Wednesday, February 25, 2015

First Trimester Training

Thank goodness you get away with calling the 14 week mark the End of the First Trimester, when really you got out of two weeks of it due to not actually being pregnant yet. Just like last time, the first trimester was particularly rough for me, and if this one continues like last time, I won't be enjoying food until baby girl makes her appearance.

I was scheduled to run the St. Jude half marathon in December and I was going to be 10 weeks along. Compared to the first pregnancy, I was running a bit better but training overall much less when I first became pregnant. Five weeks before the race I had a decent ten miler and was on track to actually make the distance running. It wouldn't be any PR, but that's ok. A few days later, the sight of some French fries made my stomach do a little flop and I thought, uh oh. Sure enough, the nausea hit and I spent the next 5 weeks losing weight rapidly, and I bailed out of the race. One of the worst parts of it was the fall CSA box we got weekly. All that disgusting fresh produce like tomatoes and squash. Bleh.

At first I couldn't quite understand how anyone with the slightest degree of morning sickness can manage to not lose weight in the first trimester. Then after pondering this I realized that besides running and cycling and consuming vast quantities of food (including copious amount of ice cream daily), I was also nursing a large two and a half year old quite frequently. Sadly the milk dried up a lot when I lost weight, or possibly in part due to the pregnancy hormones. It's coming back some now but our nursing frequency has completely changed. But in the meantime, I was still trying to run, nursing, and just not getting any nourishment. 

I was pitiful for a while. Part of the difficulty this time around was most likely having the demands of a toddler to answer to all day. It was definitely different than working in an office teaching a few classes here and there. When Jeremy would get home from work, I'd essentially collapse into a pile on the couch. In two weeks-- 6 and 7-- I ran a total of 13 miles and did about 3 additional hours of trainer rides. It was all I could manage, and those miles were at a pace about a minute per mile slower than I had been running a couple weeks before. I slowly started consuming a few calories here and there, and I wondered how crash dieters can ever exercise. It's exhausting. 

My runs started picking up and speeding up again after a few weeks, and I got back on the trainer. My average wattage has been a sad number for quite a while, so I just keep the computer covered up and focus my attention on the streaming videos in front of me. At least it is better than lying on the couch watching TV. But not much.

I realized during this time period that our society is obsessed with food. It is everywhere, from toddler books about construction workers' lunch breaks, to literally every other pin on pinterest. Facebook is loaded with food pictures, magazines all have recipes and ads for food. Come on people! I'm dying over here. Then the toddler pretends to be making food of all nauseating varieties constantly. It's really so unpleasant. I asked if Jeremy could just bring home some IV fluid for me and never make me eat again. I force fed myself things that didn't sound completely repulsive, only to determine them solidly placed forever in that category post-meal. 

The aversions had slightly subsided by the end if the first trimester and the nausea was definitely better. My weight crept up a bit and I was at just 3 pounds under my starting weight at 14 weeks. The belly expansion has happened a lot more rapidly this time around. It's as if my abs realized what was happening and just gave in. I started wearing my support belt for running much earlier to try to reduce the ab separation and muscle strain. 

Now that I'm past the halfway mark, I'm doing even better, and except for the icy streets, my running is going just fine. I'm planning on running in the city's biggest race on Sunday, but I'll be limiting it to the 10k instead of half marathon this time. So no triathlons while carrying this baby; it's just not the season for it!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

February Surprises

Mid-February is usually so boring. My birthday is over, it is still winter, and I'm probably tired of it. I did meet Jeremy in mid-Feb 6 years ago, so 2009 was exciting. And this February has turned out to be more interesting too.

I, and the baby, had our 20 week ultrasound on Wednesday, and unlike in my last pregnancy, I have only had one other scan this time, so there was no "it sure looks like a boy, but I'm not 100%" guesses from the doctor. Closing my eyes at the end so I would be just as surprised as everyone else was tough, but I knew it would be more fun. After leaving the doctor's office, I went immediately to a bakery to drop off the results. The cake was scheduled for Saturday, and it was HARD to wait that long! Jeremy's mom and aunt came in town, and the cousins all trekked up the hill to find out what we are having.

There are so many gender prediction "tools" out there, and we found as many as we could before cutting the cake. It was swaying just slightly toward girl, but so many of them were wrong for Hunter that I was still firmly believing it was a boy. I felt the whole time that I was carrying another boy. The votes were in, and we should have believed the young kids (although Hunter went back and forth each time we asked him), and the grandma and great-aunt!

Almost even again. I had tried to over-interpret everything the ultrasound tech had said after knowing herself, but she was not giving anything away. Jackson and I had tried to see through the outer layer of icing for any clues, but none were found. Finally time to cut the cake, I was almost nervous!

And I was truly surprised to find pink in the middle!

Even little H was excited.

But after lots of pictures and texts and facetime chats with the other cousins, he was just wanting to eat the cake. And it turned out delicious!

We are super excited to welcome a little girl. It'll even things up around here.

Our smaller surprise of February was the ice storm we got Monday that closed down the roads and Jeremy's clinic for two days. Mammo and Nanny got back home to Kentucky just in time to get snowed in themselves.

I'll take it as a sign that I should have an easy running week, since I'm not steady on my feet or interested in busting my ass again anytime soon. The trainer will work just fine for a few days. I'll update on my "training" these days soon.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Older, slower, and clumsier

I've been trucking along, despite having gained a new tick on my tally of years lived. No new age groups for a couple more of these birthdays, and I'm not really racing much lately anyway. The best female endurance athletes always seem to be mid-30s, which I'm still classifying myself as for now. 

I am slowing down a bit, but I have my good reasons for that, not the least of which is winter coldness and all the extra clothes that go along with outdoor activity. 

But the clumsiness! Now in just the past 6 weeks or so I've tripped and come home bloody after two different runs. The first was on a trail made mostly of smooth gravel, but with sections of broken asphalt I was picking out of my hands weeks later. If I had just worn the thick gloves that day! Instead, I had on my new touchscreen compatible ones, since it is obviously too much trouble to put the glove on after starting strava. It was cold and I was fully clothed, thankfully, but still tore a hole in one of my favorite shirts at the elbow. The best husband ever (mine) remembered my love for these two moth-eaten, hand-me-down-gifted wool shirts and gave me a brand new one for my birthday. Helly Hansen base layer shirts! Go stock up. They are really the best for 40F or less. And they can save some of your skin. 

Anyway! I assumed that my fall was just due to the way my mind and eyes wander while running (not to forget the time I ran my forehead smack into a tree branch, requiring lots of stitches). But then just last week, running on a sidewalk with maybe a centimeter lip, I did it again. Flat onto my belly, hands, and, somehow, shoulder I skidded. I stood there in pain, contemplating whether I should just call for a ride home, but then decided it wasn't really that far after all. 

When I got home, Hunter saw my wounds, said, "Awwww!" and came over to kiss then. After inquiring as to what surface I had been running on, he gave me some excellent words of toddler wisdom: 
"Mommy, if you run on the grass it won't hurt so bad when you fall." 
Quite true, and he should know, since he has fallen a lot more frequently in the past almost 3 years than I have. 

All kinds of remedies to this problem have run through my mind. Should I switch out of my Hokas? I really love them but do seem to scrape my feet more in them. I can blame my hip flexors, possibly, for not reacting quickly enough and getting a foot under me. Maybe it's time for some silver sneakers classes in balance training in my old age. 

Pondering the meaning of life. And running surface impact.