Monday, September 29, 2008

Speed Bumps Finish in 3:57!

So the relay was perfect! We had a beautiful day and we must have all felt good because we easily cruised to a 3:57 marathon! Not bad for 5 pregnant chicks! Mrp and I left the house at 6AM. I could not psychologically leave earlier. I just couldn't. We made it down to Akron just in time to park and see *VB* cruise by shortly after the start. Mrp and I then waited around and watched the USATF women's 8k championship start. That was cool. But they made me feel obese! Seriously, I am like 3 of one of those women right now! I walked with mrp back to the car to drop off our stuff and then I gave him a kiss and sent him on his way for his own 20 miler. I started to make my way to the shuttle to my relay checkpoint.

It was a little sketchy out there, it was still dusky out and there weren't very many people other than a few bums. There I was all alone, 7.5 months pregnant in my short little running skirt and pony tail and bag full of snacks to keep peanut satiated. It seemed to be many blocks before I finally found some race volunteers. I asked one where the shuttle was. He said it was about another 5 or 6 blocks down the street. And then he said, "but you can't walk that far. Let me get someone to get you a ride." I laughed and replied, "Um, I'm about to run 7.6 miles. I can handle it." And with that I broke down and jogged the few blocks to the shuttle and then I was on my way.

I made it to my checkpoint and looked for a comfy place to sit. I had at least an hour to wait. I felt so conspicuous. Weirdly conspicuous with my big belly in my racing clothes. I felt like some sort of novelty act. Although, I remembered how I injected myself into the scenario! Most people were afraid to comment, but I could tell they wanted to. A bunch of people recognized the Speed Bumps and were super cute and excited to see me. I heard others whisper to the person standing next to them about the story they read in the paper of saw on tv. After working my way through the crowd I spied an open curb which was perfect for sitting, so I plopped myself down and settled in. A few minutes later a lady came up to me and introduced herself as *KB*'s mom. *KB* is the Speed Bump who ran leg 4 and she would be handing off to me. *KB*'s mom hung out with me and chatted and cheered on runners with me the whole time I waited. It was fun! Finally it was getting to be about that time so I found the area where I needed to stand to take the hand off. About 10 minutes later, about a minute or 2 after I saw the 4 hour pace group go by, they called our number and I saw *KB* cruising my way. I was so happy to see her and share the moment. My heart was racing and I just felt a wave of excitement as I grabbed the bracelet and took off. Peanut must have thought I was a big cheesy dork!

I quickly found a rhythm and came upon a full marathoner who recognized me as a Speed Bump. We started chatting and he asked me what our goal was. I told him I just wanted to eek under 4 hours. He responded that due to the hills coming up that probably wasn't happening. I said, "For you? I think it's definitely within reach for me!" Of course, I could hear mrp in the back of my head scolding me for pushing myself and I reiterated my plan to myself that I would not push it just to make this goal if I didn't feel up to it, but heck if I did I was going to go for it! Unfortunately, the line for the restroom at the checkpoint was insane so I REALLY had to pee. I HAD to stop at the first porta-potty I saw. I ditched the dude and waited in line to pee. It didn't take too long--maybe a minute? Two at most. It was SO worth it. I have never ever had to stop to use a porta-potty mid-race, but when you have to go THAT bad, it's a good idea!

When I rejoined the race I found my rhythm again quickly and this time I was running next to a woman from Atlanta. She was hoping to break 4:00 or at least better her 4:05 pr. We ran together for about 2 miles and she was really seeming strong! Then we came to a pretty decent hill and I told her to go ahead and I'd meet her at the top. But then at the top she had stopped to take a gu at the water stop and I passed her and didn't see her again until the finish. She ended up running a 4:01:02 so she came close and got a nice pr. Congrats!!! After hill I was feeling really good. It felt like the rest of the race I just cruised along. Mrp didn't want me to wear a watch so I'd be less likely to focus on pace and more likely to focus on how I was feeling. This was smart. I think I would have been more likely to worry I was going too slow to break 4 hours at this point if I knew what my pace was, but without knowing I felt more confident and knew if I was patient and continued to feel good I totally could do it!

I made it to the point where I picked up my friend Evie last year to run with her for a couple of miles as she finished the full marathon (see the post from last year here: I was really looking forward to this section because it was familiar and to kind of try it out to see if maybe I'd like to do the full Akron marathon next year. I have to say it felt good and if I am able to run a full next year, this will be at the top of my list! Anyway, I made my way along and around the 24 mile marker a motorcycle with a camera guy pulled up next to me and chatted with me while they filmed me running. I was definitely enjoying the celebrity treatment! They rode along side me for about a mile and almost as soon as they left I spotted the 4:00 pacer directly ahead!

I didn't even have to push it, I just cruised right on by. It felt great! With about a mile to go mrp was waiting for me and he jogged along with me. He was proud of me for keeping it relaxed and taking it easy. That made me so happy! I was so worried about overdoing it in some way that it just meant a lot that I got mrp's stamp of approval! Finally with about a 1/2 mile to go I started to feel pretty tired, but it was awesome to say by to mrp as I ran down into the Minor League ballpark. I heard friends screaming my name as I ran towards the finish. I was so happy as the clock was ticking down the seconds past 3:58. I crossed the finish around 3:59:00 and was so immensely proud of my team! And there they were waiting for me at the finish! It was better than I ever could have imagined! Thanks *VB*, *MN*, *KP*, and *KB*!

I know you want pictures and as soon as I have them I'll post away! In the meantime, thanks for everyone's support and help finding and naming my relay team! I couldn't have done it without you! (I think this celebrity stuff is getting to my head. I am starting to sound like Miss America! I'll be back to my average everyday self soon. Promise!)

Friday, September 26, 2008

Peanut Pranks

Since about the halfway point of my pregnancy I have been feeling really great. I could still do just about everything I did before I got pregnant except maybe stay on my feet for long periods of time. move heavy stuff, and I generally needed to go to bed a little earlier.  Otherwise, wow! Pregnancy was great!  So when we signed up for our relay I was very confident that I could easily complete the 7.6 mile last leg.  Last Sunday sealed the deal when I ran 8 comfortably averaging 9:52 pace. So I thought.

Then Tuesday rolled around.   I was ok most of the day. I ran 4.5 miles at lunch.  But then as I was getting off the bus to go home, I could hardly stand up! I was in a lot of pain. Sweet little peanut had parked himself in a very unfortunate spot. I was in agony all evening.  I tried pelvic rocks to no avail. I laid down. Nothing. I gave up and went to bed. Unfortunately, every time I rolled over I'd wake to sharp pains. It was not a very good night's sleep! This continued through Wednesday, but was a little better.  Maybe I just adapted? I ran 3 miles on the treadmill but had to stop every mile to go to the bathroom.  Peanut was just putting a lot of pressure down low and it made me feel like I constantly had to go and I could only stand it for 10 minute bursts. Yesterday it was better still, but I remained uncomfortable much of the time.  I had a really nice 5.5 miles run in beautiful weather with a co-worker.  It gave me confidence, that even with peanut in the bad spot I could still finish my relay leg.  Well, I woke up today and peanut must have moved because I feel back to normal!! Yeah!  Thank you peanut! I am going to go for a 3 mile walk during my lunch hour just to get out and move my legs, but otherwise peanut and I are ready to roll right now.

And all five Speed Bumps are ready too.  Our team has our shirts (mine still fits!) and we're going to get our race packets tonight.  I am so excited to see this plan actually come into fruition and with such a wonderful group of women! All 4 of my teammates are wonderful and I can't wait to see their smiling faces at the finish line!

As a teaser for you, check out this spot four of us filmed for a local news channel!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A Libertarian Runner Momma for Obama

This is a running blog, I know.  (Stop now if you don't want to know about my personal politics.) I don't take the decision to air out my political beliefs lightly.  But in light of recent developments I have lept off my uncharicteristically apathetic ledge and jumped on board a campaign. But first, a little back story.

I have odd politics.  Ideally I am a libertarian.  Practically, I generally vote Democrat. I know. It doesn't seem like it makes any sense.  But believe me, I have thought it all out and it makes sense to me. Anyway, I was shocked and awed by the Bush adminstration for 8 years.  (Particularly the lack of transparency, the unconstitutional hoarding of executive power, and tax cuts during times of war, but I digress...) I cringed at the nightly news for 8 years.  I'm over it. I worked on the Kerry campaign in 04.  I wasn't particularly crazy about him but I was so anti-Bush I needed to do something.  Anyway, long story short, he got swift boated. Pictures leaked of him wind surfing. W asked the audience, "Do you want some wood" at a debate and he came off as delightfully charming to most of America.  Kerry lost. It sucked.

I didn't get sucked into this election right away.  Maybe I felt burned after being so involved in a losing campaign 4 years ago. I was very perplexed by the choices of Hilary or Obama. After careful consideration I voted for Hilary in the primary.  For once I wasn't paying all that much attention this summer.  Obama gave a very moving speech on race in early summer that struck me, but beyond that I was uncharacteristically apathetic. But once the conventions started I've been hooked.  Today I am officially a momma for Obama. I donated to his campaign after reading McCain wants to postpone the debates and suspend campaigning to single-handedly save the economy that is fundamentally sound and that he doesn't know much about.   This would be novel if he didn't try to play this card during Hurricane Gustav.  Like his pick of Palin, this wreaks of desperation to me.  His poll numbers are trending down, his weakest issue is foremost on everyone's mind, so he needs to refocus everyone's attention.  Nice tactics. Bad president. Obama on the other hand has stayed calm in the face of it all and although he isn't the most experienced person, I do have to say I like the idea of some new ideas and perspective being infused into American leadership.  I believe he has the intelligence and level-headedness to handle a crisis and I believe he has the balls to ask for help when he needs it.  Plus I trust he understands and respects the Constitution.  Hey, you can't take somethings for granted any more!  

We need a new direction. We need calm focused leadership. Obama's my man this year. If he's your man too, please take a trip over to his website ( and give what you can. I want peanut to grow up in a nice strong stable America.  

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Somethin' in the Oven

Lately when I run downtown I am subjected to all kinds of interesting comments. The first time anyone said anything to me was about a month ago. I was running with a friend and we passed two men standing on the side of the road. When they were behind us we heard one guy say to the other, "Holy Sh*t! She's got somethin' in the oven!" Another time I was out there and two ladies came running up to me and pointed at me and said, "You! You are having a boy!!" It was almost like they were gypsies or something. It was weird. These were two exceptional circumstances. Today is more typical. I was running with my buddy E over a long bridge and this older guy passed us on his bike and said, "I've never seen a pregnant lady jogging before!" It was cute. And then when we were almost done and just crossing the street to my office we passed a guy idling on his motorcycle who said, "Go momma!" The beauty of it is that every time someone says something to me it's in support of me running. I have yet to have anyone say anything negative.

That being said my mother-in-law got wind of the relay. Mrp insisted I not tell her because she'd worry and since the article was in the Akron paper he figured she'd never see it. Well, her niece saw it who told her sister-in-law who then called her. So now she knows. Of course when she found out it was like the game telephone and I was now running a full marathon at almost 8 months pregnant! She called mrp who set the record straight and forwarded the story to her. I called her too. If it was up to me I'd tell her since there isn't anything to worry about and plus when you keep something like that a secret and then it comes out (which it always does!) then it looks like you're up to something fishy. But I'm not! Even the guy on the motorcycle agrees!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Surely the Fortune Part is Right Around the Corner!

All 5 members of the Speed Bumps met on Thursday night for an interview with the Akron Beacon Journal.  The reporter wanted to focus the story about the one member of our team who grew up in Akron.  Other than taking some liberties with the quotes, it's a cute article and *KB* makes a great cover girl!  (For instance, he just asked me what my time was in Boston and this question was not in any other context other than that. My time in Boston, which isn't even a pr or a race that I am particularly more proud of than any other, was in no way linked to why I'm running the last leg.  The real reason is I figured no one else would want to run the long odd distance of 7.6 miles and that I'd have a better chance of finding 4 pregnant runners for 5k's and 10k's. But if he wanted to make it sound like we had time trials to pick our anchor that's fine. Heh.)  

So, the relay is on Saturday! I am getting really excited about it.  It was so fun for all of us to meet each other.  I knew 3 of the other members long before Thursday, but just met *KB* on Thursday.  I found her through allenjel (  It was so great to meet her and see the whole team together! And of course it was great for everyone else to meet each other too!  I have to admit I've been a little worried about signing up for the longest leg.  Somedays lately running just doesn't feel all that great and I've only run more than 7 miles maybe 8 times since I've been pregnant.  Plus mrp has been a bit worried about me running lately, especially racing because he worries I will push myself too hard. Yesterday, I had an opportunity to test myself a little bit.  I took the previous two days off from running completely so I was well rested.  I got up early and went out to my old long run stomping grounds to get a run in before I met my friend Evie ( for breakfast.  I got there with plenty of time and it was a gorgeous crisp and cool almost-fall morning.  I felt good and I managed to run 8 solid miles with just two pee breaks and only one absolutely necessary! Not only did I run 8 miles but I averaged under 10:00 pace.  I felt really good! So now I'm very confident I will be able to finish my leg no problem.  Phew! And I had a great time with Evie. So it was a great morning! I am just going to take it easy the rest of this week and I should be fine for Saturday.  Can't wait!

PS If this post is funky, it's because I'm e-mailing it to blogger.  This is my first time with that so cut me some slack if it comes out all weird!  

Friday, September 19, 2008

Looking Back: The First Trimester

Well, maybe this work blocking blogger thing is going to be a bit more difficult to deal with than I thought. I have been too busy outside of work to sit down and write, let alone awake enough when I have a free moment to write cogently. So, I am writing at work and then e-mailing to my sister (Miss Adventurous—I can’t do links, so check out her blog at who will then post the text for me. I will get around the stupid barriers! I might not have hyperlinks or formatting or pictures, but I will still blog at work while I have working brain cells each day!

So, yesterday marked 30 weeks of peanut. Can you believe it? That’s a lot of weeks! (Perhaps more significantly, very few weeks left to go!) I’m still feeling pretty good and still running. In fact, next Saturday (not tomorrow, the next one) is the relay. The relay may or may not be the end of my pregnant running. I think I will tone it down at least. We shall see. Anyway, to commemorate 30 weeks of running and pregnancy and the potential end to this era I thought it was time to take a look back. Today’s post is a look back at the first trimester.

Weeks 1-4

Let’s start way back in February. I decided that getting pregnant meant switching my physical gears: time to ease off the training and focus on gaining a couple of happy pounds and getting the old endocrine system all normalized. Little did I know all it would take was one week of that. I ran a 50+ mile week the first week of March and then mrp and I went on our trip to the Vegas and the Grand Canyon and the slack started! Well, in the running department anyway. I came back from the trip with 11.25 miles under my belt and a little zygote in my belly. The following week I ran 23 uneventful easy miles and then the week after that I knew something was up. I ran 21.5 miles, but it was the Thursday 6 miler with my friend LT that got me thinking. We ran my normal easy 8:00 pace but I was so out of breath I couldn’t talk. It was a weird feeling and one I had never felt before. That Sunday my period was 2 days late so I took a test and the rest is history.

Week 1: 51 miles with 15k race at 6:57 pace.
Week 2: 11.25 out west
Week 3: 23 easy miles
Week 4: 21.5 easy miles

Weeks 5-9

I was committed to continue running, but I’ll readily admit I was scared. There are a lot of mixed messages out there. Some schools say continue right on with marathon training while others are far more cautious. I decided to be cautious at least at first, especially after I had some spotting early in my 5th week. After 13.5 miles in 3 runs that week I decided to trade the runs for walking. I finally (it felt like it took FOREVER to finally see my midwife and get medical confirmation that I was pregnant) got in to see my midwife at 7 weeks and at the appointment she assured me to continue running as long as I was comfortable. So, cautiously I started back up. I ran slow as heck. My first run back mrp clocked me with the Garmin at 10:40 pace. Within a couple of days I was back around 9:40 or so. Even so, I felt like heck. I had nausea day and night that could only be cured by eating almost constantly. I put on a pound a week, which continued through 24 weeks! (My weight gain has since slowed down tremendously—I gained nothing between 24 and 28 weeks!) I found that although the last thing I wanted to do was head out for a run when I was beyond exhausted and on the verge of puking, if I made it out it would buy me a couple of hours in the afternoon in which I might actually feel almost normal. It really did make me feel better. I only managed to get out 4 times a week and a little over 20 miles per week during these weeks. At week 9 we had our first ultrasound and saw peanut for the first time. Mrp and I cried as we watched his little heart race on the monitor. Peanut was doing great and this gave me confidence that I was doing something right (or at least nothing too wrong!)

Week 5: 13.5 easy miles
Week 6: 0 miles
Week 7: 12.5 incredibly slow miles
Week 8: 20.5 less slow, but still pretty slow miles
Week 9: 22.5 getting back into a groove (a slow groove, but still a groove) miles

Weeks 10-14

Peanut was welcomed to week 10 of his gestation with a bang when we were rear-ended on our way to work one morning. Both mrp and I ended up with a bad case of whiplash. I also ended up with a horrible cold and days of worrying about peanut. When we made it into see our midwife a few days after the accident and we heard peanut’s heartbeat on the fetal Doppler mrp and I both sobbed. It was one of those magic moments I will never forget. I needed a few days to recover from the accident. I ran 5 miles the week after the accident and then got back on the pony with 23 miles in 5 runs the following week. And then I started to feel better! The nausea was not gone by a long shot but it was definitely letting up a lot. The weather was getting nicer. The second trimester safety zone was fast approaching and I seized the opportunity to ramp it up a bit. I ran 35.75 miles in my 13th week, including my first race with peanut. We ran a hilly 5.25 miles race averaging 8:13 pace. However, it was more like a couple miles at 9:00 pace followed by 3.25 around 7:30 pace. I ran a total of 7.5 miles that day with 5.25 somewhat hard. Yeah, I learned my lesson. Too much, too soon. I was so pooped the rest of the day and the nausea came back with a vengeance to boot. I toned it down a bit the following week and although my mileage was still up over 30 I was really beginning to find my groove again.

Week 10: 13 miles pre-accident
Week 11: 5 easy true recovery miles
Week 12: 23 easy feeling better miles
Week 13: 35.75 probably too many too soon miles including a 5.25 mile “race”
Week 14: 30.75 miles all easy and feeling good and back in the groove miles

By the end of the first trimester I was typically running around a 9:20-9:40 pace with the occasional sub 9:00 or 10:00 paced run thrown in. This was about 60-90 seconds slower than my pre-pregnancy easy pace and seemed right. I made it a point to run with friends as often as possible to ensure I was keeping the pace conversational and to just enjoy myself as much as possible. For a while there I was worried I wouldn’t be able to run much at all. By the end of this trimester, I was so appreciative of every run and really starting to enjoy running in a way I never have before. I had nothing to prove. I had no goals to meet. Each run was an end in itself and not some step to some greater far away goal. I was running in the moment for perhaps the first time ever. After a rough start, it was becoming great.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Not a Stranger in a Strange Land

Sorry it’s been so long since I’ve posted. Life, unlike me, has been moving at a much speedier clip than normal. Oh, and work has decided to block blogger now so I can’t take advantage of getting in my office early and blogging like I used to. But this is such a small adjustment to deal with and I’m sure with the other seismic shift about to occur in my life it won’t be too big of a deal.

So besides planning a relay, I really have been busy. I finally rented my house to some wonderful new tenants who I am really excited about! I have been busy cleaning and prepping the house for their arrival. Mrp and I finished up some last minute improvements last night and the tenants are starting to move in today! Glad that’s taken care of!

On top of that, work has been very busy. Of course I have to wrap up a lot of things before peanut arrives. However, the last few weeks have been focused on yet another trip to Iowa. This was my third trip to the fair state capital in two years to deliver an oral argument. The first time was before the Department of Revenue and the last time was in court. We lost before the Department of Revenue (but our case is against the Department so no surprise there). We won in court, though. The Department appealed so I had to go back for hopefully the last time. I don’t have the stamina I normally do so I had to do TONS of extra prep work before the trip because I just can’t stay up all night working on an oral argument these days. It still turned out that our local counsel suggested some really important tweaks to my argument the afternoon prior to the big show, but it wasn’t too bad to get them worked into the mix and have my argument solid in time for the morning’s hearing.

The argument itself went well. The Department’s attorney was sharper than she normally is, so I was a little concerned. And then when I delivered my argument the judges asked me some questions that worried me a bit. However, I got all my points out. It was a bit tough the last minute or so, though. Peanut is getting very big and pushing up on my lungs, so by the end of my presentation I was running out of air! I probably looked like I was freaking out to the judges, but I just lost my breath a bit. I managed to squeak out my last couple of lines. I was a bit worried about that, but my co-counsels assured me I did a good job. I hope! Now we just have to wait about 6 months! Damn slow judiciary!

In other news I met Mainers! Mrp ran a local half-marathon and Paul was in town with one of his buddies who used to live here. He told me he was going to be there, but that was months ago so when I saw a slightly familiar face in a small pack of male runners I thought it might be him. But he was wearing a singlet with the name of a local running store and looked to be about 18 years old so I held off cheering like a maniac for him. After I cheered mrp on, who was a bit behind Paul, I ran the two miles back to my car and hauled *ss to make it to the finish in time. I finally made it to the park entrance, but about .25 miles away from the finish a cop told me I had to park about a mile or more away from the finish. I finally did it. I pulled the pregnancy card. I told him I was 7 months pregnant and just wanted to see my husband finish. Of course, suddenly there was a space open for me!

And of course, I threw my car in park and took off running past the finish and about a mile up the course to see mrp. He looked really good and had moved up considerably. His main goal was to get back under 1:20. Mrp’s been a bit burned out with running the last couple of years. He’s always run he just hasn’t trained much in that time. It got so bad that he ran a 30:25 5-miler in July. His pr is a 27:30! So, I have taken it upon myself to get him back in shape. I am coaching him and things are going well. He got back on the wagon after the 5-miler and within 3 weeks ran a 10-miler at 6:07 pace and within 7 weeks ran a half-marathon at 6:03 pace. He was only off his half pr by a little under a minute, so I really honestly believe mrp’s running a pr marathon in Chicago. His pr is 2:48:37, run in New York on a warm November day in 2005 (the day I decided I was going to do one of those!). He ran a 2:49:10 in Boston 07 (Nor’Easter year) on minimal training. As long as it’s not 900 degrees he should be good! Go peanut’s daddy!

Anyway, after I gave mrp a last minute cheer I ran to the finish to see how he did. On my way I saw that tall skinny familiar looking guy and I said, “Paul?” And he looked up (well, down) and say, “Hi Salty!” (He actually used my real name because how lame is it to actually call someone by their blog name in real life?) We chatted for a minute, but it was a bit bad timing as I just spotted mrp and we were pressed for time to get all the way back to the other side of town where we live, so I had to run before we got to talking too long. But it was nice to see him anyway. Next time you’re in town Paul, let’s get a beer (assuming I’ll be allowed to drink beer again then)!

So that’s a small slice of what’s been keeping me from my blog. I will be back soon to update you on my pregnant running self. But for now, this will have to do!