LA Marathon: a short video from the course.

12 Mar

I am now 3 days post marathon and feeling great.  My legs were/are sore, but in a good way and to a much lesser degree than I thought they would be…no trouble walking or going up or down stairs, which I was afraid would be the case given that I did a lot of my training on the treadmill.  Heck, I feel like I could go for a short run this morning if I wanted to (but will gladly pass that up in order to sleep in, have a lazy morning, and enjoy a good breakfast : )

This evening I leave warm 70-80 degree sunny California to fly back to cold, snowy Chicago, where several ER shifts await me.  Excited to see Dean, but other than that, wish I could stay here!

I have much more to say about the LA Marathon and my decision to run, what my game plan was, thoughts leading up to the race, and a race recap, but for now I will leave you with this short video that my mom caught of my sister and me at around mile 7.  What a fun day, and what awesome supporters my mom and sister are:

The Reveal

2 Mar

On Saturday we had the sex reveal party with our family in which we revealed the sex of our baby with them.  Now, I don’t care if it sounds awkward or not, but I’m calling it a “sex reveal” party and not a “gender reveal” party, because that is what it is.  “Gender reveal” is not an accurate use of the term in this situation.  From the World Health Organization:

“Sex” refers to the biological and physiological characteristics that define men and women.

“Gender” refers to the socially constructed roles, behaviours, activities, and attributes that a given society considers appropriate for men and women.

Bluntly said, the sex of the baby refers to whether it has a penis or a vagina, which is NOT what defines one’s gender.   A baby is genderless when it is born.  SO, I refuse to call our reveal party a gender reveal party and will use the accurate description:  the sex reveal.  Don’t get any dirty ideas with that description : )

On Monday we had a sex reveal party with some of my close girlfriends and their significant others.  We were supposed to have a reveal party with our families first, but because of some unplanned circumstances, my parents had to cancel their trip up here and delay it 2 weeks, so the reveal with my friends happened first, and they were under strict orders to keep it secret until the reveal with our family happened this past Saturday.

My dad flew in Saturday morning, and Dean’s much larger family (parents, 3 siblings, cousin, nephews and aunts and uncle) came over Saturday afternoon to our apartment.

I had a cake made at Whole Foods with blue and pink decorations on the outside and frosting in the middle that was colored blue/pink based on the sex of the baby.  I also purchased pink and blue party cups, plates, and napkins.

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Picture courtesy of Katie  (sister in law).

When people got to our place, they had to pick their plate and cup according to what they thought the sex of the baby was.  We definitely had more “team  blue” than “team pink”:

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My mom and sister, who could not make the reveal party, were also on Team Blue.  My mom was flying back from the east coast Saturday and had a layover in Milwaukee.  She texted us when she was in between flights, and we then FaceTimed her and my sister so that they could be part of the reveal as well (isn’t technology wonderful?!).  We then proceeded to cut the cake.

The following video of the cake cutting is courtesy of Cindy and Greg, Dean’s aunt and uncle.  I’m so grateful that they caught this special moment on video.

What a fun afternoon!!  It was so wonderful being surrounded by those we love as we shared our exciting news with them.

Pictures courtesy of Katie:

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If your’e wondering why the cake is different and it is dark out, this is a pic from the night I revealed the sext to my friends.

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The future grandparents  with us (and my mom joining via FaceTime)

The future grandparents with us:  Dean’s parents on the left and my dad on the right…

We had to get a picture that included my mom and my sister in it, too : ) I'm holding my phone with my mom on it and my dad is holding his iPad with my sister on it.

Me and Katie.  Katie has two sons, so our girl will have two older male cousins.

Me and Katie. Katie has two sons, so our girl will have two older male cousins.

I ordered mini-cupcakes as a party favor.

I ordered mini-cupcakes as a party favor.

19 Weeks

1 Mar

Good morning all!

This will be quick post, as every second of this day is jam-packed (dad coming in town, sex-reveal party, Dean’s 30th birthday party), and I am fitting this in as I let my coffee and small breakfast/snack settle before heading out for a run.

Running:  22 miles total.  I wanted to do more, but realistically, there was really no way to fit it in.  These past two weeks have just been really, really busy for various reasons, and since running, as much as I love it, is not my priority, that was the first thing to get cut from my schedule.

The runs that did happen were good, and I sorta felt a little like my old self a little bit.  During my 9 mile run Sunday, I even got one of my mile splits down to 7:51, which felt incredible.  There was one exception to feeling like my “old self”, though…I am definitely noticing my belly more as I run.  Before, I didn’t really notice it, now I’m aware of the fact that it feels like there’s a brick in my pelvis.  Not painful in any way, just a heavy feeling.

This felt amazing.

This felt amazing.

One good thing is that I seem to be having to pee less while I run.  I know this will be temporary, so I’m going to just enjoy it while it lasts.

Although my miles were cut short because of my schedule, it was honestly probably a good thing.  I may have physically done less miles/week over the past two weeks, but my body feels like it has done a lot more, and I think it is because my body/bones/joints are having to adjust to carrying around more weight, even if it’s not a whole lot yet at this point.  According to one of the articles I had read when I was researching pregnancy and running/exercises:

Avoiding excessive weight gain is important because a 20% weight gain will increase the biomechanics force exerted on a joint by as much as 100%, thereby increasing the risk of joint injuries during certain physical activities. (Forgot to cite the article!)

When running, that increased pressure is repeated step after step after step for multiple miles.  I’ve definitely been feeling more aches and pains in my legs, so I definitely need to be careful.  I think cutting back the miles is good, and in all honestly, is probably going to remain that way because of my schedule over the next few months.

How I’ve felt:  Much better this week!  No nausea or excessive fatigue.  Headaches still come and go, though.  Emotion wise, much better, too.  Although in general throughout this pregnancy, I have felt like I don’t handle stress quite as well as I normally do.  Hopefully, it’s not too obvious to the outside world (except for Dean), as I tend to not wear my emotions on my sleeve, but I definitely feel that little things bother me more than they should, whereas normally I’m really good at ignoring or brushing off things that would have the potential to bother me or stress me out.  I would say that I normally have a pretty tough outer shell that has now gotten a little thinner : ).  Such is life : )

Body-wise:  I subjectively feel huge!  I feel like over the past two weeks I grew a ton.  All my pants are a lot tighter, even with the belly band, and yesterday I was worried that my now hugely outie belly button was going to chafe against my shirt…haha.  What’s scary is that I still don’t look huge relative to the way I’m going to get, so I guess I oughta get used to this!

One cool thing this week:  I started feeling the baby kick!  I only noticed it when I was lying down in bed and not intensely focusing on anything.  Feels like little flutters.  Really cool : )

That’s it.  Gotta run (literally!).

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We’re having our sex reveal party this afternoon with our more immediate family members! Have more decorations and cake and treats to pick up later after my run. Can’t wait. I just hope my dad’s flight is not delayed! My mom couldn’t make it, as she is flying back from Connecticut, so we’re going to try to FaceTime with her during her layover in Milwaukee.

18 Weeks: A rough patch

22 Feb

4.5 months along!  In just another two weeks (technically 1.5 since I’m writing this at 18.5 weeks), I’ll be halfway through this pregnancy.  Holy crap.  The weeks just keep flying by.

Week 17/18 was rough.  It was a relapse of first trimester:  I felt nauseous/icky, extremely tired and cranky and emotional, plus bad heartburn and headaches.

Running:  On Wednesday/Thursday (a week ago), I stopped my run at 3 miles, because I just felt tired and sick.  I decided at that point that I needed to take the rest of the week pretty much off from running and just rest.  Could I have gotten up and ran?  Yes.  I am usually at my best in the morning (except during that 3 mile run), but with the fatigue and general sense of “feeling out of it/foggy” throughout the day at work, I knew I needed to cut out the running.  I don’t have the kind of job where I can be tired and not function at 100%.  That would be incredibly irresponsible of me.  Anyway, I think I fit in two other short runs on Saturday and Monday for a total of 14 miles during week 18.

Fatigue/Emotions:  I got home Monday after a full day of work and a horrible pounding headache, and all I could get myself to do was sit on the couch and watch mind-numbing TV (i.e. Juan Pablo/Bachelor, haha).  I had the whole evening to put our dishes away, and I couldn’t even get myself to do that (ok, ok, that’s actually somewhat normal, pregnancy or not ; ).  I was just so tired, and of course with my emotions the way they were this past week, I started worrying about how I was going to survive being a mom.  I thought, if I’m coming home from work now with no energy to do anything but sit on the couch and stare at the TV in a daze, how am I going to handle coming home and having another human being to take care of…to be “on” 24/7 between a full day of work and child-raising?  Normally I always feel on top of things, that I can handle anything, and rarely do I “succumb” to limitations (like fatigue), so this week was a bit of a downer mentally and emotionally for me.  Again, I’m not not excited to become a mom at all, but I’m just speaking of the realities of the bumps in the road during pregnancy and the self-doubt that I’m sure we all feel at one point or another during pregnancy.  Dean keeps reminding me that I’m pregnant and need to let go of the expectations I normally put on myself, and my rational side knows this, but it still takes some adjustment.

Thankfully, although last week was in general rough, it was not all bad.  Dean and I had a wonderful, lazy, relaxing weekend together.  Sunday I was feeling good and actually fit in a run outside.  Felt so refreshing to be outside running, and I only had to pee once during that 6 mile run : )!

Felt good on Sunday and ventured outside for a run.  Hadn't put on my running gear in awhile!

Felt good on Sunday and ventured outside for a run. Hadn’t put on my running gear in awhile!

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THIS is why I love running so much…I LOVE being outside, feeling the wind on my face and being surrounded by such beauty. Treadmill running is just depressing.

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From my run.

When I got back from my run Sunday morning, Dean was cooking me a wonderful brunch.

When I got back from my run Sunday morning, Dean was cooking me a wonderful brunch : )

Towards the end of this past week, I started feeling MUCH better, both physically and emotionally : ).  Guess my hormones were just really high and Baby O. was going through a growth spurt or something.  Morning sickness and such pregnancy symptoms are actually a good thing….it’s a sign things are progressing well and baby is doing well.

And I finally have a little bit of a baby bump:

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I wonder how this bump is going to progress. I bet I carry the baby really high…I have a retroverted uterus, which is a normal variant in which the tip of the uterus points backward instead of forward. I have no idea what this actually means in terms of a baby bump, but I would think it would grow upward as it tries to flip instead of it growing lower and outward. Just my theory. We shall see.

For comparison:  I'm 6 weeks in this picture.

For comparison: I’m 6 weeks in this picture.

I’m guessing I’m about 10 pounds up now compared to the first pic?  Not 100% sure, because I stopped really weighing myself except when at the doctor’s office, but I feel like the weight I’ve gained has gone mostly to my butt and some to my thighs (which the bathroom sink/counter and my hand is conveniently hiding in the picture, haha : ), which is where it normally goes when I gain weight.  I think it’s a figure skating thing : ).  I rarely gain weight around my arms…it goes straight to the butt and thighs, which makes buttoning up my pants way more difficult now.  Good think I can wear a long white coat at work so no one can tell when I unbutton my pants after lunch ; )

Oh, and there’s definitely one other spot the weight has gone to:

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My chest (and this is me in a sports bra…not even a regular bra!).  I don’t think I’ve ever had cleavage in my entire life.  haha.  In addition to all the first trimester symptoms from this past week I described above, there was one other symptom relapse:  sore breasts.  Holy shit, these do not need to grow anymore (Dean would probably disagree with this, haha)!!   I feel a little weird posting that pic, haha, but it’s certainly not worst than a bikini pic or half the pics you’ll find on Facebook.

17 weeks: Nursery planning?

15 Feb

I’m a little late with this post.  This past week was just really hectic:

Miles ran during week 17:  37.5 miles

Longest run:  17 miles

Running ability:  a mix, with some really good runs:  Got the TM up to 7.7 during a shorter run, and my 17 mile (slower) run felt easy.  Debated turning it into 20 but stuck with my plan.

Energy:  Was good during week 17.

Cravings:  coffee.  haha, that’s a normal craving for me, only I didn’t crave it first trimester because of nausea.  Keeping it around 200 mg/day, give or take.  I usually have a 6 oz cup in the morning and at most a 6 oz cup in the afternoon, although it’s usually less (I’m talking keurig coffee, which is watered down as opposed to strong Starbucks coffee).  I had a cup this morning and want another one so badly…but I try to limit it to one cup at a time.  I don’t want all 150-200 mg at once.

Food/meals:  I have to sort of graze all day as opposed to eating big meals.  My stomach just can’t handle a lot of food at once.  When I get full, I get FULL, like I feel-like-I’m-going-to-throw-up full.  This actually started around 12 weeks.  I’m not sure if it’s delayed gastric emptying (which happens during pregnancy) or what, but I have to keep my portions small.  I never expected this or the peeing problem to be an issue until 3rd trimester…I’m now scared about how I’m going to feel third trimester!! ha.

Maternity clothes:  not yet, but I prefer my looser fitting shirts now as opposed to my slim fitting ones.

Sex of the baby:  So in my last post I revealed that Dean and I know the sex of the baby.  We were planning on doing an announcement party with our parents today and then announcing it to everyone else afterwards.  Well, that is going to be delayed.  Due to some unexpected circumstances, my parents had to fly out somewhere else this weekend.  Not sure when they’re coming up, but it might be in two weeks if it happens, which I really hope it does.  If not, we’ll just have to find some other creative way to tell them via FaceTime or something.

Now that we know the sex of the baby, it makes this whole process a bit more real!  We even have a name picked out that we’re 95% set on (that will be kept secret from EVERYONE, even our families, until the birth, because I would be saddened if someone reacted as if they didn’t like it or suggested we name it something else).  Referring to Baby O. by its name really makes it feel like OUR child/son/daughter : ).  It has even gotten me a little more excited about looking online at baby stuff!  haha, in the past, I had an attention span of maybe 2 minutes for looking/researching baby stuff/supplies.  It’s not that I’m not excited about having a kid!  It’s just that, seriously, how exciting can looking at bibs and sheets be?  Well anyway, now my attention span is up to….10 minutes?  : )

Dean and I just aren’t picky.  In terms of newly purchased stuff, we want neutral color things, cause it would be a waste in my opinion for us or someone else to purchase all pinkish or all bluish stuff now and then for us to have a second kid that’s the opposite sex.  Of course, if someone were to give us used sex-specific stuff, we would gladly use it!  We’re all about cost saving and practicality.

Thankfully, there’s not a lot of painting or decorating for us to do for our “nursery”:  our apartment has a lot of brick walls, and in all honesty, we don’t really have the time to go gung-ho with decorating a room.  Plus, I mean, the baby isn’t going to know whether the room is navy, pink, green, yellow, has a giraffe or tree painted on the wall, etc…all it’s going to be doing is sleeping, crying, staring at my boob, or pooping/peeing.  I’d rather save the decorating until when our baby becomes more of a child and has some cognizant ability to recognize his/her surroundings.

What you’ll find on Pinterest:

(I never go on Pinterest and only did to search boy and girl nurseries for this post)

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Way over the top.

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I would get a headache walking into a room like this every day.

Anyone else feel/felt the same way I do?  I sort of feel guilty in a way, because I feel like people have so much fun planning out every little detail of their nursery, and I’m just like, eh…but I just feel like our society has made planning for a baby like planning for a wedding:  everything is just way over the top.  We are super excited to start a family and have a child, and that’s what we want to focus on:  how to up bring a healthy child and the things we’ll do together as a family, not what’s painted on the wall, the design on our carpet, or what design sheets/bedding are on the bed.

The sex of the baby is…

9 Feb

So Friday I had an ultrasound.  It was later in the day, which meant Dean could actually make it.  I am now 16.5 weeks…at 16 weeks you can start determining the sex of the baby more confidently (occasionally earlier).  I was asked if I wanted to know the sex…my answer:  YES!!!  I am amazed at the discipline and patience of those people who choose to wait until delivery to determine the sex.  I have no patience whatsoever–I mean, as soon as the first episode of Bachelor is on, I am already consulting Reality Steve to determine the ending.  haha.  In my opinion, it’s a surprise no matter when you find out, whether it’s at 16 weeks or 40 weeks, so if I am capable of knowing, I must know.

So now we know whether we’re having a son or daughter!  But…I’m not telling everyone just yet.  I know, I know, I totally mislead y’all with the title of this post.  Cruel, huh?  hehe.  We want to do a formal announcement party with our families first.  I found out last night that my parents are coming up next weekend, so expect a formal announcement in about a week : )

I took several pictures and a video of the scan on Friday, which I’m not posting (you already heard my opinion on posting ultrasound pics…they all look the same:  like an alien, and plus…I don’t know, I just don’t like the idea of womb pics of my future child publicly posted for all to see.  Just my opinion).  What I wish I had taken a picture or video of was Dean watching live images of our future child for the first time and finding out the sex : ).  It was a fun and exciting moment to share together.

And that’s all I have time for right now.   Since every post needs some pics in my opinion, I’ll end with a few pics from a friend’s baby shower we went to yesterday.  Dean/we are very connected with a lot of people in the local Chicago Craft Beer scene, and so one of our friends in this group had a baby shower.  With this group of people, what would be a better place than a brewery to hold a baby shower??  The baby shower was held at Temperance Beer Company in Evanston.  Cool fact about this brewery:  the Brew Master is a woman.  Love it.

First, a few questions:

1.  Did you wait to find out the sex of the baby?

2.  If you did not wait to determine the sex, how did you announce it to friends/family?   

3.  Anyone want to venture a guess as to what we’re having?  I mean, you have a 50% chance of being right! : )

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Onesie making station.

Onesie making station.

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A good run, round ligament pain, and holy cake balls.

7 Feb

The highlight of my day yesterday?  My morning run and seeing my speed back up into the mid 7′s:

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I did a progression run, where I started out at 6.8 and kept increasing my speed throughout the run.  I cannot tell you how good I felt yesterday (and no bathroom stops! heh) running.  I never felt out of breath or like I was running harder than a “moderate” level, so I kept increasing the speed.  Yes, it was a short run, as that was all I had time for at the time, but I’ll take it.  Days like this make all those bad days worth it…a reminder that you’ll never make progress if you don’t push through the bad days.  I completed my day’s workout with a much slower 5 mile run in the evening after work and then a few weights.

Why the second run?  Well, assuming I’m not having a terrible running day, 4 miles feels kind of like a warmup to me at this point (not trying to be cocky or condescending in saying this, but when you’re used to running a lot of miles, 4 miles seems like nothing on most days).  Also, I hope to do a long run this week, and most people agree that your long run should not be more than ~30% of your total weekly mileage, so it’s very important that you are still fitting in several shorter runs throughout your week to keep your weekly total mileage up.  Friday is my planned off day, so I wanted to make sure I got some more miles in yesterday.

If the long run doesn’t happen again this week, fine…I’m not going to force myself to do anything I don’t feel up to, but since the baby and I are healthy, I still want to keep my mileage up as long as I can while I still feel good, cause it will inevitably decrease as the pregnancy progresses (I was complaining about the peeing issue to my physician this week, and she said smaller people like myself may have more of an issue with that, as everything is more compacted in the body, including the uterus right next to the bladder.  She said that the reason a lot of people end up having to stop running is actually because of the peeing issue.  I can totally see how that may end up being the case for me : (  She said it was important to keep up the exercising as long as I can, and suggested that perhaps I drink a little less right before I run but make sure to make up for it afterwards).

~

I haven’t really mentioned or complained about this, cause it’s really not a big deal for me (yet?), but I’ve been having round ligament pain for a few weeks now, which started after I was doing core work that involved a lot of twisting.  Nothing bad…just a pressure/pulling/cramping sensation in the left lower abdomen/groin, which my physician confirmed was, in fact, round ligament pain.   I discovered yesterday the thing that makes it feel better:

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STRETCHING!  Round ligament pain is basically uterine growing pains….pain from the ligaments that attach to the uterus being stretched more than they’re used to, so it sorta makes sense that warming up and then slowly stretching them may help as opposed to twisting some abnormal way really quickly when you’re not warmed up.  Who knows, but either way, I found that doing the middle splits with my stomach flat on the floor (obv won’t be able to do this later) seems to nicely stretch those ligaments out, and it felt soooo good afterwards.  And for the record, I am very flexible, yes, but I have worked hard at getting to this point and then maintaining this all my life.  I stretch religiously every. single. day (and have since I was in grade school, seriously).  If I go even a week without stretching, I completely lose it.  There is so much truth to the saying:  Use it or Lose it.

~

Dean and I started a new “tradition”:  Typically, we try to keep Sunday, or at least part of Sunday our day (soon do be our family day).  We do church in the morning, eat brunch, and then run errands or cook or do something together in the afternoon and/or evening.  Well, it’s not really a unique tradition, but we’ve made it a point to try as many different brunch places as possible.  This past week we went to West Town Bakery.  Wow.  We both LOVED this place.  They won me over when I walked in, put our name on the waiting list (only 15 minutes), and then was offered free donut holes and coffee while we waited:

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Personally, I think Dean was won over when he saw them selling these:

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And how can you not be impressed by this selection of cake balls:

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Holy cake balls!!!

For the record, we did eat stuff other than just sugar : )  I had scrambled eggs with fresh vegetables and Dean had chicken and waffles, and then we obviously had to try a few of the cake balls (they actually were a little dense/rich for my liking but still tasted good with the coffee).

~

Questions:

1.  Chicagoans, please let me know what your favorite brunch places are!!

2.  Mothers or mothers-to-be:  when did you start feeling round ligament pain?  

I actually first noticed it as early as 12 weeks, which was when I pulled it (or something in that area) when doing my core workout.  

3.  Runners, do you follow any guideline regarding long runs and their percentage of your total mileage?

I never have in the past, because I’ve typically been a lower weekly mileage kind of a person (in part because there’s only so many miles a week you can do in medical school and residency), and so my long runs would sometimes be up to 50% of my total weekly mileage.  It does make sense to me that running such a high percentage of your total miles in one run can cause a lot of stress on your muscles/ligaments/tendons/bones for one workout and make you injury prone.  That’s why so many training plans advocate recovery runs:  keeping your weekly mileage up by doing several slow paced, recovery runs that don’t over stress the body but get your musculoskeletal structures adapted to running a greater number of miles.  I don’t really plan on going much over 40 miles/week right now during this pregnancy, so I’m not sure how strictly I’ll be able to follow those guidelines, but as much as I can now and certainly in the future I plan to try to follow that.  

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