Fat & Happy

I wanted to write a marathon recap, but it made more sense to write a pregnancy recap (so far) before doing so, in order to give some context to my training and running.

On May 20th I tried to go for a run.  Twice, actually. I had 18-miles on the schedule for marathon training as I was 4 weeks out from Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth, Minnesota… Chad (my hubby) was out of town in Salt Lake City for a weekend getaway, so I planned to get a couple miles in before Landon (our 11-year-old) woke up, and then finish my long run with another group of ladies while he watched a movie – we have a security system and two dogs so he’s usually good to stay home alone for short periods of time, and I was staying close to home.

I made it 3 miles on my first attempt and just couldn’t breathe.  Chalking it up to some humidity and not being hydrated enough, I cut my early miles short and went home to reset.  I got Landon all set up with a good movie and breakfast and headed out for the second half of my run with my other MRTT’ers – but wasn’t having much luck still!  Again, I made it about a mile and a half into the run before I told them I was just going to have to head back… I couldn’t get my heart rate below 180, I was stopping to walk every quarter of a mile or so, and I was barely keeping an 11mm pace.  Now, this is super odd for me because as a long-time endurance athlete, I typically have the opposite heart-rate problem: where I can’t get my heart rate high… Seriously, HIIT training is a joke.  I’m always a proponent for listening to my body first, so I called it a day and scrapped my 18-miler for a 10k.  When I got home from my run, Landon was still engulfed in his movie, and I laid down next to him… within minutes I was out – napping so hard I was drooling.

When I came to, Landon’s movie was just getting finished and we made a plan to head to Target for some errands and then I told him I’d take him out for lunch for a mom-son date.  He picked our favorite place: Frisco’s Tap House.  Now, even though it’s been about 12-years since I carried Landon in my belly, I had a few symptoms that I remembered clearly: my breasts were wayyyy tender, my nipples were “changing”, and this level of exhaustion were dead ringers… plus, as much as I work out, I had just started to feel more fluffy all around.  So while we were heading to Target, I decided to innocently pick up a pack of pregnancy tests.

 – Mini-back story: Chad and I have never been interested in having more kids; however, Thanksgiving 2016 we were on a road trip to MKE and the topic came up.  We both had a slight change of heart over the years and throughout our relationship and suddenly it was no longer a “hard no.”  I made an appointment to have my IUD taken out, but chickened out based on the timing.  I was about to finish my last semester to complete my Bachelor’s Degree while working toward my yoga teacher training certification, and I had just committed to running my longest ultramarathon, a 50-mile trail run in May of 2017.  Maaaaaybe now wasn’t the best timing… We agreed to revisit the idea the next summer.

I had my IUD taken out in August 2017 and started tracking some body awareness in an app called “Ovia”: They’re a women’s health system that guides women and families through their most important moments with personalized and data-driven fertility, pregnancy, and parenting solutions.

After our Target run, we headed to Frisco’s and had lunch.  When we got home, I set Landon up in the cool basement and told him I would be down in just a minute to kick his ass race him in Mario Kart.  I snuck off to the bathroom, refreshed my memory on the directions and #didthething.  Well, the instructions say you’re supposed to wait up to 3 minutes and I maaaaybe had to wait 20 seconds.  I skyped my sister-in-law who wanted me to take the second one (I bought the 3-pack) and same thing… instant positive test.

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Fast forward through telling Landon and then breaking the news to Chad over skype (we just couldn’t wait!), and filling in a few family members and friends… I really wanted to run the marathon while I was home in Minnesota, and I was already well trained up for it.  I had a 20-ish miler planned for the next weekend, but already had a few 15-18 milers and an Ultra Ragnar under my belt (which I was unknowingly very early pregnant for).  I decided to take it super slow for my last big training run and base my decision to complete the marathon off how that training run went.

I lucked out with the weather (mostly) and it was an overcast breezy day for the first half of my run.  I picked a route that was mostly flat and pretty easy, a 10.5-mile loop around the BWI airport.  I started with a group of MRTT’ers and planned for a couple of my besties to meet me for the second loop (since most people aren’t up for a full 21-miles).  The first loop went great, Jennifer Storch – another ultra mother runner – paced with me and chatted along the way… While it was warm, it was manageable and we just stayed slow keeping a steady 10:30 pace.  I drank a ton of water, almost an entire hydration pack full and munched on Honey Stinger chews and waffles every few miles.

The second loop started with a quick detour to Burger King along the way where I was able to swing in for a quick bathroom break and fill up my hydration pack again.  The temps were increasing and I had a solid 9.5 miles left at this point.  I also threw in a bunch of ice to the bladder!  Checking out my pace, you could tell I was waning and lost a lot of consistency.  I ranged from 11 to 14-minute miles, my worst being a mild temper-tantrum at 19 where I just laid down on the trail and wanted to be done.  Melissa and April were more than empathetic and supportive… Melissa had an extra stash of salted watermelon chews that she shared and we finished off the remaining 2 miles with a steady 12-pace.

Based on this run, I felt pretty confident that I would go for the marathon, keep it nice and slow and throw any goals – aside from simply finishing – out the window.  My friend Nate had mentioned that he was well under-trained and would unofficially plan to stick with me throughout the race, so that made me feel better that I’d have entertainment and a bit of support along the way.

The next few weeks leading up to the marathon, and even the week and a half after now have been interesting.  A reminder that it’s been 12 years since I was carrying Landon, and I was in a totally different place in my life back then as well… I started running as a way to lose the baby weight after I had him, and commit to my mental and physical health.  However, prior to Landon, I was the typical 21-22-year-old #livingthedream.  So I don’t remember trying to work out, or eat healthily, or carry on with life other than work.  I do remember being really tired and I know I’ve commented to friends over the years that I really didn’t have any morning sickness or nausea, but I was next-level-tired.

Well, remembering that I was next-level-tired and now living through that next-level-tired are very different things.  I. AM. NEXT. LEVEL. TIRED.  Most weeks I’m lucky if I can get through 2-3 workouts a week.  I have grand plans to clean the house, or do yoga, or throw on a Beachbody On Demand workout… but most of the time I just can’t muster up any energy and I end up napping, resting, or some version of the same instead.

As I work through my woes and worries, I’m grateful that my body is allowing me to carry another baby… I’m grateful for an extremely supportive husband and son, and it’s so incredibly cool to be going through this in a very different way than before.  I’m grateful for incredible friends and support systems, other moms, friends, and family who are just as excited for this new journey, and I’m cautiously optimistic that my energy levels perk up in the next week or two as I head into the second trimester of this adventure. Until then, I’ll just go on being fat and happy – or fluffy and slightly moody – or exhausted and irritable… I guess it really just depends on the day 🙂

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Thanks for reading RunningYogiMom!  I’d love to hear your pregnancy journey in fitness and running… any tips you had or gadgets you think are a MUST have for along the way or when the baby comes.  We’re due in January 2019!

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