Then there are runs that will be very humbling…

Spartan Canada Alberta Pregnant Runner“The only one who can tell you ‘you can’t’ is you. And you don’t have to listen.”

This week was a tough one for running, I really had to push myself to get up early and get out. On Tuesday I did my regular loops around the neighbourhood before work. I usually make this a speed training workout, but this week I took it easier on myself than usual. I find the loops extremely boring but I hate going too far in the mornings because I’m up way ahead of my husband and I’m scared that if something happens while I’m out I won’t be able to get ahold of him… so I play it safe! Thursday morning I did the same thing, though it was more enjoyable (it’s funny how some days are mildly better than others.) The hardest thing right now is pushing myself out the door – my mind is all game, but my body is definitely pushing back some. I don’t usually find the running itself tough, but afterward my joints are definitely tender (so it’s nice having a ‘hot’ tub to relax in.) I use ‘hot’ in quotes because my husband lowered the temperature significantly (85-90) so that I could get in and cool down because I know pregnant people are not supposed to get in if they’re hotter than 102.

photo 5-1Also – not really part of my training at all (more ‘spur of the moment’ type thing) I spent some time out at Canada Olympic Park doing some work stuff, so I got to treat myself to a steep uphill walk. It was hot and awful – it confirmed that I will not be participating in the Spartan out there this year!

pregnant runner calgary - reservoir running- albertaYesterday was a long run for me. I had intended to do 10km but to be honest, I got out there and it was really warm so I ended up cutting it to 9km. Typically I would push myself through it (I’m stubborn like that…) however, earlier this week I got to spend time with my favourite Olympic ski jumpers (Taylor & Matt) and Taylor (and her mom) told me not to run too hard… and proceeded to tell me a tragic story about a pregnant lady who had been out running, had a heart attack, ended up passing away and the doctors barely saved the baby. My mouth was agape whilst they told the story, so you might say I was ‘scared straight.’ But I also have a feeling that there were many things to contribute to a heart attack.

I have been really good not to push myself too hard. I watch my heart rate and I also take water every time I go out. I really try hard to go in the early mornings before it gets too warm, but if you’re in Southern Alberta now, you know that it’s somewhat impossible to find a cool time of day (we’re experiencing another heatwave!) So the temperature during my run yesterday was around 27 degrees, but felt as if it was about 30 (plus humid as heck!) I finished and was extremely grateful to be done. As hard as it is for me not to push myself, I realize that it’s more important to be safe, so I alternated my running with walking on the second half of the run, just to give myself a break. It was good.

pregnant-runner-alberta-running-fish-creek-parkToday was a shorter run for me (6km) – it was slow and steady. I broke in my new sneaks in on the trails – needless to say, they are no longer white. It was a tad slippery, so there was some wicked maneuvering out there. I should also mention that the humidity is at 94% right now, it is awful. There is nothing worse than humidity in my opinion – I’d take the dry heat any day! As I sit here writing this I am probably sweating more than I did my entire run. But at any rate, the run was pretty comfortable and much more enjoyable than yesterday.The only thing that has changed significantly is my speed. I’m not into week 23 and I feel slower. I realize not every pregnant runner slows down this fast, but I also notice my loose and shifty joints – such a weird feeling! To be frank, it feels like my knees/pelvis are slipping. So weird.

Anyway – the plan is to keep trekking as long as I can. After all, I still have a few races left this season!

Happy Trails!

@SpartanCanada: Northern Alberta Sprint at Tawatinaw Valley Ski Hill

“Become one of the rare people who don’t know how to quit.”

It’s almost ironic that I could only think of this popular quote by Robin Sharma while getting ready for this race while people told me I was crazy for participating. The ironic part is that he too has roots in Cape Breton, therefore I felt like he was talking right to me, eh!

At any rate, all last week I was not feeling great. I was sick pretty much every day (I forgot what that was like… it’s been a while!) So needless to say, I didn’t do much of anything leading up to the Spartan Race. The family made the trek out to Westlock (four hours from Calgary) so I would only have a quick 20 minute drive to the race in the morning on Saturday. When I woke up Saturday morning I felt like absolute rubbish, there was actually a moment I thought I was too sick to run. With Spartan Races they ask you to arrive approPregnant Spartan Race Runner Albertax 90 minutes before your race just because it can be an absolute zoo to find parking and also the lines can get pretty long to pick up your race kit, so the 90 minutes + a 20 minute drive meant I needed to get my shit together pretty quickly. However, being a morning person I was up at around 4:30 a.m. so I decided to start my pre-race routine anyway to see if I could get myself mobile (it would be a game time decision.) By 6:15 I was feeling better and decided that I would be alright to give it a go (after all, it was a 5k obstacle course – last September I had done the Super…)

It was a beautiful morning – for anyone not living in Alberta right now, we’re experiencing a bit of a heatwave (alright, it some parts of the province were supposed to get as hot as 40 degrees!) When I got to the site it was around 18 degrees and by race time it was just over 20. It’s difficult to explain the energy at these races in comparison to regular races but it’s pretty incredible. What I like the most is how friendly and encouraging people are – they’re a very supportive crew (and we’re all strangers!)

I wore my newest “I’m not slow, I’m pregnant” tank top and had lots of comments from people wondering if I was being serious to people high-fiving me, and still others calling me nuts. I’m not going to lie, it’s nice not having any pressure and being able to blame being slow on pregnant (when I damn-well know I’d be slow even if I wasn’t!)

When we got called to the start for the second heat of the day, people were all ready full of adrenaline – there were lots of guys bouncing around – I saw a few doing push ups and pull ups ahead of time wondering what-in-the-hell they were thinking wasting their energy… I mean… it’s one thing to get a proper warm-up in and another to burn out ahead of time. At any rate, as any runner could hope for, we started right on time. We made it 50m and hit the first bit of mud and slop. Then the first obstacle was a mud pit…some people went around it (which I think is technically cheating) but I dove right in – we were going to get muddy anyway! For the next 5km we were tested mentally and physically.

What I love about Spartan is that it’s not just about whether you can run (because a lot of it is actually walking up hill) but it’s about your mental willpower and whether or not you will push yourself to keep going. In fact, at about the half-way point I found myself pep-talking a young woman (who, strictly based on appearances looked extremely fit.) She was exhausted and wanted to quit. But that’s what makes iPregnant Spartan Runner Finisher Albertat so neat – every shape and size is out on the course and everyone is good to support one-another. I ran with two women for a bit and we had a lot of laughs. We were joking about the fact that I had to go through all this and I couldn’t even have a real beer afterward… anything to keep your mind off of your burning muscles and nagging mind! Of all the obstacles, the most challenging for me are always the walls. This year, I didn’t even bother attempt them because last year I fell and my doctor told me she was O.K. with me doing the course so-long as I didn’t put myself in those sorts of situations. Therefore, I took the burpees. In total, I think I took burpees on nine obstacles, so I did a lot of burpees and squats! (I want to thank the volunteers who were incredibly supporting and looked out for me on the course… you guys are the best!) There were a lot of hills, it actually made MacKenzie Mountain look like a joke. I kept reminding myself “You ran a mountain, you ran a mountain, keep going, you ran a mountain.” But when I got to the top of the umpteenth hill and looked down I thought, there’s no way MacKenzie was that damn steep! It felt great.

When we got to the end and I saw the barbed wire I was so relieved, I knew I was out-of-steam and I could hear my mom saying: “Don’t overdo it.” (Which was in an em

This morning, I woke up with tight quads but otherwise feeling great. However, I realized that the Canada Race I signed up for is actually an obstacle course (I thought it was a straight road race) so I headed to the gym first thing and started stretching out. Then I spent about two hours in our cooled down hot tub so I could stretch some more. So that’s it faPregnant Spartan Runner Stretching at the Gym Albertail she sent just before I left for the race in the morning.)  Again, I just dove right in there. Slopped, crawled, pulled, kicked and inched my way through the thick, smelly mud. When I jumped through the fire, I thought I would cry. But I didn’t. I had absolutely no idea what time I had actually finished in, where I placed or anything else I was just so happy that I didn’t quit and I got my finisher medal. The rest of the day was spent eating celebratory food which included Miss Vickie’s salt and vinegar chips, pizza, pasta and orange julius (excellent combo) plus a dip in the pool.or my Spartan season – I was really hoping to get my Trifecta this year but I guess I will have to wait.

For anyone else out there, how did your Spartan Race go? I want to hear the muddy details, leave them in the comments 🙂

So here it is: I’m in my 21st week of pregnancy, I finished the Spartan Sprint (5+km and 21 obstacles) in 1:45:00 AND I found out today that I finished 1073 out of 4000 participants – this made me really happy!

AROO! AROO! AROO! 

Happy Trails!

 

So I lied.

“If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.”

ISpartan Running_PregnantRunner_Noexcuses caved. I signed up for a Spartan Sprint. In my defence, it is in two weeks… and my doctor told me it was okay to continue my regular exercise. While I haven’t been doing a ton of weight training, I’ve been keeping up with my cardio. I must say, it has been a while since I’ve done hills so I suppose I need to get at least a couple hill training sessions in before this thing. Ultimately my goal is to finish the darn thing, I know I’m not winning any awards!

Kat Macaulay Calgary Running Spartan race pregnantAt any rate, today I hit the trail for a 7km run. It is beautiful out and the trails were busy with walkers, runners and bikers. Apparently it was my 76th fastest session (according to RunKeeper) now, keep in mind that doesn’t sound impressive but in the 3+ years I’ve had the RK app, I’ve had a LOT of sessions, so I’m pretty good with that!  What I love about running is Fish Creek is that it’s shaded and it doesn’t feel like you’re in the middle of a city. There are many ups and downs, but overall it is one of my favourite places to run!

Anyway – this is a quick post. Looks like I’ll be posting a little bit more leading up to the Spartan Race (just to stay on track!)

If there are any ‘expecting moms’ out there who have run Spartan, please, please, please get in touch. I’d love to pick your brain!

Happy Trails!

kat

And then you’re running for two.

“Run when you can, walk if you have to, crawl if you must – just never give up!”

runningkattales_runningfortwoIt’s been quite some time since I spilled my guts here. Is anyone still out there?

Much has happened since I wrote last. For one, I’m now running for two. Yep. You read that right. Our family is expecting a new addition some time in November.

Needless to say, this has been an interesting ride so far, as I totally forgot what it was like to be pregnant. At my first appointment, my doc asked if I was as nauseous with my son. I couldn’t remember. But I suspect that I must have been, hence why we waited so long to have another! Aside from the incredible sickness that comes in the first trimester, I was also lazy-as-heck. I beat myself up a lot for not pushing myself to get out and run (something I had been doing 3-4x a week at that point) but I literally could not make myself run (and we know how stubborn I am…) I got out walking instead, which was good but not the same when you’re a runner. It took almost the entire first trimester of pushing myself to get back out there – but I’m glad I did!

Now I’m closing in on the half-way mark and I’m feeling great. I’ve been doing longer runs on the weekend and short runs (one or two) through the week. The only complaint I really have is that I need to pee every few kilometres, which makes it a little challenging out on the trails. However, I’m really not minding it for the most part. I take my camel bak, fill it with water and ice, make sure my iPhone is fully charged and off I go. Today I wore my tank top that says “I’m not slow, I’m pregnant” for the first time… there was a lot of laughing and support on the trail. I especially want to thank the woman who yelled out: ‘That is a great shirt! Good job!” and another man who yelled at me from his bike saying: “You go girl!”  Oh and can’t forget the old lady who was trying to read it: “I’m … not… slow…. I’m…. what does that say? I can’t see.. What does that?” and her husband awkwardly jumped in with: “I’m pregnant.”

I think the worst part about being pregnant at this point in the season is that it’s race season and I’m envious of those people who get to do all the fun trail runs and obstacle courses. I so wish I could participate in Spartan, Mud Hero and Tough Mudder this year, but I guess I’ll have to skip a season as I’ve been told it would be reckless to do so. However, I want to keep going as long as I can… even if I have to crawl!

Oh and the one real issue I feel I could possibly have in the future is tights. I love wearing my capri running tights but the bands are really starting to irritate me. Friends: if you have been pregnant and ran OR know someone who was pregnant and ran, can you give me some recommendations? Also – wondering about the belt that is supposed to support your belly? Apparently it supports your belly so your bladder doesn’t take quite the beating. As much as I LOVED my sisters suggestion of just throwing on a depends… I’d like to investigate this further.

But that’s it for now. Tomorrow is another long run and I’m quite looking forward to it!