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.


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……