Thursday, October 30, 2008

Kink


Oh great.  I have the worst kink in my neck.  I rolled over last night in the middle of the night and felt something pull but dismissed it.  When I woke up I was in agony!!  I can't turn my head or move my arm all the way without pain.  And of course I can't take anything for it either!! I brought 2 hand towels and a bath towel that I could make into a warm compress here at work but I haven't mustered up the guts or the energy to nuke my towel in the break room. I really don't want to have to explain what it is that I'm doing. Heh. Hopefully when I work out in an hour or so that will help.

Speaking of working out... I think running is definitely for sure done until peanut arrives.  I know I keep threatening this, but this time it's true. I ran 7 miles two weeks ago, .25 miles last week, and 0 so far this week. Besides my legs, peanut is low and sitting on my bladder now and as you've seen I am really big now and feeling too awkward to safely stay on the treadmill if it's going over 4 mph! However, I've still been getting in about 5 workouts a week. I have been getting great 45-50 minute workouts in on the eliptical when I can get down to the gym at work and hilly power walks on my treadmill in my basement.  I've also managed to work in a couple of really nice hikes at my favorite park.  

And speaking of really nice hikes at my favorite park... On Saturday I am going to almost go for a run with almost every one I have run with since I've been pregnant with, only they will all run while I walk and then we are going to meet up for breakfast afterwards.  I am so excited!  I have missed all of them since I slowed way down and now stopped running all together and I cannot tell them how appreciative I am for their company and support over the months! I am one lucky lady!!  This will probably be the last time I see them before peanut and next time I see them they'll each get to meet the little guy! How exciting!!  

And speaking of getting to meet the little guy... 36 weeks today!


Monday, October 27, 2008

Lightening


Towards the end of some pregnancies, momma experiences something called lightening.  What this means is that baby hunkers down into the pelvis to get ready for his houdini like exit from the womb.  Yesterday, peanut dropped! I had a busy morning and early afternoon and I came home pooped.  I crawled into bed for a nap and noticed my pubic bone ached something fierce.  I adjusted my postion and snoozed deeply until the alarm woke up (stupid stupid alarm!)  I had the hardest time prying myself out of bed, but I finally did and I just felt terrible.  I started the rest of my chores anyway.  Mrp came home and I told him how I was feeling and suddenly I realized--I can breathe! Mrp took a look and wasn't convinced.  He has me lift up my t-shirt.  "Hmmm. Maybe!" he said.  My belly button is now turned slightly downward and my belly is much fuller lower.  I still have my basketball but it's not as big looking.  I am so glad I got that photo (http://notpeppery.blogspot.com/2008/10/happy-birthday-mrp.html) at the height of my hugeness!  

 Anyway, the whole this is weird though because I was having tons of Braxton Hicks all day and I felt nauseous.  I think maybe the nausea is there to make me hungry again because I was having a hard time eating with peanut all up in my stomach before.  I am not sure if I'd prefer the heart burn to the nausea.  Tough call!  But now I am exchanging my breathlessness and heartburn with constant pelvic pressure and more Braxton Hicks.  And the swelling isn't getting any better so I think running is pretty much out of the question until after peanut's arrival.  My left hand looks like a catcher's mitt.

Last night this big change got me really nervous that maybe peanut will come really really early.  I was up for two hours with anxiety about going into labor last night!  However, I read up on it and it sounds like it usually indicates weeks to go not minutes so I should be safe today. Phew!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Happy Birthday Mrp!

What a difference a birthday makes!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Swing State


So today I put my Obama magnet on my car.  It's parked at the park n' ride.  We'll see if the magnet is still on my car this evening. I thought of taking it off and stuffing it in my purse when I parked my car anywhere, but why pass up an opportunity to wage a social experiment?  I totally expect it to be stolen, but how long will it take? Where will it happen?  In other poltical news, my mother, grandmother and I are going campaigning for Obama together on Nov 3.  It will more or less be 4 generations campaigning together! I am not quite sure what they will have us do.  I'll let you know! I would like to do something fun, but I will just be happy to get out and do something and take advantage of living in a swing state.

In peanut news, peanut is still a gigantic fetus.  Yesterday, my midwife did something called palpating, which is just a fancy way of saying she poked around my belly to guage the position and size of the baby.  She agrees: he's a big kid! As a result, the consensus seems to be that he will come early.  So we're looking at more like 3 weeks to go than 5.  Yikes!  I am so excited to meet peanut so that works for me. Plus, as selfish as this is that means I get to get back to running two weeks sooner! Can't wait! Although, I have a lot going on between now and getting back to running!  And of course now that my hopes are all up that he'll be here in 3 weeks, he'll be two weeks late.  The thought of going late is really really unappealling! So, come soon peanut!

Also, peanut is still riding high and now that my uterus is big (measuring at 37 weeks!) I cannot breath and I have constant heartburn.  Seriously, sometimes I worry he will kick me in the face!  Haha. It's not that bad, but it's pretty bad! It stinks to be short!  I kind of hope that when he drops (and that's going to be soon, right little buddy!?) that might also relieve some of the blood flow issues in my legs and I might get a run or two in before he arrives.

In mrp news, he took all of last week off from running, but he has actually run every day so far this week.  He's been talking about running a fall marathon next year. I hope he does.  He seems to be putting the experience in perspective and looking to move on.  I think there are more mrp marathons to come!

So that's what's going on over here. Everything very exciting, though nothing all that new and exciting.  Just generally exciting!



Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Nuts


I have turned into a chipmunk! I am one messy disorganized person normally, but lately I am a freak about organizing closets and my files at work and making sure I have enough of everything in the house. I am obsessed with the notion of "just in case."  Hormones! Mrp is in heaven as normally he has to bribe me to do any real cleaning or organizing.  And for whatever reason I'm actually enjoying tasks like sorting through my old clothes and refiling files at work. Hopefully, some of these hormones will stick around after eviction day.

Unfortunately, running isn't going so well.  My lower legs flood with lactic acid when I run anymore and it hurts so much running just isn't enjoyable.  Add in the bladder, the round ligament pain, etc and it just isn't happening.  I only managed 7 total miles last week running. Today I ran .25 miles while I waited for an eliptical and I have to admit I was completely excited when one finally freed up and I could end the misery in my poor legs.  Elipticalling is proving a great workout.  I feel great doing it and I can keep my heartrate up without a break for 45 minutes to an hour.  And when I need an outside fix I can get in a good hilly hike at my favorite park, so all is not lost.   It's not the aerobic exercise. Sadly, it's just running.  But with 5 weeks to my due date, I might be able to run again in just 8 weeks.  I won't push anything and will take my time getting back to it, but knowing how soon I could be back out there makes me feel better about not running now.   But I will keep up the exercise and I am not ruling out running anymore (who knows, maybe my legs will work themselves out before the big day and I'll get a few more miles in.)  I think about it and I can get plenty out of shape in 5 weeks and I want to be in good aerobic shape for labor and recovery. And not gaining extra weight that I'll need to take off will be an added bonus. So I will keep at it until the end!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Crisp Fall Days


So this weekend was perfect marathoning weather! As I walked in the park with my buddy E it reminded me of my first marathon.  I remembered my last run before the big day, winding comfortably down my street decked out in glorious fall colors feeling nervous and hopeful.  I remembered lining up on Sunday morning in shorts, a singlet, and those green gloves freezing my tush off!  And I remember the sun shining down as I made my way to mile 24, 25, 26 and finally made the turn to see that I was indeed going to meet my goal time.  So much better than worrying about Nor'Easters and then moderate heat and wind.

I think back to my last two marathons and the problems I ran into and now at least a year later I realize what the problem was.   I was a ball of tension, worrying about this and that and not hopeful, excited and looking forward to the miles ahead. These past few months of forced rest from training have made me understand just how important the enjoyment of racing is to the racing experience.  I can be super fit and my body can be completely capable of my goal time, but it ain't happening if I am freaked out and worried.  I was sitting in childbirth class a couple of weeks ago and our instructor said the key to a positive natual labor is to relax and let your body do what it was made to do.  Doesn't this just make sense? In my first marathon I was over a minute of goal pace at the half.  But I didn't care. I trusted myself.  I believed I had the ability to do it and I was happy enough to give it my best shot.  I understood that it didn't mean I was a bad person or an intrinsically bad runner if I didn't quite make it.  I ran within myself.  

I remember reading Shalane Flanagan talking about running within herself sometime during the summer and I wondered what the heck she meant.  Looking back I see it's based on running self-esteem.  It can only happen when you have nothing to prove about yourself through running. When you have faith in your training, your dedication, and your mind and body.  When you know you'll do your best and that's good enough.  And by good enough, I don't mean you're settling. You just know that that is always the best you can do and you are satisfied with it.  You understand that there is no magic gu to water to gatorade combo that will achieve your goal or some magic pace to run any particular mile to achieve your goal.  To achieve your goal, you get out there and let your body do what it was meant to do and to do its best with what you're given.  

Thursday, October 16, 2008

All Good People Have Bad Days


So mrp's marathon didn't go quite as planned.  It all goes back to the spring.  After we found out I was pregnant, mrp decided that this would be a good opportunity for him to make another crack at the marathon.  You see, when I met mrp he was a pretty serious runner.  He started running right after college and slowly and methodically improved from a 3:48 to a 2:48 marathoner over the years.  Mrp's a different runner than I am.  I am type A work hard get it now kind of person. I am much more intense about my running.  Mrp on the other hand is very intense in his every day life but uses running as his undisciplined time.  He's more disciplined than probably most people with his running but he's less disciplined about it than other areas of his life.  Also, he is not intensely competitive as some people we know (and love!) around these parts.  However, he still takes pride in his running and the improvements he has made, as he should.

Anyway, when we first met (well, it was the second time but that's a looooong story for another time), mrp was in the midst of his most intense training cycle ever.  He was running well over 100 miles per week.  However, he also worked two jobs and lived about 40 miles away from me.  After I entered the picture mrp suddenly had much less time on his hands.  Yet, he attempted to do everything. By the time his fall marathon came to pass, he was in the best shape of his life but pretty much suffering from overtraining syndrome.  He still ran a 2:48 on a hot day in New York, but it definitely did not reflect what he was capable of.  After New York, mrp was way burned out.  He needed a break.  I don't think he really raced for more than an entire year after that.  In the meantime, I started training myself.  I think it helped mrp to live vicariously through me as he tended to his own recovery.    I ran my first marathon and qualified for Boston.  I think this helped mrp catch the bug again.  We planned our trip for the following spring.  Mrp didn't train very hard.  He peaked around 80 miles per week with a tempo and a long run.  The winter that year was really brutal so we did what we could.  Even so, he pretty easily ran a 2:49 on a day when many others suffered at the hands of the Nor'Easter (me included!).  

After Boston, mrp was pretty much done for the year as he helped me focus on another fall marathon.  He continued to run moderate mileage including many a long run and tempo with me.  But with our wedding in the fall, our house and our jobs it was just a bit much for us both to dedicate an entire season to training.  So, he made the sacrifice.  After my fall marathon we figured mrp would train for a spring marathon.  Well, that didn't happen and at the end of February, mrp decided to register for Chicago.  A week later we discovered I was pregnant.  So, it was fitting that mrp train for 6 months to get in a solid marathon before the baby came and our lives probably wouldn't permit serious training.  

He started off well.  He was working on building up his mileage and we anticipated him going back to those 100+ mile weeks.  However, before that could happen. Wham! We were in a car accident.  Besides being hurt and worrying about the baby, we now had yet another thing sucking away our time: dealing with insurance companies and body shops and car rental agencies, etc.  That was it for mrp.  He just couldn't do it.  He gave up training for a couple of months.  He still ran, but did no workouts. No long runs.  He'd skip days at a time. Then at the end of July we ran one our favorite local races and mrp ran a 5 miler 3 minutes slower than his pr.  We crunched the numbers and figured with 2.5 months he could get in decent enough shape to salvage Chicago.  However, those 100+ weeks just weren't going to happen.  With peanut's arrival becoming more and more imminent, mrp just couldn't sacrifice the time to run twice a day our outside of his lunch hour on most days.  So we worked out a plan and we'd see what happened.  Mrp peaked at just 75 miles per week.  At first he was doing long 10k reps, a long tempo, and a long run. This worked well for mrp.  Within a month he ran a 10 mile race almost at the same pace as the 5 miler in July.  Then 3 weeks after that he ran a half-marathon at a slightly faster pace than the 5 miler.  Things were looking good.  After the half, we switched to two longer workouts a week:  one 14-16 miler and one 18+ miler.  The first including 6-8 miles at half-marathon pace and the latter including up to 12 at marathon pace.   We decided he shouldn't do much of a taper since he wasn't beat up and his mileage was never high.  The week before the marathon he ran about 60 and the week of he ran about 35 before the marathon and 60 with.  

If you can't tell mrp was conflicted about the whole thing.  He felt more devoted to baby preparations and stuff like that than running, but he wanted to train too. He was torn.  Even on our way to Chicago he said he didn't want to go.  But there he was driving us and worried about whether we had enough gatorade.  And when we were in Chicago I think he was less worried about getting himself ready for the race and more worried about whether I was ok.  It's hard to let an 8+ month pregnant woman self-sacrifice and tend to your needs! But we managed pretty well. We got him loaded up with food and liquids and to bed early. We talked about heat strategy--see how you feel we decided.  But even as prepared as we were, he still had doubts and he still expressed apprenhension about the whole thing as we waited for our cab to the starting area.  It was already warm.  We knew it wouldn't be the best day for a good time.  But maybe, he could still pull it out.  

After sitting around together for a while and pinning numbers on and lubing up with body glide and making fun of the way I felt not racing--it's like being the only sober person at the part--I finally left mrp to the crowd of runners to make my way to my spectator vantage point up north.  At a minute before 8:00 the gun sounded and mrp was off.  And he felt it.  He said from the gun he just didn't feel right.  And then his garmin crapped out under the tunnels during the first couple of miles.  He didn't know what pace he was running.  All the way at the half he didn't know.  He was surprised that he ran a 1:27 and change half.  He was hoping for a 1:24.  So by this time he was hot and conflicted and irritated and now disappointed.  And then he forgot the clocks were posting a time linked to the start of the elite race, so he thought the clock said he was running 5:00 slower than he actually was.  He said during the last few miles he thought he wasn't even going to break 3 hours!  And as the race wore on and it got hotter he didn't have the fight in him to go after the time he was capable of.  He could have run 3-5 minutes faster at that point, but why?

He finally made it the finish in 2:57:00.  His worst marathon in more than 5 years! I reminded him how lucky he's been to not have had a bad race in so long.  But it's not much consolation.  He knows he didn't really put in the work to feel entitled to a faster time, but at the same time it sucks. Right now he's wondering is this something to avenge or a sign to hang up the racing flats.  I so hope it's the first choice!

Despite the disappointing race, we did have a super fun time on our whirlwind trip to Chicago.  We stayed in the seedy Howard Johnson.  It was such a throwback and the bed wasn't nearly as uncomfortably as I originally feared.  I forgot to get pictures of the place.  Seriously. It's the essence of 60's motor hotels.  You have to stay there sometime! We had fun riding the school bus to the expo.  We had fun making fun of people at the expo.  We saw Ryan Hall and Brian Sell at the expo and hoarded yummy samples at the expo.  Although, would you believe the Chicago marathon expo did not have nip-guards? Very odd.   I ate Chicago style cheese in a bread bowl pizza while mrp ate spaghetti.  We ate breakfast at the Hojo diner before leaving the city  which was just more throwback awesomeness.  On our way home we stopped at the Indiana Dunes State Park which was lovely.  We even waded in the lake--in October! The sand felt so good on our feet and the cool water felt so good on our tired legs--my legs felt like they ran a marathon too from running around to 4 different spots along the course to see mrp and one loooooong walk from mile 25 to the finish line.  And then we stopped in some scary town and went to a scary Wendy's and laughed at the scariness and then we sang songs along the dark highway as peanut danced along in my belly and finally, finally! At midnight on Sunday we pulled in the driveway and headed straight for bed!  And that, my friends, was our trip to Chicago.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Cankles!


I have cankles! My feet and ankles have been puffy since Sunday.  I totally believe it's because I haven't run or worked out since Friday.  Maybe I'm nuts but I think the blood flow and the sweating from regular exericise has helped me avoid such horrible side-effects until now.  That's it! I'm working out today no matter what.  Luckily I have a date with my pregnant buddy *M* (trainingtotri.blogspot.com) to "run" at the park tonight. It might be more walk than run but I don't care.  I have to do something. Cankles are unacceptable!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Still Running...Somehow!

I was doing so good there for a week or so, but I've been a bad bad blogger again. There are so many posts I want to write: second trimester recap, pregnancy and running resource review, among others. But alas I have been feeling very lazy.

Perhaps it is because I am carrying a giant baby. According to the doctors, as of 32 weeks peanut is in the 96th percentile for growth. This means he's about 6-7 lbs now with 6 weeks to go! Check out those cheeks! And I am massive. I look only slightly chunkier in the rest of my body, but my belly is out of control gigantic! It is making me slow and awkward. When I see it I am shocked though, because while I do feel pregnant and big I don't feel THAT pregnant and big. Maybe I just expected a lot worse? Who knows. I am glad I feel relatively good.

The bigness has gotten to me as far as running goes though. It has been really tough since the relay to get out there. I cannot stand the idea of 6 more weeks of sloth though so I am going to keep at it, but it's just not anything I'd call enjoyable most days. I am lucky to get through 4 miles at around 10:40 pace stopping twice. That's a good run these days. When I run my lower legs burn and hurt, probably from the extra weight, the crazy weird stride I'm sporting lately, and I'm sure the general swelling I've been experiencing lately doesn't help either. If I stand for more than 1/2 an hour at a time, my feet hurt like crazy so I'm not sure it's just a running thing. *

Also, I have finally been experiencing the dreaded round ligament pain. This is when the ligaments supporting the uterus are strained. I really never had it until about a week ago. People always asked if I needed a brace for my bellt when I run and I just never did. The pain is just occasional so I still am not going to get a brace, but now I know the appeal.

The last thing that I am not experiencing that is making running difficult is the whole bladder thing. Sometimes I'll stop to pee midrun only to still need to pee as soon as I start up again! It's so annoying! Peanut's head down and sometimes he just likes to snuggle up to my bladder or something. Who knows. This is also not an all the time thing so, I can deal. But it does add to the laundry list of reasons I have to sometimes force myself to do something I used to be dying to do all the time.

Wow. I sound whiny

I have readjusted my goals on any given week. I just want to get out to exerice 5 times a week, whether running, elipticaling, or even walking. I don't care. I just can't stand the idea of doing nothing for over a month and I know as soon as I slack I'm down for the count. So, I will soldier on.

*Please ignore the ugly squinty look on my face and enjoy the beautiful scenery of Indiana Dunes State Park. We stopped on our way back from Chicago. Yeah, I'll write about that soon! Swear!

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Running and Pregnancy Blogs and Resources


Hi all! I would like to compile a list of pregnancy and running blogs and resources.  If you know of any good blogs or have found a resource on the issue helpful, please post a link in the comments.  

Thanks!

I'm a Huge Geek!