Thursday, February 27, 2014

week 13 and 14

Weeks are going by soooo slow but then when I go to look back, it feels like they are flying by. I'm in a time warp. It's funny, but in both training and pregnancy suddenly 'weeks' are important. Week 2 of training, week 13 of baby growing. Seven day marks that mean a lot to you. And possibly only these posts might be a self indulgent snooze.

But I've been up since 3:30a and need a quick work break so here we go.

Still anxious, but fresh off my latest doctors appointment and lots of Twitter congratulations/encouragement I was riding higher than the weeks before.

While the nausea backed off the headaches ramped up and the exhaustion and the peeing. Exhaustion I'm used to. But headaches, no. And peeing in the middle of the night, well I never. A lot of my dreams include the pain from my headaches (which I compare to someone putting ice cubes directly on my brain) and the need to pee. It's a good time.

I was counting down the days until our mini beach vacation. Looking forward to one thing, sleep. We headed to Long Beach for two night and then Cannon Beach for the last two. Aside from finding very little room at the inn when calling to book the last two nights of vacation the day before, the storm with 80 mph gusts and Owen's food poisoning on the last night/day/night... it was incredibly relaxing and felt like we'd been gone for weeks.


No I'm kidding. I did workout. I'm just really bad at recording it right now.
Got the Tracy Anderson Pregnancy Project DVDs. It's a booty burn. I think she has two main objectives: no mum bum and wear awkward body suits that guarantee nip slips. Which I'm fine with because my glutes are weeeeak and who doesn't love the added workout cliff hanger of when a nip might slip?

I'm running a minimum of every other day. My best guess on mileage would be 12-15 for the week. And 2 hours of booty burn with Tracy Nip Slip. Solid.


Headaches and exhaustion march on. With vices limited I find myself accidentally binge eating frosting out of a can or a full pound of salt water taffy. This childish behavior is guaranteed to cause a 2 day headache. A lesson I've learned at least two times a week for the last three weeks.

My other cravings besides straight sugar include grapefruit (peeled and eaten like an orange), edamame (in pod) and roasted seaweed. So I'm trying to indulge those more than the can of frosting cravings.

monday: 2.2 beach run, super windy and didn't have much time
tuesday: Tracy DVD
wednesday: 3.5 + prenatal yoga
thursday: x
friday: 5.4 runch with KG at work
saturday: x (literally did not leave bed)
sunday: 8.5 mile long run solo and just about 9:00 pace.

And finally I leave you with this sweet belly comparison of week 13 v week 14. As you can see a lot sort of does happen in 7 days. Including the debut of my first armpit roll.

week 13 v week 14

Friday, February 21, 2014

yoga for the pregnant

I've always wanted to be into yoga. Always is a strong word. I've wanted to be into yoga since 2002 when this Vogue plopped into my freshman dorm mailbox.

Injured and feeling low, I bought every student discount yoga class I could get my mitts on. By the end of college I was deep into Bikram hot yoga. But after the student discounts ran out and the first (three) minimum wage jobs I worked to fund my my little tee shirt business ramped up, yoga was the last thing on my mind. I ran when I could afford to eat and that was good enough. Whomp, whomp. 

I've never used yoga for the mediative aspect, or the restorative for that matter. I liked the sweaty, 'feel the burn' yoga.** I feel out of place chanting Ommmmm three times and talking about 'massaging my kidneys'. But in the throes of first trimester, early second anxiety... I thought about taking prenatal yoga. And talked about it. And talked about it. And made fun of it. Until into my inbox arrived a 4-class pass from Owen.

Owen has perfected the art of supporting me in what I call 'I'm a cactus in need of a hug' phases in life. Yes, I'm covered in thorns and I'm glaring daggers at you, but all I really need is a hug. Or a 4-pack of yoga classes at the Holistic Center on Aurora that I keep making sarcastic remarks about.

I showed up from my first class on Wednesday. The Holistic Center like a hippy community center that also teaches a little kids self defense class(?) I walked past kids delivering a hard elbow to the ground and found the locker room, which smelled heavily of bleach and was accosted by a woman who wanted to know if it smelled okay. Sure. Because she'd just spent 30 minutes cleaning up her kids puke. Err. Are you telling me your kid has the flu? I used a lot of hand sanatizer that night.

Awkward bathroom self proof

I fully expected to be the least pregnant woman there, and sure enough I was me and another 15 weeker. But like I've said every pregnant body is so different there's just no telling. As we went around to say our names and week and (over)share about something, I would try to guess the week. I'd be thinking 35... and then the woman would be all I'm 24 weeks. For a current internet belly lurker this was all too rich.

Then after our three grounding Ommms the yoga got started. It was all very practical and also birth focused. Like here's a great position to get into to move your baby where you need it to be. I can firmly say this has never been covered in any yoga class I've been to. Here's a position that will help align your energy so you can sleep better. And yes, here's one that is massaging your kidneys. (And most surprisingly for a room full of pregnant ladies squatting I heard not one fart.)

The class was calming, and I liked all the tidbits for take home. After the class one of the super pregnant girls came up to me. I'd (over)shared that I was anxious. She told me she was completely anxious that whole first part, much longer than she'd anticipated and that it gets better. It never goes away, but it gets better.  That made the whole hour worth it, really.

I'll definitely be going to this class as often as I can throughout the next 25 weeks. It's another tribe to find support in. And an hour to focus on nurturing myself and my little guest. Plus I think I'll need all the positioning help I can get. Have you seen a baby's head??
** Note: If I was a more talented writer I could have woven this in. I should say there is a place in-between burn and Ommm and that is Jasyoga. Erin is my guru. Last week she came in and taught a beautiful 'trust your body' restorative yoga class and it was the most at peace I'd been in weeks. My racing mantra (breath in: I am, breath out: here now) belongs to Erin and Jasyoga. 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

pregnancy thoughts v.2 + what's ahead on running starfish

Like every enormously personal journey that's also completely universal (break-ups, weddings, death) it's hard for me to write about. I mean, over 250 babies are born every minute, but none of the them affected me like this one.
the only picture I have so far. (sigh)

I must have passed out during class when we went over how a baby is made. I mean I got the basics (bow chica ow ow), but the whole tiny ball of cells splitting and becoming a human step by step part is mindblowing. The more I read in those first weeks the more improbable the entire thing seemed. But then again, it happens all the time. *see 250 babies born a minute.*

But even with all these babies, each woman seems to enter pregnancy nearly blind. Nearly every woman I've ever talked to says, no one ever told me about ____. And maybe some of it is just not talked about, it's not like a preggo is going to launch into how constipated she is right after you say congratulations! But it's also because just as amazing as a tiny bundle of cells turning into a full size human is, every woman's experience hosting this cell bundle is completely different. I have stalked enough baby blogs, bump pics and (terrifying) mommy forums in the past weeks to prove this thesis.

So I'm throwing my hat in the ring. I'm ready to be one more unique volume to add to the universal collection of Making a Baby. Not that I'm very actively doing much, so more accurately Hosting a Baby.

Because that's the main job right now, of course, being a good host. Making sure the guest is happy, well fed, comfortable. Keeping the mood positive even in moments I'm overwhelmed and terrified I've... over cooked the roast. Okay, this metaphor is falling apart.

To join the cries of 'things no one ever told me'... no one every told me how much anxiety was involved. From what I saw, pregnancy was a blissed out earth mama rubbing coconut oil on her perfect growing belly and talking about how this was 'the best time of her life'. I didn't see her looking at the clock at 3am the day before her 13 week checkup, sweating and hoping everything was going well, because at 8 weeks she had already fallen in love with the little heartbeat and if it wasn't there tomorrow she'd literally dissolve on the spot.

Managing this anxiety is hard boardline impossible for me. Trusting my body wouldn't go under the list of things I'm naturally good at. But I'm getting there with help from the women around me. And I couldn't have a bigger, stronger, more truthful tribe of women in my life. They are eternally patient and at least one talks me off the ledge every day.

Just a little section of my tribe. The photographer's shadows are loved too. runZoerun and Owen. 

I hope to add an honest account of the weeks ahead of my life as 'pregnant me'. So if you're (ever) pregnant you can do what I did and find this blog by Googling "Pregnant runner at 15 weeks" or "When will I get pregnancy boobs?" or "Where is my uterus supposed to be at 1:32pm of week 13.5?"

My plan is to run throughout pregnancy. To eat well. I'll be trying meditation and yoga for anxiety. And I will be crying through most anything on TV for stress release. I almost choked sobbing through the end of Little Miss Sunshine the other night, no I hadn't even watched the whole thing. But if you're 14 weeks preggo watching that little family push their van out of the beauty pageant parking lot is life threatening beautiful. Yep, that's what we're in for... 

Sunday, February 16, 2014

announcing mini mac robinson

Having a really huge (tiny) secret for 13 (now 14) weeks has felt like forever. Thanks for all the congrats on Twitter. It felt good to let that out of my head and into the open, and have so much support. It's been a bit of a lonely time, exciting, but also with its share of anxiety.

Sure it wasn't unplanned. I'd always known I wanted to have kids. But as I entered my late 20s and came into a career I loved the priorities of babies got pushed back. It's a million things that pushed it back and brought it back. But I vividly remember last May when I went to run the Vermont City Marathon I was eating breakfast with my family out at Panera. Like my whole family. And this little family my grandparents knew from church came in, and they were just over the moon to see those kids. It jarred something in my head. Like, sure this career and this running revival in my life are amazing and consuming, but I think I can fit kids in here too.

That's why I picked Chicago and started right back in. The plan was one more big race, throw it all in, then throw the pill away. Which I did right before I popped my post-race bottle of Champagne. Even though I didn't get the B standard, I knew I was ready. Our toast was for the race hard run and to not not trying. I figured we'd not not try for awhile. But apparently my body, who'd rebelled against everything I suggested for years when it came to running, knew just how to get a baby started.

The week before Club Cross County Nationals on December 14, I was feeling really off. I was queasy every time I ran, I was exhausted. I took a pregnancy test on the Wednesday before we left, negative. I laughed at myself a little for being so naive. How did I expect to get knocked up on our first not not trying month?

Headed to Bend, still exhausted. Raced as hard as I could. Oy. Danced (and DJed) until 1am. We drove back the next morning and that night as I got ready for bed I saw the one last test in the box and thought, meh, I have to buy more anyway. Took it out of boredom. Set it on the counter, brushed my teeth and glanced at it before throwing it away. But there it was. A plus sign. I was ice cold, pass out mode. Shaking. I had to hold myself up, I leaned on the sink and just tried to breath.

I couldn't even tell Owen right away. I danced around him until bed. Then I said something really thoughtful like... I think I'm pregnant.

From chapter one of What to Expect: be sure to race a XC 6k at altitude followed by hours of dancing. No?
The Wednesday before I flew home for Christmas my doctor fit me in for a quick appointment to verify the pregnancy. As if I hadn't peed on 7 at home test in 3 days, true story. I told her about my race and late night and glasses of Merlot and she reassured me it was fine. The baby was a little ball of cells that wasn't depending on me for nourishment yet. Even up to 10 weeks it's still living off the little yolk sac it brought along while you build the placenta. BYOYS. Nature is so smart.

So here I am 14 weeks along, which feels so long, but is really just the start. We've seen the tiny heart beat twice. Seeing it that first time, 8 weeks, I fell in love so hard it was terrifying. It's the most vulnerable I've ever felt. To love someone so delicate, so dependent. To love a little heart inside my own body.

But the best things in life have that punched in the gut terrified in love feeling. So here we go!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

anniversary of life, again

On 02/02/02 I had my only near death experience (so far). I was a freshman at Colorado State University. I had come to CSU four years after the shoe box under my bed had filled with letters of interest from university running programs all over the country following my freshman year of xc and track, three years after my first knee injury and repair, 2 years after the second knee repair, 1 year after the letters dwindled, and 3 months after my third knee repair. Needless to say, I wasn't there on a big scholarship, I wasn't there on any scholarship. I'd gone from huge promising career, to basically just another walk on. And it was a hard pill to swallow, so I didn't. I blindly fought, I knew I could I scrap my way back up to where I should be.

I road my bike when the team ran. I went to the gym like it was my job. I did all my PT. I looked ahead to the day when I would be in the line-up, when my knee would be healed up and strong. On February 1, my coach sat me down and said, welcome to the team. I was out of my mind. This was the start. The first step getting off the walk-on bench was done.

The next day I headed up to the mountains to watch some sort of box sledding competition. It sounded fun. But we didn't make it. Just outside of Denver on I-70 suddenly the friend driving got caught between gears while going 70 mph. We slowed immediately. It happened so fast. I was in the front seat and looked at her, looked back, the semi truck behind couldn't slow. There were cars flying all around. The impact was huge, the entire trunk of the Jeep came to meet the back seat. The windows blew out. I thought so logically, and filled with anger, that this was it. I pictured our car pin balling the highway until we were crumpled into nothing. Until it was over. I was so mad that this stupid, plain, boring accident would be my end.

The next thing I knew we'd cleared the highway, smashed headfirst into a tree and settled in a ditch. Blood was pouring from everyone's noses. My back was in excoriating pain. The dust from the airbags filled the air. I opened my door and rolled onto the dead grass. I lay there, unable to move. Cars began to pull up in the breakdown lane. A woman who was a nurse found me, and asked me, while poking at my legs and feet, what I could feel. My friend leaned over my face, blood dripping. I don't remember any of us crying. Too shocked I think.

I could see the traffic building behind us, people craning their necks to look at the wreckage. To look right at me. It was surreal, to be the accident everyone couldn't look away from. Now I can't look at accidents at all. I cry for complete strangers all the time.

I ended up breaking three vertebrae, staying in the hospital with a steady morphine drip for two days, and wearing a metal back brace for a 9 weeks. The grabber I had to use to pick up anything that normally would require bending at the waist really completed the look. My dating life was H-O-T, hot ;)

I was devastated that I would have to start over with running, but nothing in my life has given me more perspective. Even if it took years for the perspective to boil down to clarity. Every day is a gift, running is a gift, even bending over to pick up something I drop is a gift... I really don't know how or why we all made it out of the Jeep. But no amount of years will take away the feeling of living, again.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

dream girls of fast running

There hasn't been much to report in my running world. The only racing recap I have is from dream land. At least once a week I dream that I'm winning a huge half marathon, flying, and suddenly can't find the finish line. I know people are finishing; I can hear a distant crowd. I get more and more frantic to find the finish line...then I wake up.

Luckily despite my nightmares, I'm surrounded by the dream girls of fast running and I know I'll find my way to the finish line in of my dreams soon enough. No time to wallow! Especially this week as the NJNY and Little Wing girls descended on Seattle in all their winged glory.

First up they had a workout at the Dempsey, I had to spend quality time with my computer working on my monitor tan, but it was fun to follow along through Twitter when I had a quick second. Then I had them booked on Thursday for a photoshoot! Directing photoshoots is easily one of my favorite roles at Oiselle. It's a huge day, really exhausting, but such a unique creative experience. (Sidenote: if anyone out there has experience with art direction on set, or stylist... anything, I'm dying to shadow other photoshoots. I have so much more to learn.)

school of 'fake it 'til you make it'. can't go wrong with these models though.
The photoshoot was originally going to be outdoors. I composed my shot list and created outfits. But in the final hour, we decided to take it in studio. It's hard to adapt a concept like, 'running up a hill, pause at top, stretch, look out over the city' to a studio equivalent, but we ended up getting great stuff.

hard not to get great shots with hams models like these
Friday was work as usual, a quick jaunt around the lake trying to keep up with Lauren Fleshman's easy jogging pace. Then the pros headed for a design meeting and yoga. Again, I worked on my monitor glow, I'm really turning that shade of green/gray I've always dreamed of.

But today is the big day! Race day at the Dempsey. Camera ready, can't wait to watch the races. Follow along on Twitter and Instagram. This weekend is not to be missed.

@oiselle_mac Twitter, Instagram
@oiselle Twitter, Instagram