Hitting the Pavement: 4 Mile Training Run

Earlier I posted about getting back to healthy, getting back to me. Well, there’s no better way to do that than to dive right into half marathon training! And that’s exactly what I did this weekend.

The weekend forecast was awesome, perfect for the first outdoor run of 2016–40s in the morning, 50s during the day. I had a full plate for my Saturday, so I couldn’t relish the 50s, but I did relish it being 38 degrees at 10 am (which was the earliest I could get out). I drove to the gym for a warmup on the elliptical and then hit the walking/running trail that was behind the building. Hamilton County (Indiana) has been working to add more and more trails for walkers, bikers, and runners. This particular trail was called the Midland Trace, and it runs through all of Westfield. It was my first time running on it, and I have to say I got a little lost at one point because there was no signage to point me in the direction of where to go once we hit a busy street. So I just ran along the road on the sidewalk for a while before turning back around to head back to the gym. Next time I’m hoping to be a little more prepared.

I started off the run nice and easy, and it wasn’t until I hit the spot that I “lost” the trail that I realized I was phoning in the run. That might not be so bad, but I really wanted to see how I’d feel during those 4 miles, after not running much this fall/winter (minus the treadmill runs on my lunch break).

After the second mile, I had to shed my pullover. I had a few issues during that third mile, and that really reflected in my split time. I really kicked it into gear for the final mile, wanting to push myself to finish with a 10 minute/mile pace.

4 Mile training run splits

What really kicked me into gear was running by the local Bible college. They had a sign that just seemed perfect for the start of training season. I stopped and took a photo because, c’mon, who wouldn’t think this was God talking to them during their time of seeking inspiration?

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When I returned to the gym, I did a quarter mile cool down on the elliptical, followed by some nice, long stretches. I decided it was definitely nicer to run from the gym than from my house because my cool down was still about me–I could take my time to properly cool down and properly stretch, gather my thoughts and reflect on that run. If I were at home, I’d rush inside to stretch a little bit, rush in the shower, and be dressed in no time to get back to being a mom. This forced me to continue thinking about me and thinking about my health.

When I returned home, I was starting to feel under the weather (a cold has crept up on me), and so was Baby A&W. We’re not sure if it’s teething or she’s just not feeling good, but after I showered and dressed, I gathered up my little girl for a snuggle session in the recliner so she could sleep some and momma could relax.

Poor Baby A&W

Poor Baby A&W, snuggled up with her blankie and her momma.

In my pre-momma training days, long run days were either spent recovering while binge-watching Mad Men, or going out and training the dogs in agility for an hour followed by log walks, etc. Now, it seems like I might be spending those days cuddled up with my little girl. And I think I’m OK with that.

 

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Running While Pushing — Stroller Runs!

You might remember that while I was pregnant, I wanted to continue running for as long as I could, even completing a half marathon around 7 months pregnant. Shortly thereafter I stopped doing long training runs and just did short one milers interspersed with some weight training while doing CrossFit. Then it just became too uncomfortable to run very far (read: away from a toilet) and I knew it was time to slow it down and just walk.

Now that Baby A&W is 6 months old, I’ve been getting back into running and increasing my distance. I’ve been running again for a while now, I started back in April, but the distances weren’t too great, and the runs were irregular. I had to go only when M was home and could watch the baby, or when I got my jogging stroller, we could go for short runs while I pushed. (Let me tell you, pushing a baby, in her carseat in the jogging stroller, up and over the hills in my old neighborhood sucked, especially being out of shape!)

First stroller runs were rough, with the addition of the carseat (since A was too small to sit in the big kids seat) and just getting back into running after giving birth.

First stroller runs were rough, with the addition of the carseat (since A was too small to sit in the big kids seat) and just getting back into running after giving birth.

Now that life is a little different, I’m able to get out and run more, but mostly the same strip over and over. One of the disadvantages to living in the country is there’s not much to spice up the run like when I lived in Lexington–there were all kinds of different routes I could take from my house, and I could meet up with running buddies or my running group. Now I’m missing my running group, and my running buddies, who kept me motivated and kept me running regularly. However, I am making sure I get at least one run in a week, though I know it needs to be more.

I quickly learned that running with a stroller is a lot different than running on your own. You’ve already got a built-in head wind/resistance thing going for you. And you’re not necessarily the one who calls the shots as to how long your runs get to be–if baby’s unhappy, that run better be fast and short. Luckily, Baby A&W has been pretty good about the runs. Sometimes she gets a little too warm (no shade along the road doesn’t help), but she’s pretty good.

We’ve slowly worked our way up to running 4 miles with the stroller, which is great! I try to run with the stroller one day, then if I can talk someone into watching A for about an hour, I’ll sneak in a run by myself. Those runs are when I test my pace and I test my distance–I should be able to run a little further without the stroller than I do with the stroller because it should be easier, right?

Aubrey and I are getting ready to run in our first 5K together–it’ll be my first race since I finished the Iron Horse Half Marathon back in October, and it’ll be my first race pushing a stroller! We’re running in the Colts Kickoff 5K in downtown Indianapolis, where we’ll start the race outside Lucas Oil Stadium, and then finish at the 50 yard line of the field! I’m excited for the race, but a little nervous as to how things will go with a big crowd and me pushing the stroller. Plus, how will A act?

Don’t worry, I plan to chronicle our race and show you what I did to prepare not only myself, but baby, for the 5K. My goals for the race are to try to run the whole 5K without walking (or, rather, needing to walk, as I’m sure the crowd might force me to walk) and to not run into anyone with the stroller (the dogs will tell you that sometimes I don’t see what’s going on directly in front of the stroller sometimes).

Good Reads: Running Mothers, Sharing Praise, Stress Eating

It has been a really long time since I’ve done some link loving, but I thought I’d share a couple of things that really made me stop, read, and contemplate, which is pretty hard for me to do lately.

LinkLove

 

Why She Runs: To Adapt to Mother Hood (Runners’ World): “Running, with its demands that I mentally focus and take care of my body, ultimately made my transition to motherhood easier. And becoming a parent improved my running, requiring that I make it a priority and get the most out of each workout in the limited time I had.” I’m a big supporter of being active to help your mental health. And as a new mother myself, I know that there are days I need to get my frustration out so I can be a better mom to Baby A&W. I cannot wait to get back into running training again!

You are Doing a Really Good Job (I Got a Dumpster Family): It’s sad, but there are times that really, I just want a pat on the back. The past few months have been rough, and sometimes I wonder if anyone even notices, but I continue to come into work, paste a smile on my face and try to clear my mind of the craziness that is my life. I now understand mothers a lot more than before I had my baby, and I believe that, yes, we do need to support each other and say, “You’re doing great.” No matter what it is.

Stop the Cycle of Stress Eating (Evolution by Ariana): Stress eating is one of my biggest vices, and lately I know that’s what has stifled me losing the remaining baby weight. The crazy mornings, boring workdays, and then the harried evenings with the baby mean it’s hard to eat healthy for me some times. And I know a lot of it is lack of willpower, but sometimes you just say “F– it” and shovel those animal crackers in your mouth as you prepare a bottle for your crying baby. It’s important to just take a moment and think for yourself–you want you be healthy not only for yourself, but for your baby.

Your turn: Share your favorite reads from the past couple of weeks!

Trading the Gym Bag for a Diaper Bag

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know that I tried to stay very active in my workouts and running all through my pregnancy. I tried to workout at least five times a week, waking up every morning to hit Man O’War CrossFit before work, and sometimes do some shorter runs after work or on the weekends.

Heck, I even did CrossFit the morning I went into labor! (And was walking the dogs two miles when I went into labor.)

After the birth of Baby A&W, I slowly got back into working out. First it was with short dog walks–starting at 10 minutes, then 15, and then 20. Then I started doing some body weight work while A was sleeping or doing tummy time–planks, push ups, sit ups. I didn’t do any CrossFit during my maternity leave, mostly because I was in Indiana (though I did sneak one workout in when we came back into town for A’s one-month checkup), and got back into it a month ago.

It’s been hard to balance working out and being a mother. With M living/working in Indiana, that leaves me to tend to every one of A’s needs. So if I want to get my sweat on, she’s coming with me.

Never, ever go anywhere with your baby without your gym....err, I mean diaper bag. (Now, if only we can find wrist wraps that fit her!)

Never, ever go anywhere with your baby without your gym….err, I mean diaper bag. (Now, if only we can find wrist wraps that fit her!)

CrossFit
I’ve been doing what I can to make it work when it comes to CrossFit. While MOWCF doesn’t have daycare, it’s still pretty easy to bring your kid along to workout with you. Lil Bit just hitches a ride with mom and hangs out in her car seat to the side while I workout near her where I can hear or see her in case she needs me.

I’m lucky to have such a flexible, easygoing coach in Taylor, and a great group of guys in my morning class. They all were so supportive while I was pregnant, cheering me on, amazed at everything I was still doing even when my belly made it hard to do cleans or snatches. And now they’re still supportive. One of the coaches even took over distracting A when she was being fussy one morning so I could get in the rest of the workout before I had to leave.

Our mornings are crazy, and not for the faint of heart: my alarm goes off at 5 am so I can pump before she (hopefully) wakes up. Then I wake A up, change her diaper and her outfit, feed her, get myself dressed to workout, load her up in the car, and we arrive at MOWCF at 6:15 to workout. I get my workout done, then we load back up in the car and head for home, where I’ll quickly jump in the shower and dress for work, change her again, and load everything up for work/daycare. Sometimes she requests another bottle before we leave for daycare, which puts a kink in things, but I’m lucky to have a flexible boss who’s okay with us arriving late at times.

There are some mornings I don’t make it into the box, and while that used to upset me, I’m starting to be OK with it. Some mornings I just need an extra hour of sleep, or maybe we just need some more snuggle time. But I’m still making it to CrossFit 3-4 days a week, and as a pseudo-single mom of a 2.5 month old, that’s pretty darn good.

Running
I really want to get back into running…like really bad! But I haven’t been able to run, mostly because of not having anyone to watch her (I try to get a short run in if M’s in town and can watch her, but nature hasn’t played nicely with me). I now have a jogging stroller, and did a short 1.5 mile run with her last week, but then I read where I should probably wait until she’s a little older to do more. So I’m conflicted about running, and figure it might be best to err on the side of caution and wait a little longer before taking her on runs with me. She’s almost 3 months old now, so it won’t be long. I can wait.

For now, I’m just doing my best with getting short runs here and there. And then we go for 2 mile walks with the dogs after work/daycare daily (weather permitting), either with me carrying her or in her stroller.

I’m aiming for a fall half marathon, so I need to start getting my mileage back up soon.

Everyone needs their daily workouts, including the dogs!

Everyone needs their daily workouts, including the dogs!

At Home WODs
I have DVDs that I can use for workouts at home–some yoga videos (Jillian Michaels and Bob Harper) and P90x (thanks to a friend for letting me borrow them)–however our BluRay player stopped working and I dislike watching videos on my small MacBook screen. Plus, A still wants my attention, so it’s hard to do things without having her attached to me in some way. I use her tummy time as time for mommy to do some sit-ups and planks, and little things here and there, so we’re “working out together.”

My health and fitness is still a very big priority to me–I want to be a positive role model for my daughter and have her start on the right track from the beginning.

Baby A&W’s Arrival

It’s hard to believe that it’s only been two weeks since Baby A&W came into my life. They say time goes by quickly, but I think the first few weeks actually slowly trudge along. That could be because of the lack of sleep, or the overwhelming feeling you constantly have because of all of the new information, new learning, new schedule, etc.

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Without going into detail, I thought I’d share my story of Aubrey’s arrival.

Monday afternoon (Feb. 2) I had my regular 39 week appointment (I was 38 weeks and 5 days) with my doctor. At 1 pm, I was only 2-3 cm dilated and 80% effaced, and my doctor said she was thinking Thursday or Friday would be the day. If not, we’d induce at my 40 week appointment the following Monday, so that way M was in town for the birth of our baby girl. I went back to work, perfectly comfortable. After work, I went home and took my two dogs, plus my mom’s Vallhund, for our usual 2 mile walk in the neighborhood. It was then that I started to feel extreme discomfort off and on–no real regular timing, and no pain, just uncomfortable. I figured it was because we were walking at a fast clip over the hills in my neighborhood…but apparently it was labor contractions (though I didn’t know this for a few more hours).

When I finished our walk, I stretched out on the couch and my mom said I didn’t look too good, so we started timing the cramping and called the doctor. We waited an hour, I drank about 50 ounces of water and tried to relax, but finally the doctor said I should go into the hospital–it could be one of two things, true or false labor. So at 9:30 we headed out the door and to the hospital. At 10, upon admittance, the nurse checked me over and said I was 5 cm and 100% effaced–this was the real thing. So I called M, and he and my dad started their 3.5 hour journey from Indiana, and with adrenaline pumping through his veins, he made it to Lexington in less than 3 hours.

By 11 pm (or so), I asked for an epidural because the contractions were coming hard and fast–we knew the only way we could hopefully slow down labor so hopefully M would make it to the hospital in time for his baby’s birth was if we did the epidural right then. I was at 8 cm, and we were speeding through. Getting the epidural hurt…like hell. My contractions were nonstop, so it was hard to get the epidural in place, but finally we did.

By 1:30, M and my dad had made it, and I was 9 cm…and finally feeling relaxed because of the epidural and because my best friend was there. Then it was a waiting game…things had basically stopped. My water had yet to break. It wasn’t until about 4 am that I was at 10 cm. Around 5 am, they finally broke my water on their own. At 5:30, the doctor came in and announced it was “time to have a baby!”

Delivery was short and sweet–the nurses and doctors were impressed at how quickly things were progressing. At some point I said something about how I had heard that if you worked out and/or ran throughout your pregnancy, delivery was supposed to be quick. That’s when the doctor looked at me and said, “Considering most first-time moms push for at least three hours, and your baby is going to be here in less than 30 minutes, I think you’re doing pretty good.” Lo and behold, at 5:59, little miss A&W entered the work. (Ironically right before my alarm went off on my phone to wake up to go to CrossFit. LOL)

He's definitely one happy, and proud, daddy.

He’s definitely one happy, and proud, daddy.

So, there you have it….labor lasted less than 12 hours, with delivery less than 30 minutes. She was (still is) perfect. Born 38 weeks and 6 days, 6 pounds 14 ounces, 20 inches long, with a full head of hair (taking after her momma, of course). Within the first 24 hours, it was apparent she’s a strong girl–she was already lifting her head off my chest, pushing off my body with her legs and arms.

The first week was a strange sensation that I actually gave birth to this little human being–I’m actually a mother. It’s still a hard concept to grasp for me right now, even after two weeks.

I’m not 100 percent sure all of my maternal instincts have kicked in, yet, but I’m getting there. Learning how to change a diaper wasn’t too hard, and I’m still getting the hang of swaddling. Trying to figure out why she erupts in cries is another story…I may never figure all of those out. Breastfeeding is hard…don’t ever think it’s easy, because it’s not. I’m planning to do a write-up on that soon. Aubrey dropped all the way to 5 pounds 14 ounces by the time we left the hospital (babies typically lose 4% of their body weight after birth, anyway), and it’s been a hard, slow road to get her back to her birth rate (she’s at 6 pounds 2 ounces now).

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Do I recommend continuing to work out during pregnancy still? Of course I do. I think it did help me have an easy labor/delivery and I think it’s been what has helped me recover faster than most. But you have to do it on your terms and listen to your body, and fuel wisely.

 

Running While Pregnant: Simple Mile Interval WOD

Now that I’m at 30 weeks pregnant, running isn’t what it used to be…not even when I was at 20 weeks! Hills are killer–gets my heart rate and breathing up way too high. Plus the pressure on my bladder gets to me after about a mile or so (I know, TMI). My usual route around my neighborhood is very hilly, and doesn’t leave locations for bathroom trips. So I’ve cut back way more on running than I like.

But that’s when I came up with a simple WOD to do at my box–Man O’War CrossFit. I went in on Saturday morning and decided to make the most of what I had available to me. Where we do our runs for regular WODs is pretty flat, and the strip of road is a half-mile long. I really wanted to run, but knew I couldn’t join my running team, so I figured dong mile intervals was the next best thing.

I came up with this WOD with the pregnant woman in mind (thinking how we need to have a break to use the restroom, take our time to get our heartrate down, etc.), but it’s perfect for anyone. My running splits were steady–10 minute miles. So I finished in around 40 minutes (I didn’t use a clock to time the whole WOD, just my runs).

MileInterval

Give it a try and let me know what you think! I wanted something that also worked on my upper and lower back, and was different from what we had done earlier in the week. This was perfect.

JUST A FEW DAYS LEFT!!! Don’t forget about my special offer to get 40% off ProCompression items–Use discount code “PINK2through Dec. 15 to get 40% off ProCompression Marathon Socks or Calf Sleeves–great gifts for the runner(s) in your life and yourself!

Running While Pregnant: Iron Horse Half Marathon Race Recap

A month ago I was preparing to run in my fourth half marathon. Normally no big deal, right? But when you’re running 13.1 miles 22 weeks pregnant, it’s a little more nerve wracking than you’d think.

I had signed up for the Iron Horse Half Marathon back in April. It was a local race that was on my running bucket list, and can often be hard to get into the later you wait (they cap it at 1,500 runners). Then in June, the day after I ran in the Bourbon Derby Half Marathon, I discovered I was pregnant. From that point I decided I was going to continue to train for the Iron Horse anyway, keeping in mind anything the doctor said and knowing that I wasn’t going to be going for a PR in October.

Leading up to the race the weather was looking iffy–cold and rainy. Luckily, the weather held out and it was just chilly with sprinkles at the beginning of the race and at the end.

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I had taken off a week and a half from any running because of a heel bruise, so I was worried about how I would handle the distance. I told myself my main goal was to try to make it through the first half of the course without walking, then continuously remind myself that it was OK to walk when I needed to. I made it through seven miles with only walking through a couple of the water stops, so I was proud of myself.

The second half of the race, I tried to stick to what I called the “pregnant mile interval”–run 10 minutes, then walk until the end of that current mile. It wasn’t until about mile 11 or 12 that I started to feel uncomfortable. I then realized I probably needed to pee, but there were no port-o-potties around, so I quickly whipped between a stone fence and a tree where no one could see. After that, i felt much better (first time I ever had to stop to use the bathroom during a race!) and just told myself I was almost there.

Looking to finish strong!

Looking to finish strong!

My goal was to finish before 2:30, and I was on track to do so. I saw one of my close friends who was volunteering close to the 13 mile marker and it lifted my spirits to push on. When I got to the finish line, I just started pumping my arms and “sprinted” to the finish. I was so surprised at how emotional I felt after I received my medal–was it the fact that I was done with the race, or the pregnancy hormones, or all of the above? I have no idea, but the last time I teared up at the finish line was my very first half marathon back in 2012.

My official finish time was 2:27:40. Definitely not a PR, but when you consider I had a hitchhiker with me the entire race, I think it’s pretty darn good!

Totally awesome medal--the middle circle spins!

Totally awesome medal–the middle circle spins!

So why did I decide to run a half marathon while pregnant? Why not?? I was completely honest with my doctor about my training, and as soon as I found out I informed my running group and my coaches at Man O’War CrossFit. A fellow Strider let me borrow her book Running & Pregnancy, so I read what to expect and how to handle each month and adjusted everything where needed. I quickly put aside my pride and knew that I couldn’t push for the faster race times, and that it was alright to walk when my heart rate was going too fast or I felt winded.

The longest distance I ran leading up to this race was 11 miles, and that was two weeks prior to the race. And I was OK with that. I ran one long distance training run a week and one shorter run every week, and did CrossFit four days a week.

Now I’m just running once or twice a week, up to 3.5-4 miles at a time in my neighborhood, and still doing CrossFit. My hope is to continue running until it’s too uncomfortable. Right now I’m at almost 28 weeks, and still doing alright.

What’s on tap for 2015? Spring races will have to be determined with the birth of Baby A&W and how the weather allows for outdoor running.

If you’re looking for a scenic race in Central Kentucky in October, I recommend the Iron Horse–just make sure you register early!

Note: Check back on Wednesday, I’ll have an awesome discount code to pass on to you from ProCompression!

Good Reads: Running + CrossFit, Marathons While Pregnant, Body After Baby

It’s been a while since I’ve shared some of my favorite reads online lately! These selections start off normal, for what I’ve done in the past, then we go into some confidence-building posts that I so desperately need right now as a mom-to-be with an ever-growing belly. I hope you read these selections and really consider everything, whether or not you’re a mother, mother-to-be, or even friends with one of the two. So here we go!

LinkLove

Running for Grinders: A Love/Hate Relationship (The Box): I’m one the the (very few) runners at Man O’War CrossFit. When there’s running in the WOD, everyone tends to look at me for the excitement. I’ve trained for two half marathons with CrossFit (run four, total), and I have to say I don’t ever mind any length of running in a WOD…as long as my legs aren’t wrecked beforehand. I think running is a very important part of anyone’s fitness, so I’m happy to see it break up a set. What do you think about running during WODs?

Marathons & Pregnancy: Should Your Run One? (Zelle): Of course this one I can closely relate to, considering I’ve run two half marathons while pregnant this year (one unknowingly 6 weeks pregnant, the other 22 weeks along). I’m planning a post as to why I ran a half marathon while pregnant, so I’ll save my comments for then. But I’d like to hear what you have to say: How do you feel about distance running races while pregnant?

Body After Baby: An Honest Post (Say What You Need to Say): I am so thankful to Lauren for posting this (well, thanks to Claire for bringing it to my attention first of all). Especially this morning, getting dressed has been a huge confidence blow for me. I know I’ve never had the flat abs or skinny body like some, but it’s hard to be proud of the growing belly and inability to fit in normal clothes…yes, I know I should be proud of growing a human, but it’s still hard on my psyche, and to know that someone else struggled with that and is struggling to get back to normal after baby, makes me feel like I’m OK. Kudos to her!

The One About the Baby Weight (Meals & Moves): This is the post that Lauren was inspired by, so I had to go ahead and read it and be inspired as well. Janeetha is straight and to the point. I’m thankful for her posting this and being completely honest as well. PREACH IT, GIRL!

Your turn: Share a favorite read/link from the past few weeks below!

Running While Pregnant-Eve of the Iron Horse Half Marathon

I’m about 14 hours from running in my fourth half marathon–the Iron Horse Half Marathon, held in Midway, Ky. Even though this is my fourth, I think I’m the most nervous about this half marathon. Why? Well, a list of reasons…

  1. The biggest–I’m 22 weeks pregnant. I know I’ve been active so far throughout my pregnancy, but I’m just nervous about how much my body has changed and affected my running and recovery.
  2. Fighting a bruised heel. Ever since our anniversary getaway to Land Between the Lakes, I’ve had a bruised heel and haven’t run in two weeks. I’ve done some cardio workouts since then (rower, whatever we do in CrossFit), but it just makes me nervous. The heel is better–I’ve been icing it throughout the day and trying to keep from being on it too much. We’ll see how it holds up to 13 miles.
  3. The weather. All week I’ve been watching the weather like a hawk. It’s gone from 80% chance of storms to 40% chance of rain back to 80% chance of rain, now to 50% chance of rain. I’ve never really run much in the rain, let alone cold rain, so I’m not looking forward to it.

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But I’m going to grit through the race. I have to keep up at least a 14 minute pace (they have a time limit on finishing), but I should be alright. I just can’t wait until I cross that finish line and get that awesome medal. Pics and wrap-up to come!

21 Weeks Down, 19 Weeks to Go

Last Wednesday marked 20 weeks, which, in a pregnancy, is a big step. Twenty weeks means you’re half-way done with with the pregnancy and half-way to meeting your baby. Twenty weeks also means the big ultrasound, where the gender can be revealed. For us, we just wanted to make sure Baby A&W has all four limbs, every organ that would be developed by now, and healthy. We had the ultrasound technician keep the gender a secret–we haven’t decided if or when we want to know, or if we should just wait until the birth. That part is driving our families CRAZY. And, admittedly, driving me a little crazy as well. How else can you plan for having a boy or a girl if you wait until the baby arrives??

I know I haven’t done any pregnancy updates on here since I announced everything, so I thought I’d just do a quick one:

I’ve been lucky–I haven’t really had any pregnancy symptoms throughout the past 21 weeks (no nausea). I have been physically active just as much as I was pre-pregnancy–but I have been cautious.

  • Sand volleyball–I finished up the summer league with my team and then decided it was probably best to stop playing. I know some woman who played until 30 weeks, but I know myself and know that I can’t just sit back and watch a ball dropped. I knew it’d be hard to stop the instinct to dive for a ball, or go up at the net, so for the baby’s safety, I stopped. (Though I have been continuing to referee games, but that’s not straining.)
  • CrossFit–as soon as I found out I was pregnant, I told my coaches because I wanted to be able to have someone keep an eye on me and make sure I was safe. Turns out, we have another girl at the box due around the same time as me, so Taylor and Brenton have gotten a crash course on how to handle pregnant women and workouts. 😉 I started being more aware of my heart rate and didn’t push it on AMRAPs or other workouts. I’ve only now just started doing modifications–20″ box step ups instead of box jumps at week 20, push-ups with my toes on a bench for handstand push-ups at week 14, knee raises for toes to bar around week 14, and ring rows instead of pull-ups at week 21.
  • Running–I am so close to the Iron Horse Half Marathon that I can’t stand it!! I started running one morning during the week 3 miles and keeping with my long training runs with my running group on Saturdays. I slowed my pace from 9-9:30 to 10:30-11, which actually came easily. I’ve run up to 11 miles, and stayed around 8-10 for the past month or so. It’s become a lot harder to recover from the long runs (tired/sore legs, incredibly sore feet, feeling very tired). Also, it’s been hard to stay motivated for the long runs because they are more mental than they ever have been. I have one more long training run this weekend, then the half marathon. After that, I plan to keep with my 3 mile weekday run and a weekend run of no more than 6 miles…maybe. We’ll see how long that lasts.
  • Dog agility–I’ve still be training the dogs and competing in agility trials. I come out of my runs with LaMesa (my younger, faster dog) more breathless than previously, but that’s OK. I’ve been warned to watch my balance with crosses and my feet. I will compete in a trial in October and November, and then be done until after the baby.

The most difficult part for me has been my growing belly. It’s been so hard to be excited for the baby because of my body issues. I was getting to a point where I was feeling fit and strong pre-pregnancy, fitting into my “skinny clothes” and feeling confident. Now, I barely fit in anything in my closet, and it’s hard to cover up the belly. For a while I was upset because I just looked fat, not pregnant, and I (foolishly, I’m sure) felt like I was being judged for the sudden weight gain. Now, at 21 weeks, there’s no sucking it in, there’s no forcing into my nice work pants. I’ve purchased my first pair of maternity jeans (which are currently a tad too big, but I’m OK with that) and been passed down some maternity shirts and pants from a friend that I’m thankful I hopefully won’t have to purchase too much. It has been hard with workout clothes, though. My boobs have always been big, but now they’re even bigger, which means even tank tops can’t be an option because I don’t want to flash my box full of guys.

If it wasn't for my running group, these long training runs might not be happening any more. However, it's been hard to find running clothes that don't show my belly (I'm second from the left) or just look fat?

If it wasn’t for my running group, these long training runs might not be happening any more. However, it’s been hard to find running clothes that don’t show my belly (I’m second from the left) or just look fat?

The ultrasounds have been fun. At first I couldn’t see a baby, just a blob, but at our 20 week appointment, we actually saw appendages and the heart beating–that was pretty cool. M did a voice recording of the baby’s heartbeat and sent it to my mom, since they live too far to come to an appointment. That made my family’s day.

So far the tests have all been normal, which is really all that matters.

Baby A&W at 20 weeks--she/he was full of energy and it took the tech a while to pinpoint everything.

Baby A&W at 20 weeks–she/he was full of energy and it took the tech a while to pinpoint everything.

I’ve been reading Jenny McCarthy’s Belly Laughs on my Kindle, Running & Pregnancy, and a book on pregnancy and childbirth that was given to us by our OB/GYN. I’ve had one trip to Buy Buy Baby for a crash course in what to register for and what we probably won’t need, thanks to a great friend who understands all of my feelings.

We’ve finally come to an agreement that we’ll be making M’s office the nursery, and move his desk and office stuff most likely into our bedroom. Yes, it’ll be cramped in our room (though it is decently big and we don’t have much bedroom furniture anyway), and it’ll change things, but we needed to keep the guest bedroom for guests–especially for those first few months.

My feelings are starting to slowly soften and I’m starting to…accept (not sure if that’s that right word)…that in four months life will be completely different, whether planned or not. I don’t know if I’ll ever be totally prepared, but I’m going to do the best I can.