Monday, January 31, 2011

Old-Fashioned Fun

This puzzle is taking FOREVER.
1000 pieces of mind-blowing English countryside.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Race Spectating

Greetings
Today I spectated at the Securian Half Marathon in St. Paul. To me this is probably the hardest half marathon to train for...because it's in January. Which is fine and objectively achievable, but who wants to be doing 90 minute runs when it's 10 below? Last year I did this race but didn't put in sufficient volume because of the weather and ended up paying for it in the form of a slow and rather painful performance. This year however, Micah took on the challenge and did much better with consistent training and a great end result.

I did still get a good workout out there today. Why? First, because I did my own run while I was waiting to see Micah pass by. Second, because the race directors--for no reason other than apparent mis-management--cut the race short by a mile, moving the turnaround point at the 7 mi. marker to a totally different location, thus leaving a handful of spectators (myself included) at the original 7 mi. marker waiting for runners to arrive who were being turned around a half mile earlier. Nice. And the only reason I found out is because a guy I know who wasn't competing just happened to run by and tell me he'd just seen Micah "back there."

*Bullet train-like transition down W. 7th St. into downtown. Andale!* Two detours, a parking ramp, and a seven block run/walk scamper through the skyway later, I managed to arrive just in time to capture Micah running around the LAST turn to the finish.
And he had a great race! Here is Mustard with his friend Ketchup. Oh, kidding. Vive la Minnesota!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

21 Weeks

Here we are, 50% plus 5% of the way there! Feeling good, feeling...cold (obviously), but feeling good. It goes without saying that it's been achingly freezing outside. However I'm succeeding so far at not letting it get me down. Plenty of other things to think about. And let's be honest: streaming Netflix in the winter is a mood booster in and of itself. Anyone seen Hoarders?!

Am I still running? Yes. Before you starting wondering, "Should she be doing that?", know that a) It's not more than 2 times a week, b) It's pretty pedestrian, and c) It's still comfortable. It's similar to aerobic steady state while carrying a large medicine ball...through sand.

Oh, and d) I'm super careful about the terrain. Luckily we have some really nicely groomed paths just down the street along the river. So far I haven't run into any ice on these, and honestly, since my out-and-back route is pretty short and routine, there's only a short distance of path to actually be concerned about.
A vision of warmth:
1 pair spandex tights
1 pair running pants over spandex
1 tank top thingy
1 long-sleeve wicking shirt
1 lightweight winter layer
1 lightweight maternity winter layer
1 balaclava
1 thing covering the mouth
1 hat
1 pair of Antarctic-rated mittens
1 pair wool socks
1 pair regular running shoes

So yes, I'm still running in the sense that I'm still putting one foot in front of the other and breathing fresh air, but no in the sense that I'm not putting up big miles or going fast. It just makes me feel really good to be outside--even when it's insano cold--and a little bit goes a long way in maintaining core strength. Surprisingly, the first thing to go when you stop running is just the plain strength in the abs and arms. Knowing that a little jog now and then can maintain that is a huge motivator to keep it up. It's not anything to do with keeping them toned, but just strong. I also want to put off losing shin strength from weight-bearing exercise as long as possible. No matter what, I know I'll be taking a break from it eventually; I'd just prefer it be 10 weeks instead of 10 months. Until then, I'll just keep on donning copious layers of smart fabrics and heading outside. At least I don't have to worry about overheating!

Other than running, I'm still swimming 2x per week, biking 2-3x per week, and taking the occasional trek around the neighborhood on foot. I'm still doing something every day and it seems to go a long way in easing pregnancy symptoms. It's not an obsession for working out or tied to a fear of gaining weight by any means, but what I see as a small way for me to commit to the well-being of the baby before she's actually here. Regular exercise grows a healthier and more efficient placenta for passing on oxygen and nutrients, reduces the risk of gestational diabetes, relieves maternal stress, etc. The fact that this baby measured 20.5 weeks at 19.5 weeks has helped me affirm that my activity is not a detriment to her. And if it was, I'd stop immediately.

The latest: from the front, an optical illusion. Perhaps just ate a big meal.


From the side: yep, that's definitely a passenger.
In other news, call it nesting or whatever you like, but I've gotten particularly obsessed with organizing the house. For those who don't know, Micah generally fixates on daily cleaning, while I generally fixate on tossing, sorting, and reorganizing.

My latest feat: the corner of the basement we call the pantry. I wish I had a "before" picture, but here is the "after." Is there anything like shelving to make things seem more manageable?! Seriously, if anyone doesn't know what to get me for my birthday, just buy me shelving.

Back to the Hoarders show I mentioned. If you ever want to get really fired up about cleaning your house, watch this show. Preferably while cleaning. It's so intense that you're wincing and gasping and hardly believing people can't throw things away. Even the hair their dogs have shed. I'll tell you it certainly helped me get rid of about 50% of the miscellaneous paperwork under our roof. And a bunch of other stuff. We need to start making room for ______!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

No Joke

I am totally stealing this comment off someone's blog RE: a post on moving to Minnesota. I didn't know this was a Minnesota thing, but IT'S TRUE.

Dave lived in the Twin Cities for several years too and quite liked it. And I think you'll love cross country skiing - he says there are tons of paths around all the lakes for exercising. But, you'll have to get used to the "Minnesota goodbye." Apparently that's 20 min in the living room, 20 min at the front door and 20 min at your car.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Houston, We Have a Girl

In what might be described as the most anticipated 30 minutes ever, we finally got to have a look at our little person. Rather, our little girl! And it was totally awesome.

The sonographer took lots of different pictures and even did one in 4D, which I thought you could only get at one of those fancy non-medical 4D facilities. But it's probably better I didn't know I was going to walk away with 8 different pictures...because I probably would have exploded in an anticipation even greater than the one already possessing me.

So here she is! They took all the usual measurements (e.g. head circumference, femur length, amniotic fluid amounts) and everything looked fine. And the four-chambered heart was indeed there, beating at 153bpm. The range is usually about 110-170. It was so cool to see her moving around a ton and putting her tiny hands up by her face. It's also cool to be able to say "she" and "her" now.
I actually started feeling kicking last Sunday. A day after I told someone I hadn't felt anything yet and wouldn't be surprised if it were another month. Since then I've felt little--and sometimes big--kicks every day, usually while in some sort of seated position, like sitting at my desk at work, driving, or reading in bed. Something about it cracks me up. It's so subtle and yet the biggest forces she generates in a day of virtually constant movement.

So there you have it! XX! And I think she's cute.

Friday, January 7, 2011

510 Building

There is a soft spot in my heart for all of the hidden beautiful places in Minneapolis.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

18 Weeks

Here we are, 18 weeks! Already and finally. 16 to 17 went quickly, but 17 to 18 did not. Maybe because even numbers sound more official than odd ones?


Are you feeling decent?
Yes! One fragment of wisdom, though: even if you've been able to eat pretty much anything including spicy foods the whole time, don't reach for real Coke. Four words: acid indigestion may strike. One isolated incident later, I've learned my lesson. Back to ginger beer.

Are you showing?
As evidenced above, yes. Not crazy yes, but it's still there. The photo was taken after eating a big meal at Longfellow Grill, so it might be exaggerated somewhat. (Side note: I love how our waiter at the restaurant on New Year's Eve goes "Oh, this is all you're doing tonight? Just going out to eat?" [at 6pm] "Well yes, after this we're going to go home and stare at the wall." For the record, we watched like three movies after dinner and I feel just fine about it.

I digress.

Are you fitting into your clothes?
Kind of. Depends which clothes we're talking about. Most things like shirts, workout attire, and...socks...fit fine. But not pants. I must have been looking the other way when my abdomen suddenly expanded an extra couple of inches. This means my pants never close without assistance anymore. Assistance in the form of hair binders strategically used as expansion bungees, or the Bella Band, the wearing of which is sometimes is just as ridiculous as the fact that you're still trying to wear a certain pair of pants that should have been sent to the Doesn't Fit box a long time ago. (Because it really looks natural when you try to cover the ENTIRE zipper area with something stretchy because no part of the zipper will go up. I never wear shirts inexplicably pulled all the way down over my butt a la American Eagle 12 year-old, so why start now?)

Enter leggings. My alternative title for this post was "Tights and Tights," (you know, like the band Tapes and Tapes?) because they are my theme song. Tights, leggings, and dare I utter jeggings, have been great 2nd trimester companions. Plus, it's winter, so all anyone sees you wearing is your jacket and boots anyway.

But all this said, I am doing just fine with Project Bodily Expansion. It's completely different from weight changes experienced when not pregnant. Yes, I know I haven't hit the 3rd trimester yet when I'm sure to feel balloonish, but right now it just seems like "Well yeah, there's the stomach," and it's an exciting progression to watch.

Names?
Ha! In the dreams of my early 20s, I totally thought I'd be settled on a name at nearly halfway through a pregnancy. Not so. Every time you think you like a name, suddenly there's a knocked-up cheerleader on Glee that people will forever associate with it, or it's part of the brand name of a line of children's TOILET SEATS, or it turns out to be someone's pet ferret. And as for the classics, you already say "Jake who?" when you talk about one of the 27 Jakes in your life, so is it reasonable to add a 28th? And don't get me started on how apparently every little boy name (or girl name) now has to end in "-son." (???)

Obviously I'm name-weary right now. BUT, we're hoping that Little Turman will be compliant at our ultrasound on 1/13 and help definitively narrow our options by 50%. Then the careful consideration can really begin.