Monday, November 30, 2009

Exercising Through Your Pregnancy

Wow. First of all, thank you all for your support. I really wasn't sure how that last post was going to go over- knowing that there are so many people who struggle with fertility having the opposite problem as me- I thought it was entirely possible that I was going to end up with a gang of haters. Who knows, maybe you're out there, secretly hating me, but overwhelmingly I felt amazed at how awesome you guys (um, gals) are in encouraging me to let myself feel how I feel and even express it 'out loud' here on my blog. It really does help to get it out there instead of burying it. I would suggest it as therapy for everyone. ;)

Moving on.

This book has been recommended to me several times and I finally went out and bought it. And all I have to say is, awesome! James Clapp, MD does a great job in working through the myths and fears associated with exercising while you're pregnant, and explains many physical things that I've always wondered about. If you're an athlete and pregnant already or looking to get pregnant, it is a must read.

When I found out I was pregnant with Moana, I immediately set a bunch of arbitrary limits on myself concerning exercise. I hadn't started blogging yet and didn't know anyone who ran while pregnant, so I sort of assumed that it might be ok to keep running for a while, but had no expectations for continuing all the way through. I was amazed when I found so many bloggers who ran (a lot!) when pregnant. For whatever reason, I decided that 4.5 miles was as much as I should ever run while growing a baby. I stopped biking immediately (though I do admit I rode like twice for about an hour really slow during the first trimester), and limited my swims to 2500M. Later on during my pregnancy when I felt completely fine, I did do some 4000M swims and upped my regular swims to 3000M 5x/week. But my point is, I had no basis for these limitations other than my own estimated guess at what the limits were for pregnant women.

Dr. Clapp does a great job of explaining so many positive benefits for mom and baby when mom exercises throughout her pregnancy. I now feel justified in continuing to do whatever exercise feels good, including running and weight lifting the whole time. He says that the arbitrary HR limit of 140 is not reasonable- that in fact, early on in pregnancy, HR is no longer a good measure of how hard mom is working... This is due to the fact that our vascular system has relaxed and expanded in order to make room for all that extra blood volume that we don't yet have, so our hearts actually have to work harder for a while pumping the less than adequate blood supply and our heart rates might be higher than usual even while exercising easily. I am totally experiencing this right now.

Anyway, the key points Dr. Clapp makes about keeping it safe while exercising during pregnancy include the following:
1. Make sure your body temperature does not go above 102 degrees. You know what is interesting about this? In studying pregnant women who exercise, Dr. Clapp found that our bodies, in an effort to protect the fetus, actually regulate our temperatures even better when pregnant- our bodies direct blood flow to the skin more readily to help cool us off while exercising. So we sweat more and stay cooler. This makes me wonder if this is why I've been so much colder than my training partners in the ocean lately? I think it is.
2. Make sure you don't get dehydrated. Got it. I'm good at drinking a lot. :)
3. Make sure you don't let your blood sugar go low. This was really interesting to me too b/c I have felt like I've had lower blood sugar more often when working out when I'm pregnant. The physiology behind it (that I just learned from Dr. Clapp) is that while your body would normally release glycogen stored in your liver when your blood sugar starts to dip during exercise, when you're pregnant, your brain sends a signal to your liver to keep that glycogen for the baby rather than releasing it to mom. After 45 minutes or so is when your liver would normally kick in and start providing back-up glucose, but this mechanism is turned off when you're pregnant. So you have to take in your own carbohydrates more often rather than depending on your liver. Interesting, no?
4. Finally, avoid physical injury. This may be more important later in pregnancy when your balance may be thrown off due to the weight changes from that big baby.

Anyway, I'm not putting any arbitrary limits on myself this time around. I'm doing whatever feels right at the time. That means riding my bike until I can't sit on it anymore and not necessarily avoiding all hills. That means running 35 miles/week if I feel like it (and yes, I have felt like it), and keeping my long run up at 10 miles as long as I can. And it means swimming as much and as fast as feels comfortable. Exercising now is more about keeping my own sanity rather than gaining any fitness, but given Dr. Clapp's advice, I think I can do a pretty good job of staying sane. :)

Saturday, November 28, 2009


So this is a challenging post to write. Mostly because it's probably not what everyone wants to hear. But it's going to be honest. I know there are some blogs that I enjoy a lot- those that are honest. And honestly, life isn't always a box of chocolates. So here we go...

You know what? I didn't want to be pregnant this year. You want to know how that appointment for the ultrasound actually went on Wednesday? Here it is.

I ran and swam that morning. I was so distracted and distraught about the upcoming ultrasound on my run home from the pool that I tripped. Over nothing but the asphalt. And I fell. Right on my shoulder. And I cut my chin on the road. I was an absolute mess.

Scott met me on the way to the clinic. As we drove there together I cried. I told him there was no good way for this to come out. I did not want to be pregnant. I did not want them to find a heartbeat. But what woman wants to go through a miscarriage? How could I possibly hope for a miscarriage? What kind of monster would I be? I cried some more.

I kept myself together for most of the appointment, though I was silent and stone-faced when the tech excitedly announced that she could see something. She must have thought that I didn't understand or something because she kept saying, Congratulations!! I couldn't reply to her. Instead I just pursed my lips together as the tears flowed down my face.

I know all this is probably unbelievable to some of you who try and try to get pregnant. I can't imagine how hard that must be. All I know is that for me, the girl who gets pregnant even when she is actively trying not to, fertility sucks.

Eventually I did want to have another baby. But I wanted another year alone with Moana first. I wanted more time so hopefully we could move out of this 2 bedroom condo and into a house with more room. I wanted another year to capitalize on my fitness and race again. Just one more year before I sacrificed myself again for the sake of expanding our family.

Instead, part of me feels like there's been a hostile take-over of my body. Call me selfish, but I really like having my body as my own. Sharing it with another growing human being is tough, and requires sacrifice. It's so tough that it really would have been nice, for once, to actually plan and prepare and try to get pregnant. Instead, I am required now to sacrifice myself while this Scrappy little baby grows and grows, and I grow along with it.

In the end, I know I will be happy. I will be happy to hold my little baby once he or she is born. I will be happy that Moana gets to be a big sister. 5 years from now, I will be glad that I had my two kids close together so hopefully they can be good friends. But for now, I appreciate the text I got from Jenny after my ultrasound. She told me to give myself permission to be pissed off. So while I will not wallow in a pity party for myself for the next 8 months, I am taking some time to let myself feel how I feel.

Wow. Honestly? This post wasn't that challenging to write. I guess when you write from your heart it all just comes flowing out. Thanks for listening. And I hope I didn't offend anyone. I just had to get this out because if I didn't, and just pretended all along that I was thrilled to death to be pregnant again, I would feel like a fraud. Be assured, I will love this baby, though likely more after we are done sharing a body. ;)

Thursday, November 26, 2009


I am completely shocked. I was 100% prepared for the ultrasound tech to find nothing yesterday. I thought she was crazy when she said, "I think I see something..."

But sure enough, I saw it too. That teeny little pulsating blob of cells that was about the size of a grain of rice. There it was. Beating 111 times a minute.

I am just in total disbelief that my body was able to construct a little heart and make it start beating without giving me any real signs. I mean, I pride myself on 'knowing my body' but clearly I do not know my body like I thought I did.

I have been running and swimming lately like I am not pregnant at all. It's amazing that this little kid has been able to get started like he has. Scott and I are calling him Scrappy. Scrappy, Who Has A Will To Live.

That's all I'm going to write for today. I have a lot more to say about this, but it's Thanksgiving. I'll write the rest of my thoughts at another time.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


This whole pregnancy thing just might have been easier before the invention of all these tests that tell us probably too much information that doesn't really mean what we think it might mean...

I got the results back from the second HCG test last night. I was hoping it might be somewhat definitive in that either the levels were not going up at all, or else the levels would double... either way, that would have been a pretty clear sign.

What did I get? How about an increase of 50%? 72 hours after the level was at 22,000, it came back at 33,000. Hmmm. Still pretty high, but I thought the levels had to go up by at least 65% every 72 hours to show healthy pregnancy?

I got the results via email last night. So of course I spent the rest of the evening googling HCG levels and trying my best to diagnose myself, to no avail of course. I found some info that said levels should be doubling every 72ish hours throughout the first trimester, and some info that said once levels are high (over 6,000) they don't necessarily have to double.

The thing that I found most interesting last night was one website that said that once your HCG level hits 6,000 you should be able to see fetal activity via ultrasound. Hmmm. I had an ultrasound done 3 days prior to getting that first HCG level back (the one that said 22,000) so surely I must have had hcg over 6,000 on that day? But they found an empty sack that day.

Bang. Bang. Bang.

Can you hear it? That's my head hitting the wall.

This morning I got a phone call from a nurse who pretty much knew nothing other than what my chart said. She told me my hcg levels were going up. Duh. I asked her if they had to double. She didn't know. I asked to talk to the doctor.

Eventually this morning I got to talk with the doctor about the results. She actually said that a rise of 22K to 33K over 72 hours wasn't something that concerned her, and that those levels put me in the normal range for 7-8 weeks pregnant, which is where she thought I was based on my LMP. But then we talked about the ultrasound last week that had me measuring just 5 weeks when the hcg levels surely must have been well over 6,000... she agreed and said that the blood test didn't match up with what was seen on the ultrasound so she ordered another ultrasound for tomorrow.

Bless her for not making me wait another week.

So that's all I've got. I can analyze it all day and night but I'm not going to know anything for sure until I go get the ultrasound tomorrow. And I swear, if it comes up with some ambiguous result I'm going to have a fit right there on the table.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Keep Up, Will Ya?

I was running with Nalani this morning and told her that I changed my mind and now I think I really am pregnant. She did a little double-take because all week long she has heard from me:

"I just don't feel pregnant..."
"There's no way anything is growing inside of me when I'm still able to swim like this..."
"I feel completely normal..."
"I know my body and there's just no way..."

But today I have a different story. I swear, you have to keep up with me every 6 hours these days to get the latest. It's like a roller coaster around here. Enjoying the ride? I'm not. But I sense maybe it's all about to flatten out here shortly.

What the heck am I talking about anyway? Ramblings of a pregnant woman... here we go. I woke up this morning feeling completely nauseous and it has stayed with me nearly constantly all day long. I'm not imagining it. I really do feel like I might puke at any moment.

AND, I got the initial results back from my HCG test yesterday. I know I know that one number doesn't mean much b/c we really have to wait and see if it's doubling every 3 days... but you knew I was going to overanalyze the initial results anyway, right??? 22,300. Um, with a level that high is it even possible that it stopped growing a week ago? Something in me just doesn't think so.

I do feel more at ease today (even though I might spontaneously puke right here on my keyboard) and I fully expect to see an HCG at 40,000+ on Monday. Although, I guess I've been wrong about everything else I've been feeling since I got that ++ on the pee-stick so who the heck knows?

ANYWAY, on to other stuff.

We did another long ocean swim this morning. The Double RoughWater is 2 weeks from tomorrow and I'm glad it's coming soon because that water is getting colder and colder every week. Today my arms and hands were completely numb within about 25 minutes but we kept swimming for another hour. Hardly stopped at all today which was good b/c it was just too cold to hang around treading water. I hope race day has high winds and choppy water because that's what we've been training in every week and I'm getting pretty good at it. You really do have to train a lot in choppy water to learn how to swim effectively through it.

See how windy it was today?

The best part of it all was that we grilled pancakes at the beach park afterward! Yum, blueberry pancakes. And coffee. Warm coffee.

From this picture you'd think Nalani is the one who is pregnant, but I'm not here to start any rumors. Really she's just hungry. Swimming will do that to you.

That's Ellen cheering with her mamosa. Kurt didn't put any champagne in mine. Actually, he did. But then Nalani reprimanded him so he poured me a new virgin one.

Scott brought Moana down to meet us at the beach for the pancakes. Mmmmmmm. She liked feeding herself. It's possible she ate more pancakes than I did.

I know she needs a haircut. She won't let me put it up or pin it back. Barrettes end up in her mouth.
So it was a good day. Now I'm going to be a good girl and go take a nap. Thanks for listening to my ramblings.

Friday, November 20, 2009

I'm Going NUTS

I swear, I'm not a crazy person. There are lots of crazy people out there I know, and I have taken pride in the past that I am not one of them. But right now, I am one of them.

This whole pregnant-or-not(??) scenario is driving me NUTS. It's like, the only two signs I have that I am pregnant are the two most reliable ones (i.e. no period and a positive test) so um, duh. Pregnant. BUT, nothing else. And my intuition is telling me that I am not. I have felt great working out every morning this week. This morning I was up at 5:20 and out the door running with Nalani at 6... ran 5 miles and then swam a solid 3100M and then ran a mile home. Who does that when they're 6 (or 7- who knows?) weeks pregnant? Shouldn't I be exhausted tired and napping all the time? And hungry? I'm just eating normal amounts and not craving anything and no food aversions. Ugh.

Nuts I tell you. I'm going NUTS.

I'm *SO* hypersensitive to the way my body feels now- paying super close attention to everything and looking for any little sign either way... but I really need something concrete.

SO I finally called my MD office and requested the HCG tests. I'm going to go in for one today (after Moana wakes up from her nap) and then will go in again on Monday for a follow up. IF there is a fetus growing normally, the HCG number should be pretty high today and then quite a bit higher on Monday. If it is not, the level will be lower and either getting lower or not rising much on Monday. I was told that I will be called with the results on Tuesday. So it's not solid proof and I'll still have to wait for the ultrasound in 11 days but at least it should give me a clearer idea about what's going on. Because I'm either having the easiest early pregnancy ever, or I should expect to start bleeding out here at some point. I just want to know which one.

I appreciate all the comments and support you all wrote after that last post. Some people have thanked me for writing about all this and I know it's not something people are usually so public about. I guess the way I see it is that this is life, and it is what it is. I tend to believe the science that says that a miscarriage happens when something just isn't right with the fetus, so I do not feel like this is in any way my fault and therefore I do not feel like I should feel embarrassed about it or anything. Given that, I don't have a problem writing about it and I hope that it gives some other people hope in knowing that they are not the only ones who think they are going crazy during early pregnancy. This is crazy stuff and it's so big and life-changing... of course we go NUTS wondering and worrying about what the heck is going on.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I Don't Feel Pregnant

I have been debating about whether or not to post all of this that's been going on (in my head and with my body) but you know what? I've been pretty open and honest about everything else in my life, and this is life, so here goes.

After I posted last week about all those normal pregnancy things that have been happening to my body, they all just went away. I woke up Sunday morning and had no nausea. I ran with Moana in the baby jogger and though I didn't push it or anything, I felt fine. That afternoon, I didn't feel like I needed a nap. Instead, I went for a bike ride. Plenty of energy. I didn't think too much about it except that it was nice to have a day where I didn't feel sick, hungry, or tired.

And each day since, I've been feeling completely normal. No morning nausea, no excessive hunger, no achy boobs, no afternoon naps. Hmmmm.

I'm not one to just sit around and wait and wonder, so I called my doctor. I wanted her to do an ultrasound and see if there was a heartbeat in there... Based on my LMP, I should be almost 7 weeks now which would mean that if everything was right, there would be a heartbeat. She was awesome and told me to come in right away.

So yesterday morning I took Moana to the office with me (which was fun b/c the Dr hadn't seen her since she popped out of me over a year ago!). Maybe not quite so much fun to have a one year old squirming on my lap while Dr performed a vaginal ultrasound, but hey, we gotta do what we gotta do, right? Anyway, Dr found a yolk sack but nothing was in it.

That pretty much confirmed what I had been thinking/feeling, although Dr told me that the sack was small and only measuring 5 weeks, which *could* mean that I ovulated late and am not as far along as I thought I was... which is entirely possible b/c of Ironman and all that... maybe I ovulated late? And if that's the case, when I go for another ultrasound in 2 weeks there may be a fetus with a heartbeat in that little sack.

The other possibility is that I got pregnant and it all started to grow but for whatever reason it just wasn't right so it stopped growing. That happens sometimes. My intuition, based upon how I physically feel, is that this is the case.

I'm not sure how I feel about all this. I'm not devastated, because it's not like Scott and I had been trying for years and finally got pregnant... I can understand though how IF that were the case, I would be devastated. On the other hand, I've started to mentally prepare myself to have another little one around... imagining what it will be like to strap TWO little ones into car seats every time I go to the grocery store, etc. And Scott and I picked out names already.

I think the hardest part for me is going to be waiting waiting waiting for TWO MORE WEEKS to find out for sure whether or not anything is growing in there. It's going to be a long two weeks.

So there it is. That's what's been going on here. I'd be a fraud if I posted about anything else right now because there's nothing else for me to think about, therefore I have nothing else to write about. Two more weeks.

Monday, November 16, 2009

It's In Your Head

This morning I went back to the gym. Remembering my current goals. Get and stay strong.

I warmed up and did a few intro exercises, the whole while thinking about those pull-ups. There was a voice in my head that was questioning whether or not I'd be able to repeat the 5 in a row I did last week. Maybe that was a fluke and I wouldn't be able to do it again. Maybe I shouldn't even try because if It was a fluke that would make me sad. Maybe better to just rest on the fact that I did 5 and not push it again.

Screw that voice.

The other voice in my head told me that I could do more than 5. Shoot, last week was the first time you even tried real pull-ups in forever. Who says you can't do SIX?

I walked over to the pull-up bar and tried to forget that I weigh more this week than I did last week. I grabbed the bar, and pulled myself up. By the time I got to 3 I knew I was going to be able to do 6. I did 6. Then 7. Holy cow.

You know, that was all in my head. I put my own limitations on myself, thinking that 5 was as many as I could do. Now my new norm is 7.

I went about my workout but kept thinking about those pull-ups. I wanted to do another set but there was a guy in a tank top and dark sunglasses (yes, wearing dark sunglasses inside the gym) who was hanging out right under the bar next to a tricep pull-down machine. He wasn't really using the machine. He was talking to another guy. Talking at the other guy might be a more appropriate way to put it. I kept waiting for him to finish up... went and did some squats, bench press, rows, abs... he was still there. Talking.

Eventually I gave up on the idea that this guy was ever going to move away from the bar so I stood nearby, waiting for him to take a breath and stop talking so I could ask to work in, which didn't happen (him taking a breath) so I just interrupted him mid-sentence and said, "Hey, while you're chatting, can I use this pull-up bar?"

Another guy nearby heard me and gave me an approving smile as I gripped the bar. I was going for 7 again, but maxed out at 6 this time. Apparently pull-ups are easier in the beginning of the workout instead of at the end. Still though, I was happy with my 6. Because I very easily could have limited myself to 5.

Walking away from the bar, a fit-looking woman was sitting on a rowing machine and smiled at me and said, "Good for you. I can't even do one of those." To which I replied, yes you could. It's in your head. You have to believe that you can. I pointed to the assisted pull-up machine and told her to start there. Part of me wanted to be her personal trainer. Give me two weeks with that woman and she would be doing pull-ups.

I didn't tell her that I am 7 weeks pregnant.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

"So How Are You Feeling?"

Here's a question I've been getting a lot... "How're you feeling??"

Overall, I'd say I'm feeling pretty good. I have several normal pregnancy symptoms but they've been pretty mild so far (knock on wood). I tend to feel nauseous in the mornings, especially when my stomach is empty and I drink water. Eating a bowl of cereal has been helping. I feel the bouts of nausea usually throughout the morning but do what I can to just ignore it. I am still doing some sort of workout every morning and for the most part, once I get going, the nausea dissipates.

My blood pressure must be on the low side right now too because I get dizzy a lot if I stand up too quickly. I'd forgotten about this but Scott reminded me that I went through the same thing with Moana. So it's not too bothersome, but I do have to usually stop and grab onto something when I stand up until the dizziness goes away.

Finally, first trimester tired-ness is the real deal. Every afternoon I've been getting really tired and have fallen right asleep on the couch while Moana takes her afternoon nap. Seriously, it's worse than Ironman-Training-Tired. Yesterday I was reminiscing about how I used to have so much energy that I would just clean clean clean the whole house from top to bottom. Can't even imagine that right now. This is the messiest my house has ever been and I don't even care. BUT I have been getting in my daily swims/runs (there's a reason why I do them in the mornings). Mama's got her priorities straight. ;)

As far as my working out goes, it's been just fine. I've slowed down some of course, though I'm not sure how much of that is mental vs physical. I know some of it is physical, but I do think that most of the slowing down right now stems from me just on purpose not being willing to push myself. So I still swim the same amount as I normally would, but my base pace has slowed about 5 sec/100 and I don't push it. Remember those extra gears I used to talk about? Yeah, they're in storage. I have one steady state pace right now and hopefully I'll keep it right there until July. We did our Saturday morning ocean swim again this morning and I hung right in there with the group and didn't feel like I overdid it at all. One major difference between regular working out and pregnancy working out (for me) that I've noticed is that I have to bring GU all the time with me because I just never know when my blood sugar is going to drop. Normally I could get through a 90 minute swim no problem and wouldn't even think about needing carbs, but when I'm pregnant it seems like about 100 calories of sugar/carbs every 45 minutes or so is necessary so I don't start shaking. I brought a GU with me into the ocean this morning and took it mid-way through the swim and then had a Clif bar right as we finished and blood sugar was fine.

But then I went for a run (fun! In the rain!)... I actually did fine through the run. Easy pregnant pace is still 9 minute miles right now which I was pleasantly surprised about (I'm sure that will slow substantially in the coming months). Anyway, almost immediately upon finishing I had this serious craving for Coke. Real Coke. I think the only time in the last decade I've had real Coke was in Kona during the marathon- I mean, I NEVER stop in to a gas station to buy it or anything. Well, I didn't before today anyway. Driving home I stopped at the first gas station I could find and bought 20 oz of cold Coke and slammed it down like a college student slams a beer. Ahhhhhhhh. BURP. Ahhhhhhhhh. Boy there's nothing like a Coke when you're body is craving sugar!

So there you go. For the most part, I'm feeling fine. Still working out a good bit. I think I got in about 12K swimming, 19 miles running, and 25 miles biking this week (all easy), along with 2x gym lifting sessions. Not sure what I'm going to do tomorrow. If it's nice I'll go ride my bike, but if the rain doesn't stop then I'll run again. That's the nice thing about exercising vs training- you can change your plan based on the weather because in the end, it won't matter a bit of I ride or run tomorrow. I'm just a mama trying to keep her sanity, and either one will do the trick for me right now.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Changing Plans

Well I just have to say, thanks for the support on this pregnancy thing. I know a lot of people don't think you should make it public for like 13 weeks or so but you know what? There's no way I could keep this to myself for so long. In fact, I think just putting it out there for everyone to see really helped me accept it. You just can't be in denial when everyone knows.

I think my challenge with all of this is that I am a planner. And this wasn't in the plans. And now all my plans have to change. I hardly slept at all for several nights after I found out because my little brain was just frantically trying to process all of this... and re-plan 2010.

In good news, I got back on my bike yesterday! If you remember, I wasn't biking because I was marathon training. But now I am not marathon training. So I am freed up to bike. Yay! I enjoyed the heck out of myself for about 90 minutes yesterday pedaling my two wheels all around town even though it was through crazy swirling winds and a bit of rain. Last time I got pregnant I gave up riding almost immediately. I think my biggest fear was being hit by a car and for whatever reason I just thought pregnant women should not be riding bikes. But this time I am going to keep riding until it's no longer comfortable for me to sit on my bike seat and pedal. I don't know when that will be, but until then, I think I'll ride once or twice a week for like 90 minutes or so. I'll let you know how that goes.

My priority right now though is actually going to be lifting weights and staying as strong as I can for as long as I can. I'm not a big fan of that 'soft' look we pregnant women get- you know, that layer of fat that covers our whole bodies. I know I am going to get it, and I know it will go away after I give birth, but still... I'm fighting it for as long as possible.

I went to the gym again this morning and came up with a new goal for myself. Ready for this? Pull-ups. Usually I do 2 sets of 10 pull-ups on the assisted machine. It's been a while since I've tried to do them unassisted. But today I tried. I wanted a baseline. So here's the deal. Right now, I can do 5 unassisted pull-ups. My goal, 8 months and +30 lbs from now, is to still be able to do ONE. Seriously, how classic would that be to see a big pregnant lady doing a pull up?

I swam this afternoon with Nalani and told her about my pull-up goal. She told me she could not do an unassisted pull-up. But she's working on it. She said her goal, by the time I give birth, is to be able to do one unassisted pull-up. So, cool. Nalani and I still have one goal in common. Originally I was trying to talk her into getting pregnant with me next year so we could be the two pregnant ladies tearing up the pool but then I went and screwed up that plan by jumping the gun. But now we have the pull-up thing.

So here's the deal. I don't know how realistic this is, but I swear, if it's possible for a pregnant woman to do a pull-up when she's ready to pop, I'll be the one. And I will get it on video and post it on You Tube. You heard it here first.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Ooops!! I (We) Did It Again...

On Sunday I headed out for my long run... one of my favorite routes that includes lots of hills and takes me up up up an old road that is no longer maintained (so hardly even a road) through wild forests where typically you can run forever and not see a soul. The idea was that I needed to reconnect with my enjoyment of the long run. I remember doing this route a few times while training for Ironman and thinking that I would really enjoy this run when I was training for 'just' a marathon.

I felt ok on the way out. Didn't push the pace or anything but saw splits that were reminiscent of a few months ago when I was running better. But then coming home it all started to get too hard. Not that it got fast, mind you, just hard. After about 90 minutes my heart rate just felt like it was so high and there was nothing I could do to make it come down. Ok, I could stop, and I did that at lights... HR came down. Start running again, slowly, but HR would just jump right back up. Ugh. I ended up walking the last 1/2 mile home and officially (in my head) dropped out of the marathon. My body was just not handling these long runs like it should if I was going to put together a decent marathon in 5 weeks.

I checked my FB account later that afternoon and saw a sarcastic comment from a riding partner and friend of mine reminding me that I am getting fatter and slower every day. Thanks, Spence. If only you knew how right you were...

It was frustrating for the rest of the day. Ok, maybe I just wasn't recovered quite yet from Ironman. But seriously, it's been 4 weeks so you'd think I should start feeling more normal soon. I decided that I needed a rest week. Back everything off. No long swims. No hard runs this week. Let's see if that'll get my body to bounce back...

One thing that was bugging me some was that I have not had my period since before Kona. It was about 10 days late. I wasn't particularly worried about it because I figured that an event like Ironman was surely something that could/would throw your cycle off... but just to reassure myself, I bought a home test. I brought it home. Peed on the stick. Holy crap.

I think that's how I phrased it when I walked out of the bathroom holding the stick while approaching Scott. (Romantic, no?)

Um, yeah, so, um, this wasn't in the plans. I mean, it was in the plans for next year, but not right now. But what are you going to do? This is the second time I've peed on a stick and the second time I've instantly felt like I was going to puke while looking at the results. I mean, seriously, wouldn't it be nice to actually try for these things, and then be all psyched and happy when telling your spouse your great news??

And seriously, who gets pregnant immediately after completing an Ironman? Doesn't it seem like our bodies would want a little break and maybe not ovulate for a month or two? Word of caution: You can ovulate immediately after completing an Ironman.

Anyway, I know I am in control of my attitude and how I respond to all of this (well, kind of... pregnancy brings all sorts of whacked out emotions and responses that we may or may not be in full control of). Anyway, instead of focusing on the fact that I am, indeed, getting fatter and slower every day, I am trying my hardest to see the good in all of this. So here goes. The good stuff:

1. This is the last time I'm going to have to be pregnant. After this we will do something permanent to make it impossible since clearly all we have to do is sleep next to each other and BOOM. Pregnant.

2. At least we don't have to plan a wedding this time. :)

3. Ah ha! An explanation for why my long runs have not gone well. It's not just that I suck.

4. So while two babies within two years will be tough at first, the theory is that the two will be good friends since they are so close in age.

5. I get moved to the priority list to get the H1N1 vaccine.

6. Being pregnant is the best excuse for everything. Seriously. Everything. Want to eat another cookie? Go ahead. You're pregnant. Want to leave the party early? Tell people you're tired because you're pregnant. They cannot argue with you. Nap in the middle of the day? You totally should! You're pregnant. Don't feel like running hard? You shouldn't! You're pregnant.

7. It's really a license to cry at any given moment.

8. I'll get to stage another awesome comeback after having a baby. That really was pretty fun last year- doing little races here and there and knowing people were thinking, "Holy crap. She just had a baby!!"

9. Speaking of an awesome comeback, how freakin' motivated am I going to be in 2011??? I am not so scared this time about how long it will take me to recover and get back into shape. I know I can do it because I've done it before.

10. At some point in July, I'm going to get to hold a new precious little baby. If I'm honest with myself, I am quite curious about what another one will be like?

So anyway, sorry to all you triathlon folks out there... this blog will now likely turn into some crazy ramblings of a pregnant woman for the next nine months or so... though hopefully I'll still have some tales to share of how to exercise when you feel like an elephant. Maybe there will even be a swim race report in there every once in a while... (yes, I'm still planning on the Double RoughWater in 4 weeks.) After July 2010 it'll be back to our regularly scheduled programming of New Mama Kicks Ass in swim/bike/run.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

The Buddah Belly Is Back

First of all, thank you all for your advice on the bottle thing. I brought the bottle back out yesterday and since then, Moana has been sucking down milk like a little calf and is as happy as can be with her bulging belly. Really, she's just more cooperative all around when she's fat and happy on her milk. She whines less, she doesn't try to rip her bib off when eating solid foods, she naps better... all of it.

I guess I just assumed that at a year you wean your kid off the bottle and that's that... I think I read it somewhere in a book that a year is the time to quit the bottle. And since I don't really know all there is to know about this parenting thing, I just figured I'd go by the book. But overwhelmingly I heard from many of you that that's not how it always works. I guess we can't always parent by the book, huh? ;) I really appreciate hearing about all of your experiences.

However, if Moana takes her bottle off to college with her, I'm blaming all of you.

Speaking of fat and happy, I think I would have been happier swimming today if I had more fat. Don't get me wrong- I'm working on it and have probably added four pounds of the stuff since Ironman, but it's not really enough these days to keep me warm in the ocean. I won't even venture a guess at the temperature today, because I know you'd all scoff at me anyway, but I'm not making this up when I say that I get really cold swimming out there. My hands and arms go numb, and my training partners told me at the end today that my lips were blue. We finished about 90 minutes out there this morning and I immediately ran down the beach to get out of the shade and into the sun, where I stood shivering with my blue lips until Nalani threw her sweatshirt at me. I was actually quite happy to start running afterward because I knew then I would finally warm up. Sure enough, with just a few minutes of running I could feel the blood entering back into my hands... and then the sweat came. Ahhh. I was so happy to be hot.

Other than the cold, we had a decent swim today. It was good training anyway since it was about as choppy as it gets out there. It's been rainy and kinda stormy all week so the water wasn't really clear at all. We did a good portion of the Double RoughWater course today- got to within about 1000M of the turn-around buoys (channel marker buoys that are always there) so I'm guessing it was in the neighborhood of 5000M today. And since none of it was what you could call pleasant, it felt like real training. You know, sometimes we go out there and the sky is all blue and the bright sun makes everything feel warm and fuzzy and the winds are down so it's flat and calm and we stop a lot and just chit chat about how much we love living here. Today there was none of that. It was like, battle through the swells and chop (um, washing machine, anyone?) without being able to see the bottom and stop every 10-20 minutes to regroup but then get going again so we didn't turn into icicles.

The good news is that the race will not be harder than what we did today. It might be just as hard, but it will not be harder.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

It's A Battle... Bottle Or Bust

Since Moana turned one, we've been transitioning some things. I think she's pretty happy with most of the changes. Like the car seat facing forward. She likes that.

There are far fewer foods on the Do Not Eat list now. Check it out! Scrambled eggs for breakfast!

I took her to her one year well child appointment a couple of days ago. On the list of things for 12 month old kids it said, "Did you know you can now give your child Vitamin D milk?"

Yep. I knew that. In fact, we made the transition just fine. The morning after her first birthday I heated up milk instead of formula and put it in her bottle. She sucked it right down like she didn't even know the difference. Phew! That was easy.

The next transition would be from bottle to sippy cup. Bottles are for babies, right Moana? Um, well, maybe... not so much. Enter, opinionated one year old who WANTS HER MILK IN A BOTTLE.

Don't get me wrong. The sippy cup is just fine. For water. Or juice. But I swear, if it's milk, IT BETTER BE IN A BOTTLE. Moana will scream like there's no tomorrow and swat that cup away if I try to give her milk in it.

I figured I'd give it some time... eventually she will get hungry enough and will drink the milk out of the sippy cup. Yeah, not so much. She'll just scream, thank you. Maybe I need to try a different sippy cup. So I've bought several versions. Guess which one of these is the only one acceptable for milk?

So now I'm kind of at a loss. For the last week I've been giving her a bottle in the morning but then sippy cup in the afternoon and evening. So essentially she's been drinking 8oz/milk per day, because those second two don't get touched. Ok, she does actually touch them as she swats them forcefully away. But she does not swallow an oz of milk out of them.

Last night I decided that's it. No more bottles. Bottles are for babies. I put them all away. This morning she woke up and I put her milk in that Born Free bottle. As soon as she gave me a sign that she was hungry, we settled onto the couch with cup in hand and instantly, the protesting commenced.

There was nothing I could do to get her to put that cup anywhere near her mouth. Eventually I stopped trying and she stopped protesting. But that didn't solve her hunger problem. So I fed her solid food breakfast early. Then more solid food a few hours later. Then nap. Then try again with the cup of milk. FORGET IT. Not gonna do it.

The thing is, her caloric intake has been drastically reduced by the limited milk she'll drink. And she's losing weight. Doc actually told me at her appointment that she was concerned that Moana is now down in the 23% for weight. That was a couple of days ago and she's thinner now than she was then. This morning I was getting her dressed and I could see her rib cage. So it's concerning. And I'm at a loss. Am I going to be that mom who has a two year old carting a baby bottle around because we never broke the habit? Or am I going to be that mom who has a skinny child because I'm hell bent on winning a battle to get rid of the bottle while my child stubbornly withers away? Is it really that big of a deal whether or not my daughter drinks milk out of a bottle or a sippy cup?

I'm really leaning toward giving in on this one, at least back to once a day with the bottle so she'll at least get 8oz of the stuff every day... It's been a week now and I really think that if I don't give in with the bottle, she will not drink another sip of milk. She's THAT stubborn. Moms out there have some advice for me on this one??

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Spaghetti Squash

Mmmmmmmm. I'm eating freshly roasted squash seeds. They're still warm from the oven. I feel so domestic, having roasted them myself. But let's be honest, I really just like the oil and the salt. Pretty addictive.

I made spaghetti squash for the first time tonight. I didn't even know what is was until Nalani was telling me about it a few weeks ago on a run. But even as she was describing it, I couldn't imagine what she was talking about. I thought she meant that she put pasta sauce on squash (like butternut squash) and it sounded pretty gross to me. But then she gave me one and told me to cook it and once I did, I figured out what she was talking about. Is there as Spaghetti Squash fan club on Facebook? 'Cause Scott and I would join*.

So we did our longest swim of the year today (Nalani's longest evah!). 5500 long course meters later we dragged ourselves out of the pool... actually, it wasn't that bad. We actually finished up a lot stronger than I anticipated we would. We started with a 1500 straight swim, descend the 500's to fast, remember the splits for later... then at the end of the workout we did another one, with the intention of going faster than we did in the beginning. I figured we could go a little faster, but I honestly didn't think we'd go 42 seconds faster! I checked our split at the first 500 (of the 2nd 1500) and had to gulp, wondering if we'd be able to descend much from there... but the next 500 was 9 seconds faster... then I was sure we were screwed b/c there was no way we'd go faster than that on the final 500... but we went for it... and dropped another 14 seconds! Holy cow. If someone would have told me the pace that we would hold finishing up that workout, I would have told them they were silly. Seems I need to stop underestimating myself in the water.

In other news, I unpacked my bike today! It's been resting peacefully in it's bike box for several weeks now in my living room. I hope she doesn't get too excited though because I'm still not going to ride her for a while. It's really not that I don't want to- it's more that I'm running and swimming kind of a lot right now and adding the bike would make my weeks look like I was training for an Ironman or something, which I am not. Once my two long swim and run events are over, I'll spend some time recovering and then will get back on my bike when my swim/run volume is more normal. In all honesty, the only reason I unpacked the bike was because my lighter running shoes were in there and I want to use them for my tempo run tomorrow.

Finally, what is the deal with all the maintenance workers who smoke right outside our condo? I swear, whoever hires those guys must ask the applicant to describe their smoking habits, only offering the job if the answer involves the word chain. I was returning from the grocery store today, carrying Moana in one arm with 3 heavy bags over the other shoulder and had to walk right through the new guy's smoke on my way to my steps. I was actually sort of nice at first when I asked him if he was new here... he replied that he was... then I turned on him like a cat... told him to take his cigarette up the hill and away from my home.

*Okay, Scott probably wouldn't join. But not b/c he didn't like the squash. Just because he isn't addicted to FB like I am.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Winter Storm

It's November and we've been hit by our first 'winter storm'. It cracked me up listening to a promo for the local Hawaii news last night as the weather man came on and was like, "Get ready for a BIG drop in temperatures! Find out what's in store as the winter storm approaches on the 6:00 news..." On the actual weather report he said that we should all dig out our blankets and sweaters because there's going to be A 5 DEGREE DROP IN TEMPERATURES as this cold front approaches. The high today is only supposed to be 76. Brrr... Lol. It's not like we're going to need one of these.

It made me laugh because our 'winter storms' are so unlike winter storms on the mainland... I posted something on FB, making fun of ourselves for such weather wimpiness... then I was promptly accused of 'trolling' for comments from mainlanders. Whatever. I was making fun of us. See? Funny? Maybe not I guess.

Anyway, besides digging out the long sleeve shirts, the issue with our winter storms is that they tend to bring a lot of rain. Which isn't a problem unless you've got a key run workout planned on a dirt track. Remember what happens to dirt when you add a lot of water? Yep. It turns to MUD. For the record, it's really hard to run mile repeats at 10K pace through mud. Nalani and I tried this morning. We did 2, and of course couldn't hit the pace because our feet were slipping and sliding and you just couldn't confidently push off the ground because of all the sliding. We opted to finish off the last 2 on the road, so we left and headed to a neighborhood for a 1.1 mile loop. We actually thought it would be easier on the road, but turned out is was harder. Only because we could push so much harder. I'm pretty convinced that we were running 5K pace on those last 2 because that sure wasn't a pace I could have held for a whole 10K. Or, I'm just slow right now, which is also a very real possibility. Anyway, the jury is still out on whether or not I'm going to attempt the marathon. Today's workout was not one that made me think I could run it like I own it.

On the other hand though, the swim training for the Double RoughWater has been going well! We've been ramping up our swimming to the neighborhood of 15K/week with 4 swims- one of which has been an ocean swim on the weekend. Wednesdays are our long swim days so that's been fun... Except that Nalani is getting so crazy fast these days- I have to kill myself to keep up with her now! Tomorrow should be a good one though... we're going to do a 1500 WU, descend by 500's, then a 2000M main set of some sort, then finish up with another 1500 swim, descend the 500's. Sweet. I oughtta be flat out on my couch for a good bit after that one.