Monday, August 27, 2012

Baby B - Weeks 26 & 27

I guess it just seems easier to to group weeks into sets a two.  Not that weeks are flying by at that rate but they do seem to clump better that way.

How have I been feeling? During Weeks 26 & 27, I felt overall still pretty darn good.  Still a good amount of energy and a massive desire to organize, clean, read baby books, and work on my baby registry.   Same old symptoms: random bouts of heartburn, swollen ankles, and really bad dried eyes.  My eyes have been getting so bad that I think contacts are going to have to take a hiatus soon.  I have been wearing them off and on but even that is getting more and more difficult.  To add to the mix of symptoms, during Week 26 my knee acted up and at the start of Week 27, lower back pain also began.  I swear that I had a growth spurt between last Monday and Tuesday and in came the lower back pain and the inability to bend over without feeling pain in my stomach.  These things are still pretty manageable but I am feeling them.

An actual belly picture - Week 27

How have I been feeling emotionally?  Still counting down the weeks. I know I know I should sleep, I should enjoy this time.  I know...but I am just so excited and cannot wait to meet this little guy.  Otherwise, during weeks 26 & 27, nothing seemed too out of whack - but if you ask me about my hormones yesterday (Week 28)... well that is a whole other story.  At least during pregnancy, I can blame those days on hormones, right?  Poor Aaron...

Cravings and Aversions:  Starting during the end of Week 27, my sweet tooth has been out in full force.  I normally have quite a sweet, tooth but this is a bit over and above my normal love of sweets.  I also noticed that there is less room or starting to be less room for bigger meals in my belly again (more baby, less belly).  I have to keep up on that and really try to listen to hunger cues because it often leads to me eating too much or too little and then paying for it later.  Otherwise, last weekend, I had a major craving for Chinese food.  We went out with friends and I proceeded to demolish a very large plate of Chinese food - I can't wait to go back!  And of course pizza was still high on the list as well as tuna fish (I got my second tuna fish sandwich of the month in and it was glorious hehe).  I also have been craving more fruit, which is absolutely wonderful.  Finally, milk and cereal is apparently my favorite breakfast food in the world right now.  Aversions, not much - coffee still.  Also, for a while I was pretty into the idea of toast and butter, waffles and butter, English muffins and butter and now eh not so much on the butter.

Mid-afternoon snack. This is actually the smallest (and only size) they had.  I will take it.  And it is actually soft serve fro yo - where have all these places gone. I can't find this anywhere anymore... :(

Exercise:  At the beginning of Week 26, I felt some pain in my knee remember?  So I took a few days off and even got a swim exercise in, which still unfortunately bothered my knee.  Everyone keeps telling me to swim, that I am going to love it.  I have been loving the pool - well sitting there anyway.  As for swimming laps, it still was kind of boring to me.  I kept thinking the clock was broken at the pool or I was not seeing it right because how could only 15 minutes have passed?!?! It seemed like forever!

Getting ready for pregnancy swimming!

Otherwise, I did speak with my PT and he is not too concerned about my knee.  He watched me run a mile and said he was more worried that I might hurt my back as I compensate for the added weight.  He told me to run 2 miles last Wednesday and 4 on Saturday.  Well, he was right, my back was quite sore on both Wednesday and Saturday.  I go to PT on Wednesday this week and will try one of those maternity belts, but it may be time just to hit up the elliptical for now.

Doctor's Visits:  Not during week 26 & 27, but yes during Week 28 - so you will have to wait for next time to hear all about it.  I know it is hard to contain your excitement.

Baby Kicks: Kick kick kick all day long and you can see my tummy move too! I love it!  But I still don't think Wubby feels hehe....

Because why not...

Did you try a maternity belt for back support?  Did you have really bad dry eyes?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

'Tis The Season...Race Season

As we wind down August and head into back to school, September and the FALL (I love fall),  I was pondering last night, as I talked with Aaron, about how we are not only heading into the best season of the year, in my opinion, but also the best time of year for racing.   In New England, fall is the jackpot time for racing.  The weather is crisp, but not too cold, the summer heat is gone, and runners are itching to race and race directors are happy to supply an abundance of amazing races with beautiful fall foliage to look at while running by.  Last year, at this time, I was smack dab in the middle of that season.  Gearing up for Marine Corps Marathon, I was not only enjoying long run after long run in the wonderful fall weather but also hitting up the race scene like never before!

I get really excited about fall running!

Last night, I realized how much I miss racing and how a part of me is sad not to be immersed in all the fun this season; although I would not trade my position for the world, I would much rather be baby training right now (and boy am I ever, but that is another post).  I have not raced a race since the first week in February.  At that time, I had run at least one, if not two, races a month since May (maybe skipping July), which for some may not seem like a lot, but for me it really was.  Sure, I have been running and even participated in some races, but I miss the thrill of preparing for a race, putting in hard training hours, getting nervous the morning of the race, and going out and competing and doing my best.   And I can't wait to get back into all of that fun.

But for now, there is no time or ability to race.  After two speedier miles for me this morning, it is clear that my body is absolutely not getting faster any time sooner.  In fact, like I mentioned before, there is a chance that very soon I may just call it quits on the whole running thing for a while.  My knee was fine on the run, which was great, but my lower back is starting to feel it (could it be that big belly is starting to get in the way?).  I am pretty sure baby and I had a growth spurt this week and we are feeling the changes.  When I saw my PT on Monday, he watched me run and at that time said we would monitor my running, that I should run 2 on Wednesday and 4 on Saturday or Sunday and come in next week (I swear the growth spurt happened Monday night into Tuesday).  He said the biggest concern in running now would be overcompensating and hurting my back.  I will talk with him more next week and I think I am going to try a maternity belt, but if running has to go on the sides lines for now, so be it.

But while I may be on the sidelines, I can still live vicariously through others right?  Aaron is seriously considering a fall half marathon and I am sooo excited - probably more excited than he is.  Is that strange?  I can't wait to talk all things running with him and plot out course strategies etc.  Aaron is probably reading this and regretting this now.  This morning, we ran the two speedy miles together, well, we started together and then he took off.  I could not have been prouder.  In January of this year, he could hardly run an 11 minute mile without huffing and puffing and needing a break and he just ran 2 consistent fast miles leaving me in the dust and I know he could have made it 3.   I can't wait for him to rock his half marathon.

 Fall Running, here we come!

How are you partaking in race season?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Baby B - Weeks 24 & 25

And just when I thought I caught I am two weeks behind once again.  Not only that but this week we totally forgot to take a bump picture at Week 25.  However we got it early on in Week 26 so it still counts, right?

Week 24
Week 25/26

How have I been feeling?  Week 24 and 25 were pretty great.  Overall, I had a ton of energy and focused that energy into a massive need to prepare for all things baby. Buy Buy Baby is officially my new favorite store.  I absolutely spend more time there on the weekends than anywhere else along with my trusty Baby Bargain's book.  If I am not at Buy Buy Baby, I spend my time organizing the house.  We are almost through cleaning out the second bedroom in the house which was an office and a "landing zone" for the past year to the upstairs third floor.  Aaron put in shelving upstairs which helped a ton for reorganization.  Last weekend, we even loaded up our higher education into the car and sent it off the Book Recycling Depot.  In other words, we recycled about a decades worth of books.  We wanted to sell them, but that proved difficult.  Then we wanted to donate them to some place pertinent, but in the end recycling was the best we could do.  No judgment please.

So yes I have had lots of energy and I have wanted to GO GO GO!  But have had some other symptoms
  • Heartburn - still making an appearance, still not fun.  I have been rocking the Zantac which is better than Tums but still not great.
  • Swollen Feet - they are big, really really BIG
  • Dry Eyes - my eyes are all bloodshot and teary.  It is not pretty.  I called the optometrist today and am hoping to get some drops.
  • Sleeping - Sleeping is getting harder mainly because my neck was bothering me the past two weeks and I could not sleep on my back.  Usually if my neck pain flares up, I sleep on my back at night to relieve the pressure from the day.  Sleeping on my side just does not cut it. I am now sleeping with a good 5-7 pillows a night.  Yes, I have the Snoogle (the pregnancy pillow), but guess what - my neck hates it.
Still though, I am pretty satisfied.  I will take it.  The energy helps outweigh all of these other things.

How am I feeling emotionally?  Still excited!! Still trying to enjoy the moment, but I can't wait to meet this guy!  We have been busy busy busy and there have been lots of fun things going on, so it is a bit easier now. I also know I really need to enjoy this time and rest and relax, but I really can't wait to meet this guy (but that does not mean I want him to come early!)

Cravings/Aversions  During Week 24 & 25, I did a pretty good job of enjoying a variety of foods.  I had some fish, some meat, lots of milk and yogurt so I am pretty happy about that.  My biggest craving has been Carrot Cake.  Not just any though.  My friend made this Carrot Cake for dinner about a week and a half ago and I am officially obsessed with it.  I have not stopped talking about the darn thing.  It may border on an unhealthy obsession at this point.  Otherwise, still just want to eat lots of turkey and tuna fish sandwiches (how I wish).  Aversions - still coffee.  But during week 24 & 25 nothing else major, but stay tuned that might be starting to change now....

Exercise:  Probably the best during weeks 24 & 25.  Two seven mile runs.  A 3.1 hilly outside run and some elliptical time all which felt good.  Although it did feel like I was carrying a little wagon with me.  Also, I notice that when I start to run I feel very very sluggish and need a good 2 miles to warm up.  I have not had much calf cramping thus far but when I run ,I feel some leg cramping and it takes a while to get myself going.

Even though that is all great, I was doing my PT exercises on Thursday and tweaked my knee.  I talked to my cousin who is a PT and she thinks that I am fine - stretched it, taped it, and told me take two good days of rest followed by some elliptical and I should be good to go.  Although she really feels, it is about time to stop with the running (grandma would agree).  I know the time is coming.  I know I could go to the pool but that involves paying for a gym membership and actually getting to the gym.  I am soooo spoiled these days with just walking upstairs and hitting the treadmill or elliptical.  I might just end up doing lots of elitpicaling but that is kind of boring too.  Right now the plan is no running until my knee feels a bit better and then we will reassess.

Doctor's Visits: 0 but big one next week - glucose test and an ultrasound!

Baby Movement: Kick kick kick! This guy is very active! During the day now too. I love it.  Sometimes I can feel him stretch and twist and turn too.  Other times I feel just the pressure of him and can sort of tell where he is if that makes sense.  Aaron can feel him now, but it takes a lot of patience and time.  For some reason, baby never seems to want to kick when Aaron comes 'round.  I always yell for Aaron to come and feel and then baby is quiet.  Go figure, he only likes to beat up on mommy!

Just because I love this photo

Did you stop running during pregnancy?  What are people's thoughts on running and pregnancy?

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Pounding the Pavement

This morning, I needed a good run.  I needed to feel that all out, elusive "runner's high."  I needed to burn off some steam or some crazy hormones - you take your pick.

I went to bed angry.  Nothing crazy, just annoyed that I could not find a "place" for myself.  My neck hurt and I wanted to lie on my back (a pregnancy no-no).  Instead,I was on my side with a pillow between my legs and three pillows elevating my ever-swollen foot. It is not the most comfortable sleeping arrangement.  Wubby was licking his bone loudly and I was tossing and turning to find my spot.  Albeit not the end of the world, by any means, but not my definition of fun either.  I slept sort of poorly waking up at 2 a.m. and having trouble falling back to sleep due to Wubby's breathing - as an aside I am worried about Wubby being "too loud" for the baby to sleep in the same room as Wubby.  Wubs will be crated but he is breathing loudly or licking this or that - it is kinda noisy.  It is my new concern - what to do if Wubby is too loud for the baby - we think he will not be happy being kicked out of our room.   I am thinking of a white noise machine.  Anyone have any thoughts?

Wubby pretty much believes he owns the place

Ok, so that was a major digression to get to the point.  So the point, I woke up tired, groggy and not really wanting to but needing to run - not need in the sense of training but need in the sense of "oh gosh, I need to pound the pavement and feel better." Runner's therapy so to speak.  I debated giving in.  Just hitting the treadmill or the elliptical.  It was already late, as I had slept through my alarm, and it would have been easy to just throw in the towel before I ever picked it up.  But one glimpse into the somewhat brisk, refreshing, and less humid morning air was too tempting to resist.  So I put on my new $5 pair of bigger running shorts, a too small sports bra, and a too large running shirt and headed out - Garmin, Glee on the iPod and all - it was like the good all days.

Mile 1,  I could tell I was angry.  I was angry about my new "stupid" shorts that did not fit right and chaffed - stopping twice to adjust them. I was angry that I overslept.  I was angry about the B*tch of a hill that I live by (to me it is pretty bad, but reality not so much) You name it, I found a reason to be angry about it.

Mile 1 - 9:44...

Mile 2  I started to let go.  I started to recall how wonderful it was to run outside.  How much I missed my Glee Music (yes I am serious) and how much I love being a runner.

Mile 2, 9:37

Mile 3,  I continually remember these days why I love running so much.  The so-called high of it.  Of pushing hard, of going faster, of competing.  Granted these days I feel like I am running with a little wagon behind me but regardless whether I am running 9s now or 10s as opposed to 7s or 8s a year ago, the feeling, the excitement, the highs are the same and are just as incredible.

Mile 3.1 - 9:04

Finishing my run, I felt alive.  I felt happy.  It was my first run with music and a Garmin in a while and I loved it.  I did not punish myself about the times or worry. I just went with what worked, what felt good and boy did it feel good today.

Sometimes an early morning run is just what the doctor ordered...

Do you ever using running as therapy?  Any suggestions on the Wubby noise situation?

Thursday, August 2, 2012

My Longest Run to Date

Saturday morning I woke up gearing for my "long run."  Since I have started to feel better during my second trimester, Saturday has been my "long run" day.  The definition of long run is pretty relative these days.  The run is generally longer than my run or runs during the week and I get to hit the trail because I have more time on the weekends, so to me that is still a long run and it is generally 4-5 miles.

This past Saturday, Aaron and I headed out with our sights on 5 miles, but in all honesty, it did not look promising in the least.  We got to the trail late and it was hot and humid.  I was generally in a pissed off and defeated mood over silly things - can I blame hormones please? Well, I am going to. Also, I had awful heartburn, which does not make running any fun.  As soon as we started out, my poor mood and the heartburn came up with a vengeance.  I kept telling Aaron to leave me and to complete his goal as I literally shuffled along but he insisted on hanging in there with me (what a good guy) and even being willing to take a stretching break after mile 1 to deal with my massive calf cramps.

I pretty much looked like this just slower and bigger and angrier 

Honestly, I thought about just giving up, but the truth is I really did not want too. I was not feeling great but I was not feeling sick or having any worrisome symptoms that would have caused me to stop then and there.  More likely, and I kind of knew it then too, my attitude was getting in the way.  I was not focused on the present gift of enjoying a run with my husband but looking forward to a day that I was not too excited about full of errands and other things I did not want to do.  But somewhere around Mile 2.50, I told myself to stop with this very childish pitty party.  To be happy to be outside, to be running, to be enjoying time with my husband.  I don't know if it was this little pep talk or the fact that around Mile 2.75 we turned around and were greeted with a huge reprieve of a slowly declining trail for a Mile 1.5, but I began to feel AMAZING!  The run felt "easy" and I felt good doing it.  I felt like I could run forever.

At Mile 4, I told Aaron that I was going to go for 6 miles.  I have not done 6 miles since I think ummm February and it sounded so enticing.  I was energized and ready to go.  At Mile 5 I thought, I could do 7!  So at mile 5, I waved goodbye to Aaron (so he could cool-down before going to his all day hockey tournament) and told him I would be back in a few minutes.  And then I was off - still happy, still feeling strong.  I knew Robin was out on the trail running a speedy long run and kept envisioning seeing her on the way, my guess was she was almost done and I could not wait to exclaim how great I felt.  Luck was on my side, because at about Mile 6 there she was.  I waved at her and she told me she had two minutes and would come back for me :).

Robin caught back up to me a few minutes later to run one last mile with me to round out about 7.25 miles for me and 12 very speedy miles for her.  I could not have been happier, not only did I take a negative attitude and what could have been an awful run and turned it into my longest run since February but also got to run with two of my favorite people.

Two thumbs up for running

As I have been running and exercising during pregnancy, I really have no plan.  When I start each day, I am not really sure what it will hold and what I intend to do.  I may think generally, oh I want to do 3 miles or half hour on the elliptical, but I never know.  I just go with how I feel.  For someone who has been so structured for so long this is quite the change.  At some points, it is completely refreshing.  It is good to take a break, to relax a little bit, to let your body rest as well as challenge your body when it lets you.  And other times, I just want to get back that wonderful training schedule - to have a specific goal for each day getting me closer to a race.  To feel on top of the world after a run.  Saturday's run felt like I was on top of the world.  I felt strong, I felt good.  It was nice to have that feeling and be so empowered.

Pregnancy is hard stuff.  Running at any length or even just getting through your day during pregnancy is hard stuff.  I know not every run ca be like this.  I know I have to continue to just listen to my body and take each moment as it comes. Runs like Saturday are a gift to me during pregnancy and I soaked up every minute.   I changed my attitude and I enjoyed the benefits.  I would like to say there will be many more to come, but I just don't know.  For now, I will be content to not know and continue to just go with the flow.

A good run sets up for a good day to come!
How do you change your attitude during an especially hard run?  Do you ever take time off of your training season for whatever reason (pregnancy or not), how does your relationship with running change?