I left the doctor's office with instructions to basically sit on my butt for the weekend and monitor my blood pressure. I went home to the couch and called work to let my division office know I wouldn't be returning. I emailed over the appropriate documents, including a new form for my maternity leave to start.
Posts from the ‘Pregnancy’ Category
There's a confusing stupor that comes with being awoken after general anesthesia. In the same moment, you are there, waking up, but still very much "out."
More than two days after I was induced to deliver my daughter, I was coming out of that haze very slowly without recollection of what had happened to me in the moments, hours and days before.
"She's here," my husband assured me. "And she's fine."
Born three weeks early via emergency Caesarean section, our little girl arrived at 3:46 p.m. on April 15 weighing a hefty 8 pounds and measuring 19 3/4 inches.
Her birth wasn’t what we had planned it to be, but she came into the world healthy with a head of brown hair, blue/gray eyes and a love of her daddy’s voice. She’s keeping us up and on our toes.
My body is recovering as good as if can be for having my gut cut open to pull he out and deliver her to the world. My back is sore and my core is thrashed. But I keep staring at her and realizing how very lucky we are to have made such an amazing little person.
My husband and I are both very much in love.
So far we’ve already ventured out for a walk with the jogging stroller with her infant car seat attached. She’s a fan of the soothing movement. The unplanned C-section is making me rethink some of my running goals for the year. Right now I’m content just staring at her, kissing her little head and calling her “Snort Snort.”
Her name is Cecilia Carine. And we love her more than we ever thought we could.
That hand on her face in the photo above? That’s her daddy’s hand. I had to be put under for the C-section, also unplanned, so neither of us were “there” when she was born. Immediately after she came into the world, my husband’s voice soothed her like it did when she was in the womb. He also did Kangaroo time with her when I was trying to recover.
Her birth story is to come.
Confession: My pregnancy heartburn is painful and debilitating. Some nights I can’t sleep. Others I toss and turn, even after taking a Pepcid. So I’ve spent a good deal of time since my first trimester looking for foods that would be delicious but wouldn’t agitate my painful acid reflux.
My go-to breakfast during pregnancy has been oatmeal. Lots and lots of oatmeal. I’ve been eating a lot of instant apples and cinnamon oatmeal for the past seven months. I wish I had time to make steel cut oats or something more fancy, but the truth is that I warm up my bowl of oatmeal when I get of my office at school and eat it as I prep for my 9 a.m. class.
So when I got an email from Sweat Pink a couple weeks ago about myOatmeal.com, a website that lets customers make their own organic healthy oatmeal combination that includes selecting the oats, adding flavors, adding fruits or/and nuts and sweetener, I jumped at a chance to try a different type of oatmeal than I’ve been eating for the past 30 weeks.
I immediately sent an email for a free code to score a bag, hoping I would be one of the lucky ones to respond soon enough.
I’m so glad that I was, particularly because since I hit the third trimester, my heartburn has become exponentially worse than it was. I was given a coupon code to purchase a medium-sized bag from the site, which is 2.25 pounds.
I set out to make my own concoction immediately.
First off, the site order site reminds me of a check list for ordering a salad or sandwich from one of my favorite local delis. Lots of check boxes, lots of choices.
Each choice leads to another set of choices, including a long list of options for added flavors. I was overwhelmed by the options.
I’m ashamed to admit, then, that I didn’t get as wild and crazy as I would have liked. I was incredibly tempted by the Snickerdoodle and Strawberry Shortcake flavors. Then I saw the Vanilla Frosting. And Cookie Dough.
I chose two flavors: Cinnamon Roll and Apple Pie.
I know, so predictable. But I know what works for me, especially right now, so I figured I’d stay with choices I knew were safe. I opted to add some raisins (another selection screen), but no nuts and a little sweetener for my blend. I also added some dried apples.
I opened the custom-made package I received immediately and the first thing I noticed was the smell of the oatmeal. None of my store-bought instant oatmeal smelled as delicious as the package from myOatmeal.com. I sniffed it for awhile before I actually made myself a bowl.
Once I did, I knew I’d made the right taste choice.
I made myself a bowl for dinner one night (because sometimes that happens when you’re a pregnant woman) and sat down for ridiculously nutritious dinner. It was filling and tasty. My only complaint was that it wasn’t as sweet as the boxed oatmeal I’m used to, but I’ve had a need for sweet things for the past couple weeks.
My package has been split up into many bags this week so I could take them to work to eat before class, and I made some “protein balls” for quick snacks to satisfy my cravings between meals (see below).
The oatmeal is satisfying enough to get me through my class and to the noon hour, which is saying a lot right now since I tend to want to eat everything that is put in front of me.
The best part is that the Oatmeal is completely customizable and your blend can be sent to you once, every two weeks, every month, every two months or every three months. The smell alone is worth ordering, but the oatmeal selection is solid too.
Even better is that the oatmeal hasn’t caused me the horrible heartburn that’s been plaguing me for months now.
You can make your own blend at myOatmeal.com by clicking the “Build Your Blend” button in the navigation bar. Just be warned: There are a ton of flavors to choose from so you may need some time to seriously consider the array of delicious choices.
And it’s healthy.
[yumprint-recipe id=’1′]Disclaimer: I was provided a code from my affiliation as a Sweat Pink Ambassador to review myOatmeal.com, but the opinions are my own.
This was last year, after my course best at See Jane Run in Alameda. It was a ridiculously hot day to race, but one that was made much better by champagne and a nice medal, with shoe laces attached, at the end.
I’m looking at a completely different, incredibly exciting reality now. Looking down at, I should say. This photo is from my prenatal massage, thanks to a gift card from my mom, earlier this week. At nearly 31 weeks, I’m waking up multiple times during the night and feeling rather uncomfortable in everything I do.
I’m not going to talk about weight gain, outside of saying that I’m carrying baby girl mostly in the front. My shirts would fit if I didn’t have a big baby bump in the way. My thighs are a little thicker, but I’m still wearing maternity jeans from the second trimester. Only now am I moving into larger shirts, just because the bump is growing more and more each week.
But overall, I’m not feeling a great urge to lose weight, yet. Maybe in the next nine weeks that will change.
I do, however, have a great want to get back to fitness. And running. And being able to actually do asanas at yoga without having to move my legs out to avoid my belly.
That’s why I’m incredibly grateful to have been chosen, for a second year, as an ambassador for See Jane Run. The Oakland-based running store hosts its San Francisco Bay Area run in Alameda on June 22 this year.
Baby girl should be about two months old by then. Last year I ran 13.1 miles.
This year, I’m planning on doing the 5K. My first run “back” and my first 5K in a very long time. I’m considering it a “baby” step for myself. I know the route, I know the parking situation. I know nearly everything about the location. It will be comfortable and fun, even if I am uncomfortable doing it (who knows what shape I’ll be in then).
I’d like to think I’ll be running more than a 5K by then.
Part of my plan is to be able to run twice that far to be on track to run the 2nd Half Marathon of the San Francisco Marathon on July 29.
Two races signed up for already.
Today, though, I got an email about the bigger picture for 2014. Let me make it clear: Baby girl’s arrival is going to be the biggest event of my year. My husband would agree.
But I want something else too: Another chance to earn a PR at California International Marathon in December.
Sign ups begin March 1. I’ll likely deliberate it for awhile before actually signing up, but I really, really want to run 26.2 again this year. I don’t know if that is even a feasible goal, but I’m hoping that it can and will happen.
I’d like to be back in Sacramento with my husband and baby girl taking on this year’s challenge.
To get there? Those baby steps I mentioned before. All starting with See Jane Run in June. It’s perfect that I’ll be surrounded by so many inspirational women my first race post birth. I can’t think of a better way to introduce baby girl to racing than at an event like See Jane Run.
The good news is that I have a 10-percent off coupon code for See Jane Run Alameda’s 5K and Half Marathon for my blog readers so that you can join the party to. Interested in signing? Use SJRAMB243 to secure the discount. Even better, the code is ALSO good for online or in-store purchases from See Jane Run and its website.
Plus, some of the Bay Area See Jane Run stores will be hosting kick off events on March 1 to celebrate the official start of race season and promotion of the awesome events.
The kickoff events begin at 8 a.m. at See Jane Run’s San Francisco, Oakland and Danville stores. Representatives from Moving Comfort, Altra Running and 2XU will be on site at each store (for more details about which presentation will happen at which store, click here). Each kickoff starts with a run, also walker friendly, and includes a clinic about half marathon and 5K training.
It’s time to get serious about training, or in my case start planning for the next step of training in my post-baby come back to running.
I don’t want the title to sound like a complaint. My husband likes to remind me that WE WANTED to have a baby. We consider this little girl a huge blessing. And we are incredibly excited to welcome her in a couple months. (Also: I look like crap in that picture. I don’t even care.)
What I didn’t know, though, was how difficult it would be to see my body change so dramatically in such a short time. My “baby belly” didn’t really show until December when I was a bridesmaid in a friend’s wedding. But I started feeling “pregnant” nearly immediately.
Consider my last long run before I found out. I was exhausted. I could barely keep my pace. I kept stopping and sitting down. What was supposed to be a 15-mile run turned into a 12-mile run when I just couldn’t go on anymore. I stopped my Garmin and walked back to my car, thinking, perhaps, I was just having an off day.
That weekend I took a pregnancy test and immediately suspended my marathon training. I had 15,18 and 20 milers on the schedule for my next three weekends after that. I took the test because I could barely get up in the morning. I was having problems staying awake during the day. I knew, only weeks into the first trimester, that there was NO WAY I would be able to run a marathon at the end of September.
The positive pregnancy test meant that I slowly started pulling away from the running world, and this blog, and retreat to my everyday life. Why? Because, despite signing up for a bunch of races in that first trimester, I kind of knew I wouldn’t be running long distances for awhile. If I would have accepted it earlier, I likely would have been able to unload some of those race entries.
I’m finding, though, that at 30 weeks, my body is betraying me more than I ever thought it would. Health worries I thought I didn’t have anymore and coming back. My body is changing daily now and I never know what to expect. It’s exciting, because it means she’s coming soon, but it’s also so foreign to be in a body I don’t feel like is mine anymore.
I haven’t been on medication for four years, but the fact that I once was comes up in nearly EVERY appointment with my OB. At the beginning, it frustrated me. Now it’s just part of life.
Early in my pregnancy, I was given a new glucose meter to measure my blood sugar. I hadn’t owned one since right after my husband and I bought our house in 2010 and I purged a ton of stuff.
I was supposed to use it four times a day. But my hands started mildly swelling, and I couldn’t get any blood out. None. I would massage my fingers, put a rubber band around the finger I was poking, run my hands under hot water, etc. Nothing worked. I would get more upset with it than was really good for me or the baby.
So I stopped. Instead I opted to get my blood drawn for regular average sugar tests. So far? All within normal. But I can’t get past the fact that I’ve been on the medication before.
What irked me more than anything was the “you need to work out X amount of minutes a day.” I was already. The fact that my doctors didn’t seem to listen to me during my appointments when I told them I ran and did yoga was even more bothersome.
THE LEGS AREN’T WHAT THEY WERE
I lost 15 pounds when I first got pregnant. I didn’t have morning sickness. Instead, I just couldn’t eat anything. I picked apart my food for the first 14 weeks. I only ate small meals. I’d start eating something, then stop and give the rest to my dogs.
I was also too fatigued to run a lot at first.
The result of those two things was a decline in my leg muscles. It didn’t take long, particularly because I went from running 100-plus miles a month to 20 or so. My husband always told me that I really wanted to lose weight, I’d have to stop running as much. Turns out he was right.
When I did get back into it, in the second trimester, there was a noticeable difference in my running. My legs felt tight, and weak. They haven’t recovered.
EVERYTHING IS SWOLLEN
My feet, my hands, etc. Before anyone jumps to “that could be a sign of something bad,” I know. My doctor and I have had numerous conversations about pre-eclampsia. We’ve talked about me going in for twice-weekly monitoring of baby girl’s stress level. My blood pressure is checked regularly.
Swelling is part of pregnancy for some women. I’m one of those women.
My running shoes don’t fit. Neither do any of my heels. In the past four weeks none of my flats have fit me well.
Worse even is that my wedding ring has been in our home safe for weeks because I haven’t been able to wear it out of the house.
The swelling makes me very uncomfortable. When I clinch my hands, it hurts. Obviously walking around is painful after awhile as well.
BABY GIRL HATES RUNNING
Maybe she doesn’t, but she sure seems to. My husband is concerned about pre-term labor (which is a real concern for us with my health history) and asked me to NOT run during the third trimester. Yoga is fine. Walking is fine. But no high impact. The funny thing is that I’m OK with it. I’ve been fine with it since I started getting Braxton Hicks contractions in the middle of two mile runs.
I also started responding to the baby when I feel as if she is sending me messages. Some runs were fine. I felt as if the movement had rocked her to sleep. Other days, I felt as if I was making her incredibly uncomfortable. She started kicking my bladder uncontrollably and then didn’t calm down about an hour later.
She would kick me relentlessly after. I started feeling as if she wasn’t all that comfortable when I was running, particularly in the past couple weeks of running.
So I stopped.
Now I’m sticking to yoga, but even that is becoming harder. I’m 30 weeks today. I’m going back and forth about registering for another few sessions of yoga. At this point I only am looking at five sessions at a time … because I had a couple weeks were I was too uncomfortable to go.
All of these things are making it hard to feel like “me” right now.
Confession: Running, for me, has become more than just a way to stay fit. It’s also away to keep anxiety at bay. A couple years ago, I didn’t deal with it as much. Today? It has a tendency to rear its ugly head at the worst possible times.
Throughout my pregnancy, I’ve been trying to run two-milers where and when I could. I had a great maternity support belt and near the end of my second trimester, I felt really strong when I ran.
That was until a couple weeks ago when I suddenly started getting sharp pains in my abdomen where baby girl is currently taking up residence. I thought, maybe, she was starting to kick up in my ribs. I stopped running and took a shower, then sat down on the couch for awhile.
The pain didn’t let up. I ended up calling the advice nurse. I’ve also had some foot swelling, which means my running shoes aren’t fitting me as well, and other “symptoms” during the week. My husband and I were kind of freaking out. Turns out it was likely just Braxton Hicks contractions, which are painful and not really threatening.
I was told to keep my feet elevated. Drink a lot of fluids, as I normally do. And maybe ton it down on the workouts.
The downside is that the activity has been really helpful in keeping my weight in a “good place.”
That’s my bump at 27 weeks. I’ll be 29 weeks tomorrow. I’m getting bigger and bigger each day. My center of gravity is WAY OFF what it typically is when I run marathons.
I’m also noting some atrophy of my leg muscles, which is making me a little sad. I’m gained about 15 pounds so far. The numbers keep inching up on the scale, closer to the 200 mark that I fought so hard to come down from four years ago. But this is a different kind of gain, obviously. I know that she’s gaining if I am.
The bottom line of the pain? My pregnant running is likely over. I stopped yoga for a couple weeks too, just to be safe.
The problem, though, is that the anxiety is starting to creep up again. In horrible ways.
Someone asked me the other day if I was “worried” about anything leading up to baby girl’s arrival.
I’M WORRIED ABOUT EVERYTHING.
The first trimester all I thought about was the risk of miscarriage. After regular bleeding the first eight weeks it was on my mind all the time. My husband, the optimist, kept telling me not to worry. But I had more ultrasounds in those early weeks than I want to admit. I kept going back to my OB just to make sure everything was going well. My blood pressure was high when I went in for those first appointments because my anxiety was through the roof. I just wanted to get in and make sure baby had a heartbeat.
The second trimester all I thought about was viability. Unsolicited advice often leads to worries, particularly when people who are trying to be helpful (I think), start talking about pre-term labor and preemie babies. I started to think to myself “I just have to make it to 26 weeks,” which is when baby’s chance of survival outside the womb increases dramatically. Every week after just adds to her chances.
I can’t say it’s not without cause that I’m worried. My doctor has noted my past diabetes diagnosis and those high blood pressure readings as reasons to worry. I’ve been told I likely will be induced if I don’t go into labor by my May 4 due date. In fact, baby may come early if my OB becomes worried about her at all. But ALL of those things just adds to my anxiety.
The third trimester all I think about is stillbirth. Statistics put the number of stillbirth at 1/160. When I spend time on my Baby Center birth board, though, I’m confronted with the reality more and more. It’s scary. It’s more than scary, it’s petrifying. My doctor and my husband told me to stop reading forums. I should know that myself after moderating forum comments for more than a year as an online editor.
If I distract myself during the day, I don’t think about it as much. But every now and then, if I don’t feel her wiggling around. Everyone keeps telling me that as much as I worry before she is born, I will worry more once she is here. I believe it.
Running kept all those ugly thoughts away. Now I’m relying on yoga to calm me. Baby girl isn’t quite sure she likes the yoga anymore either though. She’s been kicking up a storm when we do our last meditation exercise. And I’ve had to run to the bathroom more than I’d like. I’m thankful the yoga instructor has been very supportive of teaching a pregnant student.
On that note, we’re very much preparing for her to arrive. Her room is done, one of the things I made sure I did before I went back to school. Last weekend, my husband treated me to an early Valentine’s Day gift and we splurged on a 3D/4D ultrasound in a nearby city.
We found out that she really, really looks like him. I love the image above because she looks exactly like him when he’s sleeping. He has a closely-shaved haircut and that same nose. I was excited to see her face. We also confirmed, definitely that she is a girl. I’d been worried since our anatomy ultrasound.
It’s good she’s a girl because her name is already up above her crib.
My baby shower date is set. My best friend Jennie and my sister are throwing it. I’m so thankful for that.
And my husband is getting nervous/excited. He bought her some baby leggings a couple weeks ago.
The green is the color of my glider rocking chair. Her room is a mixture of sage green, chocolate brown and pink accents. Nothing over the top girly.
I’m excited that I’m “almost there,” but I’m also truly missing running and it’s ability to keep the bad thoughts at bay. I am starting to put together a plan for after she comes. Today I found out that I will be a See Jane Run Ambassador into the 2014-15 year. So baby’s first race will be the 5K in Alameda on June 22. I’m excited about the journey to get to the start.
I’ve started and stopped this post so many times in my head that I decided I had to finish it before 2013 was over. So today, on the last possible day I could, I decided it needed to come out.
A year ago exactly, I was 24 hours from an emergency room visit that led to another one, seven days later, where my gallbladder was removed during emergency surgery.
I remember looking down at the holes on my stomach realizing that the scars would never go away. More emotional wounds would open up in the following days, but my husband and I had decided, in my hospital room on Jan. 8, that I would not be returning to my job at the newspaper I once loved so deeply I could only imagine being dragged out dead.
My heart was broken because I knew no other way.
My wounds, in those early days of 2013, were both physical and emotional. My nerves were ravaged. My body was spent.
But those very trying early days of 2013 were also filled with an overabundance of love: From my husband, who promised me I’d find my path and things to “keep me busy.” From my close friends who helped me through and offered guidance. From my students, who showed me there was more to journalism than a city newspaper with declining circulation and staff numbers. From a former colleague who, without seeing any of my work, jumped on a chance to hire me as a freelancer.
Love surrounded me.
That love healed me in ways I will never, ever be able to explain.
And that love led me to her:
When I found out I was pregnant in August, I thought I would blog every single milestone of it on here. I worried about this blog becoming less workout related, more mommy-ish.
I would start posts over and over again, but something kept stopping me: a new-found need to keep private matters very close to my heart, between my husband and I.
I’m not ending this blog by any means.
In fact, I have posts about running during pregnancy written (of note, there hasn’t been a lot of running because baby doesn’t seem to enjoy it and likes to remind me of that) and yoga (that has been essential in recent weeks). I’m yearning for my 10-milers, while only being able to squeak out two at a time right now on the treadmill.
I surprised myself last week when I register for the 2nd Half Marathon of the San Francisco Marathon for 2014. My due date is May 3. The race is July 29. I’m hedging my bets on a hope that I’ll have a natural delivery and be able to get back to running quickly, for my self and my sanity. I’ve been missing my mid-length runs of six to eight miles especially.
But my center of gravity has recently shifted enough to cause me issues. My saving grace has been my Gabrialla Elastic Maternity Belt. I bought one on recommendation from another blogger. I can’t recommend it enough.
I’m getting bigger and bigger, obviously, as I get closer to my due date. My first trimester was rough. I slept a lot. I’ve never been more thankful for a forgiving freelance schedule and part-time teaching position. I was sleeping 12+ hours a day at one point. I fell asleep nearly everywhere I sat down. I also had to stop running as a precaution, for awhile, because of bleeding. (Sorry for the TMI, but sometimes this sort of thing is linked to running. My OB told me it was likely not the running. It happens to a lot of women.)
As I worked through all this, I realized that I didn’t want to share, let alone overshare, things about my life. Call it innate need to keep my private life private, but I just felt like not blogging every element of my life was the most appropriate action.
My husband has always been a more private person than me. Part of the reason I used my maiden name professionally for so long is because I wanted him to be able to keep that privacy. Scary things happen to journalists. My grandmother used to get phone calls for me because she was the only person in the phone book listed with the same last name.
I didn’t want that happening at home.
So when my husband asked me not to blog specific things, I listened and understood.
At 20 weeks, though, we found out that baby is a girl. Or at least according to our ultrasound tech, who said: “I wouldn’t tell you if I wasn’t sure.” I’m still having moments where I think we should maybe have that checked again. That’s my anxiety peaking up …
In any case, at 22 weeks I’m feeling as good as someone who is watching all her running clothes slowly shrink up can. It’s kind of been funny to figure out which of my workout clothes still fit me on any given day. As much crap as Lululemon has received recently for comments made by the founder, my Lululemon clothes are stretching nicely over my belly.
A different in belly shots, though you can’t really see much since both photos are shot at different lengths from the mirror. On the right, I’m wearing my 2011 California International Marathon shirt and a Lululemon Run: Swiftly shirt in my regular size 10.
I’m still very grateful for long tank tops that have extended the life of my regular clothes, though by the time I go back to teaching in late January I’m pretty sure it will be ALL maternity clothes for the next few months.
So there’s been a lot happening in my life over the past couple months.
I’m finally getting to a point where I’m ready to share my triumphs, fears, successes and apprehensions again. But after sharing so much in late 2012 and early 2013, I really wanted this first part of my pregnancy to be private and special to my husband and I.
I can’t promise a quick return or regular posts again, particularly because I still very much want this blog to be health and fitness centered. But I am letting myself add in the stuff about pregnancy and our baby girl on the way.
As can be imagined, I’m extremely excited for 2014 to begin. I’m excited about some potential (as in I’m crossing my fingers tightly) career happenings on the way later in the year, the amazing work I’m doing now (so many website builds, so little time) and, of course, our little one coming.
I’m also looking forward to eventually getting back to running more frequently. One step at a time. Always moving forward. Because now I know another way.
First: I’m a horrible blogger. I know. I want to apologize, but the truth is that between freelance projects, my students and a wedding I’m going to be in next weekend, I’ve been so busy that I just haven’t had time.
Second: I’m barely running.
The first trimester of pregnancy left me incredibly tried. This second semester has made me feel even more incompatible with pregnant running, especially now that I’m feeling baby more.
Because baby likes to kick me in the bladder.
And I’m ridiculously thankful for baby kicks, even if they are like little ninja chops to my bladder.
I’m also thankful for long running shirts that still cover my growing, nearly 18-week along belly. And Spandex. I love Spandex. Because you can’t go wrong with stretchy pants when you are expanding every day.
In the past three days, baby has allowed me to get THREE solid workouts in.
Right now that’s huge for me. I ran two miles, then felt like baby was punishing me for it on Tuesday. I went back to yoga on Wednesday. Then this morning I did my own Turkey Trot on the treadmill and ran a 5K.
I’m not fast. At all.
And I can’t handle the distance, which meant that I didn’t get to run the Inaugural Berkeley Half Marathon last weekend. But I’m still trying to put one foot in front of the other.
I’m getting there. But it’s kind of hard to blog about running and health when I haven’t been running all that much.
That said, I’m thankful for a lot this Thanksgiving:
- Baby, obviously. I’m thankful for the little flutters and kicks, even the nasty ones, that I’ve been getting lately. We’ll find out baby’s sex on Dec. 16 and I’m excited to know, even though it doesn’t matter either way to me.
- The little bit of running I am doing. I can’t handle a 10-miler, but I feel good even after a two-mile run. I haven’t been able to say that in a long time.
- Maternity pants. I want to wear maternity pants all year round, even if I am not pregnant. Maternity jeans are ridiculously comfortable.
- My job. It takes a lot out of me, but it’s also incredibly rewarding. My students surprise me every issue with their talent and creativity.
- My treadmill. I’m too afraid to getting too far from home right now. So I’m a treadmill rat. I’m not even sorry.
- Time with my grandmothers. I’m lucky both of my grandmothers are still alive and I am able to enjoy spending holidays with them.
- A bridesmaid dress that still fits. I got it big in May when it came. I’m lucky it came big. No extra alterations. At least right now…with 10 days to the wedding I’ll be in next weekend.
- My dogs. Because they are awesome.
- My husband. He puts up with me. That’s more than enough.
- My health. So far no positive test for gestational diabetes. All my blood sugars have been within normal range. I feel good. I know I will feel better if I am more active, but for now, I’m excited to be “healthy.”
There is a lot more I’m probably not remembering.
This year Thanksgiving gives me a lot of reasons to be thankful…even if running long distances isn’t one of them.
I don’t hide my love of the San Francisco Bay Area at all. After two years of living in Oakland for graduate school, I found it hard to come back to the valley after spending a summer doing an internship, after graduation, in Dallas. Everything just seemed to slow. I went from areas where there were 100 things to do each night to an area where there were limited opportunities after 8 p.m.
I’ve adjusted better in the past couple years to suburbia. A move to a neighborhood where there were more commuters than not helped. What’s also helped is having easy access to the East Bay, including my favorite haunts in Oakland and Berkeley. My husband works in Richmond every day, so if I really, really need to do something, I can meet him in the East Bay.
I’m more connected to that area than I am my own some weekends. That’s probably why I consider Bay Area runs my “home” races. I know I work in Stockton, and have since I took my first job years ago, my most the races I sign up for and run are close to home the opposite way.
I run the East Bay because I love the East Bay.
That’s why it was easy for me to decide to apply to be a race ambassador for the Let’s Go 510K on Oct. 19.
I was so excited when I got accepted to be an ambassador with a group of other fantastic runners. I was more thrilled that I got to be part of this inaugural race representing the 510 area code. The race comes from a team sponsorship with Represent Running (which also puts on the 415K and the 408K) and Brazen Racing.
The 10K route is probably the most beautiful one I’ve ever run. It starts at the back of Golden Gate Fields, in the parking lot right along the waterfront.
My husband dropped me off early to make up some time at work, so I had about 40 minutes to enjoy the scenery.
Yeah, my 10K location was probably so much better than other people’s that weekend. Not even kidding.
Although a mostly “flat” course, runners go on a significant uphill in the first .20 miles. But that’s it.
BUMP ON BOARD
First things first, before I continue my recap, I need to talk about the elephant on the blog: I’ve been running pregnant.
I’m at 14 weeks now. I was at 12 weeks then. I’m still kind of in the “Is she just gaining weight or is she pregnant category?” with my work and home clothes. I’ve only had to buy a couple maternity shirts because I have a closet of clothes that once fit me when I was 200 pounds, four years ago, that I just couldn’t bear to part with.
In my running clothes, though, it’s a different story. I’ve been bumping out for about six weeks now. Spandex doesn’t do women any favors in hiding a mini baby bump.
Running pregnant has NOT been easy. I always thought I’d be one of those women who ran through her entire pregnancy. But the first trimester left me so exhausted that I did little running. The one half marathon I did took me 3:21 minutes because of fatigue and injury.
Also not easy? The morning sickness that seems to creep up on mornings when I have races. Imagine how happy I was when the 510K started at 10 a.m. and not only gave me time to sleep in, but also to pull myself together in the morning.
BACK TO THE RACE
One of the biggest selling points of the 510K is the location. It starts and ends, as mentioned before, at Golden Gate Fields. In fact, the finish is actually ON THE RACE TRACK.
The route moves along the waterfront, never crossing over the Eastshore Freeway (Interstate 80) and taking runners around Cesar Chavez Park in Berkeley. This inaugural race had about 1,000 people sign up for it, which I learned at the volunteer shift I did the day before the run.
That meant that there were always a good amount of people around during the run, even though I was a little slower than my fastest 10K time. I was glad too, if only because I’ve been very cautious about racing since finding out baby is on the way.
The first two miles were a little too fast for me right now: I ran a 10:00 and a 10:07. Yikes. It was already an odd warm day in the Bay Area, so I was starting to overheat a little pretty quickly. I carried my water bottle with me, which I normally don’t do in 10Ks, but figured with extra blood pumping through me I would need it, I was right.
As we made our way into the park, I started to slow and take some walk breaks. I probably should have went out at an even 11 pace and then worked my way down and pushed it at the end if I felt good. Instead those two 10-minute miles, which are pretty common for me in 10Ks, were kind of killer.
My next two miles were reflective of that: 11:46 and 11:32.
I definitely went out too fast and buy the time we were working our way back up along the scenic San Francisco Bay, my heart was beating a little too heavy and I was fading fast.
I may look strong in the photo above, but by then I was dying. At the second water station, I chugged down two cups of water and two cups of electrolyte. I was also sipping from my bottle more frequently.
My last two miles were similar: 12:38 and 11:42.
That said, I wasn’t disappointed by my finish time. I ran a solid 1:09:17, averaging 11:11 miles.
The best part, though, was finishing along the race track. The material on the track was interesting, to say the least. The last .20 included something of a single-track finish-area as people didn’t want to carve out new tracks on the track.
I actually ran ahead of quite a few people and kind of created my own path. I don’t want to say it was hard, just weird. I’m definitely not used to running on that sort of surface.
Represent and Brazen had a great finish-line festival after that included the typical Brazen set up of food and refreshments. And the medal was ridiculously awesome.
It’s bigger than some of my marathon medals!
Since my husband was still at work, I stopped by the Represent Racing booth and said hi. I also sat down for a little bit and took in the scene. The race track was a vastly different environment than I’d ever finished in.
The best part was the interaction with betters.
Case in point was a man who stopped me to ask what was happening.
Him: “Did you get in free? What was happening here?”
Me: “The runners got in free. It was for a race.”
Him: “Was there betting on it? Did I miss it?”
Me: “No. There was no betting. At least not that I know of … “
Awkward. When I mentioned it to my husband, he laughed for a good while.
The Let’s Go 510K quickly became one of my favorite races this year. I was actually excited to run a 10K instead of a half marathon. I was happy for the 10 a.m. start time and more excited for the course that kept it close to the bay.
The aim of Represent Running is to showcase different parts of the Bay Area by offering races in each of the area codes. Runners can get a “Run the Bay” medal if they complete all three races in a year period.
I would be all over the challenge, because the medal is pretty sweet, but I haven’t registered for any races after the Nov. 24 Berkeley Half Marathon. I think I’ll still be running, but not racing into my mid second trimester and my third trimester.
This is a GREAT race, though. And the first year event went off so well. I haven’t seen a first-year race so organized in a very long time.
Overall, the 510K was an amazing experience. It is definitely a race I’ll sign up for next year.
Disclaimer: I was given a free race entry as part of the Let’s Go 510K ambassador program, but the thoughts and race report are my own opinions.