its doors in Montreal to what would turn out to be 50 million visitors celebrating Canada’s centennial. And south of the border, a 20-year-old college student was lining up with the men, preparing to do the unheard of — to become the first woman to officially run the Boston Marathon”

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…is to listen to your body.

Whether  you are pregnant or not pregnant, a new runner or an experienced runner, and everything in between I believe it is important to listen to your body at every stage of the game.

Being pregnant has made me realize this more than ever.

When I was training for my first half-marathon last year there were times I ran through the pain even though I knew deep down it wasn’t what I should be doing. I took ibuprofen before runs so my knees didn’t bother me as much and as a result I had to take a week off in the middle of my training to work out some IT band issues.

Yes, at times the pain or desire to skip a run is more mental than physical but I think as runners, and as humans, we always know the difference between the two. How we choose to handle these situations is what’s important.

The only person we are hurting by running through an injury (or potential injury) is ourself.

The only person we are going to let down by not running on any particular day is ourself.

The only person who will think the fact that we only ran 3 miles instead of the scheduled 5 miles is some kind of failure is ourself.

We need to cut ourselves some slack when it truly matters.

If running while pregnant has taught me anything it’s to really listen to my body.

And for the first time I am truly listening.

On Saturday I had a great 7 mile run.

The weather was perfect, I was able to run on my favourite trail, I only had to stop once to pee and I did it all without listening to music. I didn’t push myself and I didn’t watch my pace obsessively. The only time I glanced at my Garmin was to check my distance. When I hit 6.5 miles I realized I was exactly where I needed to be to meet the finishing time I submitted for the BMO Vancouver Half-Marathon.

It made me smile.

I came home, foam rolled, stretched, drank some water and chocolate milk and enjoyed the rest of the day with my family.

Fast forward to today (Sunday).

I headed out for a 3 mile run.

As soon as I started running something felt off with my body.

Instead of running through the discomfort I decided to walk the 3 miles instead.

And it didn’t bother me at all.

I still got in 3 miles and I still got my much-needed and enjoyed alone time.

I’ve learned to listen to my body and take it one run at a time.

I can’t guarantee this newfound knowledge will always follow me after the baby is born, but at least the seed has been planted.

I’ll try those 3 miles again tomorrow on my lunch break.

If it works in my favour?

Great.

If it doesn’t?

No big deal.

There’s always the next run.

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I had a mild panic attack the other day when I went to the Vancouver Sun Run website and read that there were almost 50,000 participants last year.

That’s a lot of people.

Don’t believe me? Check out the background photo on the website.

That’s a lot of people.

I started having irrational pregnant lady fears that I was going to be crushed in the crowd* similar to the rush of people stampeding into a store on Boxing Day.

*there is no basis for my fear as I have never heard of anyone getting injured in this way at the Sun Run and it has been around since 1985.

The whole family is going to Vancouver but I am the only one running. When I mentioned my fear of the crowd to Andrew he offered to run with me. Although I appreciate the offer I thought it was silly considering he doesn’t like to run, he would have to push the stroller and I’m not sure Lincoln would last 10 minutes let alone 10K.

I also had concerns about how I was going to get there in the morning because of road closures and the general busyness of the city. I knew having Andrew drive was out of the question, and I also didn’t like the thought of having him and Lincoln join me on the bus. Lucky for us we are staying with good friends in Vancouver so even though I couldn’t recruit Julia to join me in the race she is more than willing to accompany me to the race – the boys are going to stay home and cook us brunch.

Since the Sun Run is so large (it is Canada’s largest 10K road race and is now the 2nd largest timed 10K in the world) there is a wave start. The Starting Area (not just a line) takes up five city blocks.

SunRun2012StartAreaMap

The race starts at 9:00 am and by the time I even start to run the elite runners will be crossing the finish line. I won’t know until the Saturday before what wave I am in but based on the finish time I submitted I’m assuming I will be either white or purple.

I’m actually contemplating going to the very back (red) where the runners with strollers have to start 🙂

23 days left.

I’m 20 weeks pregnant.

At the time of the Sun Run I will be entering my 24 week. So far the belly doesn’t bother me on my runs but I have a support band on the way for when it does, and to wear for both the 10K and half-marathon.

I’ll be attempting** a 7 mile run this weekend and am hopeful the sun will be shining – I’m done with winter!

**I go into every run with an open mind, if I don’t feel right I stop. Last week’s 6 mile run went off without a hitch but I’m taking it one run at a time

I just noticed the pink border around my belly shot. This is not a subliminal way of me telling you the gender of the baby. We didn’t find out with Lincoln and we chose not to find out this time either. It’s one of life’s few true surprises and we wanted to keep it that way.

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I kept all of my maternity clothes from when I was pregnant with Lincoln but for one reason or another they are either too big (for right now) or I just don’t like them anymore.

Thankfully I can still wear most of my pre-pregnancy pants with the help of a belly band (or t-shirt extender as we like to call them, this way I can still wear them when I’m not pregnant and want a little extra coverage) and although my tops are tighter in the stomach area I can still wear them.

But not everything is fitting the way it should including my running tops. They are getting too tight and have a tendency to ride up my belly while I a running. Thankfully, I solved this problem with a little help from my friend online shopping.

I stumbled upon runningskirts.com while searching for maternity running clothes. I didn’t want to spend a lot of money since I won’t be wearing them for too long but I knew I needed something. I had tried just buying larger sizes in regular running clothes but the bottom line is that maternity clothes are made for a growing belly (long length, more belly room) and that’s what I needed.

I chose the Pool Maternity Performance Long Sleeve.

source

The thumbs holes, and the sale price, sold me on this particular shirt.

It arrived on the weekend and I love the light weight material. It is going to be perfect for the upcoming months while the weather is still cool and will be perfect for when I retreat to my basement for a treadmill run when the weather gets too hot. I bought it a size up so there is room to grow and I don’t mind the looser fit right now. I’ve been wearing it on my runs this week and it is super comfortable and stays in place without riding up. If you’re anything like me then you know there are few things more annoying than tugging on a shirt while you run.

I also bought my first pair of compression socks at the same time.

I tried running with them on but quickly learned that was not going to work for me. My calves felt really tight and I had to roll them down about a mile into my run. I put them back on after my run and wore them at work for the rest of the afternoon and love them as a recovery tool. My only complaint is I wish they went up over my knees because I feel like I could use a bit of compression in that area. Needless to say this won’t be my last piece of compression wear.

source

runningskirts also has some fabulous customer service. I originally ordered the compression socks in blue but they were all out when they were processing my order. They contacted me right away and then sent out the purple socks via priority post so I got them in record time. I love companies that not only ship to Canada from the States but that also offer reasonable shipping.

I don’t have the guts to try out a running skirt yet but maybe after the baby arrives.

I’m in no way affiliated with runningskirts but highly recommend them if you are looking for quality running gear, especially if you are pregnant and have reached that point where your normal clothes just don’t fit right.

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Being a pregnant runner is something that makes me very happy. It takes more convincing to get my butt off the couch but once I do I feel fabulous. Knowing how I will feel after my run is what makes it easier to get off the couch (easier, not easy). And now that Spring is officially in the air I have started running on my lunch break again. As strange as it may sound I actually have more energy when I run than when I sit on the couch. You would think the opposite would be true but I have come to learn that it is quite normal to have more energy following exercise even when I am pregnant.

But running while pregnant does come with its own set of challenges.

Since reinstating my lunch break runs I have discovered my current personal challenge of running pregnant.

The pregnant lady bladder.

I have been running on the treadmill for most of the year, which means if I feel the need to pee I can just hop off the treadmill and head to the bathroom whenever I feel the urge.

This is not the case when running outside.

I quickly discovered that I could not run more than a mile without having to fight the urge to pee and, unfortunately, the route I regularly run on my lunch break does not offer a bathroom or hiding spots to relieve myself. There were a couple of close calls last week, and one day I had to resort to walking fast instead of running because the bouncing motion was making it worse. During the time it took me to get back to our house I had the following thoughts:

“Maybe no one will notice if I just pee a little?”

“Maybe I need to start wearing a diaper on my runs?”

“Don’t pee, don’t pee, don’t pee.”

Basically, I thought of nothing else except for the fact that I had to pee. I even contemplated knocking on someones door but decided against it.

Following those close calls I knew I had to change my route to one that included running either passed our house or another bathroom option. Thankfully, I discovered a loop on the weekend that is just over a mile from door-to-door, and the bonus part is there is a port-o-potty at the local community garden at the far end of the loop in case of emergencies. It is also at the beginning of the trail that I love to run on. Once the mud dries up I’ll add that into the new loop as well because it is my favourite place to run where I live.

So yesterday afternoon I laced up my running shoes and set out for a four-mile run. I don’t know if my bladder was more cooperative, or if it was just the thought of knowing I had a bathroom nearby, but I was able to complete two-miles before I made a pit stop. Once I was back on the road I make the decision to run the loop in reverse to mix things up a bit and the next two-miles went by rather quickly (in my head, not so much on my watch).

19 weeks before my four-mile run.

The new loop also means I don’t necessarily have to carry water with me while I am running because I can grab a quick drink when I stop.

As my belly continues to grow I’m sure there will be more challenges that arise. For now I am just happy to have found a solution to my current challenge.

And that I have this cute shirt to wear while I run.

AROB

 

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