29 July 2012

On Pregnancy

The past 24 weeks have been nothing short of amazing. So far being pregnant tops the list of most awesome things I have ever done, honestly. Yeah ok, some times it really stinks when I have to go to the bathroom a hundred times a day, but I am making a HUMAN BEING!

I have (very unfortunately) not been around a lot of pregnant women. I am the eldest child, grandchild and cousin around. I can't really remember my mom being pregnant, or any of my aunts for that matter. I don't have any girl friends who have been pregnant. I feel kind of alone in pregnancy some times. But then, I remember how awesome it is an I quit doubting my knowledge and experience. No matter if you have been around pregnant women all your life, each pregnancy is different. Pregnancy is all about new experiences for me. Ones that I get to experience for myself, by myself in a really special way. It is a bond I will share with our (assuming-ly) handsome little man. I am fortunate to have these experiences, I shouldn't wallow in the fact I don't have a friend to compare belly sizes with (although I would win!)

Almost 3 months. Can't you tell?

In light of the past 24 weeks here is what I have learned:

  1. I. am. so. tired. all the freaking time. I mean seriously. A hour nap at 2 pm, bed at 9 pm, sleep until 8 am. I barely have time to eat!
  2. Food is essential. Even if I have to stuff crackers in my purse and look like a bag lady with two lunch bags at work, TOO BAD! I need to eat. Now. And again in an hour. It is not an option.
  3. Cravings are real. And they should be fixed as soon as husband can drive to McDonald's. No matter the time or place. Once I had a craving for potato salad and could not find the kind I wanted. I nearly cried. 
  4. A size medium now will need to be a size large in a week. Buy the bigger size now. 
  5. Bras. Yes, plural. You will need 10. 5 for this week's size and 5 for next week's.
  6. Zits. Ah! It's like being in 9th grade again. I have found a good daily routine and LOADS of water helps, but not for long. It is a daily task to keep up with covering or eliminating them. Ick.
  7. Speaking of husbands, their clothes fit better. A few weeks ago I made my husband get three extra pairs of hanging around the house shorts so I could make sure to have a pair too.
  8. If your boss says you can wear whatever you want to work, DO IT. Yes, ok the floor length dress is more outdoor summer party than 9 to 5, but it fits. Wear it. 
  9. If you ever find petite pregnancy-with-the-full-panel-pants buy two pairs. Once I found the best pair of pregnancy jeans that were just the right length, bought one pair only to return later to find there were not more in the store. Buy two. 
  10. If there is ever a reason to get a foot massage pregnancy is it. The feeling is wonderful. I beg my husband to do it as much as possible. I am constantly asking him to "just rub my feet a little longer"
  11. Take it all in. Enjoy every "oh my goodness I feel huge" moment. Pregnancy goes fast.
I realized after about four months how quickly the time goes by. I could hardly believe I was already that far along. While some days seem so long, really take a moment to be thankful for what you body can do. It is really a miracle and a joy. 

The glow of motherhood is in all those moments when you can't see your knee caps and shoes don't fit.

And 3 months later...still growing!


16 July 2012

Running 101: How to Find a Race

After jumping, baby-stepping or falling into running you might start to look around for places to show off your talent (or speed or flat abs or super high level of fitness or whatever experience training has brought you). Local or international, there are literately HUNDREDS or THOUSANDS of races every year. If you are new to the sport, it can really be over whelming to find the right race. Whether you are looking for a small 5K or a large marathon, here are a few places to start:

[Quick review:
5k= 5 kilometers, about 3.1 miles, very common race distance and a great place to start.

10k= 10 kilometers, about 6.2 miles, again another very common distance, a possible starting place as well.

Half Marathon= 13.1 miles, if you aren't sure if a marathon is for you try this distance first

Marathon= 26.2 miles, an adventure for some, pure torture for others.

Ultra = more than 26.2 miles in one race, for the real crazies out there

Triathlon= Swim, Bike Run. There are sprint triathlons (shorter portions of each element) or Ironman length triathlons (longer distances for each element)

Dualathlon= a combination of two of the triathlon events. a great starting point for beginngers

Trail races= literally a race on a unpaved trail. found a lot in hilly places!

Road Races= literally races on (mostly) paved roads

Relay= sometimes longer races can be run relay style, that is a team completes the distance by splitting it up.]

If you hang out around the Erie, Pennsylvania area much then you want to check out the Erie Runner's Club website. The plethora of information there is a great resource. When I first moved into the area they were my main source of information.

A few of their upcoming races include:

August 19th: UPMC Hamot 10K/ Mayor's Cup
A great run through downtown Erie. A little hilly I believe...

September 16th: Erie Marathon and Half Marathon 
SUPER FLAT and VERY FAST marathon and half marathon course. I ran this last year and had a great time. It can still be a little warm in September, but the closeness to the lake makes this a great first timer race.

October 6th: Her Times 5K

I also ran this last year with a group of young women through the YMCA in Erie. A really fun woman-only race that is also VERY FLAT! This is a great event for women who want to see what racing is all about.

Erie offers plenty of other races as well. There is a triathlon, a dualathlon (a combination of two of the triathlon events) and various trail races. There is a cycling club, various outdoors clubs and many many many runners groups in the area. Try using the Erie Runner's Club website for more info or searching the internet for erie "whatever club you want" to find one that interest you.

Another great resource for finding races throughout the country is Runningintheusa.com. They have a great calender with upcoming events that you can narrow to search for specific cities, dates or length of race.

If you are going to be on vacation or visiting family, consider running a road race while there. It can be a great way to knock a few goals off your list, including running a race in every state! When searching for races, try searching for the city + road race to find a match. There are usually lots of small towns with races associated with festivals or city events throughout the year. Check out a city's website for those kind of events.
If there is a local running club, a e-mail or phone call to the director might yield a training group or other individuals to run with while you are visiting. You can meet some awesome, and very interesting people this way. 

I must be a super running dork because I even created a wish list of races I want to complete before I die or have to stop running. It includes:

  1. The Western States 100: Mainly for the belt buckle. And the slight pride in myself for running 100 miles in 24 hours. 
  2. The Boston Marathon: Um. I feel obligated as a runner to run this. As well as see Heartbreak Hill for myself.
  3. A race in every continental U.S. state. I would like to do every state but Alaska can be a challenge.
  4. The OBX Marathon: I loved vacationing here as a child. I want to return and run the marathon there. It looks beautiful.
  5. A triathlon. I am not sure which one yet, but I want to do a full triathlon at some point.
  6. Grand Island Marathon: A good friend ran this marathon a few years ago. I am not the best trail racer but I still want to give it a go.
I am sure the list will grow as I find more races, get more miles under my belt and have more time (I assume at some point I will have more time in my day, right?)

Racing is a great way to join the running community and really get involved. I have found races to be both a personal challenge and a encouragement to keep training. Whether you want to win or simply want to finish, racing is a great way to accomplish any goal (and have proof of it!)

Happy Running!

Always, EAA