The Boston Marathon

I was planning on blogging throughout my training for the Boston Marathon, but it just didn’t quite fit in with the rest of life. But before Marathon Monday arrives, I thought I’d give you a small peek into what my training was like.

I consider my training officially beginning on January 1st this year. At that point my longest run postpartum was almost 7 miles, which was done just after Christmas. Before January, I was working on building consistency in running at least three times per week. Most of my runs were only 3-4 miles.

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Since January I have built up my long runs and number of days running. I was able to complete 18, 19, and 20 mile long runs. In my peak weeks I was able to fit in five days of running each week. I even was able to start to integrate some speed-work in some of the later weeks, something I didn’t expect to be  comfortable with as I was building mileage so quickly. I was even able to race a 10k while pushing the stroller, and finished second in my age group!

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Not everything has been smooth sailing. There were some runs that were cut short because my little man just did NOT want to be in the stroller anymore. There were some post baby bedtime treadmill runs when it was beautiful outside, because I was the only person home. There was a “failed” 20 mile long run attempt that I had to cut off at 19 miles because I was bonking hard and didn’t want to risk injury by pushing it for *one* more mile.

Thankfully through all of this, I have been able to stay healthy. I have done many long runs with friends….many runs with my pup…and many runs with my baby. My little man even made it through that killer 19 mile long run (with just one feeding break).

I have put in the work — at least enough to feel confident in finishing the race. While I don’t expect that Monday’s Boston Marathon will be my fastest race, it is sure to be one of the most memorable…and that’s really why I’m running. I’m proud of the work that I was able to do. I’m thankful for friends and family who have supported me by watching my baby, pushing the stroller (like my amazing husband for that entire 19 mile long run!), running with me on easy days and hard days, and just asking how things are going. On Monday I will be putting whatever I have out on the road, but mostly I will be running for the joy of running.

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So with that, I hope at the end of the day on Monday I’ll officially be a Boston Marathon Finisher. If you feel like tracking me, my bib number is 18153 and I’m starting in Wave 3.

My Return to Running

After over six weeks without exercise, except for walking and carrying my heavy baby, I was finally cleared to do whatever I wanted at my post partum followup appointment. The day after my appointment, I went out for my first run in about seven weeks. And remember, at that time it was much more of a walk than a run anyway (see third trimester recap!).

I was definitely itching to get back out on the pavement, especially because I decided to sign up for (and made the cut off for!) the Boston Marathon in April. I’m excited to have a race on the schedule!

My first run back was definitely not easy. I had been going for walks and increasing mileage and pace since I returned home from the hospital. But let me tell you, recovery from a c-section is not easy either. The first day I got home, I could barely make it up the stairs, and walking across the house was a big effort. My first walk outside was only down the street and back, and included stopping twice for rest breaks! But over time I was able to go further and faster, push the stroller or carry Trevor, and also bring our dog along.

Back to the running though — while I was pushing Trevor in the stroller, I probably only ran a total of 1.5 miles of my 3.75 mile “run”. And it wasn’t all at once. I took several breaks to walk with my longest stretch of continuous running being about 0.5 miles. My pace ranged from about 11-12 minutes/mile. Yes, it was hard and I felt awkward — my gait felt different and I felt sluggish, and pushing the stroller made it a little more difficult. But it felt amazing to sweat again and actually have my heart rate up!

Afterward I felt good and tired. My legs practically felt like I ran a long run — time to slowly build the endurance back up! I was most sore/tired in my glutes and hamstrings. Since then I have been trying to get out for a run every couple days. I have been improving quickly, and am up to a continuous 4.5 miles at about a 10 minute/mile pace.While that’ a far cry from where I was a year ago, I know I will continue to improve every day.

I’m also working on doing some stretching and strengthening exercises during naps whenever possible, and working in cross training with biking and hopefully soon some swimming. I want to make sure that I keep taking things slow and building a good base before really getting into long runs. I hope to avoid any major setbacks! I’d love to be ready for a triathlon or two in 2016 as well!

Have you ever had to work back up in your running/fitness after a long time off? How long did it take you?

Maternity and Newborn Photos

Before Trevor was born, we decided to have maternity and newborn photos taken by Charlotte Trask. She did an absolutely wonderful job, and I wanted to share some of my favorites from each session. We are so glad she was able to capture these images of us during this special time in our lives.

Maternity photos: These were taken when I was 35 weeks pregnant, about 3 weeks before Trevor was born. It is so funny to look back now and see how big my belly actually was! I feel like I’ve already forgotten what it was like to have that bump sticking out front. Ha!

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Newborn photos: These images were taken when Trevor was 10 days old. He has grown so much since then! I love looking at these images and seeing how tiny, precious and new he was.

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Trevor’s Birth Story

This is a little long, but I wanted to capture all the details to remember them later. I can’t believe Trevor was born almost 7 weeks ago already!


On Friday September 18, I woke up around 4am with stomach ache and diarrhea. I thought it might just be from the spicy chicken wings we had for dinner. After using the bathroom, I got back in bed and eventually fell back to sleep. Then, at 6am I woke up with wet pants, which turned out to be that my water had broke. At first I wasn’t sure, but once I was leaking every time I moved/bent over, I knew that had to be it. I was not having any contractions or labor signs yet, so I got dressed for the day, called in sick to work, tried to move around a bunch hoping it would get labor started. I tried a few of the natural trigger points for initiating labor. Unfortunately, nothing seemed to work.

At 8:30am, I talked to a nurse at my doctor’s office, and they asked me come in to be checked and to make sure that my water had broke. Ryan and I grabbed our hospital bag just in case and headed out. At the doctor’s office, it was confirmed that my water had broken. My blood pressure was also high. (Side note: I had some high blood pressure earlier in the week, but it had gone back down a bit. I also didn’t have protein in my urine, so my doctor wasn’t worried at that time about preeclampsia.) Since my blood pressure was high, the doctor asked me to go the hospital to be monitored. She said that if it was ok after a little while sitting there, I could go home and wait for labor to begin at home. If not, I would be admitted. But either way, we could expect that the baby would be coming soon!

It was around 10:30am when I began being monitored at the hospital. After relaxing there for about an hour, and having some blood tests done it was determined that I had the signs of pregnancy induced hypertension and preeclampsia, and would be admitted. I was to remain on bed rest and my labor was induced. While this wasn’t exactly how I had hoped things would be going at this point, I was still excited to know that I would be meeting my baby boy within the next day or so.

After a few hours, my contractions had picked up to where I was really laboring hard in the bed. I breathed through each contraction, usually clinging to the side of the bed. Since I was on bed rest, I couldn’t get up to move around or use other positions like I had hoped to do, but I felt like I was working through them fairly well. I tried to focus on my breathing and reminding myself to stay in the moment of each contraction — that each one would not last long. After a few hours of hard work, I was about 4 cm dilated but baby boy was still very high in my belly. Since I couldn’t use other labor positions and I was stuck in the bed, I decided to have an epidural. While this was not initially in my plan, I struggled with having to only be on my back/side on the bed while working through each contraction. I felt like since he had not come down that it would probably be a longer labor too.

The epidural helped immediately. I no longer felt the pain of the contractions, which continued to be about 2 minutes apart — just some pressure with each one. An internal monitor was started to more closely monitor the strength of my contractions, and how the baby was handling them. My labor continued overnight. Thanks to the epidural I was able to get a little rest/relaxation and Ryan was able to sleep for a few hours. My blood pressure and progress were monitored overnight too.

At about 5am, I was dilated to 7cm. However, baby was still sitting high, and not descending. I also developed a slight fever, and by this point my water had been broken for about 23 hours. Because of all these things and my continued high blood pressure, the doctor suggested that the best course of action would be to do a cesarean delivery.

Once the decision was made, things moved so quickly! I was immediately prepped for surgery and taken into the operating room. During then procedure, I could feel the tugging and tension while the doctors pulled baby boy out. Ryan was able to be there with me to tell me what was going on and be with the baby once he arrived. 12043191_10102506930268554_6049333944693597689_n

Trevor was born at 6:09 am on Saturday September 19. He weighed 7 lb, 6 oz and was 21″ long. When Trevor arrived, I felt like I could hear his cries immediately after he was pulled out of me. He was whisked off to the side to be cleaned and weighed. Ryan was able to bring him over so I could see/meet him. Ryan and Trevor then went to the nursery while my procedure was finished.

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Once I was out of the operating room we had a little time for skin to skin. Trevor had to spend a little time in the nursery for some help with his breathing, and to receive antibiotics for a possible infection. I had to spend most of the day in bed before moving after the surgery. We transferred to a recovery room right around dinner time that day. After a few days of recovery in the hospital, we finally made it home with a happy and healthy, beautiful baby boy. We are absolutely in love.

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Trevor has arrived! / Third trimester Update

I was in the middle of writing this third trimester update, when Trevor arrived nearly two weeks early on September 19! It’s already been a month since he was born — crazy! I have so many things to share including his birth story, and maternity & newborn photos, but I wanted to share this update that I was writing 1.5 months ago first. Looking forward to sharing all the other details soon (for real, the posts are already almost written, and sometimes Trevor lets me put him down long enough to have a little time on the computer. Haha!) So, here it goes… all about the third trimester — with a few little updates on changes in the last few weeks after I wrote this post.

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Note: this was written in late August!

Amazingly we have already made it halfway through the third trimester. The weeks have still been flying by, which is kind of great since I haven’t been thinking way too much about just wanting our little guy to be here (although I am getting more and more excited about it).

Weight gain: As of my last doctors appointment I was up about 23 lbs. (On the day I went into labor, I had gained a total of about 28 lbs.)
Sleep: Good sleep has been getting more and more difficult. I usually sleep really well for the first 5 hours, but then once I get up to use the bathroom, I often feel really awake and toss back and forth a bunch of times.
Symptoms: My belly button has officially popped. I have some itchy skin sometimes, but it seems to depend on the day/week. Probably whenever baby boy is having a growth spurt! He moves and wiggles all the time — and sometimes I have felt like I’m getting bruised from the inside where he always kicks his feet. Starting at my 30 week appointment, he was facing head down, and I’m hoping that trend continues! (It did! He was head down all the way to the end!)
Exercise: In the last couple weeks running has been getting more difficult. I did do a 6 mile run at about 29 weeks, but since then nearly every run has been 3-4 miles. More recently, they have also included lots of walk breaks. Some days are better than others, so I just play it by ear, and am happy that I can keep my body moving.
Besides running I have been doing a lot more swimming. It has been amazing to get in the water on hot days. I have been swimming at an easy pace, and sometimes I feel like I could just keep going forever. This also feels like a nice change from the tiredness I feel after running–swimming just feels more energizing.
(I ended up continuing to run/walk until 37 weeks for about 3 miles each time. The last couple weeks incorporated more and more walking. I also did a lot of swimming. It always felt SO good to swim as a low impact workout! I also just went on lots of walks with the pup after work.)
 
Eating: Still no major cravings or aversions. In my last update I mentioned I was starting to get some heartburn. It actually hasn’t been too bad recently, but I think sometimes chocolate does trigger it. Otherwise, I have been starting to get full way more quickly and am eating less at each meal. (Heartburn pretty much went away, and I didn’t have any major issues near the end of my pregnancy regarding eating.)
Missing: racing! (Still missing racing, but really looking forward to post partum exercise! Just a few more weeks until I can get back at it!)
Looking forward to: my baby shower, having the nursery finished (it’s getting there!!), and finally meeting our little one. We have been attending birthing classes, working on figuring out daycare, pediatricians. I’m excited for everything to just come together. One thing that I have been thinking a lot about is the time shortly after the birth where we can just enjoy being a family of 3 together. (Birthing classes went well, the nursery looks great and is being well used, and we were able to get everything together just in time for Trevor’s arrival. Phew!)

 

Race Report: Butte to Butte 5k

To start out our 4th of July celebrations, I ran the Butte to Butte race in Eugene, OR with 9 other friends. 7 people ran the 10k (the main race of the day) and 3 of us ran the 5k. Apparently, this was the first year that the 5k was all on the road. The 10k has a pretty large hill for most of mile 1, then returns downhill during mile 2, and is mostly flat for the remainder of the race. It is a point-to-point race. The 5k started and finished at the 10k finish line, and was a nice flat out and back course.

The 5k started at 7:45am. It actually started a minute or two early, which I couldn’t believe!! The race directors were calling some of the speedy runners over to get started on time. Haha. Because of timing with parking and taking a wrong turn getting to the start line, I barely had enough time to use the bathroom, and definitely didn’t get in much of a warmup before the race started. The beginning of the race was slightly down hill. I want sure what my pace was going to be. Lately my first mile or so is slower as I feel like it takes by body a little longer to warm up. I had enough time to do a few dynamic stretches and a super short jog, so I was hoping that would be enough. I also have been Just generally running a bit slower.

Race adrenaline and weaving through some people, plus the slight downhill got me going quick though. Maybe a little too quick. Near the end of mile 1, I got a small cramp so I walked for a minute to let my muscles relax. I finished mile 1 in 8:55. Once I picked it back up, I kept the pace a little more conservative. We ran around a small block for our turn around and headed back toward the finish line. Mile 2 was a 9:05. I was feeling good and moving along well, then I realized there was a train going by ahead and a lot of runners were getting backed up there. I ended up getting stopped by the train for a little over a minute at 2.6 miles into the race. Afterward we found out that the train affected some people’s times by over 6 minutes! After the train went by, I just ran it in trying to keep it feeling pretty easy. My unofficial finish time, excluding the train stop was 28:15.

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I had a super nice comment from someone after I finished the race. Me and another woman were in the finisher shoot. She stopped me and said “you were pacing me for a while and I was behind you thinking ‘wow, I want to look like her, she must do crossfit.’ And it want until just a minute ago I realized that you are pregnant!” She continued to tell me how impressed she was. This woman totally made my day!!!

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After I finished, I cheered on other runners finishing the 10k, and enjoyed the beautiful day with friends. It was awesome to have a big crew racing together. The rest of the day was full of lounging, trying to stay cool on a hot day, lunch at a  brew pub (root beer float for me!), and attempted viewing of fireworks.

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Did you run a race on July 4th?

Pregnancy Update: The Second Trimester

It’s pretty amazing to me how quickly the second trimester has flown by. It feels like just yesterday I was sharing the news of our expected little one with all of you! It helps that in April and May we were taking quite a few trips, so the weeks went by fast. I thought it would be fun to give you an update on how things have been going for me to date while I’ve been carrying this little one.

Firstly, at the end of May we visited family on the East Coast and were able to have a gender reveal and baby shower all at once! It was so much fun to have the little one showered with so much love already. I’m going to be having another baby shower in Oregon in August, but I knew this was my only chance to see my family, so it was important to make it count!🙂 Plus, we found out that that our little one is a BOY!

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Total weight gain: as of my doctors appointment Tuesday, I’m up about 19 lbs.

Maternity clothes: It took me until about 20 weeks before I was really ready to wear maternity clothes full time, particularly maternity pants. Now I’m dealing with a lot of my shirts getting too short! I only have a couple maternity shirts, and it might be time to do some more shopping to get me through the summer. I also so far haven’t bought maternity shorts, and instead have been wearing running shorts whenever I need them. I’ve been wearing more maxi skirts to work, which are great for this hot weather we’ve been having lately!

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Sleep: Overall sleep has been fairly sound. The last week or so I have started to get a little more uncomfortable. It takes a lot more effort to roll over in the middle of the night now. I’ve been sleeping with a pillow between my legs for some extra support. So far I still haven’t had to make too many mid-night bathroom trips on a regular basis.

Symptoms: Baby L is always moving around and wiggling. I’m prepping for a busy little boy. Overall, I feel like I haven’t had too many major symptoms. In the last few weeks, a couple things have been picking up, including some heartburn, a couple calf cramps, and a sore left foot. I think the foot issue is due to relaxing ligaments, and increased weight along with my continued running. Luckily, after a few days of rest, the foot pain has been great. And the calf cramps are pretty intermittent, and seem to be a bit related to dehydration. Helps remind me to stay on top of the water consumption!

Cravings & favorite foods: Nothing really major, but I’ve been all about all the fresh fruit lately! I have gone strawberry picking and blackberry picking recently, so I want to eat lots of them! Next

Food aversions: none. Still haven’t figured out what exactly causes my heartburn to flare up, so if I figure that out, I’ll probably avoid some stuff. But until then, all foods are good foods in my book.🙂

Exercise: I have been running about 3 days per week, except for the week my foot pain flared up about two weeks ago. I had typically been running 5-6 miles each time. The last couple weeks I’ve been shortening them up a little, but have still been in the range of 3-6 miles per day. My pace has definitely slowed, especially in the first 1-2 miles while I’m warming up. I’d say that I typically am running around a 10-10:15 minute/mi on average. Sometimes I move a little quicker running with other people, but I continue to just see how my body feels and do whatever feels best on each day.

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I also recently went to the pool to swim for the first time since the end of last summer when I started marathon training. I have gone three times so far, and it has been fun to swim outdoors in the summer sun after work! This weekend I ran the Butte to Butte 5k in Eugene, OR. It was awesome to run another race with my little running buddy — I’ll have a recap about it up shortly!

Mood: overall I’ve been pretty happy and enjoying this pregnancy. The week my foot pain flared up I had a few breakdowns. I was feeling overwhelmed by the changes in my body – the increased weight, aches and pains, and effects on exercise. Pregnancy is hard and sometimes crazy, but it’s also exciting and such a happy time.

Missing: sometimes I’m missing doing hard workouts, the feeling of accomplishment after gutting it out around the track. I haven’t been biking and I miss that too. But I am so thankful for the exercise that I have been able to do. I’m also occasionally missing having a drink on a hot summer day with friends, and I would love to go out for some sushi!

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Best moments: our gender reveal with our families was really a special occasion. It was so much fun to not know and to share the announcement with our family.

I love feeling the little guy moving around. He’s always wiggling around and rolling. It is so strange and surreal to me still to see my belly moving around or to be able to feel from the outside.

Right now we are starting to work on the nursery! I can’t wait to show you how it turns out in a few more weeks as we get it all together. We have finished up painting, and built the crib!

Looking forward to: We have a few friends and family coming to visit on the next couple months. And of course I’m really getting excited to finally meet our baby boy! This week I scheduled out all my doctors appointments through the end of the pregnancy, which makes it feel a lot closer!

image4 (1){On the left is my tiny bump at 18 weeks. On the right is a much bigger bump at 26 weeks. It’s still growing and changing every day!}