Monday, April 13, 2015

32 Weeks - Fighting Colds and Climbing K2!

32 weeks now!

Baby is growing.  She's been moving pretty frequently.  I like feeling her movements as it assures me thing she's doing well in there.

This past week has been a busy week.  It was a bit tough as I developed a cold and the congestion in my head and chest has been tough to deal with.  I spent most of the week taking it easy and for the most part, only doing my short walks with Lyla.

Last Tuesday, I started a new session with Up and Running Again.  This is a program that works with at-risk individuals and trains them for a half marathon in 14 weeks.  For week one, we run 5 minutes, walk 5 minutes and repeat twice for a total of 30 minutes.   It was great to see a large new group of participants (and a few return participants from prior sessions).  I love volunteering for this program as it's great to see people progress from no running to running miles.  Being preggo, I ran/walked towards the rear of the pack this time and really fun to watch some of the ladies push themselves.  After my volunteering sessions, I always feel so happy and inspired by people's determination and that I got to help them a little.

Also, this past week, as a surprise, my wonderful husband got me (and our baby) a running girl doll.  I found out they make these sport's dolls to inspire young girls to be active and "Dream Big and Go For It."  This is definitely a doll I would want for my little girl!  I hope my baby girl likes the doll and I look forward to having her run those cute little kid races and cheer me on in my races.

My husband has also started trail running more again.  He's normally more of a cyclist but he got frustrated with the bike racing season and stopped riding the past few weeks and started hitting the trails.  He even asked me about finding a trail race to do.  So, we signed up for the Miner's Revenge 25k at the end of the month.

My husband and I attended a couple classes at Kaiser this past week including a birthing class.  The classes was informative but I get a little nervous about the birthing process. I  really hope for a smooth labor and delivery. And, that I'll be able to recover relatively easily afterwards.  They say women who are active are supposed to have "faster" and "easier" labors and recoveries. That's what I'm hoping for.  I am hoping to do a natural birth too as I believe that will help in a smoother recovery.  No epidural.  After the classes, I still feel assured in that decision but we will see how it goes once labor begins.  The instructors keep saying it's like a long endurance event ("like running 10 marathons" one lady said).  The funny thing is I am an endurance athlete so I wonder is it really like an endurance event?  I hope so.  I know it's going to be tough and hope that I can bear through the hard parts and look forward to the finish of holding my baby girl in my arms!

On Sunday, despite still having a bit of my cold, I went to do the K2 Challenge put on by Singletrack Running.  The event involved people doing as many K2 loops in 6 hours.  The loop is about 4 miles long and involves climbing up K2 (aka Training Hill) which is a steep hill going about 1 mile and about 1000 feet.  The rest of the loop is runnable including a couple miles of gentle downhill on the Western States trail.  For many runners, K2 is a beast of a hill and many despise it.  For me, it's a tough hill but I've done a lot of training on that hill and know it well and I love climbing it.  The hill is what made me stronger for some of my ultras a couple years ago.

For the event, we started at 6am, before sunrise.  During the first loop, it was fun seeing the sun rise up.  And, I'm glad it was an early start as things warmed up by the later morning.

I wanted to get at least 3 loops done.  The great thing about timed events with loops is that if I don't feel good, I can just stop.  I felt good for the first three loops.  So, I went for a fourth loop.  By the fourth loop, my quads were pretty much done with climbing and all the downhill running so was good with stopping then.  During the last loop, I knew Tom would be at the finish to help massage away some of the soreness.

I felt good during the event. The cold was not too bad.  In fact, it helped clear some of the congestion for a little bit.  My nose ran like crazy during most of the event.  And, the loops were fun to do and just right for my pregnant self.  For the climb, I just hike up it.  The downhill isn't too steep so I can easily run down it.  It's nice to have downhill running when I'm pregnant.  Flat running can sometimes wear on my calves but my calves felt great during and after (which was surprising as my calves are generally sore after many of my runs these days).

The fun thing about looped events is that I don't feel like it's just me at the back of the pack.  I get to see my faster friends as they pass me at various times so it was nice to not feel like it's just preggo me at the back of the pack.  My friends did more loops than me but we all finish around the same time and then I got to spend the afternoon hanging out.

In the end, I did 4 loops, 15.7 miles, nearly 4000 feet of climbing.  Afterwards, I had fun hanging with some of my friends the rest of the afternoon.  I had a great time doing a challenging event and hanging with my running friends.  No feeling of missing out this time!  :)

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