What a week its been! 1/8/13

My run on New Year’s Day was pretty awesome! I felt pretty good and averaged 8:17 for my 3 miles so it was a faster run for me too.

The next morning, we got up at 4 am to get to the airport for our flight to New York. Because we had such an early flight, we got to New York and were checked in the hotel and everything before 9 am! So, what did we do, but get dressed and go for a run in Central Park. Luckily, my friends and husband all run too. Derek (Val’s husband) was a little less enthused, but he was a good sport.

I have to be honest and admit that I was a little nervous to run with people. I told my friends to all run ahead of me because I know they are much faster. When your runs are so unpredictable that your pace can range from 8:15 all the way up to 9:15, you just never know what to expect and sometimes even during the same run things can change drastically. So we all started out together and Tim and Derek picked it up and Val stayed with me. I actually felt pretty good, but Central Park was much more hilly than I ever imagined so I started to get winded and was looking forward to the turnaround point more than I let on. Once I hit 1.5 miles I turned around and Val caught up with the boys to finish their longer run. I got back, took a few pictures and since it was really cold went inside the Trump Towers hotel to wait for them.

We had a fun packed rest of the afternoon once we showered and ate lunch and headed over to Times Square. As we expected in January, it was really cold outside. It could have been much worse, but standing and walking a lot with temps in the low 30’s was a little harder for me than I would have liked. We were bundled up and having fun so it was unnoticeable at first, but as the day would go on, I’d notice my lower abdomen would get kind of achy and crampy. I wasn’t too concerned about it, mostly because I still felt the baby moving a lot and because I figured it was just the cold and the walking that were stretching my lower abdomen. As the week went on, I actually started wearing my maternity running belt as we were walking around and it did seem to help.

On Thursday morning I woke up before everyone else (no surprise there) so I walked to the closest Starbucks and had an egg white and spinach wrap and tall coffee. The only issue was that my GPS on my phone couldn’t seem to keep my location very well (probably because of all the tall buildings) so it took much longer than it should have for me to get there and then there was a mix up with the food…so by the time I ate, everyone was up and ready to go for a run. Normally, I like to give my tummy at least an hour after eating to digest before running, but I figured that since I’m not running that fast, it didn’t matter. We went for a nice run along the Hudson River with spectacular views but the egg whites and spinach were not sitting well in my belly. I ran with my friends (or just a little behind) until I got to my turn around and then told them I was heading back. Because they’re so nice and because they didn’t want me to run alone in a strange city, they protested and said they’d run back with me and then add on, but I really didn’t want them too. Not because I don’t love my friends and husband but because I was really, really hurting and knew that I wanted to stop and walk and go at a much slower pace and if I let them run back with me I’d feel bad about that and force myself to keep running feeling extremely uncomfortable. Besides, it was daylight and the area was bustling with people. They reluctantly agreed and I jogged a bit and then stopped for a while and took some pictures and walked around and took in the sights. Once I settled down a little bit I started jogging slowly and ended up finishing the run feeling pretty good.

The next day we didn’t run, but we got in plenty of walking and sightseeing.

Some of the cool things we did was visit the 911 memorial site (which was actually right next to our hotel). It was really amazing standing there in the middle of all these tall buildings where the twin towers used to be and thinking about all the chaos that happened right there just over 11 years ago. It makes you feel vulnerable, but also very grateful to just be alive and happy.

We saw the Today show being taped and Tim and Val even got on the show! We walked around a lot through Times Square, 5th Ave, Central Park, Rockefeller Center, took the NBC Studio Tour, took pictures on the Top of the Rock and took the Staten Island Ferry by the Statue of Liberty (Ellis Island is still closed due to damage from Hurricane Sandy). We met up with one of Val’s friends from high school for dinner and on another night, one of my friends from high school for dinner too. We went to the New York Road Runners building to pick up our packets for the 10K we signed up for on Saturday (yes we did a race while on vacation, of course we did!) and road the subway tons! We even saw the apartment that was used to film the outside of Carrie Bradshaw’s apartment from Sex and the City and also the front of the Cosby house. All in all our trip was very complete!

Now, onto the race in Central Park. I haven’t run over 4 miles in probably close to 2 months so I figured I would just run as much of the race as I could and walk the rest. Tim and Val signed up for the 10K too. Derek hasn’t been running as much and decided it was probably smart to not sign up for a race since he knew he’d run it harder than he should and be hurting for the rest of our trip. So he offered to cheer us on and hold onto all of our stuff, which was greatly appreciated by all.

I was really excited for the run, probably because there was no pressure and I knew I was just having fun with it. I figured I’d run the first 4 miles and then walk a little bit and maybe run some more if I felt like it. Well, the course was VERY hilly and there was a huge hill at the 2.5 mile mark! At first I kept jogging up it, telling myself that I had to get to 4 miles, but then I realized that if I struggled so much on the hill, I’d be so worn out, and anyway, this run was supposed to be FUN anyway! So I started walking and was later so glad I did because the hill just kept winding up and around each turn and seemed to go on forever! Once I reached the top, I started jogging again and continued jogging until the next hill. So that’s what I did the whole run was jog and then walk up all the hills. Now, the non pregnant runner me would think this was the wimpiest thing ever, but hills and stairs during pregnancy really seem to take the wind right out of you, more than you would ever think. I used to read about this stuff early in the pregnancy and think that it wouldn’t happen to me because I’m tougher and more fit than most…but its true. It takes more oxygen to get up inclines and stairs and when your lungs are being compressed like that, it just doesn’t matter if you’re super woman!

Anyway, during the walking I really took in and enjoyed the scenery and the other runners around me. Even during my running points I made a point to enjoy myself and get lost in the adventure of running in this completely new place. Maybe it was the attitude, maybe it was also a great running day, but either way, it ended up being a fantastic run! I ended up running 5.53 of the 6.2 miles and at the end Tim and Val had come back to find me and run me in as Derek snapped some pictures. I felt great and experienced a great running high that I haven’t felt in some time.

Sunday was a rest day, and then I went for a 4 mile run during my lunch break on Monday. It was hard, I’m not going to try to glam it up. I felt so great going 5.5 on Saturday that I thought that maybe all my runs would go that way the rest of the pregnancy. Why do I still think that sometimes? Instead, after we got home from the flight back on Sunday night, my left leg and foot were swollen again like a big elephant foot and during the run on Monday my whole left leg just felt heavy and harder to move. Also, the path that I usually run on that’s pancake flat had some icy patches so I decided to stick to roads (which meant hills) and I walked up some of them. On the way back, the wind was blowing at me and I felt like my bladder was a little too full and I just wasn’t feeling very good. But I got it done and hoped that it would help with my swelling.

We had some a great surprise while we were in New York too! My sister in law, who was scheduled to deliver by c-section on Monday afternoon went into labor on her own early Sunday morning! I have a new niece! Tim and I headed up to the hospital as soon as we got out of work on Monday. She is perfect and I could have held her forever, and we almost did! We stayed later than we planned and then had to pick up our dog from my other sister in law. All wonderful stuff, but Tim and I ate a very late dinner and got to bed late again last night. When I went to bed my foot was huge! I had Tim massage it to try to get the fluids going back into the blood vessels. It was still pretty swollen this morning and then before I went running during my lunch break it was as big as its ever been! My whole left leg was swollen but mostly its in my foot and ankle. It looks so gross. I ran 4 miles again with my friends Darla and Julia and they were sweet and didn’t seem to mind that I was struggling and we ran pretty slow. After the run, the swelling did go down, but its still there and I’m going to try to get it to go down again tonight.

Tonight we don’t have nearly as much going on so I plan on cooking a fast dinner, walking the dog and then putting my feet up the rest of the night! I may even soak in the tub in some Epsom salts. Not sure if it will help, but it sounds nice.

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