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!


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. :)