The ugly ones, too

Two successful 3 milers back to back on Tuesday and Wednesday, then on Thursday, this:

Screen Shot 2014-07-19 at 5.48.06 PMNothing was feeling right, from my bladder to my legs to the slight dizzy feeling I had right before turning around. I don’t need to be a pregnant running hero. I threw in the towel and took the dogs for a walk around the block.

Friday wasn’t much better, though I did feel like I needed a little redemption after my two block effort the day before. I made it for two miles, though they were slow – an average pace around 12:30/mile.

The funny thing is, I did a LOT of walking during that second mile, yet overall, my time wasn’t much slower than the first mile I “ran.” It makes me think that it might be time to employ the run/walk strategy. I also developed a pretty awful shin splint in my right leg, something that usually doesn’t happen.

Yesterday included a walk to/from lunch with Nancy and then a walk in downtown Hancock at night with Scott and the kids. By the end of the day, I was wiped, so I made today a rest day, even though I hate to waste weekend running time.

Tomorrow marks 22 weeks. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to still run at this point, and it’s getting a little dicey (I feel pretty good some days and lousy others), but I’m going to keep moving as long as I can, or keep waddling, as the case may be.

 

All the feels – 17 weeks

I’ve complained mentioned the general discomfort I’ve felt throughout this pregnancy so far, but this week I really felt pregnant.

I don’t know if I just finally passed this weird milestone or something, but now I can definitely feel my uterus/the baby when I press on my lower abdomen. It’s kind of a weird thing, but comforting in a way, like hey! Yeah, you really are still there.

I haven’t felt much movement, so I’m doubting whether I actually felt anything the 15th week. I’m telling myself this so that I don’t obsessively worry about it before my next checkup, which is almost two weeks away.

Workouts of Week 16 were:
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Double digits! Barely, but there. It’s been about a month since I’ve had a double digit running week, something I’m hoping to keep up at least until the halfway mark.

All the feelings, all the time

It doesn’t really seem like a normal week if I don’t have at least 3-4 random emotional outbursts, and this past week was no exception, especially with Father’s Day being yesterday and it being a few years since I’ve been able to spend it with my dad.

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Working on building our house in Livonia

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Swinging and stylin’, 1980

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At the cottage, 1981

What better way to spend part of the day than to go through old photos and cry all over photo albums?

I hold a small amount of disdain for these types of Hallmark made-up holidays, created largely to increase spending, but I have softened a little bit. Dad sent me a photo of a shirt I sent him for FD from a (semi-) local brewery, and it was nice to see him enjoying it and FaceTime chat with him later.

Dad decked out in his swag from Blackrocks Brewery, Marquette, MI

Having kids makes it hard to live 600 miles away from my parents, and the guilt of having my kids far away from their grandparents is a constant in my life. It’s not going to get any easier when there’s a third one here.

Sixteen weeks and I feel fine

I reached the 16 week mark on Sunday, and hot damn, I feel like a new woman.

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I suppose that the week of June 2-8 might technically be the fifteenth week, but in any case, I got out three times for nine miles. Woohoo.

This morning I limited myself to a two-miler. It’s not like I’m racking up serious mileage, but it’s more than I’m used to lately. First mile: 10:33 and second: 9:50. That was kind of a killer.

I had no idea what my pace was and purposely didn’t stare at the garmin. The terrain is relatively flat with only slight inclines throughout, so it’s not like it’s a killer course, but running “fast” felt good. I am very aware of my changed gait, though. Everything feels clunky and slightly unnatural. I just keep telling myself that the longer I can keep this up, the easier it will be to get back into the routine after the baby is born.

Also, I just really like running. I must to drag my ass out at 6AM in spandex when I could be in bed.

What else?

I have been occasionally mentioning the baby to Sophie. I don’t remember if she was completely in tune with what was going on when Aaron was born. She was barely three years old. She enjoyed visiting me at the hospital and seeing the baby, and OMG she does love babies; there is a baby at daycare who gets plenty of her attention. But when I mention it to her, she seems to kind of blow it off like it’s no big deal.

Today she made a comment about someone having a baby in their tummy (not sure where she heard this) and I told her that I had one in mine, too. “Really, Mom?” she asked, followed by “That’s weird, Mom. Does the baby eat the food?” I then told her the baby was technically below my tummy, which made her pause for a moment.

“Mom, I should tell Dad that you have a baby in your tummy.”

“Yes, honey, but I’m pretty sure he already knows that.”

Meanwhile, Aaron did his strange made up sign language requesting another cookie.

Which is fine. I was perfectly happy to not have to field the question of how the baby got there. I’m sure that’s coming, and soon.

Zen and the art of not peeing yourself – 15 wks*

This week will also be known as the week I realized I might have to pull out an assistive device if I want to keep running.

Running while pregnant has its normal aches and pains, but on the days I’ve been fortunate to achieve the trifecta of feeling good, having time, and good, safe weather, I’ve managed to trudge through the beginning creaks for the first quarter mile and move on.

This morning I really wanted to get a run in early. It was supposed to rain all afternoon, and I ended up being housebound on Saturday. I’d put in a pretty pathetic 2 miles on Friday afternoon in blazing heat (stupid, but necessary for my mental health) and with Scott taking off tomorrow night for a work thing all week, my running time is going to be limited and difficult to schedule.

I’d planned to run my favorite regular 5K loop in town, a route I haven’t been able to run for awhile. I hoped it wasn’t going to be too ambitious, which is crazy, right? It’s only 5K after all.

I was going great until Garmin ticked off two miles. It was then as if my uterus decided to descend upon my bladder and say, hey there! Yup, there’s a little baby in here and a lot of fluid and I think were just gonna hang out here for awhile.

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Sorry if that image is TMI. Just so you know, it’s not me. :)

Truth is, the baby isn’t even very large right now – about the size of an apple – but feels like a watermelon when it’s pressing on your bladder and it’s been 20 minutes since you last peed.

The last fifteen minutes of that run were spent trying to not pee my pants and regretting I’d decided to run three miles instead of two. And even though I hate walking breaks (or admitting to taking them), I’m giving myself permission – no, making myself take them occasionally. After all, this isn’t a race.

That’s another one of the joys of running while pregnant, I suppose. Like I said before, I’ve never run this far into a pregnancy, so I’m giving myself silent high fives over here, but I also remember trying to take walks while pregnant with Aaron and looking for a bathroom when I’d get to the end of the block.

The assistive device? My fitsplint arrived a week or so ago, but I’d been waiting to try it until I felt it was really needed. That time might be now. It seems a little big – I bought a medium to be safe – but I’m worried the small might not last until November. But seeing that there is definitely something to hold up now, it might be time to give it a whirl.

I’ll leave you with a really unflattering shot I took last week. Until next time, I will keep waddling.

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*Today is the first day of week 15, so maybe this post should be week 14. Maybe.

The First Awful Trimester – a really long (mostly running) recap

This was going to be my HEY WORLD! I’M PREGNANT post! And I spent a lot of time on it, and it turned out to be really boring.

But since I did say I would write about exercise while pregnant, mainly running (finger crossed), I decided to post this anyway in the running section.

If you can make it through the following post, you deserve a cookie, which is fitting since I exclusively lived on carbs for most of the first trimester. Warning: there are photos of my abdomen to follow. I’ve lightened up a lot with age, it seems.

Week 5

When I found out I was pregnant, I was getting ready to go play goalie for a women’s hockey tournament. This was on Saturday, March 22. This baby might not run a marathon, but he/she did get a few hours between the pipes in utero.

Psychologically I was kind of a wreck, but physically, I felt fairly normal that week. Workouts that week:

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Toward the end of week 5 I started to get really tired and slightly nauseous. And then…

Week 6, or when the “morning sickness” arrived

Also: it’s so fucking cute that they call it “morning” sickness. By “morning” they must really mean “all fucking day long.” I’m sure a man came up with that phrase.

The day before I flew out to Seattle for An Event Apart – a conference I’ve only been waiting to attend for most of my adult professional life – I started to feel totally crummy. I couldn’t remember feeling this awful this soon with any of my other pregnancies. On the way to the airport at 4:45am on Sunday, I cried. I had no idea how I was going to survive six hours of flying and an entire morning of running through airports.

And more importantly? ALL THE WASHINGTON STATE CRAFT BEER I WAS GOING TO MISS.

If there was a bright spot of that day of flying, it was eating every carb in the O’Hare airport, including a giant bagel, a chocolate filled croissant, and a soft pretzel with nacho cheese. But the dark spots were oh, so dark. I practically kissed the pilot the moment the plane landed.

Spending a week in an awesome city at an awesome conference with my industry heroes while pregnant was a challenge. Fortunately, I was still on EST and when I woke up everyday before 6:00am, I managed to get into my running clothes and run three times along the Seattle waterfront. I think that helped me get through the mornings.

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How cute. Back when I could actually wear my Oiselle stuff.

Also, thankfully the folks at An Event Apart really know how to cater to pregnant women (or maybe just people who want to snack all day long). There was always a spread of snacks (of the carb-loving variety) and in order to keep the nausea at bay, I was constantly eating. Fortunately, I did a fair share of walking most days, so I could still zip my pants when I left later that week for home.

Workouts that week:

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I didn’t pay much attention to pace this week but the runs were slow – 10:30/mile-11:00+ – but I chalked it up to them just being sightseeing runs.

The fitbit kept a nice log of how much I walked (I didn’t wear it when I ran). (That fitbit data will drop off fairly quickly, because I lost it. Again.)

Week 7

I wish I could remember what went on this week. Oh yeah. I felt like complete shit.

I still hadn’t been to see the doctor. My office doesn’t really want to see you before you’re ten weeks, so I scheduled an appointment at the end of April and the proceeded to worry that not only was I going to have a baby, but what if there were multiples in there? This is how I justified the sudden weight gain.

Workouts that week:

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That six-miler felt pretty great, even though it was really slow (11:08/mile avg). The other runs were slow, too. It was a real struggle to keep the pace under 11:00, which got immediately frustrating for someone who had been clocking times that were much faster not long ago. In fact, it’s hard for me to remember the last time when a pace this slow was this tough. I know that fatigue and pukeyness played a role. Also, I’d packed on a few pounds already and OMG, all the bloating. Getting dressed this week was a massive ego hit.

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Week 8

Workouts that week: Oh yeah. This wasn’t a really great week. But wait until Week 9 – it gets worse!

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At this point I thought that I must be at the apex of feeling shittyness. I’m not sure how I made it out for three runs that week. This happened to be Easter week. The first two runs were completely horrible; I couldn’t keep the pace under 11:00/mi. Then on Easter I decided to turn off the pace function on the Garmin display and just run by time/heart rate/cadence. Things started to look up. My last run on Easter:

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I so needed this.

But don’t get me wrong: this was so damn difficult. Since this run I’ve found that it takes me at least 3/4 of a mile to get “warmed up,” and that warm-up is painful.

I felt fairly lousy over the Easter weekend but it was nice to see some family. At this point, a few of my family and friends were in the know, but I wanted to keep it largely a secret until after the first trimester was over, though I’m sure most were thinking, wow, Amy’s really let herself go.

Week 9

Workouts that week: I haven’t run this little since…November 20, 2013. I think I was sick that week.

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This was a pretty awful week, with general nastiness and just road trip hangover. I also estimated that I’ve gained almost 10 lbs since this whole ordeal has begun, which if you were wondering, is really way too much for not even being done with the first trimester. It is definitely reflected in the way my pants fit. I pulled a batch of fat pants out of the fat pants stash and did some stress maternity shopping. It was an ugly week.

Week 10

I spent three days at the doctor’s office for nurse visits (blood draws of various varieties), an early ultrasound to determine fetal age and due date, another doctor’s visit, and more tests! Since I had gestational diabetes with my last pregnancy, they wanted to run the short test on me early. Still waiting for those results. They also did a fancy chromosome test called The Harmony Test, which I’m still quite fascinated by. It’s a noninvasive screening that detects fetal genetic fragments in my blood and is pretty darn accurate in detecting chromosomal defects. UPDATE: my results were all less than 1 in 10,000 for all markers, which is awesome. Just what I wanted to hear.

This is also the week I returned most of the maternity clothes I stress bought, because as much as I’d love to buy shit off the rack, my 5’1″ body rejects most maternity styles.

Oh, and this is me at 10 weeks.

 

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I won’t go into detail about all the mechanisms required to hold everything in and keep unbuttoned pants from falling down. Oh, yes. MY PANTS ARE UNBUTTONED and held together with a Goody hair tie. Belly band things are, for the most part, a godsend.

At this stage I also recognized that I’ve developed some food aversions: fish (of any type), salads (generally, though occasionally I can manage to eat one if the mood is right), stevia (GAG) beef jerky (so sad), and some candy, mostly chocolate.

Also this:

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And hooray – there’s only one. And he’s/she’s a lively one.

The doctor informed me that I’m at the height of hormone awfulness, and this should subside in the upcoming weeks. Since our shitty weather soldiers on, the combo has left me quite unmotivated to get outside.

Toward the end of that week, I felt okay and got out twice for runs: three miles on Saturday and four on Sunday.

The three miler was a stroller run. Let me say that not logging a lot of miles lately plus an added ten pounds plus a 35 lb kid in a BOB, while quite lovely but tracks a little to the right, is a serious workout for a pregnant woman. In fact, I have an enormous amount of respect for the people who I see pushing two kids while cranking out fast paces like it’s no big deal.

Being a shorty, the handlebars on the stroller are quite high on me? So the arm position isn’t very natural. I tend to really feel it in my upper body after pushing it, and today was no exception. In the middle of the night, I woke up for one of my regular jaunts to the bathroom and felt like I had been hit by a truck. The pain was so incredible that I had to resort to a few Tylenol before trying to go back to sleep.

Even though I told myself today might be a good fat to rest, I ended up taking a nap and getting out for the four miles. In the sun, people.

The pace was tough to hold but not impossible, and the last mile was about 30 seconds faster than the first three. I call that a pregnant running win.

So workouts for week 10?

Screen Shot 2014-05-08 at 2.29.36 PMYes, a measly seven miles, but since I barely made it through one run last week, I’ll still call that a win.

Week 11

Since I had to start out this week with  the awful 3 hour glucose test, I used the weekend as a bit of a “last supper” weekend; I enjoyed the things I feared I wouldn’t be able to eat much for the next seven months (pizza, oatmeal, cereal, bread – pretty much ALL TEH CARBS).

The last time I took this test two and a half years ago, I was further along in my pregnancy and not in such a fragile nausea state. Let’s just say I felt pretty darn lousy for three hours this morning. I looked so awful that the lab tech sent me to the surgery waiting room to lie down. That helped, and then I remembered I had some headphones in my purse; I enjoyed an episode and a half of House of Cards while I waited for the final blood draws.

I decided to bail on working half the day and after wolfing down an egg sandwich in the hospital cafeteria, drove home to take it easy. I did manage an hour nap but felt awful later in the evening.

Against all odds, I PASSED THE FUCKING TEST. I’ll have to go back at week 26 to check again (yay), but for now, fewer needle sticks are fine with me.

I made it out for three runs that week.

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This is also when I got my new fitbit flex (after the last one died) so now you’ll see walk data in these posts as well, which will unfortunately include running steps, but whatever.

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Okay, so the 11 wk photo is kind of cheating, since I’m wearing a pair of capris by Lucy that are seriously holding EVERYTHING in (I can only wear these in the morning pre-bloat), but I am pretty happy that I can still fit into this Oiselle Flyer Jacket. It’s been hanging in the closet; I had serious guilt over buying another one of these awesome jackets, but then I decided what the fuck? I needed some motivation to get out and get in a run so on it went. And so here’s my little plug: this jacket is EVERYTHING, and is now pregnant running endorsed.

Week 12

This was a doozy of a week.

There was Mother’s Day, which wasn’t my finest hour.

There were moments of feeling better, which were immediately followed by feeling not better. And no running. Blah.

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Week 13

Not much to report this week. I got out twice: once in Green Bay and once in Minnesota. These runs were worked around kids being sick, me being sick, and traveling.

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The bright spot was that I did start to feel better (when I wasn’t ready to hurl my guts out on the drive to MN on Friday) and got out for a run on my last day of the first trimester.

Pregnancy is funny in how it affects each woman differently. For me, it’s generally a shitty feeling, but when I can get out and run, I feel loads better. This is the most running I’ve ever managed during a pregnancy.

Now, the second trimester awaits. And my running shoes are ready. I just hope the rest of my body can keep up.