Monthly Archives: January 2013

1/28/13

On Sunday morning when I got out of bed, my hip/back was feeling slightly better. It made me happy, but then later I went grocery shopping and just walking around for an hour at the grocery store made it completely flare up again. I actually called Tim on my way home to ask him to help me unload the groceries since I didn’t want to lift anything. That was really hard for me to do. I like doing things myself, especially something so simple, but I knew it was the smart thing when I was already hurting.

This put me in a bad mood. I was doing really well staying positive and thinking that after a few days of complete rest, the inflammation would go down and I’d feel better walking around and eventually maybe be able to continue running. Sunday was my 4th day of very little activity and it affected my mood more than I liked. I’m usually ok the first few days of a rest, but after that I start to get really grouchy. This further proves to me the immense benefit I get mentally from exercise.

I did try my ultrasound machine on the area and it seemed to provide some immediate relief, but then the pain came back later on. Today, it is feeling a little better and the doctor showed us a way to stretch it. If I wake up on Tuesday and its not feeling any better, I’d like to go swimming to at least do some activity. If it is starting to feel better, I think I’ll rest completely another day and see if it continues to improve. I would hate to injure it worse with swimming…even though that seems unlikely, the doctor did tell me this morning that the injury is most likely just a result of my hips shifting and stretching to prepare for delivery and that it was not probably something that I did or caused by the running.

I can hear and feel things shifting and popping in my pelvis quite often when I move now. Sometimes it feels good, like someone cracking your back and I always hope that when I bear weight on my left leg after feeling one of these “pops” its going to magically feel 100% better, but it hasn’t so far.

So, since I don’t have any running adventures to write about, I think I’ll just write about what I’ve learned so far about running through pregnancy.

1.) Don’t set expectations– when I got pregnant I had done all the research and read several blogs and online articles and books about running during pregnancy and figured that I’d be able to run about 30 miles a week up until the day I deliver. I figured if Kara Goucher and these other women that I read about could do it, of course I could too. My wake up call: Every pregnancy is different, so just because someone was able to run all throughout, or run higher mileage, it doesn’t mean that you will be able to. I remember in the first trimester hearing about how some women were really struggling or they found their pace slowed way down and I didn’t really have too many issues. Then when many women have great running experiences (in the 2nd trimester) was when I really started to struggle. Once again, I was surprised when I got to the third trimester and found it to seem easier than it was often during the second trimester (though my pace had definitely slowed down considerably!). My point is that you just never know how YOUR body is going to respond to pregnancy. So much of it is completely out of your control, so don’t set too high of expectations for yourself so that you aren’t disappointed if you can’t live up to them. This is a relatively short time in your life, try to enjoy it for what it is and be happy doing what you’re able to do. Don’t even compare yourself to your friends.

2.) Don’t listen to your critics. Obviously, you need to listen to your doctor that has yours and your baby’s best interest at heart. Your mom, your friends, your co-workers, they all have had different experiences with pregnancy or may have read outdated information and may not agree with everything you do. Try to remember that their judgments and criticisms come from a well meaning place and don’t take it too much to heart. Only YOU can possibly know your own body and its up to you to communicate how you’re feeling properly to your doctor so they can advise you correctly throughout your pregnancy. I consider myself lucky that my doctor has always been supportive of my running and has continued to encourage it so long as I’m feeling good about it. I picked a younger, female doctor on purpose because I wanted someone that was up to date on current research and I feel that I made a great choice. Sometimes its hard when people look at me like I’m crazy and ask “Are you sure its ok to keep running?” because I feel like I’m being judged or that they think I’m putting my own needs ahead of my child’s. I know the science, I know that I’m not putting anyone at danger, but it still can make you feel bad whenever you feel judged. Just try to shrug it off and keep doing what makes you feel good and happy. Once you have that healthy baby, they will see that you knew what you were doing anyway.

3.) Give yourself a good outlet. Pregnancy is wonderful, but it can also be very hard and challenging at times. Having this blog to help me write my feelings helped me tremendously. Also, having a loving supportive husband that always listens to me, even when I sound crazy was a huge help too. I also try to surround myself with plenty of supportive people who will encourage me, like Mandy who reads this blog (for example, and posts encouraging comments :)).

4.) Find a purpose for running through pregnancy that means something to you. I really enjoyed helping my friend run a PR this fall. That was something I may not have had the chance to do if I had been training for something (and there’s always something on my race calendar). I also was able to connect with several other runners and write training plans for them to use to try to nab PR’s or beat co-workers. It made me still feel connected to the running community while I wasn’t able to race myself. Even with this blog, I hope that I can help even just one person who may struggle with the things that I did and feel better knowing she wasn’t alone.

5.) Always remember the reason that you are doing all this. Has this pregnancy thing been harder than I anticipated? At times, yes. Do I regret it for a minute? No, there is not even a question as to whether or not it will all be worth it once I meet my beautiful girl. Running throughout the pregnancy is not just good for me, but its good for her too. When I was doing all my research, I found that children of mothers who exercised during pregnancy are much less likely to be obese 10 years down the road. They’ve also found the exercise seems to benefit their cognitive development too. They think this is maybe due to the extra oxygen and blood the baby’s receive when their mother’s heart rate is raised. The benefits for you are also worth noting. Besides the stress relief and the instant energy lift, mothers who exercise typically gain less weight and have an easier time with the weight coming off post partum. After I go through delivery, I’ll check back in to let you know whether that is true for me. So far, with 5 weeks to go my total weight gain is at 23 pounds. The recommended weight gain is 25-35 pounds for women who started out at a healthy weight. My weight gain so far puts me right within this healthy range. I haven’t tracked my calories or anything since finding out I’ve been pregnant and have just relied on my exercise and my body to tell me that I’m eating enough/not too much. Whenever I’m hungry, I eat. I try to make healthy choices whenever possible, but I’m no angel and have indulged in treats throughout the pregnancy. I think the exercise helps my body to regulate hunger and has played a huge role in keeping my weight gain on track.

So, those are my thoughts so far. I really hope that I am able to run again sometime before I deliver, but if not, I do not regret any of the running I’ve done so far and to this point. Each day, I am keenly aware that I am getting closer and closer to meeting my daughter and that is what gets me through the hard spots.

If you ran through your pregnancy, any part of it, feel free to post any extra advice/things you learned as well. I like that we all can help and encourage each other!

From Record Highs to Record Lows 1/26/13

I was lucky enough to escape to Arizona last week for some Sales Meetings with my company. We had a little trouble getting down there as they had to de-ice our plane in Grand Rapids before we could take off for our connection in Chicago. I had wanted to buy a water bottle at the airport before the flight, or a coffee or something but we woke up to a bunch of snow on the ground and it took me much longer to get to the airport than I had anticipated. I made my plane, but then we sat on it for an additional 40 minutes before take off, getting us to Chicago at the exact time our next plane was supposed to take off! No time to buy a water bottle at Chicago either, so we ran to catch our next plane, which was waiting for us (probably since so many of us were on that flight). That flight was 3 hours and 20 minutes. The guy in my row with the aisle seat was nice enough to switch with me so I got up every hour and walked the plane. I also took as much free water on the plane as they would give me. I wore my compression sleeves and I think it did cut down on the swelling a bit, but my left foot had still swollen slightly on the plane.

I was in Arizona! It was sunny and warm and there were huge cacti and palm trees greeting us. Monday was pretty busy with the flights and getting to the hotel and getting to our meetings, so I had planned an off day for running.

Tuesday or meetings were done by lunch so I grabbed a box lunch they had provided for us and went for a little run. It was about 70 degrees and really sunny and it felt odd just putting on shorts and a t-shirt to run in. I ran 4 miles, stopping often and walking to cool myself down. Since my body is not used to running in those temperatures (especially such dry heat) I wanted to really not push myself at all. If I started to feel tired or thirsty, I stopped for a minute or so and cooled down before running again. It felt great!

Later on Tuesday I got a maternity massage. It was quite different than the one I had before, but still enjoyable. On Wednesday morning though, when I woke up, I noticed that my left hip/lower back was kind or tight or sore. I figured it was just from the massage and didn’t worry about it.

Later on Wednesday I went for another 4 mile run in the dessert. It was beautiful! The mountains were in my view on the way out, as well as some great landscaping. The temps had reached record highs for this time of year though (while at home they were having record lows) and it was 80 degrees while I was out running. I was really, really cautious about over heating and it actually took me a full hour to run for 34 minutes because of all the stops I made. I also snapped several pictures with my camera, so really it was a very enjoyable run. I figured when I came back to Michigan I’d have to be on the treadmill while the snow was still heavy so I might as well enjoy this great experience, and I did. I noticed on my way back that my left hip/lower back was still feeling kind of tight, but it really wasn’t that bad so I just ran through it and stretched it really well when I returned.

Later that night though it got really tight. I tried loosening it up with a hot shower, but it didn’t seem to help. I was flying back in the morning and figured if it was still bothering me in the morning I’d take a day off of running.

When I woke up in the night to use the bathroom (I do this every night now) it was much worse. In the morning it was really tight and made it hard for me to even walk and move around. I spend half the day getting back to Grand Rapids, and went home, showered and went to the chiropractor. He adjusted me and told me that my hips are really loosening up and shifting to get ready for labor now so I may really have to start taking it easy on myself.

I went home and iced it and put my feet up (my left one had swollen again) and packed a running bag to bring to work on Friday in case it felt better and I could run on the treadmill after work.

I didn’t even bring the bag, since I knew when I woke up that I wasn’t running. Once at work, I even took the elevator instead of walking up and down stairs and then came home Friday night and put my feet up again and iced my back.

This morning, its not much better. I wish I could say it was. I’m trying to not be too upset about this. I can take one or two rest days pretty easily, but once I get to the third day, I really start to get a little restless. Its one thing if I’m able to walk a lot and be generally active, or do some cross-training, but its completely different for me to just sit and laze around all day and night. I start to feel like a blob!

I think I’ve read the statistic that the average American watches 3 hours of tv per day. Well, after doing just that last night after work, I have to say that I don’t understand how anyone could do that day after day! I was just stir crazy by the end of it and found myself off the couch and on the floor, stretching, doing pelvic tilts, trying to rub out my hip with the foam roller…desperate to just move!

I’m not ready to say I’m done running through the rest of the pregnancy. I want to let this thing heal. I can tell that whatever it is is just extremely inflamed, so I’m telling myself that after so many days of completely resting it, it will heal.

That being said, I may need to cut back again. No more 5 miles, and maybe my max is just going to have to be 3 miles…or less for the remainder. If everything is really that loose and shifting, I don’t want to take risks or doing something like this again. I love being active! That includes walking and playing with my dog and getting things done around the house and with my level of pain I’m unable to do any of those things right now. So, we’ll see how it feels tomorrow. I have my first baby shower today and I’m really excited about that!

Now, I’m going to post some pictures since I’ve been majorly slacking in that area lately!

Me and Tim running in a 10K in Central Park (a few days shy of 8 months)

Me and Tim running in a 10K in Central Park (a few days shy of 8 months)

After the run

After the run

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Another full week of running 1/20/13

After my nice treadmill run on Monday, the snow had melted enough that the roads were pretty clear the rest of the week so I was happy to run outside.

Tuesday, I ran 4 miles on my lunch break again, and it was a harder one for me. I wanted to run on the flat trail, but it still had too much snow so I stuck to the roads where there are more hills. I would run and then I felt like I stopped and walked a lot during this run. I got through it though.

Wednesday Darla asked me to run with her again. I really was feeling bad that I struggled so much running with her the week before, but she said she didn’t mind. We were able to run on the trails again and it felt so much better. I was breathing hard, but we didn’t stop at all and we ran 3 miles, all with me feeling pretty good.

I took Thursday as a rest day and it was much needed. My legs were just getting kind of sore and stiff and I think mentally I needed it too. I ran on Friday, but was crunched for time as I had a meeting right before and after my lunch. I knew I was just going 3 miles, but it takes me a lot longer to run and get dressed now. I ran on the trails again and felt pretty good, but did want to stop a couple times. I knew if I did, it would just eat away at my time I got to eat lunch, so I pushed on and ended up having a really good run.

Saturday I took as a rest day too since I’m traveling next week and my days will be sort of different. I have to admit it felt good to not run on a Saturday! That’s a rarity for me! I woke up with no alarm about 6 am and couldn’t get back to sleep so I got a lot of errands done.

So today was the day for my weekend long run, which these days is at 5 miles. Saturday, it was 44 degrees and clear, and overnight we got a huge wind and snow storm! We still only got about an inch of snow so I really debated running outside or on the treadmill. It was cold outside, 4 with the wind chill and the snow was still coming down. If I was only running 3 I would have chose the treadmill, but I knew it would be really hard for me mentally to get through 5 on it. Tim graciously offered to run 3 miles with me outside and I was glad to take him up on it!

We started running about 10:30 am and the roads had a nice coating of snow, but really weren’t too slippery. Tim and I haven’t run together in such a long time and it was so nice to run with him again! We actually were clipping off a really good pace too, considering the snow and the wind. We ran the first mile in about 8:38, but the next two were 8:12 and 8:13–my fastest splits in a while! I think it really helped me mentally to have him there, it just felt like old times when we were out running together. Then, as we were almost done he told me that he’s proud of me. That really made me feel loved and appreciated.

I dropped him off at home at 3 miles and then I stopped for a minute and walked and caught my breath. I probably could have kept going, but I felt better doing this. The last two miles by myself were more challenging.

I got through them by stopping for about 10 seconds every half mile. That sounds sort of strange, but in a way it was like doing an interval workout. One of the things I miss the most about running non-pregnant is the variety and the challenges. Focusing on running for 800 meters, resting and then running another 800 meters for some reason felt similar enough to my workouts that it worked. As I was finishing up the last 800, I wanted so badly to be done. I wasn’t in pain, but I was breathing hard and it was cold and windy and the snow was coming down hard. I looked up into the sky and saw the big flakes filling it like a snow globe. I thought about how beautiful it looked and that I needed to focus on that beauty to get me through the last 400 meters.

A lot of people think I’m crazy for continuing to run this far into the pregnancy. Some people ask with a genuine curiosity, others say they’re impressed by it (yet I wonder if secretly they think I’m crazy too) and some people I can just tell think that I run due to some type of pride or vanity that I can’t get away from. I wish I could tell them that the truth is so much more wonderful than that.

Yes, I do it for the health of me and the baby, for sure, but there’s so much more. Even though it sounds sometimes like I’m not enjoying it because I just want it to be over, I know in my head and my heart that I’m getting so much more than physical health out of this crazy sport. Even the “workout” I did today had lessons. Its hard to explain it to people that have never experienced the true joy that running can bring. There’s the sense of accomplishment, for one. I didn’t HAVE to run 5 miles today. No one would have thought less of me if I’d only gone 3 or not even run at all at nearly 34 weeks. It wasn’t easy, but I did it and that felt good. It made me feel strong, capable. I have this body, that is in a transformation right now and its big and its awkward and its puffy and its beautiful in the things its able to do. And the fact that I’m able to work with it so well and still push myself without pushing too much is really a compliment to how amazing it truly is.

Labor and delivery are going to be hard work. I’ve never been through it before, but I have no doubt that statement is true. But as I worked with my body today and got through that last 400 meters, I know I can work with it when the time comes for labor too. If I can just get through the contraction like I got through the 800 meters. If I can learn to look at the beauty around me and focus on something stronger than the pain and effort, I know I can get through it. And that is why I continue to run. For as long as I possibly can.

Quick Post on a Good Run! 1/14/13

I ran on my lunch break today and it went very well! We got some snow last night and the temps are pretty cold so I decided to go the safe (but boring) route and run on the treadmills in the new fitness center they built for us at work. I’ve mentioned before how much I hate running on treadmills, but if its my last option I will take it.

I felt pretty good and the time actually went by relatively quickly! My bladder was pretty full, so it felt slightly uncomfortable but no pain, my right leg was feeling that strange weak feeling at first, but after a half mile or so seemed to catch up to the rest of my body and overall, I’d say I was feeling really good. I did stop after 2.5 miles for a couple minutes. I hated doing it because they limit your treadmill time to 30 minutes so I wanted to use all of that for running, but it really was just that I felt like I was getting a bit overheated. I felt like I was sweating like a hog on a hot summer day and my sweat wasn’t cooling me down quickly enough. I think its just because I’ve been running outdoors so even just a change to running in 68 degrees (the temp they keep the fitness center at) was an adjustment. Stopping for a couple minutes allowed some of the sweat to start evapoarating and I felt cooler once I started up again. Once my 30 minutes was up, I stopped again, but looked and saw that no one was waiting for a treadmill so I hopped back on and finished my 4 miles.

When I finished, I was hot and sweaty and my skin was red, but I felt great! I love it when the good runs creep up on me, especially on a Monday!

I didn’t sleep well at all over the weekend. I actually snuck in about an hour nap on Sunday, which helped, but to be honest, I’m really tired. I dreaded going into work, but when I got here I put a smile on my face and jumped right into getting to work for the day. Working out during my lunch hour was the mental reset I needed so I can get back at it for the rest of the day.

Also, swelling has not returned yet! I’m very excited about this. Saturday night I was having a lot of leg and foot cramping and I’m starting to get back pain again at night. Its not nearly as bad as it was before, but its making a huge difference in my sleep. Additionally, the last couple nights, I woke up very early in the morning with an upset stomach. It just feels really full and uncomfortable. Maybe I need to start eating smaller portions at dinner and see if that helps!

If At First You Don’t Succeed, Try And Try Again 1/13/13

After my tough run on Wednesday, I took Thursday completely off. I had my 32 week doctor’s appointment that morning. Fortunately, putting my feet up the night before and changing my sleeping position seemed to really reduce the swelling in my left leg. Still, I told my doctor about it. She told me pretty much what I had been expecting. My blood pressure is great, so I’m not at risk for pre-eclampsia and I have a very low risk for having a blood clot. She said that if I was really concerned she could order an emergency ultrasound of my leg to check for a blood clot, or I could try to manage the swelling with what I’ve been doing. Since there is no pain or discoloration and I am able to get it to go down, we both agreed that I should just try to manage it myself.

So I didn’t run, but did walk the dog later that night, then promptly put my feet up for the rest of the night. Friday morning, the swelling was almost completely gone.

Towards the end of the day on Friday I did start to feel my left shoe getting tight and had the sensation that my left foot was falling asleep. Sure enough, the swelling had come back. One of my friends from Wayland Road Runners, Mandy was celebrating her 30th birthday with a bar run and I really wanted to participate. I put my feet up as soon as I got home and by the time I got to the run the swelling was still pretty minimal.

I was nervous for the running portion since Wednesday I felt so out of control of my own body. As I’ve learned throughout this pregnancy though, running through pregnancy is like a box of chocolates…you never know what you’re going to get. To my surprise, the run went really well. It helped that it was a fun run and I wasn’t feeling pressure to keep a certain pace. We all started out together as a group, and though I was breathing hard, I was fine keeping up the pace we were going. I got talking and completely lost track of the time and miles passing and suddenly we were at the bar with 3.1 miles under our feet. What a great idea for celebrating a 30th birthday, right!

Saturday morning was a different story. Since I had just run the night before, I wondered how I would feel running in the morning with less than 24 hours recovery. By my own darn internal clock, I was awake sometime around 6 am and couldn’t get back to sleep! So I got up and had breakfast and figured I’d hit the mall as soon as it opened (thinking it opened at 8 or 9 am). I looked online and found the mall didn’t open until 10 am on Saturdays! What?

Since we had my friend Val’s baby’s first birthday party at noon, I was planning on getting to the malll early to get a gift (yes, so last minute, but keep in mind we had been in New York last week and had the birth of our new neice so we still didn’t have any food in our house!) and then running before the party at noon. So the mall not opening until 10 through a wrench in those plans. So, I tried to hydrate as much as I could so that I could go on a run before going to the mall.

Well, I tried. I got about a half mile out and walked back. With every step, I could just feel the familiar sensation of friction on my bladder. I must not have had enough time to get it full enough to cushion it from my little babe.

Was I frustrated? Yes. I took a warm shower and went and got a Starbucks to make myself feel better and decided that I would try again after the party.

I made sure to hydrate a lot and went for my second attempt later on in the afternoon. I ran the first mile with my dog and then dropped him off and continued on my own. It wasn’t great, but I got it done and was able to get 5 miles in at nearly 33 weeks pregnant. I stopped and walked regularly, but I still got it in and that felt awesome! Unfortunately, I ate lots of good food at this party, so I was burping a lot of it up and that part didn’t feel very good. My legs were both very tired and felt like they were my biggest limitation. The walking breaks seemed to allow them enough time to get the circulation back and allow me to run for a half mile more before walking again.

I’ve now got just 7 weeks + 1 day until my due date. Running is starting to become incredibly hard and frustrating. I get through it though knowing that I’m doing good for my body and my baby and that what I’m experiencing now will make me mentally stronger once I’m going back at full on training mode.

Its so hard for me sometimes to have to stop, to quit and try again later. I think back to all the hard training times that Tim and I went through while preparing for Myrtle Beach Marathon and how, even when things got tough, we were able to push through them. That’s what I’m used to doing. I run into obstacles and figure out how to push past them. I’m not used to stopping, walking and trying again later. It seems like a quitter’s attitude. I know in this case, its not. Logically, I do know that and am not beating myself up inside, I’m not. I’m just trying to express that its really hard for me mentally to tell myself to stop and that its the right thing to do.

That’s where I’m at right now. I’m thrilled that Alexandra is doing so well and am just trying to find ways to get through these next 7 weeks. I feel like mentally and emotionally, I’m ready to have her. I’m even looking at labor with excitement and feel anxious for it to get here. Obviously, I don’t want to go into pre-term labor, I’m just mentally prepared for that time right now. I want to have her. Being around so many babies at the birthday party yesterday made me realize even more how much I can’t wait to be a mom!

A Very Bad, No Good Run…1/9/13

Well, I guess it wasn’t no good, since I did have good company. I ran with my friend Darla and she stayed with me through the hard parts and that means more to me than gold.

In all seriousness though, today was one of the hardest runs I’ve had in a while. Yes, it was very windy out, so I’m sure that played a role. I just never felt great though. First it was my left leg (the one with all the swelling) just felt like it was heavy and having a real hard time getting going. It felt that weak/fallen asleep kind of sensation and I just felt like I wanted to take my arms and grab it and pull it along! Yes, I can get frustrated when things don’t work as they should, even when I have a great reason for it (like carrying a baby that is possibly putting pressure on my veins restricting blood flow). Then it was my bladder area…it just felt like it was bouncing for a while. It didn’t feel too full or not full enough like before…it just felt uncomfortable in a new way. Then it was my lungs. I just could not seem to suck in enough air and I found it hard to talk and breath at the same time as we were going up a hill so I walked up it and caught my breath again before continuing.

I felt ok for a while, though the effort still felt much harder than it should have, but then the really concerning thing happened. My heart started to feel like it was skipping beats or really thumping in my chest and when my chest started to feel pressure/hurt I stopped. I was also feeling slightly dizzy/lightheaded. This is all new. I haven’t felt this way yet and it scared me. I started to worry about passing out or something else way out there. Thankfully, as I said, my friend Darla was there and walked with me until I felt ok enough to try jogging again. I did and we made it back without further incident.

I have a doctor’s appointment tomorrow morning so of course I will telling her about all of this. The leg/bladder thing I can deal with but the heart and dizziness feeling really scared me. I’m not planning on running or working out at all tomorrow. Some may question why I wouldn’t just call it quits now and spend the rest of the pregnancy just swimming and walking. I do have to accept that that MAY be what I end up having to do, but I’m not there just yet.

This was the first time I felt like this. Even just yesterday, my run was difficult but not like today. It was warmer today than its been, it was windy and I really think this swelling in my leg is caused by or is causing a bigger issue. I had the swelling before and as mysteriously as it came on, it went away. I feel like if I can get the swelling to go away again, maybe that will fix everything. If that doesn’t make sense, here’s my line of thinking:

The swelling is obviously caused by something. If you read the pregnancy literature it says that some 75% of pregnant women experience normal swelling and its mainly due to your body retaining more fluids and they think it may even serve a purpose to help with labor and delivery and also with breast feeding. Most of the time thought its in both feet and ankles or in the hands. When its only in one side of the body, they worry about a possible blood clot. My doctor wasn’t concerned about this because I didn’t have pain or discoloration, just the swelling, plus I have low risk factors for blood clots since I’m so active. The other possible cause is that the baby’s position is putting additional pressure on my vein that is responsible for returning the blood back to the heart. This compression causes water to leak out of the veins and into the surrounding tissues. This seems to be what is causing my swelling. Perhaps the swelling went away when the baby’s position changed and has now returned as the position changed again.

My working theory is that when I run, my blood obviously has to pump harder to support the large muscles in my legs. So the blood gets pumped there, but is compressed on its return, which means less blood circulating throughout my entire system and being pooled in just one leg. That would help explain why my left leg feels so heavy when I run and like its got that feeling of having fallen asleep. Obviously less blood circulates less oxygen and your heart has to work harder to try to keep you going.

That’s my theory. So tonight, I want to try to do everything possible to get this fluid back into my veins. Maybe I shouldn’t walk the dog tonight, maybe I should elevate my legs and massage my legs and feet? Maybe I should stick my leg in a cold tub? I’ve also been reading that sometimes this swelling can be related to a diet/mineral/water imbalance. I’m going to try drinking lots of water, but I feel like I already do drink lots of water so I don’t think that’s the problem. Having too much or too little salt can also cause issues. I feel like there is a lot of salt in the foods we eat so I rarely if ever salt anything as a general rule. Unless I were to start tracking my salt intake, I just don’t feel comfortable purposely adding additional salt (or restricting it) unless I know for sure that’s the reason. I could try taking some calcium and magnesium supplements…but again, I get really nervous about doing this while pregnant. The other thing I was reading was about protein intake. Not having enough protein can mess with your fluids too.

I also know that swelling can be a sign of pre-eclampsia which is extremely dangerous. The biggest thing though with that is high blood pressure and mine has always been excellent. Also, swelling of the face, which I don’t seem to have.

So there you have it. This is what I’m dealing with right now. I really really hope that this will clear up with a little TLC tonight and tomorrow, but if not, I just have to remind myself there are about 8 weeks until my due date and I can make it!

What a week its been! 1/8/13

My run on New Year’s Day was pretty awesome! I felt pretty good and averaged 8:17 for my 3 miles so it was a faster run for me too.

The next morning, we got up at 4 am to get to the airport for our flight to New York. Because we had such an early flight, we got to New York and were checked in the hotel and everything before 9 am! So, what did we do, but get dressed and go for a run in Central Park. Luckily, my friends and husband all run too. Derek (Val’s husband) was a little less enthused, but he was a good sport.

I have to be honest and admit that I was a little nervous to run with people. I told my friends to all run ahead of me because I know they are much faster. When your runs are so unpredictable that your pace can range from 8:15 all the way up to 9:15, you just never know what to expect and sometimes even during the same run things can change drastically. So we all started out together and Tim and Derek picked it up and Val stayed with me. I actually felt pretty good, but Central Park was much more hilly than I ever imagined so I started to get winded and was looking forward to the turnaround point more than I let on. Once I hit 1.5 miles I turned around and Val caught up with the boys to finish their longer run. I got back, took a few pictures and since it was really cold went inside the Trump Towers hotel to wait for them.

We had a fun packed rest of the afternoon once we showered and ate lunch and headed over to Times Square. As we expected in January, it was really cold outside. It could have been much worse, but standing and walking a lot with temps in the low 30’s was a little harder for me than I would have liked. We were bundled up and having fun so it was unnoticeable at first, but as the day would go on, I’d notice my lower abdomen would get kind of achy and crampy. I wasn’t too concerned about it, mostly because I still felt the baby moving a lot and because I figured it was just the cold and the walking that were stretching my lower abdomen. As the week went on, I actually started wearing my maternity running belt as we were walking around and it did seem to help.

On Thursday morning I woke up before everyone else (no surprise there) so I walked to the closest Starbucks and had an egg white and spinach wrap and tall coffee. The only issue was that my GPS on my phone couldn’t seem to keep my location very well (probably because of all the tall buildings) so it took much longer than it should have for me to get there and then there was a mix up with the food…so by the time I ate, everyone was up and ready to go for a run. Normally, I like to give my tummy at least an hour after eating to digest before running, but I figured that since I’m not running that fast, it didn’t matter. We went for a nice run along the Hudson River with spectacular views but the egg whites and spinach were not sitting well in my belly. I ran with my friends (or just a little behind) until I got to my turn around and then told them I was heading back. Because they’re so nice and because they didn’t want me to run alone in a strange city, they protested and said they’d run back with me and then add on, but I really didn’t want them too. Not because I don’t love my friends and husband but because I was really, really hurting and knew that I wanted to stop and walk and go at a much slower pace and if I let them run back with me I’d feel bad about that and force myself to keep running feeling extremely uncomfortable. Besides, it was daylight and the area was bustling with people. They reluctantly agreed and I jogged a bit and then stopped for a while and took some pictures and walked around and took in the sights. Once I settled down a little bit I started jogging slowly and ended up finishing the run feeling pretty good.

The next day we didn’t run, but we got in plenty of walking and sightseeing.

Some of the cool things we did was visit the 911 memorial site (which was actually right next to our hotel). It was really amazing standing there in the middle of all these tall buildings where the twin towers used to be and thinking about all the chaos that happened right there just over 11 years ago. It makes you feel vulnerable, but also very grateful to just be alive and happy.

We saw the Today show being taped and Tim and Val even got on the show! We walked around a lot through Times Square, 5th Ave, Central Park, Rockefeller Center, took the NBC Studio Tour, took pictures on the Top of the Rock and took the Staten Island Ferry by the Statue of Liberty (Ellis Island is still closed due to damage from Hurricane Sandy). We met up with one of Val’s friends from high school for dinner and on another night, one of my friends from high school for dinner too. We went to the New York Road Runners building to pick up our packets for the 10K we signed up for on Saturday (yes we did a race while on vacation, of course we did!) and road the subway tons! We even saw the apartment that was used to film the outside of Carrie Bradshaw’s apartment from Sex and the City and also the front of the Cosby house. All in all our trip was very complete!

Now, onto the race in Central Park. I haven’t run over 4 miles in probably close to 2 months so I figured I would just run as much of the race as I could and walk the rest. Tim and Val signed up for the 10K too. Derek hasn’t been running as much and decided it was probably smart to not sign up for a race since he knew he’d run it harder than he should and be hurting for the rest of our trip. So he offered to cheer us on and hold onto all of our stuff, which was greatly appreciated by all.

I was really excited for the run, probably because there was no pressure and I knew I was just having fun with it. I figured I’d run the first 4 miles and then walk a little bit and maybe run some more if I felt like it. Well, the course was VERY hilly and there was a huge hill at the 2.5 mile mark! At first I kept jogging up it, telling myself that I had to get to 4 miles, but then I realized that if I struggled so much on the hill, I’d be so worn out, and anyway, this run was supposed to be FUN anyway! So I started walking and was later so glad I did because the hill just kept winding up and around each turn and seemed to go on forever! Once I reached the top, I started jogging again and continued jogging until the next hill. So that’s what I did the whole run was jog and then walk up all the hills. Now, the non pregnant runner me would think this was the wimpiest thing ever, but hills and stairs during pregnancy really seem to take the wind right out of you, more than you would ever think. I used to read about this stuff early in the pregnancy and think that it wouldn’t happen to me because I’m tougher and more fit than most…but its true. It takes more oxygen to get up inclines and stairs and when your lungs are being compressed like that, it just doesn’t matter if you’re super woman!

Anyway, during the walking I really took in and enjoyed the scenery and the other runners around me. Even during my running points I made a point to enjoy myself and get lost in the adventure of running in this completely new place. Maybe it was the attitude, maybe it was also a great running day, but either way, it ended up being a fantastic run! I ended up running 5.53 of the 6.2 miles and at the end Tim and Val had come back to find me and run me in as Derek snapped some pictures. I felt great and experienced a great running high that I haven’t felt in some time.

Sunday was a rest day, and then I went for a 4 mile run during my lunch break on Monday. It was hard, I’m not going to try to glam it up. I felt so great going 5.5 on Saturday that I thought that maybe all my runs would go that way the rest of the pregnancy. Why do I still think that sometimes? Instead, after we got home from the flight back on Sunday night, my left leg and foot were swollen again like a big elephant foot and during the run on Monday my whole left leg just felt heavy and harder to move. Also, the path that I usually run on that’s pancake flat had some icy patches so I decided to stick to roads (which meant hills) and I walked up some of them. On the way back, the wind was blowing at me and I felt like my bladder was a little too full and I just wasn’t feeling very good. But I got it done and hoped that it would help with my swelling.

We had some a great surprise while we were in New York too! My sister in law, who was scheduled to deliver by c-section on Monday afternoon went into labor on her own early Sunday morning! I have a new niece! Tim and I headed up to the hospital as soon as we got out of work on Monday. She is perfect and I could have held her forever, and we almost did! We stayed later than we planned and then had to pick up our dog from my other sister in law. All wonderful stuff, but Tim and I ate a very late dinner and got to bed late again last night. When I went to bed my foot was huge! I had Tim massage it to try to get the fluids going back into the blood vessels. It was still pretty swollen this morning and then before I went running during my lunch break it was as big as its ever been! My whole left leg was swollen but mostly its in my foot and ankle. It looks so gross. I ran 4 miles again with my friends Darla and Julia and they were sweet and didn’t seem to mind that I was struggling and we ran pretty slow. After the run, the swelling did go down, but its still there and I’m going to try to get it to go down again tonight.

Tonight we don’t have nearly as much going on so I plan on cooking a fast dinner, walking the dog and then putting my feet up the rest of the night! I may even soak in the tub in some Epsom salts. Not sure if it will help, but it sounds nice.