Friday, March 27, 2009

Need some Advice

Hello!  I need some help from all the running moms!

I'm am 11 weeks pregnant and have celebrated my "First 2 Days Without Being Sick in a Public Place" by signing up for a 10k fun run this weekend.  (I'm Crazy!)
I'll be pushing my 4 year old in the stroller so my goal is to finish!  Thankfully, there is a costume contest, so if I turn green I could win a prize!

Anyhow - My question is this: what, if anything, do you consume on your runs?  Is there anything that I can not have?  I love to drink NUUN, but it has sorbitol which I'm pretty sure is off-limits.
I also love Gookinaid, but am not sure if it's okay.  What about Gu?  
Cliff Blocks seem like there okay because, well, they say organic and I'm a sucker for advertising (love their new shot block packaging BTW!). 
I never really drink Gatorade well, I don't know why. Ironically, it always seemed like just corn syrup-water to me...although, I kind of know sugar-water is kind of what ALL of the things are.

I know "Ask Your Doctor" is the best advice, but I go to midwifes who aren't necessarily athletic.  I really trust moms who've been there first.  So, any advice?

Vitalyte (a.k.a Gookinaid) answered my question as to whether or not it was safe during pregnancy (very promptly, I might add!) with the following:

Dear Crumbs,

Thank you for contacting Vitalyte.

Yes, Gookinaid Hydralyte and Vitalyte are safe products for you and your baby.

In fact, Vitalyte has many benefits for mother and baby. Many women find that Vitalyte helps prevent and manage morning sickness. The balance of electrolytes in Vitalyte can help prevent some of the potential complications of pregnancy.

So, yes, please enjoy Hydralyte and Vitalyte as your baby develops.

For more information about Vitalyte during pregnancy, you may wish to consult one of the science articles on our website. From the home page, go to Hydration 101, then Science Articles, then Dehydration in Pregnancy and Morning Sickness.

Best Wishes to you and Baby.

Dr. Bloch


Gu Energy is NOT suitable for pregnant women according to THIS WEBSITE

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Shamrock Marathon Race Report!

So I need to write an official race report....I don't even know where to begin! What a day! (photo: me at mile 19.)

Thank you for your kind words, good luck emails and post-marathon cheers...I appreciate you guys so much! Someone suggested that I go for a Boston qualifying time next time and since he mentioned it, I'll go ahead and tell you guys what my original pre-marathon plan was. I'll turn 40 a few weeks before Boston 2010 which would mean I'd need a 3:50 to qualify. My original plan (that I totally got talked into because I never would have thought of it on my own) was to run with the 3:50 pacer and see if I could get it. That was the plan until Friday before the race. I started to think real hard about it and I was really concerned that the pace would be too fast for me to sustain for that long so at the last minute, I chose to run with the 4 hour pacer. The morning of the race, my friends were telling me that I should stick with the 4 hour guy until about mile 6 then take off and I could make up the time and still get a 3:50. That sounded like way too early to leave the comforts of a pacer so I decided against that as well. I really wanted this to be a good experience and I didn't want to have any regrets and if I had run with a 3:50 pacer and thus hit a wall, I would have really been upset with myself.

The 4:00 pacer was fantastic. He was really fun and hilarious and kept us dead on a 9:09 every single mile. There were a few times that I felt strong enough that I could go but I kept thinking it was too soon. He said several times that if we felt strong enough, that we should go but to wait until mile 20 or, if we were first timers, even wait until mile 22. I took his advice and at mile 22, left him behind.

At that point, I still felt really, really great. Too good almost. I had a ton left in the tank so I just ran. When I realized that I could make a 3:55, I really turned on the gas. I got water at the 24.5 mark and I think that's where I lost that 30 seconds. I was a little bummed that I missed it by that little but then again, I was just so happy at how great I felt and how strong I finished.

Things that I did that I think really helped:

Pacer. I would recommend a pacer to anyone. It was so helpful. Like I said before, there were times I felt I could have taken off but I stuck with him and he made me glad I did. Having said that, there were times I was thinking about letting up a bit but I was terrified of losing him so I just kept listening to his voice - his corny jokes and crazy songs and before you know it, I felt great again. Pacers are the best people in the world.

Sport Beans: I ate a package of sport beans about 20 minutes before the race then every hour, regardless of if I felt like I needed them or not, ate another package. I really think they helped. I had so much energy, it was incredible.

Water: I made a point to get something at almost every stop. Even if it was just a splash of water to rinse out my mouth.

Pre-race Fuel: I learned my lesson after my first half (Historic Marine Corps in Fredericksburg last year) where the night before, I only had a tiny piece of plain chicken and a small amount of potatoes. I ate a pretty good sized dinner the night before then the morning of, I had two eggs, two plain pancakes, a couple of bites of a bagel and a banana. Oh, and lots of water. Food, food, food.

I'd like to say there was something I did wrong, but I really wouldn't change a thing. I'm happy that I stayed with the pacer for as long as I did because I think it helped me stay so calm - not to mention filled with so much energy. Could I have left him earlier? Yeah, probably, but there is no way I could have known that. I had so many people telling me that the 20-mile mark was "the worst" and that "everyone hits the wall at mile 20!" that I had this huge fear of that point of the race. Note to self: don't listen to other people's horror stories (kinda like child birth)! But I'm glad I stuck with him. I had a really good time, finished strong, finished happy and most important, with no regrets.

On Monday, I had some pain in my left knee. My left IT Band started hurting early on...around mile 6 which had me a bit nervous...and I think it's just left over from that. I also have a very strange pain in the bottom of my left foot that I've never, ever felt before. That pain has me a little nervous but I'm hoping it will be much better by the end of the week. I'm thinking that it was caused by my orthotic because there have been a few times since getting them that the left one felt a bit funky in that arch area. Other than that, I'm good to go! Oh, and a funny thing - my shirt collar must have been rubbing on my neck because I have all these awful chafing marks on my neck right smack dab in the front. Pretty.

So I guess that's about it. Nothing too crazy to report - didn't seen any crazy outfits or anything. It was just a really, really fantastic day and just about the best feeling of my life. And a pretty good after party too! (photo: my husband and I at the after-party!)

I have to give a huge shout out to my husband who drove my friend Amy and I down to the race and drove all over the race course taking photos like my own little paparazzi and my friend Nancy who planted the seed in my brain and even drove down to VA Beach to cheer Amy and I on. You guys are the best!!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Great Nursing Jog Bra

I am now in my 39th nonconsecutive month of breastfeeding a baby and only now have I finally found a nursing bra for high-impact activities, such as running!

Any "sports" bra I've tried from Motherhood (maternity store) has been woefully nonathletic with one exception that appears to have been discontinued and I think that one only really works because it is a size too small.

I've tried the regular sports bras with a zipper on the front for "easy access", but it also leads to easy chafing.

I've even tried the one nursing bra offered by Title 9 Sports, but its stated use is for low-impact activities and they are right.

But it turns out that La Leche makes bras and they are great. I don't know whether it had been there all along and I just found it or if it is a relatively new item, but I highly recommend it. I wore it for the second time today on an 11 mile run with a break at the playground in the middle which included nursing the baby before heading home. It was very comfortable and there wasn't any chafing. It is available elsewhere, but was least expensive at Expressiva Nursingwear.

I considered including a picture - of the model, not me - but thought that might be a little weird.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Marathon Brain

A week from Sunday, I will be running my first full marathon. The Shamrock Marathon in Virginia Beach. Gulp. One week. I'm breaking out in a cold sweat just thinking about it. Remember right after having kids, you would forget stuff and felt like you were in a cloud 99.9% of the time and people would refer to it as "mommy brain"? Well, I have what I can only assume is "marathon brain". I'm seriously floating around in a different world. Every other day, I have to slap my forehead and remind myself of all the day to day things that still need attending to.

My youngest son is turning 6 next Friday. I'm having his party Friday evening, the day before I leave for VA Beach for the marathon. And oh yeah, might want to send out invitations, order a cake and get goodie bags put together. My marathon mush brain is in full effect. I had totally forgotten all the stuff I needed to do! So yesterday, I got all the invitations together, addressed, stamped and mailed. After I mailed them, I realized I didn't put the return address on any of them...whatever, no biggie right? Yeah. No biggie until I realized that I put .39 stamps on them. When the hell was the last time I mailed something?? Marathon brain. So my husband says, "Don't worry about it, they'll get returned by tomorrow or Friday and you can just resend them." Um, yeah honey, that would be true and great and all if I had put the freaking return address on them!!! So. This morning, I am redoing birthday invitations.

Speaking of the birthday boy, he got off the bus with a low grade fever yesterday. He konked out on the couch for 2 hours and woke up with a temp of 101. Obviously no one likes to see their kid sick but right now, I have to admit, this has me way more freaked out than normal because I'm terrified that I'm going to get his bug. He is coughing up a storm, laying on the couch and generally looks miserable. I am a week away from a marathon! Ack! Aside from putting him in a bubble, or me for that matter, I just don't know how I can prevent getting it. Especially since I'm a wee bit stressed out right now which I know opens me up to the bug.

Anyway, last evening, I wrote a quick email to the school letting them know he'd be home today. In my address book, 'absentee' comes right after 'Andrea' so guess where marathon brain clicked? Yup. Andrea. As in Andrea Vincent the fantastic woman behind SeeMommyRun and who I most want to be when I grow up. I'm sure she feels bad for me that my kid is sick, but I'm also sure I didn't need to send her an email letting her know that he'd be out of school today. Helllooo marathon brain.

And here is one more example that marathon brain should be in all medical dictionaries. Wednesday was supposed to be a rest day but since it was so nice out, I decided to run the 6 that, according to the schedule I am following, is on tap for today. I got out there on the path and was a little over a mile out when I realized that I didn't lock the truck. My gym bag with wallet, phone and house keys were in there. Marathon brain. So at 1.5, I turned and literally sprinted back to the car 100% sure that my stuff would be gone. Thankfully it was still there. So much for my 6 miles.

I only hope that my family can survive one more week of MWMB - Mommy With Marathon Brain. It's a wonder they have been fed.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Psychosomatic Response to Poorly Mixed Energy Drinks

There are some energy drinks (gels, bars, etc.) that are only really palatable when you really need it in the midst of a workout. And then there is that same energy drink mixed with the incorrect powder to water ratio. I'm sure you've encountered it at random water stops along a race course. You might grimace a little, but it is that or nothing, so you gag it down. But now let's say that you were really hurting at that point in the race - totally overexerting yourself - maybe you even yack it up at the finish (sorry), but my point is, every time you drink it in the future, that is the moment you remember, right? And it just never tastes good again.

So, flash ahead to the day my third child was born. My loving and supportive husband (who, by the way, hates anything and everything to do with food preparation) was tasked with bringing stuff to drink because I was busy BEING IN LABOR. Anyway, he mixed it wrong. You know that overly dilute bitter taste. Yeah.

So now that I'm back on my B game, we came home from a ride and mixed up some Accelerade but, as it turns out, he still doesn't measure anything. Wow. Total recall of being in labor. Still tastes bad, but at least the baby is really cute.

I am not Edward R. Murrow

I didn't actually get tagged with this meme on Facebook, but I liked it so much, I had to interview my daughter:

1. What is something mom always says to you? I love you.

2. What makes mom happy? When you kiss her.

3. What makes mom sad? This one’s hard...when you call her a bad name.

4. How does your mom make you laugh? When she tells me a joke or smiles or something.

5. What did your mom like to do as a child? Live in her house and go in her backyard.

6. How old is your mom? 23 (I love this child.)

7. How tall is your mom? 1 foot tall (OK, not THAT short)

8. What is her favorite thing to watch on TV? Baseball games and other games with daddy. (I thought she was going to say The Amazing Race.)

9. What does your mom do when you're not around? I’ve never seen you do anything when I’m not around. (Good point!)

10. If your mom becomes famous, what will it be for? Love.

11. What is your mom really good at? Coloring.

12. What is your mom not very good at? Work. (I beg to differ.)

13. What does your mom do for her job? Make websites.

14. What is your mom's favorite food? The meatballs she just made. (And they were gooooood!)

15. What makes you proud of your mom? When she wins a contest or something. (Which is...well, never.)

16. If your mom were a cartoon character, who would she be? Kim Possible. (Woo hoo! Super spy!)

17. What do you and your mom do together? Play with my connect thing. (She means this marble Rube Goldberg set we have.)

18. How are you and your mom the same? We’re both girls. (Observant!)

19. How are you and your mom different? We both have different eyes. (She's blue, I'm brown.)

20. How do you know mom loves you? Because she tells me so.

21. What does your mom like most about your dad? He’s very sweet and great. (Yes, he is.)

22. Where is your mom's favorite place to go? Los Angeles (I would say St. John, but a trip back home isn't bad every once in a while.)

No wonder I'm so tired...

I'm a the Human Cybertron*.  When I run, I LOVE gadgets.  I love knowing my heart rate and pace and speed and calories burned, etc, etc.
So, now that I'm nearly 9 weeks pregnant (and surprise, surprise: exhausted), I couldn't help but notice that my heart has been beating harder and faster, even when at rest.   I went from a resting heart rate of 42 beats per minute to nearly 60. 

Just for kicks, I strapped on my Polar Heart Rate Monitor yesterday and watched my rate as I went through my normal day.  Man, this whole pregnancy thing is great exercise! ;)  
Here is a sample of how hard my heart was working:

  • Transferring wet clothes from the washer to the dryer: 75 beats per minute
  • Making my son's peanut butter and jelly sandwich while he painstakingly described in detail his dream robot car: 85
  • Walking our OLD dog around the block: 100
  • Getting up to go to the bathroom...again: 70
  • Taking dishes from the dining room table to the sink: 95
  • Folding laundry: 95

Granted, none of these reached into Aerobic workouts, but dang, just doing everyday things at a slow pace is getting my blood pumping.  I'm glad docs have discounted the whole "pregnant women should stay below 140 beats per minute" otherwise, I'd never be able to shower!

*What are you?

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

New Feet

Greetings on this fine Tuesday in early March. Today I went to pick up the running shoes I called the local running store to have shipped in for me. I usually buy online after I love my shoes. Last year I got caught in Memphis with no shoes and went into a store and bought per their recommendations and the shoes were ok, but not great. Today I learned new things. Despite my very flat feet-- I do not overpronate. I always thought I did and made a big deal about buying running shoes for motion control and stability. These tend to be stiff. I do need cushion because of all the pavement running. It was great. The gal at the store was a runner and knew what she was talking about. Since I have a neuroma, flat big feet -I'm kind of sensitive about running shoes. I have not been evaluated since 1997-- did not realize feet could change. Of course 3 kids later and yes, my feet got bigger with each pregnancy and despite the fallen arches I can use neutral shoes. Lots of rambling, but bottom line is it is good to go in and get on the treadmill with maybe more than one pro and really spend some time there. Blue skies!

Monday, March 02, 2009

40 push-ups

Okay, I'll throw in the towel, too. Channelmarker, you're off the hook ;-) I'm quite pleased with 40 consecutive push-ups. That's a heck of a lot more than the measly 10 I started out with. I'm looking forward to doing the sit-up challenge next and a modified tricep challenge. The backs of my arms drive me insane!

Mommy needs new shoes

Hello Running Mommies!
It is Monday in Houston and temps in the 40s- low for this time of year. I'm headed out to buy two new pair of running shoes to hopefully get in gear for a late April half-marathon I've yet to start training for. I'm thinking maybe a few marathons, losts of 10 milers under my belt will get me through. My winter funk is my first time ever feeling so out of it. My longest runs are 5 miles. I'm hoping for mercy.