Thursday, February 19, 2009

Thanks Ursula!!!

Yesterday I decided to switch things up from my usual run route at Balboa Park.....I really needed a change of pace, so I went over to Mission Bay Park....I know, all the concrete, but it's flat and I love running past all the parks/kids and there are tons of bathrooms (which are very valuable these days as I found out on Monday when I begged a woman near the zoo to let me use the bathroom she was cleaning...I almost didn't make it!)

I start my run, my heart rate went from 110 to 170 in literally like three seconds. My first thought was my Garmin was kind of off. For those of you with Garmins you know sometimes it takes a few minutes for some reason if you're near trees or what not to get the thing accurate. So, I walked. Start again, heart rate goes from 130 to 165. Walk. Start again, 145 to 170. Walk. I did this for 30 minutes. At this point i'm ANNOYED. I'm NOT winded, not struggling for breath, my perceived level of exertion was exactly how I felt--a walking exertion.....I basically did two miles in 28, I basically "walked" the first two miles. Why was it taking my heart rate so long to adjust. I reminded myself I was running for TWO, not just "Mer" anymore =0. I felt FINE though, so what was up?

I look up and i'm like "she's pregnant!! damn she is MOVING fast, her husband with the stroller can barely keep up!.." the lady flies past me with her approximate 6 month belly and husband in tow with older child. I'm like "ok, that lady is moving way faster than I am, and i'm sure she does this regularly when she's not pregnant." What gives?

On my way back, I see her walking and i'm like "just ask her." "Will she think i'm nuts". Just do it.

"Excuse me, I couldn't help but notice you're pregnant and hauling ass! I'll be 12 weeks on Friday and I just had a random question about heart rate and exertion etc."

She got all excited and blurted out with her South African accent "OH!! You should totally read this book I read.....don't WORRY about it, your body is used to it, just do what you want, if you're used to exercising at a high level, your body will tell you when enough is enough. Don't get stuck on some number for heart rate. For me, I get overheated, so i'm careful with that. Girl, i'm from South Africa and women have been working in the fields a very long time, so you know, I think we're tougher than we think"

Husband chimes in "the more you worry about heart rate, the higher and worse it is."

Ursula pipes in "keep up the cardio, trust me, you'll need it and build up those biceps, you'll need it when you're pushing on that table, it's exahusting and your arms you'll need more than ever...tell them no drugs. From my first contraction to delivery it was 4 hours. you can do it, drugs will slow you down. I walked the halls of the hospital until I was 8 centimeters and stood in a shower until I was ready! Just do cardio for as long as you can. I had to stop with my son at 20 weeks because of pelvic pain, but if you can do it, keep going and don't worry, your body is used to it" (the one time I was grateful to have my "Ironman AZ finisher" hat on, at least that gave me some credibility).

Everyone needs and Ursula or some sort of mentor/boost every once in a while. I'm fortunate to have awesome sisters and a mom who give me sound advice......but Ursula gave me a "GO DO IT GIRL" kind of advice, which I think I needed.

Actually, I smiled because she kind of reminded me of what Amanda would be like pregnant, like all bad ass and tough and just "DO IT".....(even though Amanda isn't pregnant) =0 hehe (hi Amanda!).......but, I was like "oh this is so cool, my very own coach for like 2 minutes and she's Amanda only pregnant"....

Anyway, we didn't like exchange numbers or anything, but I totally got the feeling that she knows her stuff, so I was wondering if there were any well known South African runners named Ursula training here in San Diego....anyhoo, she was my inspiration for the day.

And, wouldn't you know it, my heart rate finally calmed the *F* down and I clocked a 10:48 next mile and a last mile at 10:23.....not bad after runwalking 14 minutes earlier.

She gave me some pep in my THANK YOU URSULA!!!!


Angie said...

I think it is so awesome you are still running!!! Down here in MS, some people think you are freaking handicapped when you are pregant. They are like "oh you better not run, or do anything too difficult, and you better gain a ton of weight cause you're eating for two now" OH PLUUUULEASE! that baby is so well protected. That's how God made us! Anyway, that girl sounded awesome!!! Glad you are feeling good!!!

Eileen Swanson said...

This is so cool Mer!! I loved how you talked to this woman and she was super positive and supporive and just a GO FOR IT type of person. NICE to hear you can just go and forget about the numbers but listen to your body. SWEET!! You're awesome MER!

Mama Simmons said...

I just found your blog through Marit... congrats on your Plus One!!
I just had my daughter about 4 months ago. I ran until about 25 weeks (3-5 miles at a time) and swam A LOT, even on the day I went into labor. I didn't push all that hard on anything, but I never wore a heart rate monitor- just went by how I felt, and my daughter is perfect. :) And I also delivered really fast (2 hours) without drugs (not that staying fit is a guarantee of that, but it can't hurt!)
Best of luck through your pregnancy! I'll enjoy reading your adventures. Being a mom is the best! And OH, you'll LOVE training after childbirth! I swear I'm so much faster now than I've ever been before- running PR's at every distance. It's awesome!

Trigirlpink said...

Now aren't you glad you had the guts to stop and ask Ursula??? Good on ya. Didn't Paula Radciff run right up to giving birth? Glad to hear you are doing well!

Trigirlpink said...

Hi Mz Mer! Me again... Jen has not been as lucky in THAT dept. Being Type A's we all want things planned out perfectly. She is a bit frustrated. Her grey parrot however (that she thought was a boy for YEARS) is laying eggs though....
can only laugh I guess!!!

Laura said...

Hi Meredith! I'm not sure if I've ever commented before, but I know Angie (we're on the same team in Memphis now), which is how I found you.

I just wanted to let you know one of our teammates is expecting this year too and she is also still running. I've heard a number of women echo Ursula's advice. As long as you were doing it before you got pregnant, you can do it as long as it's comfortable. There are quite a few women on Los Locos who have had kids and kept on running and swimming through pregnancy and I'm sure Angie or I could pass along their contact information if you want. There is a really great group of women on Los Locos and I'm sure they'd be happy to talk to you!

All the best in running and motherhood! And Congratulations!