Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Zen Running

Since as long as I can remember (ok not that long), running has fostered my Type-A personality.  Work hard, run hard, race hard. Sure, it is a lot of work and sometimes very very painful but "Type A Stephanie" eats this stuff up.  You know - running 12 miles exactly, not 11.98, utilizing my Garmin religiously, and always trying to be better, go faster, push longer.

Serious about running

In the past five months or so that has had to change.  At first, I fought it.  I know I may have told you all that I was ok with that, but I was lying to you and myself.  In mid-February, I was taking Clomid and may or may not have gone out on a 13 mile run even though I knew that was a little overboard.  And I had not yet given up on the idea of a March or May half marathon.  Even after the doctor gave me a stern once over and I stopped running so hard, my mind was not so good at loving this new kind of running and it was extremely difficult to grasp the loss of my Type A runnerself.

But then something miraculous happened,  I got pregnant and began to let go.  Interestingly enough, I began letting go the week before I learned that I was indeed pregnant for the past 5ish weeks.  Since then, the let go spiraled and continued full force.  First trimester pregnancy hit me with a bang and with it came lack of motivation, energy and major sickness all of which made running like a crazy woman at all hours, distances, and speeds one of the least desirable activities possible. Why do that when I can sleep? Clearly.

Sometimes we don't look our best so early... no judgements 

So instead of trying to follow a schedule, to get X amount of workouts in a week, to try to match my food intake with my workouts, and try to control every moment of my running life, I let go.  And guess what?  I did not really care.  Sure you can chalk it up to first trimester sickness but for the first time running was not the top priority of my day.  It was not the thing I worried about doing as soon as I got up in the morning.  Instead, I listened to my body.  I stayed in bed until the last possible second and I began to exercise when and where it was possible.  If I felt good, I might get two miles in on the treadmill in the morning or hit up a 4-5 mile long sloooow run on the weekends or I might just GASP . . . walk.  And you know what? It has been  O.K.  and minus the perpetual sickness it has been better than ok, for me, for right now.  

I could go out running or I could go out for french toast (in the end I ate french toast then went running and was actually at my fastest. Ah the power of french toast).

And, even more of a shocker, for the most part I did not even miss the crazy running.  So I guess this little guy or gal inside of me has taught me a valuable lesson (I am sure the first of many), sometimes it is O.K. and even absolutely necessary to slow down and listen to your body.  I think my body had been telling me for months it was ready for a break from running and I just fought it tooth and nail.  Now that I am here, I am sort of enjoying the other side of things - the stress free, Garmin less running.  So for now, I do not have a plan, I do not have control.  If I wake up and I feel I need and want and can actually run, I do.  I don't necessarily set off with a set plan or distance, I just go and see how it feels, if I need to stop 15 minutes in and give in, I do.  If I feel like I can push another mile just a little faster, I go for it.  And then that's that and I move on with my day.

Can I tell you I am always so "zen" about running?  No.  Sometimes I miss my old running but I know this new way of running is not permanent but a change that probably will continue to evolve overtime.  Sometimes I am scared of running because it is harder and more difficult than ever before.  And sometimes I miss the marathon maniac person I was this Fall and can hardly recognize myself.  Yet, for the most part, I am content.  I know that there will be more times for fast running and marathons and races, but for right now I will enjoy this Type B running and go with the flow!

I may be sorta scared of running, but Wubby is REALLY scared of waves

Are you a Type A or a Type B runner? Do you ever switch it up?

Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Magic of Cape Cod

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!  It is currently Sunday at 7 a.m. and I have been up for the past hour.  No, I do not have a big race today and yet here I am wide awake.  Benefit of getting up early and not having a race - lounging around in a way to comfy oversized bed with fluffy pillows listening to the sounds of the Cape (I won't have this luxury, G-d willing, for much longer so I have to take it now).  Downside - having to deal with my stomachache that comes with maybe just too big of an ice-cream treat last night - worth it.

Wubby's first ice-cream, eaten in record time

It is probably no secret that the last few weeks have not been so easy for me.  To sum it up, think of a stereotypical pregnant woman (not the happy go lucky kind) and you will have a picture of what pregnancy has been for me since Week 5/6-ish.  Do not get me wrong, I am over-the-moon grateful to be pregnant and would not change it for the world, but am I crazy sick? You bet!  But if you have to be sick for 9 weeks straight, this is the best reason to be sick for so long, so I will take it.  Anyway, feeling sick 24/7 has left me fatigued, with no motivation, and no time for blogging.  I like my bed, my pillow, and my T.V. - otherwise I have no interest.

But since coming to the Cape this weekend, something magical has happened, I have actually felt . . . NORMAL!  For two whole blissful days, I have felt like my old self motivation, smiles, no nausea and all.  I am 100% convinced this is due to the Cape air and about 99% convinced I should present this evidence to my boss on why I should be allowed to work from home e.g., the Cape, for the  remainder of my pregnancy in order to be the most efficient possible.  Makes sense, right?  I am just not sure he will go for it.


I think everyone has their happy places.  For me, I have acquired one or two in my life time.  The Cape has been one of them ever since Aaron took me here a few months after we started dating.  I came here and fell in love.  For those of you have been to the Cape, you may have experienced this but when you cross the Sagamore (or Bourne) bridge that separates Cape Cod from the rest of Massachusetts it is almost as if a weight as been lifted off your shoulders and you let out a huge sigh of relief - that is how it is for me anyway.

Cape Cod happiness - this was actually about 6 years ago, crazy

For many reasons, we have not been able to get away to the Cape like this in the past year or two and I have all but forgotten the "Magic of the Cape."  But within seconds of crossing the bridge this weekend and sitting down for our first meal at the Cape (yes fish shack complete with tuna fish, french fries, onion rings and soft serve ice-cream - did I tell you pregnancy means I love all things fried) I quickly recalled "the magic."

So I have been in heaven.  A slight reprieve from all the sickness and a true chance to enjoy everything that has been going on in and around me.  Yesterday, I spent 3 hours at the beach, one of which included playing with a very happy Wubby and the other included trying to coax a scared puppy into the bay water (waves are scary).

Wubby is a little tired from all the action. More actual beach pictures to come when I find the connector cable.

I also got to enjoy a 2 mile run where everything felt normal!!! Minus a bit of heavier breathing I actually believe (according to Aaron because I run sans Garmin these days) that I ran under 9 min miles - which is HUGE for me these days.  Otherwise, I have been eating to my heart's content (I may have gained 10 pounds on this trip - so worth it), reading, watching T.V., and relaxing...

French Toast!!!!

I really don't want to go home!!!!  I am pretty convinced that as soon as we leave I will be back to my pregnant sick self leaving the magic of the Cape behind.  Maybe I can take just a little of the Cape back with me.

How are all of you?  Any good plans for the holiday weekend? Have you ever been to the Cape - where is your "happy" place?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

When G-d closes a door, he opens a window....

Thank you all so so much for your well wishes.  I am so happy I can finally share with all of you.  :)

So I am thinking full story time is in order.  As it is no secret, we have been trying to get pregnant for the past few months and it was clear that we or rather I was having some issues in that department and thus had been working with a wonderful Reproductive Endocrinologist.  Last we left off, I think I had told you all that I had gotten my period and we were starting the next round of Clomid, and all of that was true.  So what happened...?

I guess everyone believes something different in these situations, some might look for the magic bullet - the one thing that worked.  I know I wanted all the answers of what truly would do it.  If I only ran this many days a week, ate this many calories, gained this much weight.  What would be the thing to help me get pregnant?  It is my belief that what did it was my mother passing away.  Her passage along with Aaron's mom passing (three years ago) and G-d is what I believe made this miracle a reality.  I am not going to make this a religious post - don't worry.  I will just explain what happened and what I believe and everyone can take what they want from it because I really don't want to offend anyone.

So, ok back to the second round of Clomid.  We were on the second round of Clomid when my mom passed away.  I spent that week in NJ sitting shivah.  I ate, I relaxed, I walked, I ran a little - I did not really think or care about the "getting pregnant process."  And then we came back to Massachusetts and on Friday March 23 went to the doctor's to see how things were progressing.  Aaron's first words "We have not see this before."  The doctor was just like "OMG, OMG."  Yup you guessed what we were seeing was our very little baby at 4 weeks, 6 days!  Just what looked like a little bean.  It was the craziest thing - I honestly could not believe it until I got the blood test.  Yes we were actually seeing it but until I actually had the blood test I could not believe it.

I still woke up the next day at the crack of dawn and took a pregnancy test - I just could not believe it...

And then we held our breath...we went back the next week to make sure everything was ok and we could see the little heart beat pounding away while looking at something that in no way resembled a baby. They put me on Progesterone until Week 10 which was not so fun but totally worth it.  And so I guess every day I wake up a complete nervous, neurotic, and sickly mess thanking G-d for our miracle.  And so that is  what I believe.  I believe I was not pregnant until my mom passed away.

My mom...

Aaron's mom and I

But I will still recap what else I did for others who are interested.  The first round of Clomid I did was 25 mg and then I got an HCG shot.  During that time I did acupuncture, I visited the mikveh (which is a Jewish cleansing bath ritual), I ran and exercised less (5 days a week much much less intense), and I gained a bit of weight eating more almonds, yogurt, eggs (maybe like 5-8 pounds).  Was one of these things a magic bullet?  Take of it what you will.

I just know for me there are some very wonderful ladies looking down on us.  By the way, my due date, November 21st, is my parents' anniversary.

Monday, May 14, 2012

When Miracles Happen...

I have been thinking about how to write this post for weeks (when thinking has been possible, which is not often) - wanting to make sure I am sensitive to others and to capture the story as best as I can.    I have not come up with some magical way except that I am probably going to leave you hanging and drag this on for a good few posts but hey 1) its my birthday today and 2) I don't post so much these days so I figure that gives me some sort of right to ramble aimlessly.  Which I guess leaves me at - a full story tomorrow (if I am being ambitious and can post twice in a row) when I am hopefully not still so sleepy from the late night drive home from New Jersey and my anti-nausea medicine (a.k.a a glorified Benadryl).

My husband says I don't have much of a game face and is pretty much convinced you all already know this, but if not  maybe you will allow me to share our exciting news with you.  See the reason I have not been posting so much these days is I have been busy practicing my game face - or as I like to call it lying in bed and bargaining with my stomach to feel better.

See this is my game face - have I fooled you yet?

But when I am not sporting the above mentioned "game face," I like to make poses like this one

About 7 weeks ago 

And Aaron likes to be included too....

So, you guessed it, G-d willing on November 21, 2012 (or a fews days give or take) our little miracle will join our family.   We have yet to tell the Wubster - I am not sure how he is going to take it, he is sort of a daddy's boy.

 Thank you all for your love, support and encouragement.  We are beyond thrilled and nervous all at the same time.  I can't wait to share more with you in the days to come.  But right now I especially want to thank and think of my infertility friends and let them know that while I know I have been silent lately, not a day goes by when I don't think of you all.  I am still here for each of you and am always thinking and praying for you.  

For now off to celebrate my birthday a.k.a lie in bed (my new favorite activity).

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Running Dreams (or lack thereof)

Leave it to me to decide to try to write a coherent post at 2:28 a.m.  That is what I get for going to bed at 8 p.m.  It sounded like a great idea at the time, but of course that means I woke up at 1 a.m. and after an hour of tossing and turning I decided it would be much more fun to G-chat with some of my West Coast friends than to stare at the clock in the inevitable "I have to be up in five hours, get to sleep kind of way."

And apparently lately when I am lucky enough to get some sleep, I have been enjoying some crazy running dreams.  As I am not running much of late (and I guess that is partly why there is not much to blog about) and have convinced myself that I do not care that much,  my subconscious has apparently been on overdrive letting my know how much I actually do miss running.  Case in point, last night's dream (before I decided to wake up at the nice hour of 4:30 a.m.), involved a 5 mile race that I have coming up in June, the Squirrel Run.  The Squirrel Run, because I know you care deeply, is a run put on by my P.T. in honor of his brother to raise money for ALS.  I have run this race for the past two years and last year received my first ever medal - The Day I Fell in Love with Squirrels (little known fact I am super scared of squirrels).

Shameful confession - that balloon deflated after a week, I still have it

Ok, Ok, I digress. So in my dream, Aaron and I are running the Squirrel Run together - as we plan to do this year - and we are nowhere near the front, but I have decided to be super competitive and get it in my head that we are going to win this thing (you know because that is realistic considering the winners have likely already crossed the finish line).  I see my first target, a relative, and speed off to pass her with Aaron at my side.  I see my next target, which, no judgment, is another close friend who is speed walking, and pass her.  What does this all say about myself? I try not to analyze.  At this point, I have pretty much crowned myself the fastest runner out there and convinced myself I am going to win.

This is exactly how strong and fast I looked like in my dream - who is this girl?!?

I know you are all in suspense at this point, edge of your seat kind of stuff we have got going on here, but unfortunately I woke up.  And I guess the subconscious wins out because next thing I know I am debating whether or not the sound of the treadmill banging directly over head from our bedroom will wake Aaron at 5 a.m. or cause Wubby to go crazy.  So I did the respectful thing,  I took my chances.  And I am so glad I did because I got to have the best 3 mile run I have had in months - yes months.  It was nice to have that wonderful "great run, on top of the world" adrenaline-type feeling for a few moments and it was a wonderful way to start the day.

See look proof I am red faced and everything

Which I guess begs the question, would running at 2:45 a.m. be dis-resepectful to those men (Aaron and Wubby) who are actually sleeping right now in my house?  Forget dis-respect, I may have had a great run but I am not that crazy, I think it is time to just try for some more sleep.  Night all!!

Wubby pictures NEVER get old 

Do you ever dream in running?