4/9 to 4/15 (Week 22-23)
Monday 4/9 – errand run, 5 miles
Tuesday 4/10 – squats workout
Wednesday 4/11 – Track night. 1.25mi up, 4×800 every lap faster (nailed it! – by starting out really slow #sandbags), 2min rest, 0.75mi down. 4 miles total.
Thursday 4/12 – off
Friday 4/13 – walk commute, 2 miles
Saturday 4/14 – Perfect weather for a run! Naturally, I went to ballet class. I’ve been doing a bit of ballet while my son is in his Saturday morning dance class (he LOVES LOVES LOVES dance and is completely transfixed when we watch clips from the Nutcracker or Sleeping Beauty on YouTube). So rusty. So inflexible. So sore. (Me, not him.) But rewarding – it’s something I can still do with basically zero modifications right now.
Sunday 4/15 – Lots of friends were in town for the Boston Marathon, so I did a shakeout run with some of them (‘guys I was *serious* about those 11min miles!’) in the morning (3.6 miles). In the afternoon, I met up with Avocado, Barley and loyal Salty Running reader Jesse (hi Jesse!) for coffee and shop talk. (2.5 miles walking)
Drew Magary, The Hike: This book was described as ‘like early, good Chuck Palahniuk’. And it was: loopy and hallucinatory and highly entertaining.
Chip and Dan Heath, Decisive: The Heath brothers are those guys who write a lot of business-strategy-books-for-a-lay-audience. I’m not normally a business-strategy/self-help book person, but this book offered some ways to make decisions more effectively – both in work and in life.
4/16 to 4/22 (Week 23-24)
Monday 4/16 – walked 2.6 miles to and from spectating the Boston Marathon. (DES! YUKI KAWAUCHI! ALL THE FEELS*.) Yes, out in the rain. I wore: long underwear, joggers, a base layer, a fleece jacket, my puffy coat, a wind- and waterproof shell, my hat, gloves, base layer socks, and wool socks, on the premise that if I couldn’t be dry I could at least be warm. I did not envy the runners.
*We were standing almost at mile 25, and then heard ‘Elite women coming!’. The media van came first, then the motorbikes with their flashing lights. I saw Des coming through, and began to lose it. Then, after her… no one. For. A. Long. Time. The seconds tick by. My friends and I look at each other. Where’s everyone else? Entire minutes pass. And that’s when we realise she’s got it in the bag, and I basically start crying happy tears.
Tuesday 4/17 – upper body Aaptiv maternity workout, brief run/ walk (somehow there was a headwind both ways?), 2.2 miles
Wednesday 4/18 – Track night. Not even pretending to work out any more. I had alllll the ordinary little discomforts of pregnancy today – tightness across the top of the belly, round ligament pain, sore calves, you name it – but I knew I’d feel better if I moved a tiny bit after sitting on my ass all day. Went to track, enjoyed hearing everyone’s marathon war stories, and ran like 4x400m at something vaguely approaching marathon pace, which is not a workout that does anything remotely useful. I just felt better after doing it. 2.5 miles. (PS: I need a better support belt. Any recommendations for something that really works and won’t break the bank?)
Thursday 4/19 – perfunctory series of squats while playing with the kiddo (‘Mommy what are you doing?’ ‘I’m exercising, sweetie.’ ‘Can I exercise too?’)
Friday 4/20 – errand run/walk, 2.2 miles.
Saturday 4/21 – walk to and from DINNER DATE! with husband, 2.6 miles. We were supposed to go to a free jazz performance on campus and got a babysitter to go out that night, but kid declined to nap that day, thereby saddling the poor sitter with a potentially crabby little terror, so we decided to just nip out for a quick dinner. Turns out kiddo was not only not a terror, he was Good As Gold for the sitter and actually asleep by the time we got home, which is like winning the lottery – cha-ching! Sitter probably felt like she had won the lottery, too.
Sunday 4/22 – 5 miles! of actual running! and sunshine! Well, more like plodding through molasses than running, but I didn’t stop to walk.
I also unearthed my NB 1080s for a test run. Normally these would be far too much shoe for me: I’m usually a Zante or even Nike Free girl, and often the more flexible the shoe the better. The last time I ran in the 1080s they actually caused some foot issues. But something someone said over the last week (was it you, Jesse?) planted the idea that a bit more cushioning might help with the pregnancy-related aches and pains. Pleasant surprise – the extra cushioning and slightly higher drop of the 1080s worked like a charm! My hips and shins and calves didn’t complain once. These might be my go-to shoe for the rest of my pregnant running journey.
Verdict: Oh, the emotional ups and downs this week! The theme of this week is patience. Watching the Boston Marathon is awfully inspiring, sure, and I’d love to qualify and run it someday. But between pregnancy and postpartum recovery (not to mention adjusting to a new routine in family and professional life) I literally don’t know when I’m going to run another marathon again, let alone go after long-term sub-4 or BQ goals.
Realistically? Nothing athletic has *ever* come easily to me. I’m not one of those superwomen you’re going to see running through third trimester. In fact, I’m barely running right now, and there’s still almost half an entire pregnancy to go, plus however long recovery takes! My body needs the break, even if my mind is raring to go. And I’ll be honest – that’s a little frustrating and I’m envious of anyone who can run right now.
But then I remember how long that first year of new parenthood felt. And how I actually got faster after that year than ever before, despite sleep deprivation, a new job, and imperfect and slipshod training. And the high of setting two half PRs and a gigantic, 35-minute marathon PR in the second and third years of parenthood. And that’s fuel for the tiny spark of hope that I can do it all again.
Which brings us right back to Des and the marathon. She’s the patron saint of the pluggers, the people who keep showing up, whose very showing up day after day reinforces bit by bit their confidence and tenacity. It’s the fairytale for those of us who have nothing else but the belief that if we keep looking where we want to go, eventually we’ll go where we look.