Getting ready for @SpartanRaceCanada in Edmonton

“Run by my side; live in my heartbeat;
give strength to my steps.
As the cold surrounds, as the wind pushes me,
I know you surround me.
As the sun warms me, as the rain cleanses me,
I know you are touching me, challenging me, loving me.
And so I give you this run.
Thank you for matching my stride.
Amen.”

bridge-collapse-fish-creek-park-2013-alberta-flood-pregnant-runnerToday I woke up not really feeling like I wanted to run, which sucks, because I knew I had a 10k to do. Which, if it were at any other time I probably would have skipped it (I’m pregnant and therefore, allowed to make excuses.)

But next weekend is the Spartan Race and I’m not feeling overly ready for it.

For one: my pace is much slower than it has ever been (which is not just due to pregnancy but because I am just old… and slow…)

For two: I haven’t been doing a ton of upper body lifting. But I did start incorporating burpees into my day and let me just tell you that if you thought they hurt when you’re not pregnant, they hurt a LOT more when you are. Burpees are awful at the best of times and this only confirms why you need a damn good sports bra if you’re going to do any number of them!

But at any rate, I got up about 6am, ate breakfast, watched ‘my shows’ and then headed out for Fish Creek for a 10k trail run.

pregnant-running-in-fish-creek-park-alberta-pregnant-runnerI got to the park and decided I wanted to test out the old path I used to do half training on (much of it had been washed away by the 2013 flood.) It was very nostalgic as I could remember the many miles I put on during training and how that June (just a few weeks before my very first half-marathon race) it was all washed away in a matter of hours. It was somewhat ironic as we’re also getting so close to the anniversary of the flooding in Calgary.

The path itself was awesome. I forgot how much I loved that trail. I started out very easy and before I could get my shit together I ended up eating a mouthful of bugs (which is an ongoing joke with one of my other runner friends.) It was pretty horrendous. I should never have laughed at her for having to go through the same ordeal, only at the reservoir. I can only imagine that I was the picture of sophistication as I spit them out. So gross.

Anyway… There was lots of shade on the trail and it’s mostly flat, so I made it to my 5k turnaround point with no trouble at all and felt great. Some other notable things along the way: people fishing (Note: what are they fishing there?) lots of bikers and other runners and walkers. Also, just after the 5.5k mark I saw three deer boot-it across the trail really fast. Like, they were moving. Real fast. As if being chased. For a minute I thought I might have been in some Discovery Channel documentary about deer being chased by prey, only for the prey to see the slow, pregnant lady and attack her instead. So naturally I panicked until I saw other people. [Note to self: stop watching reality shows like ‘I survived being attacked’] At any rate, the rest of the run was terrific. I felt really strong and it was apparently my 35th fastest 10k! (I’ve done a lot of 10ks so I feel like this was a win.)

So now I’m home and carb-loading with salt and vinegar chips. Life is good.

Happy Trails!

Running whilst pregnant comes with little surprises.

“Running slow isn’t a character flaw, quitting is.” 

This week was a good one, in terms of getting some runs in.

Pregnant_running_calgary_Alberta_canadaI did an easy run and some hill training. The hill training was tough. It was a very steep grade and I was feeling tired (up early to cram it in before work!) I did 5 repeats on the hill which took me to about 3km of hills (pretty low considering I was doing about 18km of just hill repeats at one point in time!) But I’m trying not to compare these runs to the good old days (hah!) I’m just enjoying the time I can get out because I know that before too long it will be miserable.

Today I did a 9running slow isn't a character flaw quitting is.5km run (which was great.) The weather was perfect, the trail wasn’t too busy and I had a fresh Social Media Examiner recording to listen to. However, I wasn’t very far in to my run when I realized that I needed to pee. Real bad. You all know that horrible feeling when you really have to pee, but you know you’ve got to wait? It is complete, frigging agony. (Side note: I can only compare it to the university days when you drank your beer too fast at the pub, but the line up was so long that you knew that there was no way you could hold it so you used the mens washroom instead.)

I had no such options.

And naturally, it was the only thing I could think about.

The only light at the end of the dark tunnel was the fact that I knew there were bathrooms at about the 4km mark, so I focused on just making it there and knew it’d be fine. Which would have been exactly how things would’ve gone had I not arrived there (hopeful) and guess what? THEY WERE CLOSED!

Annoyed, I kept going and at about 4.5km I came across an outhouse. It wasn’t pretty but I got to relieve myself and it was glorious. I ran a wee bit further and then turned around. I met lots of other runners and cyclists. That is one thing that is becoming somewhat annoying about running the trail in Fish Creek Park – the cyclists. I bet at least one hundred or so passed me and probably only a handful used their bell to warn me. It’s hard to explain, but you know when someone comes up behind you and startles you and you jump a bit? I did that about 95 times. I probably peed a little. Just kidding. I didn’t (because I just used the bathroom) but seriously annoying.

At any rate, when I got to the 7km mark, I had that oh-so-familiar-feeling again. I knew that there were no bathrooms until I got back to the main lot so I basically pep talked myself the entire way. How ridiculous does that sound? I had to pep talk myself just to keep going to get to a bathroom… most people pep talk themselves to keep running… not me. I need the extra boost so I don’t pee my pants.

At the end of it, I guess this run was a bit of a learning experience. I think I need to invest in the support belt because my bladder is angry with me. Anyone out there try one? I just don’t know if I can bare many more longish runs feeling like I have to pee for most of it.

But in other news, I’ve signed up for a few races to keep me busy:

  • Spartan Race – June 27 (20 wks) COMPLETE! (Finished 1073/4000+)
  • Heroes for Heroes – July 1  (20 wks) COMPLETE! (Finished 39/109)
  • Multiple Miles for Myeloma – July 25 (23 weeks, 6 days) COMPLETE! (Finished 80/272)
  • Night Race – August 8 (26 wks, 6 days)
  • Run through the Meadows – August 16 (28 wks)
  • Springbank Park Race  – Sept 12 (32 wks)
  • Ambulance Chaser – Oct 2 (35 wks)

I realize that these will not be pretty, but the goal is to stay active and at least finish.

For my running friends out there: if you’ve run while pregnant, feel free to send me your tips and recommendations — I barely remember my first pregnancy let alone how to stay active! 🙂

Happy Trails!

kat

p.s.: It is a miracle I even got out today at all. Is anyone else binge watching OITNB? Holy good.

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!