Reasons to get out of bed…

Posts tagged ‘sports’

Finally Back! (To Excercise, Blogging, and Feeling Human)

If you read my last post with puzzles, you’ll already know my news! Let me start off by giving you the answers to the puzzles and then I’ll talk about why the news basically put me on the injured list that I’ve been whining about for a while.

  1. Expecting (X-Peck-Ting, although I think I totally messed this one up, I forgot to add the T and the “peck” was way too small and hard to see – my fault if you couldn’t get it, sorry! Clearly, I will never be a professional puzzler)
  2. Knocked up
  3. Riding the baby train
  4. For the fans of Grease: it’s a “(A defective keyboard:) missing a period” (based on a line from Rizzo)
  5. A bun in the oven

So if you haven’t gotten it yet: I’m pregnant! Woo! I’m very excited about this because I was told years ago (by a pretty lousy doctor, obviously) that I’m infertile… but I’ll talk about all of that in another post. We were “trying” though, so this isn’t a super scary surprise. Right now, I’m going to talk about why that led to no running (and almost no posting).

If you’re a runner, you’ve probably seen all sorts of pregnant ladies running. Here’s a picture from one of my favorite blogs:  Steve in a Speedo?! Gross!

Check out more pictures like this and Steve's awesome blog by clicking on the picture.

Check out more pictures like this and Steve’s awesome blog by clicking on the picture. (This is a picture of his wife and her running buddy)

However, running is actually what made me decide to take a pregnancy test. (I’ve always been crazy irregular so “being late” is a common occurrence for me… to the point that I don’t know what “on time” really means!) Why would running convince me to take a test? Well, I’ll tell you.

On a Thursday back in September, I was on the treadmill in my office building for a nice lunch-break run (which at the time was really common for me). I was doing a decent pace (not easy, not hard) and by the one mile mark I was in some serious pain. Despite only having an energy packed snack (it was probably a banana), I thought I was going to ralph all over the treadmill (I’ve never before felt as though my small intestine was agreeing with my stomach that upchucking would be a wise idea). By 1.8 miles, I had to slow to a walk because I was in enough pain/worried about being sick on a treadmill. 1.8 miles was a little disheartening when I would normally run a 5k on my lunch break. I walked for another mile and went back to work, and felt fine the rest of the day.

That Saturday was the Diva Dash! I felt mostly great for the obstacle-packed run (which was a ton of fun) but during the longest stretch of uninterrupted running, I had that awkward sick feeling again. I went home and took a pregnancy test but totally did it wrong so it didn’t give a response per se, and I just assumed it was negative because I thought I was infertile.

A week later, I decided to take another test, this time with my wonderful boyfriend there. We held hands and read the results together: two lines (positive)! It was odd when I mentioned to my doctor that she was the first person I told. I think everyone thought my wonderful boyfriend (of over 10 years, in case you’re new to the blog) should have been the first person… but I didn’t have to tell him.

Right, so why haven’t I run (or really blogged) since then? Because my first trimester was brutal! I was really sick (there was a period when I threw up about 4 times a week) and was constantly nauseated. I also had a ton of food aversions (no real cravings yet): simply the thought of bread or dairy made me want to yak. One day, I had to drive home on the highway next to a Hood Milk truck (with pictures on the side). I literally used my hand to block the truck from my vision and audibly repeated anything I could think of that felt like the opposite of milk to keep me from throwing up on the highway. Most of the chant was “pickles, vinegar, pickles, pickles, pickles, vinegar (::gag::).” Fun fun! I’m already a vegetarian… so my diet was crazy limited. If I could have lived off of salad with Italian dressing, pickles, oranges, and tomatoes, I would have! Thank goodness for my wonderful boyfriend adding in some real nutrition. I lost a total of 8 pounds during the first trimester (approx 6% of my total weight – don’t worry, I promise I have gained all of it back, plus some).

I was also inconceivably tired. If you’re a regular reader, you know that I had a full-time job, got my Master’s degree, and was a regular runner at the same time! I managed all of that without being a total zombie. But this challenge? Nope! There was a solid two weeks (and picture a bell curve, that was the apex, but the surrounding time wasn’t awesome) where I would come home from work and be too tired to get off the couch. Literally, getting an apple from the kitchen took too much effort. I don’t know how military wives with deployed husbands/single women/mistresses do it! If it weren’t for my super wonderful boyfriend, I wouldn’t have eaten at all during that time!

So clearly, running was out of the picture!

But I’m back! I went to the gym at lunch on Friday and hit up the Arc Trainer! It was only 20 minutes and only on level 2… but I’ll take it! At least I made it there! My doctor told me that because I took the break from running, I shouldn’t run for more than 5-10 minutes without a walking break… and I’m pretty sure my body would whole-heartedly agree with her. I’m going to try the treadmill this week. I hope it goes well.  (And I hope the baby bump doesn’t jiggle too much… that will be weird!)

Oh, and happy new year!


Diva Dash Recap

Let me start by saying that I LOVED this race! I’m pretty sure this is the first race where I thought to myself “Man, I can’t wait to run this again next year” WHILE still running it! It was a ton of fun and if it comes to a city near you, I recommend checking it out.

My team and I put our best foot forward for this event… and we did it in pink, zebra striped socks!

First, it was a 5k with 11 obstacles. The obstacles consisted of climbing over mountains made out of hay, dirt, and tires (separate mountains). Climbing over “jersey barriers.” Scooting through a maze that was also covered in a net around waist height (so you had to bend down to go through it). There were plenty of balance beams. We had to carry large logs for awhile. And my favorite: the thing where you have to run with your feet through tires (so you get some nice high knees) while also being hit by inflatable pink balls!

My favorite obstacle. Looking for my teammate.

On top of the fun obstacles, the course itself was pretty challenging. Some of it was on a paved road, some of it was over gravel, but most of the running was a gorgeous trail run through the woods. Obviously, this part is specific to the Massachusetts one. I like to consider myself a trail runner (although let’s be real, half of my trail is paved), however, my trail is along the Charles River and is mostly flat, flat, flat. The trail for this 5k was LEGIT! It was winding, thin, and constantly going either uphill or downhill (steeply). And we actually had to hop over fallen trees! Luckily, everyone started in preassigned waves that were separated by 15 minutes, so I never felt like the course was crowded. Absolutely top-notch orchestration, I have to admit.

Besides the actual run, there were a lot of things that I liked about this race. It was my first ever “Women-only” event. If all “women-only” events are this nice, I will totally be doing more of them. Everyone was so cordial! Plus, so many people really thought about what they were wearing. I loved it! I wish I had gotten pictures of my favorites, but let me at least describe them.

  • For about half of the run, I followed some women from a Boston Book Club, the back of their shirts read “I like BIG books and I cannot lie” (oh how I love it!)
  • There were about 20 women in aprons as “Domestic Divas”
  • There were some shirts that read: “My mascara runs faster than you!”
  • “If you run faster, you’ll get wine sooner! “
  • “Oxygen PLEASE!”
  • And one of my favorites: some women from a labor and delivery unit at some hospital (it said on the front of their shirts but I can’t remember now) had on the back of their shirts “We deliver!”

My team all dressed up. Who doesn’t love Animal from the Muppets?! Also, this is what happens when a bunch of theater nerds creating a running team…

Everyone was so friendly and encouraging the whole time, I had no idea women could all be so supportive of each other. Early on in the race, I knew I wouldn’t be the fastest, but I could try for the nicest! So anytime I was passed by someone or actually passed someone, I threw out a compliment. It was so easy! Everyone had on something cute (even if it was just a pair of socks that said “Bad Ass (with an arrow pointing up).” It was great chatting everyone up. Of course it was easier to talk to everyone because this was my first race without music. Whoa! But one of the women on my team ran my pace, so we had each other to talk to the whole time. That’s a first for me and it was awesome!

That was actually another of my favorites for this race. I ran as part of team of 10! We were a variety of speeds and we all mostly ran our own race… but with a buddy who was similar to us. I loved it!

They also have the best swag bag I’ve gotten so far:

Our swag included a t-shirt, a drawstring bag, a canvas bag, a magazine, and a Luna bar.

Plus, 90% of the vendors at the vendor fair were giving out free goodies. For example:

  • Socks from Asics
  • Frozen greek yogurt pops from Yasso
  • 5 hour energy shots
  • More Luna bars
  • Sahale Snacks – I took the cranberry, sesame seed, and honey covered almonds – AMAZING! I totally recommend them!
  • Beer from Coors light
  • Coconut water from Zico (I’ve tried coconut water a ton of times and I must be missing something, I never see the appeal)
  • And samples of about half a dozen energy or recovery drinks – most of which tasted pretty chemical filled.

There were just a few things that I think Shape could work on for next year:

  • They could use some bottles of water at the finish line. Instead we were given 3 oz dixie cups that we could fill up ourselves… dehydration was plentiful
  • On the course we were handed the same cups and we could also fill them up ourselves, on Facebook a lot of runners complained that they should have been filled up for us and I can see their point. I was running slowly so it didn’t bother me, but if I was going for speed I would have been pretty upset.
  • Something to nibble on at the finish line would have been good (none of us knew about the Luna bar in our bags). Once we realized everyone was giving out samples, it wasn’t so bad. But those first 30 minutes waiting for all of our friends to finish was a little tough without food.
  • They had a bag check at the race and I’m glad I didn’t use it (I left everything in my car), it was a total disaster!

All in all though, I would totally do this race again! It was a blast!

Because I didn’t know what the run/obstacles would be like. I didn’t go in with many expectations. I was hoping to finish in 45 minutes. I thought there would be more upper body stuff (there was really only 1). Next year, I know to be smarter on the obstacles. When going over the Jersey Barriers (you know, those large sometimes concrete road blocks, these were plastic though), I lead with my right leg on all of them and my right glute hurt like whoa the whole time. Next year, I need to switch up the leg choice every other time.

The course’s jersey barriers

Final stats:

Time: 44:53:97
Place: 3184 (out of 5489 total – thus 58%)
Division Place: 1379 (out of 2286 – thus 60%)
Pace: 14:58
On my team, I was the second fastest runner (well… tied for second when you count my racing buddy, one other women on our team beat us by about 15 minutes). I’m pretty psyched about that too!

Saturday Morning Motivation – New Motivations

I thought this might be appropriate after my whining yesterday about needing new motivations. I hope you can find it helpful as well! (despite the error in apostrophe usage towards the bottom left)

Ok, I think it’s time for me to get out there! How about you?

The Diva Dash

As I had mentioned last week, while completing my master’s thesis and not blogging, I signed up for 2 more races. I’ve already talked about my overwhelming excitement for The Color Run. Today, I’ll talk about the other run I signed up for: Shape Magazine‘s Diva Dash in September! This is actually an obstacle course… which I’m completely scared of.

Now let me explain, I’m not really afraid of the obstacles… I’m afraid of looking like a fool. I’m not a good little runner who also cross trains… If it’s not a muscle used for running, it has NO strength!

Side note, I never thought I would run an obstacle course. So how did I end up signed up for one?

Peer pressure!

Source: for sale on 🙂

My thesis project was a play with 9 women (and 5 men) in the cast. A few of the people in my cast were also in a fundraiser for a local group that happened to be a staged murder mystery. One of the women in both plays invited the women from the two plays to participate in this event with her. And a bunch of people got excited and joined. There was a lot of hype! I didn’t want to be left out! Plus, I figure if I’m ever going to do an obstacle course, an all women one sounds ideal… and having 10 other friends with me should make it easier more fun. Granted, I don’t know all of the women yet… but I know most of them. The ones I don’t know seem funny so I think it’s going to be a blast.

The obstacles don’t look terrible either, from what I’ve seen in YouTube videos, there are some balance beams, some climbing nets, climbing over walls, and army crawls. There should only be 6 (they occur every 1/2 mile). I think I can survive. There is only one obstacle so far that makes me nervous. There is a photo of an obstacle from another city where the women had to walk through water (looks like a lake) up to the mid-thigh, around some stuff. “Why is this so terrible” you ask? Because I’m not looking forward to soggy shoes. I wouldn’t mind crawling through some mud, but wading through water in my beloved running shoes, uh-uh, doesn’t sound like a good time! After that obstacle, I know I’m going to be running with the following sound effects: squish (“yuck!”) squish (“gross”) squish (“ew” “Jen, suck it up and get over it!!!”). I may need to purchase some fast-draining, running shoes. Suggestions?

For all my silly complaining, I KNOW this is one run that I will be very proud of myself once it’s over. And I’m SURE I can handle the obstacles! (I just might make some funny faces while completing them… and I might need to lift some weights this summer)

And to make it better, the group will be occasionally training together to become better runners and to strengthen other muscles. (Shape even has a training suggestion we could follow.) Added fun! I never get to run with other people, so I’m really looking forward to this. But on that note… what’s the etiquette? I know we have a variety of skill levels (ranging from someone who just ran her second half marathon to someone who hasn’t run in 15 years – since her freshman year of high school – but is starting the Couch to 5k). What’s polite? Do we all run together at the slowest person’s speed? Do we just run by ourselves? Do we naturally break into similar skill levels?

For our first training session, there will only be 5 (maybe 6) of us so the small group thing probably won’t work super well. Please, please, please send your suggestions! I don’t know what’s polite and I don’t want to come off as a jerk just because I always run alone.

Who Do You Think You Are?

This past weekend was an interesting one for me. During two separate moments I was lead to consider my long-standing views of who I am as a person. For one of the moments, I found myself questioning my identity; at the other moment, my views (of a different aspect of my morals/value/identity) were completely reaffirmed; but I’ll tell you about that tomorrow.

Today is about the question.

I have pretty much always considered myself a nerd; an awkward, non-physical nerd.

When I was in the second grade (and actually this occurred up through the 5th grade), I was on a community basketball team.  I was explicitly told that I couldn’t be a guard on the team because they dribble up and down most of the court, and when I dribble, I look like a fairy.  The coach was legitimately telling the truth: when I would dribble, the hand not touching the ball would mimic the hand with the ball, so I had this two armed flutter going on… oh… and I pranced.

When I bowl (very occasionally), I do this weird little skip and a hop, completely unconsciously, before releasing the ball. It looks a little like I’m dancing.

I won’t join my company softball team because I can’t catch… except with my face.

I always joke that my athletic skills are best explained by me being a drama geek. To me, in high school, drama club is pretty much the farthest away from the sports teams as you can get.

Need more examples of my lack of athletic abilities? Read this.

So that is always how I have viewed myself. On Saturday, my boyfriend (in all seriousness) called me a jock. In the moment he said that, I was prepping a coin jar to put on Dr. Daddy’s reception desk to help raise funds for my 9k run. I was talking about how I didn’t know if I would fit in any running this week. And I was wearing my Wes Welker (Patriot’s) football jersey. I was about to get ready to go to the game, where it would be below freezing temperatures (not a game for a “fair weather fan”). He had a bit of a point. And as a former jock himself, he meant it in a nice way.

It made me think.

Also… I may have made a football reference in a drama class last night… (and was understandably met with complete confusion).

Can I be the antithesis of athletic and a jock at the same time?

Saturday Motivational Poster – Football-ish

Oops! I’m late today!

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