Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Spin Ride Announcement

I had a lot of fun teaching my spin ride this morning.  Since I'm 15 weeks, and definitely starting to ... grow... I felt it was time to announce my pregnancy to my spin class.  But I don't know, I just feel weird bursting out things like, "By the way, I'm pregnant!" so I wanted to have a little fun with it.

I decided to make a baby themed ride, by choosing songs that have the word baby in them.  Now, they definitely have nothing more to do with babies than the use of the word, but I thought that was better than trying to put together a ride of lullabies, Raffi and Laurie Berkner songs.  So I had songs like "Hit Me Baby One More Time," and "Baby Likes to Rock It," etc.

I do theme rides pretty often, so my riders are used to my quirks.  They come back, so they can't hate them too much!  I told them that this ride did have a theme, but this time they had to guess it.  So as the ride went on, I gave little reminders about listening for the theme.  One of the riders had it in like 3 songs.

At the end of the ride, I let them shout out what they thought the theme was and they said, "You're having a baby!"  It was a fun way to announce and took the weirdness (for me) out of just putting it out there.

I let them know that I didn't plan on being affected much as an instructor by the pregnancy.  Afterall, I went to a spin class when I was in labor with Gregory thinking it would move things along.  Spoiler: it didn't! However, I did mention that getting on the bike right after labor was definitely NOT going to happen.

Now I just have to figure out a fun way to tell my 8th graders...or should I let them just figure it out on their own?

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Training for Two (for Boston)

Last May, when I finally qualified for Boston, I knew actually running Boston might not be an option.  My son was turning 3 in July and our family was ready to start expanding.  I told myself that, really all I wanted to do was qualify.  And don't get me wrong, that's still an accomplish that will NOT get old.

However, as our family tried to expand, we were initially unsuccessful, I used the idea of running Boston as my consolation prize.  If ti was going to take a while for this to happen, at least I could still run Boston... Well, just as I was starting to think this way, I got back a positive result on a pregnancy test.  I couldn't believe it, so I took another the next day.  And hooray!  There it was we were finally pregnant.  In my head, I had myself at a June due date, but when I calculated it, my due date was May 9th.  I could hardly believe it! The idea of Boston was still in my head as signs ups were only 3 weeks away, but I wasn't sure what I would do. I was just too excited.

Then the sign up date for Boston came. I still hadn't been to my OB, as it was about a week too early.  I honestly didn't think too hard about it.  I've tried to qualify for 10 marathons.  I ran my whole pregnancy with Gregory.  And I know I would feel no shame in not finishing.  So, I did it, I signed up for Boston at which I will be 8+ months pregnant.  It certainly will be an adventure.

So how's running been going?  Pretty good.  Very slow.  Since getting pregnant, I've run 3 half marathons, one of them pushing Gregory.  By the way, that was super hilly and I kind of hated myself at parts of the run.
I also used this picture for our announcement.  It captioned "Family Half Marathon Tally: Carlee 12, Gregory: 7, Our Newest Running Partner, (Due May 2016): 3, Eric: 0"

 I've had some low mileage weeks where I've stuck more to strength training than running, but I've been consistent about working out about 5 days a week.  Running is starting to get more regular this week and if today goes as planned, I'll be at my first 30+ mileage week since getting pregnant.  I've been trying to keep one 10 miler or more a week and that seems to be working out.

So what's my plan for training for Boston.  Honestly,  I don't have one.  I certainly don't plan on putting in 65 mile weeks like I did last year.   I also don't plan on multiple 20 milers or speed sessions.  I want to finish Boston.  I want to get us there safely.  I don't care if I walk most of it.  Therefore, I'd like to get in some 15 milers or so leading up to the race.  Teaching keeps me on my feet almost all day and I think that actually helps with being able to stay on my feet for long enough to finish the race.  I still haven't decided if I'll come up with an actual run/walk strategy or if I just want to play it by ear.

It's certainly going to be an adventure and I look forward to sharing it with you!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The BQ!

Good Afternoon!  I can't believe it's been a year since I last posted, but the last think I wrote to you all was about the almost BQ I had at the Vermont City Marathon in 2014.  Well a few weeks ago I ran the 2015 Vermont City Marathon.  And instead of missing my BQ time of 3:35 by 28 seconds as a I did in 2014, I qualified with a 3:27.46!

It's been almost a month and I still can't believe it!

So what did a do differently?  Honestly, you're not going to want to hear it.  But it was the treadmill and loads of yasso's on the treadmill.  I also changed my diet, added Shakeology and strength training.  I also lost about 10 pounds.  Finally, I found an awesome running partner for my after school runs.

So first, the part you didn't want to hear...the treadmill and why.  Well, this winter was NASTY in New England.  Now, normally that wouldn't throw me.  One of my best training cycles was for the Hyannis Marathon which is held in February.  However, my runs revolve around my toddler now and I couldn't take him with me for my long runs as the sidewalks couldn't handle the stroller.  I also had to have them done before my husband went to the gym to coach and in the winter that would have meant dark runs on icey roads.  Again, not what I felt was right.  So I was left with the treadmill before my husband left for the gym.  This meant 4:14 a.m. wake ups on Saturdays to get in as many miles as possible before my son woke up.  I did 3 20+ milers on the treadmill this cycle.  I also did many 18, 16 and 14 milers on the beast.  The thing is...I hate the treadmill, so I ran them fast.  I averaged under an 8 minute pace for ALL of my long runs.  Yes, this goes against everything you read, but it sure worked for me.  What got me through this?  Netflix on my tablet.  First it was Orange is the New Black and then Breaking Bad (which I've already seen, but actually that made it easier to run hard).  Also, I used the closed caption feature because our treadmill is not of the quiet variety.

OK, so on to the eating and cross training.  I started drinking Shakeology and following the 21 Day fix program in November.  I loved my results, continued to run and became a Beachbody Coach.  I went on to do Insanity Max 30 and 21 Day Fix Extreme.  I've been following the diet and incorporating the workout and shakes daily ever since.

Finally, my running partner is another teacher at school.  She's a bit faster than I am (though she will say she's not) and one of us always wants to run after school.  She totally kept me from skipping runs and certainly helped me to get my pace up!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

How to Almost Qualify for Boston

This past Sunday was the Vermont City Marathon.  I am very pleased to start this report by saying I dropped 10 minutes off my personal best.  A time I had been stuck at for 3 straight marathons despite trying different training methods, different eating habits, etc.

I am a little less pleased to report that I missed qualifying for Boston by 28 seconds.  And no, I'm not upset, because honestly, I never thought I could be close this year, I barely even looked at my watch.

However, I guess what was missing from my training was the jogging stroller because that is all I changed.  My training this cycle was focused around my son.  My 22 month old running partner that loves running and racing almost as much as I do is most definitely the reason I was able to improve my time.

I never took much time off of running to have Gregory.  I ran right up until 2 days before he was born and returned to running the minute I was told I could (at 5 weeks and 6 days).  I slowly built up my mileage but never had a real goal race in mind.  Eventually each weekend I was running at least a 15 miler and sometimes up  to 20.  I decided that it was time to sign up for a marathon again.

Vermont City is my favorite marathon.  I went to school in Burlington and fell in love with running while I was there.  Most of the race takes place on my old stomping grounds.  We still have friends in the area and Burlington just rocks.  I knew Vermont City was where I wanted to make a marathon comeback.  However, I really didn't care about time.  Every long run was with Gregory (he made it up to 22 miles) and I only used my watch to calculate distance. He's the boss on our runs.  He says "dis way" and we go dat way.  He wants to stop at the "animal park" and usually we stop at the animal park. And don't worry, if he's not in the mood for a run, he either stays with my mom (or husband, but he's usually at work) or we don't go.  Some runs he'll do half and then I'll finish the other half without him.  Usually though, if we make sure to stop to watch or follow some trucks and make a pit stop to blow bubbles and play in the sand and he's thrilled to be outside running.  So what I'm getting at, is that though I put the miles in this cycle, I really didn't work on speed, intervals, tempo runs, or track work.  I ran to share it with my son and to keep us both outside through a crummy winter.  I didn't track my splits or worry about my pace.  And yet, I dropped 10 minutes and ran a 3:35.28 marathon.  When the BAA changed it's standards from 3:40 to 3:35, my heart sank.  I thought 3:3? would be out of my reach and yet...all it took was pushing a jogging stroller.

My overall training looked something like this: 12 weeks, 480.6 miles, 393.1 pushing Gregory

I think the biggest advantage was endurance.  Every marathon I've done in the past, the pace for my last 6 miles fell dramatically.  This time, I negative split it -- again, something I never thought I could do!

Next up?  Well now I have to see if I really can qualify for Boston, so I've got my eye on Hartford for the fall.  I don't know how having the pressure of being so close will effect me, but I do know that I'm in for a fun summer of long runs, park pit stops, and singing "Ba Ba Black sheep" down the bike path with my favorite running partner.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

A Long Overdue Update

Well,  it's been over 14 months since I last posted.  Since then Gregory was born, enriched our lives, became a person, turned a year, and continues to amaze us and fill every moment with joy.  (trying not to sound cliche here)  I'm not sure why I stopped posting (running is still happening and I have so much to share about Gregory).  I guess when he was born, every moment became sacred and special.  I just didn't want to commit to blogging (not that I was ever very committed).  However, now he's taking a nap, I've got diapers in the laundry, and don't really want to do any housework.  So I'll see how much I can update you with before naptime is over (or I decide I need to get some chores done).

Gregory Lee was born on July 14, 2012.  I had a fairly long labor (38 hours), but everything went very smoothly.  He was perfect from the get go and was born happy.  The nurses had to make him cry, because really he was content to be here the minute he arrived.  For the most part, he has stayed that happy!

He was 7lbs 10 oz and 19.5 inches

Fast forward to now... and he's 20lbs 2 oz and 28.5 inches!


He really is great!  We're still working on things like sleeping through the night and eating solid foods!  I think he might have wanted to continue nursing until he was 4, but we've gotten him down to 3 sessions a day. Once when he wakes up, once around 3:30 and then once before bed.  The doctor wanted us to get him down to the three because he was eating so little food.  He's still a very picky eater, but it's started to improve some. 


He is super close to walking.  He's taken about 5 steps, but just gets himself too nervous.  However, the fact that he isn't walking doesn't mean he's sitting around much either.  He's always on the go.  He has some toys that interest him, but he'd much rather spend his time going to different rooms, opening cabinets, climbing stairs, etc.  The only time he sits still is for a story or in the stroller for a run!




He doesn't have any real words yet, but says "I love you," in the right context in a way that only my mom, husband and I can decipher.  He does do sign language and has the following signs: More, All done, Yes, Up, Cracker, Milk (which I taught him wrong so I don't think it would actually pass ASL), wind, rain, wash hands, soap, (I think that's it).  He gives these awesome kisses that melt my heart every time.  He likes to make sure you're even, so he'll turn your head to the other side after he kisses one cheek.  


He loves busses and the garbage truck.  He loves to point out stop signs, trees, mailboxes, dogs, and bikes when we run.  
As for running, I'm still running often, but shorter.  My longest run with Gregory has been a half marathon (on my own).  We finished just under 2 hours.  I'm thinking of running a real one with him next weekend.  


There's obviously so much more I could say about him, but I'll leave it up to you guys.  Ask away and I'll post again to answer questions.  In the meantime I'll put a few more of my favorite pics!  




Thursday, May 3, 2012

28 weeks (and 13.1 miles) later

 The night before the Cheshire Half, I packed up my bag like any other race.  I was so surprised to be as nervous as I was because I wasn't really racing this; I didn't care about my time; and for the first time in a long time, I just wanted to finish.  Even finishing wasn't something I was all that worried about because I'd run the 13 mile distance 5 times during my pregnancy.  However, I think that there is just no beating the pre-race jitters!

Race morning I woke up at around 6:30.  So crazy to have a race literally 5 minutes down the road (with traffic).  I had my typical toast with almond butter and an apple and hit the bathroom the typical 18 million times.  Eric dropped me off at the start of the race and then drove back home.  Our condo was practically on the course (and we passed that point twice!)  So really being at home was a better spectator spot than the start/finish.  My mom joined him later to take the photos.

I knew so many people running this race, either the half or the 5K, so it was fun trying to find as many people as I could before the start.  I was there about an hour before the start, which was perfect.  They had baggage check that was well organized and I was able to stay warmly dressed up until very close to the start. 

This was the first year of this race and it actually set a record.  It was the largest (in terms of participants) inaugural race in the history of CT.  I was super impressed by everything about this race, especially since they were only expecting 1000 runners and got over 2000!  We walked on over to the start, and though it was a little late, the start went off without a hitch.

During my pregnancy, my times have gotten slower and slower.  My fastest half marathon time is at an 8:15 pace, but about 1 week into pregnancy I was already at a 9 minute pace.  Then it crept up to 9:30 then to 10:00 and lately, I've been hovering around 11.  My latest half marathon training run was a little over a 2:30 something, so that's what I was expecting to do. 

I started off faster than I had run in a long time...ooops.  I guess adrenaline happens to pregnant people too!

Mile 1: 9:30.5
Mile 2: 9:40.3
Mile 3: 9:49.2
Mile 4: 9:57.8

At about this time, I did start to notice that I was feeling my heart rate get higher than I'd felt in a while.  My doctors have never said I needed to keep my heart rate at any certain number, but instead have said I should be able to pass the talk test during any exercise.  At this point, I felt that I was getting closer to not being able to have a conversation, so I began to back down a little bit.

Mile 5: 10:04.2

Eric and my mom were waiting around mile 5.5.  I was so excited to see them, especially since I hadn't taken one walking break yet and was still feeling great. 

Mile 6: 10:18
Mile 7: 10:26

I used my handheld up until this point.  I took a gel at mile 6, but when I started to feel a bit queasy, I started taken Gatorade at every water stop, starting a mile 7.  One of the greatest parts of this race for me was that I knew the course by heart.  The entire course was made up of my regular routes.  Though I don't think this is always the best, I really appreciated it on Sunday.  I had been training so much less than I normally had, so I wasn't bored of these trails.  

Mile 8: 10:40.6
Mile 9: 10:45.8

Eric and my mom were waiting at around mile 9.5.  It was great to see them again and get a cheer for Baby PR!

Mile 10 was one of my favorite miles of the course even though I was really hoping for a porta potty.  They had them at mile 3, 4 and 5 so I kind of assumed there would be more.  However, there wasn't another until mile 11ish.  Normally I wouldn't care about this, but being pregnant and trying really hard to stay hydrated, definitely had me wishing for another bathroom.   However, I loved these miles because the cheering sections were great.  There were groups from the high school and I ran by teachers I used to have!

Mile 10: 11:04.6
Mile 11: 10:52.5
Mile 12: 11:13.6 (might have been the bathroom stop mile...can't remember for sure)

The end of the race was great, as I got to finish on my high school track.  As I was rounding the course, I saw my friends from Team in Training, plus friends from my gym and some of my current students.  It was such a great way to finish a great race!

Mile 13: 10:50.2
.1: 10:07

According to my watch, I finished with a 2:17.03, my gun and official time was more like 2:18.40.  Sure this wasn't a best time by any means.  In fact is was more than 30 minutes off my best split in a full marathon.  However, I can't be more proud.  I didn't have to walk at all; my baby and I are both healthy and I can't wait to tell him about this experience and hopefully convince him how great this sport is. 

The rest of the day I was definitely sore, especially my hips. This is not a surprise, as they are loosening up so they can do what they are supposed to do.  I also was recovering from a cold, so I spent most of the afternoon hacking away.  All worth it though!

Now I'm feeling great.  I took a day off from working out, but was back to spinning by Tuesday.  I still haven't run, but it's more about feeling like spinning rather than running than it is about feeling sore.

So now what's next?  Maybe a 10K, also in our town.  Maybe nothing, but just running when I feel like it.  All I know is that when this race was first announced, I wasn't sure if I'd be able to do it.  So glad this pregnancy has allowed me to do so!

Cheshire Half Marathon

The race report is coming (just waiting for pictures) but just wanted to let you all know that Baby PR and I crossed the finish line of the awesome inaugural Cheshire Half Marathon.  I have lots to say about how well this race was organized and how impressed I am, but I'll save it for the race report. 

Here's a couple pics pre-race while I get my act together! Baby PR's first bib! 

We finished in a 2:18ish, had only one bathroom stop, and I didn't have to walk once.  Not too shabby for 28 weeks! (However it was a way different experience than "racing" a half marathon and certainly a different pace!)