I didn’t listen to you guys. . .

You guys told me I was going to be faster, that my fitness would come back, and I’d be even stronger than I was before I got pregnant. I didn’t believe you, nor did I listen. Everyone said there’s this thing called “mom power” and I just shook it off because, yea right I’m going to be sleep deprived and will I ever run again? Serious question. I just didn’t know. Being pregnant was really hard on me. I didn’t handle it well, and I know I’ve said that before, but I want to continue to say it in case someone’s reading this and they are not all roses while pregnant. I didn’t bond with Emerson until she arrived. I don’t know why, I just couldn’t. I couldn’t imagine my life any other way than with Jon and my two pups. Now, I wake up and I can’t wait to see what she is going to do that day. Having her has totally wrecked my world in the best way.
With that said, you can imagine my shock when I crossed the finish line of last week’s off-road XC 5k in second place and with a 30 second improvement on my lifetime best. My previous 5k cross country PR was 19:34 and I ran a 19:01 in Los Angeles at Griffith Park. I won’t say I executed the race perfectly, but I gave it my best, and I walked away happy. I still opened up with the first mile in 5:54….ha when will I learn? But when I started to fade at mile 2.5 and a girl passed me, I matched her pace and held her off. I’m proud of my effort, but more importantly, just so amazed at how my fitness has returned, even stronger than before. I hope I make Emerson proud. Being a mom to her is one of my greatest joys in this life. Looking forward to racing a few more 5ks this training cycle. Onward!



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Oops, it’s been since March

I honestly don’t know what happened. Oh yea, I got pregnant. Let’s try that again. I got pregnant! (can you tell it was a bit of a shock and a little bit hard to swallow at first? More on that later…We’re having a BABY! It still blows my mind that I will be in charge of a tiny human soon.) But, that’s not really an excuse for my absence during April and May. April and May were actually pretty decent months running wise. How do you catch back up when you haven’t blogged in nearly a year? My husband keeps telling me he’s waiting to see a post in his inbox, so I promised him I’d catch up the blogging world. These past 9 months have been a whirlwind. I really love reading blogs, so it puzzles me why I’ve had such a hard time writing. I think about this space often, but I suppose I felt like I lost my identity as a runner when I got pregnant. I know that feeling isn’t logical, because pregnancy isn’t a disease, and I won’t be pregnant forever (despite feeling that way at 37 weeks currently). Nonetheless, I really became dormant fairly quickly. It might be because with pregnancy, your running truly can change overnight. I had no idea of this. One day I ran 7 miles, and the next I decided that would be the last run. Of course, I was wrong. Some running days truly feel like a fairytale, while others are miserable, just picking up my feet, trying not to feel like my uterus is falling out of my body. #dramatic

While it may seem a bit narcissistic (aren’t all blogs a little, though?), I’m going to attempt to recap the months of April + May in this post, and then I’ll follow up with the first trimester. YAY, ALL ABOUT ME! I promise (SCOUTS HONOR) I will not leave you high and dry, and I’ll also follow up with second and third trimester posts. I know if anything, I’ll appreciate reading them down the road. Honestly, it’s probably best I waited this long to recap, because like I said, I was quite literally ALL.OVER.THE.PLACE in my brain (actually, I still am) during this pregnancy, so looking at everything from a birds-eye-view rather than in the moment will make me seem less like a hormonal psycho. #forrealz pregnancy is no joke. I’ve cried and laughed in the same sentence way too many times the last 8 months. Here we go.

April

I had just PR’d in the 5k after months of rehab and cross training from my IT band issue. I don’t know how. I still don’t know how I did that on such low mileage, except that cross training really does work. You guys, I can swim now! Here’s what my training looked like during April.

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Jeni was training for her first triathlon, so we swam a ton together.

4/13/2015 Mon 6 min easy, 6-10 minutes @ threshold (about 6:45 pace), 6 minutes easy. No joke. That’s it. I would supplement with swimming in the AM.
4/14/2015 Tue 8-10×1:30 @ 5k with 1:00 min walk recovery
4/15/2015 Wed cross train (either swimming or biking)
4/16/2015 Thu same as monday (6 min easy, 6-10 min moderate, 6 min easy)
4/17/2015 Fri 8-10x:30 sec @ 800m with 1:00 min walk recovery
4/18/2015 Sat cross train or complete day off
4/19/2015 Sun 30 min very easy on trails

During April, despite my low mileage, I started to string together some great workouts, and my confidence was coming back. Knowing I was in good shape after running a 18:35 5k at the end of March, I was ready to tackle some more races, and see if I could snag some more PRs. I mean, If I can do well on 20 miles a week and stay injury free, heck I am one happy girl! I emailed the coach at University of Memphis to see if I could jump into the 3k at their upcoming invitational.IMG_5297

May

The word for May was consistency. I told myself to just stay consistent and keep rehabbing the IT band to make sure that nasty injury doesn’t come back. It worked. I raced in the 3k at U of M like I had hoped, and even though it was my first 3k ever (automatic PR 😉 ), if it had been a full 2 miles, I would have PRd by 20 seconds! Despite not feeling great during the race (had no idea I was pregnant at the time, but that explains why I needed to puke up my lunch the entire 7.5 laps, woof), I ran the 3k in 10:37, and snagged 7th place in a division 1 college meet! It was a really great day, and it was so fun to have some great friends there cheering for me.

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How ironic. Celebrating after my 3k while carrying a friend’s baby. Had no idea I was 5 weeks pregnant.

The next, and final “race” I would run in 2015 would be the Knoxville, TN Expo 10k over Memorial Day weekend. Every year, we go to East TN during this weekend to visit friends, and I look forward to this race. Even though I felt terrible during the 3k a few weeks prior, I knew I was fit, and I was looking to go under 40 minutes this year. I did this same race in 2014, and knew it would be HARD. Hills in East TN are no joke. I was ready to have a great day and work the hills, though. Well, what happened? I felt terrible again! I went out with the lead pack of females at around 6:15 pace, and totally bonked. I was really disappointed. Why did I feel so terrible? Was I dehydrated? Did the hills get the best of me? It was after this race + sleeping literally all weekend + drinking all the water I could get my hands on that I realized maybe something was up. I took a pregnancy test on Memorial Day when we got home. Everything changed so fast.

Stay tuned! I’ve already got a reminder on my calendar to publish the first trimester post. No getting around it.

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Knoxville 10k.

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Post race meal. Hadn’t eaten meat in years! All of a sudden craving #allthebacon

My first win with prize $ and why tying for first place is fun.

A friend told me about a “Twilight” 5k race literally 2 blocks from my apartment. “Seriously?! I’m in.” I had already raced two 10ks over the last 3 weeks, with one being a 4 minute PR, so I wasn’t expecting to knock this out of the park or anything.

Furthermore, my good pal and training partner, Beth, whom you’ve all heard about, said, “Let’s run this one together–we can tempo it and it will be a good gauge of our fitness.” I said, “Sure! Sounds good.” I didn’t think twice about it, and the day of the race, jogged over from my apartment to register. I wasn’t nervous, because, “We were just going to tempo it, right??!” Beth and I even were super cheesy and matched for the race 😉 IMG_5725.JPG

We lined up for the race actually in a parking garage. Of course, if you’re a gps wearer you immediately know what this means. The “Oh shoot. Garmin’s bout to lose satellites!” moment. And yep, it did. We said we would start the race off at a comfortable 6:45 pace, and just try to work down from there, shaving hopefully 5-10 seconds off per mile. Honestly, at the time, that’s where I felt my fitness was and what a good tempo effort would be. I didn’t even do the math or calculate in my head what the final time for a 5k at that pace would be, but going into this race, my current 5k PR was 19:23 on a course about 15 seconds short. You can imagine my shock when we rounded the corner for the finish line and saw this . . .

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I don’t know what it was about that night, but the miles clicked by. Beth and I settled into the first/second place positions overall for both male and female (it was a small race, but I’m not complaining! 😉 ), and because my watch lost satellite, I honestly had no idea our pace. I saw Beth look down at her watch a few times, but in her sneaky manner, she never said anything. The course was a little hilly, too, but you know those races when everything comes together and even the hills don’t seem to phase you? That was that night for me. When we ran under the bridge you see below, and were about 100 meters from the finish line, I grabbed Beth’s hand so we could finish together hand-in-hand. That was the deal. Besides, it was my last race in Jackson, before making the big move to Memphis. It was sentimental for us.

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We worked together that last sprint to the finish. It reminded me of all those early mornings running a lot of miles together. That night was a good night in our neighborhood. Her hubz and kiddos were at mile two right at the corner of her house cheering “Go Mommy and Katie!”, and my fiance was at the finish-line with our running friend Tiffany (in the blue shirt below) yelling loud, too. Guess what else? We didn’t even realize we won $75 until the end! That was just the icing. A fun summer night with fun people, indeed.

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