Wednesday, October 31, 2012

October Totals

The weather got cooler in October.  My second trimester started in October.  And running was back in business.  Although my running is only a shell of what it once was, I have enjoyed keeping in motion with running and walking and the occasional elliptical workout.  I ran two races in October which were slow but fun.  I'm looking forward to keeping up with the workouts as long as I can and adding in some swimming too.  I see you, November!

Total - 45.7 miles

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Grandma's Girl

Yesterday I lost my grandma.

My mom called me around 4:00pm and let me know she had passed.  I live right across the street from the nursing home where Grandma was, so I went over and said goodbye to her before the funeral home  people came.  For the hour I was there I cried and cried.  Finally it was time to go and as I was walking out I ran into the social worker from the hospice facility that was taking care of Grandma.  She looked at me and said, you were "Grandma's Girl weren't you?  We knew about you."

I have always had a close relationship with my grandparents, which has grown with my grandma since my grandpa died seven years ago.  I was the one who lived closest, so I would help out when she needed it.  I spent a whole month with her a few years ago helping with grocery shopping and hair appointments.  I learned how to work her oxygen tank and help her in and out of cars.  But mostly I visited and enjoyed my time listening to her stories.  My grandma was the best listener, only offering advice when it was needed and always telling the truth.  She was on my side in my darkest hours and she cared deeply for my emotional wounds.  She loved with her whole heart.  I loved her with all of mine in return.

I am one of nine grandchildren, third youngest, and the only one to not (yet) have a child of my own.  A few weeks ago I had dinner with my grandma and had the joy of telling her Dave and I were pregnant.  She was so excited.  She told everyone we ran into that day.  I guess she continued to tell people too because everyone congratulated my mom when she would go to the care center.  Last Monday, Dave and I visited Grandma for the last time.  We had been warned that she probably wouldn't know we were there or that she wouldn't know who we were, but that was not our experience.  She was happy to see us.  She not only knew who we were, she knew we were having a baby and that we had decided not to move to California.  She touched my belly and I showed her the most recent ultrasound pictures.  Then we got the joy of telling her the gender of the baby; the only other person we have told.  She promised she would not tell and she didn't.  She teased my mom that she knew but kept her promise.  Our child will be her 18th great-grandchild (she also has 16 great-great-grandchildren).  I am so sad that he/she will never get to meet her, but I am so blessed that she got to know about the pregnancy before she passed.

I am so grateful to have had the best grandparents in the world.

Goodbye Grandma.  I love you.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Step Up for Stefanie 5K 2012

I mentioned yesterday that my grandma has not been well, which has meant, pretty much, round the clock attention from my mom and my aunt.  My mom and dad had signed up to do a fun run/walk on Sunday called the Step Up for Stefanie, which was a 5K run or 2 mile walk to benefit the Stefanie Spielman Fund for breast cancer research.  My dad texted me on Saturday night asking if I wanted to take my mom's place because she couldn't make it.  She was signed up for the 2 mile walk and because it was not a "race", she never got a number.  Hmmm....I didn't want to do the walk, but did want to do the 5K.  So I told my dad I was in but that I would bandit the 5K.  (Although, technically, the price of the 5K and 2 mile walk were the same and my mom paid for her entry so I really wasn't a bandit.  I just wouldn't have an official time because I had no bib/chip.)

From 80 degrees on Thursday to 40s and COLD on Sunday, I bundled up for the race.  Dad picked us up at 9:00 (Dave would spectate and freeze his tail off) and we headed down to campus.  The race was LARGE with lots of pink.  We miraculously found a parking spot and a bathroom and waited for the start.  This race must have been bigger than anticipated because the start left a lot to be desired.  Dave told me after the race that the last of the people to cross the start line barely got out of there in enough time for the finishers to come through the chute (same area).  The start was on a tiny two lane road right behind the stadium, then a right hand turn and straight up a bridge.  Of course.  We weren't even a half mile in and I already had to walk.  But then things flattened out and I was jogging pretty steadily.  I hit the first mile in 10:30ish.  Nice.  The next mile had another incline over another bridge, which slowed me to a walk, but then it was all jogging from there.  I hit the second mile also around 10:30ish and the third mile around 10:00.  Wow!  I was doing pretty well.  It's so much easier for me to run in the cooler weather in this pregnancy.  My time via my watch was 32:34.  Another PR (pregnancy record).  Dave, dad, and I all found each other and headed out to the field at Ohio Stadium for a picture op.

I am signed up for one more 5K this year and probably will do a 4 miler at Thanksgiving, which will put me at 20 and 21 weeks pregnant and will top my "12 for 2012 Challenge" of 12 races in 2012.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Week in Review

Once again, I did not go 7 for 7 this week, but 5 out of 7 ain't that bad.

Monday - Nothing.  My grandma is not doing well and it was more important for me to go and see her instead of run.  Family comes first.

Tuesday - 2 miles treadmill - 1 mile jog, 1 mile run.  I had planned on doing four miles, with 1 mile jog, 1 mile walk, repeat, but a bathroom break in the middle revealed I was leaking a little bit of fluids and being this is my first pregnancy and I have no idea what the hell is going on, I decided it was best to just walk it out and abandon the plan.

Wednesday - 2 miles treadmill.  I felt uber-lazy today.  I didn't want to do anything.  It was beautiful outside so Dave and I walked to pick up our dinner, which was probably just shy of 1-1/2 miles round trip.  I was going to count this as my workout, but really, it wasn't that vigorous.  Dave had work to do that evening, so at 8:30, I hopped on the treadmill and pounded out 2 miles of walking in 28 minutes.

Thursday - 3 miles with Dave.  This was the last good weather day of the year and we wanted to take advantage of it.  We made it down to the park, turned around, stopped for a bathroom break, and then walked the rest of the way home.  Again, I was leaking a little.  Crap!  I don't know if that's normal or not so I decided it was best to talk to the doctor before running again (yeah, that didn't happen).  I'm afraid my running days may be numbered.

Friday - Celebrity Ghosts 5K.  And no leaking!!!

Saturday - The weather was crappy when I woke up and then we had the world's busiest day: checking out the YMCA, registering for our baby gifts, watching Ironman and the Buckeyes, and a big fat nap.  No time for working out.

Sunday - Step up for Stefanie 5K.  An unexpected and unplanned race.  More to come on that tomorrow.

Totals - 13.2 miles

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Celebrity Ghosts 5K 2012

I love Facebook.  Maybe a little too much.  I am probably look at Facebook, maybe, 25 times a day.  Every once in a while, it is a good source of information too.  Like Friday, when I saw that the Columbus Running Company was putting on a 5K that evening in Westerville for an acceptable price, and well, I had nothing else going on.  I sent a text to Dave asking if he wanted to run it and he said yes but didn't know if he would make it home on time to do it (it was a 7:00pm race).  At 6:00 he texts me and said he was just now leaving work.  We would never make it; I was disappointed.  Nevertheless, I got into my running clothes and set his out; printed out two entry forms and filled them out; and got my checkbook ready to go.  He pulled in the driveway at 6:25 (traffic must have been great) and rushed in and got on his clothes.  All systems were a-go!

We got into Westerville in great time, but it was their community Halloween festival and traffic got worse as we got further into uptown.  Finally I just hopped out of the car and ran up to the running store to get us registered while Dave was finding a parking spot.  At 6:55, we were both registered, finding a bathroom, and heading to the start line.

This was a small race (less than 100 participants) and most people either looked like runners or looked like runners wearing Halloween costumes.  I was a little worried that there would be no walkers and I would be DFL.  The horn sounded and we headed off into the dark.  Dave ran his own race and well, I jogged my way along the course.  The course started through Otterbein's campus, past a graveyard, and then finally onto a very dark trail only marked by glow sticks.  I found it to be absolutely fun!  And surprisingly, I wasn't sucking.  I jogged most of the way, except for three inclines in which I needed to walk to keep my heart rate down.  Around the two mile mark, my bladder and the baby sitting on it decided I needed a bathroom break.  Unfortunately, there were no port-a-johns and I wasn't going to just go in the woods.  Finally we entered a park that had a bathroom, however, it was way off course and I was doing well and didn't want to stop and let those I had already passed go pass me.  Yes, I had passed people.  Chicked by a pregnant woman!!!  With a half mile left, Dave came back for me and "ran" with me until the finish.

I set a new PR (pregnancy record), 35:11.  And shockingly, I finished 6th in my age group out of 12.  The winning female time was 23:XX, which I totally would have crushed and won the race.  Next year, Gadget. Next year!

Friday, October 26, 2012

The Lord of the Ring

Dave and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary last month.

When we got engaged, Dave bought me a beautiful diamond engagement ring and then a matching wedding band, which also had diamonds in it.  Several years after we got married I took the rings to get clean and inspected and was informed that I had three diamonds loose on the rings.  They told me not to wear them to bed, to bathe, to sleep, to workout, etc.  So, I started wearing my rings only to work.  Fast forward to 2009 and the terrible running accident I had where I destroyed my ring finger. While I wasn't wearing my rings when I fell, thank goodness, my finger was so swollen for a year that I couldn't wear my rings for a very, very long time.  After that, though, I was working from home and stopped wearing my wedding rings all together.

For a while now, what seems like years, I have been asking for a plain, no frills wedding band that I could wear all the time and not worry that it was going to get damaged or have the diamonds ripped out of it.  Every holiday, birthday, special event I would ask for one, and each time I wouldn't get it.  (Although, I should mention that Dave is an amazing gift giver and always got me something awesome.)  For our tenth anniversary I thought for sure I was finally getting this ring.  I began opening my gift - some candy, a $25 iTunes card, and an aluminum covered candy ring.  You have got to be shitting me.  This is it?!  I got you tickets to the OSU football game!  But it was all a surprise; he the aluminum covered candy ring was a hint to let me know you had picked out a ring at the jewelry store and wanted me to come get sized for it.

The day of our anniversary I was still pretty early in my pregnancy and not feeling so hot.  We went out to dinner, which was just about all the energy I could muster, and then walked over to the Diamond Cellar.  Usually I don't mention names of stores, etc. in my blog posts, but I'm totally going to call them out on the service (or lack thereof) later in this blog.  We found the ring he had wanted; a cobalt plain wedding band.  Why cobalt?  Well it doesn't scratch, which is great for my active lifestyle (although, if it is dropped, it can shatter - tensile strength = bad).  Now, I am a tiny girl and my wedding ring size - a 4-1/2.  We ordered the ring, at a great price, and went on our way.

The next week was when I began all my blood testing for Baby Gordon.  The day I got my tests back with the mixed results, I cried a lot.  I mean, big crocodile tears, a lot.  And then Dave came home and crushed my spirits even more.  Turns out, the Diamond Cellar had called Dave and let him know that the ring we had ordered only came in sizes 6-13.  We took a trip down to the store where they tried to talk us into a gold wedding band that was nearly $400 more expensive than what we had bought.  I basically told the gentleman to go eff himself, that I could get a tattoo there for $50.  Dave said he would find me something cheaper online, but I didn't care.  My hopes were crushed and I had more expensive things to worry about, like my new high risk pregnancy.

Several weeks passed and I'm not going to lie, I was disappointed that Dave had only bought me a $25 iTunes card for our 10th anniversary.  I let him know it too.  I didn't really care what he bought me, but I really wanted something before Christmas.  Earlier this week he came home and told me to close my eyes and hold out my hands.  He laid a big, lightweight package in my hands.  I opened my eyes and it was a model rocket?  WTF?!  Dave and I are both engineers by trade and enjoy crap like this, but this was my anniversary present?  Yeah, thanks.  And then he pulled a small package from his back pocket and it was a beautiful, white gold wedding band.  I put it on then and haven't taken it off.  It's perfect.  He's perfect.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Thursday Thoughts - Halloween Edition

I have a confession.  I don't like Halloween.  AT. ALL.  Not one bit. 

I don't like that we teach our children to beg.  I don't like that we have children dress up and be something they're not (especially princesses-don't get me started).  I don't like that older "kids" participate and dress up inappropriately.  (I'm talking to you, Kim Kardashian!)  I don't like that kids gets pounds and pounds of candy that not only rots their teeth but contributes to the growing problem of childhood obesity.  And I really can't stand when a kid over the age of 10 dares to come to my door asking for candy.  

Dave thinks I'm crazy, but he's also talked about not wanting to teach future child about Santa Claus. 

What's your thoughts about Halloween?  At what age did you stop trick-or-treating?  At what age will you make your child stop?  Do you still dress up as an adult? 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

16/17-ish Weeks

Tomorrow, Thursday, I will hit 17 weeks into this pregnancy.  Sure I know I still have a long way to go, but my goodness the time is flying!  I'm starting to feel like there's tons of stuff to do and not enough time to do it, especially with Dave traveling for his job and my usual slothness.

This is a picture of "the belly" from last week.  No hiding anymore, but at least the continual workouts and the tight abs are holding a lot of it still in.  I could look A LOT bigger than I am.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Baby Update

Now that we've made it through all our appointments this month, it's time for a baby update.  When we last left off, I had gone through a gazillion blood tests to determine (a) I had some low protein levels and (b) I had a gene defect.

We started off this month with an ultrasound and a test for Down Syndrome, Trisomy 18, and Trisomy 13.   The ultrasound was cool, as always.  We got to hear the heart beat for the first time, along with new measurements.  The things that had made us nervous came out positively (like the child missing part of it's skull/brain) and everything seemed to look great.  Plus, the kiddo definitely is my kid.  Look at those runner's legs!!

There was more blood drawn for this test, which a week later came back with good results. The likelihood of Down Syndrome, Trisomy 18, and Trisomy 13 came back with the lowest percentage possible that the test could prove.

Just two days later, however, my regular OB called.  She had consulted with the high risk doctor and they had decided to put me on blood thinners - one 81 mg aspirin daily.  Two steps forward; one step back.

One day later, I had my regular monthly exam with my regular OB.  Things were looking good (minus the scolding I got for not peeing in the cup when I got up in the morning.  Seriously, what is the first pee of the day when you get up 5 times each night to pee?)  I got to hear the heartbeat again.  I was measuring well and had only gained three pounds.  The doctor said I was doing a good job with exercise and diet and gaining weight appropriately.  Music to my ears.  I had yet another blood test for my protein levels again.  I now had bruises in both arms from having my blood drawn twice in one week.  Have you lost count yet with how much blood they've taken?

Lastly this month we had our appointment with the high risk OB.  Honestly, I wasn't too nervous as I just had a feeling everything was fine, but tentatively we were both holding our breath.  The appointment started off with the longest ultrasound.  The technician measured EVERYTHING!!!  The diameter of the head, the circumference of the torso, the length of bones, the size of the eye sockets, and we even saw blood flow for both the heart and the umbilical cord.  It was complete!  And in the very end, we found out the gender of the baby.  However, you all are going to have to wait on that one as Dave and I have decided we want to keep that just between the two of us until the baby is born.  No one knows except us; not even our parents.  We went so far as to cut out the ultrasound picture labeled with the gender and the picture with the heart rate and put those in our locked firebox to keep the secret.

Look at baby sucking its thumb!

Finally, we met with the specialist and his fellow.  Both were super cool and educated us on my gene defect.  Turns out it doesn't mean jack crap, which is exactly what we had researched.  I guess 40% of caucasians have this defect and it really doesn't mean anything for pregnancy.  I guess there was a paper written in 1999 that scared the medical community about this defect, but, as they quoted, "millions of papers" have been written since that dispute this.  The doctor asked me a few more questions about bruising and the flow of my period (sorry), and decided to do a few more tests.  Yes, I had six more vials of blood taken at the very end of this appointment.  If you're keeping count, that's 32 vials of blood in four doctor's appointments.  And the doctor took me back off the blood thinners, saying I didn't need them.  Finally, we set an appointment to return to the high risk OB in December to have a growth analysis done just to make sure everything's okay.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Giving Back

Since my race schedule will stay empty for the next several months, I decided to give back to the community that's given so much.  I was lucky.  When I first started running I was part of a very small group that not only taught me everything I know about running marathons, but have become amazing ambassadors of the sport in Columbus and around the US. And now they're in charge of the Columbus Marathon.  This year the marathon partnered with the Nationwide Children's Hospital (we are so blessed to have one of the best children's hospitals in the country!) and have done amazing things with this partnership.  There were 26 children champions chosen; children who's lives have been impacted by the hospital.  These children each were designated a mile on the course where a station was set up with the children and some had their mile decorated.  Although I didn't go down to watch the marathon, I know mile 18 had thousands of origami butterflies strung throughout the mile.  How cool is that?  In addition, there were other champions who races thousands and thousands of dollars for research at the hospital.

Anyway, because I couldn't run the race and knew I probably wouldn't get my buns out of bed Sunday morning to watch the race (I had to work a wedding Saturday night), I decided to volunteer for the race.  I signed up to work a double shift at packet pick-up at the expo on Friday, meaning I was there from 11:00am until 7:00pm.  My job was pretty simple, ask those picking up their own packets for ID and verify that all the information matched inside the packet.  If the person was picking up for another person there had to be a confirmation email, an ID, and then the person had to fill out a little form saying they were picking up the packet for the other person.  All very simple.  Except, there weren't enough volunteers so at some points, I kid you not, I was covering about 8 tables all by myself.  A day of standing, running back and forth, and basically being "on" the entire time....I was wiped out.

Would I do it again?  Um, I don't know.  I certainly wouldn't sign up for a double shift.  I certainly wouldn't do it again while I was pregnant as there was not enough opportunity to eat, drink, or go to the bathroom.  And next year, I'd prefer to be running the race.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Week In Review

Well, it is only week one and I already missed two days of my Pregnancy Workout Challenge.  Who cares!  Five out of seven days ain't so bad.

Monday - 3 mile run walk on the treadmill.  There's not much difference between my "run" pace and my walking pace on the treadmill.  I do over 12 min/miles while running and just under 15 min/miles for my walking.  I think it took me 41 minutes to do this workout.  My stars!  That's a long time for three miles.

Tuesday - 2 mile walk with Dave outside.

Wednesday - Yeah, I have no excuse for not working out today.  I sat around and watched hours and hours of TV today.

Thursday - 2.5 miles treadmill.  1 mile run, 1 mile walk, 0.5 mile run.

Friday - 2 mile POWER walk on treadmill.  I finished this walk under 30 minutes.  I was moving.

Saturday - Nothing again today.  When I woke up it was pouring outside and because Dave was sleeping I couldn't get my stuff without waking him to get downstairs to the treadmill.  By the time the weather cleared, I had things to do.  We had errands to run, football to watch (duh!), naps to take, and then photo boothing.  Plus, I had volunteered at the marathon expo on Friday (more on that tomorrow-ish) and I was wiped out!

Sunday - Dave and I headed out together for a run today, although I let him do his own workout so he felt like he was actually working out.  He did 4.25 miles and I did 3.  I was pretty overdressed and had to slow down and keep taking walk breaks to keep myself from getting too hot.  Even with a bathroom break and some walking, I still finished before Dave.  Not bad.  Not bad at all.

Overall - 12.5 miles.

This is the most amount of miles I've done in several weeks.  I'm hoping to stay between 10-15 miles and not going higher than 20.  I'm still hoping to get over to the Y sometime and get myself a membership so I can do some other workouts like elliptical and swimming to mix it up.  I'm feeling great and am mostly enjoying the running/walking.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Pregnancy Workout Challenge

This week marks my 16th week of pregnancy.  I am feeling great, gaining very little weight, and only showing a little.  With that, I've still been able to exercise pretty well.  I remarked to Dave this week that I think I could realistically make it to my 20th week still exercising and that I hope to ultimately make it to 30 or beyond.  With four weeks to go until the halfway mark, I am giving myself a little challenge.  I would like to work out every day, in some capacity, until I hit the 20 week mark, starting yesterday.  Now, these workouts aren't exactly the same as when I challenged myself to run every day for a month.  These workouts will take the shape of jogging or walking or spinning or elliptical or swimming.  I just want to keep moving.  I know that continuing with working out will, potentially, make labor easier, is healthy for the baby, and will keep any extra weight that is not associated with baby off.  If need be, however, there will be exceptions.  If the doctor says no more working out, then obviously the challenge is over.  If I'm sick or something seems to be going wrong, then I'll stop.  And although I will try to push past the tiredness, if it's just too much to overcome, then screw it, I'm going to take a nap instead.

I hope to post weekly updates of the workouts done.  Challenge accepted!!!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

10 Running Tidbits

This blog has been very quiet and very baby, and frankly, that's kinda is boring.  So, I decided to "borrow" this from Kyria over at Travel Spot to spark something new on this blog and get back to talking about running.  Don't worry, I've got a lot of thoughts in my head regarding running/triathlon/blogging/baby and should have some good posts coming up soon.

1. FUEL: Shot Bloks, GU, Energy Chews, Candy or Other?

I almost exclusively use strawberry banana PowerGel.  That's my favorite and I don't really like anything else.  I take A LOT of them during a run/race, like every four miles.  Last year when I was struggling with triathlon, Rachelle gave me a recipe for a homemade energy drink that has TONS of calories.  If I go back to triathlon, I'm going to try to use that on the bike.

2. Race Length: 5k, 10k, 1/2 Marathon, Marathon, Ultra or Other?

Oy!  The longer the better for me.  My favorite distance is probably the half marathon.  It's long enough to have to pace, but short enough that you can really race.  I would say I'm probably pretty good at the marathon, too, although it's been a solid three years since I've done one and not sure when there will be another one on the schedule.  I haven't done an ultra and really don't want to.  That's a whole different ball game and I think 26 miles is long enough.

3. Workout Bottoms: Skirts, Running Shorts, Capris, Pants or Other?

I am an old-school runner and run in running shorts.  My favorites are a pair from Saucony that are light as air.  In the winter I prefer to wear tights.  You won't catch me dead in a running skirt.

4. Sports Drink: Gatorade, Powerade, Cytomax, you stick to water when you run or Other?

I will only drink water while running.  I take water at every single water stop no matter what the distance - 5K or marathon.  In triathlon I've experimented with Gatorade, whatever the stuff is Ironman uses, First Endurance, and homemade stuff.  If water had calories, I would use it.  :)

5. Running Temperatures: HEAT or COLD?

My favorite temperature to run is between 40-50 degrees.  I guess that's cold for most people.  Winter, and specifically snow, is definitely my favorite time to run outside - quiet and peaceful and totally badass.

6. Running Shoe Brands: Saucony, Mizuno, Nike, Brookes, Asics or Other?

Saucony.  Only Saucony.  I have run in the Omni as my training shoe for YEARS!!!  I use the Kinvara as my racing shoe.

7. Pre-race meal: Oatmeal, Bagel, Banana, Eggs, Cereal or Other?

If I'm at home and doing a race nearby, I will eat a piece of toast or two with butter and honey.  If I have traveled to a race, I will usually eat a cinnamon raisin bagel with nothing on it.

8. Rest Days: 1x per week, 2x per week, never ever ever or Other?

Right now, there's a whole lot of rest days.  :)  When I'm training, I usually don't run over 5 days a week.  I cannot do high mileage, and I cannot run many days in a row.  Frankly, I don't think it's needed.  I've done just fine with low mileage, very specific workouts.

9. Music: Have to have it or go without it?

I used to be a purist and not run with music and used to get a little angry at those who did.  However, when I started working with a coach and began doing all my workouts alone, I switched to using music.  Now I rarely do a workout without an iPod.  I think the iPod Shuffle is the best invention ever.  More to come on that later this week.

10. #1 reason for running: stress-relief, endorphins, you love to race, so you can eat all the cupcakes you want, weight-loss, love running for social reasons or Other?

Excellent question!  I think I started running out of boredom.  When I graduated college and didn't have anything to study anymore and lots of time on my hands.  So I signed up for a marathon.  Yes, I went big right from the start.  And then I was addicted.  It helped clear my head; it kept me fit and skinny; and I loved beating people (I'm not going to lie).  I love that I've been doing this for 11-1/2 years and are still setting new PRs.  I hope there are still several more years of that to come.  I love the people I've met and the friends I've made through running.  My whole world revolves around running.  I wouldn't want it any other way.