“At first an ordeal and then an accomplishment, the daily run becomes a staple, like bread, or wine, a fine marriage, or air. It is also a free pass to friendship.”
~ Benjamin Cheever, Strides

Monday, May 30, 2011

Rescue Run Recap

I totally suck and left my camera in my bag most of the time.  To add insult to that - I cannot find my chord to upload the one picture I did take.  <hanging head in shame>

When I first heard about this run/walk - I thought "what a great cause!".  And then I saw - only the 1st 1000 got shirts and there weren't medals and jokingly dismissed it.  After Mark's injury and my realization that 6 months pregnant and running didn't mix quite so well any more...I didn't think about it again.  Until my friend Sarah mentioned it.  Then, of course, I had to do it too.  :D  A race where I can bring my dog and run with her? Awesome!

Mark had a condition before he would agree to the race - we had to walk.  I guess with his IT band injury, my pregnancy and Cassie's newly diagnosed hip dysplasia...he had a point.

We still almost didn't make it.  We did not pre-register.  Friday night, Mark came home and stated - I don't want to go.  You can go by yourself.  I had a completely and utterly irrational response to that statement.  Tears.  I blame being pregnant and the fact that I've walked at the back of a race by myself before and it's NOT fun.   Then of course - he says - What time are we leaving.  Of course - I'm difficult and respond we're not going because you don't want to.  This continued all night.  

I woke up the next morning and decided I was going because I'd told Sarah I was going.  As soon as I got out of bed - Mark flew out of bed like a rocket.  You could tell he'd been paranoid that I would leave without him after my tears and pregnant temper tantrum.  LOL.  Poor husband.

Cassie got so beyond excited when I got out the leash and filled it with poop bags.  The medicine they gave her for the hip dysplasia is working WONDERS.  She barely sat down the entire drive downtown.   The race started at 10:30am, but we got there early because I wanted a T-shirt!  You can't race without a shirt.  :D  I texted Sarah when we arrived and they met us right away.  They went with us to get Mark and I registered and then it was all about breakfast.  Mark paid for some egg sandwich thing - but Sarah and I took advantage of the free bagels, cheese and bananas.  Yum.  Cassie tried sticking her head in the cooler for cheese - but it was all wrapped up.

After we ate - we walked through all the booths.  Cassie figured out quickly that most booths had dog treats and took full advantage...although she didn't care for the peanut butter yogurt treat some one was offering...she wouldn't even taste it.   That's my dog - nothing healthy for me!  HA!

We got a group photo taken by the photographers on site, which is actually cute and I admit - I ordered a 4x6.  Group Photo: Sarah, Keith, Mark, Me, Puggles and Cassie HERE

Then it was time for the "race".   It was such a weird experience for me - going into a race with the plan to walk the whole thing.  This was the right one to do that in.  LOTS of walkers.  And LOTS of dogs.  I'm still amazed by how well Cassie handled all the excitement.

It was a modified two loop course and they had LOTS of doggie water stations...about every 1000 feet.  It was hilarious - Cassie had to stop at about every other one - but would only drink from the cleanest of the buckets. LOL!   Not so many human water stations though - so I was glad I had water bottles in my bag.  It was hot enough, that even with mostly walking - I wanted hydration.

We turned the corner for the finish line - it was the same one as Cap City and all downhill - so I talked Mark into running that part.  Cassie lost steam as we finished - but still a cute photo.  We saw Sarah and her crew cheering us as we ran in.  Race photo: Mark, Cassie and I crossing the finish line HERE

After the race - we took full advantage of the free ice cream!   I swear this race had better swag and treats than Cap City in some respects!  After that - I got Cassie micro-chipped for only $15!   Then it was time to go home.

Bottomline - had a great time!  Got to spend time with Sarah and meet her dogs and the weather was fabulous.   I think I will always love these smaller races where Cassie is permitted to run/walk with me.  Love my dog.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Running Withdrawal

Ok.  I am definitely having running withdrawawl since my shins and the growing baby made me say - enough is enough until the baby is born.

Example #1 - I get misty eyed thinking about all the awesome races my friends will be running...without me.  :)

Exampe #2 - The night before last, I dreamt....about all the races I was going to run next year.  In the dream - I was running the Pittsburgh Marathon relay with my running buddies....and I knew that I'd already run the Knoxville Half Marathon in April and Cap City in May....plus I had plans to run the Emerald City Half and the Columbus Full in the fall.   HAHAHA!   Gotta love dreams!  Gives me something to aim for.   So, um...is anyone interested in getting a relay together for Pittsburgh?  LOL!

Example #3 - Today I insisted on starting cross-training cardio-wise since I can't run.  After my one hour long strength training workout (double the length because he no-showed on Monday), I showered, put on my new maternity swimsuit and got into the pool to attempt swimming some laps.

Note to self - NEVER forget goggles when swimming at Urban Active.  I switched to a truncated breaststroke and kickboard laps when I realize my eyes needed to not take in their water.

I cannot even begin to describe how incredibly HEAVY I felt getting back out of the pool and having to re-experience the pregnancy weight after a half-hour break.  AND - I was so tired after 1.5 hours of exercise that making lunch afterwards seemed like a chore.  But, it was worth it!

Anywhoodle - my computer is back with a new harddrive - so I should be able to keep up on all my fun internet stuff again - YAY!!!!

Until next time...

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Best Bear Ever!

So, on Monday, I had my third ultrasound.  We confirmed that Bug was definitely a girl and we checked out her heart to make sure all 4 chambers looked as they should.  Very cool.  The best part was being able to see her move...while simultaneously feeling her move.  I do not think that I can adequately explain how completely awesome that was.

Anywhoodle - the nurse, Susan, makes a suggestion at the end of my visit.. after I mentioned that I thought the sound of Bug's heartbeat was the coolest thing ever.  Build-a-bear has a Build-a-sound device which you can record sounds on before putting them in the bear.  She told me that if I called her on Thursday, a day they don't see patients, she would help me record my baby's heartbeat on one of them so that I could put it in a bear for an awesome keepsake.

Needless to say, I ran over to build-a-bear right after my appointment.  I bought 3 of the little devices.  I thought - what cool gifts for the impossible-to-buy-for grandparents!

Today - I went in to see Susan with the devices.  And, of course, for the first time ever Bug does not cooperate and it takes FOREVER to find her heartbeat loudly enough to record.   I wasn't paying for this visit, and yet, Susan sat in the patient room with me and the heart doppler for over half an hour to get four awesome recordings of her little heart pounding away.  (I also used my digital recorder so that I could upload it here).

Click below to hear Bug's heartbeat: 
Baby Still's Heartbeat

I couldn't help hugging this awesome woman before I left.  If anyone in the Columbus, OH area has a baby - I highly recommend my doctor and his staff.  Absolutely fabulous people.

After the appointment, I went to build-a-bear and had each of the devices put into a cute little bear. (I didn't want to get home and argue with myself over which bear to keep, so I used the same bear for all three).  I will be mailing one bear to each set of grandparents...and the third is for Mark and I.

Anywhoodle - I have to say that I absolutely adore Susan...and I'm already wearing out the digital recording of little Bug's heartbeat....it really is the coolest sound in the world.

Until next time...

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Take it away please!

Ok.  I need someone to do me a favor.  TAKE AWAY MY CREDIT CARDS!

Hahaha.  I bought a few more things for the Little Bug today.  Not logical we need to have them things....rather things that were just too cute to pass up.  There were some little dresses on sale at babierus today, and some cute little red shoes to go with her Christmas dress.

And - I needed something from her bedding set to help pick out a paint color for the nursery...I'd registered for the set at Babiesrus....but found some really cute things online from the same set that weren't at Babiesrus.  Some  cloth wall hangings and a throw pillow.  Because what baby doesn't need a matching throw pillow for the glider.  Ha!  Somebody stop me!  LOL!

I did pay for some logical things today too though.  I registered for childbirth and breastfeeding classes today.  This must be real now!

Anywhoodle - in other news - Mark is out of town again.  BUT, before he left town, he went to see Dr. Bright about his Cap City injury.  The good news is that he didn't tear any tendons.  The bad news is that it is his IT band that he injured.  Apparently the "pop" he heard during the race was the water sack that normal sits under the IT Band, cushioning it, bursting.  The pain was because - after that sack burst, the IT band was free to slide along his bone.  OW.  That hurts just typing it.  He got a script for physical therapy and the fact that he is not training for a race this fall is probably a good thing.  Overall, he liked Dr. Bright and is going to do what is necessary to heal up.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Operation Sara - Pittsburgh Surprise

Finally I can post about the fun planning for this without giving away secrets!

So, my friend and pace coach Sara spent the winter season training for her first full marathon (while helping us train for a half marathon).  She was so inspiring! Then she made signs and and stickers to cheer us on for our half marathon.  At some point during the season several of us starting talking about how cool it would be to surprise her in Pittsburgh and cheer her on during her race.

A few weeks ago, we got the news that Sara's beautiful mother Darlene had passed away after completing her own training run.  Our hearts broke for Sara and her family.  Darlene's Angels was formed and we ran Cap City in honor of Darlene.

The week before Cap City, our "surprise Sara" idea morphed.  We decided she would not run Pittsburgh alone.  Duane, our other pace coach had a registration for the Pittsburgh marathon, but because of injury could not run the whole thing.  Our favorite Moose came up with an idea....what if we "passed his racing bib" and paced Sara for the race?  And like all great plans, we took it and ran with it...literally.

Last Tuesday, a group of us met at my house for a sign making party to make signs to cheer on Sara and finalized the "relay" plans.
Too funny for the pregnant woman to be holding the sign about going all the way

The poster making gang
We had a blast with pizza, twizzlers, peanut butter cups, kit kats, sharpies and an impromptu trip to Fleet Feet to buy things and drop off brownies.

Then we posed with our medals from Cap City because Sarah needed some post-race pictures of everyone.
After the party, we finalized the plans for the drive to Pittsburgh.  Due to illness, Jennifer and Judi had to be left behind to cheer from Columbus.  I swear we could hear them cheering anyway!  The rest of the crew left my house at 2am on Sunday morning to start the drive.  (minus Sarah, who was going to meet us from DC if she could).  We were a bit loopy during that wee hours drive!

We arrived in Pittsburgh a little after 5:30am and got situated before heading off to watch the start and dispatch to our various relay spots....and wouldn't you know it - out of 30,000 people or so....we ran into Sara!!!  We pretended we were just there to cheer.
The start line and such was so confusing...we worried about finding the shuttles and our relay spots...and still hadn't found breakfast...so we dashed off in the rain to find the first relay spot for Deb, and the shuttles for the rest of us.

LeDawn and I rode with Amy out to the next relay exchange...dropped her off, ate some breakfast/drank some coffee....watched the Kenyans run by at the 10 mile mark after only an hour and then back to the shuttles to get LeDawn in place.  Two shuttles later, and LeDawn and I were waiting at the 15 mile mark for the fourth leg of the unofficial relay.

In the meantime....Duane ran the first 4.8 miles with Sara.  Deb took over for the next 4.8 miles completely surprising Sara.  Amy had the next leg - the one with the dreaded Mt. Washington (but - hey, she volunteered for the hilly part - crazy, I'm telling you.  LOL).

Then, LeDawn's turn came.  She was so ready to join them that she went to the bottom of the next hill to wait and I took pictures as they approached.
Then, Amy and I walked to the next exchange spot....I'd under-estimated the distance a bit.  Oops.   Anywhoodle - we met Deb there, raided the nearby drug store for some much needed sports drinks and waited for LeDawn and Sara.

From there - all of us joined Sara until the pregnant woman (yes, that would be me) had to slow down a bit.  Amy and Deb stayed with Sara until the bib was exchanged when Sara's sister Mollie met them for the last of the race.

We all rushed to the finish line so that we could meet Sara's dad, husband and Duane and cheer her the last 0.2 miles.

The final result???  A successful surprise and a new marathoner joined the ranks.  Our good friend Sara finished a very tough marathon and joined the 0.17% of Americans that have run a marathon this year.  Absolutely AMAZING!

After the celebratory photos and the joy of seeing Sara get her medal....the Operation Sara Pittsburgh Crew climbed back into my car for the drive back.  We stopped for lunch and spent the rest of the drive planning our next races and roadtrips.

I never cease to be amazed by the amazing people I met this running season at MIT.  To all my Lucky13 teammates - I am so thankful to have met such amazing and entertaining people!  LOVE Y'ALL!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Baby Ninja

My computer keeps taking a nose dive from functioning properly.  I have restored the original factory settings and am currently going through the fun process of 20 million windows updates before I can actually USE it.

So, since my husband is out of town (with the ipad), I have stolen his computer to get my much needed internet fix.

Anywhoodle - up until this week - feeling the baby move as been a rather sporadic occurrence.  She really enjoyed kicking during my massages in California....but since the half marathon attempt - I really hadn't felt her in a few days...and I have to admit that freaked me out a teeny bit.

Then yesterday dawns....and she's decided to start training for the MIT summer session!  Suddenly, whenever I am sitting down and calm, she taps out a little beat on my insides.  Maybe it's the sudden switch to Summer in Ohio and all the heat?

Today - while at my workout at the gym - she started kicking during my push ups - maybe she was saying "lower Mommy, lower!".

I wish there was a way to accurately describe the feeling.  It's almost like when you lightly drum your fingers on the desk - but it's occurring INSIDE me, just below my navel.  I have to admit - the movie Aliens did come to mind.  LOL.

Still.  It's pretty darn awesome at the moment.  That's all.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Bling display!

I finally took the time to move things around on the wall in my study and mount my new medal display.   I got it because I told Mark it could be my "mommy" present.   He has since been informed by others that he is required to give me jewelry.  HAHAHA!

I absolutely LOVE my new medal display and looking at all my race bling.  Almost makes me want to run again....

...after the Lil Bug makes her debut.  :)

Almost half of these medals are pregnant race medals...kind of cool!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

End of the Line - Cap City Recap

Worst. Race. Ever.  I think Cap City is a race that is cursed for me, just saying.

For all my awesome running buddies who did so well at Cap City - fair warning this blog post is going to be full of whining.  :)  If you decide to read anyway, well, you've been warned.

I woke up the morning of Cap City with no pain....other than being WAY more nervous then usual.  On the drive, my husband was trying to get pumped up and succeeding in making me want to vomit.  

All the MIT gang met at the Hyatt early to help each other pin bibs and some lovely photo ops.  Everything was cheery.  

I went for a bathroom break before we left the room - and a complete stranger in the line looks at my pregnant belly and says "you aren't running are you?"  I tell her I am.  She gives me a look like I'm nuts and says "Did you fill out the back of your bib?"  I say no.  She gives me another disgusted look and says "You Should."  Maybe that was a sign?

I went back to the rooms for more photos ops and then we were headed out.  
MIT Lucky 13 Gang

Darlene's Angels
On the way to the corrals we stopped at bathrooms, and then I got lost from my main pacers - and wound up at the starting line with the faster MIT runners.  Mistake #1.

The buzzer went off and we were running.  I looked down - 11:30 min/mile.  Need to slow up.  A bit later - 12:00 min/mile...slowed down again.   Repeat.

Then these nasty little ninja leprechauns came out of the crowds were they'd been lurking....and started stabbing me repeatedly in the shins.  I'm honestly shocked that my White CEP socks weren't soaked in blood with how they felt....must be magic knives.

Full system stop.   I walked.  Slow.  I kept looking back for my buddies.  When I saw them - I tried to jog again - this time at the correct pace.  Those dirty ninjas jumped out and stabbed me again when I was distracted by the cool kids.

I walked.  Slow.  And tried to hide the pain I was in. I look down.  I've gone 0.6 miles in a 13.1 mile race...and I'm struggling to walk.  I stop and stretch my calves....rub my shins - hoping if I just walk about they'll loosen up enough for me to jog.   No luck.   I'm near tears, but trying to hide it as I'm passed by walkers.  The MIT walk pace coach stops to check on me.  She could tell I was in pain.  She assured me - "You know MIT, we'll come back and carry you over the finish line if we need to."

Then the 3:30 half marathon pace team passes me...walking.   I pass the turnoff for the 5K people. By mile 2, around the hair pin turn - I can see the balloon team and think the word DNF for the first time.  I'm in tears from the pain.  I start saying to myself that I will never run again.

I approach the water station near mile 3....look behind me....and see the balloon team and all the lights of the emergency vehicles following them.  I'm in tears, again.  I start playing the word "DNF" in my mind over and over and over.   The volunteers are dumping out water cups at the fuel station as I approach (I guess they're realizing they don't need any more).  They clap for me and say my name (it's printed on my bib) - and I'm wishing my name weren't on my bib, I'm so embarrassed.  One of them walks along side of me - and asks - "how many miles do you have left?".  I answer "10".   He says "and you're going to sprint those 10, right?"   Pffft.  I don't think I can walk those 10 anymore...DNF, DNF, DNF.

My baby belly is also starting to hurt - I think because I was slamming my feet down with every step because it was so hard to walk.  I consciously try to step softer.  I pass one of the medical aide stations and consider quitting.

Then something inside me snaps.   I REFUSE to DNF.  My husband cannot have one more medal than me.  My new goal - reach the quarter marathon turn off before the emergency vehicles catch me and finish the quarter.  I walk a bit faster.

For anyone that doesn't know, when you are at the VERY back of 12,000 racers, they stop completely blocking traffic....and wave cars through right up until you get to the streets.  Then hold them just for you.  I tried to jog each one of the street crossings.

Success!  The turnoff for the quarter marathon!  After I turned, I was completely alone..and suddenly really had to pee!   I have to pee so badly that running and putting additional pressure on my bladder wouldn't be an option even without my injuries.  No restrooms or port-a-potties anywhere in sight.

I finally make it back to the main course after the turnoff - YAY - people again!  Of course - these are all people that have already passed me and are doing the half marathon - but PEOPLE.  
I manage to smile for Sarah's friends.
The next medical station - I ask them where bathrooms are - they mention the White Castle a block away.

So, yes.  I stopped in the middle of my quarter marathon and went into White Castle.  What can I say?  I have true class.  LOL.  Best bathroom break EVER.
Heading into White Castle during my race.
I've sped up my walking now - and am actually walking faster than the cut-off pace FINALLY.  I saw some friends of Sarah - an awesome running buddy - right when I stopped at White Castle and that gave me a boost.  Plus -I'm under 2 miles to go now.

I think - maybe I'll run when I get to the 6 mile mark.   Then I adjust it to the 6.2 mile mark - I don't want to fall and fail so close to the finish line.  Then I see my pace coach Duane on the sideline!  He cheers for me - saying good job.  I shake my head and tell him I'm hurting and that I turned at the quarter.  Of course - a sympathetic face makes the tears threaten again.  I assure him I can make it to the end of the quarter and start running.

I crossed the finish line with the following on my Garmin (which I did not stop for my White Castle break), 6.8 miles, 2:07:44.  When I got home, the graph on the training center spoke volumes.

They handed me a half marathon medal.  I got through all the food before realizing there were separate medals for the quarter.  I couldn't take the medal for what I didn't accomplish - despite how pretty it was.   I hobbled back and asked them to give me the other one.

Then I waited at the Fleet Feet tent for everyone else to arrive, I sat down briefly and had so much trouble standing back up that I decided standing in pain was better than not getting up.  I kept expecting Mark - based on his normal time - a 9-10 min/mile pace, he should be there already.  Half an hour passed.  I was getting nervous.  Then he hobbled in.  He says "I felt a tendon or something pop around mile 7 and almost fell over. At times I was trying to hold my knee together."   He almost waited for me to just walk with me - but decided not to in case I'd turned at the quarter.  Smart man.
After some rest - we both managed a smile for our race end photo.
On a positive note - I am happy to say that all my running buddies successfully finished their race.  Some in more pain then others - but they all got their beautiful medals!!!  WOOHOO!!!!!  They all deserved them!  I'm so happy for all of them!!!!

Mark and I had to leave before we got to see everyone because he was in too much pain to hang out any more.  We hobbled back to the car and drove home sharing our miseries about the race.

So, in the end, I finished the race and did not DNF.  I have to say - running while pregnant is doable...at first.  Something about the 5 months pregnant mark.  These last two weeks were the biggest physical struggle for me EVER.  I think if Cap City had been a month earlier - I could have finished the Half.  Slowly sure, but I would have finished.   I have decided that any future running plans must now be put on hold until after my little Bug arrives.  The dog will get a lot more walks instead - I'm sure she'll love that.   I'll be ready to kick butt for the next Winter MIT session though, if for no other reason than that I can't stop running  on such a bad note.  :D

Friday, May 6, 2011

Back from Never, Never Land

So, I went with my family to this crazy bootcamp spa in California called Cal-A-Vie.   When I got back, windows update decided to murder my computer - so I've been mostly offline for two weeks!  I've been going a bit nuts - to say the least.

Anywhoodle - Bootcamp spa.  Where to begin?

Looking down from our balcony and the exercise pavilion - all the classes were held here
First - most people that go to this place are there to lose weight.  They cook your meals based on a set calorie diet without using butter, cream or sugar or anything else that might be unhealthy.  Most people are on 1200 calories diets...and yet still do all the crazy exercise stuff.

They must have been shocked when I said - FEED ME!   I'm 5 months pregnant - 1200 calories will get me through the morning workouts and that's it.  HA!   I definitely sensed a few evil eyes from other women there when my LARGER meals were brought out.  

The three who are climbing Mr. Ranier in June - ready for the hike with their mountain gear.  :D
 So - our days started with a hike at 6:15am through the hills of death.  OMG.  Killer hill in Columbus looks like a downhill compared to the hills of death.  They don't feed you breakfast until AFTER the hike.  That just doesn't cut it - I insisted on some yogurt, berries and granola pre-hike.  Then breakfast - by the end of the week, most of my family was ordering TWO breakfast meals.  HAHAHA.  Again, we weren't their normal visitors.

On the hike...a flat section!  GASP!

Then - they had exercise/aerobics classes from 9am-1pm.  But - you might be scheduled for a treatment during that time.  I was almost always scheduled for something at 11am.  So, I usually did a class or two - then went for a treatment, then played with my cute niece before lunch.
My adorable niece Landry
After lunch - most of the classes were Yoga - which I just can't do.  Not enough going on to keep me interested.  BUT - the afternoons were also pamper time.  Basically, you had to have a massage every day in order to be capable of walking to your exercise classes the next day.

To add to it all - my family was staying in the villa - separate from the normal suites.  It was up a hill and we were on the second floor.  This is supposed to be a health spa - so elevators or anything like that were illegal.  My calves were so tight after the first day there - that even the gal that gave me a pedicure told her friends about my rock hard calves. HA!

Mark and I - on one of the hikes - looking back at Cal-A-Vie...at the bottom of that valley.

The last day there - I pulled out my calf sleeves - just to walk.

I am happy to admit that I only had two pregnancy related tear filled breakdowns.  One - was when they rescheduled something and didn't tell me until I showed up.  Then they wanted to reschedule it during my one planned nap time that I really needed.  The other - was when I decided to go on the golf-course hike instead of the hills hike on one of the days.  I absolutely HATE admitting that I am physically incapable of anything.  I also chose not to do the 200-step challenge at the end of our last hike - but for some reason - I was okay with that decision.  :)

Part of the 200 step challenge - this took place AFTER the hike.  I did not do this.
Of course - my Dad was frustrated with me the whole time.  He thinks that I'm 5 months pregnant and doing too much.  He even told my husband in private "we just can't slow her down."  I think that's my favorite memory of the trip.  LOL!  That or the "healthy" truffles.  OMG - so good...and 15 equals one normal truffle??? Sign me up for 15!