Author Archives: Natalie

Chesapeake Bay #10kAcrosstheBay

Chesapeake Bay Bridge 10kThe inaugural Chesapeake Bay Bridge Run, dubbed #10kacrossthebay in social media, was my first race post-baby just one week after she hit the two month mark. I went into it wanting to be able to run a consistent 8:30 pace and was pleasantly surprised to average an 8:00 pace. Albeit, half the race was downhill. The uphill first mile and a half of the race I found to be a nominal incline and not nearly as challenging as I expected it to be. My miles 3-4 and 4-5 were just sub-8s which is a pace I’ve not hit in a LONG time. I was hopeful I could maintain that pace through the finish but I also literally didn’t know what I could do. Halfway through mile 5 I knew I had plenty left in the tank and ran hard to 6 with the intention of pushing it the last .2 miles. Because it was a race, I’m glad I took this approach but it is also clear to me that I’ve got a ways to go before I will have my long distance base built and before I really have consistent speed again. Continue reading

The First “Run” Back: A Walk-Jog Combo

It’s nearly impossible not to ask a pregnant person, or a person who’s just had a baby, “how are you feeling?” So I will start this post by saying that with the exception of being tired and feeling a little flabby in the core area, I feel great. And because I feel great, I decided to try some jogging. Post-jog, I can now add that I also feel a little tender still in the pelvic floor area but by no means is it painful. And the feeling I had for the majority of pregnancy that my ligaments were ripping apart is gone, so I consider that a good sign of being on the mend. In order to really start running again I have to start somewhere and a walk-jog combo on a beautiful fall day that also happens to be my last day of maternity leave seemed like a good place to start. Continue reading

Boston Marathon Registration Anxiety

About this time last year I put a reminder on my calendar for Sept. 8, 10am EST to register for the 2015 Boston Marathon. As luck would have it, I was out on maternity leave when 09/08/14 rolled around and had nothing much to do other than watch the calendar for registration to open. In preparation I visited baa.org to make sure I knew the process. Continue reading

Wednesday Routine: Rev60 Blast

For well over a year now, Wednesday nights have been my “me” nights. It started because I played beach volleyball with work friends on Wednesdays last summer and then over the winter it turned into my night to get drinks or dinner or work late, whatever I wanted to do. In January my best friend forwarded me an email of a new spin studio opening in Baltimore. So when we decided to check out the new Rev Cycle Studio, Wednesday was the natural night to go. Continue reading

Mind Over Matter

With friends waiting for rooftop yoga to begin.

With friends waiting for rooftop yoga to begin.

It was a couple hours after my second piece of red velvet cake at a friend’s birthday dinner that I started to feel guilty. I had started the day with an invigorating rooftop yoga class and slowly throughout the day cancelled out the benefits of my morning fitness session simply by making stupid food choices. Pregnant or not, one piece of cake is totally fulfilling and sufficient. Post-birthday dinner I vowed to start over on Sunday and start the day with a ride.  Continue reading

30 Weeks and the Runs are Over

I hit 30 weeks yesterday, on July 4. A day when I can distinctly recall running in early morning shaded routes to get the run in before the big party. Last year I remember running in 100% humidity and high heat doing track work as part of marathon training. I remember Fourth of July runs just for fun, because its a holiday, and why not? This year, there was no run for me. Continue reading

Tour de Cure Recap

On May 3 I joined colleagues and a few hundred other cyclists in Howard County for a challenging but totally gorgeous ride. After four months of as much training as I could, I decided at essentially the last minute to ride 32 instead of 22 miles. I felt ready. No doubt it was the right decision. This event was the first athletic event I’ve done that wasn’t a race and I can genuinely say it was just as rewarding. Part of the reward was in being part of something bigger. And part of the reward was the feeling of accomplishment at the end.

tour-de-cureRiding in packs is always a hair intimidating at first; a lot of people in a small space going at a relatively decent speed means you have to really have situational awareness of your surroundings and confidence in your ability to control your bike. We headed out around 8:30am on a brisk but beautiful morning with a group of about 100. Our team from r2i was divided between a 32 mile group and a 10 mile group. Within the first three miles things started to space out which was helpful as we were on roads without much shoulder, but at that hour also without much traffic.

By mile 10 or so my co-hort had taken off ahead of me and I kept up as best I could. The course was pretty darn hilly–much hillier than I expected–so while I could cruise at 25mph downhill there were plenty of uphill moments where my GPS read a depressing 6mph. We reunited at the well placed rest stop at mile 21 and finished the rest of the course together. At 21+ weeks pregnant during the ride, I was much more comfortable than I anticipated I would be. Most of my training rides had been midday while our son naps and I think midday pregnant work-outs are just not for me. I’m full and bloated and generally uncomfortable. So doing this ride at the start of the day was perfectly enjoyable.

As we made our way up the final hill within site of the finish line we could hear the music and festivities of the finish line. The volunteers of the day made for an awesome “welcome back” committee and the music made all the difference for having a powerful finish. We reunited with the rest of our r2i team for a group photo and to celebrate the accomplishment.

Riding for a Cause

tour-de-cure-02This event was also one of the first where I’ve ever had to seriously fundraise prior to the event. I set a goal for myself of $500 which would go toward our team’s goal of $5000. I ended up raising $706 and am incredibly grateful to each person–family and friends–who donated toward my ride and the cure for diabetes. Our team made it 88% of the way to our goal which is darn impressive in my opinion. I’m proud of what we did as a team and I am humbled to have been able to ride for a cause.