On April 15, mine and my husband’s world changed forever. Quite unexpectedly our son decided to arrive about 3.5 weeks early and we welcomed Connor to the world, a healthy, adorable and amazing son. I am still processing what it means to be a mom and each day is different as we learn the ropes of parenting.
A number of people told me that I would have an easy labor because I am a runner. This might be true though I credit the epidural for making the labor ‘easy.’ I labored for about 12 hours, pushed for just under one of those hours and then Connor was in my arms. During our two nights in the hospital, when the night nurse was taking my blood pressure, heart rate and temperature I was asked by one, “Do you run marathons?” and by another, simply “Runner?” Continue reading
My husband and I were arguing one night about the reality of my being able to train for a 26.2 once we had our baby. The issue is not so much whether I am capable of training to run the marathon distance but whether or not we can figure out the family balance. I would like to be able to train with the support of my husband and ensure the new baby is not neglected. Details and marital differences aside, his opinion was that 13.1 is a perfectly reasonable distance to manage as a family and he ultimately asked, “what is it about 26.2?”
I swear I was fast. At least, for me, in my age group, for my distances. I spent a good chunk of time and effort working on speed and got to a very comfortable place this year where my ‘slow, easy’ run was at 8:40, my 5k pace was near 7 minutes and my other mid-distances paces hovered somewhere between 8:00-8:15/mile. But alas, I seem to have regressed back to a 9 minute pace and just logged a long run averaging 9:15/mile. This rut, if that is what it is, is both frustrating and enlightening.
It’s probably obvious from my blog that I happen to love running. But not everyone does. The great thing is that even people who hate running–for whatever reason–still run. And I commend those runners. One of them happens to be my friend Dave who is also a writer and currently in law school. His take on running and how he gets through it is entertaining and something I’m sure many can relate to. I hope you enjoy his perspective! As always, feel free to leave a comment with your own experience or thoughts.–Natalie
I never thought that when I took up running, Frank Zappa would try to kill me.
One of the things I love about distance training is the tipping point when all of a sudden what were once long runs become short runs. I tend to spend 2-3 months each winter rebuilding my base and my benchmark is always 6 miles. I always want to get to the point where I can comfortably run 6 miles and then I like to get to the point where I can run 6 miles slightly faster than my easy pace. It takes a long time for 6 miles to become easy, let alone fast. But, every season when I hit the tipping point I will find myself running with a goofy grin on my face. Because once 6 miles becomes the short run, soon 8 and then 10 miles also become short. Continue reading
When I first started getting into distance running I struggled to get through runs more than eight or 10 miles and after 13 mile runs I was tired and essentially useless for the rest of the day. After lamenting over this to a running mentor, I got my first insight into proper fuel and wrote about fueling up for long runs. Like so many things in running, figuring out the proper fuel, involves a bit of trial and error as well as practice. Three years later I’m still trying to figure out the best fuel formula for me.
It has been a solid eight months since my last post. The good news is that my running and training did not get as derailed as my blogging. And now it’s that popular time of year when we all put our foot down to make a change. I bet you think I’m going to resolve to blog more often? Well, we all know that resolutions don’t work if they’re general. You have to be specific in order to be successful. Suffice it to say that after an eight-month absence I hesitate to commit to any sort of blogging resolution. I also won’t be making any running resolutions. Continue reading
Weekends are perhaps one of the most integral parts of training. Saturday and Sunday are designated for long bike rides, long runs, and brick sessions. They are the pivotal point in any training week and are where time and mileage really add up. Up until week 9 of training I seem to have lucked out with weekend weather forecasts cooperating nicely with my training schedule. However, I have to admit to a minor moment of panic when I saw that rain was predicted for an entire weekend.
I’ve run in all sorts of weather. I have run through rain, snow, high winds, heat, and freezing temperatures. I know how to prepare for running in inclement weather and though it’s not ideal it’s something I know I can do and that for the most part, is nothing worse than uncomfortable. Riding in the rain, however, is entirely foreign to me. Continue reading
Training is all about preparing for race day but it also means adjusting life to support the training.
The short answer: a lifestyle change.
Change, adjustment, choice–call it what you will but half Ironman training is a significant commitment and one that requires dedication and focus. I’m starting week 9 of my 20 week training plan and somehow only just recently realized that my decision to train for 70.3 miles is truly no joke. This is serious stuff and one that really has been a lifestyle change. This realization came to me on a Friday night when I was happily getting ready for bed at 9:30 p.m. Continue reading
I signed up for a March Madness training weekend with the Annapolis Triathlon Club, fondly known as Iron Crabs, and when I looked at the itinerary thought I might well be ‘mad’ for what I was getting myself into. Two members of the team had coordinated with various area coaches and facilities so that we could have an entire weekend of biking, running, swimming, and education at our fingertips. My goal in signing up was to get a true evaluation of where I am in my own training and to immerse myself in three days of all things triathlon. Continue reading