Honeymoon Island State Park…



Mike and I went hiking at Honeymoon Island State Park. It is an area known for it’s osprey, eagles, and shells. We saw tons of osprey, a baby bald eagle, and we got a pretty good haul of good seashells (I’ll post a picture later). The shells are a gift for Spec and will go in his room. It was nice to go somewhere other than the high rises along the Clearwater beaches. I realize it looks like I am wearing at fat suit in the picture, but that is a 29 week shot. Not much longer…had a better run today and yesterday as the humidity broke. I am still looking forward to being back to normal, but I guess I am not doing too bad to be moving despite being so big.


100% humidity…


A little while ago I just got back from my first run in Florida. We are here for just a few days visiting Mike’s dad for Thanksgiving, and there is lots of family here. We had a massive Polish feast last night with homemade borscht, perogis, sausage, sauerkraut, homemade bread, salads and 3 different desserts. Did I mention I would like to fit into my regular clothes again someday? Meals like this make it a challenge.

We are staying in Clearwater, which is a tourist/ retiree beach area. I got up at sunrise to get a run in. Florida is super flat, so that part would be easy. The humidity was just brutal. It was probably only 65 degrees, but 100% humidity. A thick, misty fog covered everything. Immediately I spotted a nice little pedestrian/ bike path. Even pancake-flat, along a nice tree lined beach couldn’t make things easy. It was going to be a hard day. I haven’t run in this type humidity for a couple months now. Spec was hurting me, the bottom of my feet hurt (thinking I need a slightly more cushioned shoe for my extra weight 😦 , and it was just terribly hard. I felt discouraged. Maybe I have not done all I can do to keep up some level of fitness. Maybe I could have been working a little harder. Should it really be this difficult at this point?
It was a nice little run. A ran along the waterfront, and then over a causeway (uphill in 100% humidity, yuck). Then I hit a historic district neighborhood with huge spanish moss draped trees. That was nice. All along there were lots of egrets and herons. Things got a little better. I just kept telling myself that all my little discomforts weren’t reason enough to quit. Pain signaling something is wrong is one thing, but the gut/ pelvic discomfort, sore feet, and just feeling “blah”, are just that….discomforts. Discomforts are something to run through. So, I kept on. I ran by the local hospital. I made a mental note of where it was. Hopefully I wouldn’t need it 🙂 I hit 3 miles which was about my turn around, and noticed a little park not far ahead. I went onto the park to turn around and was treated to about 50 little mini egret like birds on the grass having their breakfast. They seem unfazed as I circled the lot right by them. Now, no matter how bad I felt I had no choice but to run back.
Coming back was better. Spec chilled out a bit. Only 1 foot seemed to keep cramping up on the bottom. My pace seemed to pick up, and pretty quickly I was back at the hotel. I checked my Garmin and was surprised I still managed about 9:30 a mile…which might sound slow, but considering how hard this run had been I was pleasantly surprised.
Although I still feel a little discouraged that running was so hard today, I feel a personal victory sticking it out. I know after Spec is born runs will be hard. If I ever want to get back to where I was, I am just going to have to suffer a little bit. Suffering a little on a hard run still beats not being able to run. And, sometimes a little suffering helps you dig deep when you really need it.
Turns out the Tampa Turkey Trot is actually here in Clearwater a few miles from our hotel. So there is a possibility tomorrow might be another race for Spec.

Pancake is thankful she is getting a new couch…

I am sitting here enjoying the fact I can be a little lazy before we have to head to the airport and fly to Mike’s dad’s in Florida. I have my fingers crossed I’ll be able to make out some type of running route there.

Pancake won’t be happy not having me cook a turkey at home, but she will be getting a new couch soon. Mike and I ordered some new furniture, since we figured it’s now or never. Have I mentioned I hate the fact our old couch is gigantic, way too soft, and doesn’t really fit in the very small space that is our living room? We are getting something much more 1960s inspired. Just a few more weeks until it is here. Also got a new dresser with space for a tv. We’ve been using Mike’s dresser from the 1970s forever and it has always been hideous. Once again, we figured if we don’t get something now we never will. Buying furniture stings…it is one heck of a spendy purchase, I tried Craig’s list, but unless you know exactly what you want, it’s sorta painful. Anyhow, hopefully we’ll make this new stuff last awhile.
Giant Spec seems to be doing well. Everyday I hold my breath wondering how the run will go, and they are still going fine. I read on a website that your husband is supposed to get you a gift now for having a baby. I asked Mike for an entry into the 2010 San Antonio marathon. He said “you would just get yourself that anyways…that’s not really a present.” But I told him that is what I really want. I would much rather be back in the training game than anything else, and a goal race is what I crave. Anyone else care to join me? You have a little less than a year to train if you start now….
Well, gotta start getting ready to head out. Packing wasn’t too hard when I have about 3 pairs of pants. Maternity clothes have proven to be a nightmare. Yes, there are some really nice things out there, but who in the hell wants to pay $80-$150 for pants you’ll wear a few months?!? The only place I found with anything that didn’t fall apart and fit well is the Gap. But the clothes cost more than their regular clothes. What’s up with that? It sucks I am not crafty and couldn’t just make a couple things, but I have a lifetime of abandoned craft attempts. It is just not the hobby for me. It’s ok…I sure admire people who make stuff like Heather and Melissa, but I have accepted I have other talents.
Happy Thanksgiving. If you are in Austin enjoy the Turkey Trot, and the Chuy’s parade. I am sorry to be missing them.

Doesn’t Pancake look fast here? I wish I could run like that!

Due to a minor mishap this week, my running routes are a little more limited. Let’s just say I don’t see that well in the dark, and I am fine now. Looks like a lot of runs at Mueller for me now since it is very well lit. On the upside, it is still running, and I would rather run multiple loops than not run at all. I still throw town lake into the mix, just gotta wait until it is light out, but most of the time I run earlier than that. Spec’s races also look a little scant. The Turkey Trot will probably just be too difficult to escape to with family obligations and one rental car for all of us while we are off visiting Mike’s dad over Thanksgiving. I was set to recruit a partner for the Decker Relay, until I saw the price is now $100, so $50 each to run a 10K. No can do. I couldn’t register way in advance,when it was cheaper, because I didn’t know if I was going to get too fat to run, and I just can’t do $50 for a 10K. It’s a matter of principal. There are a couple other things in December that are possibilities, but I may just have to wait until post delivery to race again.
I am nervously awaiting my next Dr appt. I was due to go in this week, but because of the holidays, it got pushed back another week. I am now 7 months pregnant, and was told by a lot of people that I would not be running past 6 months. I am desperately hoping I don’t get another running restriction. I think I’ve gotten a little slower in the last couple weeks, but it still isn’t difficult for me at all. Which is strange…I have such a hard time doing a lot of other things. I take the stairs no matter what at work. We have 9 floors, and while I never usually need to go up 9 flights of stairs, I routinely go up 3-4 flights. I sure get winded now. I have to stop at the top and catch my breath, and I feel like an idiot in front of all the residents who seem to be the only other people who take the stairs. They probably think I am some lost, swollen up heart failure patient or something. Household chores are harder…but I want to keep it all up. I think of it as training for birth and the recovery. Which, I am really starting to look forward to and think about more. It’s been kinda fun and all, having Spec live in me for a few months, but I am starting to feel more and more ready for him to move out. I can tell he is starting to run out of room, because his movements are different now. Kinda cool he is running out of room, and kinda scary too…he has at least 3 more pounds to gain at minimum. Overall though, I think I am doing pretty good on managing the discomforts. I do credit being active with helping not get too stiff and tight. On one hand I feel like I don’t have that much longer, but on the other hand, if I were to become inactive now, I still have a long time that I could get pretty tight and inflexible in.
Some of the good things I’ve noticed are: people in general are much nicer to me when I look too big to move. Having a giant gut makes my butt look much smaller than it really is. I can be a picky eater and get away with it. I don’t feel guilty telling someone I am just too tired to make it to an event, and they seem to understand.
So, the countdown continues. Hope everyone has a good Thanksgiving. I have a lot to be thankful for this year…

Sleepy…


Pancake has the right idea here. This is how I am trying to spend more time, sleeping. I am entering the 3rd trimester, and have been warned the fatigue rebounds, and so far I agree!

I really appreciate my friends who have been willing to run with me as I slow down and can’t make it through a run without a stop. I had a great danish run on Wednesday. Mark and Meredith met me, and at one point I glanced at my watch and we were at an 8:10 pace! Now, I did slow it down a bit, but I wasn’t dying. Not at all bad for a fat girl. Maybe I can pull off a Boston qualifier after Spec is born after all, if I can run sub 9s with the little parasite flip flopping while I run and settling in on my bladder. He now supposedly weighs at least 2 pounds!
It is also nice to have Stephanie meet me at ungodly hours on other days. Thursdays I start my run at 445 am, and she is willing to meet me. Some days I start out pretty slow due to being so tired, but by the end we are still cranking out 9 minute pace. Just having someone to chat with helps.
Steve has been meeting me Sundays, and slowing his pace waaaaaay down to run with me. I know it is a sacrifice on his part, but it is a welcome break from Mueller. Steve and I have trained for many big races together and it makes me feel like old times. I really hope I can keep this up a couple more months. We also always follow with a good breakfast….
And then there is the Saturday Old Guy and the Fat Girl run. This run seems to now officially rotate between a town lake trail loop or a hilly Pecos loop. It is fun to catch up with Wesley and Joe (aka Wesraven), and occasionally we get a guest appearance by Teresa, or Steve and Meghan might join us for a mile or so. It is nice to see all the other Austin runners out, even if everyone seems to be training for a marathon, and I’m not….but at least I still feel like I am part of the crowd.
Keeping up these runs has meant the world to me. This am was the first time in about 3 weeks I haven’t run. Mike begged me to take a morning off, so I complied with his request. The extra sleep was nice, and now I am looking even more forward to being out on the town lake trail tomorrow.

A little inspiration…


It was very inspiring to watch the New York marathon last weekend. I honestly have never had any desire to do it…it seems like it would be so expensive and it is extremely difficult to get a lottery slot, and logistically a bit of a pain in the butt. As I have gone through my running restriction, I have been ok with getting off trail running. It is so much more time consuming than road running that I know after Spec is born, it will be unlikely I can return to it any time soon (at least the rough technical trails). I have been getting my road legs back though, and as I have said before, I am very excited for my first return marathon. It was wonderful to hear the women’s winner of the marathon took time off to have 2 kids. I read an interview with her, and she said she had gained 40 pounds and the comeback took awhile, and getting the weight off was tough. I certainly hope not to gain 40 pounds! I have no idea how long it will realistically take me to get the point I can run a marathon again. I feel really good on my runs, and I am sometimes frustrated I can’t keep running when I feel great. Picking a magic number to stop at does seem pretty silly, when I have to wonder, if I go past it will I just implode or something? But I am playing by the rules I was given.

I have to pinch myself from time to time and realize in the big picture all I am doing different is not doing long runs. I am fortunate I can do what I am doing, and I am staring to hold my breath a little bit. I am now 6 1/2 months pregnant, and starting to reach the timeline that I have been told by many folks I will quit running. I keep wondering if it comes down to just one run that tells me to quit, or can I pull off my goal of running until delivery time? So far, I have found I hit a patch where everything physical I do gets hard, and I ride it out a bit, and then things normalize. This was a great week that I felt really strong and did 2 yoga classes, one that totally kicked my butt and left me sore for half the week, but it felt great to know I am still in the game. In the evenings I am still pretty pooped, and get winded just doing normal household chores. Mike asked me how I am really running when I couldn’t vacuum without getting out of breath. I feel like I start my day with a full take and the gauge just keeps going down as the day goes by, so running first thing in the morning has worked well in allowing me to keep it up. I guess when I look at how big Spec has gotten it’s no wonder I can barely move by 8pm.
I am hoping to get Spec a couple more races. I hope to do the Turkey Trot 10K while we are out of town for Thanksgiving. The only reason I couldn’t is logistics, and family obligations. There are a few things locally in December, but I am waiting to make sure I don’t have another dreaded restriction placed on me before I fork over entry fees.
Spec already is making me busier with all the prep work for his arrival. There is a lot of shopping to do, doctor appts, house reorganizing, etc. Plus, there is the strong desire to get a lot of activities in now that will go away when he is here. Most yoga classes will ends, movies for Mike and I together, and pretty much anything happening after work. So, yes, I am stacking my schedule with a lot right now, and still being told by all my friends with kids “You only think you are busy, you really aren’t.” Yikes…a scary thought that sometimes keeps me up at night (that and leg cramps). I am still scared of drifting into chaos when I return to work. I just have to tell myself that people do it all the time and seem to survive, so hopefully I will too.