Thursday, July 7, 2016

Returning to Running

I said before that I would talk about the return to running, and here it is. As much as some might scoff at me saying that I'm out of shape after 2 months off- it simply means I am not in a place where I feel comfortable (it's not about a number on the scale). I don't feel like myself, or even feel like a runner- honestly those things take time even when there aren't a lot of emotions involved.

It's not a secret that getting back into shape can be tough, and there isn't some quick-fix. My successes in life came from hard work, not quick fixes- something I remind myself of often. With that said, there are also a lot of emotions surrounding this. I want to run more again, but I also wish things were different- obviously. I also know though that routine is good for me, and so are plans or some semblance of plans. So Brian and I have a loose timeline of what we want to see happen for us and our life in the coming years(*insert snark about the best laid plans here*). I also have my own timeline for my career in the next few years. After those priorities, comes running. My running timeline is dictated by the others, and never the other way around- but I do have the time and desire to train again at the moment, so that is what I am going to do.

I originally said I would wait a few weeks to get myself in some semblance of running shape before starting a training plan with coach again. When the hormones started shifting though and I found myself unnecessarily stressing about it, I knew it was best to bring him in board sooner. One of the biggest things James does for me is remove any running stress, I trust him to guide me and work with me on what is best for me training. So, there is a plan in the calendar as it's been helpful to feel like I have some routine. The last 2 weeks of June I started to see some consistency and that mentally was helpful. I will log my training as normal, and publish training logs over on Salty Running where you can follow along if you choose.

As for goals, I have a few in mind. But for the time being most are going to be held a little closer to the chest until I really feel ready and at a point I can tackle those goals. Right now the main goal is getting consistency back with my running, build back to 5-6 days a week and eventually back up to my pre-Boston mileage. Beyond that I am working to get back into routine with strength training as well, I know it will help me come back stronger and faster, but also healthier/safer. Coach has given me some workouts to do but I also am getting back into regular work with mini-bands, as this is something that has helped me a ton in the past. Of course I'm spending some quality time with my favorite Addaday roller because, well....returning to running is tiring and makes you just as sore as the thick of marathon training.

Race wise, I have a few I am eyeing (5k-half) that will be used as time trials/tuneups to see how my training is progressing. I MAY run a fall marathon, but nothing is set in stone. If I do I already know which race it will be but not until later fall, and ONLY if I feel ready to race it for a PR. I ran one marathon this year for the hell of it, and the next time I toe that 26.2 start line I want to be able to use everything from pre-Boston and everything I build this summer to bring me to one killer race. I have no regrets about Boston, or this spring- but that doesn't mean I don't want to see big things happen this year still if I can make it happen.

Call it retail therapy, or call it the desire for even MORE data- but I bought myself a new running watch. My Garmin 910XT is awesome (and I will still use it), but I've really been enjoying my new 225(Great deal on Amazon for a refubed one). The optical wrist heart rate is nice (I hate chest straps for HRM), and gives me good feedback on how hard I'm really working. Coming back into training is tough to gauge what is easy pace. Even though I'm not coming back from injury, I still want to make sure I don't set myself back. I won't live and die by the heart rate but I do think it will be a good tool for feedback.

On the same note of wanting to ease back into things and not get hurt. I have been wearing some more supportive shoes lately, particularly the Zealot ISO 2. The Kinvara's are my go-to trainers but I admit the Zealots have definitely stepped up in the competition. They are similar, but offer a bit more cushion and support for pounding the pavement. I will write more about this another day though, I have lots of good Saucony things to talk about!

Lastly I'd say that focusing on my nutrition and general health is key for life but also getting back into running. I mentioned I started taking my Iron and Vitamin D Supplements again, which I know makes a difference. I also have been better about packing lunches and healthier snacks for work (especially on days I work both jobs). Sleep is the one area I definitely need improvement, but that has been a work in progress with new schedules and less time in the day to get things done.

So with all of that said we will see where things go. It won't be some breakthrough overall, but more generally a physical and mental reset...fresh start. I can't call it a comeback, because I don't ever want to think of pregnancy as a setback. Even though it didn't go how we wanted, I don't want to associate negative feelings with it.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Moving Forward

First and foremost I want to thank everyone for their support, Brian and I are incredibly lucky to have great people in our lives. We are also lucky to have the support network all over that we do, we know we're not alone and that is comforting. To all who took the time to call, text, email, comment, tweet, whatever- THANK YOU.

The last few weeks have been a reminder that life goes on. I don't mean that in a negative way or that we simply flick a switch and move on. I mean it as, the world doesn't stop spinning when bad things happen. Bills still come, work still piles up, other people still exist-and more things will continue to happen(good and bad). While there are times it feels we are standing still, it's almost a comfort that everything keeps moving. Because it forces us to keep moving, even if we slow down to wade through the emotions we have to keep moving. So, we're focused on that.

Everyone processes things differently. I tend to hop on the roller coaster with things like this, I'll be "fine" one minute and the next I'll be sitting in traffic crying to my steering wheel. Part of this is the grief and part of this is the changes in hormones going on. Overall though we are doing well, because we are doing it together.

When I'm sad, I talk about it. When I'm happy and want to make light of something, I'm gonna laugh and try to make whoever I am with at the time laugh as well. When I'm frustrated, I TRY and express it as a fact and not towards someone (for the most part, but I'm human). When I want to cry, I do and honestly it happens most at night when the dust settles after the day is done. I talk about it a decent amount, even when others are like "I'd be in a hole, how can you talk about it?". It has nothing to do with my strength. Most simply put, not saying "Voldemort" doesn't make the evil not exist it only breeds more fear(Thanks Hermione). For me, the more I can talk about what is going on- the less sadness/fear I feel when doing so. I don't want to be sad or afraid, because according to the doctor we have NO reason NOT to believe in our future with kids.

We are both exhausted, because emotions do that to you let alone life and everything else. I'd say that is one of the biggest things we are facing to be honest. We're tired, ALL.THE.TIME.

Physically there were definitely some things to work through for me though. The drastic change of pace from marathon training at the highest level (for me personally so far) to working out in a recliner watching Gilmore Girls and Grey's Anatomy reruns for 2 months had just as much if not more of an effect than pregnancy did on my body. My body composition definitely changed, I hadn't gained much weight but my weight did shift to certain areas. I fit back into normal clothes pretty quick but still wasn't my normal self. It has been far less about how I look and so much more about how I feel. It's hard not to feel like crap, feel drained, and feel like I took the time off with nothing to show for it. I know that is a mix of emotions about wishing I was still pregnant and also emotions from....getting back into shape is really freaking hard. I'd be lying if I said that any other way.

Granted I cannot control how long it takes my hormones to chill the F out, hopefully it happens soon. I'm stuck in an "in-between" phase I feel like (Not 100% back to normal but obviously not still feeling 100% pregnant).  I am working on the things that I can control though. I had stopped my supplements in order to just take my prenatal ones. I have since resumed my Iron and Vitamin D dailies, and I am trying to get extra sleep when I can. I know the combination of those will help my energy return to normal, or at least I hope.

Life is busy but that is a good thing for us. We are working on house projects and renovations to sell next year and move to the other side of Rochester. It's fun to work on these things, as we can do some together but we each have our side projects to work on too.

My schedule also changed a bit as I took on a part time job. This is not a new thing for me, for people who have read here for a while- running between jobs and carrying an odd schedule is second nature for me. After 9 months of one job though, finding a new routine with a second job has taken some time. We are finding what works for us though, to make sure extra work doesn't take away from our lives. Extra money is good, but not if I cannot have time for Brian, take care of myself, take care of the house and stay on track. We're a really good team about this though, and I'm lucky to have someone supportive of whatever I choose to do.

On that note, nothing is really a personal decision anymore its something we decide together. WE, OUR, something we really embrace a lot more. We're building our life, and we know what we want for the future and that starts with building us. As hard as this situation was, it brought us even closer than we already were. We learned how each handles the harder more emotional stuff, and how to best work together to get through things. We saw each other in crisis mode, and there is no one I would rather have holding my hand when things just plain old suck(or when things are good obviously). (I should save that for our vows one day. Note to self.)

This is honestly a whole topic in itself and another post to be written. I AM trying to return to running, I know that it is going to be a slow process. 2 months off (uninjured) doesn't sound like a lot but man, I've got some work to do. Right now the goal is simply to get back into a routine, find love for it again (my heart isn't quite there yet honestly), and work on putting one foot in front of the other. Do I have dreams of what I'd like to see when I'm "back", yes. But who knows where things will go for us, and our life and everything else is a bit more of a priority right now.

At the end of the day we've got SO much good in our lives. So we take the good with the bad and work on moving forward.
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