Monday, June 30, 2008

Of Mountains and Molehills

I am trying to have a good day here people! I am sitting here in my office listening to the beautiful sounds of a jackhammer and my industrious co-workers yapping and being generally annoying down the hall. My admin just showed up and is wearing flip-flops. On the bus this morning I sat in front of a high school freshman going to summer school who jacked his ipod up 500 decibels when Come on Eileen came on. Sure, listening to someone else's ipod is annoying, but it was so amusing to me that he had to turn it up for that song that it was actually quite endearing. Still kept me from napping though. The one good thing is that it's cool today. It's staying under 70 degrees so you better believe I'm heading out there! I just hope I can sneak out early and still get back for an anniversary luncheon for one of my co-workers. But I baked chocolate chip cookies for the occasion so even if I'm a little late I won't feel too guilty.

Anyway, thanks for indulging my peanut stuff there. Although rationally I know we have nothing to worry about and peanut is just fine, I have had a couple of freak out episodes. But to be perfectly honest, I don't think it has anything to do with the CPC. I have had mini-freak out episodes pretty much all along. The CPC is just the latest thing to latch on to and worry about. I am so ridiculous that I even worry that I worry too much! I probably do, but worrying about worrying is just ... well I don't think I need to explain.

This is nothing new and not isolated to my pregnancy by any stretch. I did the same thing with my training, envisioning the worst case scenario du jour and running with it. Most of the time I could enjoy my training but I would occasionally get on that negative focused kick and be too stressed or scared of a bad outcome to really enjoy it. I can see it in this post leading up to my first marathon. I can see it in this post leading up to Boston. And I can see it in this post before my last marathon. I always tried to get on top of those worries and learn from them: I really can trust myself and my abilities; there's always a lot of counter-evidence to my worries that is much better to focus on (focus on the 99.9% rather than the .1%); although trusting others is hard, it's necessary and important.

Pregnancy is like training in many ways. And the cool thing is that I can use the lessons I've learned through training to make my pregnancy better and hopefully I'll be able to use the lessons I've learned in pregnancy to make my training better.

Friday, June 27, 2008

A Brief Note from Peanut

Hi everyone. I'm peanut.


I hear my mom and dad are all worried about that thing that showed up in the ultrasound. I wanted to stop by and reassure them and you that everything is aok in my little bubble. See, look at my hand.


Don't doubt the peanut. Peanut power!


Ok. I'll hand the blogging back over to mom. She needs to go relax and have a nice run on the treadmill now, but she'll be back with her own post soon. Bye bye!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Motherly Instincts

We had our third ultrasound this morning. This was what they in the business call a Level II. It was a complete anatomy scan. The tech started with the head and moved down the body. We got to see peanut's brain, face, spine, heart, kidneys, legs, arms, feet and hands!

When it came time to check the gender the tech told us to look away. I did at first. But then I thought she was done and I looked up and now I am 99.9% sure I know. The tech also said something that gave it away if you think about it. Anyway, I can't tell you what it is. I still want it to be a surprise for mrp. I hope I can somehow keep it to myself! It's going to be tough!!!

I was reeling from that a bit: how to handle?! And then the tech said she wanted to check one more thing. She went back the peanut's brain and then did a measurement of a little spot on it. "Uh oh," I thought. Then she said she was going to get the doctor. "Uh oh," I thought again.

The doctor came in and checked things out for himself. Yep. Peanut has a choroid plexus cyst on his/her brain. I actually didn't panic. I listened. I swear my motherly instincts are getting stronger. The doctor explained that CPC's are a soft sign for trisomy 18. What that means is that 1/3 of babies with trisomy 18 have a CPC. However, he went on to explain that around 2% of ultrasounds show a CPC. A CPC in isolation is almost always nothing. However, a CPC with bad results from a triple screen and/or other detected abnormalities is bad.

The abnormalities indicating trisomy 18 are clenched fists, unusually small measurements, heart defects, among others. The ulrasound detected a perfect heart, above normal measurements (go peanut! I knew that ice cream was for something!) and I have an ultrasound picture in front of me showing peanut's open hand with 5 perfect little fingers waving at me. On top of that, we had the best possible results from our triple screen. Of course, I don't want to hear anything even might remotely be wrong with peanut, but I can tell you that I KNOW peanut is a-ok. I feel deep in my heart of hearts that with all this evidence peanut does not have trisomy 18.

The doctor thought it was fine too. He said he had to tell us, but that really in his opinion, peanut is perfectly fine and that the CPC is just one of those things that will work itself out. On top of that I read that the risk of miscarriage from an amnio is higher than the possibility of detecting trisomy 18 and many hospitals don't even inform patients of an isolated CPC (one without any corresponding trisomy 18 indicators) because they almost always cause needless worry.

So, I am not that worried about it. Me. Not worried! I am trusting the doctor and all the literature as well as my own and mrp's gut instincts. Peanut's fine. Go peanut!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Lost in Translation

I'm sure you've all heard the notion of listening to your body. It sounds like such a great concept: "I con't overdo it as long as I just listen to the ol' bod! My own body won't let me down!" Here's the thing. That only works if you understand your body's language.

I think I spent much of the last couple of years learning how to tell my body to shut up. I mean, part of marathon training is learning to toughen up. Sure, there's an element of balance to good marathon training: know when to tell the body to shut up and when to let the body shut you off. As a beginning runner, I definitely needed to focuse primarily on the former and I think I got quite good at it. I still have some work to do, but I am definitely much tougher than when I started.

Now I'm pregnant and my body is doing bizarre things it's never done before. I mean, everything is different. Every week brings on new feelings. At first there was the weird breathlessness when I ran and then I felt like all my organs were moving around and then my ab muscles permanently slackened and then I all of a sudden I wanted to vomit all the time. That pretty much sums up the first 6 weeks of pregnancy. The next 6 weeks were putting on weight and the continuation of wanting to vomit. And now, things are different again. My belly is rounding out while the rest of my body has debloated a bit. I feel pressure in my belly button. My skin is itchy all the time. My boobs are relatively huge. As of very recently, I can feel the swishy swirly movements of peanut swimming around at night. This is all very concrete stuff.

But sometime last week I started to feel what felt like the occasional uterine cramp. Before that I was ungodly tired and my stomach was all wonky. I just didn't feel right. I blew it off. I thought it was nothing--just the changing landscape of the pregnant body. But then finally my body broke through and put my fingers on the phone. I called my midwife's office just to tell them about the crampy feeling. I thought they'd just tell me it was normal and reassure me. Instead, they told me to come in right away. It turned out to not be an infection or anything and peanut is fine. However, my midwife feels confident it was my body's way of telling me to take it down a notch. I ran two races in one week--one very hot week. Drink more gatorade and take a day off or two here or there. Maybe lay off the races, pregnant lady!

My midwife did say to keep running, just be better about listening to my body. I've been listening this whole time, I swear. I just didn't know what it was trying to tell me. I'm working on finding a pregnant body to english dictionary, don't worry.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Overall Peanut

Let's get back on topic, ok? My friend CJ asked me to run a 5k on Sunday that was close to my neighborhood. She was doing the duathalon. I agreed because besides being pretty close to where I live now it ran through my childhood neighborhood, starting in the park that hosted my brownie meetings and summer day camp. I couldn't pass it up!

Unfortunately, the race started at 7:30. I am not quite the early riser I once was, but I managed to make it there by 7:15. I preregistered just because I know myself that well. I was still half asleep, I swear but when I ambled into the restroom I found CJ. She was all cute and nervous and pre-race focused. Normally I imagine I'm like that too. It's nice to not give a sh*t and to pull up minutes before the start and line up somewhere in the middle and just bumble out of the start and just enjoy it. I always enjoyed racing really, but in a stressed out high stakes kind of way. I have to say, I like this relaxed way better. Hopefully when I'm back being competitive I'll remember this.

I found the starting area and met CJ and her fiancee and chatted with them before they ditched me to head up to the front. Of course, that's where they belonged and I waved from my mid-pack starting spot. The race started and as we made our way our of the park parking lot I remembered riding my "Blue Angel" banana seat bike into the same entrance some 24 years ago. It was actually at this park that I realized how much I love running. I'd play capture the flag with the boys and no one ever complained when I was on their team because I could climb up in the pavilion to hide the flag in the rafters and of course run just as fast as any of them. And it was when I was in day camp at this park as a 9 year old that I participated in our local Junior Olympics. I ran the 50 and 100 yard dashes and performed the running long jump. I came in first or second place in all three.

We made our way through some shaded neighborhoods. We passed one house with a young mother holding her baby watching us through her doorway. She smiled at me and I smiled back. We headed out of the narrow-streets and out to the main drag and passed my elementary school, where I also demonstrated my athletic prowess on the chin-up bar and that rope that used to hang from all elementary school gym ceilings. I have such fond memories of that school and of the park. They're from when my childhood was good. When we lived in the little red house. Before my dad was really sick and before he died. When I was too young to understand that food stamps were not good things and that normal people don't drive their kids around in cars that break down every couple of days. My age of innocence.

Around a mile or so (there were no mile markers) I started to feel really hot. The course was all out in the open sun now and it was really affecting me. I still felt my pace was comfortable, but I just wasn't feeling it as much as Wednesday. We finally came to another shaded neighborhood section with about a mile to go. I started to push the pace a bit. I felt good and strong. And then we turned and we were off road. It was nuts! They had us run through a woody access path back to the park and then about a quarter of a mile on bumpy grass! Not good for pregnant ladies! I had to slow way down because I am not about to risk a fall on unfamiliar terrain. I finally made it over that section and into the shoot. The woman who ripped off my tag said way to go. You and baby are number 1! I picked up a piece of cold watermelon (yum!) and then a trophy.

I put all my stuff back in the car, grabbed my gatorade and then headed back out for a two mile cool-down jog and to watch the bike portion of the duathalon (5k run, 20 mile bike, 5k run) and biathalon (5k run and 13 mile bike). I waited until I saw CJ enter her final lap. I cheered her on and finished my jog and waited for her to reenter the park for her final transition. She came blazing back in in fourth place but she was only a minute behind third. I told her she can totally catch number 3 on the run. After a very quick transition (I was impressed! It would take me 5 minutes just to put my running shoes on) she was off. She looked very strong. I ran back off for my second cool-down run. I was feeling good and keeping it to the shade so I was fine. I went out into that neighborhood that constituted the bulk of the last mile of the 5k. And sure enough CJ came around the turn in third place! She had about a 30 second gap on 4th too! She looked great. I ran with her for about 200 meters or so (all I could do at that pace!) and she was talking and seemed so relaxed. I let her go on her way and jogged back to the finish where I found her already finished with a medal around her neck. She did great and I really enjoyed watching the duathalon. I've never seen a multisport event in action and I always love going out to support my friends!

Anyway, I finally left the park around 9:30. I got home and ran to mrp working in the garden and showed him my trophy that said "Overall Female" on it. He was all proud and we laughed about how only about 5 people probably ran the whole thing! But, I've only won a race two other times so even though it was a small race that was part of a bigger multi-sport event it's still pretty nice, especially with peanut on board. I took it inside and I covered up "Female" with "Peanut." I'll save it as peanut's first winning trophy. Go Peanut!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

SAVE THE DATE

I really would normally spare you from this kind of stuff, but it is just so annoying and I knew you'd all take my side :)

You really wouldn't think "baby shower" and "drama" go together. Well, sadly you'd be wrong. My Aunt, who also happens to be my godmother, is one of those controlling meddling types. She is very self-centered and elevates her and her childrens' needs above all else. And while this is normal to a degree, when it is taken to such an extreme that it hurts other people absolutely needlessly, it's rather obnoxious and downright offensive.

Here's an example. She decided she was going to have a party for my grandparents' anniversary on the night before my rehearsal dinner which was the night before my wedding. On a Thursday. Who would have a party on a Thursday and who would expect a bride to be able to attend such a party with her rehearsal dinner and wedding around the corner? Now here's the thing. If she would have called me up and asked me what I thought about that I would have said it sucks because I'm not sure if I could make it and perhaps we could do it the weekend before the wedding or something. If not, fine, but at least she took the time to consider how it affected us. But she didn't.

Today, I got this in my inbox:

Subject: SAVE THE DATE

Hello Salty's Mom and Sister,

Just thought I'd give you a heads up on a Baby Shower Date that we have planned for Cousin. Since she may be on "bed rest" at the late stages of her pregnancy, we thought it prudent to have her shower early.


Girl Cousin, Other Cousin's Wife and I will be having her baby shower on Sunday, Sept 7th.

AS with her bridal shower, Cousin's sister will be having an additional shower for the other side of the family. SHe too is having it sometime in Sept.....not definite date yet. ( looking at the 14th or 21st) And, just to mention an aside fact.........Other Cousin's Wife's sister is getting married on Sept 27th.

I'm only telling you the above in case you were thinking of Sept for Salty's possible baby shower dates. I realize that since she is due the end of Nov, that October is most likely the time when you might be planning something, but I thought I'd make mention of what is being planned at our end, as we want to make certain that we are part of SALTY'S celebration as well !!!!

Love, Aunt


Thanks for the call to ask when we were planning something. That would have been so much harder than dictating, I know. So, apparently the dictaor of shower's is disallowing me from having my shower any time in September. You know, how could I schedule my baby shower on the same weekend as my cousin's wife's sister's wedding? You know, during the closest month to my due date that still has nice weather. The time when I'll be really pregnant but not too pregnant to enjoy myself. The last month I have free because I actually have too much going on in October to have it then. I like that she assumes. You know, because she's taken the time to know me so well. Oh, and for the record, Cousin's due date is in JANUARY!

This aunt/godmother has always been like this. Mrp and I found out we were having a baby and were so happy. And then I found out Cousin was pregnant and even though I knew the potential for this crap was there I was genuinely happy. It helped that she was 5 weeks behind us. Well, sure enough she's having twins and of course they'll be born very close to our baby, probably. I can deal with that, but now I feel like I'll have to send save the dates for Peanut's first birthday now!

Luckily, we were already planning ours for August 31, so there isn't a conflict, although I feel bad for my relatives who now have two parties on back to back weekends. I feel like this crap puts them in the middle. But that is really beside the point. If she really wanted to be a part of things and if she really cared and if she really felt any love it would be nice if she acted like it.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Laws of Negativity

I almost didn't make it to the race last night. Remember how I was telling you it was a bad day? And then the whole thing with my cat? Well, that was Monday and Tuesday. By Wednesday mrp's dad was in the ICU. By Thursday, yesterday, our basement was flooding because the city flushed the fire hydrants on our street and messed up the water pressure causing our hot water tank to go crazy. I came home from work to change into my running clothes and found mrp exasperated and staring at the hot water tank. I thought he might cry.

With everything that's been going on, I'm a bit taxed and mrp is beyond taxed. I really needed a fun night out but I was worried mrp needed me. I asked him if he wanted me to stay. He said no. I offered anyway. He said no. Then I looked at him and realized he really needed me to leave. He needed to be alone to freak out a little bit. So, off I went. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't worried about him and feeling guilty on my ride to the race. But, I know mrp and I know he really meant he wanted me to go. I decided I would not waste the opportunity.

I ran this race last year. I remember it well. I had a cold. I went out like a total moron in sub-6:00 pace and it was hotter than hell and I just died the last mile. I also remember my grandparents at the top of the hill waiting to cheer me on sitting in their lawn chairs and meeting new friends. I met both E-speed and Evie5000 at this race last year. This year, I was looking forward to seeing my grandparents in their lawn chairs again and getting to see my acquaintances who have become valued friends.

When I arrived I realized it seemed a lot hotter than it was supposed to be. I later learned it was 87! Yuck! Luckily it wasn't very humid for once and I could run, but I just planned to be a little extra cautious. I ran into Evie5000 on our respective warm-ups and it was so nice to catch up a little. I haven't seen her in 4 months or something. Then as I was returning my race packet to the car I found E-Speed (who I run with at least once every week!) who was with a friend who hasn't run a race since high school. Her friend and I decided to run together. I like having a buddy for races now. It helps me make sure I'm keeping the pace conversational and it's nice to have the company.

The race started and the friend and I jogged out in the mass of mid-packers. We just chatted and soaked in the atmosphere. We started on a downhill and as we descended I could see the huge expanse between us and the leaders. Puts it all in perspective! By the time we made it to about the 1/2 mile point the leader was already going in the opposite direction. I had to cheer on all the people I knew just because I felt like it. The leader was going for the course record, 14:54. A few people back was the woman's leader. She was going for the course record 16:49. They're amazing!

Shortly after we spotted Evie5000 and E-speed hot on her tail, the numbers 2 and 3 woman. I have to say I liked seeing my two friends racing together in their matching race team uniforms. The friend and I kept our pace and discovered we were running around 8:00 per mile at the first mile marker. This part of the race was in the open sun and gradually uphill so I still resolved to take it easy for a while. We made it to the top of the hill and there was Grandma waiting for me with her friend (Grandpa had a condo associaton meeting). Grandma's friend told me to go faster and Grandma scolded him telling him I'm running for two. Aww, Grandma. Always looking out for me.

Just a little ways past grandma is a turn-around point. At this point, I told the friend to pick it up. She was chatting away! Go faster I told her! She said, "Really?" I said, "Heck yeah!" So off she went. I didn't mind. I was almost ready to pick it up too but I wanted to make sure I did it on my own (and peanut's) terms. We started back down the hill and I passed Grandma one last time. We made it to shade and I decided I felt good so I picked it up. I gradually picked it up until about the two mile point. There was a water stop, so I got a cup and dumped it on me. As I passed the two mile marker I saw the leader who won, but missed the course record by 4 seconds! Bummer! I then saw the next three men hauling ass to the finish followed by the leading woman. I don't know if she broke the record but I wouldn't be surprised at all! It's worth saying again. She's amazing!

Anyway, after the two mile mark the course hits a bike path section into some woods. It was the perfect refuge from the sun for me to really start doing something. The first stretch is uphill and I started blowing by runners one after the other (sorry allanjel!) I felt great. I just zipped along. I didn't get passed by one single runner the last mile. I have to say, no matter how slow your final time is, if you run a huge negative split it feels good. Really good. My first marathon was 15 minutes and 16 seconds slower than my pr, but I ran a negative split and felt 9 million times better at the finish than I did for my pr marathon. Last year at this 5k I ran more than 4 minutes faster but ran a horrible positive split. I was happier after this one! Negative splits = happy. Positive splits = ouch. That, my friends, is the law of negativity.

So yes, I ran a significant negative split. My rule in races now that I'm pregnant is that if I feel good I can crank the last mile within reason. Of course I cranked! There's a huge downhill before the finish which made it even sweeter and then I saw two women way ahead and mowed down the one and then just before the shoot I caught the other. Once she sensed me she started to sprint. I was up for the challenge. Oh wait. Don't do that! I started to go with her and then I heard peanut telling me not to be stupid and I let up perfectly satisfied with my performance.

Final time: 23:4x. It even turns out I won second in my age group. Come on women in your early 30's. Start cracking. That's just not right! Heh. But even more satisfying is having good friends and wonderful grandparents and a happy peanut. Now if we can just fix all that other annoying stuff!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

You Know It's a Good Day When You're Wearing a Running Skirt

It's one of those days. You know, the kind when as soon as the bus approaches your stop the deluge of rain starts or when your anti-stretch mark cream decides to stain your cheap Target maternity top. Yeah, I'm walking around with really frizzy hair and a streaky purple tent. Nice.

But Astrid is doing better. She's not great but she definitely perks way up when I give her her medicine. Hmm. I wonder if THAT would make this day better? Kidding, peanut. Don't worry! Last night she ate her treats and even did her little trick I trained her to do to earn her treats and this morning she took a few sips of milk. She still looks weird with her little tongue sticking out to make breathing easier, but she sure is cute. I'll take it.

In other news, I did something crazy. I bought a running skirt. My regular running shorts still fit (through some miracle), but I'm not sure for how long. I bought a pair of shorts a size up but they're more uncomfortable than the smaller size, strangely. So, I needed to figure something out. I found some maternity running clothes but they were not my kind of running clothes--long shorts and tight black tops. I need stuff for the heat. No tight black tops. And I HATE running in shorts any longer than 3 inches. They just don't work on my body. So, the only viable alternative I found was this maternity running skirt. It's a bit pricey and I was really not sure how practical it would be or if I'd feel silly wearing it.

It finally came. It took at least 2 weeks to reach me. This is my only complaint. But when it finally did, I was in love. It's so cute and comfortable! I could wear it all day. And since it has little shorts underneath I really could wear the teeny tiny skirt all day without feeling a hoochy! Who would have thought? I wore it on a group run (Hi G, t2t, and CJ!) and got lots of compliments and it felt very very awesome to run in. After the run I ended up wearing it all day for real!

Tomorrow I'm running one of my favorite 5k races and I plan to wear it. Keep your fingers crossed I have the wherewithal to remember to get some pictures. Hopefully, I have a better day!

Monday, June 09, 2008

Astrid

* Mrp and I are the proud owners of 2 cats. Actually, I'm proud of it while mrp kind of hates it and only puts up with them because I love them and they've been my buddies for 11 and 9 years respectively. Anyway, one of the compromises we've made is that the cats go to the basement while we sleep. Now that sounds mean, but they actually are so well trained they start getting antsy to go to the basement after 9:30 every night if I don't take them down sooner. They run down willingly and await their kitty treats and hugs and kisses before I turn out the lights and head upstairs. Of course, in the morning they'll remind me around 6:30 if I haven't let them out yet--sucks on the weekends! As soon as I open the door they bolt out like bats out of hell (cats out of basement) and await their tiny serving of milk I give them for another peaceful night.

Well, this morning I opened the door and only one cat flew out. Odd. I looked around the kitchen to see if maybe I missed her. Nope. Hmm. So, I walked downstairs and I turned the corner and out of the shadows my little (actually pretty fat) kitty, Astrid, peeked her head all covered in blood. I looked at her and knew something was wrong. This was not a little scratch. There was blood dripping out of her nose and it was all over the white tips of her delicate diluted calico paws. I ran upstairs and looked up emergency veternarian clinics. I found one relatively close and made the call. And at 6:10 AM I packed poor Astrid in her carrier and pulled out of the driveway with tears streaming down my face and her nestled snug next to me.

Every now and then over the course of the 20 minute drive, she'd sneeze and spray more blood all over the walls of her carrier. I'd cry a little more. We finally made it. It took forever. The place is not one I'd choose under normal circumstances, but now I just wanted to know if she was in imminent danger before waiting the hour and a half for our normal vets office to open. The vet came in and did his exam while poor Astrid hid her face in the crook of my arm. Somehow I managed to keep her purring with soft words and lots of cuddly pets. That's notable if you know her.

When the vet was finished he said she wasn't in immediate trouble. He had some ideas, but a real diagnosis needed xrays and blood work. I'd rather my vet do that and I was able to get an appointment at 8:45 so off we went home. By now, the blood seemed to have stopped and Astrid seemed a lot more calm.

When we arrived home for a brief stop in between appointments, Astrid scooted out of her carrier. After a brief hiding in the basement stint she came upstairs and socialized with my other cat, Fortunato, and me. She was making a gurgly sound and didn't touch the bit of milk I gave her, but otherwise she seemed good. Then I loaded her back in the carrier for the next journey. Luckily this one is right around the corner.

Our regular vet asked me lots of questions. He was particularly concerned she got into some poison or cleaners or something. I couldn't think of anything. The only thing in the basement is their litter boxes and food and our desk full of papers. Anything toxic is locked far away. Other than that he thought it could be a pulmonary issue or perhaps simple asthma. I waited while they xrayed her chest. When they were complete they called me back. I couldn't help but laugh at the scene. The vet tech was holding Astrid and applying an oxygen mask. Astrid had one of those blissed out looks with her little tongue hanging out of her mouth. I wish I took a picture. Then I turned my attention to the xrays. The vet pointed out some congestion in her lungs, but everything else looked fine. So, we waited for the blood results. After about an hour's wait, we discover nothing abnormal. The vet concludes it's a freak thing or a tumor in her nasal passage. The diagnostics for the latter are extreme so we decide to wait and see. He put her on the same medication given to race horses to stop them from bleeding from their noses when they overexert themselves and sent us on our way. I was relieved: she's not dying! But puzzled: what the hell happened?

I got her home and decided to clean all her eating and drinking bowls and put in fresh food before leaving for work. When I was cleaning out her food bowl I discovered a layer of mold at the bottom of one dish. I had wet the food down for my other cat a few days ago and the moisture must have caused mold. It had to be the culprit. I through the dish away. I tried not to cry. And now I'm going to be a parent?! I felt like a total ass.

My vet just called me back. It wasn't the mold! I've been acquitted of attempted cat murder and potential horrible parenting! I still feel bad that there was mold in their dish and now I'm a little worried about what it actually was that caused poor Astrid to spew blood out of her nose, but at least I feel better that it's not MY fault.

* This was not taken today, but it's one of my favorite pictures of Astrid. She's begging for a treat!

Friday, June 06, 2008

APB: Calling All Pregnant Chicks

I have a dream. I dream of crossing the finish line with a 7 month pregnant belly at the Akron Marathon in September. No, I don't plan on running the full marathon or even a half-marathon. My dream is to anchor a relay team of 5 pregnant women.

Unfortunately, I don't know of any local runners who will be pregnant in September. Maybe I can make it an expectant parent relay and at least mrp could run it too. Really, I just think it would be fun as a way to get to know some other pregnant runners as well as to promote running in pregnancy. Anyway, if you know of anyone who might be interested in running a 5k or 10k leg of my relay, let me know!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Gravy

Several people have asked me if it's hard for me to be unable to run as fast as I was before. If I would have thought about that before I got pregnant I would have expected a forced slow down to suck. But really, it doesn't at all. In fact, I hardly notice. I am not running workouts or anything and my easy pace is not too far off now that I'm in the swing of pregnancy running. I did run a race, but I never expected to race it. I guess running while pregnant isn't hard. No, it's just different. And mostly in a good way.

It's great to not have the pressure to improve. I think for a while there I was improving so much so quickly, that I just began to expect that kind of curve all the time. It was hard to take down time or just run for fun. Now, that's all I do. Every run is fun. I can run with almost any of my friends--some of them I can only tag along for recovery runs, but others are happy to lope along at my 9 minute miles-ish pace any day. I can run with friends on any run. I don't have a rigid training schedule to work around. I can chat and take a break if I need to. It's nice. And I enjoy running in a way I didn't for a while there. I appreciate it so much more and don't take it for granted. Taking my sweet old time and having fun and still coming in 8th in my age group at that huge race really made me realize how lucky I am to be in good shape and to just be able to hit the trails with peanut and feel good doing it (most days). When I started running again back on August 1, 2004 (yes, I remember the exact day!) I would be thrilled to be able to run two miles straight without hurting for a week! So, really this change in circumstance really puts it all in perpective. As much as I love running and do take it seriously, the point is to be happy and healthy and everything beyond that is gravy. Gotta remember not to get greedy with that gravy!*

What isn't so great is that I feel like a heifer. Heh. Sadly, I've gained 15 lbs since I've become pregnant and I had already gained 8 from my last marathon to that point. So, I weigh a whole heck of a lot! It is mostly belly, but I definitely have a layer everywhere that I didn't have before. My arms bug me the most. I used to have great arm definition and now, not so much. *Sigh* I think I might have to be a bit more careful about how much I'm eating. I want to gain enough to be healthy, but just enough. I don't want to have to lose 50+ pounds! At the same time, I am active and I don't eat that bad if you ignore the ice cream habit I've recently acquired. And I'm craving saurkraut and pepper jack cheese and horseradish mustard. Gravy is not on my craving list. Maybe I could afford to be a little more strict with the diet. But, part of me says this is not the time in my life to worry about gaining weight. Maybe I should just let things happen naturally, let my body dictate what I need to do, and I'll be fine?

Anyway, I've been really running up a storm. Today will be my 8th day in a row and all of my runs have been at least 5 miles. I had a midwife appointment today (got to hear that glorious peanut heart beat again--go peanut!) and got the green light to keep on truckin.' So peanut and I will continue to have fun out there while we can!

*Which reminds me of a story my grandpa tells about his navy days. On a dare he drank an entire pitcher of beef gravy in one sitting. Now THAT's a bit greedy with the gravy! Yuck!