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 :)