Running Through a Fulfilled Life


Race Recaps: I Am Loving Running

My gradual return to one of my favorite sports (running+soccer=happy eli) has been going much better than I thought.  Somehow those little intervals of waddling I did almost up to the day I delivered must have maintained some fitness.  I have been careful not to increase my weekly mileage too fast, because that’s how injuries get created.  Especially in a girl that probably still has some joint laxity going on (case in point: my pubic bone hurts.  I know.  TMI).  This past week I hit a whopping 20 miles run!  Huzzah! Hurrah! Happy Days! Yahoo!  My post-pregnancy goal has been to “attempt” to “train” for a “half marathon” this fall.  I am putting this in all quotations marks because there is absolutely no formal training plan.  I have yet to pick out this half marathon.  And if I say I am attempting, my body will remain blind to what I’m putting it through.

Last week’s stats:
Tuesday–3.65 miles in 31′ (buttcrack o’ dawn run)
Wednesday–3 miles in 25:25
Friday—2 miles in 15:40
Saturday—3.1 in 22:55 (Boy with Das Boot 5K)
Sunday—3.1 in 24:30 (Race for the Cure) and 4.2 miles in 35:40.

See what I did there?  I did a double race weekend.  The first race I actually raced.  The second I ran with my Hubs.  Saturday’s race was at 10:30 in Downtown Sandusky and was part of the North Coast Oktoberfest.  It’s the 3rd year for the festival and race; and Hubs and I enjoyed a few Great Lakes brews the night before (our first date night since SBJ!).  A Dortmunder and Oktoberfest later, and I was ready to race the next day.

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Obviously this is the best way to hydrate.  I was running a bit late to get to the race and arrived about 25 minutes prior to the start and was quite confused for about 5 minutes because I couldn’t find the start as there was no one there.  My confusion resolved quickly as I finally found race check-in, but there still were hardly any runners there which was quite a disappointment to me!  We lined up at 10:30 and there couldn’t have been more than 30 runners.  No one wanted to stand on the start line and when the start was called, I found myself taking the lead of the race because no one wanted to go out fast.  That’s a recipe for disaster for a girl that is not in her best shape yet!  I ran a positive split race, as I got overtaken by 2 guys at about mile 1.5 and then spent the rest of the race running by myself with no one to help push me.  I kind of shut it down and didn’t stay mentally tough (bad eli!)  Finish Time: 22:55 (7:23/mile) which was good enough for First Female Overall due to the limited field size.  I had the race distance clocking a bit long, as they made us run on the sidewalks the whole time?! Not my favorite running surface for sure, but I did enjoy the views of Lake Erie.

Finisher Swag

Finisher Swag

Sunday’s Race took me to Toledo to participate in a Susan Komen Race for the Cure.  The turnout was absolutely awesome as there were over 15,000 runners/walkers that raised money for an excellent cause.  I ran the race for my grandmother (even though she did not have breast cancer, she had lymphoma) and for Mike’s grandmother (a breast cancer survivor).  Mike and I decided we would run together, enjoy the day, and shoot to run “8 minute miles” (as Mike ordered–no faster).  We stuck pretty true to that, had zero mid-race arguments (which is why we usually don’t run together–love you Mike!!), listened to some great music along the route, and finished in 24:30 (7:54/mile).  SBJ completed his first 5K with his aunt/Gma pushing him along in a little over an hour.  A win on all fronts!

Family at Race for the Cure

Family at Race for the Cure

This week will be my last week of maternity leave.  Ish is about to get real after that!  My mommy, wife, and time management skills are really going to be put to the test!


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2 Month Update

Hark! It has been 2 months since our family was blessed with a new addition in the form of un bebe.  Time has definitely been flying by, as my maternity leave is dwindling to its last fleeting moments.  Aka I have less than 2 weeks to go until I have to go back to work and say goodbye to my baby during the day.  I am very eager to get back to my work life, but it is going to be difficult being away from SBJ each day when I have grown so accustomed to our routine at home.

Yesterday, SBJ and I got to go to the pediatrician’s office.  Oh happy happy joy joy.  The 2 month appointment is when the beginning of the dreaded shots occur.  SBJ was a nice, happy boy all the way up until they gave him his vaccinations at which point this Momma’s heart broke.  Poor bub cried his eyes out to the point that he stopped breathing and I had to blow into his mouth to get him to take a breath.  😦

We also found out our little monster baby is now 24.5 inches long and 15 pounds.  He is in the 97th percentile for height, 95th for weight.  I should get a dollar everytime I hear “he is huge” or the side-eye “you must make some rich milk”.  I really want to respond, “yes, its laced with protein powder and cookies”.  I already had a heart-to-heart with SBJ and told him next appointment I expect better, like 100th percentile, so he can just be the biggest baby for his age.  Yes, that’s sarcasm.

Mom really? I just woke up

Mom really? I just woke up


Questioning my motives

Questioning my motives

My running is starting to get back there.  And by there, I mean to a comfortable point again.  My running form has returned, as I no longer feel like I’m running with my trunk behind my rear (the pregnant gait womp womp) while looking like I’m holding a hot turd in.

Pregnant Running Gait.  My name is not Eileen.  Or I lean.

Pregnant Running Gait. My name is not Eileen. Or I lean.

My pace has surprisingly come back quickly for my easy and comfortable paced runs (which is really all I’ve been doing. aka junk miles).  I have yet to attempt anything defined as “speed work” or “running quickly”.  I pretend my speedwork occurs during my runs at the buttcrack of dawn, because in the dark I always feel faster.  Probably because I’m scared someone is going to jump out of a bush and chase me.  I have been trying to work on getting up early to run since that will be the schedule I adopt when I go back to work.

Last week’s training kind of looked like this:

Monday-Rest Day post Long Run
Tuesday-Rest Day again.  Does walking laps around the house with a baby draped over your shoulder count as exercise? Resistance training?
Wednesday-3.8 miles in 32′ (easy run)
Thursday-3 miles in 24′ (AM darkness run)
Friday-Rest Day
Saturday-6.17 miles in 52′ (long run)
Sunday-3 miles in 26′ (shake out run)

Total=16 miles

I have been trying to run 4 days per week and keep things pretty easy as I build my mileage back up.  I want to get a base down before I start any speedwork or tempo runs because A) I’m out of shape still and B) my pelvic instability is still there and I feel things popping/shifting when doing the most basic of things–like getting out of a chair.   I plan to start working some cross training back into my week once I go back to work.

My biggest obstacle to exercise? (this should be a no duh ya idiot answer) Finding the time!  SBJ needs his Momma a lot (for loving and foodstuffs and what not) and my Husband also works/has a life.  So time management really has become a hot commodity to get anything done.  And I mean anything.  Like grocery shopping, clothes shopping, going to the bank, getting gas in the car, going to the bathroom, taking a shower, picking my nose, wait…what?  However, I’m always up for a good challenge and am pretty sure I have started to go mildly insane from sleep deprivation so I have become slightly numb to the constant craziness that is our life now.

Birthday Celebrations Galore

Birthday Celebrations Galore

My Dad and his younger Doppelganger

My Dad and his younger Doppelganger

Grandma with her favorite Grandbaby

Grandma with her favorite Grandbaby

SBJ is more interested in looking at birds and trees.  Ain't nobody got time for a picture.

SBJ is more interested in looking at birds and trees. Ain’t nobody got time for a picture.


Race Recap: Run the Ridge 5K

Ok, I may be going a little overboard with running races.  This one literally was a spur of the moment decision yesterday.  As in, 2 hours before the race was supposed to start I thought “oh, I was planning to run today anyways, I might as well go run a local race that looks relatively challenging because I’m crazy like that and enjoy running at 2 in the afternoon which is usually the hottest part of the day”.  So it was decided, I’m insane.

Run the Ridge 5K was put on by the Erie County Metroparks as a way to kickstart their Go Take a Hike! Program.  Essentially, it’s a program designed to get people up and moving, by combining exercise with exploration of the Metroparks.  This particular race was at Edison Woods Metropark, which is one that I had never run.  I tend to stick with my usual stomping grounds at Osborn, because I’m boring.  Edison Woods is by far the largest metropark with numerous walking, hiking, bridal, and running trails.  Hubs had warned me the trail he had attempted to run before was covered in horse poop.  So my goal was mainly to get a good training run in while avoiding manure.

Apparently photographers never like to capture me running.  But this is proof that I was there.  Riding in a wagon.  Erie County corn style son.

Apparently photographers never like to capture me running. But this is proof that I was there. Riding in a wagon. Erie County corn style son.  I have the visor on.

The race started promptly at 2:30 in the afternoon and even though the temperature was not nearly as hot as earlier in the week, it still felt warm.  I had zero clue what the course was going to be, since it was a trail run and I have not done a trail race in probably 2 years.  The field for the race was pretty small, maybe 75 runners total, which was fine by me.  We lined up facing towards the prairie fields and shortly after, we were off!  The first 3/4 mile wound through the prairie, which consisted of medium length grass surface and slightly rolling terrain.  It was also felt baking hot under the sun.  At this point, I was probably 4th female? and was following a girl (believe me I never body snark on anyone but this just bothered me) whose rear end was eating her short shorts.  I had to pass her because it was really grossing me out.  

We veered onto a dirt wooded trail for the next 3/4 mile.  It was a huge descent and I could feel my quads trying to help control my speed.  All I could think was, this is REALLY going to suck if we have to run back up this.  Spoiler alert: we did.  The trail ended at a road, where we turned left and ran about a 1/4 mile on the road.  Another left turn back onto the dirt trail for the joyous uphill climb.  I could tell my pace was slowing down.  Big time.  I was 3rd female at this point.  I could see the girl in 2nd ahead, and when we approached the super super steep incline she started walking.  So I attempted to slowly jog up this stupid hill because, hey, why not?  I kept telling myself, “Self, this is easier than childbirth.  Your lungs are not going to explode even though they feel like you are climbing Mount Everest”.  I wound up doing the slowest pass of a fellow runner ever with this technique.  We both told each other great job and expressed how terrible the hill was.  You shouldn’t be able to have a conversation during a pass.

At the top of the hill, I saw the finish line (finally) and had zero energy to even attempt more than a slow jog.  Go me.

Finish Time: 22:57
2nd Place Female, 1st in 20-29 Age Group

For being 7 weeks post-partum, I’ll take it!  And my body is definitely going to take a rest day today.  But I for sure will be going back to Edison Woods again for some hill training!

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Race Recap: Milan Melon Festival 5K

Surprise!! I ran a race…finally.  I decided there was really no better way to commemorate the fact that I was now 6 weeks post-partum and able to run, than by registering for a 5K to determine just how grossly out of shape I had become.

The week prior, I also decided to take my legs for 2 jogs just to make sure I could coordinate my body to run.  Believe me, those two outings allowed me to come to the conclusion: it felt so weird.  My body felt like it had forgotten how to put one leg in front of the other, my jelly belly was bouncing around, and I cursed the fact that I probably need to use 2 sports bras combined to contain the girls.  No more wearing C9 Sports bras that’s for sure!

Mike and SBJ both came to watch Mommy attempt to run 3.1 miles.  And my attempt went much better than I could have expected.
This is the second time I have run the Melon Festival 5k, so I was relatively familiar with the course and had pre-determined it’s flat nature was perfect for a girl that still is running about with joint laxity effecting the netherregions.  We got to the race at 8:30 for the 9:00 start.  My warm-up consisted of jogging to pick up my race packet and no more.  I totally rock at preparing myself.

I lined up for the start, throwing myself in the middle of the crowd as I literally had no expectations and simply wanted to finish.  The gun went off and off I went!  I tried to keep my pace in a “comfortable zone” and didn’t want to feel like I was racing.  My heart rate definitely started to creep up there, especially as we hit the first mile around Mile 1.

Mile 1 clocked in at 7:48.

The second mile is typically where I lose it.  Both when I’m in shape and not in shape.  The latter being the case here.  I tried to simply keep things moving.

Mile 2 clocked in at 7:48.

The third mile I began to feel it.  Feel the fact that it was super humid out.  Feel the fact that I have not really run hard this distance in like 4 months  Feel the fact that I have not run these paces since last November.  Gosh dang.

Mile 3 clocked in at 7:43.

Last 0.1 I “kind of” pushed it, but not really.  When I saw the clock and realized I could finish under 24 minutes, that became my goal.  And I did.

Final Finish Time–23:56

Since I was nowhere to be found in any race pictures, here is the blurry picture Mike took as I came into the finish! Huzzah!

Since I was nowhere to be found in any race pictures, here is the blurry picture Mike took as I came into the finish! Huzzah!

I could not be happier with how my first race back went.  Maybe lugging around a giant baby in my stomach did help me maintain some fitness.  Also, somehow I maintained pace throughout an entire race.  I couldn’t even do that pre-baby if I tried.  We left quickly after the race because SBJ was indicating he’d be awakening soon and would probably want to attach himself to me in the near future.  What we missed out on was that I (icing on the cake) had managed to place 2nd in my Age Group!  Not too bad for my post-baby debut.  Definitely could be a fluke, but I’m looking forward to seeing how my running progresses over the next few weeks.  It will be a while before my mileage gets back up there, because I definitely was sore the next day after this race!

Speaking of SBJ, here’s how my little buddy has been lately.  I know parents always say this, but he is getting so big and changes every week!  Also, I have become one of those proud parents that likes to share as many pictures as possible.  Sorry not sorry.

SBJ at 5 weeks old.  Already rocking his soccer ball.

SBJ at 5 weeks old. Already rocking his soccer ball.

SBJ at 6 Weeks Old.  Getting so big already!

SBJ at 6 Weeks Old. Getting so big already!

Happy Running!!