7.09.2013

Me & Wills

This is the weirdest parallel with a person I don't know. It's the story of me and Prince William. (I have a secret obsession with royals. I don't need celeb gossip-type info on them if they're alive. That bores me. I like the dead ones most of all but royalty fascinates me.) My mom pointed out the similarity to me & I've kept it going. Here's why me & Wills are basically twins.

1981: Parents marry (his with a bit more fanfare)
1982: BIRTH YEAR!!!! The world rejoiced at both of our births.
1984: Younger sibling born
2011: Married a hottie
2013: Expecting first child with said hottie

Our parents also divorced in the late 90s but thankfully our unhappy dates don't match. Let's live a good long time, shan't we, Wills? And two more children, yes? Great! Let's do twins next time! I'm also running my first marathon next year. Allow me to inspire you.

6.25.2013

The Anatomy Scan + A Little Extra

So... we had our ultrasound and my biggest gender-related fear? That the second the tech put the wand on my belly, that baby would be spread-eagled and we would instantly know what we were having. LOL But my beloved child cooperated with his momma and kept his goods to himself... at least as far as I could see. Bless you, my child!

Rashan went back and forth in the weeks leading up to the ultrasound on whether or not he would learn the sex of the baby and keep it to himself. The only thing that made him waver was not wanting to spoil my surprise for me somewhere along the way. How sweet is that??? So the day of and even minutes before our ultrasound, he was still undecided. "Game time decision," he said. Once we got set up in the room, the tech asked us, "Do you want to know what you're having if you can see?" We started talking at the same time.

I said, "Well..."
Rashan said, "No."
I gasped! "No??"
Firmly, "No."
"Awwww! Thank you!"

I was ecstatic! Mostly because I was really enjoying the speculation of not knowing together. But would you believe that knowing he wants to know so badly made me feel bad that now he wouldn't know? I really wanted him to know!

Our ultrasound continued and I loved hearing her continually say, "Normal. That's normal. Normal." It was so reassuring. I've read a lot of stories of finding out things on the anatomy scan so it was a relief to hear our baby was healthy. And how much do I love seeing that little heartbeat??? So much!! I've gotten used to feeling the baby move now but SEEING the heartbeat??? So amazing! I don't even know what my own heartbeat looks like but I've seen our baby's! Twice!

After the ultrasound, the tech gave us a DVD of the session so we could watch it again and a few photo printouts. I stared at the first photo in shock but I didn't say anything. I didn't want to be vain...
Then Rashan said, "The baby has your forehead!" I said, "I know!!!!!!" So crazy! I never expected to be able to point out my own features on an ultrasound! Rashan said, "I want something to look like me!" I said, "I bet that baby comes out looking exactly like you but with my head." LOL

This is a hard-earned profile shot. We had to poke at my stomach to get the baby to cooperate to get it. He would NOT move! LOL I said, "That's your baby. Stubborn." Hahaha. On that pic you can see an arm by the side and a fist up near the face. And look at that little button nose. Awww.

The next picture was my favorite. LOOK AT THOSE LITTLE FEET!!!!!!!!
When we got home and watched the ultrasound again, he was swimming away on one shot. It was so adorable to see his little legs flapping away. My little triathlete. This is my mom's favorite picture, too. A week or so after the ultrasound, I found out my due date is Columbus Day. It was so weird to me that I didn't know that already but I didn't. I asked Mrs. Count if this meant I had to name my baby Columbo. She said he needs a Native American name so I have selected Swims with Tiny Feet. Awwww.

This next picture is of me and Rah on Saturday. We met my mom at a Mexican restaurant in Salisbury. This is the only picture of us with my bump because we never have anyone to take pics of us. I love it!
Would you like to know why we drove 45 minutes to meet my mom for dinner? Not just for kicks, though it was quite fun! Mrs. Count was talking about cake last Monday and I just had to have some! I called my mom and asked her to bake and mail me a cake. Then Rashan said, "Why don't we just meet her in the middle to get it?" I LOVE THAT IDEA!! So on Saturday we did and it was wonderful! My mom poked at my belly, wrinkled her nose and said, "Ooh. It's hard." LOL What? She's so special. She cooed over the ultrasound with us, I showed her possible going home from the hospital outfits for a boy or a girl, then we went our separate ways. A lovely visit. And that pound cake? AMAZING!! I ooed and aahed over that thing like it was the first and last cake on earth! Rashan was cracking up at how much I was thanking Jesus after every bite. :)

5.30.2013

Pregnant Problems

Let me go ahead and get this out of the way: I am grateful that my body is able to grow and carry a baby. That does not negate my feelings.

Pregnancy is messing with my head. I have NEVER, EVER had a body image problem. Even at my largest pre-pregnancy size probably 8 or so years ago, I felt beautiful and fabulous. I have surpassed that weight but am probably more fit. I have always thought pregnant women looked AMAZING! So beautiful to see someone growing life! But being pregnant has turned my way of seeing myself all the way around. I understand things pregnant women say so much more now, too. I love pictures of my mom while she was pregnant. She never wanted to take pictures while pregnant so maybe two pictures exist. I never understood this. I get it now. It's not like I won't take pictures because I wish more of those pictures of my own mom were around, but I get it. When you don't feel pretty or like yourself, why would you want to document that???

I also get all of those pregnant people who feel fat. While I know I'm not "fat," I'm pregnant, it still shocks me every time I walk past a mirror. And it's weird to have to roll myself slowly off of a couch or bed so that I don't get nauseous (YES, STILL AT 20 WEEKS!!) or dizzy. It's hard to watch your body gain weight that you have little control over. It's not like you can restrict calories. Theoretically you can eat healthier meals. But maybe you're like me and apples literally make you throw up starting in week 17 whereas in week 16, they were a favored food. I like salad, green beans, asparagus and broccoli now. Pre-pregnancy I would eat any vegetable you put in my face! It's not that I don't want to eat healthy foods, it's that sometimes I physically can't unless I enjoy vomiting. And I do not. At my first visit to my obstetrician's office, the nurse said, "Eat what you can keep down. Your baby gets all of the nutrients it needs, even if it has to take them from your body." Mommy's little parasite! So my baby gets a lot of burgers and fries. And while I love burgers and fries, I long for the variety my diet used to entail. And guys! I don't like water anymore! I used to be able to almost exclusively drink water. Now it has to be super cold or I have to be exercising for me to choke it down.

I'm so, so grateful I'm still able to workout. I know I would feel even more lost without the ability to get some workouts in. It's still hard to slow way down while running. I can probably still out walk you as long as we're not on a hill but running? Not quite. My calves begin to hurt when running, too. My trainer friend said it's probably because I'm planting differently. I can't quite fix that even though technically I should be able to. It's better since she told me that but not completely.

Probably the biggest issue of all? Sleep. I have to go to the bathroom all the time. That means I can't sleep more than 4 hours at a time. Max. And I haven't for literally months. I'M ALWAYS TIRED!! I knew it was part of the territory in late pregnancy and when the baby's here. I did not expect it to start at 4 weeks pregnant. And seriously, if one more person tells them I need rest or even better, "Sleep now! Teehee!" I'm going to ask for their phone number so I can call them every time I wake up or need a nap. So 7 times a day.

Trust me, I know I'm being ridiculous so I will end this on a happy note. Rashan is awesome. I have bombarded him with my crazy and he hasn't flinched. He's even known without my saying it that I needed him to tell me I can't be crazy enough to chase him away. I'm amazed at how much my love for him has grown and I can't wait for it to grow even more when I see him with our baby! Just so you know how ridiculous I am... a picture at 20 weeks. 
I promise if I read this post from a chick struggling with body image and she posted that picture of herself looking like that halfway through her pregnancy, I'd be reacting as you probably are -- eye rolls and guffaws! LOL Writing this made me feel better so thank you for taking some of the heat off of my love!

4.26.2013

It's A Boy!

No, I haven't decided I want to find out what we're having. I decided to try to use some mother's intuition. Mother. That sounds so old. I actually cried to Rashan at a moment of overwhelm, "I'm not old enough to be someone's mother!" He paused, confusedly and said, "You're plenty old to be someone's mother." I know TECHNICALLY I am but 1) mother sounds really really old. Not as old as matron but pretty doggone old. 2) I really don't FEEL old enough to be someone's mother sometimes.

Can we talk about moments of overwhelm? Sometimes it's like, how do you ever truly prepare yourself to be someone's mother??? You can't! I know this 40-week gestational period is supposed to help you get used to the idea but my goodness! Sometimes the weeks fly and sometimes they drag. I turn another week pregnant every Monday (my due date's a Monday) and at or around midnight, we celebrate by reading that week's fetal development. It's so cute and I love it! Side note on my due date: It's October 14th. The 15th sounds like a much better day to me. I just like the number 15 better than 14.

Sometimes I'm like DUDE! THERE'S A PERSON GROWING INSIDE MY BODY!!! AND IT'S MOVING!! I was walking around yesterday and the baby moved while I was moving for the first time. (I usually feel him moving while I'm laying down or sitting still.) I freaked out. Aloud. Frightening the people I was walking with. It was startling! So unsettling! I couldn't calm myself down for a good 20 minutes. Not like hyperventilating but just on edge waiting for him to do something crazy again. It literally felt like that dude was trying to claw his way out via my stomach! It ain't time, bruh!

I've always wanted at least one little girl. Of the three children I want, one girl (or more) would be awesome. But here's why I think it's a boy. Before I was pregnant, I had a dream that I was driving (I think I was in Atlanta) and talking to our kids in the back seat. I looked back and saw a boy and a girl. They were so cute! And old enough to talk. But I woke up disappointed that there weren't three. I couldn't remember which one was older so I just filed it away.

I feel myself looking at girl clothes wistfully like, "Awww! One day!" Girl clothes are ADORABLE! But they don't seem like a reality to me. When I see myself saying hello to my baby for the first time, I call HIS name. I've said hello to our daughter, too, but I see her coming second. I had a daydream today and I envisioned myself sitting at my dad's country house, rocking and feeding the baby on the front porch at sunrise. I didn't see a gender there. But then I envisioned a couple years later with us standing among the chickens and it was a little boy with curly hair like his daddy at that age. :) And then the chicken pecked at my baby, I ran after it, caught it and told my dad I had to kill one of his chickens for pecking at my baby. This child didn't care. He was chasing chickens himself seconds later.

I could be Nerd Girl, tho and be straight up wrong (LOL) because Rashan is the opposite. He wants a girl and he sees girl every time he envisions our bambino. The first week of June all will be revealed... to Rashan and the ultrasound tech. But for now, only God knows!

4.18.2013

Pregnant? Questions!

"How do you feel?" I never know what to do with this question. I don't feel like I should really complain about my symptoms because I know people who have had it much worse. Plus, when I ask someone, "How are you?" I never want the real answer unless it's good. So I'm usually just non-committal. "Pretty good. Good and bad days." That's true, but with no detail. I know my mom and mother-in-law want more details so they get them. Sometimes I feel like people want me to say I feel terrible. That's a weird feeling.

But after that question, the number one question is do you want a boy or a girl. I have no clue. I just want to hold my happy, healthy baby at the end of it. I know that sounds cliché but clichés exist because they're often true. And I definitely don't have a feeling one way or the other about who's inside there. All I know is that it's a baby. Or a velociraptor. One can never be totally sure about these things. Now Rashan? Of course he wants a happy, healthy baby. But he really wants that baby to be a girl. Awwww! I love that he wants a little girl! How adorable is that??

So then of course comes, "When do you find out?" Funny you should ask this... we've made our appointment for the anatomy scan so we'll be able to find out when I'm 21 weeks. (Now 6.5 weeks away, then 8 weeks away.) Rashan said, "That's a long time." I absentmindedly said, "Is it?" I'm just excited we get to see the baby again and add another video to our ultrasound DVD! And to hear that marvelous heartbeat!! We got to hear it at 8 and 13 weeks and it is so AMAZING! The first time I cried, the second time I just smiled like a nut. :DDDD

As much as I like to plan and do this and that to prepare for things, I don't want to find out the gender. And I have no idea why other than I just like the idea of finding out at birth. And I'm not in any rush to know. That's all I got. Know what I'm in a rush to do? Feel this baby move regularly. Even the other reasons people use for why they don't/won't find out are meh to me. I've also heard all of the reasons to find out early, most of which surround the baby shower. None of them move me but the baby shower is the worst one of all. The things a baby needs most of all are very easily gender neutral. And clothes don't expire so you can get them at any point if you so desire. If Rashan could find out the gender on the pregnancy test, he'd be delighted. LOL!

Our options were just he finds out and tells no one or we both find out and tell no one. Both of us finding out and telling everyone was never an option for me. You guys don't know yet how much I like a surprise??? When else will I get a 40-week surprise to build toward??? Only my next pregnancy! Twill be AWESOME!! I've already started composing cryptic announcements to build suspense on delivery day. :) Neither of us finding out wasn't a fair option for Rashan since he wants to know so badly. I really, really don't want to know. After much, much, much, much discussion, we're going with Rashan finds out and doesn't tell anybody. At the anatomy scan, I'll let the tech know I don't want to know but I want him to know.

Am I nervous about only Rashan knowing? Nope! If I couldn't trust him with information, we wouldn't be together. I'm just excited we can both get what we want! Do I not so secretly hope the baby keeps his/her legs closed? Yes. LOL

4.10.2013

Race Recap: Gate City 8K

I originally signed up for the half marathon before I got pregnant. Once I found out I was knocked up, I did some research on running while pregnant and determined there's basically no way to predict how you'll feel at any point of your pregnancy no matter how much running you'd done before. People are stopped at a variety of points in their pregnancies for a bunch of different reasons. Some women can run throughout. Of course I'm hoping I'm in that last category but we'll see.

At 4 weeks, like I said in a previous post, I did 10 miles. I did 8 and 6 in subsequent weeks, then the three weeks before this race, I got in a TOTAL of 7 miles. Over 3 weeks. OMG. There was no way I was running a half with that level of training. I'd been too tired to get out of the house and running just wasn't a priority. I figured if I was that tired, running wouldn't help. Plus I felt off the week I was in Mississippi and only got in a MILE that entire week. So I emailed the race director about switching to the 8K. After the third email in a week and a half (side eye), I was finally told yes.

I slept... shall we say oddly before this race. Couldn't fall asleep until after 2, was up after an "I MISSED THE RACE" nightmare at 4:58. That is a fail. I had my traditional oatmeal with raisins, pumpkin pie spice and molasses and got on the road. I knew I'd be staying around for hours after my race to wait for my half-running buddies so I told Rashan he didn't have to come. As I arrived at the race, I got a spot one block away from the finish line. SCORE! I saw my race buddies and got a little sad that I wasn't running the half. I knew I wasn't ready but I wanted a second half so badly! I went to packet pick-up and easily switched to the 8K, then hung out with my peeps until the start of the half (20 minutes before the 8K). As they nervously lined up, I said, "Trust your training!" And off they went! Bittersweet.
Couldn't find my running gloves so I wore socks. LOL!
I went to the bathroom, checked my sweatshirt at gear check, did some stretches and lined up. We took off right on time at 8:20 to the A&T drum line which was pretty cool! It takes me a lot longer to warm-up now so I settled into a run-walk pattern at the back of the pack for the first mile. I was also feeling the annoyance of a muscle strain I seem to have developed in my calf during my weeks of little activity. I decided to mostly run when I realized it didn't feel any better when I walked.  It eventually went away so that was awesome! I ran all or most of the second mile and was rewarded with a water stop. Yay! I walked through the water stop, around a country club, really beautiful area, passed a couple of people, then started running again.
It was easy to smile at the appropriate times because the photogs were very conspicuous on the sparsely runner-populated course. At this point there was literally no one within 20 yards of me in either direction. Huge gaps between runners at the back. There were tons of course officials and police blocking traffic and directing runners. I mean TONS. It was crazy. It almost felt like there were more course officials than runners. Around 2.5 miles, a police car comes past me. I don't think anything of it until I see a guy come flying past me. Dude. That was the lead car and that guy is finishing the half. And he started just 20 minutes before me. He ended up finishing the half in 1 hour and 11 minutes. HAHAHAHA!! My next half goal will be 2:30. Eventually I hope to approach 1:45? Maybe? 1:11. As this guy is passing me, a police officer looks at me and says, "Go catch him." I said, "Eh. He's alright." LOL!
It is also at this point that I stopped feeling sorry for myself that I wasn't doing the half and felt SOOO happy that instead of more than 10 miles left, I only had about 2.5 (an 8K is 4.97 miles)! That put a huge smile on my face and I picked up the pace. I passed a few more people and came upon a power-walking family that I'd been trailing but keeping in my sights the entire time. There was no way they were beating me across the finish line! This was around mile 3. I thanked them for pushing me as I passed. Was that rude? They seemed okay with it. Another half mile later I came upon a guy helping his friend run and I heard him say, "You can do this, only 1 mile left." I was like OKAY! I'm running the rest of this mile! Dude lied. My phone was dying so I wasn't tracking this race.  I knew that sounded wrong but I was about to find out how wrong shortly.

Nearly half a mile later (aye carumba), WHEN I CAN SEE THE FINISH AND HEAR THE DRUM LINE, I see a course official standing in the street. I'm like why are you standing there in the way? I'm about to say something to him about it when he says, "You need to turn here." I was like, "WHY!?!?" No, I literally whined that at him. SOOO demoralizing! Take that turn away from the last mile!! IT IS HORRIBLE!!!! Shortly after, I saw the 4-mile marker and started passing people who looked more defeated by that mile than I felt. Tres bad. I told myself we'd run through this FOR REAL last mile... then I saw a final water stop at I believe 4.25 miles. I got some water and walked. I started running again after I finished my water and saw a lady sweeping her porch ducking from a bird. I laughed and said, "ATTACK!" LOL! I needed something to help me along the way!

I round another corner, approaching the final turn when I see a man in a grey jogging suit. He looks like he's out for a walk, like many other people I've seen that day so I say, "Good morning!" He grumbles the greeting back at me. I'm like yikes but keep trucking. As he runs past me, I realize he's in the race. Oops. He starts walking again and I pass him again. We're getting closer and closer to the finish. We can hear the drum line. We can hear the cheers. The crowd is building. I pick it up a little. He runs past me again. I'm amused now and I'm like, "Ehhh... I'm pregnant. You can have it, sir." But then the competitor in me arises. (Is that you, baby??? LOL) And I'm like wait a dang minute. I don't give up this close to the finish. NO MATTER WHAT. If he's gonna beat me, he has to earn it. I pick up a little more and pass him. I figure that's it. We're less than 100 yards from the finish. I hear him coming again. We're running side by side to the finish. I'm SO AMUSED! LOLOL
I HAD NO IDEA he was amused, too! Tee hee hee! I absolutely love this picture! People are cheering like crazy at this point! So I pick it up one more gear and pass him right before the finish line. YESSSSSSSSSSS!!!
I felt like a freaking ROCK STAR! In the middle of it, I don't always feel like a rock star because racing pregnant makes me adjust my expectations. It can be so disappointing to know that I could've killed that course sans baby but le baby is more important than the race. I was hoping to finish in under an hour but knew that might be a stretch so my main goal was just to finish. I was pleasantly surprised to see 1:06:24 as my official time. I'll take it! I hung around with others from my group to see all of our peeps in and it was awesome! As I saw my training buddies cross one by one, I felt a little twinge but I remembered how accomplished I felt. And I was so proud of them, all completing their first half that I was okay. Afterwards, we went to Dame's Chicken and Waffles and SWEET LORD!! I had the orange-speckled chabo with a side of AMAZING mac and cheese and had enough to take home. It was expensive but delicious!

On a less fun note, I had two people tell me to take it easy before the race. Seriously? I know for a fact that neither of them ran pregnant. If they did, they'd know you don't have a choice. Breathing is much easier than it was 6 or 8 weeks ago but it's still very VERY apparent that there's something different. I couldn't run at my regular pace for an entire race if I tried. And seeing how it's uncomfortable, I don't try. I just do my current best. The phrase I tell my beginner runners is truer for me than ever before now, "Complete, not compete." Most importantly, I want this baby to arrive on time, healthy and happy. I'm not going to do anything to endanger him or her. I mean that with everything that is within me.

I thought this might be my last pregnant race but I got a reminder that I signed up to be a Girls on the Run running buddy for a little girl in a few weeks so it looks like baby and I will have a 5K, an 8K and a 10K under our belt! I want to be paired with a girl who run/walks. :) When this child gets here he/she won't be comfortable unless moving at least at the pace of my runs. LOL

4.05.2013

"Well... You're Pregnant."

On Christmas Day I started feeling crazy. As the day progressed and into the next day, I started feeling more and more pregnant. My list of symptoms progressively grew until I had me, myself and I, Rashan, my mom & my sister convinced I was knocked up. (Knocked up is about the only pregnancy euphemism I like... because it makes me laugh.) We were shocked... but excited, too! (I also may have been terrified.) When I wasn't pregnant, I was convinced I was dying. And we were so disappointed. Before this, we'd decided we weren't ready to start trying but now, we were definitely ready. So we decided to try.

I had an appointment with the lady doctor (LOLOL) on February 4th to make sure I wasn't dying and to talk about trying to conceive. Actually it was a nurse practitioner. And she doesn't see OB patients. So when her nurse walked in, she asked, "Is there any chance you might be pregnant?" "Um... yes." "Okay... well let's get you a pregnancy test." I'd JUST gone to the bathroom and was convinced I wouldn't be able to get anything or if I did, it wouldn't work. I finally gave her my sample, she said, "I'll be right back." (Aren't you delighted by this level of detail?) I sat there nervously and she came back and said, "Well... you're pregnant." "I am!?" "You are." "OH MY GOSH!" "So it seems like that's good news for you?" "Yes!" "Okay good. I wasn't sure." Okay WTH? I know I look 20 but seeing as you're a nurse and have access to my one-page file (since this is my first time here...), you should know that I'm 30, married and here to talk about conception. That is now a useless topic of conversation but please pay attention.

They ask me if I have any questions but I'm trying to process everything so I don't know what to say. What the heck am I supposed to ask 5 seconds after I find out I'm gonna be somebody's momma!? I'm trying to figure out how I'm going to tell Rashan and what's next and and and! I'm also trying to hold back tears because I'M GONNA BE SOMEONE'S MOMMY!! We set some appointments, she tells me I'm exactly 4 weeks pregnant and I call Rashan and tell him to meet me at his job since I know there's not enough time to meet him at home and tell him before he has to go to work.

As I'm driving up there, I'm thinking of all the ways I can tell him. Then I see his face and it's all I can do to say "I'm pregnant" before I launch myself into his arms and start crying. He's incredulous, "You're pregnant?" And then he starts crying, too. Awwwww! So then we call my mom and she doesn't answer (of course) so we call his mom who we have to call on two different phones. ANSWER YOUR PHONES, MOTHERS!!! We say in unison, "Hey grandma!" She says, "Wha...? Awwwww! You're gonna have a baby??" "Yep!" "Congratulations! I'm gonna be a grandma again?? I'm so excited! You guys are gonna be great parents! Because you're already a great aunt and uncle. I love you both so much." Rashan's wiping tears again. So cute! Then he has to go to work and he's like, "HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO GO TO WORK NOW!?!?"

Then at lunch, we call his grandma who says, "Maybe it's twins! Ooh! Or triplets! Ooh! Or quintuplets!" Grandma. That is quite enough out of you. She told us this weekend I'm carrying her 18th great-grandchild. Whoa! My mother finally calls me back. I say, "Hey Grandma!" "Grandma?? Grandma!? This ain't Alberta! [Her mom]" "I'm having a baby!" "You are?? I'm gonna be a grandma!" My dad says, "My baby's havin a baby!" LOL They're funny. So everyone's really excited. I was also extremely excited that I'd be exactly 12 weeks on April Fool's Day!!!!! I started screaming with joy! Guys! Do you know I've been waiting for years... YEARS to be able to have a huge true thing to announce on April Fool's Day!! Woohoo! It was everything I thought it would be and more! :) So much skepticism! Twas marvelous!

4.01.2013

Race Recap: St. Leo's 10K 2013

I hadn't previously written this recap because there was no way to do it justice without telling you I'm pregnant! 12 weeks today! So at the time of this race, I was almost 10 weeks. I'd had a few rough runs leading up to the race. Some days I felt tired or out of breath. Some days I felt great. WHEN I could get myself out of the house. At 4 weeks, I did a 10-mile run wherein I wanted to stop at mile 6 or 8 (or both). Afterwards, of course I'm wondering if I did the right thing by continuing. But I susequently felt as pregnant as ever and logged 6- and 8-mile runs in the weeks preceding the March 16th race. I also had an ultrasound at 8 weeks that was AMAZING!! Heard the heartbeat! SWOON! My obstetrician cleared me to continue running so run I shall.

I'd been having to wake up to go to the bathroom every three hours or so for the weeks before the race but with all-day exhaustion, I had 0 problems going to sleep! LOL I'm usually too excited to sleep before a race. Yeah right. I fell asleep quite easily. Woke up to go to the bathroom and went right back to sleep! I may have also had a middle of the night meal but whatever. I'm feeding a child who is always hungry! And demanding! MrsCount nicknamed the baby Big Earl and it has stuck for when I'm hungry.

At 5:30, I got up feeling the most rested I EVER have before a race. It was pretty amazing. Almost no jitters. I'm always excited on race day but I was also the calmest I've ever been pre-race. I knew it was unlikely that I would PR so I was hoping to best my previous course PR of 1:20:xx. That morning, I had oatmeal with raisins and molasses, got dressed and headed out to the race with Rashan. Within minutes someone pulled me aside, "Are you expecting?" "Why? Do I look like it?" "No but I could just see it in your face in that picture you took yesterday." I hate lying. "(sigh) Yes." For real? Why would you ask someone that? That will rarely go well. And even though I am pregnant, I didn't want to tell her yet and certainly not in that moment with literally dozens of people who DON'T know milling around. I'm like, "Don't say ANYTHING." "I won't." But it's been bothering me for weeks. Why couldn't you wait until I told you? Anyway... back to the race.

Rashan spotted a pregnant person so I chatted her up. Turns out despite her teeny bump, she was 33 weeks! AWESOME!!! I told her I was pregnant and she gave me some tips including prepare to slow down. LOL Done. Spoiler alert: This chick made me eat her dust! If she runs this fast that pregnant, she is a KILLER without a baby on board! Very inspiring!

The 5K was scheduled to start 45 minutes before the 10K because of some rumor going around that they wanted people to do both races. Really? In theory, that actually seems like a cool idea to me but I'd heard nothing about it prior to that and I read a lot of stuff about the race in different places. In practice, I don't think many did both races. It also did not work well at all to have the 10K starting as so many were finishing the 5K and in the same location. They had to delay the 10K to clear the roads some. That was not fun.

Luckily I had eaten when the 5K started since they always have a nice spread of pre-race food. Unluckily, I hadn't gone to the bathroom because I thought I didn't have time. And then the race started late and I actually would've had time but now it was too late. Basically I ran a 10K needing to go to the bathroom the entire time!! But I didn't show it!
LOL @ that picture! I decided that since I wasn't really sure how this race would go, I would try to enjoy it. Or at least look like I was! Y'all. I wanted to stop at every mile. Around mile 3, I saw where the 5K headed back in and I soooo wanted to go that way! I looked forlornly at it. LOL But there was lots of encouragement on the course. The hardest thing was watching people I'm normally faster than pull ahead of me. I knew I needed to not push it too much so I didn't.
Me on the left! LOL I tried to bring out a new pose at each picture! I won the posing game that day! I decided I'd like to be done in 1:15 so around mile 5, I chose a few people to pass and picked it up a bit. I passed some people, rounded a few corners. I've run this route in part or in its entirety at least a dozen times in long runs so I'm very very familiar with the route. I knew exactly what to expect. That was a big help in pacing. In the last half mile or so, I picked it up a little more and kept seeing people interspersed along the route that I knew. That was awesome!
That's me at the last turn! As I pulled into the last straightaway, I got excited again. Then just before the finish line, I heard even more cheers and saw Rashan's face and got a huge smile! The clock showed 1:17:xx and it still couldn't get me down. I beat my course PR and I had just run my first pregnant race! Without walking! I felt invincible! And overjoyed! And really proud! Because of those things, it was in my top two races ever. Hands down!

After the race, I WENT TO THE BATHROOM(!!), got some food, stayed around for some awards, cheered in the rest of the runners and had to bounce. Last year I stayed for the door prizes. I couldn't take it this year. I was ready to go. In part because I had the genius idea to get on the road to Mississippi to see my grandma immediately after the race. I knew my mom and sister were driving and I usually have no problem sleeping in cars. I am also usually not pregnant. I couldn't get comfortable, my back was aching, I had to stop to go to the bathroom every 1.5 hours. ON A 12-HOUR TRIP!! MISERABLE!! That was literally the worst decision I have made in years.

But I had a good time at the race! I don't think I'll do it again, though. There's another annual 10K about a month later that I'd like to try my hand at. No matter where I go in W-S, I'll have a lot of racing buddies so I can't lose! We had at least 70 from my running group! I had a half marathon for this weekend but with my inability to get in a run over 8 miles in the last month, I downgraded to the 8K. It's my first time racing at that distance so automatic PR! Woot woot!

3.06.2013

Running Update

It's been a while since I talked about my running. I'm still getting in my weekly runs but I'm going through a rough patch where sometimes it's hard to get myself out of the door. Runner's World magazine posted a mantra that I have to encourage myself with, "Some day I won't be able to run. Today is not that day." I love it!

I still have a lot of goals, of course. I was hoping for personal records (PRs) at 5K, 10K and half-marathon but the 5K I really wanted to do is on the same day as my half. Boooo! That one was free. Those are way too hard to come by! There's a move underfoot in the running community away from the outrageous fees races charge. Yes, you get a t-shirt, a medal, police protection on the course and food (usually just snacks like fruit, bagels & water) but does that make it okay for you to charge $150+ for your race? I've purposely avoided some of the more popular race series (Disney, Run Like A Diva, Rock N Roll, ZOOMA) because of their outrageous costs. Coupled with the fact that none of them are close enough for me to make it a day trip, when you include travel and food, there's no way to get out of spending upwards of $250 AT A MINIMUM. On a race. And I'm being generous. Pretty ridiculous.

Enough on that soap box. My 10K PR should be pretty easily beaten. My fourth 10K is next Saturday and the one year anniversary of my first 10K... awwww! At the very least, I'll be able to smash my course PR. Yay!

Next up is my 2nd half marathon on April 6th. The course looks quite challenging according to the elevation chart including ending on a large incline.

 
EVIL!! If I can PR by even a minute, I'll be thrilled. LOL Pacing will be essential to succeeding on this course and I'm ready to give it my all! Then I'll see about getting another 5K under my belt. June will mark one year since my last 5K. Crazy, right?? I just remembered BGR! Conference & Race Weekend in September. I absolutely LOVE running in Charlotte. It's so flat compared to here that I always feel like I'm FLYING! I'll be doing the 5K then. Yay! Races for all!

2.28.2013

Family

These last few weeks have been crazy in my family.

My grandma had a stroke on January 31st. Her and my uncle had a trip planned. He talked to her that morning. When he got over there that afternoon, she wasn't making any sense and seemed not to understand him. She was in ICU for a while as they tried to get her blood pressure down. She has paralysis on her left side. Thankfully, she's been moved from the hospital to a rehab facility. My sister, mom and I are making a trip down there in a few weeks. It will be the first time we've gone down together in a decade. I'm just glad it's not for her funeral.

The week after my grandma's stroke, her sister Lillie died, my mom's favorite aunt. My mom stayed with Aunt Lil in New Jersey for a summer while she was at Hampton. My grandma had 12 brothers and sisters. They were the youngest three with just 3 years between Lillie and the youngest. Grandma and her youngest sister are the last two left. My mom went to Vegas for the funeral.

Last week, my first cousin on the same side went into ICU with breathing trouble. She has four sons. She's out of ICU now but they're still not sure what happened.

My mom is extremely stressed out and I feel pretty helpless. We need a break! If you pray, pray for us.