Monday, August 26, 2013

Journey to 10K

It's all fun and games until you suggest to your running buddy that you should try to double your current running distance....and she LISTENS.

Tara doesn't seem to get the concept of "all talk" which is what I usually am.  I get these ideas in my head that sound good at the time but she doesn't seem to understand that that's all it is.  IDEAS.  Next thing I know, we're actually DOING them.

Like, years ago, we started taking walks at lunch and I was telling her about this program I had heard about called Couch to 5K and the basic idea behind it and she seemed to think that was me saying WE should do that.  The next week, we had our our phones loaded with the program and I'm cursing the guy telling me it's time to run when we had just finished running 60 seconds before!

Fast forward to present time and I'm just getting comfortable running a 5K without stopping and there goes me and my big ideas again!  Run Happy Races goes and announces that they've put together a Happy10K virtual run and I've got another blingy medal in my mind!  I just WANTED the medal, I didn't really stop to consider the fact that I'd actually have to GO 10K to get it. *face palm*

Gu Brew Electrolyte Drink Tablets: Pink Grapefruit & Strawberry Lemonade
Nuun: Strawberry Lemonade
Purchased from: The Running Room
Of course, I'm not me if I don't decide that I need that extra little something to ensure that I get 'er done and it's been a really long time since I've picked up any fitgear so my new focus was hydration tablets.  I don't even know how I got fixated on this, but all of a sudden, I was wide awake at 3:30 in the morning after getting up and couldn't get back to sleep and here I was researching hydration tablets that were safe to drink during pregnancy.

QUICK REVIEW: I first tried the Nuun tablets because I'm a sucker for pink lemonade and I had initially started out my research with that brand.  I'm not sure if I made the mistake of just trying it out when I wasn't really that thirsty, but I didn't like the taste of it very much.  It had an almost too sweet flavor for me with an aftertaste and maybe I was overthinking it, but my tummy didn't feel so great after it.  The next day for our lunch hour 5K, I tried out Gu's Pink Grapefruit, and while I wouldn't say it's delicious and I could drink it all the time, I liked it MUCH better than the Nuun tablets and it's been my go-to for the last few runs that I've done.

So, it's the trailer weekend and I've conveniently blocked out the fact that I'm supposed to be "running" 10K at 19 weeks pregnant and I'm stuffing my face with campfire delights.  Does calling it carbloading count?  Because if that sounds more athletic and purposeful, then that's what I was doing.  Especially if eating two smookies and a bunch of roasted marshmallows on their own count as athletic carbloading, then I was in ELITE mode, my friends.



Sunday rolls around and I'm waking up already knackered.  We had decided to get out on the road by about 8-ish to make sure we didn't fry on the asphalt in the heat, so when my alarm went off at 7, I rolled over.  Tara opens the door to our room and she demands that I get up.  In all honesty, she said - and may I quote: "Get up and fucking hydrate." BWAHAHAHA, such a ball of sunshine first thing in the morning to get you up and at 'em, hmmm?

But I'm up and slightly more willing to move and first things first, we start prepping.  Having a lot of fitgear takes some time to all get together, you know!  Starting off with some Vega Sport Pre-Workout Energizer.  The more I drink this stuff, the more I'm loving it.

DISCLAIMER: I did ask my OB about drinking this while pregnancy as the label cautioned that I check first before taking.  My OB gave it a quick onceover and said it was fine, but of course, the quickness of it didn't really have me at ease so I did some in-depth research (READ: Googled it) and couldn't find anywhere where it flat out said not to (some of Vega's products flat out say that it's a no-no during pregnancy) and some of the articles I did read followed with my OB's go-ahead made me decide that I was okay with drinking it.  Especially since it's only for a run, we all know that that's not going to be happening on a daily basis.

Next on the prep-list: load up my Nathan hydration belt - one of the BEST and favourite investments I've made for running besides my Skora shoes - with my Gu Brew and I was all set to go hydration-wise to beat the heat.  Grabbed the rest of my gear and finally there was really nothing else for me to do to stall and we were out the door.

First stop: washrooms! *LOL*  We were planning on being out and about for a while so the first thing this pregnant mama-to-be wanted to do was make sure that I wasn't freaking out looking for my next tinkle spot.  Any time that we were presented with a washroom, we stopped to take it!

I didn't realize until after I'd post the above picture on IG that the top left hand corner picture is my very first belly bump picture. Ever.  Before I had gotten pregnant, I had seen ladies put weekly pictures of their baby bumps taken at the exact same time, in the exact same place, wearing the exact same outfit, etc. and I had thought that was pretty cool and it seemed like exactly the kind of thing I would totally do.  Fast-forward to actually getting pregnant and I did no such thing.

CONFESSION: In all honesty, I think one of the main reasons why I didn't do it is because even though I had lost weight previous to me getting pregnant, I was still carrying the most, if not all of, my remaining weight in my belly.  So when I found out, I wasn't all that keen on taking pictures of my belly because first off, it doesn't really look any different and the further into pregnancy I got, it wasn't like I could tell the difference :(  So there was an actual reason for doing that, I just hope I don't regret it later on.  Perhaps I'll try to start taking regular pictures more often now that it seems that it's really starting to show an actual pregnancy as opposed to just a belly bulge from being overweight.

Going back to the run and the photo collage since I'm too lazy to post the individual photos right now, I can't believe how fast the run seemed to go.  I mean, no kidding around here, I was DREADING this run.  But the views and surroundings, it was hard not to enjoy being out there early in the morning when hardly anyone was out, the sun was shining and we had all the public washrooms to ourselves!  I nabbed a lot of calm lake water shots and sun shining overhead as we made our way along the 8K path winding around the lake, park and dock.  It was pretty perfect timing, too.  From the trailer to the beginning of the path, it was 2 km  to get there and we knew we would finish once we hit the end of the path since it was only 8 km long. 

I used my HRM to monitor my heart rate and we ran and only stopped for walking breaks once my HR hit around the 170s.  I did push myself a little bit and instead of stopping exactly when my HR hit the 170s, I set mini goals for myself around that time instead.  Like when I noticed that I was at my target HR, I would huff out that we would go until the next pole or tree or piece of garbage on the ground or something.  Just an extra, teeny, tiny push.  It didn't shoot my heart rate up any, and it allowed us to go just that little bit further a little bit faster.  Once we started walking, we set a goal that we would go again as soon as my heart rate got back into the 140s which hopefully showcased the hard work I put in before getting pregnant because it seemed to come by really quickly.  Good thing we set that goal, otherwise, there were some moments where it was hard for me to get started back up again.  If Tara didn't push or if we hadn't said we would start running again at a certain point, I would have just been content to walk the remaining km's and just finish at 4 pm or something *LOL*

It was funny to see my FuelBand hit its target goal and surpass it before 10 am and next thing I know I was running while staring down at my watch counting down the meters.  For some reason, Tara's and my GPS watches had slightly different distances and she had to keep going a little bit further than I did.  I briefly entertained the idea that I would just keep running with her until her watch hit the 10K mark, but as soon as mine did, I was pretty much done.  I started my cool down walk while she looped around a washroom/changeroom for the splash pad and I got right down to my stretching and it felt GOOD.

I think with the combination of the pre-workout energizer and my hydration belt with the tablets, I was feeling really good.  Sometime a little after the halfway point, I had noticed that me legs were starting to feel a bit tight, but Tara reminded me to keep drinking my water and that was pretty much the most that my legs bothered me.  I've never run a 10K outside with just plain water so I guess I don't really have anything to compare it to, but I remember commenting to Tara while we were walking around cooling down and catching our breath that now that it was over, it didn't really feel like we went 10K. 

Of course I had to take a photo of my shoes during my stretch as a nod to the wonder that are my Skora shoes.  I had zero issues during my run/walk, pregnant and all, and I still can't really believe that I'm banging out km's in any kind of shoe, let alone Skora's, when before, I couldn't imagine even walking down the block for any reason whatsoever without getting in the car and driving it instead.


Not exaggerating even a little bit when I say that I seriously felt like I earned this two-scooper later on that day!  This is probably one of the things that kept me going when I wanted to just hide out in a bathroom stall and not come out until our husbands came to get us.  

And that's THAT! 10K and I've got my sights set on RunDisney's Princess Half Marathon for 2015 since I will unfortunately not be able to make it to this February's.  But this one is a big goal and I've got a year after my little one to make it happen.  It's a win-win situation all around.  I'm hoping this big goal will inspire me to keep moving and keep staying on the healthy lifestyle change track after the little munchkin is born and it's also a good opportunity for a first family vacation to Disney (and also if I do it, I get a blingy TIARA MEDAL!)

Thanks for sticking out this blog post with me (if you're still around LOL)!

FitGear/Gadgets/Help
Vega Pre-Workout Energizer
Gu Brew Electrolyte Hydrator
Nathan hydration belt
Skora FORM running shoes
Women's BodyGlide (though I've been told there's absolutely no different in the product besides the fact that the package is pink and costs $2 more)
Nike+ FuelBand
Nike+ GPS SportWatch powered by TomTom with Nike+ heart rate monitor and strap
Nike+ for iPod app (music and additional tracking)

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Baby steps forward...

Hello! 

I kid you not, I have about four or five drafts from over the last few months that I've tried to post, but for one reason or another, they just never got published.  CORRECTION: I never got around to finishing any of them and therefore there was nothing to publish!

Just getting home from a weekend up at the trailer with some friends and surprisingly, I'm finding I have some extra energy so we're going to see how much I can get done and I'm just going to push PUBLISH after, no matter what!

So getting right down to it:

I'd LOVE for you to meet this little munchkin!  In just a little over 24 hours, I will be able to let you know if it's a little man or a little miss!  I'm kind of beside myself with excitement, to be honest!  I have been defaulting to call him a "HIM" as I really feel like it could be a little him in there, but as surprises go, you never know!  He or she, I LOVE his/her little belly and his/her little fists and his/her little nose and...just....WEEEEEEEE!!!

So here's the thing, if you haven't picked up on it already...

CONFESSION: I'm pretty much at exactly 20 weeks (hence getting to see if we can find out the sex of the baby) and not only did I disappear from this blog and social media in general, I also disappeared from my "healthy lifestyle change" that I had worked so hard on nine months, incidentally.  I didn't even disappear on purpose...I was just too busy stuffing everything I could get my hands on into my mouth, and when I wasn't doing that, I was passed out and probably dreaming of the rest of the things I could eat the next time I was conscious again.

Pregnancy is...something.  That's it, just something.  You can read all the "What to Expect" you want, but it's just something.  Everyone tells me every pregnancy is different and it still didn't prepare me for what mine feels like...or felt like in that first trimester.

I. Was. TIRED.  I'm typing this thinking about how all the mom's are already thinking that I have NO IDEA what tired means until the little munchkin gets here, but compared to any other kind of tired I'd felt up until that point, I was pretty darn tootin' tired.  I was actually glad to finally figure out that perhaps I should find out if I was pregnant, because for the first little while, I just couldn't figure it out and I thought I was backsliding a little bit fitness-wise.  I just couldn't figure out why I was getting SO tired and worn out and out of breath running our lunch time 5Ks when I was expecting it to feel better and better every single time.

Things just felt so different so fast!  When I found out I was pregnant (yay!), I was happy to understand the reasoning behind my lack of any physical motivation or prowess whatsoever, but it was still disheartening.  I attempted to push through for a bit but was so discouraged to see that it took me 21 minutes to do not even 2.5K.  I could read over and over again how I was supposed to slow down, be more conscious of my heartrate and just be happy to get out there, but considering all the gadgets I own that record data...I just couldn't get past it.

Needless to say, it didn't really take all that much for me to just drop off the face of my recently discovered healthy nirvana.  I just wanted to eat everything and by everything, I mean all the food that I hadn't even thought of touching EVER again since the healthy lifestyle change.  I had meant it when I said it was for LIFE. 

I couldn't figure out if it was really pregnancy or the former chubster still hanging out within me that was going crazy for all the food I was wanting.  It felt like I could shank someone for a poutine.  No lie.  The thought of eating any of my usual, healthy, clean food honestly made me want to cry. 

CONFESSION: I had a complete meltdown inside of a Swiss Chalet restaurant when Bart tried to remind me that I told him to make sure I stuck to my healthy eating goals after I ordered a poutine.  He very kindly suggested that perhaps this time around, I should order my usual tomato and cucumber Mediterranean salad with my chicken and I legit lost it.  Like, big fat tear drops streaming down my as-large-as-they-could-get Asian eyes, trembling bottom lip and a broken heart.  Honest.  I felt like the world was over at the thought of him trying to take away my poutine from me and giving me some dirty vegetables covered in oil.  Somewhere in the back of my mind, I recognized that the amount of grief that I was feeling was completely alarming and unnecessary, but I just couldn't stop it.  Bart and I have since not returned to that Swiss Chalet since that visit.  I am hoping that I have also since gotten a hold of myself since then.

Anyways, what I'm trying to get at is that I had the VERY best of intentions prior to getting pregnant and all those completely flew out of my head/brain the second the hormones hit.  Sad to say, anything healthy I had been able to achieve within the months prior to my tinkling on a stick was the worst thing that got hit.  There were a few handful of times that I did attempt to try going for a fit pregnancy, but 1 km "jogs" barely seem to count so I would just give up and head on back to my bed and snuggle with pillows and when he allowed it, Chewy.


Fast forward a tiny bit and I finally hit that lovely happy place called the second trimester!  I had since almost stopped reading "What to Expect When You're Expecting" since inconveniently, I seemed to not be experiencing much of the things it was telling me to expect.  (I have since been told multiple times that I should keep this a secret from other pregnant women as going through the whole first trimester while not feeling pregnant AT ALL - minus the fatigue, I guess - is something to be coveted).

Tara had wisely steered clear of me exercise-wise during my first trimester and was very indulgent with my "cravings" (can you call wanting to eat ALL the things cravings?).  But as soon as it was clear that I was past the first trimester and getting back all of my energy and pre-pregnancy disposition, she was back to business and snapping at me to gather up my running things and shut up and get them on.  No more excuses and NO giant baby.

CONFESSION: I had a very life-like dream that I gave birth to a GIANT baby, where as a newborn, I'd be holding him in my arms and his teeny, tiny, (not so) new born feet was dragging on the ground and then a few days later, he was tearing through the city (godzilla like) pushing buildings over roaring for his mom and his milk.  *wince*

Tara took this as a sign that it was time for me to get off my preggo butt and get back to work.  Any kind of work.

I whined.  Like....a LOT.  Leading up to the run we scheduled where I finally agreed to actually TRY to get out there was a nightmare.  I'm not even sure who had it worse, me at the thought of having to get out there when I was my results were so dismal a few weeks back, or Tara who had to listen to a LOT of very loud, very whiny....whining.

But we got out and I was pleasantly surprised.  NO, things were not the same pre-pregnancy and no, I would not be clocking any PRs in the next little while and no, I wouldn't be banging out 5Ks non-stop, but YES, I. DID. IT.  Or I guess I should say WE did it.  To be honest, there was no way I would have ever gotten back on the running "saddle" if Tara hadn't pushed.  I was quite content to just be a whatever it was I was heading towards.  I actually had my boss on stand-by to come get me if I decided that any time during the lunch hour I was done for and she would come to get me.  But I didn't need it and we got back just shy of me hitting 5K!  I tried to insist on running around the parking lot until I got to it, but I had run out of lunch hour and Tara flat out refused to do circles in the staff parking lot.  But there it was....first time out in quite a while and it was something.

It even felt good enough to get back out there again a couple days later, though a little disheartening to realize that it felt tougher than it had that first day out.

Granted, I did push myself a tiny bit harder.  There was no way I wasn't going to hit 5K again!  I understood that I needed to take it easy, but I still wanted to improve.  I'd laid out a starting off point a couple days earlier, I just wanted it to be better this next go around.

Sadly, you'll see that outfit quite a bit since it's pretty much the only thing that is still fitting me in workout gear.  It's hard to go out and buy larger sizes again (even if it is to accommodate the little baby (yay!) that's growing) after you'd promised yourself you weren't going to be buying larger sizes again.

I realize this is getting epically long again, but it's not a blog post from me if that doesn't happen, right!?

This is my first pregnancy, so please understand that I write everything about it knowing like...negative to the power of a lot.  I've read some books and articles and like my OB mentioned, there seems to be a different answer for everything out there.  So anything I say will just be another tidbit of something to toss into the massive amount of everything that's out there regarding pregnancy.  My words or thoughts and actions are not anything to place any basis on.  I'm just plugging along taking little tiny baby steps as the little munchkin grows into his/hers.

I've had many family members who subscribe to some very old school (old-fashioned?) rules regarding pregnancy and I've read articles that are less so.  Being my first, I end up getting a little bit nervous when those older rule subscribers always back up their advice with "well, you don't want to find out the hard way, do you?" And no, of course I don't.  But I also don't want to be scared of EVERYTHING.

Everything is just so polar opposites.  Don't lift heavy, don't lift anything at all, lift a little, lift a little more than a little.  Don't let your heart rate go over 140, it's okay so long as you don't overheat, it's okay if you worked out before, it's not okay to start working out now, but work out a little.  It's like....all these things and I'm just going back and forth and at the end of the day I just want to scream "WHAT DOES THAT ALL MEAN!?"  (And also, "SOMEONE GET ME A POUTINE!")

But at the end of the day, my OB also told me to pick a very FEW, limited handful of trusted people and just listen to advice from them only, but also to listen to myself.  I may not have had a baby before but I hopefully know what feels good and what doesn't and to be able to make some decisions regarding that and to be responsible enough to seek professional advice/help when I'm in doubt or can't tell the difference.  So in the meantime, I've decided to go for that....a bit.

Technically, only those few handful of people *coughs* Melissa via Google Talk *coughs* know how much I've flipped and doubted and second-guessed and freaked myself out throughout the course of the day and I'm very lucky for their endless amount of patience - or at least display of patience - that they've bestowed upon me.

For the record, I have started to lift a tiny amount of weights: nothing more than 3lbs in each hand to Shaun T's Hip Hop Abs: Total Body Burn (which, CONFESSION: is really frickin' hard right now when before I wouldn't even break a sweat doing it twice) and I had set a goal for myself to not get over 160 bpm in heartrate, although I've gone over that for very BRIEF amounts of time before I take a rest or start to walk to allow my heartrate to come back down.  I've also started to get a better handle on my eating habits and the cravings or poor fast-food eating habit regression or WHATEVER it was and I've been able to return to some cleaner eating, although definitely not as clean as pre-pregnancy days.

I'm trying to muddle through and do the best I can while being accountable to someone else that's not myself, and it seems like this is the start of trying to do that for an entire lifetime, be it mine or the little munchkins, it all seems to be the same now.

So, I guess that's that for right now.  I'm so excited that I'll finally be able to publish something after such a hiatus, and I'm hoping that I'll be able to get into a more regular habit of posting again! 

Next post - the 10K that happened!
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