Sunday, March 1, 2015

My Workouts Lately

My 9th race of 2014. And yes, those are baby feet on my belly.
In my last post I had mentioned that running has taken a back seat during my pregnancy, but that isn't to say that I've been inactive.

I was blessed to run a fair amount during my first trimester. I was in the midst of NYC marathon training when I got pregnant (in September), and even found out I was pregnant the same day as Grete's half marathon. When people figure out the math of my pregnancy and realize that I was marathon training during the first (and worst) trimester they usually think I'm crazy. But honestly, running actually helped me feel somewhat normal. It helped boost my energy levels, and kept the nausea and vomiting at bay.

Despite the normalcy that I knew running gave me, there were days where I just didn't want to do it. So I didn't. It was difficult at first trying to find the balance of listening to my body while trying to remain active. I was not one of those women that breezed through the first trimester. I had nausea and vomiting every day well into my second trimester (it has finally subsided- thank God!) and as a result, I learned to back off and let my body rest on days when I just wanted to lie on the couch and go to bed at 8pm.

Since entering my second trimester however, I've been losing that running mojo. My last significant running session was in December, at 15 weeks pregnant, when I ran a 15K in Central Park. Now, I've been gravitating towards nonimpact cardio (i.e. spin classes) and yoga. And it's actually been great.

In general, I try to get in at least 3 workouts per week, but I don't worry about it if I don't. I've backed off on the intensity a lot in spin classes and have developed a love for prenatal yoga. I've attended spin classes at spin studios in the city (like Flywheel) or at my local gym. And I began attending 90 minute prenatal yoga classes on the weekends at Yoga Vida, a studio that I've loved for over a year now. These classes have been such a treat. The 90 minutes usually fly by, and it's a time where I can do something for myself and the baby. And while I still work up a sweat during class, I always walk out feeling more relaxed and connected to the little one growing inside me. When I want to do some yoga at home, I usually turn to yoga download for some good prenatal classes. I also made a return to barre classes last week, which was a lovely rude awakening. ;)

I'm hoping to continue this workout regimen well into my third trimester (which is only 2 weeks away. Yowza!). I enjoy the "me time," and am hoping that all the leg, hip, and core work will help me with labor. And hopefully these workouts will also help my muscles remember what to do when I return to more intense workouts and training (look out, marathon training 2016!).

Of course, what works for me won't work for everyone. The most important thing is to listen to your body and consult with your midwife or OB.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Losing Control

I fell off the earth for a little while, but it was for good reason. As many of you know, I dropped out of the NYC marathon midway through last year. It was the best and worst decision. After envisioning crossing that iconic finish line (for the second time) numerous times over the summer and fall, I would be lying if I didn't say part of me wasn't absolutely devastated when I didn't make it there. But for the first time in my life I knew pushing through pain and fatigue was not a wise decision. I had someone else I had to think about and be responsible for...

It's a little human!

I had a 9 week old little bean growing inside me! While there are tons of athletic mamas out there who have successfully completed marathons and other endurance events while pregnant (and my OB was totally on board with me participating), at mile 14 I knew our little tour of the city was over.

I came to that conclusion calmly and with some relief. But when I actually gave my bib number to a medical van and realized there was no changing my mind, uncontrollable tears started forming. I cried selfish, hot tears on a street corner while I called my friend to come meet me at Grand Central. Runners and spectators glanced at me, and all I could think was how they probably all thought I was a quitter.

I knew it was irrational. But I think a lot of that emotion was also me coming to terms with the fact that I was no longer in control of my body. It was a new and unfamiliar feeling. And that was okay. The way I thought about my body had to shift for the time being. It was preparing for something more miraculous than it's ever done.

Over the past couple of months, I've realized how much pregnancy and motherhood suddenly puts tons of pressure on women. Suddenly, everyone has some piece of advice (many of it welcomed, others not so much) or feels the need to tell you what you should or shouldn't do with exercising, birthing, parenting, your direction in life, or where to live without ever asking your opinion on what you (the person growing the little human being!) want to do. It's a time when it's hard not to compare youself to other women and at times feel inadequate.

And that's okay.

I've slowly learned how to wade the waters of feeling so in tune with myself & my body and simultaneously feel like I'm losing control. Over the past few weeks I've made it my focus to be positive, take the advice that's helpful and politely nod when it's not, and be connected with my husband on the vision we have for our little growing family.

So while I've had to push aside the "long distance runner" part of me that I've come to identify with over the past few years, I know this is only termporary. Losing control isn't always a bad thing, especially when you can identify the priorities that are most precious in the moment.

One thing is for sure though- I hope to finish that tour of NYC in 2016 with the little bean waiting for me at the finish line.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

#IMLP - Spectator Report, Part 1

It's been a month since Ironman Lake Placid, but that single event still remains the highlight of my summer. The day was packed with a wide range of emotions for me, but happiness and pride for my brother were the overwhelming feelings I had when I finally laid my head down after 22 hours of being awake.

Let's start at the beginning. 

Anand, Penny (our dog), and I drove up to Lake Placid on Saturday. When we arrived 4.5 hours later, we were immediately engulfed with the nervous energy in town. Even as a spectator, I felt like I was about to embark on something great... or at least witness something great. We ate dinner with our family, and walked around town for awhile before heading to our hotel in Plattsburgh. This was the one downside of of the trip. Since Lake Placid is a small town, all the hotels were booked a year in advance. We all ended up finding hotels in Plattsburgh (including my brother) which was an hour north of Lake Placid. 

In front of Mirror Lake

Selfies. Obviously.

The triathlete. #teamJon

Seriously?! How is this real life?

After a sleepless night, we woke up at 3:30am, walked around like zombies, and then picked up my mom at 4:45am to drive to lots designated for the race. By 5:45am, we were parked and on the short shuttle bus ride to town. The previous night, my brother had told us to meet him in front of a church by 6:10 a.m. (the professionals start at 6:20 a.m.), but when we got there he was nowhere to be found. When we had made those arrangements, he didn't realize that he would be corralled into an athlete's area where he could warm up for the swim. We assumed that he was already warming up, so we watched the elite men start before I headed to swim corrals to see if I could spot him. After some searching and asking other spectators to help yell his name, I got to say a quick, "Good Luck," before his slow walk towards the start. As the athletes inched forward, the dark clouds began rolling in.

Trying to calm down before the swim.

The Clouds inching closer.

The Elites

I knew that the swim would be my brother's weakest part of the race, but we still expected him to finish the first lap (1.2 miles) in 45 minutes or so. Anand and I waded into the lake to get front row seats to see him before he did his second lap. While we were waiting it started raining, and then down pouring. All the while, the minutes kept ticking on by. At 55 minutes, with no sign of my brother, I started to have a pit in my stomach. And then the thunder and lightening started. All of the sudden, an official waded towards us and said, "It's done. You need to get out of the water." What??? The announcer then told us that the second lap of the swim would be suspended, and everyone had to get out of the water and head to transition to start the bike portion. He assured everyone that they would still be called an Ironman at the the finish line, but safety of the athletes was the main priority. At this point I started freaking out. I didn't get to see my brother at all during the swim, and had no way to track him. The thunderstorm was worsening and it was beginning to get cold. I was really worried about how everyone would be able to handle biking miles of downhills through the rain. I kept thinking the worst while we sat inside a coffee shop trying to warm up. Anand headed to a medical near the transition to make sure nothing had happened to my brother during the swim, and he was reassured that he wasn't in the medical tent and that his bike was gone.

On their Ironman journey.

Front row seats.

Despite the fact that it was still raining hard, this news made me feel so much better. If my brother could just make it through this rough patch, he would be well on his way to becoming an Ironman...