Baby is Here!

Well, I’m a complete loser face. I left you guys hanging at 30 weeks.

Bennett Marshall was born on August 1st, and it was love at first sight!

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The day Bennett was born I turned 38 weeks. I had a hair appointment at noon that day, but before I went I decided to walk on the treadmill. I had been doing a few short walks here and there the final week of my pregnancy, but each one was getting more difficult and shorter. The day before he was born I was only able to walk 1 mile before my back hurt too intensely to continue.

The day of his birth I jumped on the treadmill hoping for another 1 mile walk, but at 1/4 mile I was absolutely unable to go any further because of the back pain. I got off the treadmill and tried to rest on the couch. The pain was intense, but I took a hot shower which loosened it up some and went on to my hair appointment. (I just DON’T miss those things!)

During the drive to the salon I realized that the constant back pain was now coming and going every few minutes. Because the pain wasn’t in my abdomen, and because it started immediately after my walk I didn’t attribute it to contractions necessarily … I just thought I had overdone things. The next few hours the pain became more intense and more regular. Finally I gave up and texted my doctor, he told me to go to Labor & Delivery Triage at the hospital to be checked.

By the time my husband came home from work and we drove to the hospital the pain was so intense I knew it was THE day. Sure enough after seeing my contraction pattern my doctor decided to go ahead and perform my repeat c-section. I hadn’t even told any of my friends or family that I was contracting and headed to the hospital, so there was a mad scramble to get everyone there before the surgery. Luckily my mom, who lives 2 hours away, was already in town visiting my grandmother who had broken her back a few day prior and was in the hospital herself.

It was so surreal to be the one laying on the operating table, after helping so many moms through that process as their nurse over the years. Of course I did it with Lincoln, but that felt like a million years ago at this point.

As soon as I heard Bennett’s first cry I started sobbing myself. I was so relieved to have him safely in the world and in my arms.

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The past 5 weeks since his birth we’ve spent a lot of time snuggling and getting to know each other … his favorite time of the day is our long morning walks and runs. I like to think he remembers all the walking and running we did together along the way. So glad to have my little partner in my arms! Daddy, Mommy and big brother are all totally in love!

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Heading Towards 30!

I haven’t posted as much as I wish I had during this pregnancy, but I don’t want to leave everyone hanging at 21 weeks …

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Today I’m 29 weeks (+4 days)!

In the last few weeks we’ve had a couple notable things happen: first I had my Gestational Diabetes test, which came back with a borderline result. When I was pregnant with Lincoln I was positive, but because of my lifestyle changes I was really hoping to be in the clear this time around. My result was 140 (the exact limit of a normal result), so although I don’t technically have diabetes I still need to be careful. My doctor advised that I monitor my eating more closely, and so far I’ve done a crappy job of that.

The family and I had a lovely beach vacation last week, and I kind of let my diet slip … ok, I paid no attention to anything diet related at all … but now that we are back home, I’m ready to get serious and do what is best for this little one.

We also had a 4D Ultrasound about a week ago, and got some precious pictures!

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Those are his feet by his face in the first and third pics! He’s sitting breech (bottom down) and is folded in half. Doesn’t look comfortable to me, but apparently he likes it!

The workouts are getting impossible harder, and now I’m just in a total “do what you can” mode. I’ve quit doing CrossFit at this point, and I’m very close to calling it quits for good with running. I ran twice last week for 3 miles each session and my back just kills! Right now the only thing that feels decent is the elliptical and walking. So that’s what I’ve been doing. I’d really like to try for a run on Friday when I turn 30 weeks, so we’ll see. I envisioned myself being one of those moms who comes in to deliver her baby after having run 5 or 6 miles that morning, but I’m realizing that is just not going to be the case for me … and that’s really ok.

I almost forgot the most important news! At my last appointment we scheduled my repeat c-section. If everything goes according to plan, Bennett will make his arrival on August 11th.

The final countdown begins!

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21 Weeks! Moving Right Along.

 

Yesterday I hit the 21 week mark. The last few weeks have zoomed right by, I’m sure I won’t be feeling that way before long though.

I’m really starting to feel much more fetal movement than I previously have. It’s quite obvious several times a day now and especially so when I lie on my back at night and pay attention.

I’m up 22 pounds at this point, I’ve really been packing them on the past 3 weeks or so. While I’m not really worried about it, I probably need to start paying closer attention to what and how much I’m eating. The past few weeks have been out of the ordinary with birthday parties and various events.

I’ve still been exercising quite a bit. Some days running feels good and some days its tough. My bladder has been the biggest issue, I can only run for about 8 or 10 minutes before feeling like I need to pee again. So frustrating, especially on days when I feel great otherwise.

This week looked like this:

Monday – CrossFit Workout
Tuesday – Rest
Wednesday – Ran 5.5 Miles
Thursday – Attempted to run, but only made it 0.69 miles and was cramping so switched over to the elliptical for 30 minutes.
Friday – Rest
Saturday (today) – Ran 5 Miles

The next milestone I’m looking forward to is viability at 24 weeks!

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16 Weeks

I keep putting off blogging because I haven’t yet had the time or desire to sit down and write my review of the Mercedes Half Marathon that I ran a couple weeks ago. I really really want to keep on top of my pregnancy blogging though, so for now I’m going to skip the race recap and just do my weekly pregnancy update.

I realize this may not be interesting for many people to read each week, but its something I want to be able to look back on down the road and remember so I’m sharing it anyway. When I was pregnant with my son I had a blog (http://sweetpeamcqueen.blogspot.com/) but unfortunately I didn’t write very often. Now that I’m pregnant again and wanting to compare my experiences I’m wishing I had kept up with it more.

Sooo ….

Week 16. I’m actually 16 weeks and 4 days now, my weeks change on Friday.

Last week I was sick with laryngitis and sinus junk most of the week. I was able to do the bare minimum, but not a lot of exercise happened until later in the week.

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Monday – Rest
Tuesday – 45 min Elliptical
Wednesday – 4 mile Treadmill Run
Thursday – Rest
Friday – Rest
Saturday – 8 mile Run
Sunday – 3 mile Run

Running is still feeling ok so far. I’m having to take some walk breaks here and there, but I think that’s to be expected and I’m really making an effort to be fine with that.

Weight - Gained 0.8 pounds. 13.8 total.
Cravings – Cottage Cheese and Gelato. I had to let go of the cashews, they were making my stomach hurt from eating them in such massive quantities.
Aversions – None! Totally back on my normal eating routine. Mostly Paleo, with a few treats.
Goals – Keep eating healthy, stick to reasonable portion sizes. Log food, but don’t count calories. Get atleast 10,000 steps a day (I bought a FitBit and I’m addicted to it!) Keep running, keep CrossFitting.
It’s a … – BOY! Bennett Marshall is his name and we found out that he was a he at an elective ultrasound at 15 weeks.

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Hello, 2nd Trimester!

I was going to wait to write this post until a day when I actually got dressed like a normal human being, but reality is that I live in workout clothes, pajamas and scrubs. I can go weeks without even drying my hair or putting on “regular” clothes. So here it is …

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Today I am 13 weeks (+3 days) pregnant. This is the beginning of the second trimester! Woohoo!

I can’t decide if time is going by fast or slow at this point. Day to day flies by, but the weeks are creeping. At this point I’m really anxious to find out whether this baby is another boy or a baby girl. I should know in about a month or so. My gut says girl. But my gut has been wrong before.

The last two weeks I have been feeling MUCH better than I did the previous weeks. I never had any major morning sickness, but my exhaustion level has been off the charts. Many days went by where I couldn’t do much of anything except eat and nap. I was too tired to cook, so there were lots of take-out meals. Thankfully, the exhaustion is now just mild fatigue and I’m able to cook and eat healthy meals again.

Exercise-wise I’ve stuck to almost a normal schedule. I’ve decreased my running mileage slightly compared to pre-pregnancy, but I’ve done something almost every day. This past week’s exercise looked like this:

Monday – 5 Mile Run
Tuesday – 50 Minute Elliptical
Wednesday – 5.2 Mile Run
Thursday – CrossFit
Friday – 2 Mile Easy Walk
Saturday – 8 Mile Run
Sunday – 4 Mile Run

Here’s how everything else is going down:

Weight – Gained 10 pounds. Don’t care.
Cravings – Cashews and cottage cheese.
Aversions – Meat (except ground) and all vegetables especially green ones. Thankfully this is over, made trying to stay Paleo impossible.
Workouts – Running and CrossFit, at almost my pre-pregnancy level. Getting slower with running, but still comfortable. Modifying some CrossFit moves and weights as needed.
Goals – To continue exercising as long as possible. To eat clean, healthy meals going forward with occasional indulgences. To not worry about weight gain as long as I’m meeting my exercising and eating goals.
Looking Forward To – Finding out if this baby is a boy or a girl, and feeling movement.
Special Moments So Far – Seeing baby move and have the hiccups on ultrasound. Finding the baby’s heartbeat on my home doppler at 9w3d.

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Louisiana Half Marathon 2014

On January 19th, I ran the Louisiana Half Marathon in Baton Rouge for the third year! Ever since their inaugural event in 2012 this has been far and away my favorite race. Not only is the course really pretty and almost completely flat, but the weather is typically just right for running this time of year also. The thing that absolutely impresses me the most about Louisiana though is their Finish Festival. They really do it up right. Plus, this race was my PR race last year when I finally broke 1:40 for a half. Lots of good things going on in Baton Rouge.

This year was a little bit different though. The course, the weather and the finish festival were all the same as I expected, but this year I got to experience the Louisiana Half as a pregnant runner! This is a completely new thing for me, when I was pregnant with my son I was still in my obese, pre-runner days. I can say with confidence that I never exercised a single time during that pregnancy.

Quick down and dirty on how this happened and then back to the race: (Ok, not really … you know HOW it happened) but …

On December 9th, I finally bit the bullet and did something I’ve been thinking about for a long time, but never worked the nerve up to do until then. I went for a consultation with a Plastic Surgeon to see about having some post weightloss “work” done. He asked me about plans to have any future children and I told him the truth that Tim and I have been trying on and off for about 5 years to have another baby, but that after being on fertility meds, having surgery to clear out blocked fallopian tubes and a miscarriage that it just wasn’t happening for us. But I couldn’t promise that it would never happen.

Two days later I was ready to schedule my surgery and was about to take a large sum of money out of the bank, but before I did that I decided on a whim to take a pregnancy test … an lo and behold, it was positive.

I’m 12 weeks 3 days pregnant right now, I was just over 10 weeks when I ran the Louisiana Half. I had already decided a long time ago to run the race with Tim this year, but with the news it worked out just perfectly because I didn’t feel up to going all out anyway.

On race morning Drew, Lauren, Tim and I rode the free shuttle bus from our hotel to the start. We all gathered in the gear check building to keep warm before time to head to the starting line.

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I have no idea why Tim is tickling Drew’s ear in the above picture.

Anyway …

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The race was a blast as usual, and running with Tim was very comfortable … for the most part. There was that once when I had to stop and pee and then almost slung my uterus out of my body running a stupid-fast pace trying to catch back up to him. Uteruses are heavy.

Anyway again …

We crossed the finish line together in 2:11:something, a new PR for Tim!

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We immediately headed the the VIP tent (one of the perks at Louisiana for being a member of Half Fanatics). The tent is full of fancy food, all kinds of alcoholic beverages, massage tables, a big screen TV broadcasting the finish line, etc.

I have to admit I was a tiny bit bitter that I couldn’t take advantage of the bottle of free wine, mimosas, beer and bloody mary’s. But I made sure to make up for it in food and CAKE BALLS…

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We relaxed for a little while under the tent and watched the live finish line feed, until the time got close for Drew to be finishing. Then we headed over to watch him finally BOSTON QUALIFY!

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That is a big deal, my friends!

A successful weekend all the way around, I’d say. Hopefully we can find a way to make it happen again next year!

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Chickamauga Half Marathon ‘13

Me: 2 – Chickamauga: 1

Finally I’m in the lead! Chickamauga and I had a rough start. In 2011 I had my worst run to date in Ft Oglethorpe, Georgia at Chickamauga Battlefield. You know, the one where I got lost in the rain storm and ended up on the highway after getting chased by a pit bull, and then ran 12+ mile on a hotel treadmill. Yes, I’m still a little bit bitter.

Last year I ran a PR race at Chickamauga and got my revenge.

On Friday morning Tim, Lincoln and I headed up to Chattanooga/Ft Oglethorpe. The race itself is in Georgia, but its just over the border from Tennessee. On the way up, we stopped in Birmingham for lunch at Whole Foods. I love their hot bar, but it can become very expensive very quickly. This time we decided to try out the restaurant.

I ordered the Salmon with Warm Farro Salad.

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And Lincoln was happy because they had pizza.

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I didn’t realize it at the time, but Whole Foods discourages tipping in their restaurants since they already pay their employees fair wages. Nice to know!

We arrived in Georgia around 5pm Eastern and headed to the packet pick-up. Chickamauga doesn’t have much an an expo per se, so it was a quick in and out stop before we headed over to our hotel in Chattanooga.

After unpacking and settling in, we met up with Drew and headed out to dinner. We ended up at Big River Grille, the food was “meh” but a good time was had.

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On race morning I woke up exceptionally early. I remembered that last year the traffic going into the battlefield was backed up and I was nervous about getting to the start on time. This year I made sure that I could leisurely get ready and drive to the start to find parking with no extra anxiety. As a matter of fact we ended up arriving more than an hour and a half before the start of the race. Thankfully McQueens can sleep anywhere.

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The morning was cold and dark. The thermometer in the car read 32 degrees and there was ice in the grass as I trekked over to use the porto-potty with only the light of my cellphone as my guide.

During the quiet time in the car before the race started, I spent a few minutes pondering my “goal” for the day. I knew that a PR race wasn’t within my reach this year. The only training I’ve done in the last 9 months or so was for a marathon distance. Longer, slower running. Even the speedwork for a marathon is not the pace that is necessary to excel at a Half Marathon distance.

I decided that I would take this opportunity to concentrate on my pacing and to work on consistency, and finishing the last few miles strong. I aimed specifically to finish in 1:45 because when I looked at the 21 previous Half Marathons that I have run, my average pace is approximately that.

Eventually the sun came up and everyone started making their way to the starting line. I waited until the very last minute to hop out of my warm car, rushed over and picked my spot in the crowd just before the race got underway.

Chickamauga start

The first 2 miles or so I didn’t even bother looking at my Garmin to check my pace. My feet were numb from the cold and the crowd was pretty tight, so I knew I just needed to go with the flow for a little while before I locked in on my target of an 8 minute pace. I was surprised when I looked at my splits later and realized that even these first couple of miles were right on… 8:04 and 7:51.

I remembered from the previous year how incredibly beautiful this course was, the wildlife, the monuments, the gorgeous fall colors … what I didn’t remember and was quickly reminded of around the 4th mile were the very rolling hills and the camber of the road in places. Still I managed to stay pretty consistent through the next several miles … 7:55, 8:04, 7:45, 8:01, 8:01.

Miles 8-10 went by in a blur. I tried to make myself look around and enjoy the scenery, look for deer in the distance of the open fields, enjoy the cold air on my face but all I really wanted to do was focus on the music blaring in my ears and watch the ground 3 feet infront of my body. So I let myself do that. 7:54, 7:52, 8:03.

At mile 10 I was really ready to be done. My feet, legs and hands were freezing cold but my chest and my head were on fire. It was a weird sensation that I didn’t like. I wanted to take my outer long sleeve shirt off, but I had attached my bib to it, so I just rolled up my sleeves and tried to make-do. I lifted my cap off my head a little to let some cold air in and that helped some. I still just wanted to be done.

I tried to run faster, but was only able to pick it up slightly. I felt some satisfaction in catching up to and passing a couple of runners who had blown past me miles back. The last few miles felt like forever, but finally I hit the corner of Barnhardt circle, the very last stretch around the loop where the race first started. 7:48, 7:47, 7:45

And just like that it was over! My official time was 1:44:24. Overall it was a really solid run for me that I was proud of.

We stuck around and ate some Chickamauga special Banana Pudding and Chicken Noodle Soup, let Lincoln play in the grass with the other kids, and then watched the reenactors fire the cannon as the first marathoner finished before heading out to Blue Plate for lunch.

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I would definitely recommend Chickamauga to anyone looking for great Fall Marathon or Half Marathon in the Southeast with lots of beautiful scenery and historical significance. Because of the small size of the race, it sells out quickly so jump on it in March when registration becomes available.

Next up: Louisiana Half Marathon on January 19th.

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