I hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving! We ended up getting roughly 17 inches of snow on Tuesday and it stuck around through the holiday. There is something about snow during the holidays that makes this time of year feel even more festive. I love it! It also makes for some interesting winter weather training, especially when the lows get down to the low single digits at night. Thank goodness for studded running shoes!
Exciting news… I took advantage of a Black Friday discount code and signed up for my first race of 2016 – the Salmon Run 10k. Yes, I shop for races on Black Friday. I’ve participated in this race the past two years and thought it would be a good test of my winter training come April. Although I haven’t “officially” signed up for any other 2016 races, there are several plans in the works including Ironman Coeur d’Alene and one or two 70.3 distance triathlons. Depending on how things go, I might even throw a late season marathon into the mix.
I guess after signing up for Ironman Canada and a few other 70.3 distance races last year, and then losing most of my money, I’m a little hesitant to fork over that much cash again so soon. I probably shouldn’t worry though because Justin and I are not planning on getting pregnant again. The only setback this year might be injury or slow recovery. Perhaps I should purchase the insurance that is offered? Have any of you ever done this? Would it be worth it?
As I mentioned in my last post, I am in a pre-base building state of mind and have been working hard these last few weeks to get into a routine and remind my body of what a weekly schedule is like. My coach has given me two weeks of structured workouts and I was able to complete all of them, even though it wasn’t necessarily pretty. Is starting over ever pretty? Maybe in this case, yes.
Running is my favorite right now. Big surprise, I know. I have been running 3-4 times a week and am slowly upping the mileage and getting my legs and lungs used to going farther than 3 miles.
Last weekend I did my first 5K “race” as part of a Turkey Trot benefitting the Central Oregon College Foundation. To be honest, I didn’t really “race” because I am not supposed to be pushing it with any speed, intervals, or fartleks. That being said, I did run a little faster than I have done on my own and managed to finish the run at a comfortable 8:40 average pace. This was a pretty big deal for me to see 8s. I finished up by tacking on a 2 mile run home, which made it my longest postpartum run to date.
Winter weather hit us hard this week and there has been a transition from pavement and dirt, to snow and ice. Before the brunt of the snow fell, my friend Rainie and I hit the trails to lay some fresh tracks and enjoy the solitude and quiet. The world seems so still when the snow is falling and everything is white. Thank goodness we got in our run before the other 12 inches of snow fell!
I also experienced my worst run in a long time when I started out the door yesterday and felt an instant side stitch below my left ribcage. It’s been years since I have had a side stitch, so I was pretty shocked and tormented by the experience. What was supposed to be a 4.5 mile run turned into a 3.5 mile run when I couldn’t shake the pain and turned around early. It stuck with me during the ENTIRE run. When I got home I did some research to find out what could have caused it, being as how I never get them. Although there is still some debate as to what causes them, it seems like one of the following might have occurred:
- Too much food before my run. I ran in the afternoon after eating Thanksgiving leftovers for lunch. I never run after eating a semi-big meal, so that might have done me in.
- Core strength. My core and diaphragm are still on the weaker side, which means I am more susceptible to cramping and fatigue.
- Adjusting my lungs and breathing to the new workload. Given that I took more than two months completely off of any strenuous exercise, my breathing is much different than it was before I got pregnant. I am still figuring out how to get my lungs back.
- Too much too soon? Although I don’t feel like I am beating my body into the ground by any means, there are some sources that suggest pushing too much too soon can trigger cramping and fatigue. I sometimes forget that I am not at the level I once was and am still working my way up in a new body.
Have you ever experienced side cramping and what did you do to eliminate the pain? I stopped multiple times, stretched, took a couple deep breaths, and still could not make that sharp, digging pain go away. Any tips?
Unlike running, cycling lately has been downright hard. Being really out of cycling shape combined with having to do all of my riding on the trainer makes for a tough 45-60 minute ride. Right now I am just training at an easy effort, reminding my legs what it means to spin around and around and around a thousand times. I’m just waiting for that magical day when things begin to click and it all feels right again.
I have my trainer set up upstairs in our bonus room where it is a little colder and away from the rest of the house. There is a sliding door and screen that open up to the back deck that I can keep open to let in the cold air and breeze. It helps as I am often times a sweaty mess when I finish. My bike is positioned right in front of the TV so I can be entertained during my longer rides. I really need to find a good show on Netflix that will make the time fly! Or movie… I always enjoy movies when I have a two-hour ride to suffer through.
Mentally I am feeling really good about where I am at and how my body is responding (minus the side stitch episode) to my workouts. It is definitely more challenging finding the time and energy to fit strength and endurance training into my daily schedule, but I truly enjoy and appreciate that time to myself to decompress and recharge. There is nothing easy about taking care of a 12-week-old, which I will open up about in another post, so I am thankful that my workouts give me some relief. I don’t think I would survive without a little fitness in my life. It makes me a better person and mom. Wow, it still feels crazy to call myself a mom. ☺