Thursday, December 30, 2010

2011 New Year's Goals

The last couple years I've enjoyed setting some different fitness goals for myself.  I've learned that they have to be varied, quantifiable, and measurable so you can track your progress and improve the chances of success.  For 2010, I set both distance and speed goals.  (I also reference my 2009 goals in that blog post) And then I was blessed to get pregnant on the first try in March. :-)  So I didn't quite hit all my goals, but came surprisingly close for having been pregnant most of the year and not really setting my goals using that assumption (although it was always the plan, I didn't want to publicly share my family planning intentions when setting New Year's goals!).

For 2011, I've been wrestling the last couple weeks with setting my New Year's goals.  And I've had a ton of work to do getting ready to produce the inaugural New Year's Day Half Marathon, but it's still something that's been poking at the back corners of my mind.  I really want to set some goals, it's how I've enjoyed starting the last couple years, but I just don't know what 2011 could hold for me.  With a new baby and still in the middle of doctor-ordered C-section recovery, I have no clue how my body will recover and how quickly I'll get back running again.  But I love to push myself, so I needed to set some sort of goals.  So here we go...

I am setting two conservative goals aided at getting me moving and back racing again.  And they are goals I plan to hit within the first 4 months of the year.  And once these goals get met, I will immediately reassess the journey so far and set more goals.  I think 2011 will be about incremental goals as I get back to my previous fitness level and then hope to improve on my previous good running throughout the year.

GOAL #1: To work towards a 50-mile month.  In 2010, I had my first 100-mile month, and did that a few months out of the year.  That was high mileage for me!  As I recover, and since miles will take more time with the high percentage of walking I'll be doing, I think that working towards getting a regular run or walk workout in will culminate in this goal of a 50-mile month.

GOAL #2: To complete my first half marathon back by the end of March.  I put this target because I am already registered for the Rock N Roll Dallas Half Marathon.  I'm not a huge fan of Rock N Roll races because I feel the entry fees are too high especially because I don't feel like I need frills or a ton of post-race food or a post-race party to have fun at a race, but I had a great $20 promo deal one day that made the entry fee "reasonable".  Also, this goal means I'd be able to participate in the Big D Half Marathon, one of my favorites to do.  It would be my fifth time doing that race.  Big D Half was my first half marathon back in 2005. :-)

So those are my goals.  They are very different from my 2009 and 2010 goals, but that's to be expected given my current situation.  As I recover from surgery and adjust to having two small children, it's important that I focus on my fitness health as well, but my general health and my family are two priorities that will always come higher!

Happy Running, and an early happy new year!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Doctor, I Warned You!

I had my post-surgery check-up with the doctor on Wednesday.  I told her how well I had been recovering from the C-section, how I had already done a few slow walks totalling almost 6 miles, and how I had several registered nurse friends worried about how active I'd been so soon after major surgery. In the hospital, another doctor in her practice had seen me each day as my doc was on vacation.  Now I had made it very clear to this doctor I was a runner - and not in an ambiguous sense.  I told her total mileage over the year and averaged month to month.  I told her the various distance races I ran while pregnant.  I didn't want her thinking it was a case of "I run/walk a couple miles a few times a week".  I wanted her to know that I'm the kinda stupid to go do 8 miles because I kinda feel like it.

Given how great my recovery was, in the hospital this doctor cleared me to walk a little more and a little faster each time as long as I felt good. Note that running was still a no-no for 6 weeks.  So to me, a 2.7 mile slow walk 8 days after a C-section seemed rational.

Well, my doctor was NOT thrilled.  She told me to lay off the walking for another week or two.  Turns out, even though the incision was looking great, the thing I didn't understand was that the sutures on all the inside layers could rub rub rub together while walking, even a slow walk, and could lead to infection or hemmorhage.

Now a couple days later, and I'm a little annoyed again.  Doc knows I'm Type A, knows my training history, and lets me off with a "take it easy for a week or two?"  So what happens on day 15, when stupid crazy me does a 12 mile walk?  Okay okay, I'm going to try to stay really reasonable and rational.  But I'm wishing she had quantified what's considered okay and not okay in her book a little better since we'd already had a difference in expectations.

With producing a race on 1.1.11 (the New Year's Day Half Marathon), I'm not planning on doing anything until I'm past that event.  And then I figure a couple miles here and there at a walk will be okay until January 15 (6 weeks post-C-section), when it's okay to start slowly running again.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

It's Been a Busy Ten Days

On December 1st, Sophie Camille Jones was born at 9:37 am, weighing 8 lbs, 11 ozs, and 20 1/2 inches long. I had to have her via C-section because I had broken my tailbone having my first daughter by normal delivery.  She's beautiful, see for yourself...

Everything's Relative - That Applies to Recovery Too

We were blessed to have good insurance that wouldn't shoo us out the door in 24 hours.  After having Sophie Wednesday morning, we were able to stay in the hospital until Sunday midday!  This was some great recovery time and wonderful one-on-one bonding time Steve and I both got to have with baby Sophie.  I felt pretty good considering I'd had major surgery - a lot of people are so nonchalant about C-sections, but it is major surgery, people! Before the first 24 hours post-birth had passed, I was up and walking around.  Everything's relative, but this recovery seemed so easy compared to the time in the hospital with blood clotting issues and a broken tailbone (that I should add, is rare enough that everyone treated it like a sore strained muscle and basically ignored it until it continued to hurt so bad and was x-rayed weeks after the birth!).

Recovery Regimen in Hospital

Steve and I kept me super-hydrated and eating lots of food, and we made routine walks around the entire maternity floor of the hospital. More than one loop around the floor at times.  I didn't max out pain pillsl quite the opposite in fact.  Many times the nurses would come in with one encouraging me to take it because it had been so long since my last one - they were worried the pain would intensify and I'd be stuck waiting for a pain pill to kick in at that point.  So I took just enough to continue recovering and resting, and not end up staying in bed the whole time.  The doctor was so thrilled with the recovery that they took out the staples across my incision early on Saturday rather than before discharge on Sunday.  Knowing my runner history, and seeing how I was doing, the doctor encouraged me to go ahead and keep walking and increase distance and pace a little at a time as long as I listened to my body and felt okay.

Recovery Once We Got Home

Back at home, I was completely off pain pills within a couple days.  Between the fourth and eighth days post-C-section, I walked 5.8 miles over those 4 days, at a very slow pace. I'm taking time off from my walks now until I have my checkup with the doctor on Wednesday to verify that how good I'm feeling warrants my activity level. I don't equate slow walks with "exercise" (general guidance says you should wait 6 weeks post-delivery before exercising), but thought it good to check up with the doc.  I have been very good about not going up the stairs but a few times (unlike some doctors, mine said I could use stairs but take them very slow), and I have NOT been lifting anything heavier than the baby. Not even baby + carrier.  I think the lifting is probably a place where a lot of women get complications during recovery - I had luckily spent the last few months of the pregnancy retraining myself and my 3 year old that she wasn't going to be carried anymore, and that's helped a lot.

Meanwhile, my weight is dropping nicely.
  • I gained about 30 lbs over the pregnancy.
  • I was 190 lbs at delivery.
  • In 10 days, I've lost 24 pounds and am back at 166 lbs, the weight I hung at for about 5 years until shortly before I got pregnant.
  • At the time I got pregnant, I had lost 6 lbs the couple weeks before, so my weight was 160 lbs, so I have another 6 to lose to get to that point.
  • My lowest weight during the pregnancy was 157 lbs in the first trimester.
I'm excited to continue my recovery at a much reduced weight, so much easier on the joints.  And we'll see at Wednesday's doctor's appointment how she feels my recovery is going.

Darling Sophie

Amidst the recovery, I've had my wonderful new baby girl and the joy of seeing Marissa playing the role of big sister so well.  Sophie looks a lot like Marissa did as a baby, but she has the cutest chubb that Marissa never had...
And she's a great sleeper...
Steve and I feel so blessed for this new addition to our family. Now back to enjoying my girls, and looking forward to getting back to running as soon as is wise!

Happy Running All!