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Monday, December 19, 2011

Quick update – Katie is here!

Just wanted to write a short post to announce that Katie Grace arrived after an extremely quick labor and delivery on December 14th!  She was 5 lbs, 4 oz at birth and 18 inches long, born at 2:18 p.m. And totally cute. I love her!

We checked in for the induction at 8 a.m., and by 8:45, started the pitocin. My contractions were irregular but manageable for about two hours. I was still 5 cm dilated. Sometime around 10:30, I had a sharp stabbing pain that radiated from my front to back on my left side. I’m still not sure quite what it was – thinking maybe the baby was laying on a nerve or something, but it was PAINFUL. We started discussing the epidural and by 11ish or so, the nice epidural man came in and I got the good stuff. It was awesome. Of all the things I’ve heard that can go wrong with an epidural, mine was pretty good. I could still move my legs, although they were numb. I could still feel the pressure of the contractions although they weren’t painful at all.

Around 1 p.m., my doctor came in and broke my water. I was still between 5-6 cm dilated so no progress on that front. We joked that I would be having the baby within the hour although I’m not sure anyone believed it. My doctor and nurse both told me that if I started to feel pressure, to tell them. Well, right away things felt really different…. definite pressure! I debated whether or not to call the nurse, but she came back after about 15 minutes anyway and said “something’s going on, isn’t it?” Yep. Time to push. In 15 minutes, I’d dilated to a 10 and it was baby time.

I practice pushed for a bit and really pushed for about half an hour. By 2:18, she arrived! She is healthy and beautiful and sleeps like a champ (so far – she’s only 5 days old, I suppose!)

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Katie

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Top 10 List

I posed an interesting question for moms on Facebook: If you knew you only had a few days left sans baby, what would you spend your time doing? The responses were interesting – some were expected, some were funny. Mostly everyone said sleep, a few suggested making freezer meals (done and done!). I appreciated the advice to spend time with my husband… he’s certainly my favorite person in the world and any uninterrupted time I can get with him right now is not to be taken for granted. I’m not sure how often we’ll be able to go out on dates once the baby is here, but I do so love the “our” time we get together. It’s important in a marriage, I believe. And about to become very important, I suspect!

But the responses got me thinking. I am a firm believer that with gain comes loss, and seeing everyone’s responses made me a little sad – there’s so much that will be lost with such a substantial gain as having a baby! So my mind keeps turning the things that I’ll be gaining instead, and in particular, things I’m really looking forward to by not being pregnant anymore.

Don’t get me wrong: pregnancy hasn’t been horrible. Sure, I am not a fan of packing on the pounds, or all the typical symptoms that come with pregnancy, but a part of me knows that I’m pretty lucky. I’ve felt pretty great this whole pregnancy, even with the 24/7 first trimester sickness. I’ve been able to exercise and push myself quite a bit – including a 10k PR!

But let’s be honest. As blissful as one can be during pregnancy (and I’m certainly not the blissful type. Pregnancy’s been a 9-month long means to an end for me), things keep popping into my head that I’m really looking forward to once this chapter ends and the next begins.

1. Sleeping on my stomach. I went for a prenatal massage on Friday, and experienced my first prenatal massage table where there’s a hole in the table cut out for the belly and boobs. For the first time in perhaps 4 or 5 months, I was able to lay on my stomach and nearly fell asleep during the massage. It was HEAVEN! I wish they made prenatal mattresses! I’m a stomach sleeper, so giving it up has been difficult. My hips hurt from having to sleep on my side all the time. All I want to do is stretch out on my stomach with a big fluffy pillow and drift off.

2. Alcohol. Need I say more? There’s a build-your-own Bloody Mary buffet at a local brewery here that has my name all over it.

3. Pre-pregnancy pants. Most of my pants and skirts have moved over to the other side of the closet. We’re going to be reunited very shortly, I believe. It sucks to lose weight and have a wardrobe you spent money and time building, only to have to put it away for several months. I was lucky enough to wear a lot of my pants until about 4-5 months pregnant. But I yearn for the day where I can wear pants again that have real zippers and buttons.

4. Pushing myself during a run, and keeping up with the girls in treadmill boot camp.

5. Bending in half, tying my shoes without effort, and getting out of bed like a normal person instead of rolling myself off the mattress. All things that never occurred to me that would happen. It’s hard to bend over and pick something up when there’s a baby in your belly!

6. Indigestion and constipation – be gone! Years ago, I had my gallbladder removed and should have bought stock in Prilosec. When I was obese, I had to use it every other day because my indigestion was so terrible. When I lost weight, however, I was down to taking one about every 1.5-2 weeks. Tums actually worked for once since the surgery. And then came pregnancy. With a baby and a uterus pushing up on my stomach, I have indigestion all the time. Prilosec lasts about 2 days, and I am so sick of Tums that the only ones that don’t make me gag are the peppermint flavored ones. Oh, I can’t wait to stop dropping a ton of money on antacids!

7. Speaking of gagging… not being randomly sick after meals. Once the 24/7 nausea ended about week 10, I would (and still do) get randomly sick after meals. Some things seem to always make me sick (seafood), other things will be fine one day, but make me barf the next. During the second trimester, I could see that it was definitely tied to a surge in hormones, but in the past few weeks, it seems to be just totally sporadic. I had a $50 steak on my wedding anniversary. I ended up flushing it down the toilet. Ugh.

8. Middle school acne. I’m really praying that my skin goes back to normal after pregnancy, though I’m aware it may not. But I have high hopes. I’ve always had decent skin, but since being pregnant, my face won’t stop breaking out – badly. I don’t think I had zits this bad when I was a teenager! It seems as though my normally dry skin is now oily, and my once resilient skin has to be washed every single night. Dear God, PLEASE let this go away!!

9. Smaller boobs. Most women love pregnancy boobs. Mine were fine the way they were pre-pregnancy, and now they are the size they were when I was at my highest weight. I realize that since I’ll be attempting breastfeeding, that they’ll stay the same size for a while until I stop. But knowing that eventually they (should) shrink back to a smaller size and fit in my bras again gives me something to look forward to.

10. Having control over my body. I never realized how much I would sacrifice when it came to my own body. I’m so used to just doing whatever I want in terms of pushing myself with exercise, or choosing what to eat or drink, etc. When I became pregnant, I worried endlessly about what I was doing. Was it ok to run? Was it ok to eat this or that? What do you mean I can’t take Excedrin for a migraine, or Ativan to fly on a plane? Everybody has a list of do’s and don’ts, and most of the time, I tried to play it safe. But I gotta tell ya – Tylenol doesn’t do jack squat for migraines, and I’m so tired of wondering if it’s ok to eat this or that. I can’t wait to get out there for a sweaty run and really, really push myself without worrying for once!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Special dates and other thoughts

Exactly 5 years ago as I write this, I was saying “I do” to my new husband. I had no clue what the next five years would bring. I also had no clue if I’d ever go from looking like this:

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(Around 195 lbs and sadly not the highest I would reach)

To this:

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(Looking at that photo makes me anxious to get back into my pre-pregnancy jeans! Man, I love those jeans!)

We’ve had a great 5 years so far, and I hope that the best is yet to come. It’s funny, when we got married, of course the next question everyone asks you is “so when are you going to have kids?” We eventually started telling everyone we were on a 5 year plan. And funnily enough, it turned out to be almost exactly 5 years when we would start our family. Believe me, I didn’t want to plan it that way. In fact, given that our anniversary is 12/9, and my husband’s birthday is 12/28, plus Christmas thrown in there, the last thing I wanted was a December baby. I even told my husband that I didn’t want to get pregnant right away when we started trying because that meant we’d have a December kiddo. Well, what’s that saying? When you make plans, God laughs? Yep, I’m pretty sure He got a kick out of that one. But as I’ve been reminded several times, there’s a bigger plan at stake here.

I’ve got a lot of good things to write about. At my 37 week appointment last Friday, I had gained 22 lbs with this pregnancy. 22! I’m so happy with that number, and super happy with the way things have turned out. I last ran at 35 weeks before deciding it was time to stop. I feel pretty good with that decision, although I do really miss it, but the pain isn’t worth it. At last week’s appointment, I was having contractions already and dilated to 4 cm and 80% effaced. My doctor told us that if the contractions didn’t stop, then to head to labor and delivery around 1 p.m. We did, and I had dilated another centimeter by that point. Well, long story short, the bambino decided that she didn’t want to come out (too cold on the outside or something!) and after 12 hours of contractions, promptly quit her entrance into the world. Indecisive or stubborn. Sounds like her mom. And dad.

So, we were sent home, being practically promised that we would not make it through the weekend without having our baby. The weekend came and went. We’re still waiting.

I had my 38 week appointment today and am still 5 cm dilated, but now 90% effaced and the baby’s head is at +1. My doctor won’t induce before 39 weeks (which is Monday 12/12 for me), so we talked it over and given where I work and the possibility of going into labor on base, and being locked down (it’s happened plenty of times before!), we set an eviction date for Wednesday, 12/14. It seems surreal that the end (or the beginning!) is within reach. On the one hand, I am excited, and on the other hand, a little disappointed that I will not go into labor on my own. I don’t know why this bothers me because I’m not against induction, especially since my big fear is going into labor very quickly and not making it to the hospital, AND not being able to get an epidural, so this gives me a lot of control. But there’s definitely a side of me that just wants to let nature take its course. Given that I’m 5 cm/90% already, I don’t think it’ll take much to get this baby out.

So by next Wednesday at the latest, little miss Katie will be here!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Still baking that turkey

Despite threatening to arrive on Thanksgiving, Baby Marathoner decided she wasn’t ready and promptly quit attempting to make her appearing into the world last Thursday. Which is actually OK by me… as many know, I work for the DoD and budget cuts are really bad right now. People are leaving left and right and so I’ve been tasked with picking up extra work since we’re not backfilling positions (my team of 53 has dwindled to 28 in a year’s time). Personally, I love my job and plan on sticking it out –besides, who’s going to hire a 9 month pregnant lady? – but my boss asked me to take on someone else’s job duties in addition to my own full-time job. Four weeks before I’m supposedly due and will be out of the office for six weeks. YIKES. It’s stressing me out, but I’m always happy to learn new skills. The problem is, it’s completely foreign to me so it’s like starting from scratch. I literally have no clue what this woman does for her job so we’re really starting from the bottom.

Because of Baby Marathoner’s dramatics, I had to skip the Turkey Trot 5k on Thanksgiving morning! We figured better safe to be at home and 10 minutes away from the hospital instead of a few miles away from the finish line and have something happen. Surprisingly I wasn’t too sad about missing my last race of the year, although in hindsight, I wish I had been able to race. Oh well. Now it’s just a waiting game.

I have begun thinking about post-baby training. I asked for personal training as a Christmas present from my hubby, and he obliged, so I have six weeks of personal training lined up for whenever I’m cleared to get back to working out after delivery. The nice thing is, my trainer is also a runner so she will help me focus on getting back into running shape. Honestly, not that I’ve lost that much while pregnant. These last few weeks, I’ve cut my mileage for sure, but I could most likely still go run an actual 5k right now and not have any trouble. I’d be sore as heck afterwards, but the actual running isn’t a problem. But I would really like to tone my butt, stomach, and hips, so maybe that’s what we’ll work on as well. It will also be interesting to see what she recommends regarding working out and breastfeeding. The tempting thing, of course, is to cut calories to lose any remaining baby weight, but I don’t want to cut so much that my supply dwindles. We’ll see when we get there, I suppose.

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving – I attempted to eat a lot, but my tummy is still squished by a baby bottom, so I couldn’t even finish one plate. Ah, wish I had that problem when I’m not pregnant, right?!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

My running shoes miss me

Just to clarify, I have (had) 11 days until I reach full term (36 weeks according to my doctor). I’ve still got 5 more weeks until my due date which is December 19th, but I only had to hold off on running until 36 weeks (next Monday) to make sure Baby Marathoner cooks a bit longer. She considered making an appearance last week after I went for a 3 mile run! But thankfully, she’s decided to hang out a bit longer and running’s off the table for another week…. gets those contractions going! Good to know that running can help move things along when she’s ready. :) I’m of the opinion that most babies come when they’re ready, so I can run all I want and if she’s ready to make her grand entrance, she’ll let us know. But in the meantime, better to play it safe than sorry until I’m full term.

But dang it, my running shoes are staring at me longingly. I miss them! They miss me! Funny how suddenly when you’re told you can’t do something, it just makes you want to do it all that much more! I’ve taken to walking and the elliptical in the meantime and it’s ok. But I miss running. I have a Turkey Trot 5k on Thanksgiving morning that I’m still planning on “wogging” as my last 5k of the season/this pregnancy. I am so, so thankful that I’ve been able to continue running, even with this short-lived hiatus. It’s been incredibly important to me to continue, and it gives me amazing faith in my body and myself. And I know my love for running will still be there after Miss Kate is here. And I can’t wait to take her to races and see her and my awesome hubby cheering me on at the finish line in her cute Running Chick outfit!

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But this post is not really about cute baby outfits (but they are SO CUTE AND I WANT THEM ALL!) or about my sad, lonely running shoes collecting dust in the closet (ok, time to stop being melodramatic… it’s only a short hiatus!) This is about skipping workouts, and how easy it is to make excuses. It’s really easy to skip working out, regardless if I’m on a running break or not. It’s easy to make excuses for missing runs. I’ve got some pretty good ones, too. A few weeks ago, the air force base where I work was locked down – not atypical, I’m sure someone left a powdered donut on a counter somewhere and we had to call HAZMAT – for 45 minutes when I tried to leave. My excuse was “oh, well, now my schedule’s ALL messed up and I can’t go to the gym to run.” So I went home. I mean, really? It’s not like I was stuck at work until midnight.

Other common excuses from yours truly:

  • I’m tired/I have indigestion/I’m constipated (I should know better that running usually cures the last excuse, and quite well!)
  • I have to go home and make dinner (because my husband is apparently barbaric and has no clue how to fend for himself)
  • I can’t keep up with everyone else in running boot camp
  • I’ll run tomorrow because I’ll feel better/more energetic (that has NEVER come true)
  • I can’t workout today because it’s not on my schedule (Seriously???)

Just a handful, but you get the idea. I should know by now that I always feel better after I work out – mentally, emotionally, physically. But does that stop the excuses? Usually not. I’m sure everyone can relate!

For a great post on making excuses, Carly @ Chubby Chicks Run Too invited Kara Douglass Thom and Laurie Kocanda, authors of Hot (Sweaty) Mamas: Five Secrets to Life as a Fit Mom for a guest post on distinguishing between excuses and legitimate reasons to skip workouts. I have a feeling this advice will become even more vital as I enter mommyhood here in the next few weeks and find myself wanting to skip workouts.

Friday, November 11, 2011

“Pelvic rest” update

Only advice from my doctor is to “take it easy” for the next 11 days until I’m full term. I think that means I can get lucky with the hubs, and low impact exercise until then, but maybe just not on the same day and apparently not when there’s a full moon or a snow storm moving in.  And then it is game on.  But this means I’ll be sitting out the Turkey Trot Predict 5k next Saturday (that’s ok, it’s not that great of a course anyway).

Until then, I’ll miss you, running! We’ll meet again soon enough.

Why is it that whenever someone tells me I can’t do something, I only want it that much more? :)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

New respect for my body

With all the things I’ve put my body through over the past 29 years, I should have a lot of respect for it. After all, it carried around 80 extra pounds for awhile, and managed to participate in some high impact activities while that heavy – without knee problems (coincidentally, the knee problems reared their ugly heads when I was much lighter!) It’s also managed to run a half marathon on little training – not the smartest idea, but being young and dumb, it never really occurred to me that my body couldn’t handle it. At times, I’ve probably pushed myself harder while running during this pregnancy than I should have (I’m thinking of my 10k PR at 19 weeks) and my body’s just kind of been like, “well alright, do what you need to do.” Which is also probably why I naively thought I could run 13.1 miles at 30 weeks pregnant because I wasn’t that big at 19 weeks when the idea popped into my head. Feel free to laugh at that one… I know I have.

I think all stages of pregnancy tend to bring out negative stories with people. You know people who have had a hard time getting pregnant. You know people who have had a hard time staying pregnant. You know people who have horrible, terrible, miserable pregnancies and equally horrible, terrible and miserable labors and deliveries. The emergency C-sections or the unbearable pain of childbirth being too great to handle (but somehow, we always do). So it is always a surprise to me when things have gone right with my own pregnancy because of all the horror stories you hear leading up to pregnancy and childbirth. Now, I haven’t given birth to this little future runner yet, but pregnancy as a whole has pleasantly surprised me, and it’s given me a newfound respect for what women’s bodies are actually capable of. Someone told me, early on, that I would have this enormous respect for my body after giving birth, and it made me roll my eyes. First, because I never really expected pregnancy to go smoothly and secondly, women have babies every day. It’s not exactly a new feat for humanity.

The first time I was surprised at how well things were going was after our 20 week ultrasound. I wasn’t at any risk for pre-term labor, and the bambino looked perfectly healthy and was measuring right on track. I guess, because people who knew I was pregnant had started commenting on how small I was, I figured that she would measure behind or something was wrong and she wasn’t growing correctly. Nope, she is perfect as can be. My doctor even commented that I couldn’t ask for a better pregnancy. A nice compliment for sure.

The second (and subsequently, all the times since then) I was surprised was when my body started to noticeably prepare for labor. Suddenly, around 30 weeks, things were starting to get a little painful. I could run despite the IT band pain in my knee, but this lower back ache is for the birds. I’m compensating for a protruding belly by arching my back while running – despite using a maternity support belt. And what is this pelvic pressure? And this ligament pain? Excuse me, I want the second trimester back, thank you very much… it was much more comfortable than this!

Then, around 32-33 weeks, my hips started to widen (and the IT band pain went away – more proof that it’s pregnancy-related? I think so!) and my boobs started leaking. Oh, this is new. Oh, it’s my body making sure that everything’s in working order for breastfeeding? Well that’s nice to know that my milk jugs are functioning. And the Braxton-Hicks contractions were starting to make an appearance as well. It was a little scary how on target everything was going. Like, my body read all of the medical textbooks about preparing for labor scary. I was also told that as long as I could make it to 36 weeks, they didn’t care what happened in terms of labor after that.. game on!

And then came 34 weeks on the dot, and I decided that it’d be a good day to go for a run, some “nighttime entertainment” with the Mister if you know what I mean, and oh yeah, a snowstorm is moving in. Tempting fate? Apparently so. I ended up getting monitored in labor and delivery for a few hours due to contractions and vomiting. Who knew that you can do those things, just maybe not all on the same night? But still, respect for my body continues. I think at a certain point, you believe that SOMETHING will go wrong because that’s what you hear most about. A part of me has never let myself  believe that I would go into labor on my own, or early for that matter. But at 34 weeks and 1 day, I’m 1 cm dilated and 60% effaced already, much to my and my doctor’s surprise. Miss Kate is sitting pretty low with her head in the right direction. Now, does that mean anything? Maybe, maybe not. Babies are so unpredictable and tend to be on their own timeline. I’m trying not to get my hopes up, because this little kiddo needs to bake at least 1.5 more weeks.

But so far, everything’s still right on track, and my body continues to amaze me. And yeah, I totally attribute a lot of this to running. :)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

A chilly 5k to end October

October is practically over – and I’m ok with that! It was a busy month at work. I worked so many extra hours that I was able to take Friday off and get some errands run before my parents came into town. I have a brand new niece that was born 10/14 to my brother and sister in law. She’s cute and sleeps a lot… my kind of baby, eh?? :)

Anyway, Friday, after wrestling my cat to the vet and back for his rabies shot, I went for a 90-minute pre-natal massage. It was fantastic and extremely relaxing! She worked on my IT bands and hips quite a bit… always nice these days.

Saturday, we headed to Palmer Lake for the Creepy Crawler 5k. I ran the same 5k last year and swore I wouldn’t do it again, but in an effort to keep  myself motivated through these last 7 (!!!) weeks, I signed up. It’s a good trail, but it’s out and back with the last half uphill. The temp wasn’t bad, but the wind was…less than desirable.

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Looking a little rounder these days….

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I finished in 38:00 … slow, but hey, I’m not pushing any time goals these days. :)

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Hey, there’s really a baby in there! Just 7 weeks (plus or minus) before she’s here!

Running’s getting kind of difficult these days. My lower back hurts and my pelvic bones feel like they’re bruised after a run. It may be time to go to a shuffle/”wog” until after delivery. I have two more 5ks that I’d like to run, just to keep it up, with the last one on Thanksgiving morning. I’m grateful I’ve been able to run until now, and I’ll test out the shuffle method this week to see if it makes a difference pain-wise. I’d hate to give it up now. The stubborn in me doesn’t want to. But man, am I sore the rest of the day. I’ll also add in some lower impact options (cycling and elliptical) in the mean time. The good news is, my IT band in my left leg that has given me so many problems seems to have subsided. Coincidentally, this also occurred at the same time that my hips have begun to loosen and widen in preparation for delivery. It’s truly fascinating what the human body is capable of!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

31 week check up

Tuesday I had the pleasure of attending my last monthly check up. Now starts the bi-weekly appointments until 36 weeks, at which I’ll go every week. Hopefully I won’t have to do that for very long.

At 31 weeks….

  • I’ve gained 17 lbs (“fantastic” according to my doc). If I continue gaining 1 lb/week, I’ll end up around 25-26 pounds total.
  • My blood pressure is still relatively low.
  • My gestational diabetes glucose test came back with great numbers. My blood sugar was 84 and they want anything under 140. Some great news considering I am at higher risk because I’m over 25 and have a parent with diabetes.
  • Baby is head down. Still could turn numerous times, but at least she’s cooperating for the time being.

I’m measuring exactly at 31 weeks. This was such a relief for me to hear. My whole pregnancy, I’ve heard from basically everyone that I’m “so small” and “really tiny,” and even received a concerned look from a friend about the size of my tummy at 22 weeks. While this might seem great on the surface, after awhile, it caused me to really worry that my baby wasn’t growing properly or that I wasn’t eating enough (but trust me, I EAT!) The husband and I attended an infant care class over the weekend and I was curious to know how far along each of the 12 pregnant ladies in the class were. They were at least twice the size of me in terms of belly. I was thinking they’ve got to be due within the next month, right? Nope… most were due about 1 week before or 1 week after.

This REALLY made me worry, but according to the doc, I’m right where I should be.  So hooray! Also, I have to give props to my awesome husband here… I was venting my worries about being “tiny” compared to other girls who are due in December.

He says, “I don’t why you let it bother you. They looked so uncomfortable.  They’re probably looking at you thinking ‘I wish I was that small!’ “

It changed my perspective….. just one of the many reasons why I married him. :)

Monday, October 17, 2011

Mama marathoner

I know I’m a little late to the game with this post, but I’m sure by now everyone’s heard of the 39 week pregnant marathoner who ran the Chicago marathon last week – ALL 26.2 miles – and then went into labor and gave birth to a healthy baby girl. Given that I’ve been very open about the fact that I’ve spent my entire pregnancy so far continuing to run, a lot of folks at work asked me if I’d heard about the story and what did I think. I’d first heard about it through a Running Mamas message board that I frequent, and the feedback that I’ve seen ranges from everything saying the child should be taken away from the mom because of child abuse and shaken baby syndrome to full on HECK YEAH, YOU GO GIRL!

I’m sure you can guess what type of people make the former comments (those that don’t know anything about exercise and pregnancy, let alone running) and what type of folks make the latter (runners). Depending on what story you read, you may or may not have found out that Marathon Mom had already run another marathon at 17 weeks pregnant, only ran 13 miles and walked the last 13, and listen, this lady is in incredible marathoning shape, regardless of whether or not she’s carrying a baby.

Of course I tend to side more with runners, but that’s not to say that I would go out and run a marathon while pregnant. I decided against running the half at 30 weeks, mostly because I didn’t feel my body could handle it. I’m confident that my baby would fair just fine, but my knees and joints these days are much more interested in loosening up in preparation for birthing a human in two months. 6 miles really hurts my knees and hips the rest of the day. 13 miles? I’d probably take a day off from work just to crawl around the house in pathetic pain. While I’m totally cool with putting my body through torture, at some point when I’m carrying an extra 17 pounds, it is soooo not worth it!

My future postpartum personal trainer at the gym, who also ran the Denver RnR Half, said she was glad I didn’t because it certainly can’t be good for the baby. The truth is, babies are largely unaffected in a negative way by exercise, and that goes for intense exercise. Babies in utero are extremely efficient, and so is your own body when you’re carrying the baby. What’s so fascinating about pregnancy is that our bodies are designed to put mom second and baby first when you become pregnant. All those nutrients you’re eating? Baby gets first crack at them. Leftovers are for mom. Same goes for oxygen, blood, and all that important stuff that’s vital for survival. Studies have shown that women who exercise intensely in the first trimester have larger than average placentas. Why is this good? Because oxygen, nutrient exchange, and blood flow is increased with a larger placenta. What is already designed by nature to to be efficient in meeting baby’s needs first becomes even more effective at doing its job. It really is incredible and there’s so much I could write about why it’s really good to exercise during pregnancy. There are no hard and fast rules with pregnant exercising these days with the exception of the following:

  1. Don’t get to the point of exhaustion
  2. Stay hydrated

I have had people tell me that I don’t care about my baby because I run, that I might be suffocating my baby from the lack of oxygen, that I’m being selfish by exercising, and so on. The fact of the matter is, there is NO SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE to suggest that at all. In fact, all evidence and research points to the opposite. And I will say this: exercising moms tend to gain less weight and have smaller (but still normal weight) babies. And that is not a bad thing!

But back to Marathon Mom. Bottom line is, to each their own. I’m not in marathon shape while not pregnant so I definitely wouldn’t chose to do so while pregnant. There’s also some consideration with gestational age. At 30 weeks pregnant, I would be more concerned about pre-term labor. 30 week old babies can certainly survive, but I prefer mine to cook a bit longer. :) At 39 weeks, you’re not looking at any complication from delivering early, so if your body’s up to it, then I think the risk of going into labor is not as big of a deal. Keep in mind that with huge marathons like the Chicago marathon, medical personnel are at practically every corner, so fortunately, help wouldn’t be but a short distance away if your water broke at mile 18.

More power to Marathon Mom… if anything, it gets folks talking and hopefully, the benefits of exercising while pregnant will get some great publicity.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

No, that’s not a pumpkin under my shirt

Is it looking like fall where you guys are? Because it’s not here (and I love it!) The weather’s been in the upper 70s and low 80s and it’s just perfect if you ask me. So was the case on Saturday when I ran the Great Pumpkin Race 10k at Venetucci Farm down in the south part of town. It’s a decently sized race (about 600 runners) but most of them run the 5k. And I kind of wished I had, too, because it was a tough course and my body is worn out!

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It’s a beautiful course in terms of scenery…pumpkin patches, hay fields, some ponds…..but the trail itself is rough with lots of ruts, holes and tree roots. I rolled my ankle twice in a snake (or gopher?) hole. Fortunately I caught myself both times, but I did pass a runner who wasn’t so lucky and sprained his ankle. Ouch!

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The kiddo and I started the race promptly at 8:30. First mile or two was easy. By the split for the 5k/10k at mile 2, I was really wishing I’d signed up for the 5k. It wasn’t tough by any means, but my heart was just really longing to only run 3 miles. Not this 6 mile crap. Ha!

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I did OK, though. They warned us that it’s a slow course and it was… I was about a minute slower/mile than my usual time. Lots of sand and things to watch out for, including a crowded course for the first 2 miles until we split from the 5k runners.

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The kiddo and I finished in 1:13 – definitely not my best time, but not my worst either. And I got a lot of encouragement from fellow runners which is always appreciated! I am coming up on 30 weeks next Monday and my initial goal was to make it to 30 weeks… well, I’m still feeling really good (maybe not 6 miles good, but definitely 3 miles good) so the plan for now is to keep going. I’ve got my eye on three more 5ks for the rest of the year/season, with my last one on Thanksgiving morning when I’ll be 36 weeks pregnant. Mmmm, turkey……

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Believe it or not, I do still exist

I am a bad blogger.

Life has been just absolutely nuts lately. I feel like I haven’t had a break since the accident happened, and that was a month ago!

The good news is, things seem to be settling down (hahahahaha….yeah, right…) Well, ok. At least regarding the accident, things seem to be settling.  My 4Runner was totaled, and we had to fight a little with MY insurance over how much it was worth, but in the end, our hard work and research paid off and we reached a fair settlement. We replaced my car with another 4Runner that I’m REALLY happy with and feel like it’s a great replacement.

And then…we were off to North Carolina for my sister in law’s beach wedding. It was fantastic and exhausting and wonderful to spend a few days at the beach… a rarity in my life (the beach, that is!)

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Wedding 

I’m officially in my THIRD TRIMESTER. What the heck? When did that happen? And I’m looking pretty pregnant these days. Guess it had to happen sometime. ;-) I have a 10k on Saturday so I’ll be sure to take some belly shots… I’ll be almost 29 weeks and it’s really unbelievable to me that this is happening so fast. On the one hand, I’m so ready for Kate to be here. On the other hand, I’m terrified. I find myself asking a lot lately if I care as much about being thin or running. What if I don’t care about running after she’s here? What if I never lose the weight? I guess only time will tell…

Monday, September 12, 2011

Letting go

I’ve been keeping something from everyone.

After I ran the Classic 10k at 19 weeks pregnant, I got an idea in my mind. An idea that I probably should have let go and accepted was not going to pan out this year. An idea that, instead, I’ve tried to make happen and after a lot of tears, accepted that it’s just not.

The Rock N Roll Denver Half Marathon.

I’d formulated a plan and it was going to be marvelous. 13.1 miles at 30 weeks pregnant! It would be a huge accomplishment. But in recent weeks, my knee has been giving me too much trouble, and my growing belly doesn’t want to cooperate for more than a few miles. Despite encouragement from my husband and doctor, I decided on Sunday that it just wasn’t going to happen for me. I cried a few tears, I bargained with myself … maybe I could walk it? Maybe I would be ok… maybe my knee would cooperate and my ligaments would stop hurting and my baby on my bladder wouldn’t force me to stop every few miles. Maybe my worries (irrational, perhaps) about doing something to the baby or going into labor would dissipate. Maybe. Probably not.

I sought advice from other pregnant runners. They assured me my fears of hurting Miss Kate were unwarranted – she would be fine. Cardiovascular-wise, I am still in the best shape I’ve been in… well, ever. It’s not the mileage that’s giving me problems, it’s my body just wanting to spend time doing other things right now, like preparing for birthing another human being. My fellow Running Mamas said the biggest obstacle would be being uncomfortable. And they are right. It’s uncomfortable. Oh, and if I could let go of time and speed, and just focus on finishing. I SAY I can do that. Reality suggests otherwise. I’m still a competitive person with myself and it’s hard to let that go.

After debating with myself, I came to the tearful conclusion that 2011 would not hold a half marathon for me. That’s tough for me to accept. I feel defeated in some ways, and liberated in others. I keep thinking that I place these unrealistic expectations on myself, and sometimes, they’re not always achievable. It dawned on me today that wouldn’t it be nice to not have such a high expectation of myself sometimes? That I could get back to enjoying running for running, by not expecting my body to do something that it doesn’t want to do for the time being? Wouldn’t it be nice to go run for a few miles every week, and not get down on myself when I don’t meet my expectations….and rather rejoice in the fact that I’m still running?

My husband and I then sat down to refocus my exercise for the rest of this pregnancy. I would like to run 2-3 times a week (with one of those times being my running boot camp class) with no expectations of mileage or speed. Pilates is still working for me for the time being, but the moves are getting harder with my growing tummy. There’s always water aerobics and spin class, which I’m very open to doing (and low impact so my knee will thank me). And 5k races? Oh, that’s always on the table. I do have one more 10k in three weeks… it’s going to be a slow one, but a fun one for sure. The husband and I decided I should keep racing 5ks to keep me motivated, but not place such an unrealistic expectation on myself. I think I can do that. But in the meantime, I’ll work on letting go of finishing a half marathon this year. There’s always next year…

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Get out… and move!

I was able to take Friday off and work a half day from home before launching into a busy, hurried prep of cleaning the house, running errands, and baking up a storm for the beginning of college football season. Woohoo! We have season tickets to Air Force football this year with a bunch of our friends, and I’m looking forward to some Saturdays being filled with a lot of fun with great friends. Saturday was the season opener and while (naturally) we’ve had 80/90 degree weather all week, it cooled off significantly and it topped out in the 70s, albeit windy. My in laws were able to come down, and I have to tell you…pregnancy is starting to take a toll on my energy level. I just can’t go, go, go for a few days straight like I used to. Or I’m getting older. One of the two (or both!) It would have been a busy week regardless of the accident on Monday… I really hope this next week is much less dramatic.

Of all the things you could fill the long weekend with, why not take a little time to exercise? I took it easy last week, but I think my lack of energy can also be attributed to my lack of moving! It’s amazing how much better I feel when I get out there and exercise. Of course, the hardest step is just getting out the door.. right?

I found some inspiration to kick off this next week. What motivates you to get moving?

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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

What a mess

Since everything is still pending and you never know who’s reading your blog, I won’t go into much detail, but….

Monday afternoon on the way home from work, I was t-boned by a drunk that ran a red light. Everything’s fine – Kate and I escaped unscathed, thank goodness. We spent a few hours in Labor & Delivery being monitored, but we’re both OK and got to go home Monday night. She’s as active as ever and not slowing down any time soon! My Toyota 4Runner is totaled, and we’re kind of sure/kind of not sure if the other driver had insurance. She did pony up some insurance info after awhile, but it’s a big long mess and I don’t want to go into too much detail in the even that we need to hire a lawyer and all that fun stuff.

Bottom line – I could TOTALLY do without this drama. Ugh.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Free time? What’s that?

Has anyone else experienced an uptick in activities these past few weeks? I mean, it just seems like you’re busier than normal? It feels that way for us. I can’t remember when we didn’t have a night (weekend or weekday) that we didn’t have something going on. Makes me think that, at least here in Colorado, the days are getting shorter and while it’s still hot as HECK out, I can sense that winter will be here before we know it. It’s already back to being dark when I go to work in the mornings, and it seems as though it’s dark by 7:45 now. Bummer. I live for summer around these parts, especially since it seems like ours is usually shorter than most. I have hope this year that the snow will hold out for a few more months, but you never know. We’ve had an unseasonably warm year with very little snow earlier this year, so here’s to hoping that continues for the rest of 2011.

After my 10k a week and a half ago, I listened to my (very aching) body and took it easy the following week, running just once (5 miles) and letting myself recover. My muscles were incredibly sore, mostly from booking it uphill – it’ll get my quads every time! – and mentally and physically, I was exhausted. This week I’ve been back at it, logging 5 miles on Monday and Wednesday, back to Pilates class, and hoping to log a 7-8 mile run on Saturday. I actually don’t have any races planned for September, which is no fun, but there doesn’t seem to be any race that I really want to do, save the American Discovery Trail marathon relay over Labor Day, but one of my relay partners just moved to Denver, and my other relay partner is running the full marathon! So that’s a bit out of the question.

I did order the maternity support belt and got it in on Friday. I tested it out Monday. I took it off after a mile. It was pressing against my bladder and making my lower abdomen cramp. Ok, isn’t the point of it to relieve baby pressure off of my bladder!? Maybe I’m just not big enough yet, so I’ll try again in a few weeks. But I’m happy to say that the two 5 mile runs I’ve done this week have been met with minimal discomfort. If anything, it’s not my growing belly that’s slowing me down… it’s my stupid IT band in my left knee. Sucker hurt from the minute I started running on Monday. I rolled it out that night and on Tuesday, and my run on Wednesday felt much, much better.

Anyway..back to being busy. I know it’s only going to get worse once the kiddo is here. But you know, I like being busy. Too many nights at home and I get bored/stir crazy. What about you? Are you finding yourself busier lately, perhaps trying to pack in as many activities as possible before winter or school starts?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Panerathon 10k and thoughts on running at 22 weeks

Last Saturday, I ran the 3rd annual Panerathon 10k. I’d actually signed up for the 5k two years ago, when I’d started running, but the race was cancelled due to ice and someone falling before the race. Last year, I’d intended to run the 10k as part of my Rock n Roll Half Marathon training plan, but got lazy and distracted by job interviews. So third time was the charm this year!

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It was a bit of a cloudy day when we started, but the weather was actually pretty nice. It followed partly the same path of the Classic 10k that I ran about a month ago, only instead of a point-to-point race, this race was an out and back. Which meant the first 3.1 miles were downhill, and the last 3.1 miles were all uphill. Ugh.

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Probably in the past week or so, I’ve really started to feel the effects of having a bigger tummy when running. Kate’s been sitting on my bladder (probably due to size and gravity) whenever I run, and it’s getting a bit uncomfortable. So given that the race was 50% uphill, I really didn’t expect anything spectacular, and certainly not a repeat of my PR at the Classic 10k.

But surprisingly, I did awesome! I finished in 1:07:44, which is about 30 seconds slower than my previous 10k time – a nice feat for me! Yeah! I was super happy with my effort and overall performance. A few folks asked to take my photo at the finish line – apparently pregnant runners are a site to be seen. :)

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Afterwards, I stocked up on free Panera bagels and pastries (yum!) Not sure if that makes running 6.2 miles worth it, but it was a nice reward. Last week, I logged 14 miles total, pretty much what I’m aiming for (12-15 miles weekly).

Back to running with a belly. It’s getting difficult and uncomfortable, and quite frankly, I don’t feel like I’m huge so it shouldn’t be uncomfortable yet. Well, I do feel huge, but realistically, I definitely could be bigger. I still get comments quite a bit that I’m small and don’t look pregnant and when am I going to start showing? While I don’t know the answer to those comments (I personally feel that in the last week or so, I’ve finally started “popping” and am getting a tummy), I do know that it’s increasingly feeling like I’m running with a backpack that keeps getting heavier. At 22 weeks, I’ve gained 8 lbs, which I am very happy with. Overall, I feel OK, Kate is getting more active by the day, so I know she’s doing good, too. And I eat like a horse, so it certainly isn’t for lack of stuffing my face these days.

I ran 5 miles on Wednesday night at the gym, and the baby’s protesting quite a bit these days by sitting very low on my bladder/pelvis. I don’t really know how to explain it except that it doesn’t feel great. It’s not bad enough to make me stop and walk or give up running, but it’s very different from before. After some research and some advice from a pregnant runner’s group, I ordered a maternity support belt that supposedly will help a lot with the uncomfortable bladder feeling. So hopefully it gets here soon and I can get some relief shortly.

I was thinking last night that I don’t know how I will take it if/when I have to stop running during this pregnancy. I think it would put me in a serious funk, and while I know there are other things I could do, nothing brings me the same joy as running, you know? My goal was always to make it as far as I could – hoping to make it to 40 weeks, but always telling myself I’d go as far as possible and that something was better than nothing. But like most runners, I’m stubborn and competitive with myself and hate the thought of defeat. So I’ll just choose to ignore the fears of no longer being able to run for now, and hope this maternity support belt is the answer to my bladder woes.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Sunshine award and a little down time to finally blog

It’s been a crazy week. On top of finding out we’re having a little girl last Monday, my grandmother passed away, my husband was passed over for a promotion at work, and I ended up at Urgent Care for low blood pressure. YIKES. If I never relive last week, I will be totally fine. What a nightmare! Emotional rollercoaster doesn’t even begin to describe it!

Let’s start with the happy thing. Our big anatomy scan was last Monday, and we got to spend about 45 minutes with our surprise girl. We were so convinced she was a boy that it took pretty much the whole night to sink in that we’re really having a girl! We are over the moon in love with her, and she’s already got such a stinker pants personality (stubborn, ornery and active…hmm, reminds me of her dad!)

Check out these awesome long legs! Future runner!

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We actually ended up having to do an internal vaginal ultrasound to get to money shot of her lady parts. Stubborn girl had a foot in her crotch the entire time and wouldn’t move, but since she was sitting breech at that point, we pulled out the secret weapon and got a great shot of her butt/genitals (lol!) Can’t wait to show that on her first date. ;-)

Besides the excitement of having a girl, she’s totally perfect and everything looks great! Nice, strong heart, beautiful brain, two arms and two legs with ten fingers and toes, functioning organs, and even a cute nose, mouth and eyes that we got to see! She’s an active little girl, that’s for sure. Since I started feeling her move about four weeks ago, she moves CONSTANTLY, especially enjoying kicking me in the crotch. Not cool, girl. Not cool. We’ve decided, after much debate for the past 7 days, to call her Kathryn Grace. We’ll most likely go by Kate.

I’ll blog about the other happenings later this week, but I want to move on to something happier – the Sunshine Award!

Bee @ This Time It’s For Real awarded me the Sunshine Award! Thanks, girl! She just moved to Austin, TX so if you live in or around the Austin area, make this native Texan proud and drop her a comment. :)

sunaward I’d like to pass this award on to Nancy @ Living the Dream and Lori @ For the Run of It. Both are such inspirational women who motivate me to get out there and run!

In the spirit of the award, here’s 7 pieces of information about myself… I can’t guarantee they’ll be interesting!

1. My first baby is my big orange tabby cat named Stewie. My husband proposed to me 6 years ago with this tiny orange kitten, meowing very loudly, and a ring around his too-big red collar. I’d had an orange tabby as a little girl that I loved and who ran away when we moved to Colorado, so having another orange kitty was always a goal of mine, and my husband pulled through. Today he’s a 14-pounder lap kitty whom I spoil very, very much!

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What a handsome guy!

2. I’ve gone 21 weeks without being hit with any sort of craving. Is that weird? The one thing I think I might crave is a large iced tea from Sonic. Could be worse, I suppose, but I keep waiting for something weird and random to strike. The problem is, I think, I just love food in general. Wanting pizza is nothing new to me!

3. When I was a wee baby, I had braces on my legs because they were turning to the inside instead of growing straight. Interestingly enough, my mom actually had surgery on one of her legs as a teen because it was significantly longer than the other leg, so the surgery removed part of her femur to shorten it. Leg problems apparently run in my family! A part of me does believe my leg problems as a baby contribute to my hip flexor problems while running.

4. In real life, I am a technical writer/editor for a living. After working for a small privately-owned software company for 4 years, I jumped to government work and have worked on an air force base for the past year. LOVE it, although funding is volatile at times (love you too, Congress).

5. This year I successfully grew yellow squash, zucchini, and roma tomatoes without killing them – a first! Next year, we are building box gardens and I plan on having a bountiful harvest. I can hardly wait! The weather is so finicky here in Colorado, though. Last summer, we had quite a cool and rainy season, with it snowing until the last weekend of May. This year, we’ve had a hot and dry summer with the exception of the last 2-3 weeks where it’s poured every single afternoon (which is actually more typical of Colorado). So who knows what next summer will bring, but I’m hoping to expand my garden to include strawberries, raspberries, cucumbers, peppers/jalapenos, in addition to squash and tomatoes. Yum!

6. I am WAY more nervous about having a girl than a boy, which surprises me! I think it’s because I know what they’re like, and I was a totally dramatic and sucky teen, so I’ve spent the past week really praying this little girl really does take after her dad!

7. I MISS VODKA TONICS WITH LIME! We’ll meet again soon, my dear friend.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Quick update!

For those that aren’t friends with me on Facebook, we found out today that we’re having a beautiful baby GIRL! We are so shocked because we were both convinced that it was a boy…but nope, it’s definitely a girl! She is wonderful and perfect and she has nice long legs like her daddy… FUTURE MARATHONER! WOOHOO! :)

Monday, July 25, 2011

Crawling out

First, I just want to say thanks for all of the kind and helpful comments on my last post. It seems as though nobody but you guys and my husband understand how I feel or what I’m going through. Exasperated by the fact that one of my friends who has a six month old (previous marathoner) gave me a hard time about running during pregnancy on Saturday, it feels like even those I expect to support or understand my feelings are in fact, quite the opposite. I’m quickly finding out that when you’re pregnant, everyone’s got an opinion or advice; even when you explicitly state that you’re tired of unsolicited advice they give it to you anyway!

It has been SUCH an up and down weekend. So, in true Karen @ Waisting Time style, I give you my weekend recap, running style.

Gold medal – The Classic 10k. Let’s hear it for finishing my first official 10k as a pregnant lady! And even better, I beat my previous 10k time (for the same race) by 13 seconds! Woohoo!

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6.2 miles at 19 weeks pregnant – my finish time was 1:07:19. I RAN all the hills (also different from last year), and my sweet, awesome hubby paced me the entire way. Very, very pleased, and baby was sooo active and kicking up a storm the rest of the day. I think he/she likes running!

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This was a HUGE confidence booster for me, being 6 lbs heavier than last year, but having my running improved so much. Last year, I really felt wiped out by mile 4 because I was pushing it, but this year, it didn’t really feel difficult until that last .2 miles. I felt great and confidence the entire race, despite the usual feeling like I had to pee during the first mile. I really feel like I am in better running shape than I was a year ago.

Bronze medal - maternity clothes. Why do they suck? I officially don’t fit into ANY of my pants anymore, and while the Bella Band lasted me for a few weeks, it’s not really conducive when I can’t even squeeze the pants around my hips, let alone zip them up. I tried to go maternity clothes shopping last week, but I’m still too small for the full maternity clothes and too big for my regular size. The solution? Just by bigger clothes. I ordered some “in between” maternity clothes from Old Navy, but upon finding out they wouldn’t be here for another week, I went to TJ Maxx yesterday and just bought three pairs of pants in a size 8. Oh, and one pair of awesome black pants in a size 6 because I WILL be back there some day! So, I feel better that I have clothes that fit, not so pleased that I dropped $200 on stuff that won’t fit me for that long. That’s what I get for getting rid of all my fat clothes 4 months before we conceived!

Last place- the scale. Still up 1.4 lbs despite tremendous exercise this weekend. I feel my efforts are becoming futile at this point. But to be honest, I should be paying closer attention to what I’m eating. One bratwurst for lunch is OK, Anna. A bratwurst plus a hot dog is probably not something to brag about. The exercise is spot on, but the diet probably (ok, it really) needs tweaking. I realize I will gain weight regardless; I’m just not sure that 2-3 lbs a week is proper?

Pacing myself - one week. A week from today (August 1st), we find out if Baby Marathoner has a hamburger or a hot dog (like my childish antics? I do!) While I think I am pretty sure it’s a boy, most days I second guess myself. Either way, I hope this week goes by quickly! I think we’ve settled on both boy and girl names, so I’ll be sure to update next Monday with the official results.

Last place (again) – IT Band. I have known for about two years that my right hip flexor gives me problems. But my left leg/hip? Never had an issue until about two weeks ago while running. Very irritating and while it’s taking less time to work out/rehab than my right knee, it’s still frustrating. Did you know that IT Band problems are common in pregnant women? Apparently, your connective tissues loosen during pregnancy, making you more prone to injury. It’s behaving well if I make sure to stretch and roll it out after a run, but I was hurting pretty good on Saturday after the race. Unfortunately this limits my running a bit, but as long as it doesn’t get worse, I’ll deal and try not to get too bummed out by it.

Silver medal – Working from home on a Monday. We have foreign VIPs on base today, and we were advised to stay home due to crazy security measures. Yes, please! Here’s to sleeping in an extra 45 minutes, working from home in my jammies, and getting to meet my BFF from college for lunch!

First place – Baby daddy. The only person in the whole world (or so it seems sometimes) that understands me. :)

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Side shot…19 weeks and counting. I’m posting this only because this is pre-tacos. That’s right…. it’s TACO NIGHT at the Babies and Marathons household!!!!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

In a funk

I’ve been mulling blogging for several days and each time that I start to form words in my mind, I just can’t bring myself to do it. I think I needed to be in a better place so I could approach my newfound Debbie Downer attitude from a positive standpoint (i.e., I want to be on my way out of it before I wrote about it, if that makes sense).

It really started with my clothes getting tight, and being depressed about hitting the 140s, and having to try and find new clothes, but being so lost with what to buy/where to buy anything maternity. I’m too small for regular maternity clothes, but too big for my own clothes. I finally just bought bigger clothes, but still go through closet musical chairs every morning trying to find something that doesn’t make me feel like a total whale. Quite frankly, it really bothers me that I’m gaining weight. I know it’s “expected” and “a positive,” and on the plus side, at my doctor’s appointment last Friday, I’d *officially* only gained 3 pounds, which means it’s ALL baby/boobs/uterus – plus. A good thing. It means that my exercising is paying off and I’m (so far) not gaining any fat. But can I see this? No. What I see is that it looks like I gained triple that if you go by my appearance. I have a bump, sure, but it’s still not noticeable enough that anyone can tell I’m actually pregnant. I really just look chubby and like I’ve got an 18-wheeler strapped to my midsection, not just your normal spare tire.

It’s VERY hard for me to be exercising so much (running three times a week plus pilates) and not see any immediate gratification from it. I feel I’m actually in better shape cardiovascular-wise than before I got pregnant, and yet I see no results from it. The scale just keeps creeping up! Logically I know this is supposed to happen and it means that Baby Marathoner is growing and all that fun stuff, but emotionally, it really, really sucks. If I was exercising this much and not pregnant, I’d probably be at my happy weight with no problem.

I do know that benefits will come in time, and there’s no doubt that I’m not throwing in the towel, accepting my fate, and eating for two like it’s going out of style. If anything, I have immense gratitude for every mile I’m able to log. I feel like every mile is a gift right now, and I am impressed with myself that I’m nearly halfway through my pregnancy and still running! Cher needs to appear and give me a dose of reality:

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I do actually think a lot of my attitude in general has to do with pregnancy hormones. I’m cranky, I had my first unwarranted crazy pregnant lady crying episode earlier this week, and I’m generally down about everything (mostly my appearance, though). I know it will get better, and I try to remind myself that the reward IS coming, and this hard work WILL pay off for sure.

And there is always the next ultrasound to look forward to. We’ll find out if we need to buy blue or pink running shoes on August 1st. :) Baby Marathoner is also running in his first 10k on Saturday, and racing always puts me in a better mood!

So here’s to breaking out of this funk. I did find some cute “in between stage” maternity clothes at Old Navy, I’m getting a new hair cut next weekend, and giving myself a well-deserved manicure. And strapping on my running shoes, of course!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Of all the things I’ve lost, I miss my mind the most

I have a lot on my mind so bear with me as I verbally vomit.

Something that worried me about becoming pregnant and motherhood was the loss of my identity. That’s kind of an abstract concept, so I hope I can explain it well… what I mean by loss of identity is losing sight of myself – who I am, what I love, what has shaped me and what makes me unique. I feared/fear becoming a talking bobble head who only talks about her kids, drives a minivan (no offense to minivan drivers, but I love my 4Runner!), and is basically consumed by her kids’ lives. I have feared losing my passion for my husband, running, my job, my hobbies, etc. and so of all the hundreds and hundreds of talks that I had with my hubby before we took the plunge, maintaining me was at the top of my list.  Thankfully, I married a rock star of a husband who listens well and we worked through how I could maintain my identity, because frankly, it would affect him too. And I know he also wants to maintain his identity, which involves doting on his wife (ha!), fixing cars, riding dirt bikes, going to happy hour, and keeping so many of his passions that shape who he is. I am a firm believer that a healthy person makes a healthy wife/mother/employee/etc.

We’ve done a good job of that so far, the two of us. He hardly blinked an eye when I suggested joining the gym again, and encourages me pretty regularly to go because he knows it makes me happy. We’ve talked a lot about me going back to work part-time after six weeks of maternity leave (I would work from home for 12 hours and work in the office one day) mostly because I love my job and have invested a lot in my career, but also because I know it would help me to get out of the house and do things and be around adults. We’ve talked about each of us taking half a day to do whatever we want, by ourselves, once the baby is here so we can both enjoy our hobbies. That may be unrealistic (it probably is), but it’s it’s a naive nice dream to have. :)

What I didn’t anticipate is how much other people would forget that I am more than the talking bobble head. That I have a lot more going on in my life than preparing for this baby. Like figuring out my maternity leave, which the thought of juggling it all stresses me out. Or how, because I am paid on a monthly basis and it’s a month behind, how we are going to swing being a one-income family for a bit while I’m on leave. Or that I have a 10k in just over a week, or that I am really seriously considering the San Antonio Rock ‘n Roll MARATHON 11 months post-partum. And considering all of the trepidations I had before I got pregnant, well, they rear their ugly head from time to time, and it takes the wind out of my sails wondering if we did the right thing, I like my life the way it is, and why did we have to go and change everything?

What doesn’t keep me up at night is finishing painting the nursery, what we’re going to name the baby, or where we’re registering for the millions of ridiculous and superfluous things that a baby apparently “needs” according to Babies R Us and Target. But that’s what everyone else wants to talk about. And while I don’t want to rain on their parade or be a damper on their excitement, sometimes it’s just too much to handle! And then I get all anti-mommy and shut down for a few days and don’t want to talk about anything baby-related. I love my little growing runner, no doubt. But I am struggling to find a balance between what everyone else wants to talk about, and what’s going on in the other 99% of my life, you know?

I don’t know that I’ve come to any conclusion other than I needed to get this out because other than my husband, there’s no one else that really understands the struggle I’m having maintaining my identity. I know it will change and conform when the kiddo arrives, and I expect that and am open to it. But at this point in my life, there’s definitely a lot of other exciting things going on, and I miss people taking an interest in those things instead of asking for the millionth time if I know what I’m having yet… you know?

Anyone, anyone?

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Vacation and 16 weeks (yikes)

Why must vacations come to an end!? I so enjoyed my extra few days off. On Tuesday, I hit the gym for an elliptical workout, which left my legs screaming. They were already sore and tired from the race, but I know working them out made my recovery a bit faster. I came home for a quick shower, went and picked up lunch (turkey and chipotle mayo on challah – mmmm!) and met hubby for lunch before heading off for a long-awaited spa appointment. I’d received a spafinder.com gift card for Christmas, and had intended on using it after my two half marathons in May. But I was still in my first trimester, and apparently massages in the first trimester are forbidden, so I had to wait until the second trimester. Well, Tuesday was the perfect time to do it and I’m soooo glad I did! It was my first professional massage ever, and it was absolutely enjoyable. Since I booked a 30 minute massage, she focused mostly on my neck and shoulders, which is what I wanted. But, my hips and thighs were so sore from running that I was really wishing I’d had a sports therapy-type massage on top of it. Anyway, it really was heavenly, and I can see easily becoming addicted to it! :) I also booked a one-hour spa pedicure, so I did get a great foot and calf massage too. I came home and we made dinner…. to escape the heat (no A/C in our house and 90+ degrees…ugh), we went to Target and checked out all the baby gear.

For Wednesday, I had planned on getting a lot done around the house, but laziness took over and I mostly laid around and watched TV. :) I did manage to get back to Target for a Bella Band as my work pants are getting tight, had lunch with hubby again, and made a few loaves of banana bread. I also managed to get to my treadmill boot camp at the gym for a serious interval workout (12 increasing intervals plus one four-minute hill at the end). I am proud to say that I was the only one who chose to run the hill interval instead of walk. Sweating at the end for sure!! Tomorrow is pilates and that will mark working out for days in a row… an accomplishment for me these days, haha.

Since Karen asked, I took a belly picture! I’ve really popped in the last week so maybe I’m almost out of the looking chubby stage.

16weeks

The Baby Daddy says it looks like I always do when I stick my stomach out after eating too much. I did eat two tacos before taking this photo. Man, those were good tacos!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Celebrating 4 miles at 15w4d

It’s officially summer! Why? Because it’s freaking HOT here!  I know, I know… I’m either complaining about the extreme cold or the heat. There are at least two months where I’m happy with the temperatures here. :)

How did you spend your 4th of July? Mine’s been extremely lazy. I also took off Tuesday and Wednesday, and unlike our normal M.O., we’ve really been pretty free of obligations during the holiday. We did stop by a coworker’s BBQ on Saturday, and Dave and I did run in the Palmer Lake 4 Mile Fun Run on Monday… but other than that? Nada. It’s been wonderful!

PL4 

I picked up this great shirt from For Two Fitness. Got a lot of compliments – people loved it and kept asking if it was true! And then were astonished to learn I was 4 months pregnant. It’s pretty supportive and long so as my belly grows, the shirt will stretch nicely along with it. The picture on my blog is from the race last year….ahh, to be 133 lbs again. Some day, some day.

It was a warm one for the race. While it was only 60 when we left the house at 6:25, it was 70 by the time the race started at 7:15… and super hot on the trail. But it was a great race – about 150 more people participated this year than last year, which is always nice.  The course is a nice, easy downhill course from Palmer Lake to Monument. It loops around the lake and then you book it until the end, where they throw in a nice steep hill right before the finish line. Last year, I wimped out and walked the hill; this year, I ran the whole thing (thanks, treadmill boot camp!) We finished in 45:11, about 30ish? seconds slower than my time last year. Not bad for lugging around about 6 extra pounds.

The most interesting and gross part of the race came about halfway through when it suddenly smelled like a dirty diaper. Being that this  race attracts a lot of jogging strollers, I figured someone must have passed me with a dirty diaper in their possession. But I kept smelling it, and smelling it. And soon I realized there were no jogging strollers in front of us or in the vicinity, really. And the stench was bad.  Dave smelled it too, so I know it wasn’t just me.

I’d been playing tag with one woman….she would sprint, then walk, then sprint, then walk. I had it in my mind to pass her once and for all, because I was tired of playing leap frog. At one point, when she was walking in front of me, I noticed it – the wet stain on her shorts that was growing bigger and bigger.  Annnnnd then I put two and two together and realized the stinky diaper smell was coming from her. At that point, I decided to back off quite a bit! Now, I’ll give you crapping your pants during a marathon. I don’t understand it, but I’ll nod my head in a somewhat sympathetic understanding. But 4 miles? On a trail in the middle of nowhere, with lots of bushes and trees and leaves? And you still crapped your pants? Even worse, since it wasn’t running down her leg (she was wearing shorter shorts, mind you), I think she actually was wearing a diaper? Or some seriously plastic undies? Either way, it was not a pretty sight (or smell)

Anyway, here’s to logging my 4th race this year and my 3rd as a pregnant lady. It’s getting interesting, but not so much because of my belly. It’s my boobs growing! But that’s another story for another day. I hope everyone had a safe and fun 4th of July!

PL42

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The inevitable

In the past week or so, I really look like I am packing on the pounds. I was up to 139 last Wednesday, but dropped down to 137.8 by Thursday (thanks to this awesome phenomenon called not pooping for FOUR DAYS and then suddenly having the flood gates open (thank you, second trimester constipation!) Also, I ran for a few miles on Wednesday, so I’m sure that helped. Regardless, I feel chubby. And I don’t like it. I haven’t weighed myself since Thursday morning, but I am guessing that I’m in the 138-139 range. I will probably cry when I cross 140 because for crying out loud… I worked so hard to get here!

While I am sure to be reassured that this sort of thing (weight gain), you know, happens when you’re pregnant, it is still a tough pill to swallow. I make no qualms about the fact that I struggle with the scale inching upwards, despite effort of trying to eat well and exercise. I won’t say I’ve made an all-out effort, because the truth is, I really could exercise more. Eating isn’t terrible except on the weekends, because I still keep a pretty structured breakfast-lunch-dinner routine during the week. I’m trying to cut out the excess carbs that I reached for during first trimester morning sickness, and replace them with good protein (cheese, nuts, and…well, cheese, because I love it). And it works sometimes, but other times, not so much.

So, I’m trying to change my focus. I think I’m doing ok for where I am with regards to weight gain, truly, despite having not-so-rosy feelings about it. The truth is, I can still be fit and active, and that shouldn’t take away from the number on the scale. And it will make that post-pregnancy weight come off quicker, I am sure. And what I definitely need to focus on is how exercise has numerous benefits to both mom and baby (easier delivery, baby can handle stress better while in labor, baby sleeps better after born, etc.). While how much weight I gain during pregnancy is somewhat up in the air, I can still control when and how often I exercise! And, as Dr. Clapp has pointed out my favorite book…

Combining training with pregnancy enhances the heart and blood volume to the point where a woman can actually experience an increase of 5-10% in her aerobic capacity; this “training effect of pregnancy” becomes more apparent 6-12 months after birth. While the speed, intensity, or distance might decrease as a woman advances in her pregnancy, the woman’s capacity to do more actually increases; stopping or reducing exercise during pregnancy will reduce the training benefits post-pregnancy.

And…

The woman who continues regular, sustained exercise until the onset of labor usually delivers five to seven days earlier than a woman with an active lifestyle who does not exercise regularly, and furthermore, those women who exercise for the duration of the pregnancy have leaner, lighter (but just as healthy) babies than those who either don’t exercise at all or who stop midway through the pregnancy.

So while I struggle, and probably will this entire pregnancy, I have to remind myself that there are other benefits to exercise than my usual “watching the scale drop”, which has done so well for me in the past. What are some other benefits to exercise, besides losing weight?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Part 2 – D-day (otherwise known as wedding day)

Saturday morning…

Up at 6 a.m. and waiting for the dentist’s office to open at 8:00. I talked with my in laws a bit about what to do if Dave couldn’t get in to see anyone this weekend. After calling right at 8:00 sharp and dealing with a snarky receptionist (at which point I almost lost it and pulled the crazy pregnant lady card), he was able to get in at 9:30 – and my in laws really helped out by taking him over there while I headed to the reception site to start setting up (it was a DIY wedding, so we had to set up – literally – everything, from tables and place settings to cake table, bar, ceremony decorations…you name it, we decorated it.)

Then, it started happening.

Everything that could have gone wrong, did. ALL of the flowers were wrong, and the bride was understandably upset. She and her mom got into it with the florist…quite comical if it wasn’t already a stressful day… and ended up going to a different florist to find an emergency bouquet. They forgot the kegs. About half an hour before the ceremony, someone realized that the laptop with the music for the ceremony and reception didn’t make it to the site, so someone had to make a last minute run to go retrieve it. I was running around trying to get from one side of town to the other and all the while, still unsure of what the heck was up with my husband and if he’d be there! CHAOS! Add to the fact that I hadn’t slept in 48 hours and I was soooo done.

He did – it turns out, he had an abscess in his tooth, and he got some great painkillers that actually worked. If there was one thing we did get from Urgent Care, it was the antibiotics that he had already started on the night before. Getting a text from him saying that he was feeling much better took a LOAD off my shoulders!

And so, we made it. They got married, we survived, I had my husband back, the baby is fine and dandy, and I still fit into my dress!

Wedding 037-e

Wedding 042-e

Wedding 057

I can’t wait for the professional photos… I know Rachael did a great job with the wedding photos!

But you know what? Even though everything worked out in the end…. I NEVER want to do that again!!!

Monday, June 20, 2011

I never want to do that again!

This is going to be a super long story-telling post. I apologize in advance! But it does have a happy ending.

Part 1 - Friday

Where do I start? So I did both of my exercise classes last week (Treadmill Boot Camp and Pilates). I came home from pilates on Thursday night and my husband was complaining about his teeth hurting…he thought it was probably his sinuses, which happens every few weeks, so neither of us thought much of it. I had Friday off, to do the doctor’s appointment and wedding rehearsal, which was a blessing in disguise. Dave was up all night, literally, in pain from his teeth, so neither of us got any sleep. No matter, I have gone nights without sleeping, and it’s just preparing me for the future, right?

First, Baby Marathoner Stresses Mama Out

We went to the doctor Friday morning for my 13 week check up. We would hear Baby Marathoner’s heart for the first time, but I knew and almost suspected that we would not be able to hear it on the doppler, as I’d read that sometimes it’s still early to hear the heart at this stage. After waiting for almost an hour, my doctor came in and she whipped out the doppler…and sure enough, we couldn’t hear the heart beat. I wasn’t panicking since I prepared myself for it, and so my doctor went and brought in a portable ultrasound machine. I wasn’t going to protest because the last time we saw Baby Marathoner, it looked like a cheese curd and I knew it’d look like a baby at this point! The doctor got the picture up, and Baby Marathoner looked perfect and…well… like a baby. Except she couldn’t see the heart, and Baby Marathoner was not moving. She tried for a minute or two, and could not get a good look at the heart. THIS is when I started to panic….. and right then, Baby Marathoner started jumping around and doing somersaults and aerobics in my tummy. She got a quick peek at the heart (“a few flutters”) and said everything looked great, that babies don’t move that well if they don’t have a strong heart. WHEW!!! So, apparently my child is stubborn (like dad) or a drama queen (like mom), but either way, we got an unplanned ultrasound and got to spend a few minutes watching the kiddo jump around like a frog. It was SO cool. I couldn’t stop smiling for the rest of the day. :) I still smile every time I picture it in my head.

Which was good, because….

We went to the rehearsal as soon as we got out from the doctor (rehearsal was at 10:00 a.m because there was an event at the site that night, so we had to do it in the morning). Dave was getting worse and worse. We got through the rehearsal and went to the rehearsal lunch, which took awhile and Dave was obviously in a lot of pain – he couldn’t eat anything, so he didn’t even touch his food. We went home, my in-laws came back with us and got them settled. Dave and I tried to nap for a bit, but he got to the point where the pain was unbearable. Unsure of what exactly was going on, I suggested we go to Urgent Care and at least get some painkillers, because this was gonna be a LONG weekend if he didn’t. After some convincing (see, stubborn!), we headed over to Urgent Care, where we waited for almost an hour to get in, and then waited another 30 minutes for the doctor to come see us. I am so tired of waiting in doctor’s offices!! She came in, did a quick check and said, I don’t think it’s your sinuses, I think it’s your tooth. Which was also my guess because sinuses don’t make your teeth hurt so bad that you can’t even touch it. She said it might be an abscess, so she gave him a prescription of antibiotics, and a shot of a painkiller plus some pills to get us through the weekend before seeing a dentist on Monday.

We stood up… and Dave got white and woozy! So, we had to stay at Urgent Care for another half an hour so they could monitor him and make sure he was fine. He was, and we packed up and went to Walgreens to get his prescriptions filled. Which also took an hour because the doctor forgot to fax over the prescription. We got home after 3 hours, and my in laws were kind enough to wait for us to go to dinner, but Dave wasn’t in any shape to do that. So he slept, and we went to hibachi (LOVE LOVE LOVE!)

The painkillers did absolutely nothing. He was up again all night, and about 1:30 in the morning, we had to decide: go to the ER, so he could get better painkillers? Try to find an emergency dentist? Do nothing? We decided to call our dentist’s practice and see if anyone could do anything. Thankfully, they do have an on-call dentist, and the operator said he would call us as soon as she got a hold of him. Which apparently, being on call means you ignore your pages or something, because the clock kept ticking… and I didn’t know what to do. Neither of us have slept in two days, and we are tired, and stressed, and Dave’s obviously in a ton of pain. Finally after an hour, the dentist called back and told us “uh yeah, double up on your pain meds, and then 30 minutes later, take four Motrin.”

WT…F?

Seriously?

What part of “he got a 60mg shot of it, it didn’t do ANYTHING except make him nearly pass out, and you think taking 20mg of the same pain meds is going to do anything” did you not understand?

Ugh. So, he did…and it did nothing. Out of options at this point.

Enter my secret weapon.

Dave was beside himself, so around 3:30, I gave him one of my Ativan, because I knew part of the reason it was bothering him so much is because he was exhausted and concentrating on the pain. Anti-anxiety meds will get your mind off of whatever’s ailing you, and make you sleepy in the process (win-win for the both of us). I figure I can’t take them right now, so someone might as well put it to good use! He took it and within half an hour, was able to fall asleep. Which meant I was able to fall asleep for 2.5 hours until 6 a.m. the next morning, long enough to stop worrying about having a hurting husband, who is the Best Man in the wedding, and fulfilling my MOH duties the following day.

Tomorrow…. Part 2 - Saturday

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Quick update – busy week!

It’s wedding week! And on top of a busy week already, things are just plain nuts around here. I was at work for nearly 12 hours on Tuesday, DH had a meeting Wednesday, and is helping another friend set up for another wedding at his home on Thursday. Friday, we have our doctor’s appointment, the rehearsal at 10:00, lunch at 12:30, and somehow I have to squeeze in 4 hours of working from home, finish cleaning my house since my in laws are staying with us, and help out with wedding prep!  And that’s all before the big day (and it ain’t even mine!) Phew!

It’s making for a quick week, though – which I like. I went to treadmill boot camp on Wednesday again, and it was much harder this time, but I also didn’t take it as easy as I did last week. We did a 5 minute tempo run warm up, six sprint intervals (where we had to progressively increase the speed), followed by  four hill intervals @ 2 minutes each. We then finished with three 30-second sprints (going ALL OUT – I ran a 9:40 sprint which is VERY fast for my stubby legs!), and a cool down with stretching. I was really pouring sweat at the end, but it was a great workout. I came home and cleaned for three hours….it was 90 degrees out today, and we don’t have an air conditioner. Let’s just say I was taking a lot of breaks. :)

Last week I also went to pilates and loved, loved, loved it. I was thrilled to find out my pilates instructor is 15 weeks pregnant! So she is just a bit further than me, and it’s so great that she knows all of the modifications I will have to do once my belly gets big. So I am going back today… I was so sore last week after finishing. I forgot how tough pilates is, but it feels great to be doing something and being active.

Weight is still around 137. And, my face is back to looking like I’m in middle school. Ahh, hormones. You suck!!

Hope everyone is doing well…I hope to have some photos from the wedding on Monday!