A few weeks ago, in one of my crazy confessions, I admitted to you that I was becoming a chronic slacker. There were several revelations within that post, but the most important (in my opinion) was the admission that I was putting my fitness goals on the back burner and bunking any supposed 2011 race calendar, in the hopes that I "might be pregnant" in the spring. My favorite time to race is in the spring.
And by "race", I mean "keep up with the moms pushing double strollers".
I was pretty much declining all of my friends' invitations to complete races with them because I had developed this irrational fear (after my failed pregnancy) that failed pregnancies are a side effect of working out. Let me explain...
[if you possess more testosterone than estrogen, this part will bore you. Just scroll down to the pictures and continue.]
During the short amount of time that I was pregnant, I was working out. Of course I was trying to keep things under the threshold of where I would normally push myself, but I was holding up my normal workout schedule. I found out I was pregnant on Friday, September 3. On Saturday, My Gazelle and I did our normal TRX bootcamp workout. I ran on Monday, did weight training on Tuesday, and then on Wednesday I went to my regularly-scheduled spin class.
I honestly wanted life to be "business as usual", zygote or no zygote.
I was feeling a little goofy on Wednesday. I can't really explain what "goofy" means, but I just felt tired and kind of out of breath all day. I attributed it to my early pregnancy, and I just kept it movin. Before spin class, I was stretching out. I felt something weird like a butterfly in my stomach. I described it to My Gazelle as a little "Bloooop!" in my belly.
I proceeded to do my normal spin class, at a much lower intensity than I would normally do.
The following day, I started having symptoms of miscarriage (which turned out to actually be an ectopic pregnancy).
In my brain, I blamed the whole terrible situation on my "business as usual" workout schedule. Rationally, I know that it's insane and that plenty of women work out through their entire pregnancy. I did a 15K race in 2008, and a woman who was 7 months pregnant beat me by like 15 minutes. I ran that very same race with my bestie who was 6 months pregnant with her son at the time.
Exercising while pregnant is healthy. Research indicates that it makes for healthier Moms and babies, and it makes the process of delivery easier a lot of the time.
Coupled with my fear of getting injured (after everything I dealt with in 2009), I ended up being literally afraid to run or work out.
I had to get over this irrational fear. I had to start running again. I love running. I had to start living my life the way that I did before. I had to start signing up for races.
As I also mentioned previously, I don't want to be injured in 2011 as I was during most of 2009 while I was training for 1/2 marathons and my (only) marathon. Extreme distances tend to not agree with my body. They cause me ITB Friction Syndrome, Bursitis, nervous breakdowns, crying episodes (you can read a full recap here). Long distances work for some people, but not so much for me.
When my rational brain kicked in and decided that my legs needed to get busy, that same rational brain decided to adopt a much more kinder, gentler approach to training in 2011. If I'm focusing again on running, as I did during 2009 (2010 was the year of the triathlon!), I needed a better way to get it done.
I bought Jeff Galloway's book.
"Jeff's quest for the injury-free marathon training program led him to develop group training programs in 1978, and to author Runner's World articles which have been used by hundreds of thousands of runners of all abilities. His training schedules have inspired the second wave of marathoners who follow the Galloway RUN-WALK-RUN™, low mileage, three-day, suggestions to an over 98% success rate."
[you can read more about him on his website if you're interested]
The basic premise behind the training is that by doing a low mileage training program (2 short runs, 1 longer run) per week, coupled with a RUN-WALK-RUN schedule during the runs, you minimize the damaging effects that long distance running does on your body.
I'm all over it, people.
I love the idea that I can still do longer races, but not get jacked up because of it.
With the Galloway method, you figure out your race pace and then train according to the guidelines in the plan. Personally, I'm planning on having fairly slow race times this year, and my training pace right now is around 12:00 miles. Truthfully, that's not a lot slower than the standard 11:00-11:30 miles I was running before. I'll trade off that slight loss on pace so that I don't get injured.
I'm doing 3:1 intervals. RUN 3 MINUTES: WALK 1 MINUTE: RUN 3 MINUTES...REPEAT until the time or distance goal is accomplished. My pace is slower (and I have to continue reminding myself that the goal for 2011 is to just finish these races), but as a result, my body feels surprisingly great after I'm finished running.
I love it.
Something else that I also love is the Gymboss.
The wonderful Jake from Gymboss contacted me shortly after I announced that I was going to be doing the Galloway method, and asked me if I would like to have a Gymboss interval timer to help with my training.
I LOVE THE GYMBOSS.
I've used it now for about 3 weeks, and I can't tell you how great it is specifically for the purpose of running intervals. Since I'm running outside sometimes (with proper reflection of course), I am not able to see my Garmin because it's too dark outside. Before I had the Gymboss, I would have to wait until I was directly under a street light to check my Garmin time, and 90% of the time, I had missed my interval cue.
The Gymboss has several different settings, and can be set to vibrate or audibly chime when your interval cue has arrived. The vibration is great for when I'm at the gym and don't want to disrupt everyone (or for when I'm using my iPod during the run), and I use the chime when I'm outside. The Gymboss is small, lightweight, and clips snugly onto your shirt or waistband. I actually clip mine right on my iPod armband in order to centralize most of my gadgets.
This little green doo dad has made my life a ton easier, and I'm looking forward to spending many (many) training miles with it!
Many uninjured miles.
As I previously mentioned, Jake is wonderful. He has offered to give one of my readers their very own Gymboss. He might even let you pick the color, but you'd probably have to ask nicely.
Go to the Gymboss website, and leave a comment telling me what color Gymboss you'd pick.
One entry per person.
Contest closes at 12PM on Wednesday, December 22nd.