Nothing exciting to report on the baby front…she’s still hanging in there at 38 weeks. Last night/this morning I started getting shooting pain down my hip/inner thigh while walking, so I think she’s finally found a nerve to nestle on! Fine by me, more excuses to rest up 🙂

My family has officially started making due date/time/weight guesses and I think we’re all excited to see who ends up being closest (we get a little competitive sometimes). My grandmother’s guess was actually for yesterday, I think hers was the earliest. The latest guess is still a day before my due date- no one thinks I’ll make it until the 17th 🙂

I started off the week with a walk on Eagle Lake (the whole loop is almost 6 miles, so I just did an out/back for a total of 4).

My view lately 🙂

On a long run a couple years ago, my brain wasn’t quite firing on all cylinders (in my defense, it was also super early in the morning). When I saw this sign, I thought to myself “Yeah yeah, no camels allowed on the carriage roads, we get it”  (we definitely don’t have camels in Maine). It was another mile or so before it clicked what the sign was actually saying. Since then I can’t help but laugh a little every time I see one of these signs now.

Tuesday night was (probably) my last Aqua Aerobics class pre-baby! Our instructor is gone for the next week, making our next class on Thursday. Even if I haven’t delivered, at that point I’ll be 39 weeks along and probably won’t feel super inclined to get in the pool, but who knows! Either way, I’m definitely planning to continue to take classes, maybe just once a week, postpartum as I ease back into running.

Something to look forward to- the hikes that are usually closed in the busy summer months are back open! I’ve had Precipice on my list for over two years now. In 2015 I was busy training for the MDI Marathon from August-October and missed out, and last year had my whole knee thing. This year may be the year, but it depends on a) how I’m feeling postpartum and b) if I feel good about leaving Baby Z for a stretch (the trailhead is about 2 miles away from our house at least). To be determined…

Monday: Cardio Fix, 4 mile walk
Tuesday: Shift Shop Strength: 25, 2 mile walk, Aqua Aerobics
Wednesday: Shift Shop Speed: 25, Upper Fix Extreme, 3 mile walk
Thursday: Lower Fix, Active Maternity, 3 mile walk
Friday: 30 minute walk, Active Maternity

Fitness Friday: It’s All Connected

Earlier this week when I was on my walk, I listened to some Real Talk Radio, starting with Dr. Stephanie Howe Violett. She’s an ultra runner, which is something I’ve always been intrigued by, especially the 100 mile races. I’d consider doing a 50k (about 30 miles) at some point in the future 🙂 In the podcast she discusses sports nutrition and the idea that there’s no “one-size fits all” model to fueling for a race of any sort. We’re all just an experiment of one, and the best advice is to do some trial and error to figure out what works for you and your body. Another part of that is knowing when you need a rest day vs. are just feeling lazy/not like working out.

When you think about it, almost all of your daily choices affect your training- the food you eat, how much sleep you’re getting, what you do for rest days…it’s all connected! Before beating yourself up about a less than great training session (or sessions if you happen to be on an unfortunate streak), take a look at these tips:

Figure out your fuel. There are general guidelines you can follow about the best times to refuel during training and racing. During my first and second marathons I just went by what my running partner said: eat a GU every 45 minutes-1 hour. This kept me from totally bonking, but as hindsight I really should have tried it out before racing to see how it felt.

More experience and trial and error were the only ways to figure out that if I did use GU, it was better to start eating one and let it last over the course of a mile or two, fueling more frequently than before. I also discovered toward the end of the race my stomach usually didn’t handle GU well anymore, so I’d bring a mini-Clif Bar or a Lara-Bar which completely solved that issue.

I’m thankful that my running partner shared what worked for him, but am also grateful that he encouraged me to figure out MY fuel plan, because as we learned, not everyone responds to the same fuel the same way. Give yourself time to try some different things out, especially if you are doing a longer endurance race.

-Are you sleeping enough? Rest is a big part of training, no matter what type of athlete you are. One of the things discussed in the podcast is the idea that when we’re having a difficult training run (or training session, depending on your sport of choice), sometimes our knee jerk response is thinking “This is should be easy, I need to push HARDER.” Sometimes that’s true, other times it does more harm than good. If you’re not resting enough, everything is going to feel more difficult. Instead of questioning all your training and forcing your body into overdrive, maybe take a look at how much rest and recovery you’re getting first 🙂

via GIPHY

-Cross Train. This was a big one for me, especially when I was doing a spring and fall marathon in a year. Including some low-impact workouts and strength training were not only ways to stay busy, but gave my joints a break and let me work on other areas of fitness (building up muscles, stretching, etc). For me, cross training involved using the elliptical or stationary bike 2-3 times a week, yoga once a week, and strength training. I had a whimsical stretching routine pre-running to hit my hips/quads/hamstrings, and used this 8 minute ab workout (it’s kinda old but super effective-thanks to my brother for showing me this 5 years ago!).

My plan when I get back into running is to rely heavily on cross training as I build things back up. I’ll still go to the pool, bike/elliptical, and do strength training and cardio a la Beachbody. Cross training gives whatever muscles you’re usually using a break and, if you’re a runner, can actually help you improve. Running after a yoga day was noticeably easier/felt better, which is usually a good gauge that things are going in the right direction 🙂

-Trust Yourself. Another big one. On days that I probably should have done something easier/rested/cross trained, a lot of times I’d push myself into doing a double or going longer. A lot of this was simply because I didn’t trust my training enough. My anxiety would kick in, convincing me that I had to hit a certain pace/weekly mileage in order to be successful in whatever race was coming up. This attitude makes it really tough to forgive a bad running day (which, let’s face it, are inevitable every now and then) and frankly made me a bit neurotic.

If your body needs a rest day, take a rest day! (More on rest days here). Trust that you aren’t going to lose all your hard work because you took a day or two off- it takes a bit longer than that for loss of fitness to occur (pinky swear 🙂 ). If you don’t believe me, check out Hungry Runner Girl’s post on losing fitness!

Run with confidence. via GIPHY

Remember, everything is connected. Lifting weights every now and then doesn’t mean your running will suddenly suffer- it might actually gain a thing or two. Let yourself get enough sleep at night, eat good food (and some cake once in a while), and take a day off if you need one! And most importantly remember: You got this.

What are your favorite ways to cross train?

How do you combat self-doubt in training? Read other people’s thoughts on the subject, go through training logs to remind myself how much I’ve done so far, talk to fellow runner friends about it.

Fitness Friday: It’s All Connected
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