Race week prep

IMG_20170721_125016_369

I’m in denial that we are leaving this little chickadee for our California excursion. ๐Ÿ˜ญ But she’s going to have way more fun with her grandparents than she would sitting around at wine tastings all day. ๐ŸทToday is an off day for me, so we rolled and had an easy walk with Maggie. ๐Ÿถ I still have a little cold and a tiny bit of calf/shin/ankle discomfort, but I feel like I’ll be good to go for race day! ๐Ÿ™Œ Anyone else running the San Francisco marathon this weekend?!?! ๐ŸŒ‰ #marathontraining #taperweek #motherrunner #bestlittletrainingbuddy #21monthsold #sanfranciscomarathon #allthewine #orwhineafterirunthosehills #womenrunning #womensrunningcommunity

It really is true that the more races you run, the easier it gets. Since so much is mental with running, it helps to have experienced different scenarios and to know that in the end, it all works out. What if it rains? I’ve ran an entire marathon in the pouring rain and it was ok (maybe put on extra body glide next time?). What if I forget something? The expo is full of items that you can purchase, and if you can’t find what you need, there are typically stores all around. What if my stomach is upset? Been there and lived through it. Now I carry pepto bismal to races as prevention, and it works like a charm.
There are always unknowns with a race, but the more you can control, the better. During race week, I typically start to visualize myself running the race (although this process can’t start too early). I plan out what I am going to wear, order any fuel that I need (I just placed an order for HoneyStinger last week and it will get delivered just in time), order anything else like RockTape, etc. and review the course map and elevation profile. Check the weather, and prepare to bring throwaway clothes for road racing (not acceptable at trail races, haha).ย  Get a massage. Most of this stuff is not critical, but it makes race day much easier. If traveling, figure out where to go on race day before race day.
We spend the night with my parents tonight, andย leave for California tomorrow morning!ย  I’m going to miss that little baby!
IMG_20170721_081301
Do you have a race prep ritual?

Ab separation and rockin the crop top

IMG_20170720_125427_578

Ok, so I know that you aren’t supposed to try anything new for race day, but I just got my new @runinrabbit crop hop in the mail. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿฐ I did a short test run this morning, and I think it’s comfortable enough to risk for my marathon on Sunday. (I mean, I’ve chafed for longer than that. ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ’ฏ)๐Ÿคž Now to decide between coral and white. ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿ˜ . . . And more for all of the mommas out there. Cadence sat really high in my belly when I was pregnant, and I still have a lot of ab separation from my pregnancy.๐Ÿ‘ถ I had to have surgery last May because my intestines (still) pop out just a little above my belly button (like a hernia). ๐Ÿ™ˆAnd then there’s always the skin that doesn’t have quite the same elasticity that it used to…๐Ÿ˜Š All that to say, our bodies are incredible and continue to support us as we grow human beings, breastfeed, and then go out and run our hearts out. โค๏ธ๐ŸŽ‰ Since you can’t necessarily see my intestines popping out very well in this picture, I just wanted to keep it real. ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜˜ . . . #motherrunner #marathontraining #taperweek #radrabbit #loveourgoldengirl #milestonepod #gobeyondpace #saucony #runyourworld #runningthroughpregnancy #postpartumrunning #extendedbreastfeeding #womenrunning #womensrunningcommunity #hshive

I think I’m set on wearing the crop top for my Sunday race, I just need to pick out a color! ๐Ÿ™‚ I wrote in my IG caption about my ab separation and pseudo hernia, so I thought I’d elaborate here in case any mommas are in the same boat.

I have a series of blog posts where I discovered the “hernia” andย got a diagnosis, had surgery, and then learned that I just had ab separation and weak fascia, but no actual hole in my fascia for a hernia. I elected to have surgery last May after noticing a nickel sized little bulge about midway up from my belly button. I was afraid that it would just get worse with my activity level, and the surgeon agreed that it was better to fix it while it was small instead of waiting until it got worse and required a larger repair.

After the surgery, I noticed that I still had the little bump, and returned to the surgeon. That’s when they told me that my fascia had just been weak, but there was no hernia to repair (yay! surgery for nothing!). My intestines press against the weaker fascia where I have ab separation (or diastasis recti) and create a little bump. I can push it back in, but inevitably, any effort causes it to poke out again. Doctors have told me that it will only get worse with a second baby, and that a tummy tuck is the only thing that would fix it. It’s a good thing babies are so cute!

Do you have ab separation from your pregnanc(ies)? Any other faux hernias out there? Haha

Race prep: visualization

IMG_20170719_135118_466

But seriously?! ๐Ÿ˜Š It doesn’t get any better than this! ๐Ÿ‘ถ I bet everyone would run of they had a tiny little personal cheerleader with them too. โค๏ธโค๏ธโค๏ธ I dread having to pull the shade over her sweet little head when we run in the sun. โ˜€๏ธ But I think I found a good alternative. ๐Ÿ˜ We got in just under 6 miles this morning as part of the taper. I think I’ll take one more complete day off to make sure that my legs are fully recovered. ๐Ÿ™Œ #taperweek #strollerrunning #thuleurbanglide #bestlittletrainingbuddy #21monthsold #motherrunner #womensrunningcommunity #womenrunning #marathontraining

Unfortunately, I won’t have my beautiful baby in my vision for the upcoming San Francisco marathon, but I can help prepare for a good run through visualization (and maybe pretend that she is with me?!). Visualization is actually something that I’ve been doing for a couple of races now after seeing one of my friends utilize visualization for a really competitive job interview that she nailed.

I really like the approach that Tina Muir suggests for visualization here (scroll down a little or sign up for the download), and she really takes it to another level with detail and focus on specific aspects.ย  A few examples are visualize: waking up with a smile on your face, going to the bathroom the morning of (in my case, not too much, haha), arriving at the start, a few key places in the race, and what Tina says is most important, visualizing the finish.ย  While I’ve pictured myself running a race, I have never visualized quite to this detail. I’m not as familiar with the course, but there are certainly ways that I can visualize better. With so much of running being a mental field, I truly think that this is a powerful tool! I have a couple of days to really get those details nailed down! ๐Ÿ™‚

IMG_20170719_081020

Do you practice visualization for races (or anything else)? Has it helped?

 

Running with a cold, race week

IMG_20170718_125124_903

My heart grows every day with this little baby. โค๏ธ How is that even possible?! It blows my mind to think that our Heavenly Father loves us this much, and he brought Heaven to earth when he made me a mom. ๐Ÿ‘ถ I’m staying conservative with my race coming up on Sunday, so I only rode 45 minutes on the bike today. ๐Ÿšดโ€โ™€๏ธ Maybe some strength work tonight? #bestlittletrainingbuddy #21monthsold #perfection #motherrunner #spinbike #homegym #crosstraining #taperweek #marathontraining #womenrunning #womensrunningcommunity

I think it’s pretty normal that taper week brings out the worst in us in just about every way. I actually really like taper week and the excitement of the race, but inevitably, I feel a niggle or catch something. In this case, I caught the cold that Cadence brought home from daycare. (Breastfeeding and antibodies here.)

Other than easing up on training in order to be fresh for the race, how much should you alter your training if you have a cold? Runner’s Connect has an article here that says to listen to your body, but in general it’s ok to run as long as the symptoms are all congestion related. Focus more on effort than pace, and err on the side of caution.ย  So I just rode the bike today and let my legs and stuffy head have one more day of a break. ๐Ÿ™‚

Do you run when you have a cold?

Prehab with a little baby ART

IMG_20170717_213416_976

I have the best chiropractor in the world. โค๏ธ She is not only a badass ultra runner and mom of two kids, but she lets me bring Cadence to my sessions and keeps her entertained. ๐Ÿ˜ I do daycare drop off and pick up, which means if I’m not sitting at a desk, I have a baby with me (fine by me!). ๐Ÿ‘ถ Today is a recovery day, and I took advantage of a little ART and adjustment to my ankle in preparation for my race on Sunday. ๐Ÿ™Œ I’d much rather invest in maintenance than injury recovery! ๐Ÿƒโ€โ™€๏ธ #recoveryday #marathontraining #taperweek #maintenance #chiropractor #bestlittletrainingbuddy #21monthsold #motherrunner #womenrunning #womensrunningcommunity

I spend a lot of time (and money) pre-habing, but this approach has kept me relatively injury free for a while now. It’s hard to know when a niggle will just go away on it’s own versus turning into something bigger and more tragic. I asked my PT last week if she thought I was needing to see her too much, and she assured me that I am one of her less frequent patients and that given my level of running, maintenance is expected. So… I don’t feel too guilty that I had a chiro appointment today to work on my shins, calves, and ankle.

My chiropractor primarily applied the active release technique (ART) to my leg(s) and helped loosen up my ankle. It’s got to be effective because it sure does hurt! It feels like a really deep massage to the tissues, but there is no way that I could achieve that kind of deep tissue movement by just rolling. I am so thankful to have a chiropractor who understands runners and who I trust to keep me healthy.ย  A good explanation of ART can be found at the bottom of this site. It’s crazy that these practitioners are skilled enough to know what’s going on under the surface just by feel!

IMG_20170717_184107

What’s your favorite method of pre-hab?

Hot to Trot and baby rucking

IMG_20170716_191548_795

Running in circles has never been so fun, @stacey__ferguson! ๐Ÿ™ŒToday was the Hot to Trot 8 hour event, and if Stacey wasn’t exhausted from running one mile loops all morning with me, I wore her out by talking her ear off the whole time. ๐Ÿ˜‚Nothing like passing 20+ trail miles with a friend! โค๏ธ I ran the first half with Stacey, and then hiked with Cadence for the next 5ish miles. ๐Ÿ‘ถ Didn’t quite make it to 8 hours once Cadence joined, but we had so much fun while we were out there! #guts #hottotrot #longrun #motherrunner #trailrunning #womenrunning #marathontraining #bestlittletrainingbuddy #21monthsold #kelty #babywearing #gobeyondpace #runyourworld

Today I ran the Hot to Trot 8 hour race, abbreviated to 5.5 hours for a baby. โค I started out running with a friend who I met over Instagram, and I enjoyed every lap so much getting to know her. I love our running community! My husband brought Cadence to me a little over 4 hours into the race, so I hiked another hour and a half with Cadence. I totaled about 20 running miles and about 6 miles hiking with Cadence.

Hiking with Cadence is one of my favorite things because she is a delightful passenger, but it’s also a great workout. Most people “ruck” with a weighted vest, but in this case, I have a weighted baby! ๐Ÿ™‚ Here is a neat article that I read last year talking about all of the benefits of rucking. My favorite benefit listed by Men’s Health was this:

It Builds Your Enduranceโ€”Safely
Rucking turns your lazy walk into a heart health boosting endurance endeavor.

โ€œThe cardio benefits of rucking are comparable to those gained from other long, slow distance exercises like jogging,โ€ says Jason Hartman, C.S.C.S. who trains Special Forces soldiers for the US Military.

But unlike joggingโ€”which has an injury rate anywhere from 20 to 79 percent, according to a study in the British Journal of Sports Medicineโ€”rucking actually makes you more injury resilient, says Hartman.

โ€œIt builds up your hip and postural stability, and that makes you more injury proof in all your other activities,โ€ he says.

Anyone else love to ruck (with or without a baby)? What about timed events?

 

 

Easy day, extended breastfeeding, and the power of “baby spit backwash” for health

IMG_20170715_205640_587

Got in 30 easy min on the bike this morning with my sidekick. ๐Ÿ‘ถ Cadence has a summer cold ๐Ÿคง and since I’m still nursing, I kind of hope to catch it so we can fight this thing together. ๐ŸผMotherhood definitely changes you! ๐Ÿ˜‚ We spent the rest of the afternoon visiting with my grandmother, and my heart is so full. โค๏ธ #shenursedalldaylong #allbydesign #beautifullyandwonderfullymade #breastfeeding #extendedbreastfeeding #21monthsold #bestlittletrainingbuddy #motherrunner #crosstraining #homegym #marathontraining #womenrunning #womensrunningcommunity

I have a race tomorrow, but I’m using it as a training run.ย  It will be my last long run before the San Francisco marathon NEXT Sunday! The race is called Hot to Trot, and it’s an 8 hour timed event with about a one mile loop as the course. I plan to only run a couple of hours, and then maybe hike a little with Cadence. The REAL reason that I am excited about the race is that I get to meet one of my Instagram friends for the first time at the race. I love the running community!!

Cadence is sick with a cold, and I’m hopeful that breastfeeding will help speed up her recovery. Here is an amazing article talking about what happens when babies breastfeed (check out the excerpt below). I know that I am in the minority still breastfeeding at 21 months, but it doesn’t get much better than this for care of sick babies!

“According to Katie Hinde, PhD, a biologist and associate professor at the Center for Evolution and Medicine at the School of Human Evolution & Social Change at Arizona State University (who also runs a blog called Mammals Suck … Milk!), when a baby nurses, it creates a vacuum in which the infant’s saliva sneaks into the mother’s nipple. There, it is believed that mammary gland receptors interpret the “baby spit backwash” for bacteria and viruses and, if they detect something amiss (i.e., the baby is sick or fighting off an infection), her body will actually change the milk‘s immunological composition, tailoring it to the baby’s particular pathogens by producing customized antibodies.”

Any other “extended breastfeeders” out there?