Sunday, February 27, 2011

22 Weeks - Still Running

Workouts this week: 2
Total swim time: 30 min
Total run/walk mileage: 3.0 (1 mile of that was running)
Other workouts: None
Weight: 198 lbs
Total weight gained: 14 lbs

I set goals for myself to have a better week than the one prior, and I failed to meet those goals. Instead of doubling my runs and swims, they remained the same and I had HALF as many total workouts.

Oddly enough though, I don't really feel as angry at myself as I normally would. My one run was a good one -- this time the quarter-mile-at-a-time method worked and I was able to complete a whole mile. That restored my confidence in my ability to keep running a reasonable amount, for now. I haven't had to slow my speed either. I've slightly slowed my walking speed in between runs because catching my breath is a little more difficult than it used to be, but I'm still running at my previous (already slow) speed. :)

My one swim this week went well also. I'm still feeling strong in the water and breathing well. On a practical level, I can still climb the ladder to get out of the deep end of the pool (I'm anticipating that getting much more difficult when I become extremely front-heavy!). And on a silly, shallow level, I'm still wearing the same swimsuit that I was before I got pregnant. Granted, the only reason it still fits is that the pool chemicals have caused it to wear down and stretch way out, but still, it's one of the only items of pre-pregnancy clothing I can still wear, so I'm celebrating it! :)

I choose to focus on the quality rather than the quantity of this past week's workouts, and therefore I feel good, and I feel thankful for feeling good. I did get in a run today but I will count it in next week's totals. I usually count my weeks from Monday to Sunday, but for purposes of this pregnancy I'm counting them from Sunday to Saturday because my due date is a Saturday. This is a silly detail that doesn't matter at all, but I figured I'd explain it because I wanted to mention that I had another good run today. Starting off this new week strongly is probably part of why I am not letting myself get upset about the small number of workouts last week.

Once again, I am setting a goal to double my runs and swims, and since I failed to do yoga at all last week, my second goal is to do the yoga DVD again at least once. I believe I can do it! And I really NEED to do it, especially doubling the swims, because if I'm not getting my money's worth out of my monthly pool pass, I can't justify the expense of keeping it. So I need to swim 2-3 more times before it's time to renew!! Here's to a great week!

Friday, February 25, 2011

One Last Good Month

I am happy to report that all my appointments went well this week, and both baby and I are looking good and healthy! :)

With my past two babies, I've struggled with pregnancy-induced anemia, which is normal and totally manageable, but just one more factor that caused me extra fatigue. I've expected to develop it again this time, but so far I have been lucky enough to avoid it!

Last time around, at my "big" ultrasound I was diagnosed with partial placenta previa, and placed on "restricted activity" for a month until they could do another ultrasound and see if it had resolved itself (and it had). I'm happy to have avoided that issue this time too! I would have been extraordinarily frustrated if I'd been ordered not to exercise for a month!

So with a clean bill of health and still minimal aches and pains, I'm hoping to make the most of this last month of my second trimester! I want to exercise as much as I possibly can (i.e. as much as is comfortable and I have energy for) over the next four weeks or so, in case my tolerance for activity declines sharply in the third tri.

I'm trying not to put too much pressure on myself. I know there are no guarantees that I'll feel good enough to exercise every day for the next month! If pains start cropping up or I'm just too tired, that's fine. My approach to this month is more about fighting a natural inclination of mine, which is procrastination. It's very much like me to put things off, including workouts, with the attitude that they can always be done the next day, or the day after that, etc. That way of thinking is not going to serve me well right now, when I'm facing a very real future where all exercise is going to get more difficult! So I'm just trying to remind myself that conditions are not going to get any better than they are right now, and I should seize this time and get as much out of it as I can!!

Here's to one last good month! (Well, at LEAST one....if this one goes well and I still feel good, I'll certainly shoot for another good month after that!) :)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


This week is providing me with some natural opportunities for reflection. I've always been the type to recognize anniversaries of different events and ponder how things have changed in my life since they first occurred.

Today marks 6 years since my mother died. During the years prior, as her disease worsened and other stress in my life became overwhelming, I began my descent into frequent emotional eating. At the time of her death, I was pregnant with my first child, and I used the pregnancy as just one more reason to drown all my sorrows in junk food and laziness.

Now here I am, many years and heartaches later, pregnant once again, but living a completely different lifestyle this time around! I'm over halfway through my pregnancy and I'm still running, swimming, and doing yoga. I definitely indulge in junk food more often than I do when I'm not pregnant, but not to the extremes that I have before. Most of the time I believe that if my Mom can see me now, she is probably proud of the changes I've made in my life. I bet she's pleased with my increased strength, both physical and emotional. My Mom was an incredibly strong woman, and I know she respected strength in others as well!

My other reason for reflection this week was my "bootiversary." A year ago yesterday, I was diagnosed with a stress fracture and put in a removable walking cast. A setback in my quest to become a runner, that injury could have been just another excuse to slip back into my old ways. Instead it became a turning point in my life, as I refused to take my injury lying down. I purchased a pool membership, overcame my complete lack of skills in the water, and pressed on with my weight loss and fitness journey. Before long, I fell in love with swimming, set exciting new goals, and began this blog!

In a strange way, I am thankful for my stress fracture. Had I never gotten hurt, I probably never would have discovered the wonderful world of swimming! I might not have learned to appreciate running so much either, if I hadn't had to go a few months without. The injury and subsequent recovery led me to change my whole approach to fitness, and I'm really grateful!!

So this week is bringing me lots of memories and mixed emotions. At the heart of it all is a sense of gratitude for my life, my health, and all the lessons I have learned over the years. I am truly blessed!

As a side note, I have to give a shout-out to my wonderful husband, who turns 33 today! He is my biggest fan and I never could have made so much progress on my journey without his constant support and encouragement! Happy Birthday, Lonnie! I love you!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

21 Weeks - Still Running

Workouts this week: 4
Total swim time: 30 min
Total run/walk mileage: 2.75 (.75 mile of that was running)
Other workouts: Prenatal Yoga DVD 2x
Weight: 198 lbs
Total weight gained: 14 lbs

Despite my whining the other day, this was actually a better week than the one before. I still only ran and swam once each, but I also did my prenatal yoga DVD twice. I'm hoping that the yoga will help reduce the third trimester aches and pains that loom on the horizon.

I had a great swim yesterday -- it was the strongest one I've had in a long time. My arms didn't tire too quickly, and I felt strong and not too terribly slow. So even though running is a struggle, I guess I haven't lost all my fitness just yet!

At the moment, all of my pregnancy symptoms/side effects are minor, and I'm reasonably comfortable. I get the occasional aches and discomforts, but they are moderate and manageable. This is probably about as good as I will feel throughout the entire nine months, so I ought to make the most of it! In the week to come, I hope to double both my runs and my swims, but I will settle for doubling just one of them. I also have an appointment with my hematologist and one with my OB which will include the "big" ultrasound, so I'll know even more about how the baby and I are doing!

Some friends have given me things to think about regarding my efforts here, and I hope to write an introspective post or two later this week. Here's to a great week for everyone!

Thursday, February 17, 2011


If you watch much competitive reality TV, you know that immunity is one of the most coveted rewards for winning some sort of challenge. When you have immunity, you cannot be voted off the island, out of the house, off the ranch, etc. Doesn't that sound nice?

I could use some immunity right now too...immunity from GERMS! Unfortunately the immune system weakens during pregnancy, and I'm experiencing that more this time around than I ever have before. Starting with that bout of bronchitis in November, I feel like I've just been going from germ to germ, rarely feeling well except for a couple days at a time, here and there. Each illness lingers longer than it should too, such that other than the bronchitis and the stomach virus I suffered in January, it feels as though I have just been fighting one long cold that never really goes away.

All of this whining does have a point, I promise. When I wake up in the morning feeling really congested, I'm unlikely to engage in strenuous exercise. Running is no fun when you can't breathe, and leaving a trail of phlegm in the pool is just gross. I'm so frustrated. I feel like I have enough working against me already just trying to exercise through pregnancy for the first time. It doesn't seem fair to have to battle constant illness too!

You may be thinking that an easy solution to my problem would be to exercise in the evening instead, but that's really out of the question these days. By the end of the work day, my whole body is exhausted and all I want to do is sit in a comfy chair with my feet up. Maybe that's mostly laziness, but I feel like some of it is also all the abdominal muscles getting strained and stretched all day to the point where they don't want to have to support any extra weight anymore. Granted, they're not supporting THAT MUCH extra weight just yet, but it's enough to make me tired and achy, and enough to make me give in to the comfy chair.

I'm embarrassed to sound like such a big crybaby today, but I also want to be honest about my feelings. I do want to exercise regularly, but I'm struggling. I ran on Tuesday and it was really rough. I tried my new plan of running a quarter mile at a time, and it didn't help. I only completed the first quarter-mile run, and after that ran in even smaller increments for a total of only 3/4 of a mile. The congestion/cough may have played a part, or I could just be losing more and more fitness. Only time will tell. Meanwhile, I haven't been able to force myself to the pool yet this week. Hopefully tomorrow I will wake up feeling well enough to go!

I just wish I could win some sort of immunity prize and stop getting voted off of Healthy Island!!! Maybe Spring will bring a break from the germs...

Saturday, February 12, 2011

20 Weeks - Still Running

Workouts this week: 2
Total swim time: 30 min
Total run/walk mileage: 2.5 (1 mile of that was running)
Weight: 196 lbs
Total weight gained: 12 lbs

I've decided to do weekly summaries to monitor my progress. Today I'm officially halfway through my pregnancy and I just finished a short run. Lately I've been running one mile, split into two halves with enough walking in between for me to catch my breath. The second half mile has been getting tougher and tougher, so I think it might be time for a change. I'd still like to complete a mile running, but it might help if I break it up into smaller increments with more walking in between. For my next run, I'll try running a quarter mile at a time and see if that is easier.

I'm frustrated with my total number of workouts. Ideally, I'd love to be exercising 3-5 times per week, including working in an occasional session of prenatal yoga. The energy and time continue to elude me though. I know that doing something is better than doing nothing, but I want to be doing MORE now while I still can!! So I will try harder this week to get to the pool and get on the treadmill more than once each.

That's all I have time for today. I'll write again soon, with some thoughts on why pregnant running is such a mental struggle! Hope everyone is enjoying their weekend!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Running for Two

Well HELLO there, my handful of devoted readers! Have you missed me much? It has been a long time, but I can explain...

Most of you know by now that I'm currently pregnant with my fourth child, due to arrive the last week of June. Yay! I found out the week of my 10K (so I technically ran that race pregnant, though I didn't have any real symptoms yet and felt completely normal). We decided to keep the news to ourselves until just last week, for personal reasons, so I haven't been able to blog about my experiences trying to stay fit while battling nonstop nausea and fatigue for most of November-January.

I did post about my Turkey Trot 5K, but didn't mention the morning sickness that threatened to keep me away. My "morning" sickness generally lasts all day, and the two days before Thanksgiving had been particularly brutal. I woke up that morning not knowing what to expect, but I was fortunate enough to be able to run the race without feeling too sick! In fact, my break from nausea lasted long enough for me to cook a whole turkey dinner that day, only really overwhelming me right before we ate. I'm very proud of myself for dealing with the cold wet weather, the fatigue, AND the possibility of the nausea appearing at any moment, to run that race. It ended up being my final pre-baby race, as I'm in no shape for long distances now, so I'm even more grateful that I was able to complete it.

After Thanksgiving, finding the motivation to exercise got harder and harder. Not only did I feel awful most of the time and barely have energy just to get through the day, but I also was overwhelmed with holiday tasks and squeezing in enough work hours by the end of the year. I only ran a few times in December, and didn't swim at all. January was only marginally better, as my first trimester pregnancy symptoms tend to linger a few weeks into the second tri. I did manage to run a little more and drag myself to the pool....once.

Psychologically, this experience has been a bit of a mess. I alternate between feeling frustrated and disappointed with myself, and wanting to cut myself some slack for doing the best that I can. In my previous pregnancies, I have not even attempted to exercise, so even the little that I've done has been a vast improvement!! I still strive to do better though, and will continue to try. For me, it's not an issue of keeping my weight gain down or looking great or even feeling good throughout the pregnancy. I actually hate being pregnant and I know I'm not going to feel good no matter how fit I try to be! All my efforts now are focused on making recovery quicker after the baby is born. I will have a repeat c-section, and will have 6 weeks post partum where the only exercise I'm allowed to do is walk. But once those 6 weeks have passed, I want to get back into running as quickly as I possibly can!! The better shape I stay in now, the easier it will be to get back into it then!! At least, that's what I'm hoping....

In case you are wondering about the Big Picture, I still have my long-term goals of running more races and eventually completing a triathlon. I've simply shifted it all a little further into the future. I hope to return to 5K's and 10K's as early as the fall, and I think I'm aiming for early summer 2012 for my first sprint distance triathlon. I do not see this pregnancy as an obstacle to overcome or a detour from my's all PART of the lifelong journey to good health. I'm sure I will have lots of philosophical musings about pregnancy and fitness, so be prepared for more frequent postings. I probably will also need to vent my frustrations some, since, as I mentioned, I really hate being pregnant, and I never have an easy time of it. You name a possible pregnancy symptom, and chances are I've had it at least once. To add insult to injury, I have a blood-clotting disorder which requires me to give myself daily injections for the whole nine months. Good times...good times.

I hope blogging will help me with my motivation issues. I've been to the pool once this week and plan to swim again tomorrow morning. So far I haven't talked myself into a run yet; I hope to get on the treadmill Saturday morning or sometime on Sunday. I could use some encouragement, so if you think you can handle all my hormonal whining, please join me on this part of my journey!!! Thanks! :)