What kind of dog is Peanut?
We got Peanut from a humane society in August of 2008 and we were told that she had been born in a high kill shelter in West Virginia and that her mother was a 25lb Dachshund. The pound had already put her mother to sleep, so they had no proof and I had to take them at their word. I suspected they were being "creative" in her breed label, but once I saw Peanut, I knew she was my dog.
|She was fostered in D.C. and she was NOT a fan of car noise|
|Peanut makes that same face|
How is Peanut such a good running companion?
Peanut is not naturally a good dog. She has always had way too much energy to be a good house pet. Before she was a year old, I took her to the dog park for at least an hour a day or she went to puppy daycare and played all day. When we moved further from the dog park and wanted to save money, I started walking her for at least 45 minutes a day, rain or shine.
As I walked her, we worked on training. She's only allowed to stay on my left side and she's not allowed to run ahead of me. Once we had that training base established, it was easy to transition to running. At first, she was a bad runner. She went out too fast and then got lazy at the end. Eventually she learned to let me set the pace and now she can run well over 10 miles and still want to play fetch at the end.
Did you run while you were pregnant with either kid?
I wasn't a big runner before I got pregnant with Faith, in fact the half marathon I ran at 4 weeks of pregnancy was the longest distance I had ever ran. Early on in my pregnancy, it was pretty clear that running wasn't going to be my ideal form of exercise during pregnancy. At 10 weeks of pregnancy I had some unexplained bleeding and after that, I stuck to low impact exercise.
|You don't need to run to stay in shape|
I got some really good workouts just doing inclined walking on my treadmill and I was able to return to running 6 weeks after giving birth to Faith.
With Cordelia, I ran my whole pregnancy and I even did a 5K pushing Faith in the stroller the day before I went into labor. I had some issues with a torn intercostal muscle on my right side and I had to take 10 days off from running, but other than that, I ran the entire pregnancy. I'm not sure I'd recommend it, running while pregnant isn't much fun and it was still hard to get back into it 6 weeks post birth. Based on my non-running and then running pregnancies, I think you can skip pregnancy running and be just as able to get back to running.
Why did you decide to run ultra marathons?
I can't remember when I first got the idea in my head that it would be a fun adventure to run 50 miles, but once that idea planted in my brain, there was no turning back. My decision to try for 50 miles happened before I even ran my first marathon. I found a 50K I wanted to run and then decided I should run a marathon first, so I trained for that and completed 26.2 miles. Then I considered running a 50 miler first, but decided I needed more trail running experience, so I ran two 50K trail races first. In November 2011, I ran the JFK 50 and since then I've been sidelined from ultras with pregnancy and now I have a bottle refusing baby, so my next ultra marathon is still TBD.
What training plan did you use for the JFK 50?
I am using two plans for my 50 mile training. The first plan I found had ambitious weekend runs that would require me to run for 9 hours some weekends, but I really liked the weekday portion of that plan. The first plan was problematic also that it didn't account for races I planned on doing, like the Marine Corps Marathon. A nearby running club had an online JFK 50 specific training plan that factored in local races, so I really liked that plan. The only problem with that plan was the weekdays seemed too conservative. So in Goldilocks fashion, I am following the weekdays of the first plan and the weekends of the second plan. It's not confusing to me because I put all of my runs in my Google calendar so I get an email every morning telling me the workout for the day.
The plan was fairly low mileage (50-65 miles a week) but it was doable for me while taking care of Faith so I just hoped it would be enough. It seemed work out pretty well for me because I didn't get burnt out during training and ended up exceeding my goal time for the race by over an hour.
What running gear do you recommend?
I did a whole post on what gear I like and actually use!
How do you run so much with two small children?
I wrote a post on this topic, but if you don't want to read that, I can just sum it up by saying that I don't usually run my full distance at once because I don't have enough time to get it all done at once.