Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Everyone Has An Opinion

I remember when I was getting married (*cough-cough* 10 years ago!) that every little decision that was being made had ten different opinions added to the mix. I was young though, and pretty much handed over the reins to my mom. All I cared about that day was the fact that I got to marry my best friend, and all the rest was, well...icing on the cake. Sure, I picked out my wedding dress and I tasted food and our cake, but when it came down to it, I just didn't really have much of an opinion. Which, if you know me and my very type-A personality, is a shocker. Maybe I was just young, or, maybe it really was the fact that on that day nothing else mattered except for me and my future
hubbs :)
gah, we were young - and a little chunky :)

Flash forward 10 years and the same opinion givers about your wedding often pop up out of the wood work when you tell them you're pregnant. Most times it is a nice gesture, other times it's...not. Yesterday I had a run in with one of the later, and it left me questioning a lot of things.

Back up a few days and I have been feeling great. I ran 43 miles again last week and my legs were finally showing up. I feel like this MAF training is actually working as I see the mile times I am running go down. (side note, I am by no means worried about pace - this is just a nice progression) Sunday the hubbs and I set out to do my long run. I had a 2 hour run to do with some specific HR zones to hit. I felt super good the first half and I was hitting some paces I hadn't seen in so long. But about 3/4 of a mile away from where we started and our turn around, I got some major sharp pains in my "belly" area. They weren't going away with a slower pace or more water. So, when we hit the half way point, I had to call it a day. I wasn't bummed but I wish I had been able to keep going. Later that night the cramping started up again. They tell you when you're preggo that drinking a big tall glass of water usually solves most aliments. I chugged water like crazy but the cramping persisted. Monday morning I woke up feeling good, no cramps so I just chalked it up as some "stretching." I did my easy run Monday morning but again, by Monday night, I was having full on contractions again. I drank more water, put my feet up and tried to de-stress.

This time though, they weren't going away. They were pretty intense by late Monday night and they were taking my breath away. Finally I decided to call my SIL (the labor and delivery nurse) and ask for her advice. She told me to count them and see if they got longer and more intense while still chugging the water. They didn't get longer but they were still happening in waves, about 5 an hour. I finally fell asleep though, and slept great.  Yesterday, though, I woke up and was so sore. And, as I made breakfast, I had the most intense contraction yet. So, I broke down and called the advice nurse who sent us right away over to the hospital.

Good news, baby is just fine! He is a busy, busy little boy! (And I can feel him squirming around now!) But we did find out that I was pretty dehydrated. WTH? I had been drinking water like it was going out of style and yet I was still dehydrated? So, I got some fluids in me and they sent me home. BUT...not after the on-call doctor decided to lecture me about running.

I will try and be nice here, but when you're getting advice about running from an over-weight, although young, doctor, my opinion of her goes out the window. I had been poked and prodded all morning and relayed my story. Every time I told someone I was a runner, their eyes lit up like Christmas trees. And when I told them how much I ran - yeah, shock and awe. THANKFULLY the hubbs was there. Anytime any of them questioned my sanity, he was there to back me up. He would say things like, "oh, you don't know, she has cut WAY BACK," or, "she has slowed WAY DOWN, trust me." They didn't understand still. And when this doctor came in, the doc in charge, who hadn't even examined me or questioned me, merely looked at my chart and listened to relayed information told me that I had to quit running! She even asked me how far a 10K was!! I was shocked - and so was the hubbs. She went on to tell me that running is not good for pregnant ladies, that it puts too much stress on the body, that your form suffers, that the josseling of the baby isn't good, and so on and so on giving every excuse in the book. WOW. I just listened though, and nodded my head and took her advice that I needed to up my game in the hydration department.

As soon as she was gone I looked at the hubbs and said, "you have to be kidding me, right?" He told me that as long as our doc was still on board and I am running with my HR monitor and listening to my body, he will still support me. He also said she was an idiot - god, I love that man! I have always known since the beginning of this pregnancy that there are two school's of thought when it comes to running/exercising during pregnancy. One being, that if you have been doing it all along, and you watch your intensity and listen to your body, there is no reason why you can't keep doing it. The other being that you should just rest, become a sloth, or as the L&D doc told me, "take up speed walking." Thankfully I have the doctor that is on board with my running. Funny, my doc is older, and one would think this would lead him to be more "old school" and think that exercise is bad. While this younger doctor I saw yesterday (she was no older than me) would be more on board with exercising and knowing the new studies that go along with it.  Complete opposites.

Yesterday was a wake up call. I am not stupid enough to think I can keep doing what I have been doing and expect different results without change. I will work on my hydrating while running and I will be more aware of my body. I have said from the beginning that if one day I can't run because it will effect the Blueberry, then I will stop. But so far, that little dude is as healthy as he can be in there and there is no reason to stop. Opinions about everything in pregnancy are all over the place. The second a woman sees that you are preggo, she wants to share her story or give you a piece of advice. Sometimes I don't mind stopping and listening, other times, just keep it to yourself. And let me tell you, men are not exempt from handing out advice! Just the other day a guy told me that his wife used this great nipple cream and I should try it! WHAT THE HELL? Yeah, you get bombarded at every possible angle.

On a lighter note, I am beyond the half way mark! WHOO HOOO! BUT, where has time gone? And I can finally feel the Blueberry kicking and squirming away. He loves when I eat peanut butter or something sugary - he does summersaults and kicks like David Beckam. And, he likes to be busy at night...when I'm trying to sleep. Yeah, that is not the fun part. But it is such a relief to finally feel him in there, to not to have to guess if everything is ok - it's just a little bit of reassurance that goes a long way.

There ya have it - some highs and lows of my week. I know not every week is going to be good and not every week will be bad. It's just hard to find a balance, pregnant or not, between the good, the bad and the ugly. Speaking of ugly, here is my latest bump pick - yeah, he is a growing Blueberry!
I can't see my toes anymore!
Happy National Running Day!



Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Lots of Running and Our BIG Reveal!

I finally had a pretty decent week of running & that hasn't happened in a few weeks. I actually was able to complete every run that was on my schedule and finished off the week with my highest mileage since the Blueberry came on board: 46.5 miles! When I added them up on Sunday, I was pretty proud of myself :) I still marvel at the fact that 46 miles seems like so much, and yes, it is. But before the Blueberry, I was running 80 miles and even before that I could hit 100 easily. But now a days, 46 freaking miles feels like a TON, and it amazes me how my body is responding. Sometimes it feels easy, and other days getting through a 45 minute run is just plain daunting. And that is the story of pregnancy - one day you feel totally normal and like "your old self" and the next you are wiped out and just want to be lazy. I try and keep the mindset every day that today could be the last day I run. Not because I am not feeling good, but you just never know in pregnancy. Everyday is something new, you body changes on a daily basis. I know this makes me so much more appreciative of each run and makes me feel more accomplished when I finish. I also ran my longest run since the Blueberry, 12.5 miles in two hours! Yes! I'm hoping this will transpire well for my SFM half in a few weeks!

I have always been a treadmill (hamsterwhizzle) runner. I started on that when I first started walking 7 years ago and then when I graduated to running shortly after. I have gone through THREE treadmills over the yeas, so yeah, I use it a lot. Before being preggo, I would try and simulate an outdoor run by keeping the incline around 1% or higher and would do a lot of speed work on it. I have even done a few 20 & 22 milers on it! But nothing replaced the feeling of running outside. Lately though, I have to admit, I have been using the hamsterwhizzle for 90% of my runs. There are a few reasons behind this.
  • First being, it takes a lot longer for me to get ready to go for a run. Now that I am running by my heart rate, I have to add that to my wardrobe. I hate putting that thing on! Thankfully, though, it pretty much doesn't bother me too much. Sometimes at the end of a particularly long run, and I am a sweaty mess, it starts to slip down (even on the smallest setting) and that is annoying, but for the most part I don't even notice it.

  • Second, I get so much more hot, so much more quicker now that I am preggo! I was most definitely a sweaty runner before, but wholly sweat buckets! I am a dripping mess by mile 1! And that needs to be controlled while preggo. You really have to watch your body temperature and make sure not to get over heated. I also notice that when I start to get really warm, it makes my HR spike like crazy! So, when on the hamsterwhizzle, I can turn the A/C on full blast in my house and run a fan just a foot away from me. I also have to body glide places that haven't needed it in YEARS! Holy chaffing!

  • Third, I have to pee...a lot. I did a 45 minute run last week and I stopped FIVE TIMES to pee!!! It was beyond annoying. If I was outside, this could be a major problem since I live in suburbia. I'm sure all my neighbors don't want me copping a squat in their yards every day :) 

  • And finally, you really have to be extra super careful that you don't fall. I am a clumsy person to begin with, and now adding extra weight in front of me, it's probably a recipe for disaster. The rule is, while preggo, if you fall, you HAVE to go in and make sure all is ok. No questions asked, even if you didn't fall on your stomach. The placenta is pretty fragile and yet very sturdy. But a jolt from a fall can be bad. So, I try and err on the cautious side and just try and minimize my chances. I only have fallen once in my running life (outside of trail running) while running on streets. And it was a bad one. Skinned my knee so bad that I still have a major scar. So far, so good, and I have "yet" to fall off a treadmill. Right now, with a treadmill in my living room, it just makes all of these factors so much easier.

I do miss my runs outside, but I try and do at least one a week, and I usually make sure the hubbs is on his bike next to me, or running along side of me. We are finally able to run at the same pace! Well, that's not entirely true, I am still in better shape and a bit faster than him :) I try not to make a big deal of it when I get up a hill faster than him and I'm not out of breath - his ego doesn't need to be reminded that his preggo wife is still faster than him :)

 I'm sure you have had enough of my running rambles - you are probably here for my big reveal. Last week we had our big anatomy scan at the hospital. This is torture for pregnant women! You have to drink 32oz of water before you go in and you can't pee!! I was about to burst! And the thing lasts for about an hour! The other crappy part, they don't let your partner in until the last 15mins. So, he had to stay outside and wonder/worry the whole time. You need a full bladder so they can get a good look at everything - apparently a full bladder pushes the placenta out perfectly so they can get all the accurate measurements. They measure everything from the brain down to the toes! Finally the tech got all my measurements pretty quickly then let me go and pee. The funny thing was, as soon as I was back on the table, about 10 minutes later he said to me, "um, do you have to go again? Because your bladder filled up again!" YES! I went a total of 3 times during that damn test! He said I was the best patient ever on filling up on water - first place? I'll take it! 

The whole time he is measuring and taking pics, he can't tell you anything. You can ask if you see the heart beat and that is about it. I tried to get some things out of him, but he would just "lead" me to my answer by showing me on the ultra sound machine. He couldn't even talk about Baby B in there :(  Finally he let the hubbs in and he revealed to us that we are having a.........

I couldn't believe it! Of course, if he said girl, I would have been just as happy. Really, you just want a healthy baby. But it's funny when people get all excited when you tell them the sex. Like, would they be this excited if you said girl? I was pretty sure it was a girl, but was secretly hoping for a boy. We had the name of the boy already picked out, and we have ALL boys in our family, so I'm way more familiar with little boys. Wait, that sounds weird. Ha! Just, I have taken care of so many baby boys that I have a good idea of what to expect. Our close family knows the name we are going with, and that is about it. We aren't telling the hubb's side of the family because it is a special tribute to them and we want them to have a surprise when he is born. I just hope my family can keep their mouth shut at our shower and family get-together's! I have to admit, we kind-of already knew it was a boy. My SIL is a labor and delivery nurse and couldn't wait any longer to find out. So a few weeks ago she took me into her hospital and had one of her doctors check it out for me. We got a 99% confirmation it was a boy that day, and we took video of it on the iPad. But getting the "real" confirmation has been nice. I am feeling more and more bonded to him now that we know he is a "he" and he has his name already :) 
Here he was last week just chillin' - I get all teary eyed every time I get to see him!
I get that this pic is hard to understand, and as my good friend Katie pointed out, "you do know that a 'leg' is not a penis, right?" Trust me, the "goods" are there!
We had started throwing boy and girl names out a while back and you wouldn't believe, even from family, the comments you would get! Some good, some not so good. EVERYONE has a damn opinion! But they fail to realize, they don't get a vote! LOL! And since we really couldn't agree on a girl name, thank gawd he was a boy! And I just love his name - I already know it will fit him perfectly :)
So, there ya have it. As one of my other good friends told me, "you have a penis in you!" Yes, Gloria, I have a penis in me! LOL! What the tech could tell me was, everything looked good enough to send me home that day and not across the street to the hospital, so I'll take it!
I'm off to catch up with all of you! Hope you all had a good sweaty weekend!
Happy Running!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Lucky #13

I think I was always destined to be a bean counter. For those that don't know this, I'm a tax accountant. Go ahead, roll your eyes, I even bore myself when I say that! I have always loved numbers, I've always loved putting things in order and keeping count. I remember at Christmas time my mom would have me count the number of houses we would see with Christmas lights on them. I had a whole system, complete with a note pad in the car to keep track and to make sure I didn't have duplicates. Yes, I'm sure more than anything, it was probably to keep me occupied and to keep me from talking - which apparently I did all the time :) But I loved that game and even find myself counting them as an adult :)

Trust me, this brings me to my latest segment for the blog: things that happen while you're cooking little fingers and toes. And just as a side note, pregnancy isn't all bad, just some things make you stop and go, "seriously? Now this?" I just am finding humor in so many things as I experience through this and thought, what the heck, I'll share it.

As runners, we share everything while on a run. And, more often than not, at some point on a long run, you're gonna have to "go." If you have read any of my past race reports, I have really yet to complete a marathon without having to stop and use the honey buckets at least twice - usually more. Talking about poop on a run with someone you just met? Just fine. Talking about poop at a dinner party with someone you just met? Not cool. Lamenting about how many potty stops you took in your last 5K with your run buddy? Totally normal. Talking about how you almost sharted when sprinting during a 10K with your non-running best friend? Yeah, no....just, no. So, since this is a running blog, I will bring you all to my next realization during pregnancy: all the stories are true, yes, you pee at least a million times a day!!

Right now, I find it a small victory if I can get through 30 minutes of running without having to stop and pee! In the beginning, it wasn't so bad. But now, I am doing everything in my power not to wet my pants during a run and make it to a bathroom (or bush) in time. And that lucky #13? THAT is how many times I went pee the other day. It's my current PR - 13. Yesterday, 12. It's barely 10am right now and I'm already on track to break it. I've gone 5 times already today. And yes, I'm keeping track. I am, after all, a numbers geek. Don't worry, I don't have a note book...yet :) I only started to keep track the other day because it felt like I was running to go every hour! I know where every Starbucks is in my hood, thanks to my caffeine addiction and my new found need to "go" at a moments notice. And let's be honest, Starbucks bathrooms are by far the cleanest ones out there - thanks Sbux! Its the new running joke in our house, too. The hubbs thinks its hilarious when I declare I have to go, NOW! And just another over share for all of you, one second you don't have to go, the next you are on the brink of peeing your pants! IT MAKES NO SENSE! Or, I literally JUST went, and 20 minutes later, I am going again. I have a feeling this little blueberry is making my bladder its own personal punching bag. I think lucky #13 is going down today and my new PR with be #14.

In running news, I haven't logged any miles in the past few days. I had some contractions and the doctor wanted me to go a full 24 hours with out any before I went back to running. After 3 days, I am finally cleared to go. I will admit, it was a bit scary there for a few days when we went in and I was having pretty significant contractions. But this is all to be expected with Baby #2 in there. Thankfully our little blueberry is nice and healthy so no real need to worry at the moment. And, AND, AND...we get to find out the sex next week!!!! We are soooooo excited! Actually, that is an understatement. WE CAN'T WAIT! We plan on sharing the sex with everyone (including all of you!) but we probably won't be sharing the name. Turns out, everyone has an opinion on what you should call your off-spring. Yeah, who knew?

Since there has been little to no running we took advantage of living in SoCal and went to the beach twice - Lilly is a happy corgi!

Anyway, off to catch up on some blogs and actually get my own legs turning over - can't wait to get my sweat on!
Happy Running!!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Google + Pregnancy = *-*

There are always things you should never mix. Like, email + wine + (insert a person who has pissed you off), or beer before liquor never sicker. And I would like to add: pregnancy + google.

I'm not gonna lie, this past week was difficult. My calf was keeping me from running, my normal outlet to keep me sane and feeling like a human. I was walking a ton, and even tried the elliptical! Gasp! I know, it was boring for me, too! But I needed to sweat, I needed to zone out and I jumped on the thing and was reminded very quickly what a boring, draining machine it is. 30 minutes felt like an eternity.

I'm also not gonna lie and say that pregnancy is all rainbows, sunshine and unicorns all the time. Again, gasp! I know! I had 10 weeks of horrid morning sickness that left me vowing that I would never, ever, do this again. But then the sun did come out, and I was in a great stage of pregnancy where you feel awesome, practically don't even feel preggo and pretty much back to my old pre-pregnancy self. But then last week happened and I had another bout of morning sickness, wasn't able to run and I was thrown off my horse again. 

The other element to all of this, is that my body is changing so rapidly. I know I documented on here how I went from an over weight smoker to a 3:04 marathoner, and how I vowed I would never, ever, let myself get back to that place. But pregnancy brings on a whole new set of changes (and a giant pile of hormones!) that I really never thought I would see again. Sure, everyone tells me I look "cute" pregnant (thanks for all of that you guys!) and that I have that "pregnancy glow" shinning from me, but when I look down at myself and have a hard time seeing my toes now, it is hard to digest. I went to the doctor last week and saw that I had gained 8 pounds and also saw a number on the scale I hadn't seen in years. YES! YES! I KNOW! You gain weight during pregnancy, you just can't escape it if you want a healthy baby and mommy at the end. But it is still hard to see it creep up and watch yourself change - and the change feels like it happens so quick. When I originally saw my doc, he said he wasn't going to be focused on the number on the scale, that if I only gained 10 pounds and baby and I were healthy, he wouldn't worry. But he also warned me that because I started on the "low end of the scale" I may gain more than some. Ugh.

Last night the hubbs wanted to go out to dinner. Awesome, I didn't want to cook anyway! Before he came home though, I was on blogger and visiting some blogs I had abandoned for a while. I came across this old favorite blog and saw that in the time I was gone he himself had a beautiful son with his wife! Yayyy! (Congrats Stevo!) Then I wandered over to his wife's blog who was a pretty accomplished triathlete herself. Much to my luck, she had blogged through her pregnancy! Yayyy! I dove in, reading all the way back to when she first got pregnant. Finally, one that was honest. She didn't sugar coat things. She tells her story as it happened, the ups, the downs, and finally being able to complete a marathon she signed up for when she was pregnant & running on the morning she went into labor. As I read though, I got more and more scared. She was a fit, beautiful woman before she was preggo, and seeing how her body changed (and yes, it was/is beautiful still!) got me worried. Things are going to change, it isn't going to be easy the whole way, and I finally needed to see that. So thanks Pharmie - your honesty is just what I needed. After all of this though, I felt like garbage. Like I said, google + pregnancy is not a good combo. I started searching for other pregnant runner blogs, tips to keep running while pregnant and so on. Some of it was helpful, others just plain scared the living crap out of me. By the time my hubbs got home, I was a mess. Add to that, my pre-pregnancy pants aren't fitting too well and it was a recipe for disaster that I couldn't even wash away with a celebratory Cinco de Mayo margarita.

On Saturday I finally had a pain-free run! Before I ran I "sticked" the crap out of my calf, rolled like crazy and headed over to the gym. I have been sticking, foam rolling, icing, epsom salt bathing like it was my job. My coach suggested I start off with a run/walk so I did a one minute walk warm-up then followed by 14x5 minute run with a one minute walk in between. I felt great! My calf was a little sore, but it wasn't bad! Yes! I did 7.3 miles and finally felt like myself again. The one thing I did notice though, was I started to feel that "belly" of mine while I ran. In the two weeks I had pretty much taken off running, it grew and it was finally noticeable to me. I was a little sore at the bottom of it, and think I may have to start looking into one of these things: warning - they are NOT pretty! More like, "what human being thought up these contraptions? Oh, right, probably a man!"

Gah, that is NOT attractive at all! And yes, I plan on wearing pantie hose with mine.
Doesn't she look happy?
Or my favorite
Sexy and supportive! The hubbs is voting for this one, obvs.
Apparently the top one works the best and got the best reviews from running mothers. But why, oh, why, does it look so uncomfortable and unattractive??? Many also said to wear it on top (yuck!) of your running clothes. Great, now I can show the world my belly and an awesome velcro support belt that screams "she's pregnant!" I may need a few more weeks to digest this, or it may come sooner than I anticipate. Really, more than a fashion statement, I want to keep running, and if that ugly belly band keeps me running, then sign me up! (note: the enthusiasm in that statement is my attempt to build up the courage to actually hit "add to cart" on amazon)
I'm in a much better state then I was last night. God help my poor hubbs. I am sure this won't be the last time my hormones get the best of me. And I'm still in the "early" stages of this pregnancy! In fact, Saturday afternoon, as I was reading my book on breastfeeding, I got all teared up and crying as I read about it, and then seeing the pictures of nursing mothers! Cue water works! Who does that? Oh right, pregnant, hormonal mothers who are completely overwhelmed.
Sorry if the above paragraphs or pictures make you want to down a whole month's worth of birth control pills, or better yet, get yourself sterilized. I understand, I probably would have done the same thing a few months back. But I'm vowing to keep this honest and keep you all in the loop of how one goes from marathon running to motherhood (and "fingers crossed," back to marathons). Hopefully I will continue to find that happy balance in between, and also learn my lesson of staying off google while pregnant - especially when my hormones are at a particularly high level :)
Off to read some great race recaps! So many PR's! Congrats to all of you who ran Pittsburgh, OC Marathon, and so many others!
Happy Running!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Rolling with the Punches

I think I have been mentally preparing myself for the day that running may have to stop. This day may never come, and I may be one of those lucky women who get to run on the day they deliver, but I'm making no promises or deals with myself - I know I can't control it all! But, being prepared is better than being caught off guard or living in denial.

Last week my running got sidelined by a little injury. I have been pretty lucky in the fact that I haven't had major running injuries that I have left me in the dreaded "boot" or sidelined for months at a time. Sure, I have had the injuries that have kept me from having great training cycles or ones that kept me from running for days at a time, but really, nothing major. Well, last week my right calf had other plans. I did a great speed work session on the old hamsterwhizzle where I saw paces I hadn't seen in months! Paces that started with an 8! And were in the low 8's! I felt great afterwards, too! But Sunday when I went for my run, my calf seized up around 30 mins into my run and then I was left hobbling for the rest of the day! Argh!

Monday when I went for my run again, I lasted 20 mins before it seized up again and I called it quits. I came home, iced, put on compression socks and declared Tuesday a rest day. I've never had calf problems before, so this was new. I started thinking it was pregnancy related, but after thinking about the speed work I did, I think it was because of that. I would be running at a good clip, then the plan called for walking one minute in between. I think the stopping in between made my calf angry.

Wednesday my calf was still kind of 'twingey' so I declared another rest day. Thursday I was traveling to NorCal so yet, another rest day. I tried not to get down on myself, especially when the runs I did have earlier in the week had my HR cooperating like a champ!  Friday I set out for my planned run and I felt awesome! My HR was great, my energy was awesome, and I felt like I was floating. But the 20 minute mark when I turned around to go home my calf seized up again! WTH? And this time it was bad! I was 2.5 miles away from home and I hobbled all the way back.

I felt defeated and worried about my race the next day. I knew in the back of my mind it would not be smart to run the next day so I called it after talking with my coach. I was disappointed but I sucked it up and knew a few more days off was smart. Ugh, rolling with the punches was smart but not what I really wanted to do.

Saturday I got up and got ready and head out to the race any way since my girl Alisyn was there running her first 50K! And my other good friend Layla was there spectating. I couldn't wait to be reunited with these two! I miss them sooooo much!

It's funny how things work out in the end, the day ended up being very warm, and the course ended up being not very shaded at all. A pregnant woman running in the heat isn't the best combo - so it's funny how things end up happening for a reason.

I cheered my butt off and was so happy to spend time with Layla and Alisyn's fiance Matt while waiting for Alisyn to come in. I even got to score some post-race food by playing the "preggo" card and getting some cold, juicy watermelon :)
Matt, Layla, Alisyn and me post race

I still haven't ran since Friday, but today I'm going out for a test run and am hopeful. My calf feels good, I've been icing like crazy, making the hubbs massage it until I cry and I think if I ease back in I shouldn't have lost too much ground. I have only a few short weeks until SFM and I can't wait to run that and be reunited with so many other good friends!

On the pregnancy front, I'm feeling good, but I have definitely "popped!" Like...over night! I had a few days last week where I had some Braxton Hicks contractions, which are totally normal, but I could also feel my abs stretching. I really grew over a few days. When I got home on Monday from my trip, the hubbs just looked at me and said, "you grew! THAT is a baby bump!" I laughed, because I finally look "pregnant" and not like I just pigged out on a giant burrito at Chipotle. It's amazing every day the little things you notice. I go from not being hungry at all, to I NEED TO EAT NOW! OR I WILL CHEW MY ARM OFF! Or, from being totally full of energy to I need to take a nap right now! Your body definitely tells you what you need and when you need it! And it doesn't let you down until you answer it. I also got to see baby on the ultra sound thanks to my sister in law. She is a labor and delivery nurse (and a god send to a pregnant sister!) and took me over to the hospital for a peek :) It still brings tears to my eyes when I see my little blueberry moving around in there. (we may or may not have gotten to tell if it's a boy or a girl, but I'm not confirming or denying that) And hearing the heart beat is such nice reassurance. You go a whole month in between appointments and it's hard not to worry. But I am happy to report, the blueberry was busy waving at us, doing kicks and just generally being a busy, busy little baby! Ahhhh!
Obligatory bump shot :) See, I GREW!
I will leave you all with Lilly sporting her SFM doggy bandanna - she loves to dress up (well, at least that is what I tell myself!) Congrats to all of you who raced this weekend - lots of PR's and great race reports!!
Happy Running!

Lilly and her ball - it's never very far away :)


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

It's Personal

I struggled with weather or not I wanted to write anything on the horrible day that struck Boston on Monday. I have read so many great posts that have captured just how I feel about it all. And adding to all the grief and sadness didn't seem like I was really adding anything to the mix.

But then I sat back and thought about how I really feel. I have gone through all the stages of mourning so far. From initially feeling so sad and scared to feeling like it was all a dream (denial), to being so damn angry about it. I had to stay off social media yesterday. I couldn't take any more links, thoughts, pictures with anything to do with Boston. Even the posts that were in support of Boston, pictures of people going out in their own favorite race shirt to run a few miles for our Boston people. I was overwhelmed on so many levels.
2010 VIP stands - even then I was excited!

I also saw so many people post a real personal connection to the tragedy even if they weren't physically there in Boston. And I for one had that same thought. Immediately when I saw the first glimpse of the finish clock showing 4:09:xx when the bombs went off, I knew I would have been finishing around that time and my hubbs would be so very close to where the bombs went off. But as we all know, my Boston trip and race was sidelined by my doctor (need to thank him next time I go in!). If I had run, that was probably about the time I would have crossed. Hitting so close to home was way too hard for me to think about. As I watched the news unfold in front of me on Monday, I, like so many of you, knew so many people there that day. I  quickly scrambled to text, facebook and tweet to them. Thankfully, all my peeps were safe. My next thoughts went to those that were not so lucky.

I also saw/heard some people feeling guilty for feeling like they could have been there but weren't. But you know what? That isn't a selfish thing. We, as such a large running community, are so connected and the Boston marathon means so much to so many people that making it personal is just normal. I did it and I don't feel guilty. It could have been me, it could have been you, it could have been your friend. In times of tragedy, we all place a personal emphasis on it, it's just plain human nature. And guilt should not accompany it.
My 2010 finish line pic with my good friend Jill :)

Having been so lucky to run Boston myself in 2010, I brought all my own emotions back to those streets, those runners, those volunteers and spectators. It is only natural. But what I am gathering from all this is that we are stronger than this. We will persevere. Boston will happen again - better, stronger. In trying to find something good out of all this garbage, I figured out that, above all, we have brought a great light to the world of running. To many of us, running is such a huge part of our lives. We eat, sleep, breathe and live running, and we surround ourselves with so many like-minded people that it's hard for us to grasp that others don't get what something like what the Boston marathon means. I was sad that I couldn't find the Boston marathon to watch on TV on Monday. I watched on my computer. I chalked it up as the sports world just not caring that much about running or not considering it a "real" sport. But after Monday, through all that tragedy, we have been given this opportunity to show just how awesome our sport is. It is finally highlighting what we all knew all along: that our sport is filled with amazing people, doing amazing things every day, and that we are a community that supports one another. We run for ourselves, we run for charities, we run for something bigger than the finish line. I think out of all of this we are finally able to show the world that running is much more than a selfish thing, that it is a celebration of the human spirit. And if that is all that can be found out of this horrid, horrid day, then I'll take it. Maybe those that have never had a thought to lace up their shoes and run will finally "get it." If anything, we have brought to light what a wonderful community we have and for that I am grateful.

My thoughts are constantly with those that are still struggling with the aftermath of Monday. I wish I could personally take it all away. It has shaken me to the core - like so many of you.

This was personal to all of us. And its OK to feel that way. It was an attack on all of our innocence and I am angry that it has been taken away. But I have not lost faith in humanity. We will preserve and for that I am grateful - especially when I stand on the cusp of bringing a new life into this messy, messy world. Good over comes evil - and I have not lost faith.
Happy Running friends.

Monday, April 15, 2013


Women have been giving birth since the beginning of man-kind. Somehow that is reassuring to me, that I am definitely not in uncharted territory. But in the same breath, each pregnancy is different and however natural it may be, there is bound to be some bumps in the road and surprises.

I struggled with weather or not I wanted to share this bit of news with the interwebs. But I vowed that I would be as honest with all of you as I could, and leaving this part of my story out would be doing not only a disservice to myself and my own documentation, but to all of you. Many things are very predictable in pregnancy, like you are going to gain weight. You are going to to be overwhelmed by the thousands of baby products that someone has declared as a "must have," for every new mom. While other things come up that you could have never predicted.

Last Thursday my hubbs and I went in for our 2nd ultra sound and what is called a "NT scan." All along pregnancy, you are tested for so many things that can make your head spin and create a lot of fear in you. In all reality, most are not meant to add to your fear, but to reassure you that you are doing everything right and that baby is right on track. The "NT scan" is a scan that is done twice during pregnancy, first between the weeks of 11w 5d (11 weeks & 5 days) & 13w 6d, then again from 15w 5d & 18w. It is a scan to measure the fluid in the baby's neck and check to see if the baby has formed correctly or if there is a high chance it will have Spina Bifida. Spina Bifida is a horrible disease, it basically means there is a high chance that baby will have some sort of paralysis. They also do a blood test at this point to see if they baby will have a whole other list of genetic diseases like Downs Syndrome. To say going into these tests is scary is an understatement. At this point there is nothing that a mother can really do to prevent any of these. They almost all occur at a genetic level that is out of your control. There is a lot of science behind the thinking that if a mother has an adequate level of folic acid in her at the time of conception and through those first few critical weeks of pregnancy, the chances of Spina Bifida go down. But again, many times, it is out of your control. The other side of all of this genetic and disease testing is that they only have an 80% accuracy rate! 80%?! I know personally my best friend had a positive test for Spina Bifida only to have her son come out perfectly healthy. So, along with the fear, there is a sense that more often then not they are wrong. On the flip side of this, even if you get a "negative" reading, it could, ultimately, be wrong. Originally I had said no to all testing. I just didn't want to know. I had this sense that what ever was meant to be would be, and god willing, if we got to the other side, that we would love this child no matter what - "faults" and all. But they do do all of this testing so early because some parents decide to terminate. We did it on the off chance that if something was found we could get the help we needed before hand and at birth, they would be ready.

I bring up all this "science" stuff because it really does come into play when you are pregnant. I had no real clue of all of this until we came home from our first visit with the doctor with no less than a giant stack of pamphlets that describe everything and anything that they test for and and can go wrong in pregnancy. To say it's a miracle is selling it short.

Well, our test went well. Our baby is right on track and even measuring ahead of schedule! (We are blaming it on it's big head! No seriously, the head is big! Which is more scary for me! Eeek!) The "NT scan" came back negative and that was reassuring. But what I struggled to share is that we got another piece of news that day. Something so very unexpected.

I was laying on the table as the technician was doing the scan and within a minute she was asking me some crazy questions. The first one being, "did you go through fertility treatments to get pregnant?" Uh, no! Her response, "oh, wow." Her next question, "well, did you know you were carrying twins?" UH NO!!! I was SHOCKED!! TWINS? ME? WHAT?? HOW DID THEY MISS THIS THE FIRST TIME? Her next statement sent me for a tailspin though, when she said, "well, looks like you were carrying twins, but you are no longer." I really didn't know what to feel. Up until this point it was never on my radar. Sure there were some jokes thrown around when we first found out we were pregnant that it could be twins, but we never really believed it. Twins don't run in either of our families, so the possibility seemed non-existent.

After a few measurements with the machine, she as able to see that "Baby B" had stopped growing around 8w and 1d. Wow.... Through all of this, the hubbs was still left in the waiting room and I was all by myself to absorb this information. My first question was, "but is the other baby OK???" And she said very reassuringly, "yes!" In fact, baby was so busy doing somersaults that it was hard to get a good measurement for the NT Scan. Baby was not cooperating for her and was active it took almost 3 times as long to get the test done. And once I heard how healthy and active "Baby A" was, I pretty much let the other news of "Baby B" float to the back of my mind while we finished up the test. The fact though that she kept saying "Baby A" and "Baby B" was a little foreign to me. My next question was, "how did they miss this the first time?" Turns out, what we thought was an extra large "yolk sack" for "Baby A" was actually the backside of the placenta of "Baby B," and since we had the first ultra sound done at 8w 4d and the doctor only heard one heart beat, it never occurred to anyone at the time there could have been two.

Finally they brought the hubbs in, and trying to make light of the situation, the first thing I said to him was, "did you hear? You really dodged a bullet!" Of course his response was "what the heck are you talking about?" The technician and I went on to explain to him what we had found out and his reaction was, "but is baby OK!?" It felt good to be able to hear and say, "YES!" Everything is on track!
The Blueberry! See the "halo" above the Blueberry's stomach? That is "Baby B's" placenta

I can honestly say I was feeling OK with everything we had learned. I pretty much put out of my mind any feelings of sadness on the way home. All we could do was be so excited to see the pictures of the baby and how it has finally turned into looking like a "real human" and not an alien. And to hear how active it was made us so happy. It wasn't until I was alone later that morning and the hubbs had gone off to work that it hit me. I called my mom to tell her how good the appointment went and our "discovery." That is when I lost it. And so did she. I think it was only natural to have a sense of sadness. To have a sense of what could have been. But after the reassuring words only a mother could give, I came to the conclusion that what has happened was for the best. I am SO grateful that I didn't know this whole time. That I wasn't preparing for twins only to be disappointed. I know that the fact that "Baby B" didn't make it is better, that it most likely had something very wrong with it and mother nature has a way of "taking care" of the really sick ones.  We did learn that I had released 2 eggs, and this meant that they were not identical which is good news for "Baby A." It means that that baby is healthy and strong.

There have been a few times since the appointment that I have had moments of sadness and a feeling of loss. But I know that this will pass as we get farther along. I am sure feeling like I am mourning is totally natural. But really, I am OK with all of this. I am so grateful that I didn't have to deal with a miscarriage or any real disappointment. I am so grateful that there were 2 eggs and one is so healthy and on track. And again, I am comforted knowing that there was nothing I did or could have done to change that outcome.

So, surprises come all along with pregnancy, and I am sure this will NOT be the last one, but I am sure that for the most part the next surprises will usually be good. I am feeling so much better in the 2nd trimester and everything seems to be on tack.

I finished off another great week of running. I hit 40 miles and even had my longest run since the Blueberry showed up. On Saturday I ran 10.1 miles! And yes, all on the treadmill. I kept telling myself at certain points I could take a walk break, but I never did and I hit all of my HR zones like I was supposed to. I felt great afterwards. But on Sunday I was just wiped out! My legs weren't sore or tired and mentally I felt good, but my body was just plain tired. I decided a rest day would be OK.

I will leave you all with a pictured of how much I have grown! I have totally "popped!" The doctor confirmed it is "all baby," but man, I feel big already! And we are just barely over the 1/3rd mark! Sheesh!
Obligatory bump shot
I'm off to keep tracking all my Boston friends! Today has been a little hard seeing all the Boston updates on Twitter and Facebook. I had been dreaming of being there again for 3 years. But I only have to look down and see that I have a bigger job right now and I will be back. Oh yes, I will be back!
Happy Running!