"Running" update…

Sorry for another picture of my fat suit, but I haven’t taken any new pictures in awhile. I’ve been so busy with doctor appts this week, I have not updated my “running” progress.

My back made huge improvements this week. I finally can walk without leaning to one side. I am going up stairs pretty easily. This has been the first time I truly can say my walking is significantly better. I still get a little twinge here and there with certain movements. If I was not over 9 months pregnant, I would definitely be doing some short “test” runs, but since I am, I am scared to try to run until I am pain free. I think within a week I should be there. BUT, the timing to restart running may conflict with delivery. So, I am not sure if it will happen. Plus, I have this high blood pressure thing now that may limit my activity at some point. I really feel encouraged though that things are moving in the right direction. I still try and get the most from my bike rides though. This am it was thundering and pouring and I was thinking even if I could run, the bike was a better option, and the fact I’ve gotten better at it, and have learned a couple workouts will come in handy in the future.
I got the new Runner’s World this week, and there is a very good interview with Kara Goucher. She was injured for something like a year, and couldn’t do anything but be couch bound. Once again, I am no elite runner, but I can’t get enough of these stories of runners coming back after lay offs to peak form….it’s very encouraging.

I may manage to have a baby by the end of the week. I almost, but not quite have preeclampsia. I had one blood pressure high enough, and one a little under what qualifies as preeclampsia. I go back on Thursday and if I get one more high blood pressure, I get an induction that day. If I have a borderline blood pressure again, I get to redo the process on Monday.

I debated posting this, because now I feel this strange pressure to produce a baby this week, and I worry about being flooded with calls “So did you have the baby yet?”, when if I do have to play a waiting game, it will be a little frustrating to keep going back and forth to check blood pressure always wondering if today is the day. I appreciate people caring enough to be interested, but I don’t want an odd sense of pressure to raise my blood pressure somehow so I can get this kid out….so I will post ASAP if there is anything newsworthy.

He’s done…

Here is Pancake with a picture of a full term Spec (and another of Pancake escaping). Finally! 37 weeks is considered full term. Of course, I see no signs of him leaving his “home” anytime soon, but a least when people tell me I am huge I can reply with “Well, I have a full term baby living in there.” The Rogue running pants I have on have been worn every weekend the whole pregnancy I think. I am glad I had some running and yoga stuff I just started wearing as regular clothes. Much more comfortable then jeans.

I continue to mark days off my calendar. Obviously I want Spec out, and I am tired of being uncomfortable, and I also keep tracking the days passing and still being unable to run. Almost 3 weeks now of not running a step. I bike everyday, and got some really good workouts from a friend. I feel my heart rate flying, and finish drenched in sweat, so I hope it is doing as much good as a run would. I also am getting my money’s worth from Netflix instant watch. I hit yoga 2-3 times a week still. Some days are easier than others, but as long as I can keep it up, I figure just tough it out. I was searching for running articles on coming back after a lay off, and found this little interview with Deena Kastor. It is encouraging to read about her coming back from not even being able to ride a bike. Today was a little hard, as it is the 3M half marathon, which I have run many times. I haven’t as much in the last few years because it got really expensive, but once I have the Little Owl, my racing may all have to be close to home, so I may resume it. It was hard to see the signs for it all over town as I limped along all week. Gotta remember though, at least I have PeeWee (my bike).
Kathleen “tagged” me to write about 10 things that make me happy. Of course there are more than 10, and these won’t be the top 10 or anything, just some stuff that happens to come to mind. Kathleen’s blog had lots of pictures of each, but I am not feeling that creative, so here goes my list…
1. Running. How obvious, but I will say a lay off makes me appreciate those simple runs more. I also haven’t done a long run with friends in about 8-9 months, and dragging myself out of bed on a weekend to tour Austin on foot, while we train for a big event, and catch up on each other’s weeks, is something really special when you think about it.
2. My new experiments with Vegan baked goods. Stephanie gave me a vegan baking cookbook to kick off my new hobby, and I just got another one, “Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar.” I haven’t liked meat very much while I’ve been pregnant, so I’ve been eating vegetarian and vegan a lot. Trying a new way of baking is fun, and it’s nice to make treats that I know are lower in fat and calories. Today I made Mocha Oatmeal Vegan Cookies. They turned out good, other than me burning 1 batch. I hopefully will be trying a lot more in the next few weeks.
3. Getting a running magazine in the mail. A little thing, but it is great to come home after a long day, open the mailbox, see a new Runner’s World, or Ultrarunning, and know I’ll then spend the evening on the couch reading it.
4. Setting up stuff for Spec. I know he makes me happy, but since he isn’t here yet, and it’s still hard to have a 100% tangible idea of having him here for real, the closest I get is getting all his stuff ready. I like setting up stuff in his room and just being in there, even though he probably will not spend much time in there for several months.
5. Pine trees. I love the smell of pine trees, and I love running/ hiking trails full of pines. Here in Texas that is Bastrop and Huntsville. And Cedar trees do not count! They are evil!
6. Finding a good podcast. I don’t know how I functioned before podcasts. Anytime I have to do a sitting type of activity, I put on a podcast. They get my through a lot of work days. I almost heard every single This American Life. That’s kinda sad….if anyone has any recommendations, I am all ears.
7. The Boston Marathon. Even though it is a circus, expensive, very commercialized, and a logistical pain in the ass, I always seem to want to go back. Not sure if that will work with a baby. First off, I have to start running again, train up to a marathon, get faster, qualify, and then travel with an infant. Hmmm, sounds a little tricky. I may just have to enjoy my memories.
8. Taking vacations with Mike. I guess in the future it will be Mike and Spec, but we always have fun going places that aren’t big resort experiences. We have loved out National Park trips, and have a long list of more we would like to do.
9. Going out for a glass of wine with girlfriends. Another activity that will take a little more planning, but Mike will just have to watch Spec one night. Anyone else in?
10. Naps. Another thing I may not get to do much longer, but who doesn’t love to sleep?
Ok, I am supposed to “tag” other friends. So, if any of y’all have nothing better to put on your blogs, make a list off the top of your head.
Melissa (who is tending to a sick family member, so she may have to pass for now)

My new best friend…

Well, here is where I have been spending a lot of my time lately. Michelle got me hooked up with the great bike mechanics at Jack and Adams, and the nice folks there also helped me pick out some new kicks (try not to laugh at them, Steve). PeeWee (my bike’s name) should really be renamed Lazarus…as he is back from the dead. All gears work, he’s clean as can be, and rides great! I never had shoes that fit properly, and these make a HUGE difference. I’ve been throwing on a DVD before work, and sweating away. I was thrilled the other day, to have my shirt soaked, and I told Mike “Look! Sweat! I am so happy!” He told me I have a sickness, but I think he likes living with me much better when I can work up a sweat. I am still sad I can’t run, but at least I am keeping up my aerobic fitness. I have a suspicion I won’t be able to walk right until I get Spec out. At first I think my walking issues were all my hurt back, but now I think Spec has taken over where my back left off. I am 4’11” with a starting weight of 100 pounds and, have 6 + pounds of him living in me, plus his water based “home”, so I can’t imagine it isn’t causing me some issues. Anyhow, maybe I’ll actually start developing some leg muscles soon…I am also piling on the yoga. I go as much as I can. I don’t know if any of this will make re-entering the running world any easier. This is the longest I’ve gone without running since I was 15 years old, and I could potentially have a couple more months without my daily run. I am slowly wrapping my head around what it could be like to start back at ground zero. Mike swears my legs will remember at least a little, but we’ll see.

Not much else going on but dragging my tired butt to work, and hoping maybe I’ll get a scheduled induction (really wishful thinking…there is no reason for my doc to do so)…but it would be nice to know an end date to work. At this point I go in everyday thinking it could be a week or 2 more of work…or it could be a month. I am a little tired of getting comments all day about my funny walk. Yes, I am all too aware I don’t walk correctly. I know people mean well, but it is a little embarrassing.
Not much left to do before the Little Owl gets here. I think I have finally purchased most of his stuff, or received it as a gift. Trying to make some stuff to freeze here and there so we have some homemade food to eat. I have a couple more things to get this weekend, and I think that is it….so he just needs to arrive!!!!!

A busy, busy week has past. What do I have in common with the picture of Pancake and what do I not have in common with the picture of Stephanie? More on both later.

First off, this week was me at my worst for over-scheduling. I had a computer class and then I had an additional thing every single night after work. Monday I had a dr appt, and then I had to work at the Volunteer Clinic. I cried after the appt with my highest weight ever combined with my dr telling me it’s just hard to walk when you are pregnant, and to basically get over it (I still can’t walk right..more on that later too). Tuesday night was a fun event, as Mike and I went to Perla’s for our anniversary. It was super yummy and I highly recommend it. Wednesday night was a torture fest…CPR class, which I do not need, but Mike does, and I went with him as moral support, but it was just painful to sit through 2 hours of American Heart videos in really uncomfortable chairs. Thursday night was the 2.5 hour childbirth class which isn’t bad, but after being up since 4am, and class ending at 930pm, with no breaks in the day, I was super tired. Friday was a self inflicted night of yoga, but I desperately needed to do something good for my back.
Thursday was extra crazy because my uncle had a heart attack the day before and there were emails and phone calls back and forth, about surgery plans, and worry and concern. Then, Stephanie emailed that her dr was sending her for a c-section that day since there were some growth concerns about her baby. This wasn’t a total surprise since the week before she had mentioned it, but I was also worried that she would be having a sick baby. So extra drama added to the long day. Well, my uncle is holding steady waiting for his surgery, and Stephanie and Amelia are fine. We went and saw them today and both looked great. It was a little surreal that Stephanie was holding her baby, and I still have a very abstract idea about mine. It will be nice to go visit them while they are both recovering at home. I am really happy everything turned out ok for them.
I also spent the week frustrated at not being able to walk right. I can’t really go walking for exercise….I tried a couple times, and I seem to have kinda stalled out on my back improving. I am starting to question if it can only get so much better until I get rid of my massive abdomen, which everyone seems to point out, by telling me how huge I am and no wonder my back hurts. Not sure if this is really a helpful thing to hear. After I had my breakdown Monday, Mike was nice enough to get my bike trainer out and set it up. A couple problems, the bike’s gears weren’t working, and my shoes didn’t come close to fitting. Mike rigged up the bike enough to get by, and I just had to not clip my feet in, but at least I worked up a sweat and a high heart rate. I also realized I may really need that bike trainer, because if Mike goes out of town, and the weather is too bad to take a baby running in a stroller…that is all I’ll be able to do. And Mike will go out of town at some point. Michelle was nice enough to get me scheduled at Jack and Adam’s for bike repair with same day pick up. I took it in today, treated myself to shoes that fit, and later they called saying the gears were completely ruined, and the parts are now obsolete. They are going to try and couple tricks, but Monday I’ll find out if it is salvageable and looks like I might be looking for an affordable new bike or another option.
This week was also the week, the pregnancy aches and pains hit. I started swelling up now, which I thought I would avoid, but doesn’t look that way. By night time everything from my knee down looks like Popeye, and I can sink my hand into my leg a good half inch and leave a nice handprint, or lots of little thumb prints. I also started loosing any permanent connection in my joints, and every time I turn in bed I feel a “thunk, thunk, thunk” as my hips pop out and back. My left hand has numb fingers from swelling that makes some moves a little tricky. I know all pregnant women go through this, but I just never expected so many issues to hit at once. 10 days ago, I was running 6 miles, occasionally dipping below a 9 minute mile, and it seems like overnight I can’t walk, and spend the evenings with my legs up (like the Pancake picture).
So, trying hard to be positive. I won’t lie that it is challenging be so uncomfortable and have it not let up. A little part of me was envious seeing Stephanie holding her baby, while I have a month left. The whole pregnancy I would have a little ache or pain and rally back, but I don’t seem to be rallying back this time no matter how hard I try. I am slowly accepting I may not be able to run for awhile. You can’t run if you can’t walk. So, until I can walk normal, I know it would be impossible to run. BUT, I ran 40 miles a week for 8 and half months of being pregnant. I forced myself out when I was tired, and toughed out each little discomfort. I am still riding my bike an hour a day and hitting yoga several times a week, and at 9 months pregnant now, I think that is pretty good, and I can’t feel too wimpy (well, maybe a little wimpy). I really wanted to run up to the end. It’s physically just impossible right now. I am trying to have faith that after I have Spec I’ll be able to run again. I knew I would have a lay off at some point, and I knew I wouldn’t like it, but it’s part of what I signed up for.
However, despite my growing discomforts, and being a little down mentally, this week was filled with reminders to be thankful and enjoy what I have. I think most of us heard of the earthquake in Haiti and not only felt great sympathy for those affected, but took a little assessment of all we have in our lives. As I sit here at my computer in a home with everything I need, I can’t help but feel fortunate. Being hit this week with 2 people close to be going through medical problems with potentially bad outcomes made me stop in my tracks and shift my thoughts and worries to them, and focus less on myself.
I also try to keep telling myself….only a little longer. I am on mile 20 on a marathon, mile 38 of a 50 miler and mile 80 of a hundred miler all at once. I’ve come a long way, and while I am at the end, the end is the hardest part. But, then I’ll finish and if it is anything like those runs, I’ll forget about how hard it was to get to the end, and just enjoy what comes after.

Stephanie’s Shower

The baby showers concluded today with Stephanie’s shower. Mike was nice enough to help me get all the food goodies to her sister in law’s house since I am still a little crippled….then I got home and he had made me chicken soup…Yum!

Anyhow, it turned out to be a great shower, and Stephanie got a lot of nice gifts, and I got a few things from friends too….that really surprised me…so the Little Owl is really set with cool handknit items (thanks, Karen!).
Tomorrow I start walking….yeah! Not sure how much I can do, I have strict orders not to push it, but I am just thrilled to get out before work and get some exercise. Mike did a demo of how I look when I walk and I couldn’t stop laughing. I said he was exaggerating, but he swore I look that ridiculous.


Today was Kitty’s baby shower. It was fun, her friend hosting did a Hello Kitty theme hence the cookies. It was fun for someone else to be the center of attention, and get lots of gifts. Kitty got a lot of breastfeeding supplies. None of it looks to pleasant to use; I guess I’ll get to find out.

I am feeling like I’ve made more progress on my back and frustrated at the same time. Everyday I get a little more mobility back, but when I was at zero on Tuesday, I still have a ways to go. I got a massage last night with Kevin, who I have gone to for years, and he felt it was not a pregnancy complication. I will clarify that being almost 9 months pregnant certainly doesn’t help and makes things worse, but he felt it was a classic case of a couple compressed discs, and now all surrounding muscles have clamped down and refuse to move. The work he did certainly helped, and I could walk a little more today. I went to yoga, and it felt great to get some exercise after a few days of not being able to even really walk. He told me to wait to start walking/ running until I was no longer limping, and without a doubt I still limp, so that is where I am frustrated….I just wish I could at least walk. I am going nuts not being able to do stuff around the house, and I think Mike is a little tired of yelling at me to stop as I start trying to get into projects at home. I know all the advice of think positive, it’s only temporary, etc, but it is just very challenging to have my mobility so limited, and not worry a little that my back won’t return to normal. I remain hopeful that the progress will continue and it won’t be too much longer until I can at least walk.
In other goings on, we have birth classes where I thought it was only one session, but it is really 3. I didn’t feel like I needed to go since I’ve done stuff as a nurse and back in nursing school, but since Mike has never been to a birth, I signed us up. It wasn’t too bad…..and it never hurts to hear things again….I just didn’t realize it was a multiple class deal….so we’ve got 2 more weeks. I am also trying to buy the last of the baby items, as after 35 weeks, the advice is to be prepared. Still got a ways to go, but it should easy to get in a couple of shopping trips.
With the back incident this week, I have hit the wall, and I think I am done with being pregnant. Everyone tells me I will wish I was still pregnant when I have the Little Owl, but I am ready to be abled bodied again, and start figuring out how my new life will work. Patience has never been one of my strong points. I have a Dr. appt Monday, and she will start checking if I have any signs of dilation. I am doubtful this early, but I am happy to be in the beginning of the home stretch.

Slow, steady progress here. I went to work for most of the day, and unlike Rush, I’ve cut my vicodin use down to 2 half pills a day. I am hopeful to be back full speed next week, and admit maybe the weekend is a little ambitious, but next week is the goal! Hopefully I can do a little light activity this weekend though, although with all time record low temps in Austin, I picked a good week to get hurt.


Better living through chemistry…

Well, I am writing in between vicodin induced hazes. I’ve never taken narcotic pain meds in my life, and never thought I would, but you cannot take ibuprofen the last trimester of pregnancy, and my doctor talked me into trying the vicodin. Good thing too….it seems to take the edge off enough that I relax a little and let the muscles start to loosen. I think tomorrow I can go back to work. Steve reminded me that Rush Limbaugh and I now have something in common (besides being a little rotund), we both have vicodin addictions. hehe….Seriously, there is a time and place for pain meds, that is for sure.

Thanks to everyone who called and offered to help me out if needed. I am doing much better, and I think there is a good chance I’ll be back on the trail this weekend.
Now, I think I am medicated enough to attempt a shower….I was getting kinda gross.