My Pregnancy With Grady

I had so many expectations on how I thought pregnancy would be and the type of pregnancy I wanted to have. Of course I wanted to continue my running and training and maybe even run a long race or two. Then I actually got pregnant and things didn’t quite go the way my pre-pregnant self had visioned.

postest_6weekusWe found out I was pregnant on Father’s Day 2013. On the right is Grady’s first picture at 6 weeks gestation.

First Trimester

Fitness & Nutrition: Immediately after getting pregnant my cardio suffered a massive blow. Workouts felt exponentially harder and I knew immediately that Wineglass Marathon, which I had just started training for, was not going to happen. I faced reality and decided to drop the marathon and to ease up on the workouts (my training plan was really aggressive) and just have a fit pregnancy. Then I hit the 6-7 week mark and the nausea and exhaustion set in. Top that off with a stressful job with long hours and not a whole lot of fitness happened for the remainder of the first trimester. Along with the nausea came the food aversions. The foods I couldn’t even look at included chicken, zucchini and anything BBQ. My morning sickness was definitely all day sickness.

Preg_FoodSome of the foods that got me through the first trimester.

Body Changes: I was in maternity clothes pretty early on. I had gained 10 pounds before I got pregnant so my clothes were already tight. Combine that with pregnancy bloating and my favorite pencil skirts were not happening. Also, my boobs went from a B to a DD almost overnight.

PregWeeks4_5_12Weeks 4, 5 and 12

Baby Health: Everything developed right on track. We did the Panorama test around 10 weeks which was a simple blood test that isolated the small amount of fetal blood from mine. It tested for any trisomy abnormalities and gender. Everything was normal and gender test said BOY! I was skeptical though and refused to announce boy until we had our anatomy ultrasound at 20 weeks.

Preg_12WeekUSOur 12 week ultrasound

Second Trimester

Fitness & Nutrition: Ahhh the magical second trimester. Morning sickness eased up and I got my energy back. I got back to running (run/walks) but couldn’t tell you how far or often because I had a Garmin-less pregnancy. I decided to stop riding because of the fall risk and did my last workout at FitCrew at 13 weeks (it was just too intense for my energy level). I did some pregnancy workout DVDs but that was honestly short lived. As far as nutrition? Pregnancy became my excuse to eat whatever I wanted (that was allowed) and I became a human trash can. For some reason people really like to feed the pregnant girl. My coworkers were always giving me tons of goodies which was awesome at the time. Post partum… not so much. My weight gain wasn’t too terrible though and my OB was happy with my overall health. They  were keeping a close eye on my blood pressure though, which was consistently high throughout pregnancy, and immediately returned to normal once Grady was out.

Body Changes: My belly was getting bigger and bigger (obviously) but I managed to escape any stretch marks in the second trimester. I did get mask of pregnancy on my face and a very faint linea negra up to my belly button.

PregWeeks13_14_15Weeks 13, 14 and 15

PregWeeks16_17_18Weeks 16, 17 and 18

PregWeeks19_20_22Weeks 19, 20 and 22

PregWeeks23_25_26Weeks 23, 25 and 26

PregFunnyShirtsSome fun maternity shits!

Baby Health: Again, right on track. We had our 20 week anatomy scan which confirmed baby was, in fact, a boy. It was also confirmed that everything was measuring normal.

Preg_20WeekUS20 week ultrasound photos

Third Trimester

Fitness & Nutrition: Right around 24 weeks was when running became too uncomfortable and I began just walking, which honestly wasn’t all that often. Nutrition? Still a human garbage can. The one craving that stuck with me throughout pregnancy was apple juice. I always joked that Grady was floating in apple juice instead of amniotic fluid.

Body Changes: Let’s talk numbers for a second. When I am at my most fit, I weigh in the neighborhood of 145 pounds. When I got pregnant I weighed 154 pounds. At my full-term appointment I weighed in at 200 pounds exactly. I intend to do a separate post about my post-partum goals and plan but so far I’ve lost 30 of those pounds. I did end up with some stretch marks lower below my belly button. All was fine and good… until he dropped and they popped up immediately.

PregWeeks27_30_32Weeks 27, 30 and 32

PregWeeks34_35_36Weeks 34, 35 and 36

PregWeeks38_39_40Weeks 38, 39 and 40

Baby Health: We did have one small scare during the third trimester. One particularly stressful day at work, towards the end of the work day, I realized I hadn’t noticed any movement from the little guy since the evening prior. I called my OB and she told me to go to labor and delivery immediately for monitoring. Both Mike and my mom met me there and the second the monitor was strapped to my belly the little stinker started kicking away. The Doc said he was just fine and I lost about 5 years from my life span. Other than that baby was healthy and growing right on track. On February 25th, the day after my due date we had an ultrasound to make sure everything was ok and that it was safe to let me go another week. My fluid measured fine and it was fun to see the little guy again before we officially met him.

PregBellyPicsGrady was a very aggressive kicker and often my stomach looked very distorted from the positions he would get himself into in there.

By now you know that I went 5 days past my due date and that Grady was born on March 1st, 2014. If not, go check out his birth story.

Overall I had a very easy pregnancy without complications. I didn’t have to be induced (we had it scheduled for March 3rd, just in case) and had a pretty ideal birth. Pregnancy just wasn’t easy on me mentally, I struggled with the weight gain (even though I wasn’t making healthy eating choices) and was just generally exhausted. I’m very lucky to have had my mom group (we group text all day long) to talk to and I really can’t or shouldn’t complain given the final outcome. It’s true what they say, you forget all the hard parts and find yourself wanting more babies, in my case I want 2 more just like Grady! I’m ready to work hard to get this weight off and I think (and hope!) next time around will be a little easier.

 

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Wait, what?

I know, I know. My last blog post was in November 2012 and then I go and hit y’all with the whole “I had a baby” surprise. Of course most of you reading this are friends / family and already knew but let’s pretend there are more than 3 people reading this blog ok?

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That has absolutely nothing to do with this post but it was funny right?

Anyway, where did I leave off? I was recovering from reconstructive jaw surgery. Let’s get everyone caught up on the last 1.5+ years. I left the company I had been with for 6 years and took a position as a Project Manager for a pharmaceutical company. I ended up being with the company for a year and 3 months before I resigned to be a stay at home mom for a little while.

I recovered from jaw surgery just fine, though I might have the plates removed because the one on the right side of my face doesn’t sit flush. At my one year post-op follow-up the surgeon agreed and said that when I am ready we will discuss removal. I will most likely initiate that process in about 2 months. The braces came off on September 11th, 2013 and I’m incredibly happy with that overall result:

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17 weeks pregnant!

Obviously you know by now that I got pregnant and gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. My current focus, other than raising our son, is losing the baby weight (55 pounds!!!) and getting my running speed back. I begin training for my first post-partum half marathon, Sarasota Music Half Marathon, in mid-November.

So what will this blog become? I’m hoping a good mix of health, fitness and baby.

 

Grady Michael

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On March 1st, 2014 Mike and I met the most perfect little person, someone we’ve been waiting to meet for 40 weeks and 5 days. We named this little guy Grady Michael. He was born at 8:05pm weighing in at 7 pounds, 13 ounces and measuring 21.2 inches long.

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Like every woman in my family, I was past my due date and more than ready to have our baby on the outside. My house was clean and organized, my fridge and pantry stocked and all the little to-do’s were checked off. So I did all the things everyone tells you to:

I bounced on the birth ball for hours on end:

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I got an incredible pedicure (where the woman next to me asked if I was having twins 😐 ):

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Then Mike and I went for an hour long trail walk on February 28th:

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Last family of two selfie:

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Around 3am on March 1st I was woken up by what felt like mild menstrual cramps. I watched the clock and noticed they were time-able and coming at regular intervals, every 15 minutes. I laid there watching the clock for an hour just to be sure, woke Mike up and started using my contraction timing app. Within another hour I was at ten minutes apart so we got out of bed, showered  (shaved my legs – priorities people!) and I called my mom to tell her to be on standby.

My OB had said when the contractions were 5 minutes apart was when it was time to head to the hospital. Around lunchtime the contractions started to slow down so I retreated to the bedroom to pout and try to get a little sleep. Finally around 2pm the contractions picked up again and were 10-15 min apart but were starting to get very very painful. I called the OB at 3pm and she told me to hang on until 5 minutes apart. So I continued to labor with Mike and my girls by my side.

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At 530pm I suddenly went from 10-15 min apart to 2-5 minutes apart. At this point I was pretty much screaming through every contraction and Mike was really trying to get me to leave for the hospital but I was very much in denial. He finally got me to leave at 6pm and we were at the hospital by 620pm.

By the time we got to the hospital my contractions were on top of each other, I had never felt that much pain before. I was such a mess and am so thankful that my husband is very calm in stressful situations and was my rock. I was brought back to triage and told that I was already 8cm dialated but my water hadn’t broken yet. I was immediately taken to labor and delivery (around 645pm) where my mom joined us. At this point I was BEGGING for drugs and proclaiming that I couldn’t do it anymore. The shaking was uncontrollable and my pupils were so restricted from the pain that my mom and Mike both said I looked high. I was very very fortunate that my water hadn’t broken and that the anesthesiologist just happened to be free and nearby. Fluids were pushed, blood drawn, a million health history questions were answered and about an hour later I got the sweet relief of a small dose of the epidural.

My OB came in, broke my water and told the nurse to bring Mike and my mom back in (they had to leave during the epidural) because I was 10cm and it was time to push. When Mike came in she asked him what he did for a living and then informed him that he was going to catch Grady. Approximately 4 contractions and 1 episiotemy (necessary because Grady’s heart rate kept dropping) later and our little man came screaming into the world at 8:05 pm. It was the most beautiful sound in the world. He was placed onto my chest where he promptly peed all over me (little stinker) and we had our first cuddle for about an hour. All the necessary testing, measuring, etc were done and then Mike had his turn.

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We were sent home two days later to start our adventure with our newly expanded family!

[TMJ/TMD] The Surgery

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The last time I posted I was just getting started on training for my third marathon, which was going to be Space Coast. Had everything continued as normal I would be racing this weekend. Shortly after my last post (a week or two) I was at my surgeon’s office for a routine check-up when he said I looked ready but confirmation from the orthodontist was necessary before moving forward. The next time I went in to see the orthodontist I had him take a closer look. He agreed with the surgeon that I appeared ready but wanted to take models and have both doctors of their 2 orthodontist team to evaluate and confirm. So finally after a couple weeks of agonizing over whether I was ready, when surgery would be, would Space Coast happen, I got word that I was ready and to go ahead and schedule the surgery. This all happened mid-September and because of various appointments that had to happen before (2 sets of models, surgical hooks and wires and a physical), surgery wasn’t on the books until November 6th. Space Coast Marathon was definitely off. This gave me plenty of time to worry, stress and obsess. One word can describe how I felt: overwhelmed. Luckily I have an amazing support system of friends, family and coworkers getting me through all the headaches that arose prior to surgery.

Fast forward to November, an event packed month! My birthday was on the 1st and we met my Daddy and Step-Mom in Orlando for a relaxing pre-surgery weekend away.

The day before surgery was full of good eats: Five Guys for lunch with my coworkers and steak and cupcakes with Mike for dinner.

We arrived at the hospital on November 6th at 530am for my 730am surgery. Pre-op was what I was used to (this was my third surgery) except for having to use a nasal spray for the intubation tube that would go up my nose. I need to note here that I HATE anything up my nose, including snot, so this was actually horrifying for me. I knew I would be intubated but I didn’t know that it would be through my nose. They gave me some drugs to relax and I don’t remember much after that.

Three hours later and it was all done. The procedure was fairly routine with the only real hiccup being that I lost 700mL of blood rather than the normal 300mL. I also was awake when they removed the intubation tube in the recovery room. I should not have been awake when they did this. I can’t even describe how horrifying that was. Warning: there are many unflattering photos ahead. I originally wasn’t going to post ANY of these but ultimately decided to. In the days when the swelling was at it’s peak and I was afraid of the face in the mirror, seeing other people’s real-life experiences helped me get through the dark moments.

This is when they brought me to my room. I’m awake and NOT happy (see the furrow in my brow?). My Mom took this as proof of life for my relatives waiting to hear any news. 🙂 Not to worry though, a few hits of my Morphine button and I was feeling OK (I took the below photo for Jena).

I have to give my Mom HUGE THANKS for being my own private nurse and taking such amazing care of me. I have the best Mom in the whole world and I don’t know how Mike and I would have gotten through this without her. Also a huge thanks to Mike who, after spending all day at the hospital, went home to find the dogs had gotten sick in their crates and continued to get sick all night. He took excellent care of me and is now a master of the blender. The one thing that I was most afraid of was vomiting because my mouth was tightly banded. With the amount of blood I lost (some of which was sitting in my stomach) the surgeon added an oral liquid Iron supplement to my meds. The combination of these things led to me vomiting. I was so scared but my Mom was right there rubbing my back and telling me over and over I was going to be OK and that we would get through it. This of course happened in front of my Father-in-law! Thanks Jim for not not only visiting but for refraining from throwing up too! 😉

After that drama the rest of the stay was routine. My Daddy and Step-Mom were even able to come visit! It worked out great that they were staying in Orlando for the week, they live in New York. I was discharged in the early evening of the next day so only one night stay in the hospital! I was honestly a little afraid to go home where I didn’t have instant access to a full team of medical professionals and equipment but once I got home I was so glad to be in my own bed (and use my own toilet!).

No pictures of me from this day (day 1) because when I looked in the mirror I was terrified of what I saw. Words can’t describe how horrifying it is to look in the mirror and see such drastic swelling in your face. I looked like a monster. So instead here are the flowers I received (from my mom and step-dad, my work family and my orthodontist):

So, how do I look?

My jaw in xray form:

You can see in the above photo the plates and screws that will be there forever. If you look closely you can see the dark spots in my jaw, that’s where there is very little bone after it being cut and moved. As my jaw heals the bone will fill in, my osteoblasts are working overtime!

Day 2 swelling (significantly less than day 1):

Day 5 swelling:

Day 6 swelling (my right side [left side of the picture]was worse off than the left and my smile is crooked):

Day 8 swelling (you can see the green bruise on my neck in this pic):

Day 10 swelling:

Day 16 swelling (Thanksgiving! Me and my big brother):

Day 18 swelling (yesterday- Go Gators!!):

As of today the swelling in the right side of my face has been greater than the left. I have a hematoma on that side that has been very slowly dissolving. For the first week I was using ice in a jaw bra provided by the hospital and then the surgeon had me switch to heat on the hematoma (I use a heating pad). Overall I’m pleased with how the healing has been going. I can’t say if the TMJ pain is gone yet because I still have some residual soreness from surgery and I also haven’t chewed anything since the day before surgery. That conclusion is pending further evaluation.

How bad was the pain?

Honestly, not as bad as I was expecting. I took hits of Morphine in the hospital every few hours (I was allowed every 5 minutes) and had liquid prescription pain killers at home that I took every few hours for the first 2 days at home (Wednesday and Thursday). Friday and Saturday I only took the drugs before bed to help me sleep and Saturday night was the last time I took them at all. I describe it more as being uncomfortable from all the pressure the swelling was putting on my face rather than actual pain. I’ve taken some extra strength tylenol on days with a lot of activity (like Thanksgiving) and when I’ve had orthodontic adjustments. As far as numbness goes, at first everything was numb. Slowly the feeling has been coming back and now I only have a small spot that is semi-numb and very (annoyingly) tingly. It is the right half of my bottom lip down to the right half of my chin. Hence the crooked smile seen in the photos.

What have I been eating?

For the first week everything was through a straw, mostly because I couldn’t open wide enough for a fork. In addition to protein smoothies, Mike would dump cans of soup into the blender, puree it and heat it up (I would drink that through a straw). Once I was able to take out the rubber bands for eating and cleaning, I started adding in anything that could be swallowed with a baby fork or spoon. This included egg salad, tuna salad, mashed sweet potatoes, anything that could be shredded into small pieces and lubricated with [non-dairy] butter or mayo. Eventually I graduated to adult forks and spoons as I got my range of motion back. For veggies I bought the Peter Rabbit Organics pureed fruit and veggie packets (they taste better than they sound) and Bolthouse Farms Green Goddess juice. I drink fruit smoothies with protein added and also just protein shakes. I’ve also continued to take my multi-vitamin. Unfortunately I’ve lost 12 pounds, every single bit of it muscle. I’m desperate to get back to lifting so I can gain my hard-earned muscle weight back!

Oral Hygiene

Since my orthodontist commented that I had excellent oral hygiene (without any inquiries from me) for a surgery patient I thought I’d share what I did. Disclaimer: make sure you follow your doctors instructions and ask before altering any routine you do now. I am not a doctor, this is just what worked for me. About a week before surgery I went to the dentist and had a full clean. I let the dentist and the hygienist know what procedure I was having done. They were so incredibly thorough (and gentle) and removed every last bit of plaque and junk that was on my teeth. I also got a baby toothbrush from them while I was there. My incisions were inside my mouth and my cheeks were too swollen to pull them back so initially I used the baby toothbrush on only the teeth I could see and my tongue. I followed this up with rinsing with warm salt water and then with Listerine Zero (has no alcohol). This was my routine for the first week and I did this after every time I ate. Once I was able to remove my rubber bands for cleaning I also started using my Waterpik (with the surgeon’s approval) on the low setting with the orthodontic tip. By this time I could pull my cheek back and see exactly where the incisions were so I could brush all my teeth and waterpik all my teeth carefully without hitting the incision. I continued the warm salt water rinse and Listerine Zero rinse through the second week. After the second week I dropped the warm salt water rinse and went back to the normal Listerine. It’s so important to keep your mouth clean and avoid infection, that is a complication you don’t want to have to deal with!

Something else I’ll highly recommend! Chapstick, chapstick, chapstick!!! I lost about 3 layers of skin from my lips in the first 2 days and I’m soooo glad I couldn’t feel them at that point! I immediately started using a tube of softlips I had gotten in a race bag (thanks Women’s Half Marathon!) and Aquaphor:

Trust me, you want your lips to be slathered in that stuff at all times!

What about exercise?

At my one week post-op appointment the surgeon cleared me for exercise with obvious limitations. I have to be very careful of falling and any lifting has to be with great care with my face. Up until this point I’ve only attempted cardio (which has greatly suffered  because of the amount of blood lost!) including walking, running, riding my bike on an indoor trainer and rowing. I’m planning to return to FitCrew next week, modified obviously.

When the surgery was scheduled I knew Space Coast wasn’t going to happen. I had been stalking Chris Lauber’s (Florida Road Race Director) Facebook page when he posted that the Clearwater Marathon was in the midst of being relaunched for January 20th, 2013. The day that registration opened Dave and I registered as two of the first 50 people for $50. As of right now I’m confident that I’ll be able to participate but I may have to let go of the sub-4 hour goal. Prior to surgery I ran an 18 miler and my training pace indicated sub-4 was possible but with the huge loss of blood (and therefore Oxygen carrying red blood cells) my pace has drastically slowed. At this point I’ll honestly just be happy to run a full marathon, my favorite race distance, so close to home.

I know this post has been insanely long so thanks for reading!! I hope this helps anyone preparing for this procedure [Mandibular Osteotomy] and if you have ANY questions please ask in the comments section! [If you’re finding this blog for the first time- my lower jaw was 11mm too short which caused an overbite. This led to joint pain (TMJ) as well as degeneration of my right joint. The mandibular osteotomy was done to alleviate the TMJ pain and stop the degeneration of my right joint.]

[SCM Week 3] That was a bust!

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Unfortunately week 3 of training for the Space Coast Marathon didn’t go exactly as planned. I would actually say not even close. Oh well, lucky for me it’s still early in training and it was a step back week so no harm done!

Before I get into the weekly training recap I thought I would share a few quick things. First, I’ve decided to finally go Paleo. I added a link there if anyone is interested in the basics of what Paleo is. For me it began with eliminating dairy to determine if I had an allergy. Every day when I woke up I would have a [relatively] flat stomach and every night when I went to bed I would literally look 4 months pregnant. The bloat and discomfort became so unbearable that I decided to look into altering my diet (I hate that word, for me diet = lifestyle, not a short term thing). At FitCrew, a Paleo or Primal way of eating is encouraged (though not required) and Andrew works extensively with helping us eat the right things. So after a year and a half I finally decided to listen to him. And you know what? It works for me.

Of course I’m new to Paleo (about a month or so) but already I’ve noticed a significant decrease in the bloat and my abs are even thinking about making an appearance (this is exciting for me since my abs and I have never officially met)! My energy level is high and I feel like someone peeled a layer of gauze off my brain. I’m having fun with different recipes and enjoying researching all the hows and whys of this way of living. I’ll try to make an effort to update as I progress through this but in the meantime here are a few of my favorite Paleo blogs:

PaleOMG

Paleo Friggen Delish

What Runs Lori  <– Not sure if she is full Paleo but she has a lot of Paleo recipes.

Second, Mike and I have made some upgrades to my tri bike. We re-wrapped the bars with matching blue wrap (after youtubing a how-to), added my beloved Speed Play pedals in blue and ordered new arm pads for the aero bars. Right now it’s sitting at our LBS getting a little tune-up to make sure everything is in working order and to tighten up the bottom bracket and front hub. I can’t wait to get it back in my hot little hands and ride it! Here it is with the new matching upgrades:

Third, way back when Jena and I decided to run Space Coast Marathon we made a pact that we would run it in our sports bras (aka shirtless), weather permitting. We of course are hoping that it would be too cold for this but we’re talking about Florida in November, anything can happen with the weather. We dubbed this #operationsportsbra and have been using it as extra motivation to complete our workouts and eat the right things. I’m pretty proud to say that so far I’ve done 3 shirtless runs so far, twice in the dark (lol) and once in the broad daylight at a busy park. My confidence has come a long way but I still worry what others think. It’ll come, in time. Check out Jena’s blog to see her progress (hint: she’s been running shirtless too!)!

Week 3 Training

The reason for the setback this week? Tendonitis behind my left knee that, because I kept pushing instead of taking it easy, spread down into my left calf. I’m feeling much better today and am ready to start fresh with week 4. So here’s a look at what I did accomplish in week 3:

Monday: Planned- Rest; Actual- Rest

Tuesday: Planned- 4x800m interval run + ride; Actual- Rest. I knew in advance that the ride wasn’t going to happen because Mike was out of town, which meant I had to get home right after work to let the dogs out. I stupidly left my run for the afternoon and got stormed out.

Wednesday: Planned- FitCrew + 3m recovery run; Actual- FitCrew in the AM + 4x800m interval run in the PM. I shifted things back a day which resulted in running intervals on tired legs. After the intervals is when I felt the tendonitis flare up. The morning’s WOD (3 x 15 min AMRAP WODS):

The evening interval run splits (target pace for the 800s was 7:50 min/mile):

Thursday: Planned- FitCrew; Actual- FitCrew. The tendonitis was definitely present and when I showed up to FitCrew I stupidly kept quiet about the pain until after the WOD. I couldn’t help myself though, this WOD was made for me. Running with a fire hose? Yes please! Did 20lb fire hose, 115lb back squat, 3 rounds in 41 minutes.

I was hobbling a little on Thursday afternoon and so I decided to actually use my brain and rest until I felt better. Unfortunately that was for the next 3 days.

Friday: Planned- 6 mile run + FitCrew; Actual- Rest.

Saturday: Planned- Ride; Actual- Rest

Sunday: Planned- 8 mile run; Actual- Rest

At least today I’m feeling 95% better and am confident that I’ll be able to run pain free tomorrow. This is a lesson I seem to have to learn over and over, I’m definitely guilty of wanting to do it all. Moving forward I’ve dropped the interval runs and vow not to do speed work on tired legs. And of course, not push through pain, that’s just stupid.

[SCM Week 2] I have an addiction sir!

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So remember when I bought a road bike, oohhhh…. two months ago? Well. I immediately wanted a tri bike also. Yet I showed immense restraint and avoided perusing the racks at my LBS (local bike shop). HOWEVER, I can’t say the same for my husband. He knew I wanted one, and really, he wanted another bike to tinker with (because 3 isn’t enough) so he constantly checked Craigslist looking for the perfect deal. We knew we would go the used route again because my requirements were a good brand, full carbon frame and at least Shimano Ultegra components. These things added up are expensive! So to make a long story short, I present to you my latest gift from my wonderful husband:

The Orbea Ordu, full carbon frame and Shimano Ultegra components. The story of this bike is too amazing not to share. The original owner (aka the guy we bought it from) had herniated 3 disks in his back and was paralyzed from the waist down. The doctors predicted he would never walk without a cane again. After intense physical therapy he not only walked unassisted, he trained for and completed a full Ironman! This is the very bike he rode those 112 miles on! I feel so inspired by the history of this bike and honored to be the next one to ride it. Who knows, maybe it has two Ironmans (Ironmen?) in it! 😉

Moving right along to the running addiction from the cycling addiction. Week two of training for the Space Coast Marathon went really well, I can’t wait until the long runs start getting longer, that’s when the fun really begins!

Monday– Planned: Rest; Actual: Rest.

Tuesday– Planned: 30 minute Tempo run and ride; Actual: 30 minute Tempo (3.30 miles) and 16 mile ride with my ladies group.

For the non-runners, a Tempo run is where you run for a set time or distance and gradually build up to a pre-determined speed (usually between 10K and half marathon race pace) and hold that speed for a length of time and then gradually decrease speed. So for example, I ran 10 minutes at an easy pace that gradually got faster, then 10 minutes at Tempo pace (8:09-8:31 min/mile) and then 10 minutes at a pace that gradually got slower.

Wednesday– Planned: FitCrew + 3 mile recovery run; Actual- FitCrew + 3 mile recovery run (10:10 min/mile average pace). The run was glorious! The slower (for me) pace helped dust off what felt like cobwebs from the previous days workouts and the morning’s WOD. Speaking of WOD… I really struggled with Candy, it was a very humbling WOD to say the least.

Thursday– Planned: FitCrew; Actual: FitCrew. The WOD (85lb push press, [2] 45lb plates for the farmers walk):

Friday– Planned: 5 mile run + FitCrew; Actual: 5 mile run (9:43 min/mile average pace) + FitCrew. I went for a run first thing in the morning then came home and refueled, changed and went to FitCrew. Surprisingly I felt really good and strong at FitCrew despite already having gone for a moderate paced run. The WOD (95lb front squat):

Saturday- Planned: ride; Actual: 20ish mile ride. I forgot to start my Garmin so I missed probably the first 2 miles. 18.7mph average pace.

Sunday- Planned: 11 miles with last 2 miles at goal pace; Actual: 11 miles with last 2 miles at goal pace! Most of my long runs have goal pace miles thrown in the mix. Last training cycle I ran a lot of my long runs on fatigued legs (thanks FitCrew) and found it really helpful, mentally. This time around I decided to add in goal pace miles to simulate what it would feel like to run that pace on tired legs, aka near the end of the race.

Last week I felt like I had dead legs during my long run and mentioned it to Andrew. He made some fueling suggestions and they worked like a charm! Not only are my splits awesome but I also felt strong. Thanks Andrew! [Fueling/calf stretching after miles 4 and 8]

I’m very pleased with my training for week 2. I return to the orthodontist at the end of the month with high hopes that he gives me a better window of dates for surgery. I’ve got my fingers crossed that I’ll be able to officially register for Space Coast Marathon before the fees go up!

Here We Go: Space Coast Marathon Week 1

Today wrapped up my first official week of training for my third (!!!) marathon! Sometimes I still can’t believe I’m gearing up to run yet another marathon, I’m amazed at what my body is capable of with the completion of each training session. When I sat down to review all my splits from this week’s workouts I couldn’t help but reflect on how far I’ve come.

Some notes on the training plan… It’s not quite set in stone yet. I knew when I made this plan that there would likely be some adjustments made as I evaluated how my body felt. The first plan I made doesn’t have a scheduled rest day. Originally I told myself I could skip workouts as necessary when my body asked for rest, but I’ve realized I need more structure than that. The adjustments I’ve made so far are making Monday a rest day and dropping the hill training (I will replace the hills with simple pace runs instead) from my speed work.

Anyway, onto this week’s training:

Monday: Planned- FitCrew; Actual- REST

Tuesday: Planned- 3xHill + Ride; Actual- 3xHill + Ride. With the lack of hills in Florida and my lack of time, I ended up running ‘hills’ on a short overpass right before going for a ride. Huge mistake. Even though the workout itself was relatively easy, I hadn’t done any kind of speed work in forever so my legs were done. Then I got on my bike and rode with my ladies group for a little over 20 miles (I forgot to start my Garmin until we were already several miles in). It was a struggle and afterwards my right foot hurt. I’m pretty sure it’s from the run, which I was definitely forefoot striking during the uphill sprints. So I eliminated them from the plan because the Space Coast Marathon course is as flat as a pancake. The run splits (I forgot to hit the lap button before my first hill climb but I’m guessing the split is somewhere around the 7:00 min/mile pace. Also, split 2 was me accidentally pushing the lap button so just ignore that one.):

Wednesday: Planned- FitCrew + 3 mile recovery run; Actual- FitCrew. With my foot hurting I decided to skip the recovery run and recover by resting in the evening instead. The WOD (Niels modified the 400 meter run for 500 meter row for me, 115lb deadlift, 30lb KB swing, 55lb overhead squat, speed rope instead of box jump and 25lb DBs [so 50lb total] for squat clean. I finished in 31:53, rehydrated then headed to the back room for a second WOD. 500 meter row, 20 GHD back extensions, 40 airsquats. AMRAP. I did 2 rounds in the 10ish minutes we had left.):

Thursday: Planned- FitCrew; Actual- FitCrew. The WOD (15 min AMRAP- I did 3 rounds of each and another surprise plank challenge after the WOD. 15lb DBs for incline press, 45lb plate on the tire for tire sled, 10lb sledgehammer.):

Friday: Planned- 5 mile run; Actual- FitCrew + 5 mile run. The WOD (15 min AMRAP- I did 2 rounds for each. 95lb back squat, 20lb DB for arnold squat, 16lb ball for wall ball.):

I went to the 9am session and it was so.hot. I was also regretting not getting up early to run before the WOD when I set out for my run at 5pm. I really wanted to give up after 3 miles but instead went to a nearby park with a water fountain and finished it.

Saturday: Planned- Ride; Actual- Ride, 25 miles.

It was just Michelle, the group leader, and I for this ride. We split off so that we could ride a little harder with sprints mixed in. Michelle was nice and only made me do one set of sprints [miles 9-11]. We took turns sprinting in the front for one minute and it was tough! Don’t let the splits above fool you, the times look slow because we ride through St Pete, which has a ton of lights (that we have to stop for). In reality we were spinning at 18-20mph.

Sunday: Planned- 10 miles; Actual- 10 miles. My first double digit run since late April! I had to work a little harder mentally on this run. My perceived vs actual exertion were not matching up. My heart rate was in the happy zone but I felt like I was struggling. I stopped halfway through to do a good stretch and get my head in the right place, which worked pretty well. Fueling after miles 4 and 7.

That wraps it up! I know this is only week 1, but so far I feel focused, confident and strong, which is a complete 180 from a few weeks ago. 17 more weeks to go!

Last Week of Freedom!

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This week was the last of my base building, aka fooling around. For the past many weeks, what I’ve done for training has been whatever I’ve felt like. I made a base building plan but didn’t really stick to it. Instead of forcing it, I decided to just wing it since I suffered from both a strained calf and burnout at the end of this past season. I feel like this week I finally found my mojo again [and no Andrew, it wasn’t on the pull-up bar! 😉 ] and only missed one workout, my evening ride that got rained out. The stubborn calf has been feeling mostly good too, so that helps.

Before I get into this week’s training, here are a couple photos from the past week:

The dogs and I had an impromptu photo shoot. I was foam rolling one night, they were being extra cute and I had my phone handy.

And here are some notable eats from the past week. A Rum Runner from my trip to Frenchy’s with Jena, Paleo Protein Waffles and beef lettuce wraps with sweet potato ‘fries’ (baked) and steamed asparagus.

Monday: Planned: FitCrew; Actual: REST

Tuesday: Planned: ride (cycling); Actual: FitCrew. My afternoon ladies ride was cancelled due to rain. I did 95 lbs on the bench press and modified air dyne for jump rope [I’m still not doing any jump rope or box jumps since my calf is still acting sketchy].

Wednesday: Planned: FitCrew + 3 miles recovery; Actual: 4 miles, 9:35min/mile average

Thursday: Planned: 4 miles; Actual: FitCrew + 3 miles recovery, 10:20min/mile average [treadmill] Obviously I flip-flopped Wednesday and Thursday training. {I had a full skin check with the dermatologist, everything looks good!} On the WOD: 115 lbs deadlift. I started with the air squats/rope climb with a time of 14:20, took a short rest and then did the deadlift/HSPU in 5:XX. As I was deadlifting Niels came over, laughed his evil little laugh and told me he had a surprise when I was done. The surprise? 6 laps [running] on now shredded legs. Whee! The feeling reminded me of roughly mile 16 of a marathon.

Friday: Planned: FitCrew; Actual: FitCrew. I did 85 lbs on the bench press and between 5-8 reps on each for every round. We had about 15 minutes left once everyone was done so Niels lined us [20ish people] all up and had us do a plank challenge. Hold plank and everyone takes a turn doing 20 push-ups. Thankfully we only went down the line once but we were in plank [I took little breaks] for close to 10 minutes. Evil.

Saturday: Planned: ride (cycling); Actual: 21.34 mile ride with Mike, 19.9MPH average. We were obviously struggling in the first 5 miles with the head-wind and the overwhelming quad soreness from Thursday’s WOD. Sometime during mile 6 a [faster] friend of ours passed us and told us to jump in the draft of his 3 person group. You don’t gotta tell me twice! We stayed with them until the half-way point and then made our way back to the car with a tail-wind. Overall an awesome ride!

Sunday: Planned: 8 miles; Actual: 8 miles, 10:00min/mile average.

This run felt really good mentally and physically. I forgot how much I love waking up before the sun, strapping on a full fuel belt and just cruising. My target long run training pace range is 9:29-10:29min/mile. Today my pace was on the lower end of that range and I was making an effort to just relax, go easy and not worry about pace. My low heart rate and giant smile at the finish was very encouraging. I’ll be training for a 3:55 marathon (8:59min/mile pace) and if my long runs continue to go this well, I might adjust that goal a bit. Space Coast Marathon here I come!

New Distractions

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For the last year or so Mike and I have talked off and on about getting road bikes. I’ve always had an interest in cycling but as a beginner, getting started is very overwhelming. Mike used to mountain bike every now and then, so he at least knows bike basics and we also have several friends heavily into the tri scene. So with a little guidance from Mike and friends and an impromptu weekend of bike shopping, I came home with a 2011 TREK Madone 3.1.

We got it used from our local bike shop (LBS) so we got a really good deal on a great bike that otherwise would be out of our price range. It’s not WSD (women specific design) but I was assured by many people that sine I’m not exactly petite, I wouldn’t really need WSD. Mike then began his bike search, looking mostly on Craigslist for a good deal, and struck gold when he found the same exact bike for the same price in his size! SOLD!

Of course the bikes were only the beginning. Shoes, pedals, gloves, helmets, clothes, bottle holders, racks. The list goes on and on (and my bank account gets closer and closer to $0). I have Speedplay Light Action Chrome-Moly pedals in pink with Shimano WR-40 shoes and Mike has Shimano 105 pedals with Pearl Izumi Race Rd II shoes. Both of our bikes have Shimano 105 components with Sram Apex cranks.

Today we went for our very first ride on our new bikes (and my first ride ever!) down in Longboat Key. From the Garmin Forerunner 305 in biking mode, we ended up riding 21.38 miles in 1:16:59 with an average moving speed of 18mph and an average heart rate of 153bpm (easy range).

The first 2 miles we were only hitting 15mph, mostly because I’m an amateur and I was a little nervous about being on the road. Then Mike gave me a tip on how to move the pedals, by pulling my foot up instead of pushing it down, and we immediately jumped up to 18mph. I was so glad when we hit our first red light 6.6 miles in and I could stop for a minute to take a breather!

It was an out and back course with a headwind for the first half. After we got turned around and hit up the nicest gas station I’ve ever seen for a potty stop, we cranked out a 20-21mph pace for the last 8 miles. It felt so much easier with a tailwind!

We had a lot of fun and I’m currently looking for some duathlons for fall and triathlons for next spring. As far as my running lately… I have a strained soleus (one of the muscles in the calf) so I’ve been taking it easy with little running (I haven’t actually run in 2 weeks) and my trainers have been modifying me at CrossFit. I’m excited to add the bike into the mix, especially to keep my endurance strong while I ease back into my running mileage.

TMJ: One Week of Braces

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Have I mentioned that I’m a giant baby when it comes to mouth/facial pain? Having the braces put on at least wasn’t painful but was rather uncomfortable. Your mouth has to be dry so your lips are pulled back, there is constant suction and the assistant is constantly drying with a little air tool. The whole procedure only took 1.5 hours from the time I handed over my credit card for the down payment to walking out the door.

At first my mouth felt fine, just very awkward, like having little skyscrapers on my teeth. I have to admit I felt very embarrassed and self-conscious and really just wanted to go home to hide. Instead I put on my big girl panties and headed back to work where my coworkers assured me that they could hardly tell I had braces.

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I stuck to soft foods for the first couple of days and took Aleve because my teeth were very sore. I listened to what the orthodontist assistant said though and started adding in easy to chew foods on Saturday  (braces put on Thursday). I was sent home with a no-no and yes-yes list of foods:

I’m pretty sure none of the ‘yes-yes’ foods are on the approved FitCrew meal plan. Well, maybe the peanut butter cups… are those Paleo? 😉

Tuesday was the first day my teeth didn’t ache but that was also the day I started noticing all the pokey things in my mouth. The wax has been a life saver as the inside of my lips toughen up against the metal wires and brackets.

I also only took Friday off from exercise and was out long-running with Jena on Saturday. Check out those splits:

By today I feel pretty good. The rubber bands I have to wear have already started doing their job correcting my cross-bite. It’s a little awkward to chew now because my teeth are in transition but I’m hoping that doesn’t last for too long. The soreness is gone and I’ve pretty much adjusted to the pokeyness.

As far as how I look… I’m getting over it. You can’t really tell unless you’re up close anyway.

See?

There are worse things in life.

(For those interested my skirt and tee are from J Crew, flip flops are American Eagle, watch is Michael Kors, puppy not sold in stores)

Trying to Conceive

Our baby plans are on official hold. I can’t be pregnant for surgery and my surgery date is likely only 8 months away. So until early next year we won’t be trying to get pregnant. At first I was disappointed and there were a few tears shed but I know it’s for the best. Need comes before want in this case.

Next Racing Season

Obviously I’ll be missing a portion of next racing season. The projected surgery date is late November, early December. I will know more in 3 months when I go back to the surgeon for a status update. My ideal plan is to fit in 2 more marathons before surgery. I’m eyeballing Empire State again and Space Coast. Also, depending on the date of surgery, I will try to do the Florida Halfathon Challenge again. The short distance races will be sprinkled in like usual.