Couch-to-5k Hours of Pregnancy

i miss running.

wow, never thought i’d say that in my life! for a girl who used to loathe running, fear and loathe it with a passion, it’s just weird to see those words on the screen after being typed by MY fingers.

but we were doing SO well with our Couch to 5k running program.  we had a team name (Turtle Power!) and camaraderie, light competition and a huge helping of support, a schedule and goals.   we had races under our belts and more planned for the future.

and now i spend my days sitting at home cruising the internet, watching movies, quilting, doing chores, relaxing, and generally trying to savour the last bits of the decently enjoyable 2nd trimester of pregnancy before the 3rd trimester really starts to ruin my days (and nights, or so i’ve heard). i used to go from Couch to 5k runs, now i’m at 5k hours of pregnancy (which works out to be about 30 weeks or so… right where i’m at!)

but as i sit, debating getting out of my pajamas and actually accomplishing something today, i remember the breezes, the endorphins, the feeling of accomplishment, and the feeling of being capable.

it doesn’t help that Hubby is on an “i want to lose some of this sympathy weight” kick.  thanks Honey; at least ONE of us can choose to lose the weight whenever they want! so while i’m eating more, he’s endeavoring to eat less. while i relax and spend more and more time in bed asleep, he’s going for a daily run in addition to performing some at-home work-outs. he’s the one with a schedule and goals (the nearest of which is the upcoming Warrior Dash).

but i’m not angry with him.  i’m just envious. truly, i’m proud of him and happy for him. he’s taking action to keep his health and well-being in a good place so that he can continue to be the awesome and amazing bread-winner of the household, the rock, the foundation, the ying to my yang, the zig to my zag, the… yeah okay i’ll stop there.

is it the end of March yet so i can get this crazy kicking baby out of me and get back to my normal shape? i’ve got races to run! muscles to rebuild! and an urge to fall asleep flat on my back or on my stomach (neither of which i’m supposed to do!) or in whatever position i want!

From 3 to 30 Weeks

from finding out (3 weeks or so) to the most recent belly pic (taken at 30 weeks), i can't wait to get back to the pre-pregnancy me!

Behind Schedule

there’s all these things i’ve been meaning to do, and with the repeated nose-dives of my energy levels i’m not sure when i’ll get to them.  my goal/plan/wish is soon.

i’d like to get some more pictures of my ducky dress challenge all finished (here’s the most recent post about my progress with it, and the original post about it).  i’ve got a ‘big reveal’ post started, but can’t seem to get my ass off this chair and into the dress.  hopefully i can manage to squeeeeeze my not-quite-showing-pregnancy-belly into the dress this saturday for our friends’ wedding.  especially since that’s WHY i made it!!!!  that’ll allow for some nice action shots of it too!

speaking of the wedding this saturday, we STILL haven’t gotten a wedding gift for the happy couple.  hopefully we can smash our heads together and i can get my energy up enough to make a Target run for something.

i’ve really wanted to get back into sewing SOMETHING so i don’t lose my touch.  i keep hearing that the second trimester is supposed to be so much better on so many levels, but i’m not sure if that’ll be how it is for me.

we haven’t done ANY prep work for the baby other than going to our regularly scheduled doctor visits and taking daily vitamins. i don’t want to buy too many things until after the baby shower; since it’s the first grandchild on both sides we’re banking on getting some awesome baby gifts, but waiting is never fun or easy. when is that “nesting” phase supposed to kick in?

i was also really hoping to continue to stay active after conception, something i’ve definitely, DEFINITELY not done.  ‘they’ say that exercise is supposed to help increase your energy levels, and to that i say “uh, that defies all scientific explanation that i can come up with since you kinda need energy to begin with in order to exercise”.  but, the weather’s been less obnoxious lately, so i’m hoping to restart my couch-to-5k efforts soon. hey, there’s a 5k run/walk this weekend i just might sign up for! if i dont’ walk or run, i could always volunteer to support the event.  and hey, it’s for an awesome cause, check it out:

Turtle Krawl 5k Run/Walk

am i the only one pining for more hours in the day and more energy in my body? how do you get over a feeling of sluggishness (whether pregnancy-induced or not)?

oh and one final random thought: has anyone ever noticed how similar tortilla chips (like tostitos) and saltines are?!? they’re both crunchy, salty, tasty, and made from corn/flour!  i bet that’s why these bite size tostitos are sitting so well in my stomach right now, cuz i’ve tricked it into thinking they’re saltines! AWESOME!

Health: Beget it, Don’t Forget it!

the nice thing about incorporating exercise into your lifestyle is that one healthy act will beget another.

we’ve been working our way through the Couch-to-5k running program since mid-March.  so far it’s been really rewarding.  one of our teammates has lost an entire dress size! everyone is feeling slimmer, more energetic, and happier in general.

during the cooler months, we were meeting up 3 times a week to run together as a group: twice after work during the week, then once on the weekend which would include a fun dinner and some social time.  for the past month or so, though, we’ve been meeting up only once a week due to the heat.  it’s just plain TOO HOT immediately after work to go for a run.  rather than have everyone make extra trips in their evenings during the week, we’ve switched it up and run on our own during the week.  we still meet up once a weekend to have a group run.  it’s great to keep us all motivated (and it’s a great excuse to be social!)

running on our own during the week (without our friends there to hold us accountable if we don’t) has been a challenge in and of itself, though.  should we run before dinner and avoid stomach discomfort? should we run before work and deal with sleep deprivation issues? should we run after dinner when it finally gets cooler after a day in the upper 80s F?

what Tom and i have done lately is run before dinner but have a snack after work.  my biggest problem right now is choosing the RIGHT snack.  if i choose something too greasy, too fatty, or too heavy, i end up running like a beached whale: just sort of flopping along until my body seems to beat itself into submission.

so here’s where the begetting comes in: our running has caused us to be healthier snackers!  after some experimentation, we’ve settled on a few snacks for the time after work and before running that do just enough to stave my hunger for the duration of the run.

during the experiment phase what really sucked were those larger “snacks” which, instead of having my hunger be satisfied for an hour or two, held off my hunger until JUST before bedtime: about 8:30-9pm.  boo.

so here’s what our after work, go-to, run-day snacks are:

berry lemonade smoothie:

throw half a frozen banana (chopped into small-ish chunks) and 6-9 frozen strawberries (chopped into small-ish chunks) into your blender.   then add raspberry lemonade until your frozen fruit is just about covered. blend until smoooooooth.  enjoy.  makes a decent snack for about 1 person or a small snack for two people.

tuna salad salad:

a plain old salad with lettuce, croutons, and dressing isn’t quite enough to hold hunger at bay for 1.5-2 hours.  so we mix up a can of tuna with about a 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon spicy mustard and couple (2) tablespoons light miracle whip and dollop it on top of our iceberg.

while these snack options are all well and good, i think this poster idea is the best thing since sliced bread for encouraging a healthy diet:  it’s an “apple a day” calendar!

Apple-a-Day Calendar by VikDesign on Etsy

the added bonus is that really you could really use ANY fruit sticker. i’m a big fan of the mantra “everything in moderation” and i’m also a little ADD sometimes so i’m thinking a whole year of only apples would get a little boring.

plus, with different fruit you get different stickers!  i’m not gonna lie: i am a little crazy when it comes to my fruit stickers. in fact, sometimes i “borrow” them off of fruit at the grocery store.  i usually try to take only from the double-stickered fruit or from the numerous stickers that lie in the bottom of the trays which lost their grip on their respective fruit flesh.  i just love the variety and the colors!

it’s the little things that make me smile biggest.  i can’t help it.  do you have a fruit sticker fettish too, or am i alone on that one?  what little things make you smile?  what are your go-to healthy snacks?  share! share!

SLF 5k Recap

i promised a recap of all the complaints, excuses, and explanations i have for my performance at the recent NASA Inter-center 2 mile, 5k, 10k race at the SLF (that’s Shuttle Landing Facility for you non-meatballers)! and here it is:

originally, a free 5k run at the SLF sounded like a marvelous idea!  i pretty much convinced everyone else in my running group that we should do this since it was free, available to most of us (except for 1 person who doesn’t have the badging to get onto the Center) and the chance of a lifetime.  how many people can say they’ve been on the runway at the SLF? okay, well hundreds, probably more like a couple thousand, but in the grand scheme of things that’s almost nothing!

and how convenient and perfect for us that it was scheduled on a tuesday, a day when our running group would normally meet anyways and get their jog on.

well, when we got there it was a different story.  we didn’t have our usual routine of stretch, drink a bit of water (but not too much), go to the bathroom, warm up, and have a known route (very helpful for pacing!).  instead, we had a hot, humid, WINDY, unknown route that would take us over black-top for the entire 5k. we had unknown runners all around us and no good method for pacing (none of us brought our mp3 players, doh!) and no good spot to do our normal warm up walk. not to mention the port-a-potties (which, though they were probably the cleanest ones i’ve ever used, were still not as nice as air-conditioned indoor plumbing!).

once we DID get going in the actual race, we didn’t get to interact with eachother as much as we usually do when we run our usual loop.  the SLF run had us going 2.5k down the runway and then turning around and coming right back to the start/finish line, which meant there was no lapping, or going backwards, and no way to increase the interaction with our friends unless someone sped up or slowed down to match another’s pace (not ideal!).

running, to me, is all about the comraderie.  yes, it’s also about pushing myself to be a better me, but i can’t do it alone (and i don’t want to either!).  so having all my usual running mates run past and leave me behind was more disheartening than usual knowing i would only see them once at the beginning of the run, once in the middle (if i was paying attention) and once at the end (if i made it that far).

add to that the fiendish wind that kept toying with my breathing and causing me to be winded when i wasn’t even tired yet, it was a trying race.  every time i tried to catch my breath, i had to slow to a walk to do it.  every time i thought i could speed up again, i wouldn’t last more than a minute (ha! if that!) before i had to walk again.

i was beat by at least 1 pregnant lady (who apparently was truckin’ cuz she also beat one of my friends who’s faster than i am) and plenty of old people. i was even beat by a couple people who power walked the whole thing! UGH!

but in my defense, i have excuses:

  1. i did stop and pick up 2 or 3 styrofoam cups that had flown away from the trash and/or water stations along the way and ended up in the grass.  you’d think that NASA would have a biodegradable cup for their outdoor physical fitness event!
  2. and i kept getting this annoying side ache.  very piercing and smack dab in the middle of my left side.  since i couldn’t keep my breathing even, it was very difficult for me to make it go away and resume running (cuz it just came right back as soon as i sped up!). very annoying.

overall, i really didn’t do that bad.  my goal was to not be the last person to cross the finish for the 5k, and i wasn’t (even though i didn’t actually cross the finish because i didn’t want my time to be tabulated); there were about 10 people behind me (out of those who actually DID cross the finish line and get their time tabulated).  i also wanted to be able to sprint at the end, and i totally could (since i walked most of the race, i still had plenty of pep left in me; the wind was really the only thing preventing me from pushing myself harder over the entire duration).  and i wanted to say “i’ve been on the runway at the SLF” and now i can!

also, (actually, i should say “luckily”) when the frustration at not being able to do my best threatened to make me drop to my knees and break into sobs, i was able to calm myself down by soaking up my view of the landscape.  granted, the runway at the SLF is secluded, and at the heat of the day the wildlife was scarce, but it was still a really great experience.

not many people get such a view of the mate/de-mate device used to remove the shuttle from its special Boeing 747 after piggy-back rides from the west coast.  not many people get to be on the tarmac where astronauts return to earth after weeks in space and thousands of orbits of the earth at speeds most people can’t comprehend.  not many people are as lucky as we are to be able to say, “why yes, i AM a rocket scientist!” and not many people (sadly) are able to say, “why yes, i HAVE participated in a 5k race before!”


my apologies for a less than stellar word count this week. here’s what happened:

on tuesday, my throat was pretty dry, more so than normal.  before our tuesday afternoon Couch-to-5k run, my throat was just this side of sore, then running 3 laps around our course in just 25 min (including 3 min walking in the middle) took its toll.  i got home after the run with a full blown sore throat.  too much huffing and puffing i guess.  stupid pigs and their stupid houses made of brick!

anyways, tuesday night i got a grand total of about 2-4 hours of actual, somewhat restful sleep.  that was about 2 at the beginning of the night, followed by 4-6 hours of tossing, turning, 2 pillows, 1 pillow, lay on my back, lay on my side, under the covers, 1 leg out, 1 foot out, can’t make up my mind.  sometime after 3:30, 3:45 i was able to pass out again into a deeper sleep; at least it was deep”er” until my alarm went off for work.

i got up, felt like CRAP, almost called in sick, but remembered i had a meeting i HAD to go to because i was one of the presenters.  when your back-up HATES public speaking so much that she needs to take a valium before she does it, then you kinda have to show up every time.

i went to work barely keeping myself semi-vertical in my desk chair. eventually i presented my bit and then signed off and headed home. after a much needed can of soup for a late lunch (my appetite wasn’t much that morning at all, but i made myself eat soup when i got home), i laid out on the couch and rested.  got a full night’s sleep that night and felt much improved on thursday.

the only problem was, that my throat wasn’t quite fully recovered yet.  but that didn’t stop me from doing my thursday run, or attempting to.  i told myself i’d take it easy and redo an interval i’d completed last week (8 min jog, 3 min walk, 5 min jog, 3 min walk, 8 min jog).  the HOT weather and lack of a cooling breeze combined with my weakened, still malnourished condition and led to me walking after about a min into the 5 min jog section.  very disheartening!

friday took forever to end, saturday was “improving” but actually my sinuses were draining down my throat even more. way fun.

but anyways, i’m doing better, actually did better on my run today than this time last week. so i think i’m back on track.  and i hope you don’t mind the little derailment.  and i hope your health is doing better than mine!

Back in the Running Shoes

my new friend Mike, the mind behind the iPhone app roadbud, recently asked “are you recovered and back on the running trail? Some beautiful weather right now.”

it is indeed beautiful weather outside right now.  (wait, why am i in here typing. oh well) i suppose i owe you guys an update on my Couch-to-5k progress, too, and not just an update on my endless stack of sewing projects.

the last time i ran, before the surgery, was back in March.  at that time, we’d just finished the 4th week.  luckily for me, we tend to repeat each prescribed run session at least twice.  this allows the slower runners (including me) more chance to acclimate to the increase in jogging time vs walking time, and it allows the faster runners (including my husband Tom) a chance to increase their pace a bit while also increasing their jogging time vs walking time like us slow people.

although i had rollerbladed with the running group during my recovery (that didn’t jostle the girls too much, so my surgeon deemed it an acceptable mode of exercise), i let myself ease back into running.  on Thursday, we ran the 2nd day of week 5. that entails 8 minutes of jogging, 5 minutes of walking, and 8 minutes of jogging. i sort of did a bouncy-walk, not jogging at my normal pace, but not just walking either.  i tried to pay special attention to how well my sports bra was working and how well my breathing was keeping up.  the work out went pretty well.  i didn’t feel any discomfort and i wasn’t heavily winded, so i was feeling good about going at my normal pace on our Sunday session.

then Sunday came along.  we had to run a little later in the evening to accommodate one of our group members (we ran at 5:30 instead of 4pm).  there was a slight sprinkle of rain and a nice cool breeze to keep our body temperatures under control (a godsend in florida!).  while the 3 faster group members moved on to day 3 of week 5, the two slower members (including myself) decided to take a baby step up to 10 minutes of jogging, 3 minutes walking, and 10 minutes jogging.  it was definitely not easy.  no one really runs at the same pace for this duration of running, so we were all by ourselves.   one of the group was running barefoot because she’d forgotten her shoes.  but she wears Vibram Sprints, so she’s pretty much running barefoot with those on, so actually being barefoot didn’t seem to affect her that much.

towards the end of the session, Tom lapped me (for the second time that session!) but he sounded in bad shape.  i was worried about him.  i didn’t want him to push himself so far that he collapsed or vomited.  especially because if either of those things happened i’d want to run to his side, and after over 20 minutes of jogging/walking i didn’t think i could reach him very quickly.   i ended up cutting across the middle of the course, doing an awkward mini hurdle over a fence, and pushing MYSELF just to intercept him at the very end of the run.  luckily, we were both okay and were able to walk around the course and meet up with our other group members without any sort of post-run ailments overtaking us.

in hindsight, i’m kinda glad he pushed himself, because that meant his body got so warm that he took his shirt off.  mmmmmm…. good stuff. what? oh sorry.

so there’s how my return to running went.  how are your self-improvement exercise regimens treating you?

Resting, Dr’s Orders

not much progress to be had on the dress lately.  i’ve been a little distracted from the world of sewing this past week or two.  hope you’ll forgive me for the non-crafty, non-creative divergence, but i thought i’d shed some light on the non-productive situation.

earlier this year i found out i had fibroadenoma.  it’s a solid lump, benign (thank God), usually painless and mobile, sometimes found in the breasts of “child-bearing” aged women.  i first felt mine back before the christmas holidays this past year.  after talking with my ob-gyn and her recommended surgeon, the concensus was to take mine out.

monday this week i had my pre-op breifing with the surgeon where we went over what the timeline would be, how everything would work and what i’d have to do afterwards.  then i had my pre-admittance testing done at the hospital.  they took blood and made me pee in a cup.  nope, not pregnant yet! (though after this experience i think my “live life to the fullest” gear will kick in!)

thursday i went into the hospital and had the procedure done.  it wasn’t as bad or as scary as i had originally worried about.  Tom was with me the whole time, thankfully!  when all was said and done, we were sent home.  i was still really tired from the anesthesia, and the pain killers i’d been prescribed didn’t help that. so i slept most all day yesterday.  today’s been a little more mobile, but i’m still sleepy and feeling weak.

i hope i can get back up on my feet by sunday so we can have friends over for our usual running session.  i won’t be running, of course.  that’d giggle the girls too much; but i’m allowed to walk, so i’ll be doing that.  plus it’ll just be nice to get back to some semblance of our regular routine around here.

and hopefully, that will also include getting back to work on the dress.  i can’t wait to get back to normal.