This weekend I began with my newly reduced mileage. It wasn’t a drastic reduction, but I already felt I had done that a few months ago, so I felt any little bit. I ran with Teresa and Joe, and she gave me some good advice to just quit trying to keep up and run with the old group. Basically “Find new people to run with.” It is doing nothing but frustrating me trying to maintain my old identity. It was actually great advice. I’ll be much happier not worrying about being too slow, or worrying everyone is irritated if I have to make a quick stop. It will be much easier to only worry about myself. Now this doesn’t mean I’m not open to anyone who would like to join me, I’m just giving up the old group mentality. The reality is even after delivery I won’t be able to join the group. Even if I quickly regain speed, I won’t be able to adhere to rigid start times when I have a huge uncontrollable factor in my life. It’s ok, the sooner I start doing my own thing, the sooner I’ll adjust. And, I am never one to mind running alone. Sure it is nice to have some company on the 20 + mile runs, but running 6 on my own is sometimes quite welcome. It will be nice to have the next few months to stick to my favorite routes. In the past we’ve all compromised to do something the whole group wants, but now I can be selfish. I can start when I want, and I can add my walking at the end and not have to plan around anyone. I can see friends in other settings and not feel longing as I watch them take off armed with gels and gatorade for a marathon training run.

Since I can’t run as much I did a lot of other stuff the weekend: the walking, yoga class, and a strength training DVD, and I am actually a little sore today. Adding the other activities definitely helps fill the void of the weekend long run. What I am soooo looking forward to is it cooling off enough to go hiking. August ending is very exciting, as most years it means just one more month of summer.

So, to close, I think I am perking up. I think it is normal to have some ups and downs as you give things up. And while a lot of people still tell me I do not look pregnant, I felt like I had a massive gain this week. I knew going into this I would struggle with the weight gain and giving up high mileage training for several months. I know it seems superficial, but I am just being honest. Just trying to work through the struggle in the healthiest way possible.

So, if you see me out on the trail solo, no need to turn around and join me, just say hi.


The Great Compromise…

Here is a crab picture, because now I am crabby. Just got back from the routine OB Dr. appt. Everything is fine with Spec. It was confirmed he is very low and and on my bladder, so I am not nuts that there is constant pressure when I run. My weight was ok…more than I wanted, but I wasn’t gaining too much. The bad part was the running discussion.

At the end, when I thought we were done, my Dr said “Now let’s talk about your running.” Ahhh, RUN AWAY was my instinct!!!! She said she’s never had a patient near as active as I am and wasn’t sure what to do with me. She said she couldn’t believe I was still running 8 miles, and I told her that was no strain at all and I felt great. She requested I decrease to a number I balked at. I begged, I pleaded, and the compromise is 6 miles max. I can add a couple extra walking miles, I can take yoga, and I can swim (since I don’t know how to lap swim that is useless to me). I told her I could live with the compromise, and then the next bomb hit: “We’re going to dial back more at 24 weeks.” NOOOO!!!!! More begging and pleading. She seems to think I might do this on my own, but I am not so sure. I told her I don’t want to be a difficult patient, but that this was hard for me. It ended with me saying let me take my 6, and worry about the next decrease later. For now I will not think about it.

Now I am sure someone could read this and saying I am being selfish and irrational. Isn’t the baby the most important thing? At least I can run, it’s not like I am being told I am paralyzed or something. 6 miles is still a lot. Yes…..I know and agree with all of this. But, a marathon/ ultrarunner/ distance runner will understand. Sometimes it is hard to control the obsessive, slightly irrational thoughts. It’s hard to convey to someone who hasn’t done high mileage running how good some of us are at monitoring our bodies. It’s hard to understand it’s not about weight control, but really a way of life.

So, I will try and be positive. A terrible injury would be much worse. Going to the appt and being told there was problem would be a much, much worse case. She did point this out, that a blood pressure problem would not only mean no running, but no working and bedrest. So, I KNOW in my heart I cannot be that upset. I will be strapping on my walkin’ shoes, and plan to really get good at yoga! Plus, in 2 weeks, I am halfway done with the pregnancy. I just read either the first or second place woman runner at the recent Leadville 100 run had just come back from having a baby. Just gotta think positive. I’m off for a walk…



Well, the weather is not changing….it’s still 103 every day.

This week the first couple days were busy as I thought they would be. I had 2 realizations this week that were a little tough to swallow. First off, I was informed my running friends have been holding back and slowing to run with me. All this time I felt good, and strong and I was wrong. Stephanie has been kind enough to join me, and while we will need to find a route other than Mueller at some point, meeting someone definitely makes getting up easier. It just dawned on me this week, while I’ll always keep running, and I can be optimistic about coming back, this could be the end of a long time weekend tradition. Doesn’t mean I won’t have folks to run with, and that I can’t start with the group, and I know at least for a few months Stephanie will be on the same path until she speeds up again (nothing ever seems to slow her down), but I will miss the group run weekend tradition. I knew the decision to have a baby would mean letting go of things and I am ok with that…doesn’t mean it isn’t a little hard though. But on the positive side…I am running, I feel good, and there’s a lot to be said about that.

The other thing happening is the dreaded weight gain. I don’t look pregnant, as most women don’t this early, but I do look like I’ve gained weight. I feel the extra weight. I think when I feel movement in about a month, I won’t feel so much like it is just excess weight, but this morning, I pulled on pants that fit a week ago, and now are tight, and I cringed a little. It is such a balance between gaining enough, but not too much. I definitely have become a bigger fan of having a hot breakfast since cereal, yogurt and fruit are not filling me up. But, yeah, big breakfasts = bigger gut. Tomorrow I have an appt and I am very scared of what the scales will say, and worried I am gaining too fast. We’ll see….

But things are really going well. Mike’s sister sent us the paint samples she picked out for Spec’s room, and we have one picked out. It was one of those little glimmers of things getting real. I pulled out the bedding for the first time in weeks and it came with a little polar bear toy. For the first time I thought “wow, this is Spec’s stuff….this is his toy.” Hard to explain and I am sure all pregnant women go through the little hints and the very gradual bonding.


Back to real life…

I have never gone on vacation and not had to go straight to work the next day. Getting home on a Friday with every single summer and running clothing item I own dirty, an empty fridge, and no working air conditioning, it was a relief to have 2 more days to deal with it all. It made coming home much better, and we were able to get the AC fixed and back up and running on Saturday. Also got caught up on all my tv shows: True Blood, Weeds, and Mad Men. Tomorrow will be a fast and furious onslaught of the trauma world at work, so I tried to enjoy the weekend. I missed my running friends due to an alarm SNAFU, so I ran town lake on my own Saturday am. It was nice to run around a lot of people to keep me motivated in my first day back to the hot and humid runs. Today Mark was kind enough to meet my slow butt at Walnut Creek since I desperately needed to give Pancake some exercise. We did 7.5, and my trail legs are coming back. The dust is horrible though, and I think the drought was harder to come home to than the heat. Everything is so brown. The bone dry creek beds are just plain sad. If it would just rain and perk up all the dead plants, I do think the heat would be more bearable.

I then took a quick shower, since I was COVERED in dust, and met Michelle for my first prenatal yoga class. It will probably be my last. Not my style. I knew it would be less intense than my current class, and I was ok with that. What I did not expect was all the baby/ pregnancy chatter. We spent 20 minutes just going around the room giving everyone a chance to complain about what hurt and/ or what discomforts they had. The instructor just stayed up on a stage and didn’t do the adjustments I am used to. And it really was very light stretching. I would have preferred more options on the poses to make them a little harder for those who could do them. I am terrible at yoga, so if I am not challenged, it is pretty darn easy. Maybe there is a good class in town, and I am open to trying it if someone has a recommendation, but this class, pretty much sucked. I also probably went way too early and this is my fault. There was a lot about connecting with your baby. I still have a fictitious baby I cannot feel or visibly tell is there, so that part just seemed weird to me.

We did brunch after (that was more fun), then I did a massive house cleaning, and went to work on Hatch green chili enchiladas. The end of August/ beginning of Sept, brings us these yummy chilies for a very limited time. My choices were hot and mild, and sometimes the hot are killer, so I got the mild and they were a little too mild. I did a green chili sour cream sauce, a chicken green chili filling, and topped the whole thing with fresh Hatch chili jack cheese. Turned out pretty good, but I like to feel a little pain when I eat enchiladas. We’ll still hit Chuy’s in the next week or 2 for their Hatch dishes…it’s pretty much only eat there once a year now for Hatch days.

Well, bring on the week.


Greetings from the land of Twilight…

I have a ton of incredible pictures, but the internet is too slow here for me to load them into blogspot, so they’ll have to wait. On Monday, we left the hectic pace of downtown Seattle to travel to the Olympic peninsula. It was about a 2 hour drive that included a ferry ride in the middle. If you have seen the movie Twilight, then you have seen where we are. Olympic National Park is what we wanted the bulk of our trip to be.

It was a big relief to arrive in Port Angeles and see the giant Firs, Spruces, and Sitka pines everywhere. We are staying at another little budget place, but this one turned out to be much better than the one in Seattle. The best part, is somehow I managed to book a hotel 100 yards from the start of the Olympic Discovery Trail. I could not have dreamt up a better place to run. 30 miles of paved/ gravel trail along the Olympic Peninsula coastline. Rocky coast on one side, lush green forest on the other. And, the very even terrain made it super runnable, so no need to watch footing. Good thing too, I saw tons of seabirds, a raccoon family in the rocks getting shellfish, and 2 otters (!!) alongside the trail. There is a marathon run along it in June…looks like I’ll need to do that one someday. This week also marked a pregnancy milestone in that there is no way I can make it through a run without a bathroom stop (or 2, or 3) It was just getting too painful. Trail running is good for that…it is pretty easy to find a place to discreetly hide off the trail. I realize this also means I’ll be running solo when I get home (unless Stephanie is having the same issue). Anyhow, after the difficulty of running in downtown Seattle, the trail was a dream come true.
Our first journey into the park took us to Sol Duc. This is a temperate lowland forest with huge trees and ferns everywhere. Most folks do the easy 3 mile hike to see an amazing waterfall. The drive into the park was a great way to start with a trip around the massive Crescent Lake, a turquoise blue glacial lake. It is right alongside the main highway in these parts. We then hiked to the falls and added on some through the forest. Pictures to come…really amazing scenery. When we got done, we drove about 15 miles out of town for fresh crab on the beach and mile high cream pie.
Mike and I have been trying to do a different national park every year, and of all we’ve done so far, this was the least crowded, which really surprised me. I don’t know if it is the recession or what, but the most popular trails where still pretty sparse, compared to Rocky Mountain, which was packed last summer. Day 2 really demonstrated this as we headed out for the Hoh Rainforest. Truly worth the entire trip, it is one of few rainforests in the US. We went through the famous town of Forks, where the Twilight books are based. There are Twilight gift shops all over the place here. Anyhow, Hoh did not disappoint. There were 2 fairly short hikes to showcase the mosses and some of the giant trees. We did these, then some of the longer 17 mile trail. I highly recommend this trip just for the rainforest. We also saw 2 elk, and a giant wasp hive hanging from a tree that looked like it was from a cartoon.
Next, it was a short drive to Rialto Beach. If you’ve seen Twilight, this is right by LaPush and similar the beach scenes in the movie. We walked along the beach for about 1.5 miles to get to some tide pools. These are pretty nifty little clumps of rocks filled with starfish, anemones, urchins, and mussels. Saws tons of starfish, and Mike yelled at me for trying to pick on up…and disrupting its home.
Today we did a short drive to Port Townsend which is a Victorian seaside community. Lots of Victorian buildings, and ships. We went to hit a couple microbrewers, which I just had to sit and watch Mike enjoy. We then went up to Hurricane Ridge which is in the mountains, and did a hike above treeline with a 360 degree view of Mt Olympus, Port Angeles, and the ocean. The altitude definitely affected me more than it did last summer and we weren’t as high, but I suspect this is the pregnant effect of heart and lungs already working harder for the extra blood volume you get. And that is where we end, back in our room, pretty pooped from 3 days of non stop hiking.
The cooler weather is great, and I just love being in the woods. Still, we are winding down getting ready to head home. I am missing Pancake, and always feel terrible for leaving her. Tomorrow is our last day in the woods, then back to the Texas heat. I am optimistic though that we’ll get a break from it within a month or so.
Spec (aka Little Stevie 2) choose this trip to grow a heck of a lot. Like I said, I can’t run without bathroom breaks, and I already feel full very quickly. It seemed to happen very fast…I hope he does not keep up this growth pace the whole time, but I fear he will.

Vacation Days 1,2,3…

Well, here we are. In MUCH cooler weather. Got into Seattle Friday night about dinner time. I had booked us a room at a 100 year old hotel right Downtown. It was a lot cheaper than anything else I could find, and was kinda a hostel type hotel. Most the guests are European. It was in a slightly seedy area, but all 3 nights cost what about 1 night would have at a major chain hotel. I was very surprised at how densely populated and urban Seattle is. I guess I have gotten used to the wide open spaces of Texas. Now granted, we are downtown, but I guess I didn’t expected it to be such a big city. We didn’t get a rental car for this leg of the trip, so we walked and walked everywhere. We got in and set out to find dinner. I just wanted something simple, and most the downtown places were bars or high end restaurants. We ended up in a kinda cheesy brew pub chain, but by then I was about to eat my arm off and didn’t care.

Got up early the next am, and went for a walk to the waterfront area. A massive hemp festival was in Seattle this weekend, so the entire waterfront had kids sleeping on it, wearing hemp leis, and there were lots of dreadlocks. We hurdled over hippies and crusties while we tried to scope out a running route. Steve was meeting us later to go to a Mariner’s game, so we kinda just spent the day killing time. We went to the famous Pike Place market, and I was surprised most of the stuff was closed still. We were starving and hit the best looking thing we could find open. It happened to be a very French bakery with great raspberry filled croissants…not the healthiest breakfast, but it would do. Eventually stuff started to open, so we picked up some more snacks. The thing that amazed me the most was the row after row of flowers with massive bouquets for $5. The same bouquets would sell at Whole Foods for $50. I was tempted to get some just to spice up this slightly sad hotel room. We also went to the Aquarium and while it was neat, it was kinda pricey and crowded.
Steve arrived and we battled the crowds to eat again, then rested a bit and walked to the game. We went through Pioneer Square, and I liked that area better than downtown. The game was fun, and I learned that most ball parks have good seating and Fenway is unique in that so many of the seats suck. We could see just fine, and I got hot chocolate since it was only 60 degrees.
Got up early this am, and Steve agreed to run with me. We definitely are not in the best running area, but we managed a 6 miler on the waterfront. Next lots more walking for a diner breakfast. We went and got a bunch more pastries and donuts after breakfast since there are just too many good looking bakeries to resist. We said our goodbyes to Steve, and walked to the Science museum to go to the planetarium. Since we don’t have one, and Mike is very into astronomy, we thought it was a must see. The science museum was so-so, there was a really neat butterfly exhibit, but otherwise, we were sick of paying at least $20 to get into things. After walking nonstop since Friday night, it was nice to sit in the planetarium for awhile. We then walked around the Seattle Center and saw the new Music Experience and Science Fiction museums and realized we should have done those, but couldn’t bring ourselves to another $20 entry fee. We wandered back to the hotel (where I am now typing this), after stopping for Mexican food. I know….kinda lame in Seattle, but I just wanted to sit and sip a coke with some chips.
So, we are winding down the first little phase of our trip. I am having fun, but Seattle is definitely too big and urban for my tastes. I am looking forward to seeing some mountains and pine trees tomorrow. The 55 degree running is great, and the food is excellent, but Mike and I agree we are ready to escape the downtown area.