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mother. marathoner. blogger. reader.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Running @ 18 weeks pregnant

Google pregnant runners and you will inevitably come across blogs upon blogs of amazing women that run up until the moment they give birth. Women who runs marathons right before and right after giving birth. Women who eat no refined sugar while pregnant and gain 20 lbs and lose that 20 lbs within 2 weeks. My personal favorites are the elite athletes that mourn the loss of their 6:30 pace.

I am not that woman.

running while pregnant- thumbs up!Sure, at 18 weeks, I'm still running. But there's nothing elite about what's going on here. I'm still running with a watch but its really just to track my mileage; keeping track of my pace would just be silly. 

I've been trying hard to watch what I eat, to make healthy food choices. Some days are better then others. Today was not a good day. With Halloween right around the corner my sugar consumption is getting out of control. I told my husband once we go through the kids' haul, he is taking everything to his office. Everything must leave the house. If anyone asks, I have no idea how those 5 Butterfingers got into the fridge.

Sugar addiction and physical changes aside, I'm feeling good. I'm still putting in a good number of weekly miles and enjoying long weekend runs with my running partner. The baby has so far been cooperative and caused minimal bladder distress, which if you have ever been pregnant, you know is the worst thing about running while expecting.

The goal is to keep running. To keep running for as long as I can. I have no racing plans, no PR's to achieve. I just want to keep running. It's nice to know that as I change, as my family changes, I still have running. It may not look the same or feel the same but at the very heart of it, it is the same.

Related posts: Running @ 20 weeks pregnantRunning while Pregnant: The Basics

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Race Recap: Cincinnati Half Marathon

For the record, Ohio is colder then Georgia. Especially when it's raining and the wind is blowing. These were the conditions for my seventh half marathon. Cold, rainy, and downright wonderful. Wonderful, you say? Yes, wonderful. Wonderful because I was able to run with two of my most favorite people.

I have never raced a long distance with friends before. It was comforting to not be freezing my bum off by myself at the start. It was great to chat and talk as the miles ticked by. It was helpful to have a friend refill my water bottle while I was using the bathroom. And, it was downright wonderful to cross that finish line with my best friend. 

During this race, I covered miles that I ran seven years ago during my first marathon, The Cincinnati Flying Pig. I ran past the section where I hit the wall and would have quit if my husband had been there to pick my lifeless body off the ground. As we ran, I thought about how that first time I was lonely, hurting, and questioning why I was putting myself through this. This time, with my best friend on one side and my college roommate on the other, I felt loved, supported, and encouraged. It didn't matter how hard it was raining or how tired I felt, I was with my friends and that was enough. 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

water, water everywhere

I am the worst water drinker EVER.

I can go a whole day and only take a gulp or two. My Nalgene can sit on my kitchen counter and I never give it a second thought. 

As a runner, and now as an incubator of a new life, I need to drink water. Copious amounts of water.

The other day, while at Panera, I filled a plastic cup with a straw with water.

I ended up refilling that cup during the course of the day and drank 32 oz. That night, I bought a reusable cup with a straw from the supermarket. The next day I drank 64oz.

So, of course, I posted about this revelation on Facebook because everyone cares about my water consumption.

 And then my college roommate blew up my spot.

Thankfully, I already utilize wrinkle cream in my daily facial routine so hopefully everything will balance out in the end.


Monday, October 14, 2013

Profiles of Inspirational Women: Sarah-Ginny

I have the pleasure of running with a fabulous lady who has two fabulous sisters. During our many miles together, Austina has expressed how proud she is of her little sister, Sarah-Ginny, who started running after being diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. Sarah-Ginny has kindly agreed to answer a few questions about her disease and share her story with us.   

Next time your alarm goes off and you start to talk yourself out of going for a run, think about Sarah-Ginny, and get your pain-free butt out of bed!

What is Rheumatoid Arthritis? Rheumatoid Arthritis is an autoimmune disease that affects primarily, but not only, the joints. A very basic explanation of this disease is that your immune system begins attacking itself and causing damage to your own body and destroying healthy tissue.

There is no cure for RA, but in some cases (for instance mine) you can slow the progression or even stop it. I was 30 when I was diagnosed, so I have longer for this disease to progress, and that alone motivates me to try and get healthy so that I can help keep the RA from getting worse.

When were you diagnosed? I was diagnosed in May 2012. My youngest child was six months old and I knew something was not right with my body. I never suspected anything like RA, (to be honest I thought it was something that only the elderly struggled with, not a 30 year old mother of 3). I thought it was something involving my hormones after giving birth.

I went to the doctor, complaining of pain and tiredness. They ran lots of tests, and a few days later I got a call from the nurse saying, "Your tests results came back and it looks like you've tested positive for Rheumatoid Arthritis." I remember thinking it was a bizarre thing to just say over the phone. It was like she called me and said "Nice weather we're having, huh?" 

I was asked to come back for more testing because, not only is the disease different for everyone, but the tests are also confusing. Sometimes you test positive when you are negative, and sometimes you test negative when you are positive. SO I still had hope that my positive test was really a negative. I then went to see a Rheumatologist (where I am the youngest patient by about 30 years) and after more tests and x-rays he confirmed that I have RA. I asked for a summer break before starting the medicine so I could wean my son, and truthfully, so I would have some time to wrap my mind around what this all meant. 

I began researching this disease and instantly realized that it would not be getting better or go away. In fact, the medicine doesn't even make you feel better; it just keeps you from feeling worse. So every morning I wake up and my first thought is, I hurt. It takes a great deal of mental willpower to get yourself out of bed each day. But when you have three kids looking to you for EVERYTHING, staying in bed is not an option. 

So while I took a few months to wean the baby, I looked around for "alternatives." I was so overwhelmed with the "eat-this not-this" diets that people claimed made them better. For every diet cure out there I found another that disputed the first and said theirs was the better the option. I did figure one thing out quickly - moving helps. As much as it hurts to move, everyone agreed that it helps. The thing with getting up and moving is the more you move and the stronger you get, the better you feel during the day.
What were/are some of your symptoms? How do they affect your day to day life? A person with RA has stiff and swollen joints, typically starting in the hands and feet and spreading throughout the body. I have arthritis in my hands, feet, knees, and possibly hips. I am not able to use my hands for small things like helping my kids with crafts because I have a hard time if there are small pieces or scissors involved. Also, as a result of the RA, I have developed fibromyalgia in my upper back. 

One of the worst symptoms is the extreme exhaustion. I can sleep for a full night and wake up feeling as if I haven't slept at all. I toss and turn all night because it hurts to lie down. When I wake up, I know just the simple act of putting my feet on the ground is really going to hurt.

Imagine waking up each morning feeling like you didn't stretch before an intense workout the day before, then you stood in line for the rest of the day wearing high heels, and then you didn't sleep the whole night. But there was no workout, no standing in line, and you did get a full night's sleep. You are just living your day-to-day life with RA.

How has being active been beneficial to your well being? I started walking the bridges in town with Baby B in the stroller. Then I started a diet using the Herbalife shakes, because losing weight and exercise is the best place to start when faced with most health issues. Then I started working out with my friend Martine, and I noticed that I was feeling better and I had more energy. Then she brought up the idea of doing a 5k and I thought that was a great idea. I liked the idea of having a goal to work towards. So I signed up and began to purposely train instead of just going for a walk to see a pretty view of the ocean.

I soon realized the 5k was almost a year to the day that I was diagnosed. It felt so great to cross that finish line, to accomplish that goal. I wasn't even the last person to finish! I felt like the past year of figuring out how to not let this disease control me was complete.

Occasionally, I will have bad flares and I know that I need to slow down and rest. But if I can lessen the frequency of the flares by staying active and improving my endurance by running - why shouldn't I give it a try? Not only do I love the physical effects of running, but it really puts me in a better mood overall, and I love that feeling.

What are some of your future goals? My goals are to keep my RA from progressing and for me and my family to live a healthy life. I will always have RA, but I want to work towards a life where that description is low on the list of things that I am known for. I don't want to ever have to say that I can't do something because I have RA.

These days, I am homeschooling my two oldest kids with the third running around us in circles. I haven't quite figured out how to run/walk with the kids, but I am trying. For me, the hardest challenge of living with RA is not letting it control me. This means not skipping a workout because my feet really hurt or everything hurts so bad it hurts to be touched. I know my body and I am learning my new limits so I know when to take a rest and when to suck it up and put one foot in front of the other.

I would love to works towards completing a longer race, specifically the Cooper River Bridge Run in Charleston, S.C. When I was younger, there was an elderly couple in our church in Charleston that would participate in that race every year, and it amazed me. Being 80 didn't stop them, so why should feeling like an 80 year old stop me?   

Sarah & Baby B
(photo courtesy of Sarah-Ginny)

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Some Big News & a Race Recap: M&M 5k

This morning I ran a 5k.

Not a lot of mileage, not a huge crowd. Just a nice, low-key, local 5k to run with my running partner.

Except she wanted me to pace her to a sub 30 time. I'm not going to lie, I was nervous. After all, I am coming back from a knee injury and there's that other little matter of being 16 weeks pregnant.

Yes, you read that correctly. I'm having another baby.

Crazy huh?

That makes three little people running around this world with half of my DNA.

Other than being exhausted to the point of needing a nap every day at 2 pm, I've been feeling pretty good. My mileage has been steadily increasing and I think I'm ready to tackle the 13.1 next week.

Enough about that. Back to the race.

Last year, I crashed this race and helped my friend PR. This year, things are a little different, and I wasn't sure I would be able to help my amazing running partner reach her goal. I was having weird anxiety dreams involving running and Harry Potter (I've been re-reading the series). I also had some pregnancy related round ligament pain earlier in the week and was growing more and more worried that I wouldn't be able to run as fast as I needed to. Of course, I didn't share any of this with my running buddy. In fact, when she reads this she's going to be appalled. 

*I'm sorry and I love you Austina!*

The good news is, though, that my fears were unfounded. We both ran a great race. Sub 10 minute miles despite a nasty little hill towards the end. We both placed in our age groups and basically rocked it.

I ran a nice, slow 4 miles after the race and felt pretty good about moving at a slower pace, but it's nice to know that I can still run quick like a bunny if needed.

Austina & I wearing our medals proudly
(photo courtesy of David Jordan)

*For those caring, concerned individuals out there - don't worry I have my doctor's support. They know I'm a runner and know better than to tell me to stop :) Seriously though, I am cleared to run and would not do it without their approval*    

Saturday, October 5, 2013

friends that run together, stay together

Today was my last long run, 12 miles, before the Cincinnati 1/2 on October 19th. 

My husband was racing in a local 5k, so I had to get myself out of bed nice and early to get my miles in before he had to leave.

"Why hello 4:48am, aren't you dark and a little scary"?

I've been re-reading Harry Potter and at one point, while looking over a misty field, I was half convinced I could see a werewolf bounding towards me. My fastest miles were probably the ones where I was the most scared.   

This was the first solo long run I've done in awhile. The miles take a little longer to tick by and there's a lot more inner dialogue that can make your mind go all funky (cue misty field/werewolf thoughts). Overall, however, it was a good run and comforting to know that despite the step backs, I am and will be capable of finishing the race. 

I get to run this race with two incredible ladies: my best friend and my college roommate. Distance keeps us apart but running is bringing us back together. I expect there will be lots of laughter and even some tears. Totally worth the 18 hr round trip in one weekend.

thankfully they get it.

Have you been able to share your love of running with your close friends? Have you been able to race with friends?