Running with a Sidekick

Since I found out that we were having a bub, my running experience has changed dramatically. I’m not sure if it’s because my body was already changing, or if it was because I was out of practice, but the first run I went on once we knew was much harder!!

First run, and someone's excited!!

First run, and someone’s excited!!

SB came too for moral support, and we had reached about the first kilometre from our house when we came to a big hill. My chest was much tighter than normal, and it felt like I was going to get a stitch pretty soon. So, we walked up the hill. And thus began the run-walk that I have been practicing ever since. At first I would try to walk roughly after every kilometre, but these days I am more confident in going further before walking.  That was the first thing I noticed: I became out of breath much more quickly.

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The second thing I noticed was that it is generally much harder. My pace has slowed by about a minute, or more depending on the day. I used to feel light on my feet and really enjoyed pushing it. Now I feel like I’m trudging along, and I don’t think I could go much faster without getting one heck of a stitch.  Again – I’m not sure if this is to do with hormones or whatever, or simply because I have been eating a lot and not running as fast/far, so I’m just not as fit!!

 

So. I’m not trying to run fast any more, and am purely going on intuitive running: if it feels good I continue, and if I need to slow down or stop then I do. It’s a nice to run without any pressure at all. As you know, I’ve re-built my distance back up, and I’d like to maintain 10k as long as I can…. though I guess the day might come when I have to trade my sneakers for swimmers (the thought makes me want to literally burn my swimmers in an effigy. I hate swimming for exercise. I am not good at it, and it’s boring).

How can you prefer swimming when you can get views like this??

How can you prefer swimming when you can get views like this??

I definitely miss working towards a goal (I guess there’s just a different goal now), and planning which races will be next. Maybe I might try one more 10k event before I get too big – more for the experience than to try and get any kind of time, but sometimes you just gotta chill and see what happens.

 

Some people are very nervous about running when they’re pregnant. I did a lot of research before I decided to continue, and I also asked every single medical professional I came across, and they all give it the thumbs up. Different articles will tell you different things, but the main idea is that keeping fit is the best thing you can do during pregnancy, as long as you don’t push it. If your body is used to one particular exercise, then there’s no reason why you can’t continue when expecting.

Running in the snow actually has a lot of grip, if you're in the right shoes. I'd never run when its icy now though.

Running in the snow actually has a lot of grip, if you’re in the right shoes. I’d never run when its icy now though.

The exception to this is pole. I have stopped pole!!!!!!!!  :(  I can’t believe it. That was one thing I did think was too risky, and I cannot waitttttt to get upside down again! Apparently pregnancy can affect balance later on, and even though I’m not there yet, I didn’t want to risk falling off – there’s more at stake now (FYI, I have only really and truly ever stacked it twice in 7 years)!

 

It’s weird doing everything with a little sidekick now. Even though we can’t see it yet, it makes itself known: whether it’s the twinge in my stomach, or the head rush I get when I stand up every. single. time. Which isn’t annoying whatsoever. And when running, sometimes I can feel my stomach adjust, and I like to think it’s in there hopping around like I am.

 

Yep, so this post ended up being more informative and less fun than I thought! Bottom line: running with a sidekick is slower and harder. Has anyone else found this???? But still worth it and something I really look forward to. Except last night when it was windy and 2 degrees and pitch black, so I went to the supermarket. That was one time when grocery shopping was more appealing than running. But other than that, loving the running still.

 

Ellie B

The Truth About 2015

Well. I think it’s time to be completely honest with you guys. You’ll have to forgive me – for about 4 months now I’ve been keeping secrets from you all. Can you believe it? What a bad blogger.

 

But…. the truth is…. that I am going to have a little mini-B! Yep. Later on this year, we will welcome a new addition to our family, and we’re crossing our fingers that a) it won’t mind being put in a running stroller, and b) that it likes Nutella. Because if it has problems with either of those two, we’ll have to consider some serious lifestyle changes. I know that a baby usually brings a whole host of changes, but let’s be honest. These are the ones that will matter.

baby

So! Now hopefully it all makes sense as to why I mysteriously couldn’t run fast in December, and why I was ‘slowly building back up’ this year.

 

Next week I’ll fill you all in on how running has really been this year. It’s not very different to what I’ve written already, but I’ve had to re-work my expectations on what constitutes a good run, a fast run, and what are good running conditions. But I just wanted to quickly share the news with you as I’m well aware that the past three-four months have been somewhat running-lite compared to before!

future_marathon_runner_infant_bodysuit

I hope you all have a great weekend. I am a bridesmaid at a family wedding, which will be fun and ANOTHER chance to tear up the dance floor. If nothing else, thanks to Beyonce workshops, Miami and this weekend, this bub should have good rhythm!

 

Ellie B

The Run-Walk

Well well well! That was an unexpected break! I didn’t intend to stay away so long, but other things have kept me pretty busy. Yes, I am a surprised as you, apparently it’s normal to maintain some kind of life outside of running.

 

Anyway, today I want to talk about walking and running. When I first started, I thought that as long as you kept running, you were a Serious Runner. My goal for the first race I ever ran was to finish without needing to walk, and this is something that’s been consistent in my running since.

 

I knew the run-walk was a great way to build up running strength and stamina, I never considered it for my own training. Not that I’m some ultra-speedy running machine, but I was part of the ‘Walking’s Cheating’ club. It’s similar to the ‘Eating’s Cheating’ club for nights out (of which I am not a member), in that it can work for some people, but can also be a bad idea if you push it too hard.

This isn't related to the article. But it's snowed here, which means Cool Runnings!!

This isn’t related to the post. But it’s snowed here, which means Cool Runnings!! I already used that joke on instagram, and I’m very pleased to use it again. 

But if last year was all about building a base for my marathon training, this year is all about being kind and chilling out. It turns out you can do that without compromising on standards. Sort of. I mean, you can’t go hardcore intervals while taking it easy, but you can run distance and relative speed.

 

So I’ve introduced some walks during my runs: once I reach the top of a hill, or after a block of running. At first it took a bit of getting used to, but now I like it. It keeps the stitches at bay, and I also noticed that I finish stronger.

 

It turns out I’m not the only one who’s come across this gem: today one of my Facebook friends posted this article, which noted that those who incorporated some walks during a marathon not only finished at a similar time, but also had similar heart rates, and finished feeling better:

Screen Shot 2015-01-21 at 19.51.52

 

One of my favourite bloggers, Shut Up and Run, wrote this post about marathon advice, and number 7 on her list is to walk through the water stations. Not only can you drink your drink without pouring it all down you, but she also says it also gives you some time to regroup. If there’s one time you should be kind to yourself, it’s during a marathon, so giving yourself time to hydrate and chill (even if it’s for a minute – when you’re not running, you’re not thinking about maintaining your pace!).

 

After more research, I found this article on RunnersWorld.com which really highlights the benefits of the run-walk, and looks at some triggers to use it effectively. Personally, I’m guilty of pushing through leg pain at the end of a long run, and for losing form as I get tired. I’m one of life’s high achievers, and it’s great to know that it’s ok to walk during your run… you’re not being weak, you’re just being smart!

 

On a completely separate note, has anyone seen American Horror Story? I’m only on episode three, and it’s soooooo creepy. But I can’t stop watching! I have it on now, and SB is out, so I’m trapped in my living room until he gets home. Because I am too scared to go into the kitchen. Yes, I’m in my thirties, people.

Even this is scary. Don't try and tell me it's not.

Even this is scary. Don’t try and tell me it’s not.

 

Ellie B