Liza Howard. Ultrarunning Mom.

Ultrarunning Mom

Cactus Rose Relay, Phlegm, Kids’ Race, and Cabbage

I ran 25 miles of the Cactus Rose 100 Relay on Saturday.  It was a bit of a step-up in my post-partum training.  A 21-mile step-up.  But I did not power-walk a single step — as per my discharge instructions.  I’ve got another four weeks before that’s a safe thing to do.  I did power-HIKE up some of the steeper hills, but I don’t think that carries the same risk of your uterus falling out as power-walking does.  I loped along happily until about mile 20 — hollering encouragement at other runners and giving hugs to friends I hadn’t seen in a long while.  Then it became clear that I was going to be pretty sore the next day.  First-time-marathon level sore.  I loped a little more slowly after that.  

Eliot and Ruby met me at all the aid stations.  We’re practicing our transitions for Rocky Raccoon.

Nursing Stop Transitions:

Mile 5: 8 minutes (Crouched behind a parked Jeep.)

Mile 10: 10 minutes  (Seated behind a juniper tree.  Nursing and pump stop.)

Mile 15: 5 minutes (Couldn’t wake baby up.  Pump only.)

Mile 20: 0 minutes (Baby still asleep.  Decided to risk waiting until the finish line.  Boob explosion jokes exchanged all around.)

As you can see, we’re going to have to work on these transition times before February.  I feel like such a triathlete. ;)

Our relay team, if you remember, was costumed as the Four Humors.  Here’s Black and Yellow Bile at the race start.

black&yellowbile

I was Phlegm.  I was supposed to have a nice white cape with “PHLEGM” written across the back, which would have served well as a nursing cover at the aid stations, but the UltrAspire pack I attached the cape to didn’t quite fit my new circumference.  So I had to write PHLEGM down both arms in permanent marker.  I wore some thin feather boas in my hair as phlegmy tendrils.  They looked really nice after the first five miles of sweating in the late October heat and humidity.  The humidity wreaked havoc on a lot of people’s races.  Many of the front runners suffered through severe leg cramps.  Happily loping along in a phlegm costume prevents cramps.

The best part of the whole weekend was the kids’ race on Friday.  Asa almost dropped me in the first quarter mile.  The maternity jean shorts and the nursing bra were definitely not up to sprinting code.  Thankfully, the next half mile was pretty rock strewn, which, along with his constant turning around to see how close the competition was, slowed him down to 11-days post-partum pace.  Asa talked to himself throughout the race.  ”I can do this!”  It was unspeakably cute.  Towards the end, he turned to me and said, “Mom, aren’t you going to tell me to ‘Dig Deep!’?”  Made me proud.

Screen shot 2013-10-28 at 8.45.25 AM

Huge congratulations to the  folks who ran the Cactus Rose 100 and 50.  And special congrats to Julie on her first 100 and Don on his first 50!

OK, I’ve got to hop in the shower now so the pediatrician doesn’t worry about Ruby’s home environment at her appointment this morning.

I’m only going to run two miles today (since I’m so freakin’ sore) and then hike uphill on the treadmill for 30-minutes at a 15% grade.  All the uphill treadmill hiking towards the end of the pregnancy paid off on the Bandera hills Saturday.  It was the flats and the actual running that hurt.  I’m also adding core work back in this week.  Sigh.  Time to drag out the McMillan video with that hatefully cheery blond with her super strong core.

Oh, and here is a great piece written by triathlete Heather Wurtele on her race at the Ironman World Championships and her DNF.  It’s worth the read if you’ve ever dropped from a race — and for everybody else as well.

Ruby Jane Picture O’ The Day.

rubyOct27PS.  If I ever want Ruby to stay up all night crying, all I have to do is eat a big cabbage salad.

 

  • Sarah

    Holy shit, lady! Also yay! Dig deep, forsooth.

    • Liza Howard

      Thanks Sarah! That’s what I was saying the last 5 miles.

  • Todd R

    I just happened to click on your blog from Endurance Buzz whilst on-duty at a fire station. After reading this, my engine company decided you’re tougher than any of us and we’ve faced some pretty bad stuff (except our 19 year-old rookie, he proudly sacked groceries at Kroger before getting this job…geesh.) I’ve run Bandera several times feeling pretty good and it’s “killed” me nearly every time. Eleven days post-partum? You are a trail running goddess.

    • Don Hauk

      That she is!

    • Liza Howard

      Todd, This totally made my day. Thank you soooo much. :)