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Thursday, April 30, 2009

People Watching

This evening, on my 3 miler, I passed:

He left for his run about 15 minutes before I left for mine, and we passed when I was about a half mile into the beginning of my run. I imagined that he had thought to himself: "There's a smokin' hot preggo! Damn, I'm glad she's my beautiful wife." But when I got home and asked him what he thought when he saw me, he admitted: "I didn't even know it was you until you were right in front of me."

A Former Student
She was a student of mine about a year ago. No wait, maybe two years ago. She took two separate classes with me, and I know she lives nearby and I occasionally see her running the same 3 mile loop that is now my regular route. I have no clue what she might have thought when I passed her tonight. She smiled and waved at me though.

A Group of Teenage Boys
There were four of them on the corner, standing around, doing what most teens are doing: Absolutely nothing. They were blocking the sidewalk, but I didn't hesitate: I just ran right between them. One of them whistled at me, and I just smiled at myself because I know that even at 6 months pregnant, I could outrun any one of them in a footrace. Because I kick ass.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Happy Birthday to...

...the Jer-Bear!

In celebration, we will be going out to dinner tonight, so no running today for me.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

This Post Brought to You by...

my new laptop!

It's an HP and it has lots of fancy new features, most of which I have no clue how to use. Since it's arrival this afternoon, I have spent most of my time with it connecting it to the wireless router so that I have full WiFi capabilities here in the house. All in all, the new computer is pretty killer (and so dang fast! especially when compared to our POS desktop), and I'm very happy with my b-day gift.

In other news, I ran a short 2 miles yesterday afternoon before bowling, and it was brutally hot out (thus, only the 2 miles), and then this evening, I ran another 3 miles (and since I waited until 7:30 pm, it was much cooler out). Aside from the heat of yesterday's 2 miler, both runs went well, and really, I have nothing to report about them.

For my last bit of news, it seems that the running bug has bitten another person close to me: my brother. This probably has more to do with his girlfriend, who is also a runner, than it does with my influence, but still, I like to think of my range of influence as being far reaching. Anyway, he and his girlfriend are planning to run a 10 miler this fall in the Twin Cities, so he has begun running in the past two weeks, and he has been calling and texting me about his runs. This evening he called to tell me that he ran 4 miles and it felt so good, he had felt like doing more but decided not to push it. He was so excited about the run; it was great!

I hope the excitement continues and he sticks with it because I am having visions of Jerry and I running with my bro and his girlfriend, and the pretend image fills my heart with rainbows and butterfly kisses!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Crazy Eights

MCM Mama tagged me last week with the Crazy 8s Meme, and today I have no blog-spiration, so I figured I'd fill it out today. Here goes:

8 Things I'm Looking Forward to:
1. Lunch. It's 10:06 right now and I'm starving. I just ate a granola bar to help tide me over, but I already feel like I could gnaw my own arm off.
2. Bowling tonight. Lately, we are kicking ass in league and we're currently in 6th place!
3. The end of the semester. My last final to give is on Friday, May 1, and then the term officially ends next Wednesday, May 6, which is graduation.
4. Some summer time off. I am teaching one class in May and June, but it won't be very time consuming, and then July is totally free!
5. Reading lots during that time off.
6. The arrival of the baby furniture. Should be here any time this week or next.
7. The arrival of my new laptop. Should be here any day.
8. The arrival of Baby Norah. Still have to wait 15 more weeks for her to be ready, but I'm excited for her!

8 Things I Did Yesterday:
1. Slept in.
2. Went to Babies R Us.
3. Cleaned out my car.
4. Read.
5. Took a nap.
6. Made chocolate chip cookies.
7. Went to a friend's house for dinner.
8. Went to bed at 9:30.

8 Things I Wish I Could Do/Want to Do:
1. Run another marathon.
2. Get a PhD.
3. Travel more.
4. Buy a house that has a yard.
5. Raise responsible children that don't hate me.
6. Write a book.
7. Make a living from writing.
8. Avoid contracting swine flu.

8 Shows I Watch:
1. The Office
2. 30 Rock
3. Parks and Recreation
4. The Big Bang Theory
5. How I Met Your Mother
6. My Boys
7. Top Chef
8. Project Runway

8 People I Tag to Play Along:
1. Erin
2. Ryan
3. Shannon
4. Crystal
5. Connie
6. Jamoosh
7. Oz Runner
8. Chia

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Baby Shower

The baby shower yesterday was great. We had lots of great food: And I ate plenty of it:
We played some games, and then I opened lots of generous loot:
I'm sure Norah will appreciate everything too:
And when I got home, Jerry helped carry it all in and then we both sorted through it all. Scooter wanted to assist, but he mostly wanted to play with the stuffed aimals because he thought they were for him (we may have small issues with training him to separate the baby's toys from his toys).
After the shower, I was tuckered out. Who knew that opening gifts could exhaust a girl? So, Jerry and I went out to a really nice dinner and then went to the bookstore (because we are nerds and that's where we like to spend our Saturday night). We picked up a few new reads, as well as some cheesecake, and then came home, read, ate our dessert, and went to bed. It was really a nice evening.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Shower Time

This afternoon, the women in the English Department are hosting a baby shower for me, so I'm off to enjoy some treats, play some games, and open some baby loot! But, before I go, here are some quick pics of me. Still don't really know what to do with my arms...
And the close up.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Listening In

This evening, Jerry and I went to the cheap theater to see "I Love You, Man." As I've explained before, the cheap theater runs pretty new movies for just $3 a ticket (.99 on Tuesdays!), but the theater is lacking in some quality, and most significantly, it is situated in the heart of "old people country," so the theater's primary patrons are the elderly who drive their various Lincolns and Cadillacs over from the nearby retirement community. Afterall, FL is God's Waiting Room, and if you combine things like a good deal with just about any other element, you're gonna draw moths to the flame. (Seriously, we don't go there for the .99 Tuesday deal because it's like a mob scene it's so popular.)

However, we will gladly take the old people over the teenagers any day, so the cheap theater is usually our "go to" theater for most movies. Sure, we usually have to ignore the unwrapping of butter scotches throughout the film, but other than that, the elderly are usually pretty quiet viewers.

Except for the couple behind us tonight.

I wish there were some way for me to type their thick New York accents, but really, I have no written way of conveying their stereotypical accent, but that was a huge part of the humor as we listened to them talk through. the. entire. movie. They commented on the plot of the movie as it moved along, as well as on the characters, but what was funniest was their frequent misunderstanding of parts of the movie.

For example, "I Love You, Man" relies heavily on some crude humor, and it certainly doesn't seem like the type of movie that would appeal to the elderly audience, but what we've discovered about old people movie-goers is this simple fact: They go to see everything. And I mean everything. They don't care what it's about or who's in it. It costs $3. They go.

Anyhoo...I don't want to ruin any parts of the movie for those who might want to go and see it, but there was one part that sparked the following conversation behind us:

Old Man: "What'd he just say?"

Old Woman: "I don't know, something about 'feces.'"

Old Man: "'Faces'?"

Old Woman: "No, 'feces.'"

Old Man: "Like poop?"

Old Woman: "Yes, something about poop."

I swear, at some points, Jerry and I were laughing just as much at those two behind us as we were at the movie.

In the end, the cheap theater may only cost $3 a ticket, but the entertainment value is truly priceless!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

An Immutable Law

It's a truth, universally acknowledged, that if you are a runner, in possession of a regular running schedule, you will find that in the end, the quality of those runs is random.

Most of the time, you will have runs that are of consistent quality, but every now and then, you'll have a run that's just shit, and then, a few days later, you'll have a run that is simply fabulous. There's no explaining this phenomenon. It just is. And, I'm here to inform you that this holds true when you're a pregnant runner as well.

Case in point:

On Tuesday, I had one of those shit runs. Nothing was particularly wrong with it; it just felt slow and hard and awful. But then after the day off yesterday, I hit the path tonight and had one of the best runs that I've had in a long time. I felt fast (well, preggo-fast, which is a kind of fast that's best measured against snails and turtles) and kick ass!

Now, the conditions for the two runs were nearly identical: Same time of day, same weather, and the same eating and hydration patterns. So, no outside factor can be attributed to the difference in quality between the runs -- it's simply a matter of running roulette!

31 Feels Pretty Similar to 30

Thanks for all the great b-day wishes yesterday! I appreciated all the blog-attention.

My birthday was a pretty lowkey day: I worked, then came home and opened up my loot (Jerry bought me a new laptop!!), Jerry made us dinner, and we watched a movie at home.

And I do believe it was the first birthday in at least a decade that I didn't have a beer -- a tall nonfat latte was probably the most exciting drink I consumed yesterday -- wild, right?

I also didn't run yesterday. Originally, I had planned on doing an evening run, but then I was thinking, "Hey, it's my b-day and I can do whatever I want, and I don't particularly feel like running today." So I didn't. And I don't even feel guilty about it.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Birthday to...


Yup, today I turn 31.

Let the good wishes and flattery commence!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

FAQs: Running While Pregnant

Aside from getting the exclamatory question of "You're still running?!" I get a lot of questions about what it's like to run while pregnant. These questions get asked by just about everyone -- friends, family, my co-workers, and even my students -- so I thought these might be questions that the general blogosphere has been pondering as well, and today I figured I'd go ahead and answer a few.

How much/how far/how frequently are you running?
I stick to a 3 mile route these days just because 3 miles is still a comfortable distance, but it feels like I'm still challenging myself and getting a good workout in. And I aim to run 3-4 days a week, so most weeks I am averaging 12 miles. Of course, there are some weeks with a little less and a little more mileage to them, but in general, my average is 12 miles a week.

Do you take walk breaks?
No. I run the entire time, albeit at a slower pace than pre-pregnancy. I stopped wearing the Garmin about 8 weeks ago because looking at the slowing digits was depressing and distracting me from my true aim in this endeavor, but I do occasionally run with Jerry and he wears the Garmin when we go (because I got him hooked on it), and we usually average the 3 miles in 33:30 for an average pace of 11:10 per mile. About 2 minutes per mile slower than what I averaged pre-pregnancy.

Doesn't it hurt your boobs?
At first, yes it kinda did. In the first trimester, my breasts were tender and sensitive, so running didn't feel great on them, but now, ironically, they are bigger but they don't have any of the tenderness that they initially did, so it doesn't bother those sweater puppies at all now.

Does your belly bounce around?
Not yet. Although, I'm sure it must to a certain degree; it's just not perceptible to me. In general, it just feels like this giant, immovable object sticking out in front of me.

Do you wear special running clothes?
Not really. You guys all saw the larger running tops I bought, but my shorts remain the same shorts I wore before I was pregnant, and even my sports bras are the same.

Right now, isn't the running getting harder/more uncomfortable/painful?
This is kinda tricky to answer. From the beginning, running has been more strenuous for me than it ever was pre-pregnancy; even when I ran the Palm Beach HM at 5 weeks, I could tell a big difference in my stamina, and with each passing week, as I grow bigger, it does become more strenuous. Initially, I think running adds an extra level of difficulty because a pregnant body is doing so much exercise already, so adjusting to all the physical changes makes it more difficult. But at this point, I think the greatest challenge is simply carrying the extra weight.

But as far as discomfort or pain, I can't say that running causes either. I definitely don't feel any pain as I run, and yes, there is some added pressure in my middle (but that's really all the time, not just when I'm running), but I wouldn't go so far as to call it uncomfortable.

So to summarize that incredibly vague answer? Harder? Yes. Uncomfortable/painful? No.

Has pregnancy changed how your body recovers after a run?
No, not really. I can still run several days in a row and have no added stiffness or soreness. Of course, I'm keeping my runs short and I run them at a comfortable pace, so I can't really comment on the difference in recovery for a run that truly deserves "recovery" -- ie, a long run, a tempo run, or a speed workout.

Has pregnancy changed how you approach hydration or nutrition in conjunction with running?
Yes and no. Pre-pregnancy I was always good with hydration and I believe I have always eaten a pretty well-balanced diet, so I didn't make too many changes. But of course, when pregnant you need more water, so I have upped my water intake and have cut back on coffee and diet soda (although I do still consume those drinks -- about one of each a day, which the dr says is perfectly fine). The major change to my diet is simple: Additional calories. Obviously, a pregnant body needs more calories per day (about 300 extra a day) to sustain the growing baby, but when I'm exercising, I am burning about that many calories, so I have to be sure to consume enough in the day to accommodate those caloric needs. So essentially? I eat small portions (I get full very fast), frequently.

How long are you going to continue to run during your pregnancy?
As long as I can. Ideally, I'll run up until the day I deliver, but I am also realistic and I know that the months ahead will be the most challenging on my body in general, so I don't want to set unrealistic expectations; still, assuming that I remain in good health and the baby remains in good health, there's no reason for me to stop.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Pool Time

While spring is just springing for most of you, here in South Florida, it's already early summer, so this weekend we've made the most of the early summer weather (warm, sunny, but not yet too hot and humid), and we've had a busy weekend, mostly spent outdoors.

Yesterday, we went to the park to join our friends for a birthday picnic: We played croquet, ate grilled burgers, threw frisbees, sat in the sun and socialized. (Everyone else got to drink keg beer; I drank bottled water.)

Then, today we were back out in the sun for a day by the pool with our friends for more bbq-ing and general pool-time-fun. We brought Scooter along with us today, and he got some pool time in as well. Here's he and Jerry, and in the background, our friend Ryan -- who "looks" like he's thinking deep thoughts but is probably just sleeping with his eyes open. Here's Scooter, the swimming dog:
And here's the shake after he got out of the pool:
Thankfully, a day full of sun and swimming makes for a very tired pup, and he's been crashed out ever since we got home (actually, technically, it has been proven that after a day in the sun, neither he nor Jerry can remain awake for the short car ride home). The day in the sun made me sleepy too, so I took a nap when we got home as well.
Now, I'm just waiting for that sun to set and I think I will go out for my standard 3 miler.

*Sigh*...if only weekends could be a touch longer. Oh well, I can't complain: I have about 2 weeks of class left this term, and then it's truly summer time for me!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

24 Weeks

This is me at 24 weeks (6 months now!) pregnant: I imagine Scooter's thought in this pic was as follows: "Yes, I am going to stand here, but no, I refuse to look at the camera."

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Nothing to Report

I had a completely boring, ordinary run this evening. There are no funny stories or interesting tidbits to share. Nothing humorous or humiliating happened to me, and I returned home without a single reportable incident.

And frankly, I'm happy to post that.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

I Heard a Fly Buzz

Usually, the only insects I have issues with on my runs are those clouds of small gnats that appear around here in the summer; other bugs, like mosquitoes and flies are wiped out by the blanket of pesticide that the city regularly lays down. However, this evening on my 3 miler, I was plagued by a rogue fly.

It was a large fucker -- honey brown in color and annoying in spirit. Now, I'm a bit remiss on my fly knowledge, but he was either a horse fly or a deer fly, and he was out for my blood (he knew that since I'm pregnant, I have extra). I swatted at him mercilessly, but he wouldn't let me be. Finally, just when I thought I'd outrun him, he landed on my right cheek; I swatted myself on the face, and either it was the slap of my own palm, or it was the bite of that demon fly, but either way, my cheek felt a sharp sting.

When I got home, I asked Jerry if it looked like I had been bitten, but he said I looked no more odd than usual (I ignore such off-hand insults such as these), and it doesn't sting anymore, so I doubt I actually got bitten. But damn. I am having one hell of a week -- dryer sheets in my shorts, an emergency poop stop, and a renegade fly -- all in the last 3 runs.

Running, are you trying to break up with me? Because I don't go quietly.

In other news, The Runner's Lounge has a new Podcast up and I'm a featured "personality" on this episode. Go check it out and listen to me giggle through two-thirds of our discussion. Trust me. It's worth your time.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

It's Been Awhile...

...since I had a good poop story.


I was out on my 3 miler this evening, and in the first mile, I was truly feeling great. The weather was overcast and cool, with a slight breeze, The Kooks' "Do You Wanna?" was on the Shuffle, and in general, I've been feeling good lately (barf-free for 16 days!). So I was trotting along feeling pretty self-congratulatory about the running and how good I was feeling.

But Karma is a cruel bitch who likes to ensure that I never take myself too seriously or think too highly of myself. So a quarter of a mile later, I began to feel the distinct intestinal gurgle that signals a poo. At first, I figured I could ignore it, trot on and make it home in order to poop in the comfort of my own home, but a few seconds later, the gurgles became more insistent.

I was running through my part of the route that is a residential neighborhood, so I had no poop-stop in that area; however, at the 1.5 point in my run, there's a shopping center with a Publix, a McDonald's and a gas station -- all suitable poop places. Considering I only had a quarter mile to go to this safe haven, you'd think I'd be able to run in peace knowing that relief is just ahead, but sadly, the closer I got to the plaza, the more insistent my guts became, and the more painful the running. Still, I had no option: It was either A.) run and get to a bathroom fast, B.) walk and get to bathroom slowly, or C.) stop and shit my drawers.

Clearly, option "A" was the only suitable scenario in the choices above, so I tried my best to pick up the preggo pace.

Soon, Publix was just across the street, and thankfully the light was in my favor, so I ran across the street, ran through the parking lot (all the while, puckering my butt in fear that I would poo myself when I was just yards away from a restroom -- I prayed that irony would not strike me with such misery), ran through the automatic doors of the grocery store and across the front of the check-out lanes to the bathroom (I knew exactly where it was because I actually puked in this very same Publix about 2 months ago).

I will spare you the details at this point, but let's just say that the relief was blissful.

Afterward, I walked out of the bathroom and to the nearest exit and back into the Floridian evening. Again, the air felt cool, the breeze was delightful and I felt restored. So, I turned the iPod back on and ran out of that Publix parking lot and back onto my route home, and the rest of the run was just as pleasant as the first part.

When I walked in the front door afterward, Jerry asked: "How was your run?"

"Well, I almost pooped myself," I told him, "but other than that, it was really good."

Monday, April 13, 2009

Spring Fresh!

About a tenth of a mile into my 3 miler last night, I felt a strange bunching of fabric in my shorts. At first I thought it was the lining of the shorts, but that seemed odd since I've never had such a thing happen. Then, I figured maybe the shell of the shorts had just twisted around weird, but that wasn't it because it was really a bunching of material inside the short.

So, as I ran, I reached in my shorts (that phrase right there should yield some interesting site meter results), and discovered a dryer sheet wadded in there. Not wanting to litter, I held onto the sheet for the next 2 and 1/2 miles until I passed a bus stop where I could throw it away in the garbage can.

Now, in many ways, this doesn't seem all that strange -- I mean, dryer sheets get caught in the fabric of clothes all the time, and I'm sure we've all discovered ourselves wearing one at some point or another -- but in all my running memory, I could not think of a single instance in which this had previously happened. So, as I ran, carrying that dryer sheet in one hand, I couldn't help but kinda giggle to myself every so often. Cuz, c'mon, how many of us find ourselves running with a dryer sheet? Any of you?

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Finished Painting

This morning, Norah's room looked like this: Jerry spent the morning touching up the baseboards and trim:
And by this afternoon, it looked like this:
That one remaining spot of blue tape indicates a part of the baseboard that required a re-touching up, and it wasn't dry yet when I took the picture.

Here, below, is a shot of another wall with the bookcase we decided to keep. It won't match the furniture we're ordering, but it's in good condition so I was reuctant to get rid of it only to replace it with a bookcase that matched. I mean, it's great to have matching stuff, but let's face it: We don't have all matching furniture in our bedroom, so I'm not sure the baby needs it. And I'm sure that bookcase will get well-stocked in no time.

And, one last angle:
All in all, we're pleased with how it turned out, and we're excited to order the furniture now and start stocking this room full of baby stuff! But, man alive, it's been a busy weekend working on this project.

In other weekend stuff, we had a nice dinner last night with MCM Mama and her family, and it was great to meet her in person. We did get some pictures together, but I forgot my camera, so I will have to wait until she returns to DC to email me the pictures she took. She and her husband were also kind enough to give Norah a Washington, DC onesie and we even inherited an umbrella stroller from them!

Then, we had Easter dinner with some friends this afternoon, and even though I'm stuffed full of ham, I am feeling compelled to get my running shoes on and get out for a run because I haven't run in days!

Hope everyone enjoyed their holiday weekend! Toodles.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

More Painting

Today we got started on the actual painting in Norah's room, so here I am applying the first coat: No need to worry about me breathing in toxic paint fumes. We had the windows open and the ceiling fan going, so I think there was plenty of ventilation in there; the greater concern might have been me teetering off the edge of the step stool :)
Here's Jerry, wearing his reluctant-picture-face:
And here again is our trusty supervisor, who's just laying down on the job!
We ended up doing three coats of paint in order to evenly cover up the old stuff, but we're both really pleased with how it looks on the walls. In the beginning, Jerry was worried the color we'd picked out was too white, and I was worried it looked too yellow, but it turns out that it looks just perfect for what we wanted:
So, tomorrow we have some clean up to do, some of this stuff that's in the middle of the floor needs to be organized, and Jerry is going to install the new blinds in there. So I'll probably post more pics tomorrow that represent a more finished product. And then soon, we'll order the furniture!

Right now, I need to go shower and then maybe take a little nap, and tonight we're meeting up with MCM Mama and her husband, Beer Geek, for dinner! They're in South Florida on vacation, and we arranged to meet up this evening, so I'm excited to meet another fellow blogger.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Cross Training

This afternoon, Jerry and I decided to begin the painting process in the baby's room. This room used to be our guest bedroom, and it looked like this before: This afternoon, it looked like this:
Because the existing paint in that room was a dark gray-ish-blue, we thought it might be smart to start with a coat of primer, so after taping off, I got to work on priming the walls (Jerry was busy with another project: installing new blinds in our bedroom). So, here I am with roller in hand:
And here's my project supervisor:
Home projects make Scooter kinda nervous, so he feels as though he must be right next to you while you work -- just in case he must rush in and save you from a large person-eating-paint-can. By in large, he's not much help (those little paws don't hold a paint brush very well), and he's mostly just in the way, but I still think he's cute.

And, lastly, here's me nearing the end of the priming process. I kinda look like a little Budha, don't I?
After Jerry and I finished each project and cleaned up, we were both pooped. (I forgot how tiring painting can be.) So, no run for me this evening; instead, I think we're going to have some dinner now and sit back with a movie for the evening.

And tomorrow? We paint the real paint!

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Frozen Four

Tonight, we went to a sports bar with our friends so we could all watch our alumnus, Bemidji State University, in the Div I hockey final four. BSU is a small state school in Minnesota, so to have them go all the way to the semifinals in Washington, DC was pretty exciting.There were about 10 of us at the bar, and we were the only ones who not only went to BSU, but we were also the only ones who could tell others where Bemidji is (although, ESPN helped us out by running a short segment on the university and featured a map of MN to show viewers where the small city is). Being the Beavers only fans at the bar, we all broke out the Beaver gear and adopted the appropriate level of Beaver Fever, and we had fun watching the game, but unfortunately, BSU didn't win.

Oh well. Hopefully it's the beginning for them, and in the years to come, maybe Beaver hockey will get bigger, and then we won't have to coach fellow bar patrons on how to pronounce "Bemidji."

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

3 Miler Thoughts

Today, we're still enjoying some cooler temps, so I got out for my 3 miler late this afternoon, and it was nice to get it done before dinner. Still, however "cool" it was to start with (somewhere in the low 70s), it didn't take long for me to warm up, and with the sun, the run was still pretty toasty. But, I should be thankful for whatever cooler weather I can get because from now until October, those days will be few and far between.

On a separate note, as I was running today, I was wondering what it feels like in there for Baby Norah while I'm running. Do you think it feels like she's sloshing back and forth? Or, does it feel like gentle rocking? Does she feel the difference at all?

Does she know she's already racking up the mileage since she's along for the ride with me?

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Dr Apt and a 3 Miler

This afternoon, I had a doctor's appointment, and everything checked up well.

My weight was good (I've gained 11 lbs so far); my blood pressure was good (106/70); the baby's heartbeat was strong and steady; and yeah...I guess that's about it. The whole appointment took about 5 minutes. 10 tops.

So I go back in another 4 weeks to repeat. And in 6 weeks, I have to do the glucose screening (drink super sugary drink, draw blood, see how well my body metabolizes the sugar -- it's a precursor to screening for gestational diabetes -- I don't fall into any standard risk for GD, but the screening is standard practice now).

After the dr apt, Jerry and I came home and changed into our running stuff and then headed out for a 3 miler. A "cold" front moved in to South Florida last night, so the temp was only about 70 degrees when we ran, and it was a nice break from the heat we ran in over the weekend. Jerry brought along the Garmin, so I got to once again see the digits, which were surprisingly close to the last time I ran with he and Garmy, 33:28. An average pace of 11:06/mile.

Good to know I haven't gotten any slower.

Monday, April 06, 2009

What I'm Reading

Being caught up with school work right now has afforded me some extra time for pleasure reading, and I've been able to pick up two new reads; here are my reviews:

First off, I started "The Middle Place" by Kelly Corrigan last week and finished it up this past weekend. It's a memoir about a woman who's diagnosed with breast cancer at age 38, and then is hit with the blow that her beloved father has bladder cancer. So, it goes back and forth in time to focus on telling the story of their dual fight with cancer while also recounting an enchanted childhood with her father at center stage.

It's an enjoyable read: With exactly what you'd hope for from a cancer memoir -- humor, insight, sentimentality, and ultimately, a happy ending. However, I also thought these expected elements made it a bit cliche, but on the whole, it's an uplifting, feel-good read.

My other read?
Yes, you are seeing that correctly: "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" by Jane Austen and Sethe Grahame-Smith. Imagine that it's exactly the story of Pride and Prejudice, but instead of just worrying about who to marry, the Bennet sisters also have to worry about fighting off zombies in their beloved Hertfordshire. So not only does Eliza Bennet show off her razor sharp wit, but she also demonstrates a proclivity with a Katan sword in slaughtering "unmentionables."

To say the least, it is a humorous parody of the classic, but it's also quite clever in and of itself since it takes not just Austen's basic plot, but it also uses her unique style and narration, as well as entire sentences and passages from her novel, but then infuses them with it's own zombie-gore as subtext. So, for example, the famed first sentence of the novel begins with: "It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife."

The first sentence of this parody: "It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains." Pretty funny, right? But however clever, I think there must be a pretty limited audience for this book. Just because the intersection of those who love Pride and Prejudice (and are intimately familiar with it -- because part of the fun is seeing what Grahame-Smith uses directly and where he deviates with his own material) and those who love a good zombie story must be a small scope of people (I just happen to fall smack dab in the center of that intersection).

There are a lot of adaptations on the story of Pride and Prejudice (Bridget Jones' Diary is probably the most famous one), but I have to say, this is the most inventive re-telling I've ever read!

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Pool Time and New Running Shirts

Today, I decided to spend my afternoon relaxing pool side. So, I loaded up on reading material (RW's newest issue, the weekly issue of TIME, and a novel I just started -- more on that later), my sunblock, some water, and my towel, and headed to the pool. It was a relaxing afternoon, and I spent about half of it in my deck chair and the other floating in the pool, which I thought might still be too cold this time of year, but which turned out to be the perfect temp for today's sun and heat.
It was a relaxing way to spend my Sunday afternoon and I always feel good when I get some sun (must be that vitamin D, huh?). Later, I waited for the sun to set and then I put on my running clothes and got ready for a 3 miler.

As I mentioned yesterday, it's hot now here in South Florida, and it was time to find some running tops that fit my new preggo belly. See, normally I run year-round in just a sports bra and shorts, and that's what I did for about the first 12-14 weeks of my pregnancy because I wasn't really showing at that point. But about 8 weeks ago, I started donning some tech shirts I have because the growing pudginess in my middle made me self-conscious about having it out in the open.

Soon, those tech shirts were too small to fit over my growing baby-belly, so I was substituting some oversized t-shirts that I have (some of which are race shirts that I thought I'd never have use for because they were so big -- turns out, they make decent maternity house shirts), but as I said yesterday, these are mostly cotton t-shirts and are certainly not cut out for running in FL's heat and humidity.

I checked online at some maternity running tops, but some were priced as much as $58 a top! And I'm sorry, but I'm way too cheap to pay that for a regular shirt, let alone one I plan on only wearing for a few months. So, instead I went to Target this morning and bought some tech shirts in a size large. I went with larges because I think the length will work out the best. See, they are definitely too roomy on top:
But, the length is good. Medium might have worked for a better fit on top, but I don't want to turn around in another month and buy larges when the belly pushes out further and the length suddenly shrinks. So, as you can see, I got sagginess on top, but the length is what I was looking for.
And ultimately, this is what I have to compromise in order to only pay $9.99 a top.

So, for the run, it slid around a bit, but I'm only doing 3 milers these days so it's not like I have to endure the slouchy top for a long time period. But I am glad I bought the new tech shirts because in these newly increased temps (it was about 85 at 7 pm), the running is HOT.

Aside from the shirt business, the 3 miler went pretty well. Jerry ran with me, so that was nice.

Now, my next maternity-running apparrel that I need to search for is some new bras. And I know I won't be able to find those for $9.99!

Saturday, April 04, 2009

A Warm One

Last night I got my first run in after a week's hiatus, and it felt good.

However, it was a hot one!

See, the blessedly cooler months of November-March abruptly come to a hault in April, and while I'm sure the reality is that the weather gradually warms up in the course of March, it always seems like one day, over night in April, it goes from cooler, drier weather to hot, humid weather. And suddenly, it's summer.

Granted, it's not August out there yet, so it's not that kind of heat, but it is distinctly different from the pleasant weather we've enjoyed since Christmas; add to that the factor that I'm running in a shirt now (I just don't feel comfortable having the belly out there in the open), and I was a sweaty monkey when I returned home last night from my 3 miler.

So this is going to shift running in two ways: One, it's gonna have to happen in the late evening or early morning (ha!) now; and two, I need to find some better kind of tops to run in. Cotton t-shirts will no longer suffice.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Caught Up

In the middle of the semester, I usually have about one month that just feels swamped with work, and in the spring term, that month is March. So, for the past 3-4 weeks, I feel like I've been inundated with work that needs to be graded, and this means bringing papers home to read in the evenings and on the weekends.

But now, I'm entering a short 2-3 week period of respite, and I'm all caught up with the grading I had, and I can't tell you how good it feels knowing that this weekend I won't have to lug home a briefcase full of essays. (I have to enjoy this break now though because in less than a month I'll receive a flood of papers at the end of the term and then I'll be absolutely drowning in work for about a week and a half. Then the term will blessedly be finished.)

Anyway, by being caught up with work, I'm hoping to catch up on some other things this weekend. My sister in law and her family depart today, so I should be able to catch up with a few household chores that are always the result of hosting company for a few days, and what I'm most eager to catch up on? Running.

I haven't run in a week, so I hope that this evening I can kick off the weekend with a nice run to get me back to it.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009


Yesterday, Jerry's sister and her family arrived in town to stay with us a few days, and it has been busy around here since then. Needless to say, I haven't been running in days, and I doubt I'll get time for one until they leave on Friday.

It's fun to see them, but I haven't had a nap yet this week, and when a girl grows used to her afternoon naps, it's hard to go through withdrawal. I think by this weekend, I'll need some major sleepy time!