Monday, July 28, 2014

A really weird thing is happening.

How was your weekend? I know there was a lot going on in my happy little network -- summertime is crazy and everyone in New England books right up with all sorts of cool activities and vacations -- and my weekend flew right by.

Friday afternoon I toured a couple of daycare facilities for Baby P for when I go back to work this winter (sob!) and laid low around the house because Saturday afternoon (after a haircut... my very favorite indulgence) we hosted a cookout and had to get everything prepared and cleaned up for company. Luckily, Sunday was a low key kind of day until I had to work in the evening, so there was enough time to recover before jumping back into the work week, albeit on a Sunday night.

The weekend (extended a touch on both sides to include Friday and Monday) also doled out three solid workouts -- or solid by my current standards being just over 33 weeks pregnant. Friday morning was actually straight up perfect: comfortable... maybe even cool running conditions before work and 3 1/2 miles at a 9:46 average pace. It felt like an effortless, enjoyable jaunt and one of those runs where I would have liked to keep going for forever.

Sunday morning the weather was a bit iffy, forecasters were predicting nasty storm conditions that never really came to fruition, although the sky certainly threatened, so I kept it close to home with a 2 1/2 mile loop. Shockingly (like really and truly shockingly), I somehow managed to maintain a 9:30 pace, with my second mile clocking in at an is-this-really-possible? 9:10 minute mile. Honestly. Flabbergasted. I ruminated that it's really sort of impossible that I'm getting any faster at this stage of pregnancy, so I might just be regaining a little bit of sure-footedness, or confidence. I'm still watching my step (constantly), but perhaps not so obsessively that it's literally slowing down each and every stride.

This morning, after a shoddy night's sleep and waking at 5:30, I rolled out of bed (groaning a bit, I'll admit it) and headed out to move since I have a work event that will keep me late tonight. Unfortunately it was soupy as hell even though the temperature was only in the mid-70's, and I felt each and every step. Truly, it was as though my confidence from Sunday morning was all-out teasing me with each and every step. The humidity and sleepiness had me completely shot, but I made it 3 miles anyhow, so not a bad way to kick off the week.

So, as I alluded to with the name of this post: a really weird thing is happening.

I think that in the last few months I've fallen even more in love with running than ever.

Yup. Even the slower, shorter version. I am thoroughly enjoying it, instead of just having to do it. It's interesting because right now might be the most opportune time to opt out or make excuses (even if some of them might be valid), but instead of skipping workouts I'm making choices to accommodate them by going early in the morning or late at night, or taking a walk when it's too hot or I'm too tired to run. I've cut my mileage to comfortable distances, but skip the negative self-talk about not going further or pushing harder.

In the midst of all of this happiness and optimism, I find myself itching to race, to train "for real", and to log longer miles. I'm craving it. Who knows how possible or likely or desirable that will be come September and later fall, but it's exciting to see how well integrated running has become in my life.

Running throughout pregnancy was a challenge I posed to myself and one I sort of always aspired to... I think I wrote about it as a "someday" thing in my 2013 wrap-up... but it's something I've actually completed for much simpler reasons: it feels good. It makes me happy. I feel empowered. Not a bad way to kick off a week.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Friday Feature


What did you want to be when you grew up?

I've always wanted to be a writer, yes, but I'd be lying if I denied my obsession with becoming a ballerina, despite a total lack of charisma on stage, wicked short legs for my 5'3" frame, and a love for carbohydrates. 

I mean, have you seen Centerstage? Am I embarrassing myself? But Zoe Saldana is like a legit, well-respected actress and force to be reckoned with on the red carpet now. It's sort of like I was ahead of my time.

Every once in a while I come across a ballet-related story while perusing online and so for awhile I've been stockpiling. For some reason, I decided today is the day to share with all of the other ladies and gents daydreaming of spectacular hand-stitched tutus, destroyed feet, and the seemingly ultra-glamorous life of studios, stretching, and Swan Lake.
  • Probably the most spectacularly over the top jewel box of an apartment I've ever seen (This is Glamorous)
  • Capturing the drama of hair, makeup, and costumes. For the love of hairpins. (New York Magazine)
  • And, in case the drama was in doubt... not at the Bolshoi. (New York Times)
  • Modern ballerinas, and what happens when they take scissors to their in-studio looks (Huffington Post)
  • An inspiring, impressive lady who defied the stereotype of eating, dressing, and lazing around for two (The Today Show)
  • Another one from Mary Helen Bowers, on "getting" a ballet body (Harper's Bazaar)
  • Every little girls dream: Sarah Jessica Parker and Ballet (AOL On)

Any wannabe ballerinas out there? What did you want to be when you grew up?

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Dog Days of Summer

Last night was the first time since being pregnant that I really, really had to call off a work out because of the weather and really, really didn't want to. Most of the time the weather and my mood seem to work it out so it's no big deal, or if the weather is treacherous, I don't want to go in the first place, but last night I was itching to run, wanted to get out with the club, and had to admit it was just too hot.

Since it was a Tuesday, my running club had their weekly 5K close to home at 7 PM. Temps were still hovering around 90 when I left the office, but eased down into the 80's over the next hour. As the clock ticked past 6:00, I refreshed my weather app over and over, trying to will it down, but by the time I had to leave, I had to admit that 84 degrees was not my self-imposed threshold of 79 and can the run.

Yesterday was a sort of mediocre day. I felt pretty lousy, very overtired, and completely distracted. I'm going home to see my family in New Jersey for the weekend in a couple of weeks and feel a little bit like I'm the kid in school with senioritis. In the absence of running, I lounged on my bed for a few hours reading and eating Tostitos, antsy and grumpy. Finally, around 7:30 I decided to suit up and head out for a walk.

Nik was out at a work event, so I got to rock my about-to-disintegrate-right-off-my-body, 10-year old UNH sweatpants. They're my favorite, but maybe not the best option for a 2.5 mile walk in 82-degree weather. It was sweaty.

They say walking provides many of the same benefits of a good run and that is no joke. Hallelujah. It was still super hot, but at least I was able to move.

I ended up in bed early, got a decent night's sleep, and woke first around 5 before dozing until my alarm at 6. I bounced out of bed to get dressed before I could think too much about it or fall back asleep and thank goodness I did because the weather outside was spectacular. The sun was rising gently (as opposed to aggressively, as I would describe it's mid-afternoon shine right now) and along with 72-degree temperatures, a nice, light breeze was blowing.

It was perfect. Peaceful and comfortable with that magical kind of half awake haze. The air was fresh, the breeze felt nice. Everyone I crossed was friendly. It was just what I needed and reaffirmed my decision to hold back last night in the very best way.

I ran the same route that I walked last night, comfortably and very, very happily. Within hours, it was over 90 degrees again, so I was even more pleased to have gotten out early for a much needed dose of endorphins.

32 1/2 weeks and hanging in!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Friday Feature

Yeah, yeah, yeah... RE2PECT. Epic, classy, legendary... the Derek Jeter goodbye tour at the All-Star Game. Yada, yada. The ad is cool and I was this close to sharing it... until I saw this Jimmy V Award acceptance speech from Stuart Scott.

Honestly, I didn't realize Scott even had cancer, but having spent every single morning of my childhood getting up for the 6:00, 6:30, and 7:00 AM airings of SportsCenter before school, he holds an especially special place in my heart.

Photo via
Video via
Years ago, when I worked for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Team In Training, a longtime Team member said how much it bugged him when people used the phrase "lost their battle with cancer," because it sort of implied they hadn't tried or fought hard enough -- obviously not the case. That really stayed with me, so when I heard this quote from Scott, it was especially poignant:
“When you die it does not mean that you lose to cancer. You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, and in the manner in which you live.”
This video, which was the lead-in to Scott's award, is pretty fantastic in and of itself. It gives a really good sense of the how, why, and way in which he lives. Just some food for thought (because shouldn't we all strive for that always?) on a Friday afternoon.


And just because lists are fun and easy and I'm in hyper-nesting, list-making mode, I'll wrap up the week with Tina's suggestion from Carrots 'N' Cake

25 Things You (Probably) Don't Know About Me. (It's my favorite part of US Magazine)
  • I’m happiest when running. I mean, I'm pretty darn happy doing just about anything with my husband, too, but that seems like a cop-out answer.
  • … especially if it involves a surprise water stop visit when Nik drives the course to check on me or if it's where I grew up at the shore on one of my favorite stretches of boardwalk.
  • I’ve always wanted to do the unexpected. It's what inspired me to run my first marathon. I like to prove people and expectations wrong.
  • My husband and I love Formula One racingVermont Cremery Cremont cheese, taking walks in our neighborhood, and spending Sundays slow-cooking and watching football!
  • I was a terrible soccer player growing up.
  • My first job was babysitting, but my first real paycheck came from The Arbors, my family's senior home where I worked as a waitress.
  • I could probably eat nectarines or a White's Bakery cupcake every day. The definition of balance.
  • I stole ... ??!?! No seriously, I've never stolen anything. Ask my sister about my black tank top though and see "I'm still mad..." below.
  • I was born on the same day as George H.W. Bush and Anne Frank.
  • My all-time favorite film is anything by Wes Anderson (especially Rushmore) followed closely by Finding Neverland, if we're going in a completely different direction
  • I do a pretty mean Indian accent. Better than my husband. Who is Indian.
  • I’m still mad at my sister for jacking my favorite black tank top in high school. She won't fess up, to this day.
  • I met my husband at Fenway Park.
  • I always knew I wanted to be a writer. I had one job where it was my official title, but now it's just for fun. Nulla Dies Sine Linea.
  • I’m not afraid to take on a ridiculous challenge or dare! I ate an orange whole, rind and all, because my 10th grade bio teacher said I wouldn't. Bad idea.
  • I make the best stove top popcorn.
  • I have almost no ability to drive by pan-handlers without giving. Except the chick outside South Station who says she's trying to catch a bus home to Western Mass in the same intersection every afternoon
  • I always cry when I watch "A Four Year Old's Bucket List.Oh my gosh. Every. Single. Time.
  • I’m a Jersey Girl, but I don’t really care [at all, even a little bit] about pork roll. Gross.
  • I spent 4 months in Galway, Ireland during a semester abroad.
  • I wish my folks were as into Facetime as I am. It's so much more fun to SEE who you're talking to!
  • At 5, I was deeply in love with Dire Straits "Woo Hoo" song (Walk of Life and yes, really) and playing dress-up. Old habits die hard.
  • I believe if everyone had an ice cream cone the world would be a better place. Seriously, who would fight with an ice cream cone in hand?!
  • I can’t stand one-uppers.
  • Whenever any of the Bourne movies or Italian Job are on, I’ll watch.

  • Play along! Hit me with one or three or ten of these in the comments, and have an OUTSTANDING weekend.

    Wednesday, July 16, 2014

    Simple Pleasure

    People. I have not been holding up my end of the bargain around here (i.e. actually writing) and I apologize! In part, my running life hasn’t been particularly interesting. In [another] part, I vowed this wouldn’t become a pregnancy blog and honestly, that part of my life has been sort of consuming. Still, I’ve resisted post after post after post because that’s not really what this little world is all about, or at least it wasn't supposed to be.

    I was thinking about it this morning, debating whether I really just don’t start ruminating until the middle or late miles of my usual runs pre-pregnancy or if my brain is actually just completely preoccupied right now, either with baby thoughts or don’t fall down mantras. Maybe 2 ½ or 3 ½ miles just isn’t long enough to get the juices flowing and synapses shooting? 

    Weekly 5Ks with my running club have been a really outstanding way to skip the thinking, minimize the hyper-concentration, and simply socialize on the go. They were right to classify the series as fun runs because they got it just right. After attending my first run or two earlier in the spring, I volunteered to bring water each Tuesday night in July as a sort of a personal guarantee that I'd show up. I love when tricking myself actually works because, wouldn't you know it, I'm actually starting to recognize other runners each week!

    The weather has been super muggy this week, but last night dipped below 80 at the start of the run (which has been my arbitrary personal threshold), so I counted myself in. I was a little anxious about the prospect of thunder and lightning because it was looking kind of dark (and in the end it held off), but no one else seemed concerned, so off we went.

    One thing I'm really enjoying about these outings is how many parents I see running with their children. There are a couple of dads who push their kiddos in jogging strollers, a woman who pushes two toddlers in a double-jogger, and a handful of women who run alongside their elementary-aged children. It's awesome and as I joked to one woman last night, it's exactly what I'm trying to impose on our baby in utero. 

    Two weeks ago there was a 13-time marathoner running alongside her son, who was probably 11 or 12. It was his first 5K. The course is unique in that it's pretty hilly, with miles one and three both on inclines. The boy was trucking along with encouragement from his mom, alternately walking and running for the first mile. How are you feeling, she asked again and again. We can turn back at the first mile marker if you want. He continued and finished the run in about 40 minutes. They were back for a second try Tuesday and I asked if it felt easier this time around. He said it did, and that he usually played baseball and hockey, but wanted to try out running with his mom. His mom shared that she got her love for running from her father, which cracked her son up. Funny to picture your grandpa running, huh? I asked. Totally, he answered. Around the time we split up, the boy was telling his mom that he wanted to make it to the first mile marker without walking. I was pumped to see him meet his goal and, later in the night, take two or three minutes off his finishing time.

    A second duo included a turbo-fit mama and her 8 or 9 year old daughter in matching outfits. I only really saw them from the start and finish, but the smile on the little girl's face as she rounded the bend to the finish line, taking off from her mom to sprint to the end was absolutely priceless. Runners who had already finished gathered near the clock, cheering her in, and the confidence and joy on her face was something I hope will stay ingrained in my own memory. Her expression encompassed how much fun running is supposed to be, but also a look of accomplishment, pride, and unabashed happiness. It reminded me of the impact that sport, teamwork, and camaraderie can have in a child's development.

    Coincidentally, it's a look I suspect I wore on my own face only minutes before. I passed the three mile marker and a couple of runners who had finished and were out running around with their kids. Bring it home, mama, one woman exclaimed. BIG smile! another encouraged, of the completely silly grin I know was spread from ear to ear. Two volunteers clapped as I turned the corner and the run coordinators and club members gathered at the clock cheered and encouraged me across the line. 

    I felt so lucky to be out there and in such great company. 

    No deep thoughts, no muddy diggers, but the very simple pleasure of getting outside to play.

    Monday, July 7, 2014


    It's universally understood and generally accepted fact that Mondays are rough. Mondays after a long holiday weekend? Torture. (This is to say nothing about Tuesdays, which are like total no-man's-land between the weekend and hump day.)

    Last night I realized the 4th of July holiday would be my last long weekend or holiday or bonus day off until maternity leave. Next time I have the opportunity to sleep in, watch sports in bed, linger on the deck as the sun goes down and the bugs come out, etc. etc. etc. likely won't contain any of those things at all, or, at a minimum, they will happen with a newborn baby propped on the scene. I'm not saying it's bad -- believe me, I thought about that scenario during all of the above this weekend and it's a downright kickass prospect -- but it'll make you stop and say woah for a quick minute.

    Anyhow, going to bed last night was sort of a bummer, knowing the alarm would buzz this morning and off I'd go. It turned out I woke before my alarm, first at 4:50 AM and then at 6, so I decided that after a few days off from real exercise (besides a long walk on the beach yesterday and another walk in our neighborhood last night), I should try to wake up on the right side of the bed with a morning run. By the time I motivated, dressed, and got out the door it was 20-past, so I settled in for 2 1/2 miles through a nearby neighborhood.

    Overall, I felt really good. I'm getting more acclimated to the slower pace and working hard at not letting it influence me at all (emotional or effort-wise), though I like to use the tracking for my training log all the same.

    The weather looked like it was having a bit of a Monday itself. The early part of my loop (running away from home) was sunny, bright, and optimistic, but the second half (on the return) looked pretty moody and ominous. I went back and forth on the two myself.

    After a brief stop to walk -- I'm feeling much more intense stuff in my low belly now than I did a few weeks ago, largely "thanks" to my intestines, I think (yuck) -- I ran it in and got on with my day.

    Just in case the run wasn't enough to start my week off on the right note, upon showering I ran back downstairs to get started on a fresh juice.

    Strawberries, ginger, lemon, apples, carrots, and a beet. This is one of the more fruit-heavy concoctions I've put together and was really yummy. It had the earthy, healthy grounding from the beets and carrots, but also carried the light, refreshing fruitiness from the strawberries, apples, and lemon. I was surprised by how nicely the strawberries packed a punch considering that I wouldn't necessarily call them an especially juicy fruit.

    Here's hoping I'm ramped up and fueled up for a strong start to the week.

    Anything I'm missing? How do you pump yourself up for Mondays?

    Wednesday, July 2, 2014

    To Sum It Up

    Have I mentioned how much I love the blog tales of me and the husband? I think my affection is rooted in the author being a Jersey girl transplanted in Massachusetts with an absolutely surreal love story, but I might just enjoy her writing, style, and the sense of "ahhhhh" I get each time I read about her oh-so-busy, but peaceful-seeming (is that possible?) life.

    So, if/since imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, I'm straight up copying her taking stock round up today.

    Making: plans! With my trusty planner (thank goodness for Moleskine), I've been mapping out the rest of my summer and finding myself completely alarmed by how quickly it will pass between meetings, travel, weddings, and my baby shower.
    Cooking: hardly at all, really. This is one area where I've really dropped the ball in the past six months. Thank goodness for the summertime, Nik, and our grill.
    Drinking: brand new concoctions courtesy of my juicer, every single day. Today's blend is English cucumber, cantaloupe, apple, and lemon and it is refreshing.
    Reading: this and this (yikes!). I also recently finished this, written by my colleague. The writing is just like listening to him tell a story, only the story is one of the most incredible I've ever heard.
    Wanting: a glass of super-chilled Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc and a big slice of cake. (Luckily half of this is coming true later tonight. The cake half.)
    Looking: forward to visiting wonderful, old friends next weekend for a birthday party and Bruno Mars concert.
    Playing: the #100happydays game. I'm only on #day2, so there's a long way to go!
    Eating: Justin's Maple Almond Butter. Heaven.
    Wishing: I could impose my love for the beach on my husband, who doesn't like sitting in the sun or sitting still in general. Opposites attract, I suppose.
    Enjoying: actually being an active and present member of the running club I joined years ago. Tuesday night 5K fun runs are so. much. fun.
    Loving: how beautiful the flower beds in our front yard look after last weekend's hard work. Worth it!
    Hoping: to try out my new bicycle trainer this weekend. I agreed to stay off the roads during pregnancy, but my sister and her boyfriend gave me a trainer for my birthday so I can still ride.
    Needing: more sleep! My goodness! I am so tired.
    Smelling: isn't it funny how you can actually smell the summertime heat? 
    Feeling: beyond excited for a long weekend... one that includes a visit from my parents and grandmother!
    Wearing: an Old Navy t-shirt dress I found on sale last weekend. It's become my go-to for lounging around the house.
    Following: I can't get enough of the fantastic career profiles and home tours posts each Tuesday and Thursday morning. The site is a great resource for young, professional women.
    Noticing: some really fantastic looks at the liquor store last night, as I picked up a case of beer and four bottles of wine, especially as I proceeded to ask "is the Kim Crawford Pinot Grigio any good, because I'm really a big fan of the Sauvignon Blanc..."
    Bookmarking: truly terrifying post-delivery insights that I find on Pinterest. Don't worry, I keep them on a secret/hidden board called "notsomuchfun baby things."

    Pick something on the list and tell me what you're playing/noticing/loving/wishing.

    Monday, June 30, 2014

    "Old School" Weekend

    This weekend was pretty darn fantastic.

    Okay, so maybe fantastic by 30's, married life, suburban standards, but it worked for me. It actually made me think of that famous quote from the movie Old School (which I haven't actually seen):
    Well, um, actually a pretty nice little Saturday, we're going to go to Home Depot. Yeah, buy some wallpaper, maybe get some flooring, stuff like that. Maybe Bed, Bath, & Beyond, I don't know, I don't know if we'll have enough time.
    I'm embarrassed to admit that our perfect little weekend included both Lowe's and Bed, Bath, & Beyond, but also all sorts of good, productive stuff, two nice workouts, and absolutely perfect weather. And, no, I'm not sure when weeding and planting flower beds started constituting "fun"... I think it's productivity-related.

    Sunday morning started with a nice, easy run -- although I use the word easy in terms of pushing myself, not actual exertion because, my gosh, running is getting harder by the day. Heading out of my neighborhood I was amused to see the car cruising around photographing my street.

    Afterwards, I had Nik document my ever-growing belly. In hindsight, I don't really need to frame my belly with my hands anymore. It's pretty evident on its own.

    29 weeks. Woah.

    After running a few errands, including a trip to the grocery store, I got down to what I had already decided would be the highlight of my weekend.

    After my birthday, I decided that letting Nik gift me a treadmill was ridiculous (I've been saving for one anyhow and will probably pull the trigger in the fall when Baby P arrives), but gifting me a JUICER would be perfectly a-okay.

    I've wanted one for ages and drop $6 or more each time I swing by the Whole Foods juice bar, so yesterday while taking care of the aforementioned trip to Bed, Bath, & Beyond, we picked up this beaut. I juiced up a couple of apples with a hunk of cantaloupe and an English cucumber as my debut. Yum.

    Then, I did two things I haven't done in AGES: doubled up my workouts and took a yoga class!

    A studio I had tried when yoga-shopping earlier this winter (my gosh I miss Exhale and Back Bay Yoga) emailed me earlier this month to let me know that they were gifting me a free class for my birthday. After a super busy past few weeks, I decided to cash in my class for a Sunday evening pre-natal class.

    It was sort of what I had expected, though one thing I [idiotically] hadn't considered was that for the first time, I'd be completely surrounded by other pregnant ladies! I was sort of quiet, since most of the women seemed to know each other (pre-natal regulars, I guess) but it was funny to hear everyone compare whether or not they knew what they're having, what hassles they are experiencing, and when they are due.

    The class followed an easy pace, but addressed issues like digestion, sleep, opening our hips, and taking pressure off our backs. It was a comfortable and nice way to wrap up the weekend.

    What were your weekend high points?

    Just for fun, I'll counter by sharing my weekend low point. How pathetic are these (that I bought Thursday night, no less):

    Comically bad, right?

    Thursday, June 26, 2014

    A Big, LONG Second Trimester Recap

    It's hard to believe (for me, at least), but I've officially cruised from my second trimester to my third. As in, the last one. Knowing how quickly summer flies by every year, Baby P is going to be here in no time. It's an exciting and terrifying reality.

    Likes, dislikes, and months 3-6, in general:

    I have to say, the second trimester went really, really quickly. The first one felt super long -- probably because it was still a secret and seemed very far away -- but weeks 12-26 (or whatever the exact timeline is) went by in a blink. I've joked throughout the pregnancy that had I not seen the baby in ultrasounds, or felt it's little kicks starting around week 17, I wouldn't believe it's in there. I feel very lucky that my body seems very into pregnancy. Nothing dramatic to report at all. I did some brainstorming, though, so I could provide some of my details below.

    Loves: cereal, fruit, lemonade, and gummy candy (specifically Paul Newman strawberry licorice -- have you tried that stuff?!?!)
    Not So Much: salty snacks, cheese
    Un-pleasantries: heartburn, dysfunctionally tired
    Other realities: waking up 4-5 times a night to pee, itty-bitty appetite (and feeling crazy full)

    I went with a loves and not so much category because I didn't feel anything strong enough to warrant being called a craving or aversion. Since my appetite has been so small, I've been so unreasonably tired, and Nik traveled so much during my second trimester, cereal was my best friend come dinner time. I ate my big meal at lunch because the cafeteria cooked it for me and at dinner I indulged in some combination of cereal and fruit. Special K and blueberries took an early lead and more recently Cheerios with chopped nectarines or plums made a run. In between I tried Whole Foods peanut butter puffs and frosted flakes -- basically dessert disguised as health food because it's organic (am I the only one who does that?!).

    At the same time, I really wasn't that into salty foods like chips (potato/corn/pita), processed snacks (Cheez-Itz) or pretzels, which are usually a dangerous after-work habit. Likewise for cheese -- American slices, goat cheese, or our very favorite that we discovered on vacation in Vermont. It's not UNappealing; it's just more of a meh kind of thing. Trading pears and apples for a wheel of cheese? Who am I?

    Like I said, I really can't complain, as the second trimester of this pregnancy has been pretty easy. The heartburn I started experiencing early on stuck with me, but got much better after I cut most citrus and chocolate from my diet. I had an especially dicey time with heartburn during our vacation to India, but it resolved thanks to ample servings of vanilla ice cream and scaling back on the delicious lime sodas (FULL of fresh-squeezed lime) people kept making me. The only other issue has been actually functioning while insanely, impossibly tired. It turns out, however, that blood work I just completed indicates that I'm suffering from a little bit of anemia, which actually comes as a relief -- knowing there's a solution. I'll start an iron supplement tonight and keep bumping up my consumption of iron-rich foods and hope I can scale back on the lunchtime and after work naps for these last few months.

    What I'm wearing (i.e. the fun stuff):

    As I mentioned, I really didn't see any changes to my body/belly until I approached my sixth month, so I only jumped on the maternity clothes bandwagon in the last few weeks of my second trimester. Still, some of the best of the best, can't-live-without-it gear I've enjoyed includes:

    1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6

    Most of my gear changes have come in the workout department.

    Early on it was clear I was going to need some new sports bras with increased... support. I put it off for ages (not sure how much adjustment would be necessary), but caved and bought two Moving Comfort bras to try out -- the Maia and the Juno. The Juno was the big winner for me -- the straps and overall fit were much more comfortable and I didn't like how high cut the Maia was up front. Honestly, I don't know if I'd still be running without this upgrade. Likewise, I needed some extra support on my feet. I've been a big fan of the Saucony Kinvara for almost two years, but in my second trimester started to feel like I was running barefoot. After a quick trip to the local running store, I bought a pair of Saucony Rides, which are one stability level up from Kinvaras with an only slightly higher drop. They seem to have done the trick.

    I bought a couple of workout tops from the Gap Fit line that I'm in love with. These were more of a splurge and a want than a need, but I don't regret them at all (and am currently waiting for two more in the mail). I bought two Heathered Tees and two Breathe Tanks, mostly because my race t-shirts were feeling a bit snug and short and honestly, there's nothing worse. The tanks are pretty thin, but the tees are substantial and they are both really soft and cute. The cut is flattering and I would say the tank runs true to size and the tee can be sized down unless you want it really roomy. I bought a medium tee the first time and a small on my second go. Not only am I loving them for summertime running, I'm fairly sure they are going to be major players in my maternity leave recovery/lounging/nursing wardrobe. I'm still running in pre-pregnancy Nike Tempo shorts or lululemon Wunder Under crops.

    For in-real-life clothes, I wore regular pants throughout my second trimester (eventually adding a Bella band to get some more wear out of tighter waistbands), but around week 20, started incorporating Target maternity tunic tops (black and white v-necks -- I kept it really basic), which are super soft and comfy. So far, in trimester three, I've added a few dresses by ASOS (reasonable and cute) and a pair of cropped, black maternity pants from Loft. All of the tunics I picked up in India have been in heavy rotation, too.

    Shimera tanks from Nordstrom were actually a revelation a few years back and became a go-to item in the past few months. They're basically just fitted tanks, but during pregnancy they've been great for layering and keeping things smooth. I literally wear one (black, off-white, or white) every single day as my base layer.

    Finally, like most women, as soon as I found out I was expecting I on the bandwagon to moisturize the hell out of my belly and chest to prevent stretch marks. This is a change for me because I absolutely detest lotions and creams. Hate. They make my skin feel claustrophobic. It's an irrational fear. Still, for these nine months I figured I could get on board. Early on I tried the standard Palmer's Cocoa Butter belly lotion, but couldn't cope with smelling like a chocolate bar all the time. It wasn't for me. Then I discovered Burt's Bees Mama Bee Belly Butter and solved that problem. It's light, moisturizing and the solution to my product-averse sensibilities.

    So that's how I'm feeling and what I'm rocking, but what am I doing:

    Until my fall a few weeks back, I was literally chugging right along daily. Month four included a ton of barre classes and recently, I had a good three week spell where I ran at least one mile each and every day for the Runner's World Run Streak. I think I could have completed all 40 days had I not taken such a spill, but like I said from the start, I wasn't going to obsess about it or put myself or Baby P at risk for the sake of pride.

    Now, I'm still running a lot, at a much easier exertion and much lower mileage. In addition to daily runs of 1.5 to 5 or 6 miles, during my second trimester I completed a couple of fun-run 5Ks and the Runner's World Heartbreak Hill Half Festival 10K, which also marked the longest run of my second trimester.

    And now, depending on who I listen to and which [potential] arrival date I'm anticipating, I'm in my 28th or 29th week. (Since my first doctor's appointment, they've said I'm a week ahead of my actual due date based on measure versus the calendar, a point reinforced at the hospital on my b-day when the ultrasound showed Baby P had already surpassed the two-pound mark at week 25).

    I can promise you -- since I'm a touch into my third trimester -- that things are already changing daily and I feel way more pregnant now that I have in the past 20+ weeks combined. More to share soon!

    Tuesday, June 17, 2014

    #RWRunStreak Fail: We all fall down

    Disclaimer: Long post ahead!

    I hadn’t originally planned on writing about this, and initially wasn’t even really talking about it for fear that people would worry and/or get judgey, but I may as well confess: I took a bit of a fall last week. Okay, full-disclosure, I was a bit airborne for a quick minute there. I spent most of that day plugged in and hooked up at the hospital monitoring baby – who it turns out, looks fabulous and totally and completely a-okay. It was also my thirtieth birthday. An epic little Thursday if I do say so myself.

    So, the reason I decided to come on out and say it is because in the past few days I’ve come to find that little glitches like this are actually quite common during pregnancy, and also, because this was the accident that stopped my running streak dead in its path. Still, in the past five or so days, I’ve heard about falls, car accidents, spills on ice, and a tackling two-year old. Mine happened – you guessed it – running, but after finding myself on the defensive when colleagues and friends assumed that meant I’d be hanging up my shoes for the next three months, I was reassured and encouraged by a capable and competent nursing team that keeping on keeping on is actually the best thing I can do.

    I lamented to my mom that people would think I was reckless if I kept running even though all I craved was getting back out to build back my confidence. She replied, “Jill, you can’t stop running because of what other people think.” God bless you, Mother. Even my anti-exercise enabling husband has my back.

    Here’s how it went down (oy).

    I was having a beautiful, early morning birthday run – what was meant to be five miles over a route I’ve run a million times. The sun was coming up, it was comfortable, I was feeling great. Just before the fall, I debated crossing over to run on the sidewalk or up the shoulder against traffic (where I usually run). I thought it through and stuck with what I know (the sidewalks aren’t all flat and/or completely safe themselves) and about a quarter mile later, my toe caught a chunk of detached pavement stuck in the mud and I. Just. Flew.

    It’s incredible how in a split second you can actually think as you fall. I stumbled four or five steps first, trying to catch myself, and as I actually fell I was very aware of making sure I didn’t land on my belly. I caught myself with both forearms and twisted my body, landing on my side. There was road rash. My arms bled almost immediately. There were tears – from worry, mostly – and though I could have continued running, I called and woke Nik up to come get me. I can only imagine how I looked to anyone driving by: bloody, muddy, and tear-stricken.

    After I showered up and calmed down, I headed into the office and reached my doctor’s office when they opened at 8:30. They had availability for me to come in so I left my office two hours later, letting everyone know I’d be back in 45-minutes or so. Whoops. Fast forward to bypassing hospital registration and getting hooked up to all sorts of funky devices to track Baby P’s heart rate and any hard-to-detect contractions. By this point, I felt pretty much okay since a delightful and down to earth nurse told me she was actually more concerned about my arm than the baby. They were obligated to monitor me for four hours, so the blessing in disguise was that I got a bonus ultrasound (baby looks “PERFECT” – do you think they say that to all the panicky mom-to-be’s?) and I spent my 30th birthday relaxing and listening to the baby’s heartbeat. Pretty darn cool, actually. Oh, they also turned down baby’s “volume” because s/he kicks so much and so hard that they could hear it out at the nurse’s station. Nik joked about how active the baby is, which is validating since s/he reminds me that s/he’s in there all day every day.

    To be honest, I was totally freaked out about my fall because other than everyday bumps and bruises, I really don’t just FALL DOWN. It’s very strange to feel out of control of your body and to have everyone weighing in on why your balance is off (if it’s even that at all) and what you should do about it. Sometimes well-meaning advice can be a bit much. Needless to say, after this incident and taking one day off to recuperate on Friday – again, my arms more than my belly or my legs – I needed to get back out there to restore some of what makes me feel like me. Breaking the streak and taking the day off was a serious emotional struggle for me, so I was committed to getting back on the road Saturday morning. I took it deliberately slow, one foot in front of the other big time, and ran one mile out and back from my house. Sunday night I decided the next step would be covering the same route that knocked me over in the first place. That one was even slower, but also more meditative, a literal retracing of steps. We made it. I was upright. Order was restored.

    I guess what I want to say is that it happens. Often, actually. We get derailed. We fall down – sometimes literally – we keep running. I broke my running streak by falling on my birthday and missing a day on Friday the 13th… naturally, right?! But going back to square one, the first mile, the first day, is okay, too, as long as I keep going.

    Also, for the record, these nurses were basically the nicest people ever. They brought me a birthday cupcake!

    ALSO, for the laugh, as we parked our car outside the hospital and I tried to keep from hyperventilating, Nik told me what he’s gifting me for the big 3-0: “It’s practical,” he assured me.

    It's a treadmill.