Saturday, January 31, 2009
January Totals and My Interview
Now, on to the interview! Stacy had posted her own interview last week and I signed up to continue the game, so she sent me my interview questions this morning. The questions are hers, the answers are mine. If you want to play along after you read, follow the end directions and you too can be interviewed!
1. If you couldn't be a teacher, what career would you choose?
Believe it or not, I never really set out to be a college professor; it just sort of happened. What I really wanted to be was a writer, and that's still the career I would choose if I could figure out how to make a living at it.
2. In regards to running, what's your favorite distance to train for?
The half marathon. I like that long runs don't exceed 13 or 14 miles, and I can run 25-35 miles in a week. That kind of mileage makes me feel like I'm working hard and challenging myself, but it doesn't exhaust me like marathon training does.
3. If you could compare yourself to one celebrity, who would it be, and why?
That's a toughie. I guess in terms of appearance I probably most resemble Ellen Paige (from "Juno"), but I really don't know what her personality is like in real life, so I'm not sure if that's an accurate representation of me.
4. If you could choose any dream vacation (money not an issue), where would you go, who would you take with you, and what would you do?
There are many, many places I would love to travel to, but my "dream vacation" would be Tahiti, in one of those resorts that have the huts out on the water. I would take just Jerry. And I think I would love to just lay on the beach.
5. What do you look forward to the most about becoming a mother?
Having a minion to do my bidding and tell lies to.
Kidding. Kind of.
This is actually harder to answer than I thought it would be. There are many things I'm looking forward to, and many things I'm terrified of, but I think the primary thing I'm excited about is having "my" family. I grew up in a dysfunctional household, and while I love my family, I don't often feel like we're that close, so I've always looked forward to having a family that was "mine," and marrying Jerry was the start of that; having a baby will help make that feel even more complete.
To play along:
1. Leave me a comment saying, "Interview me."
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. (I get to pick the questions).
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview others in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.
So, how is this week significant? Supposedly, the chance of miscarriage dramatically decreases now, and I am now supposed to start feeling miraculously better. I hope so because last night Jerry and I went out to eat, and afterward I threw up my dinner in the parking lot (what a waste of money!) and pretty much felt like dog shit for the rest of my Friday night.
Yeah, week 12 turned out to be nearly as bad as week 6 in terms of pukiness. So I'm hoping things begin to take a dramatic turn-around, but yeah, yeah, yeah, I know that week 13 isn't the magic "cure all" that everyone promises and that it's very likely I'll continue to suffer from symptoms up until the 16th week. Let's just hope that's not true.
In other news, it's cold here again! A cold front blew in last night and the temp dipped down into the 40s again! It's supposed to remain chilly for today and at least tomorrow, but possibly lasting into early next week. I don't have any evidence to support the forthcoming statement, but...I think this is the coldest winter I've ever seen in South Florida! Granted, I've only lived here 4 and 1/2 years, but the natives are saying the same thing, so I think I may be right.
The upside to the chilly weather is that I think I may go for a mid-morning run today (which I can never normally do because it'd be too hot) to round out the running for the month of January. Hard to believe the month is already coming to end and February is about to commence!
Happy Saturday everyone!
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Yup, the honeymoon feeling we all shared at the start of term is now, officially, over. Yet, it's way too soon for them to be beginning some of the shit they're doing -- excessive absences, tardiness, late work, poor work, excuses, excuses -- and it would be one thing if I were just dealing with these issues in one class, but the crap seems to have infected 3 of my classes. Plus, their behavior is compounded by the fact that I have razor-thin patience right now.
See, some pregnant women get weepy and sentimental, but me? I guess I'm kind of an angry bitch because my emotions all swing toward anger, frustration, impatience, and annoyance. Just ask my husband and friends. They can confirm this.
None of those emotions are helpful to my profession, which demands infinite patience and understanding on my behalf. So, today, I literally had to take a deep breath in one of my classes because I thought I was gonna blow a gasket and actually yell at my students (and I never yell -- sure, once, years ago, I threw chalk at a student but that was years ago; I've matured). So, compound that with a few other stresses involving work, and you have the poop-pile that was my day.
So, when Jerry got home, I was more than ready for our 3 miler together, and I pushed our pace a little faster than what we've been running lately, so that we finished in 29:16. Certainly that's not as fast as I used to be able to do, but for the running as of late, that felt much faster. And it felt good.
There's nothing quite like allowing your running to be the outlet for pounding out the stress and frustration of a day. Cuz when it's done, all that stuff is gone with it!
Anyway, this morning I encountered one of my worst puke-nightmares: Having to puke while stuck in traffic (second on the list of puke-nightmares is having to puke while teaching a class). Like any other barfisode, this snuck up on me rather quickly, and I literally thought I might do one of two things: Open the car door and vomit there next to the car, or puke all over myself.
Thankfully, I did neither. I was able to quickly maneuver out of traffic and into a nearby McDonald's, where I rushed inside and used their surprisingly clean bathroom for my dirty business. It sure sucked to puke, but I can't tell you how relieved I was to have made it to a toilet. That feeling of sitting in traffic, wondering if I could hold it long enough, was one of the worst feelings in the world.
In non-vomit news, I did a 3 miler last night in 29:54, and I hope that incident this morning is all the stomach has in store for me for today because I'd like to feel well-enough for the planned 3 miler I have this evening with Jerry.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Granted, I don't look "pregnant" per se, but I definitely feel "thick" about the middle, and personally, when I look at these two pics, I see just a smidgen of pudge about the middle that I could swear wasn't there 3 months ago. But...I think I may be judging myself with a more critical eye than anyone else.
According to the Mayo Clinic's "Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy," the above is all accurate for women in their first trimester who are pregnant with their first child. The uterus still fits inside the pelvis, so no thickening in the middle is due to the baby's growth at this point, but the book re-affirms that most women feel or look a little thicker in the middle due to the slight weight gain so far. The book says, "You've probably gained about 2 lbs at this point," and I'd have to say that's probably about right. I had gained 1 lbs according to my doctor appointment on the 7th, and last week, I hadn't shown any gain since then; but, I haven't weighed myself since last week. So yeah, somewhere around 2 lbs seems right.
The whole feeling-but-not-looking-pregnant is weird at this point. I know I am pregnant, but it's strange to not yet look it, as though it's still not entirely real yet. And when I tell people, where's the first place they look? My belly. And then their first comment? "You don't look pregnant!" My reply? "Well, I feel pregnant!"
However, I know this is all gonna change. No matter how small I may be now, I am going to get bigger. So how am I adjusting to the thought of those changes?
I'd be lying to you if I said I was completely at peace with them.
I know that there are women who gladly surrender their pre-pregnancy bodies to the swelling of their growing bellies (and thighs, and boobs, and whatever else expands) with glee. They are selfless in thinking about how the changes they are experiencing are all for the good of the baby, and they happily concede that their bodies are no longer their own.
But I am not that woman.
Yes, I am practical about it: I know that getting bigger and fatter is for the baby's, and my own, good; I also know that the changes to my pregnant body are inevitable; and I also know that pregnancy is not a permanent state and that eventually I will have my body back (kind of). However, that doesn't mean the changes don't frighten me some. I mean, this has been solely my body for 30 years, and I've kinda gotten used to it the way it is. It's not perfect by any means, it has its flaws, but I like it just the way it is. Therefore, the thought of it changing and growing is, honestly, scary. Especially because I know it will, most likely, never be the same again after childbirth.
But on the other hand, I have a pretty positive body image that's based mostly on how I perceive the strength and health of my body. I know what it's capable of doing for me, and I value it primarily because of its abilities. So based on this knowledge, I understand that while my body will change, its strength and vitality won't diminish. If this body can run a marathon, then it can do anything. So in that sense, I'm curious, interested, and even excited about the forthcoming changes that it has in store for me, and most importantly, I know that I have the kind of good health that can carry a healthy baby to term.
This kind of duplicity of emotion seems to be a reigning factor in all aspects of pregnancy so far: excited/scared, happy/anxious, relaxed/stressed. It's like living with a split personality! But whatever mixture of emotions I'm dealing with on a daily (hourly) basis, I do think that running helps ground those emotions, and in terms of dealing with the changes my body is undergoing, running helps remind me what I am capable of, what highs I can achieve even when I don't feel good, and it helps remind me of my strength and ability.
So enough talk for today, I think I'll go run now.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
4 + 5 = 9
Then today, I'll be honest, I really didn't feel like running. I just felt tired all day, and even after taking an hour's nap after I got home from work, I still felt fatigued. So when Jerry got home from work, ready to go for our planned 5 miler, I tried to back out with my string of excuses: I still hadn't charged the iPod, I was tired, blah, blah, blah. But he was having none of it, so I tried to get him to switch from the planned 5 miler to a shorter, easier 3 miler. Again he didn't budge. Man, this guy can be stubborn, and whose smart idea was it to get him into running anyway?
"Fine," I told him, "I'll get ready."
So I plugged in the iPod, got laced up, strapped on the Garmin, retrieved the iPod from its charging station (and damn Jerry again for being right that it would only need a few minutes to charge enough for the run), and we were out the door for our 5 miler.
After our 4.25 last week, Jerry felt confident that he'd like to try for an even 5 (he is concerned about the numbers in my log as well), so tonight was the night for it. We did the 5 (50:28) and once I was out there, I have to admit that it felt good. And once I was done, I felt even better. One thing I always try to keep in mind is that feeling of accomplishment that comes from simply getting out there and getting the miles done, even when I am reluctant to do so. I always feel so much better afterward, and then I truly feel like I am done for the day.
But when I can't motivate myself with those positive thoughts, I guess that's why I've got Jerry. Huh. He's come in handy after all :)
Monday, January 26, 2009
Anyhoo, the weekend is over, and that means it's back to work today (hi-ho, hi-ho). Unfortunately, this also means I broke a 6-day-no-puke streak this morning by barfing here at school. It's kind of amazing how quickly the vomit can strike me down, but however seemingly random, I have detected a pattern. The stages are as follows:
- Sudden stomach distress. This is hard to describe in very thorough or telling detail. The stomach simply does not feel right.
- Following this tummy distress is the "urp urge." This is where I feel my stomach contract like it's gonna heave, and I experience a wave of nausea. At this point, I have to stop what I'm doing and I usually do one of two things: put my hand on my tummy (because outside reassurance might help settle the little fella) or put my hands to my mouth.
- Then, there's the saliva. I don't know about you, but for me, right before I puke, my mouth gets all saliva-y. I usually try to take deep breaths at this point and swallow slowly.
- The "urp urge" increases and I have an actual moment where I think I'm gonna hurl right then and there. At this point, I know I must quickly get to a toilet.
- To the bathroom I go!
Thankfully, the nature of this vomiting means that I don't have to huddle near the toilet for a few moments before anything happens, so there's never that period of time spent hugging the porcelain in puke-limbo. By the time I reach the toilet, my stomach has pushed the "eject" button and there's no time for contemplation. So at least there's very little anticipation or agony of will-I-or-won't-I throw up.
Since the barf-isode of this morning, I have felt fine. In fact, right after I puked, I felt just dandy. And on the whole, the nausea has decreased in both severity and occurrence in the past few weeks, and I have only puked about 4 or 5 times since starting back to classes on January 5th. So, as I begin to move out of the first trimester (this is week 12 -- so I'm getting ready to say "auf weidersehen" to the first 3 months), hopefully the pattern of feel-good days begins to overshadow the pattern of feel-like-crap days.
As a side note to this discussion of my less than pleasant morning sickness, I was talking to my mother a few weeks ago, trying to complain to her about not feeling good, and she said, "Well, just remember, no one dies of morning sickness."
Not true, Mom.
Women can die of a condition called Hyperemesis Gravidarum, which is essentially excessive vomiting due to pregnancy in which the woman becomes so malnourished and dehydrated that her vital systems shut down and she dies. In modern, developed countries, this almost never happens anymore because doctors either prescribe medication or hospitalize women who suffer from such extreme sickness, but in some third world countries and in eras past, women do and did die of this. In fact, the author Charlotte Bronte (who wrote "Jane Eyre") died of it.
I have, by no means, an "extreme case" of morning sickness. I just have the sort of symptoms that more than half of pregnant women suffer from, and at least it doesn't keep me from regular life. It's just uncomfortable and sometimes inconvenient.
Alrighty, I guess I've talked my fill about barf today, so I'd best be off! I plan to run this evening before bowling; we're still enjoying some cooler weather here so the run should be enjoyable.
Friday, January 23, 2009
Fun Day Friday
The run was the kick-off for the Jess-weekend-of-fun! That's right, Jerry's out of town this weekend (went to the Keys for a weekend of bachelor party debauchery), so it's just me and Scooter for the weekend. Which, call me crazy, I'm looking forward to. I like a little time to myself, and Jerry hardly ever goes out of town without me, plus once this kid comes along I don't think I'm gonna get a whole lot of "Jess time." So what do I have planned for my weekend?
Well, the van full of balloons, midgets, and male strippers should be arriving any minute with a keg of Bud Light and the portable dance floor...
...*sigh*...no, sadly that's not the "fun" times I have planned. But one day, one day, I will get a van like that and it will be spectacular! So, for reals, this evening it's all about the quiet, alone time: I got take-out, rented some movies that I know Jerry doesn't want to see ("Mamma Mia" and "The Duchess"), and I plan on laying on the couch -- or maybe later in bed -- and watching my movies, eating my food, and cuddling Scooter.
Tomorrow night, I'm having some girls over for wine (juice for me -- boo!) and snacks and a pillow fight. Sorry, that last one isn't true, but I wanted to see if the guys were still paying attention. We'll see, based on comments, whether they did or not :)
And Sunday, I'm going to a baby shower for a friend of mine from work.
So, yeah, lots of "chick" stuff. Should be good times. Not as good as times that could be had if I could break into a case of beer, but you know, the most fun a preggo can have. So, I'm off to settle in for the night with my flicks. Enjoy your Friday homies!
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Thursday's This and That
"Well," I told him, "that means it's time to start going farther."
So last night we went for 4.25 miles (43:05), and it was a good run. He was able to run the entire distance without walk breaks and it was the farthest he's ever run! Soon, my devious plan to turn him into a runner will be in full swing, and he will want to join me for longer and longer runs, and before you know it, he too could signing up for all kinds of races! *Insert Mr. Burns steepled fingers and evil laugh here.*
As a side note to that 4 miler yesterday, I ended up wearing shorts and a long-sleeved tech shirt. I was cold at first, but certainly warmed up, but still, I never felt too warm for the shirt. And today, the cold here continues with temps again in the 40s. Thankfully, I've elected to take a rest day today, so I don't have the dilemma about what to wear for a run in temps that are again frigid.
Lastly, I was tagged yesterday by Marlene. So, the rules are simple: Just list 5 things you're addicted to and select five more fab bloggers to receive the award.
This is a bit tricky because before being pregnant, I would have listed: coffee, Diet Pepsi, beer, Advil, and running. But now it seems that only one of those things can continue to be on this present list. Here goes:
1. Running. Still addicted. And I maybe appreciate it now more than ever; or at least, the appreciation is entirely different.
2. Whole wheat toast with creamy peanut butter and raspberry jam. This combo has been a staple for breakfast, dinner, and snacks lately since it sits well, fills me up and has some healthy qualities.
3. Ditto to Kashi's Go Lean Crunch. That cereal has had a pretty high success rate lately.
4. Gala Apples. Something about the sweet crunch of these apples is so satisfying lately. I have literally been eating 1-2 apples a day.
5. "How I Met Your Mother." Love the new episodes, love that its been sindicated on Lifetime, and love re-watching the first season on DVD. Nothing but laughs with that show.
So, I'm not gonna tag anyone because I don't who's already been tagged and who hasn't, but feel free to consider yourself tagged, if you haven't been yet, and go ahead and tell us about 5 of your addictions!
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Ve Vant Your Blood!
Other dr apt news:
- The most exciting thing is that I got to listen to the baby's heartbeat via Doppler! It was both amazing and unbelievable. As the dr said, "Hard to believe you're still wearing your regular jeans yet inside you there's another heartbeat, right?" Totally.
- Otherwise, it was much of the same: weight, pee in a cup, blood pressure, pulse. Weight is the same, pee looks as excellent as pee can look I guess, blood pressure is good, pulse is good.
- Got all my results back from the previous blood draw, and everything is in excellent working order. All vitamin levels are good (they are especially interested in my iron, and mine is perfect -- so no anemia), tested negative for all the stuff I want to test negative for (HIV, syphilis, carrier for cystic fibrosis, etc) and I discovered that I have O positive blood type.
- Sad that I didn't know my blood type before this, isn't it?
Anyhoo, I was in and out with 15 minutes. And I don't go back for 4 weeks.
In other news, a weird thing is happening here in South Florida: My hair is static-y, my skin is dry, I had to wear a sweater today, and wear a coat. What does that indicate? F-f-f-freezing weather! It was only 40 degrees here this morning and it never got above 55 today!!
Now, I am well-aware that some of you would like to tear off your own arm and beat me for calling such temps "freezing," but for here, that's cold! So, I think I'll probably go run here in a bit, but I'm not sure what to wear. Definitely a long sleeved shirt, but should I go with tights? A hat? I think I'll get too warm in those things, but seriously, stepping out in just shorts right now seems absurd!
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
The Only Thing to Fear
Today is a landmark day, and whether you politically align with the new president or not, you must marvel at the unique American ceremony of the peaceful, and celebratory, transference of power and think about how lucky we are to live in a country where change is embraced, not feared.
I rarely speak politics on this blog, but like millions of other Americans who listened to, watched, or read Obama's inaugural address today, I was moved. And his words lingered in my mind as I went out for my 3 miler this afternoon (28:44). For me, what often happens as I run is that while my body busies itself with the task of running, my mind soon follows suit with the rhythm of my body and I often find that running offers me the chance to contemplate and meditate. Today, I couldn't help but think about how the new president's speech, with its echoes of the inaugural address of FDR, was in such synchronization with who we are as athletes, and how this contributes to a greater understanding of what this new era represents.
For all of us who run, bike, swim, we have already chosen the road "less travelled." We have decided to carve out new paths of meaning and significance in our daily lives by casting aside the belief that life can be lived to the fullest by sitting home each night in front of the TV, allowing our bodies to decay and succumb to old age and disease. Instead, we have all taken up the challenge of endurance, and we have sought meaning in pursuing our physical goals and ambitions.
How many of you faced 13.1 miles or 26.2 miles, or a half ironman or full ironman, and thought to yourself, "No, that sounds too hard. It's not for me"? None of you! Whatever sport(s) you pursue, you have entered into the challenges knowing that each race requires your hard work, dedication and sacrifice, yet you have not shied away from such difficulties. You have toiled in the heat and the cold. You have worked through injury, disappointment, and pain. You have sweat, cried, and bled in order to cross that finish line with a feeling of satisfaction and meaning. You have dreamed of your goals and aspirations, and you have endeavored to not just allow those to remain shimmering mirages on your frontier: No, you went out there and you shaped those dreams into reality.
It's these qualities that you, as athletes, possess that I think help us understand the road we have in front of us as a country. As Obama said today, and as FDR said 76 years ago, this is a country in crisis. We have many problems and difficulties facing us: We're facing economic ruin, we have two costly and unpopular wars, we have a failing health care system and inadequate educational institutions. But we know that we can't just lie down in front of these challenges and say that endeavoring to alter the course of our actions and fix the problems that face us are "too hard. Not for me."
Many will say today that change cannot rest on the shoulders of one man, and I will agree that that is true. Change does not hinge on the abilities or dreams of one man. But just like your success in your races was not solely the product of your own dedication (your family, friends, co-workers, fellow bloggers cheered and encouraged you, helped and assisted you), successful change cannot be solely the product of one individual's effort. Rather, it rests on the hopes, dreams, and aspirations of the millions of Americans who have cheered, encouraged, helped, assisted, and ultimately entrusted our future to this one man. Change must come from all of us, and we know that such change will be arduous, yet we know that with hard work, dedication, and sacrifice, we will have hope for the future.
I hope that years from now, we will look back on this period and see it as "the wall" -- a point in which we felt that physically, mentally, emotionally we could not go on, yet we found the inner strength to do so -- we went the distance, we finished the race.
After all, we all know that change is not a sprint; it's a marathon.
So, happy "inauguration day"! I hope you find the spirit of excitement and the changing climate of hope to be fulfilling and meaningful.
Monday, January 19, 2009
So, from here until the day of delivery: It's a fetus.
As to what we've been calling it? (Yes, I realize I just reeferred to the baby as an "it" -- I can't wait until a few months from now when we know the sex of the baby so I can use a gender-specific pronoun; otherwise, using "he or she" seems cumbersome.) We've been referring to the newly developed fetus as "Little Baby Bear." Or LBB for short. Mostly because I always call Jerry "Jer-Bear" and he calls me "Jess-Bear," so we figure we'll have a little baby "bear." We have also transferred other terms of endearment that we use for each other to the baby; for instance: I call Jerry "Big Tuna" (if you watch "The Office" you know where that came from) and he calls me "Little Tuna" so we sometimes referr to the baby as "Tiny Tuna."
As for actual names? Yeah, we've done some considering in that department. And we can agree on a girl name, but not a boy name, so I think we'll just shelve the name business until we find out the baby's sex, then we'll return to the arguing if need be.
In other news, we both have the day off today and it's nice to enjoy a 3 day weekend. Although, while having some friends over last night for dinner and some games, etc, we discovered that two martinis for Jerry -- school night or not -- are too much. He will puke and then crawl into bed in only his underwear even though company is still over. No one ever said we don't know how to be good hosts.
So he's got a bit of a hangover for his day off (kinda like the feeling I've had every single day for the past 5 weeks!). As for me, I don't have much planned for the day. I think I may lay on the couch and read some, later I'll probably run, and tonight we have bowling. Should be a relaxing day.
Hope many of you also get to enjoy a long weekend, and if you are, I hope those drinks you had last night (because it was like an extra Saturday) aren't slowin' ya down today!
Friday, January 16, 2009
Recording the Running
Anyhoo...it's January 16th and I still haven't received my promised training log! I renewed my subscription back in early December, so it should be here by now!
In lieu of my log, I have been writing down my mileage on scraps of post-it notes, and the disorganized fashion in which those notes are piling up is causing me some kind of anxiety. Granted, all the runs are saved in the Garmin as well, but I need my tangible log. Should I call RW's customer service and demand my log? Or be patient, settle down and wait another week or so? (If anything, pregnancy has granted me very little patience. When I want something, I want it now!)
So, I recorded this evening's 3 miler (29:28) on yet another post-it, and I suppose if my training log doesn't arrive shortly, I will have to either send a strongly worded email to RW, or actually call them and demand to speak to a person. Because I want my log, dammit.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
After hitting "publish" on that post last night, I was still feeling good after my 3 miler, so Jerry and I decided to go out to dinner. I was starving, so I ate my fill, and immediately began to feel like crap again. On the ride home, I felt like a pile. Once we got home, I changed into sweats and laid down on the couch hoping the nausea would pass and I could keep my dinner in my belly.
No such luck.
I made it about 20 minutes and then had to make a quick jog to the bathroom in order to barf up my entire dinner. So, as a side note to yesterday's side note: Rice hurts to throw up. I don't know why, but it does.
So yesterday turned out to be a total bust in terms of feeling good. Thankfully, today's a different day.
Granted, I was a little "iffy" this morning, but I didn't yak, and I have been feeling pretty good all day (knock on wood -- I swear Karma, I won't be so callous again!). So with a barf-free day and cool temps outside, I decided to go for a 5 miler.
It went well and I was able to finish in 49:48 for an average 9:58/mile pace. I actually think I could have been a bit faster but it was a bit breezy in the first and last miles, and while I know most of you are suffering through bitter cold temps right now, and my next statement is gonna seem like blasphemy, but I'm enjoying these cooler temps we're having this week. It's been between 50-70 degrees, which is perfect for running. It's cool and dry, but not too cool or dry.
I know, I know, for those of you who are suffering through absurdly cold weather right now, you're probably thinking "dagger" thoughts at me for referring to such temps as "cool," but all I can say to that is: Come to Florida! It's glorious here this time of year!
Trust me, in August, you won't hear me singing FL's praises, but for now, I am truly appreciating our temperate climate.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
I got up and ate my cereal just like normal and felt fine. Then I took a shower and began to feel like crap. By the time I took Scooter out for a short walk, I knew I was gonna hurl. So I hurried him back inside and barely made it to the bathroom in time before I yakked up all my cereal.
I cleaned myself up and finished getting ready for work, but I felt no better. On my drive in to work, I managed to eat and keep down some crackers, so that by the time I got to my office I was starting to feel improved. By the time I went to my first class, I was feeling almost normal, but then, mid-way through class, I again began to feel sick. Thankfully, I didn't puke in class, but by the time class was over, I had to hussle out and use the nearest bathroom to kneel down and pray to the porcelain gods.
As a side note, I don't think I like granola bars anymore.
The good part is that on Wednesdays, I only teach two classes, so I only had to get through one more, which I did, and then I did some work in my office and went home. But by then, the nausea had passed and I was feeling better. This is only the second puke-cident in the past two weeks, and I was beginning to believe that I was heading out of this nausea-nastiness, but classic preggo karma seems to dictate that the moment you think you're past something it will come back around and kick you in the ass. I'm at 10 and 1/2 weeks, so I'm crossing my fingers that in another 2 weeks, when I'm out of this first trimester, that I will be able to keep my cereal down. Cuz, seriously, that's just a waste of Kashi's whole-grained goodness.
The good news is that by early this evening, I felt normal again. So when Jerry got home from work, he and I went on a 3 mile run together, and it felt good. The weather is cooler today, but it feels refreshing, and it's the perfect temp out there for running. So, when I got home and took a shower after the run, it seemed like a weird parallel to this morning. When I stepped out of the shower this morning, I felt awful: tired, nauseous, ready to ralph; but this evening when I stepped out of the shower I felt the exact opposite: energized, healthy, and ready to eat dinner.
Amazing how much can change in the course of the day.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
So...yeah...I really don't have anything exciting to report. Ran 3 miles today. Got it done in 29:56, so I barely slid in under that 30 minute marker, but in my defence, there was a strong headwind on my return route. That, and I'm pregnant. That's an invaluable excuse that I get to use until August. Sweet.
The wind is blowing in some kind of storm I think. It was cloudy and kinda spitting rain all day, and supposedly a "cold" front is moving into the area this week. I put "cold" in quotes because cold to South Floridians is nothing like the cold many of you are currently experiencing; but still, if it dips down to the 40s or 50s, you can bet your britches I'll see people in parkas. And that may be because I'll be looking in the mirror.
Monday, January 12, 2009
In the past two months, our team's bowling has plummetted. And the reason? I'm not drinking. Seriously, that's the only conclusion I can draw. If Jess doesn't drink, the team goes downhill.
Now, I wish I could remedy this with a hearty bucket of Bud Light for tonight's bowling, but unless I want my un-born child to have FAS and later answer his or her questions about why mommy loved beer more than his or her fetal development, then we will have to figure out a new way for us to win. Logically, just because I'm not drinking it doesn't mean that the others on the team can't drink (in fact, you'd think Jerry would be hittin' the sauce extra hard since he has a guaranteed sober cab), but for some reason, without me pounding down the beers, I've found my team's liquor performance (and bar tab) to be dismal.
So, for tonight, it's a fresh start for us as a team. New quarter, new chance to kick ass! And I'm sure that both the bartender and the waitress (both of whom's income has suffered some since our team's drinking decline) are with me when I say to my teammates: Don't be pussies! Order beer! We need a win, dammit!
As for me, I'll be drinking water. Whooppee!
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Day @ the beach
Friday, January 09, 2009
My Future's So Bright
When I got home, it was as though Nike had predicted that I would like to be rewarded for facing the needle, and just as I pulled into the parking lot, FedEx pulled in behind me to deliver my new pair of sunglasses. Here I am modeling them before I tested them out on my afternoon 3 miler: I just look faster, don't I?
The shades are pretty dang nice. They have a secure nose-cushion-thingy-ma-jabber so they didn't slip, I work up quite a sweat, but they didn't fog, and they provided good, clear visibility. On the whole, they were so comfortable that as I was running, I forgot they were on my face. I'm pretty pleased with them. Plus, Nike included replacement lenses for each lens, which seems thoughtful, because it does seem likely that I'll drop them/step on them/sit on them.
And it was either the improved aerodynamic quality of the new shades, or just a feel-good day because I completed my 3 miler in under 30 minutes (29:21), which I haven't done in over a month. So, on the whole, a flippin' stupendous day!
Thursday, January 08, 2009
Doing my Research
I just started reading it, but so far, it is awesome.
For one thing, the information within it is based on research that was conducted over a period of 10 years and with hundreds of women -- both in control groups and with experimental groups, so the data is significant and reliable. But in addition to such credible research, it's written in an accessible way that helps break down the research and the scientific information in a manner that is approachable to the lay person.
Of course, as you can probably conclude from the title and my enthusiasm over it, it fully endorses strenuous exercise during pregnancy and gives a great deal of evidence supporting the idea that exercise during pregnancy is not only healthy, but exercise also provides additional benefits to both mother and baby. But that's getting ahead of myself; what I am finding interesting in the beginning chapters is his discussion about why there are negative societal and medical opinions about exercising during pregnancy. And what's surprising about this is that both are relatively new. Not old school.
As he explains, women, for centuries, got pregnant and continued strenuous activity in the course of their pregnancies (think working in fields, in factories, in the household, out hunting and gathering, etc) and this was the norm. The beginning of a turn in opinion began in the 1950s, but really got underway in the late 1970s and early 80s when research began to reveal that a woman's behaviors and habits during pregnancy had a direct effect on her baby (ie, smoking, drinking alcohol, excessive caffeine, drugs, etc), and then suddenly being pregnant went from something that was "a normal part of life" to something that was "risky!"
Therefore, general medical practice in obstetrics in the early 1980s began to adopt a very conservative approach to all the activities and behaviors a pregnant woman engages in. What is startling is that today, in 2008, most OBs still adhere to these conservative practices that were established nearly 30 years ago (even the idea of keeping your HR at 140 or less is somewhat archaic and conservative advice and as this text discusses, a pretty random number that is subject to a wide variety of variables).
So, why in a rapidly changing, and constantly evolving field, such as medicine, are doctors still abiding by research that has been proven to be unsubstantiated? Simply put, obstetrics is the most conservative medical field there is because of the delicacy with which society views pregnancy and pregnant women. In fact, the author discusses his early experiences of getting federal funding for his research and he was questioned about the "ethics" of conducting such research with pregnant women.
I'm sorry if this shiz is boring you people, but I find the sociological aspects of this research to be nearly as fascinating as the actual physiological and biological aspects (and truthfully, I'm just a nerd at heart). Plus, it helps me better understand why society in general, and even many doctors in general, view running while pregnant as suspect. Lastly, all of this is just so interesting to me because despite the fact that I have read many articles on this subject, read some other pregnant runner's blogs, and have even read some other books on it, in the end, there is surprising little out there.
Yes, there are a gazillion books on what to eat while pregnant, but go into Barnes and Noble and try to find a book on running while pregnant and I guarantee you'll come out empty handed. Therefore, while many women are forging ahead with their already established running routines, they are largely doing so with only a small pool of resources at their disposal, and I find it baffling that so little exists to support their decision to do so.
Wednesday, January 07, 2009
Anyway, the rest of the dr appointment was pretty uneventful, and consisted of the following:
- Weigh in. I was 1 lbs heavier than last time. I don't even consider that a gain, especially since I hadn't even peed yet when she weighed me. I have a few weeks left in my first trimester, but the dr, and the stack of books I have, say that 0-5 lbs is an average weight gain for the first 13 weeks. And some women even lose weight because of fatigue or vomiting. Ultimately, the dr said that women usually gain an average of 20-35 lbs in the course of the pregnancy, and she said that because I'm so small, I will probably not gain more than 20 lbs (but it's entirely possible I will gain more than that, at which point I will resemble a beach ball).
- Pee in a cup. SOP at the OB office. They always need some urine for analysis. I guess they like to look at pee.
- Blood pressure. 104 over 70. Excellent.
- Pulse. 64. Also excellent.
- String of questions. Just like the last time I visited, they asked me a lot of questions. This time around, questions were more focused around genetic predispositions towards diseases like diabetes and cancer. At this point in the appointment, Jerry actually got to participate since they asked him questions about his medical and genetic history as well (although, for the above diseases, it's really more important if I have any history of those things, which I don't).
- Another pelvic exam. Some latex gloves, some lube, some poking around and she said the baby felt exactly on track for 9 and 1/2 weeks along. Hopefully, in the next few visits, they will begin using Doppler so we can hear the baby's heartbeat. Until then, I have to take her word that the grape-sized embryo is in there.
- Office time with the dr. Time for her to tell Jerry and I stuff, and time for us to ask questions. I'm really without questions, to be honest. Like any dedicated reader, I have been surfing the web and reading several books, so I feel pretty well-informed so far. And, I have two close friends who have had babies in the past year, and I have a colleague at work who is currently 7 months preggo, and she and I spent an hour and a half talking today. Plus, I have no real anxiety at this point, so there are no frantic questions (unless the dr can solve the troublesome issues surrounding my leave from work -- more on that later).
Last comment on the dr: In the post where I mentioned how the dr told me not to run, many of you advised me to switch doctors, which was thoughtful advice, but let me make a few clarifications. I go to a group practice where there are 6 doctors. I make appointments to meet with each one at least once because any one of them could be the one on-call when I go into labor, so any one of them could deliver the baby. So, while the doctor who told me not run was the same doctor I saw today (and aside from the whole "I don't like running" spiel from her, she's very, very nice), she's not the one I'll see every time and she may not be the one who delivers.
Additionally, I'm not the sort of person who needs a "relationship" with a doctor. I'm quite practical about this sort of stuff, and frankly, I just want competent pre-natal care, and someone to deliver that baby. In a hospital. Where there are drugs.
Plus, this doctor's office is right next door to a Chipotle! Fantastic location (and can that truly be a coincidence? seems like the marketing people at Chipotle did their research on that one). So, after my appointment today, we went and got some 1,200 calorie burritos. With chips and salsa. Ole!
Tuesday, January 06, 2009
In other news, today was my first day of classes for the term. While yesterday was a work day, I didn't actually have class -- just had to be on campus for some meetings and shiz. Anyhoo, my classes went well today, and I have to say that it's nice to be back at work. I mean, vacation was great, but I like to be back to my routine, and it's always fun to start a new semester: new classes, new students, the smell of freshly sharpened pencils...Ah! It's invigorating. And for as much as I sometimes complain about my students and the massive stacks of essays I have to grade, at the start of each new semester, I'm reminded of how much I like this job and how well it suits me.
Also on the the plus side of the return to work is that my nausea has been more manageable in the last two days. And I really have to wonder if this in part due to my mental and physical pre-occupation while teaching. Granted, I have had moments in the past two days where I feel like I'm gonna blow chunks, but I have managed to keep it all down. So that's awesome. (And yes, I do constantly snack, and it does help -- most days -- and it's good that so far my cravings have generally guided me toward fresh fruit and veggies.)
So, after work today, I went for a 4 miler, and it went well. One thing I've certainly noticed about running now that I'm preggo is that I just can't keep the pace I used to, and my runs have been averaging 10 min/miles. Today, I did my 4 miler in 40:05, which is an average 10:02 pace, according to the Garmin. In part, this decrease in my speed is disappointing, but to be honest, I'm not all that concerned about my speed right now; I just want to get out there and get the miles in the best I can.
I believe that the reason for my slower pace is due to several interesting changes that my body is experiencing right now. For instance, did you know that a pregnant woman's blood production increases 30 to 50 percent during pregnancy? And that to accommodate this extra blood flow, the heart has to pump harder, so many women's resting HR increases about 15 beats per minute, on average. Getting accustomed to these changes is why most women experience fatigue in the first trimester, and why, I believe, running is a bit more laborious (slight pun intended), and why it's been more difficult for me to try and run at my former pace.
But, it's good that I have more blood now, because tomorrow I have my second doctor appointment, and I believe they are going to drain me for a series of blood tests. I'll be honest: I'm a bit scarred of that (I've never had blood drawn before!) but there's gonna be a whole lot of shit that's scarier that having blood drawn, so I'd best just suck it up!
Monday, January 05, 2009
Using the X-mas Gift Cards
Here's what I got:
"A-Punk" by Vampire Weekend -- totally love this song even though I can't understand most of the lyrics.
"Tick, Tick Boom" by The Hives -- awesome song to run to, very fast rhythm.
"Try it Again" also by The Hives
"Re-Education (Through Labor)" by Rise Against -- this band has a sound similar to Against Me, but with a political tilt similar to Rage Against the Machine; hmmmm, lots of "against" in those band names, huh? rebels much?
"An Honest Mistake" by The Bravery
"Salute your Solution" by The Raconteurs -- even though Jack White is the primary force behind both this band and The White Stripes, I am really preferring The Raconteurs to The Stripes these days.
"Never Miss a Beat" by the Kaiser Chiefs -- Jerry says the Kaiser Chiefs are annoying, but I like 'em.
"Use Somebody" by Kings of Leon -- this is kind of a slower song for running, but I still like it; I *heart" Kings of Leon, especially their song "Sex on Fire," which is also on my shuffle.
All of the songs were awesome for my 3 miler this afternoon; for some reason, new tunes always help me refresh my running.
But, aside from purchasing songs from iTunes, I also put some of my Nike GCs to use today. I ordered a pair of sunglasses. I've been wanting a pair of running sunglasses for, oh, about a year and half, but they're so pricey that I keep putting the purchase off. However, with someone else's gift money, I don't feel as extravagant buying a $100 pair of shades. Besides, what kind of Floridian runner doesn't have a pair of running sunglasses? Yikes, it's like one of you northerners not owning a pair of running gloves!
Sunday, January 04, 2009
Cure for the Common Morning Sickness
You know, in some ways, I really have to almost marvel at how my body is experiencing these waves of hormones and how they impact me, but on the other hand, I'm too busy with my face near toilet water to really contemplate the miracle of gestation.
Anyway, it didn't help that I also woke up with a pounding headache, and what kind of pain reliever can I take? Tylenol. That's it. And not a whole lot of it either. Plus, when you just puke it back up, it doesn't really help. So with a painful headache and a rotten stomach, I didn't really enjoy most of my last day of vacay (back to the grind tomorrow -- amazing how quickly a 3 week vacation can go by!).
Thankfully, by 1 pm, I began to keep food down -- just in time to watch the Dolphins play a shitty game against Baltimore and lose -- and by 4 pm, the headache was beginning to cease. So, feeling a little better, I decided I wanted to go for a run. My stomach was still a touch queasy so I figured I would just aim for a short, 2 miler. Generally, 3 miles is my shortest distance, but I figured that today all I wanted to do was get out and do some running, no matter how short the distance.
I gotta tell you, it cured me!
About a quarter mile into it, I immediately began to feel better, and while I still decided to just keep it to two miles (didn't want to push an uneasy tummy), I finished feeling great. I don't know if it's because I was out getting fresh air and moving around, or if it's because I'm breathing different when I'm running (so maybe better oxygen flow?), or if it's because my heart is pumping blood away from my stomach, or if it's just the endorphins that kick in from running; whatever it was, it was wonderful.
Afterward, my headache was gone, my barfy-tummy was gone, and I felt worlds better. Just in time to shower up, meet some friends at a sports bar and watch the Vikings lose to the Eagles. Not a good playoff day for either team, but at least I'm feeling better now.
Saturday, January 03, 2009
On the plus side of all this work, I feel better today than I have in 3 weeks, and I haven't barfed once today! (Knock on wood.)
Friday, January 02, 2009
Running while Pregnant
So, yesterday, I promised that I had more to say about this whole running-while-pregnant-business, and I wasn't kidding. I have a LOT to say on the subject, and I can pretty much promise I'll have a lot to say on it for...oh...the next 7 months. But let me begin today from the beginning:
Before I got pregnant, there had never been a doubt in my mind that when I one day got knocked up that I would continue to run. I had read some about it, and everything seemed to confirm that it was a perfectly healthy activity to continue. Of course, there are some basic criteria that most experts asks women to follow: For one, a woman should already be a runner. It's not advisable to start new, strenuous activities when pregnant. Secondly, a woman should only continue her running if she has no indicators of a high-risk pregnancy (ex: previously existing medical conditions, high blood pressure, previous miscarriages, etc), and lastly, should any pain, extreme discomfort or risk to the pregnancy occur, women should immediately halt their running routine.
All of that makes excellent sense.
I have been running consistently for 3 and 1/2 years, but even in the years preceding this commitment to running, I was always active. I have no pre-existing medical conditions (I've never even had blood drawn, never stayed overnight in the hospital, nothing), I take no prescription medication, my blood pressure is perfect, my resting HR is low, my weight is within a very healthy range, my genetic history is like a straight-A report card, and I have never been pregnant before. So, I'm the ideal candidate for a preggo-runner, and like I said, I never questioned whether or not I would continue to run.
Until I saw the doctor.
Like I mentioned yesterday, 2 days after I found out I was pregnant I went ahead and ran the Palm Beach Half Marathon. My time was slower than average, but I finished and felt good after finishing. 3 days after that, I went in for my first doctor appointment. Everything checked out excellent, and as I describe above, I'm in excellent health and I have no indicators of a high-risk pregnancy. So as the doctor is telling me how superior my health is (okay, maybe I added the "superior" part), I ask: "So, it's fine for me to keep running, right?"
Her response: "Oh, no! I don't like pregnant women to run."
I was shocked and asked her, "Why not?"
"Well," she said, "It's just that there's such a risk that you'll fall down. That, and the pounding. I mean, that's hard on your knees anyway, but all that jarring will be hard on you as you get bigger, so I just don't like running."
Now, if you're like me, you heard (or read, in your case) two things there that should set off red alerts: 1.) "That's hard on your knees" and 2.) "I just don't like running." We've all heard the "you're gonna ruin your knees!" bologna, and we've all read that decades of studies have not shown any evidence that running wears down your joints. If anything, running improves joint and bone health (and the thing that really hurts your knees? obesity! anyway, sorry, that's my brief rant). Secondly, it was clear to me that this doctor -- who is in her late 60s, maybe a bit "old school" -- simply regards the sport of running with suspicion.
So, I said: "I've been running for years, and I can't imagine giving it up."
She sighed, "Well, I just advise against it, but if you ask any one of the other doctors here in the practice, they may contradict my advice and tell you it's perfectly fine to continue running. I just don't advise it."
Despite the fact that her last statement made it clear that her stance on running while pregnant was merely opinion and that others within the practice had differing opinions, I left her office that day very upset. I am a well-educated, reasonable woman, capable of thinking for herself and forming her own opinions on a subject, yet the authority figure in a white coat's contradictory opinion had sent all my preconceived notions about running while I was pregnant out the window.
I went home that day and cried.
Then I went and got a Chipotle burrito and felt a little better.
Then I cried a little more.
Then I decided to go for a run.
While I ran, I began to feel better. My head cleared, I felt less stressed, I no longer felt anxious about what she had said and implied, and I came to a simple, yet illuminating conclusion: In the course of pregnancy, childbirth, and child-rearing, I am going to get a LOT of advice and opinion. And everyone is convinced that their method is the right one. What I have to do is consider all the options, the evidence, and my own lifestyle, and then I have to choose what's right for ME, MY baby, and MY family. So for me, choosing to not run just wasn't an option.
So, I finished that run and felt a million times better, and that demonstrated for me why I need to continue to run while pregnant. Sure, running helps me maintain physical fitness, and without it, I may not have some of those great health stats I previously listed. But more than that, running helps me maintain my mental health: It helps clear my head, de-stress me, and it just plain makes me happy. When I finish a run, I feel GOOD.
Therefore, doesn't it make sense that if running makes me feel happy and healthy that this will carry over into having a happy and healthy pregnancy? I think so. So, I'm gonna keep running. Obviously, if there is ever a risk to the baby, or if it becomes too uncomfortable or painful, then I will quit, but for now, everything is fine so I'm gonna continue to "ruin my knees."
Thursday, January 01, 2009
Yep, you read that right (I put it in large font so you would). I am preggo. Now, after you get back up on your chairs and put your socks back on (I told you my "plans" would knock 'em off), I'm sure you have some questions, so allow me to pre-emptively guess at, and answer, some of them.
- I am almost 9 weeks along and we've known since Dec 5th, but I wanted to remain "mum" on the blog until we had the opportunity to tell all our friends and family. And thankfully, because we had already planned on being in MN for the holidays, we were able to tell most our family in person.
- I am due August 8th.
- No, this isn't an accident. Despite my sometimes derisive comments about "ankle biters," Jerry and I have both always wanted children, so we're both thrilled to be expecting our first!
- Yes, I've been a little sick in the past few weeks. Every day is different, and even every hour is different: Sometimes I feel great, completely normal, and then other times, I'm hunched over the toilet barfing. Eh, I just have to roll with it.
- Yes, I'm going to keep running. Two days after we found out, I ran the Palm Beach HM (remember that crappy time? now you know why), and even though I didn't run while in MN, I ran before we left, and have been running since we returned home (did a 3 miler yesterday evening, in fact). I have a TON to say on this subject, so I will post more on it later -- probably tomorrow.
- But I don't know what's in store in terms of racing. I don't want to plan anything because I don't know how I'll feel an hour from now, let alone a week, month or 3 months from now. Who knows? I may do some racing between now and August, but I think many of them will be last minute decisions: So no race calendar for 2009.
- No, I can't keep drinking. Sorry, loyal boozers, I haven't had a drop since Thanksgiving. Notice the lack of drunken bowling posts? And no mention of getting wasted while on vacation? Yeah, you try handling family for two weeks without a beer!
That's pretty much the low down. For now. Since I've been keeping this to myself for nearly a month, I have a stockpile of blog posts built up in my head, but I think I will allow you to absorb my incredibly awesome news, give you the time to thoroughly congratulate me, and get to those posts in the upcoming days.
Happy New Year everyone! Cheers to an exciting new start!