I’m Still Here: A much needed update on life, running, and babies!

It’s been over a year since I’ve last given an update (holy cow!), but I’ve purposely waited until I had something worthwhile to share.  I think my last post was somewhat of a downer, so I have lots of wonderful things to share, but I don’t have a whole lot of time, so it is going to be a super short and sweet post today.  I’m really looking forward to blogging regularly when the time comes, so just bear with me for now.

  1.  Daisy learned how to sleep (update from my last depressing post about sleep deprivation)!
  2.  I was finally able to start running again in February of this year (14 months postpartum) after solving the problems of my pelvis which happened to be adductor magnus issues.
  3.  I quit my job at Road Runner Sports in order to stay home with Daisy full time and to start my own little business, Suzanne Jakes Photography, which has been keeping me busy and has really inspired me to explore my creative side.

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And here are the really exciting details…

  1.  My little family is expanding by two feet!  I am 30 weeks pregnant and am having a little boy on or around January 18!!  If you are Facebook friends with my mom, you already know this since she let the cat out of the bag. 🙂  I was able to get about 3 months of running in before I got pregnant but was advised not to run at all during this pregnancy because of my pelvic problems.  I ran for the first 9 weeks or so but had to call it quits after that.  Unfortunately, I’m not doing any sort of exercise, which leaves me feeling extremely crappy about myself and makes me worry that I’m doing a disservice to the little babe.  There’s not much I can do that doesn’t irritate my pelvis and just walking and chasing Daisy around is enough to get things inflamed.  I’m only 7 months pregnant and am already experiencing an extreme amount of pain in my pubic bone/pelvis, so all I can do is wait and hope for the best before I can start training again.
  2.  We are moving to Colorado Springs, CO!  I have been living in Southern California for almost 9 years now and have never quite felt at home.  Tad and I have been talking about moving ever since we got married and things only became more serious once we had Daisy.  We’ve traveled to places like Bend, Portland, Sacramento, and CO Springs to find our home and after setting foot in The Springs, we knew it was our place.  We bought our first house together and are moving this weekend…just in time to get things set up before Baby Jakes arrives in January.  I am so so so excited to live in a place like Colorado and am also really looking forward to living and training at altitude.  Stay tuned on all of that. 🙂
  3.  My running dream is still alive!  By the time I have Baby #2, it will have been 3 years since I’ve competed or trained.  Things did not go exactly as I had planned, but I have accepted it and couldn’t be happier with where I am in my life.  I am so crazy happy being a mommy and am also really looking forward to my future and growth with photography.  These last few years have taught me so much about balancing what’s important in my life.  Three years ago, running consumed me.  It was definitely the most important thing to me and had even become an unhealthy obsession.  Running holds a very special place in my heart, but it will never come before my family.  I do have plenty of unfinished business on the roads and on the track, and I will do whatever it takes get healthy and train again.  The dream lives, and I have huge goals that I plan to achieve.

Thanks for reading, and I really look forward to blogging regularly with updates on our new home, Daisy and the new babe, my recovery, and hopefully my road to a come-back in 2016!!

Joy, Sadness, and Hope

It’s been months since I’ve felt inspired to write.  My blog holds 3 unfinished drafts, none of which felt important enough to share with the world or even worth my time to finish.  Tonight is different.  I feel an incredible amount of emotion, and I just need to get out my frustration.

Nothing has brought me more joy than being a mother.  I feel more happiness and love than I ever knew was possible.  And when I look at Daisy and think, “how could I possibly love her anymore than I do at this very moment?,” she somehow manages to burrow her little way into my heart even more that it actually hurts.  I love her so much, it physically hurts.  _DSC0220

This isn’t to say that being a mom is all rainbows and butterflies, in fact, my patience and strength have been tested more these last few months than ever.  The last few nights have been especially difficult, and I know for a fact that my lack of sleep plays a major role in my mood swings and how I  perceive life in general.

I write not because I feel the need to complain or get sympathy, I just need an outlet.  In the past, when I’d had a bad day, I was able to take my anger and frustration out on a run.  Unfortunately, I’m not able to do that at this point (more on that in a bit), so all I have is my husband and my blog, and I really don’t want to take it out on Tad, because he had a rough day himself.  Tonight, I took it out on the elliptical, which will suffice for now but will never come close to taking the place of a solid run.

Daisy has had a really hard time sleeping the past few nights.  Sleeping has never been one of her strong suits, and on a rare good night, she will wake up about 3-4 times.  This means I wake up and go into her room each time to nurse her back to sleep.  As difficult as it sounds to do this several times a night, it’s one of the most beautiful moments that I cherish every second of, knowing this chapter in Daisy’s life will pass far too quickly.  There’s a brief moment when I wake up to her little cry that I feel frustration, but as soon as I set foot in her room and see her little head peeking out of the crib with her arms stretched out, waiting for my embrace, my heart melts, and I hold very dear the closeness of holding her in my arms and being the only one that she needs at that moment.

She has really tested me these past few nights by waking up every hour, sometimes even waking again after only 30 minutes!  Nothing else can be done either, she is inconsolable without my precious boob.  My husband is unable to help with the night feedings, because she doesn’t take a bottle very well during the day if I’m gone and certainly won’t take one at night.  Needless to say, I am beyond sleep-deprived, so much that it actually scares me sometimes.  I feel like I am going to SNAP!

So here I am.  Seven and a half months of sleep deprivation talking.  Seven and a half months have passed since I’ve gotten more than a 4 hour stretch of uninterrupted sleep (it’s usually about 2).  I am. utterly. exhausted.

It’s times like these, when I’m feeling the most helpless and frustrated, that I miss running the most.  My heart aches every single day that I’m not able to run, and the pain is only heightened when other aspects of my life aren’t going as smoothly as I would like.  A piece of me has been taken away, stripped from my core, and it feels as though I am in mourning over the loss of a loved one.

I’ve heard other runners say, “running doesn’t define me.”  Running does define me.  It was my heart and soul.  It was my dream and my future.  It was everything to me.  Without it, I don’t know how to just be.  My heart has been filled with the unbelievable joy of motherhood, but I can’t help but feel an incredible void so strong and so deep that I cry as I type this.

It’s been such a struggle balancing these polar opposite emotions of joy and sadness.  I am so thankful that I have been blessed with such a beautiful and healthy baby girl, and I feel guilty for wanting anything more, but I am sad that I can’t run, I am heartbroken, and as much as it hurts me to say, I feel angry with God.  I always felt closest to Him during my runs and though it has been years since I’ve been to church, running was my church, where I prayed the most.  I just don’t understand why He’s taken that away from me.

The time that I spend with Daisy is so priceless to me, and I cherish every second of it.  She makes the agony of not being able to do what I love most bearable.  Every day that passes does get a little easier to accept the things I can’t control, but it’s the moments when I see a runner pass me on the street, or when I find an awesome trail that would be perfect for a training run, the times I catch myself relishing in a daydream of some of my best runs, or hear of records being broken or runners having significant breakthroughs that hurt the most.

All I am left to do is hope.  Hope for a better night’s sleep.  Hope for another beautiful day with my little girl.  Hope for both physical and emotional healing,  Hope for the day when I can fill that void and run and be myself again.  And hope for acceptance of what’s to come.20140725_172751

A Time to Heal; a Time to Break Down, and a Time to Build Up

My blog has been haunting me for weeks now.  I had every intention of writing a post every week to fill you all in on my recovery, physical therapy sessions, and getting my body back in shape, not only to hold me accountable, but to help any other women who might be suffering from the same issues.  Nothing has gone as I had planned, and I feel discouraged and haven’t had the nerve nor the motivation to get it out in writing.  So here I am with nothing but another boring update on my pelvis.  Brace yourselves.

I’ll start with that amazing appointment with the specialist I had waited months to see at the beginning of April.  Best.  Doctor.  Ever.  She is a Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation specialist, also known as a Physiatrist, who specializes in non-surgical treatment.  If I had to describe her in one word, it would be, “thorough.”  She spent so much time with me (1.5 hours), asking every detail about my problems, performed a physical exam of my pelvis and back, answered all my questions, and came up with a specific plan of action.

In summary:

  1. She doesn’t think it’s a stress fracture but suggested an MRI or X-Ray to rule it out.  She totally understood my hesitation in doing so, due to my fear of damaging my eggs.  <– I know, seriously…but I don’t want to chance having mutant children.
  2. There doesn’t seem to be a significant amount of calcification around the joints that would lead her to believe I did permanent damage while trying to run through the pain during my pregnancy.
  3. SPD (Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction) or Osteitis Pubis is very common in athletes, and it is caused by the Relaxin hormone during pregnancy, which doesn’t leave the body for 6-12 months postpartum.
  4. My treatment options are as follows:
  • If I do nothing at all for 6-12 months, she’s confident that I would see improvement.
  • We could try to speed up the recovery by doing 6 weeks of physical therapy.
  • If PT doesn’t help, the next move would be to try laser treatments or PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) injections <– this triggers a healing response in the body and has a very good success rate but is still considered ‘experimental,’ and is not covered by insurance, read I can’t afford it.
  • My last option would be to get an X-Ray to determine if I would need surgery to bring the pelvis back together.

So here I am, 6 weeks of PT later, and I haven’t experienced a shred of improvement.  I still can’t run for more than 30 seconds before my pubic bone starts to throb.  I’m over it.  I’m sick of talking about it.  I’m tired of complaining.  I’m just…done.

Things never seem to go according to plan, so I’m going to throw every notion that I had about my future out the window and take it one day at a time.  I’m a runner, and I will always be a runner.  I just can’t run at this moment, and I’m learning to accept that.

This experience has definitely thrown me for a loop.  I definitely feared something like this would happen when I decided to get pregnant, I just didn’t really believe it would happen to me.  Not being able to train for an indefinite amount of time really raises a lot of questions about my running career and future.  My eyes have been set on the 2016 Olympic Trials, but that dream is long gone and has forced me to significantly change some goals around.

It takes 6-8 years to really develop a runner and build a solid base to reach one’s full potential.  I only have 3.5 years of experience under my belt and have been set back quite a bit by this year and a half or so of time off.  Because I’m such a late bloomer, I truly believe that I can be competitive on the national level for another 10 years.  It’s so hard being a woman in this sport, because we don’t reach our peak in performance until our mid 30s, which happens to coincide with the time that we really should be having babies.  I am not interested in taking the next year or two to fully recover and get back in top shape just to compete for another year before it’s time to have another baby.  I cannot go through this recovery process twice.   _DSC0290

I’m not going to call it my plan…let’s just be safe and call it a goal.  I want to have another baby, like, yesterday.  I’ll be writing a post here shortly about some mommyhood stuff, but let me just say that I am truly, madly, deeply, head-over-heels in love with my little girl, and I cannot wait to have another one!!!  All the fun baby stuff aside, I also really need to be done with pregnancy as soon as possible so I can focus on recovering and my running career.

Unfortunately, I can’t always get what I want.  In a perfect world, I would get pregnant tomorrow, my pelvis would magically fix itself, I’d run through my entire pregnancy, miraculously get back in shape in 2 months and qualify for the OTs in 2016.  Ha!  Instead, I’ve got to wait until I see improvement in my pelvis before I can even think about getting pregnant again.  My doctor says that if I get pregnant while I’m still having problems, I can risk permanent damage and an arthritic pelvis, and I’ll probably never run again.  Bummer.

So what’s a girl to do?  I’m just going to wait.  I wish I could cast out this demonic Relaxin hormone but will instead sit around and wait for it to leave my body in another 1-6 months.  The other sad thing is that if I do see improvement and am finally able to start running again, the doctor said I should not run at all during my next pregnancy, because the SPD will most likely be as bad, if not worse, the next time around.

I can’t help myself from running the numbers.  Let’s say it takes my body 9 months to get rid of that hormone, and I’m finally able to run pain-free in September.  I get preggo again in October, have another babe in July, and take a full year before I am able to really run again.  That’ll be July of 2016, and I’ll almost be 32 years old.  That will give me 4 years to train for the Trials in 2020!  Let’s do this!

I knew this post would be cathartic.  Seeing it all typed out gives me hope.  It really just boils down to one thing; the most important thing to me is my family.  I may whine and cry about not being able to compete, but I am the happiest I’ve ever been, and sometimes my eyes well up just thinking about how blessed I am.  Sure I will be sad if I’m not able to compete again, crushed even.  It would be even more devastating if I weren’t able to ever run again.  But in the grand scheme of things, I know I’ll be fine, because my little girl makes it all worth it, and I’d do it all over again in a heartbeat.

 

Here’s a little Memorial Day fun!  It was also Daisy’s 5 month birthday!  Yay!

 

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New Look, New Site, New Me.

Greetings and salutations! My life has completely changed over the last few months, so I decided that the blog deserved a complete overhaul.  I’m so excited about sharing weekly updates on my progress and getting back to running. The past few weeks have kind of been a whirlwind.  I’ve been seeing different doctors and therapists who are trying to fix my pelvis, and I also joined a mommy group that keeps Daisy and me very busy!  There is so much to say, but I will have to save it for another time.  I just wanted to introduce you to the new site and hear any feedback or suggestions! Oh, and Daisy says hello… _DSC0698

Pregnancy Update: 35 weeks?!!

I wrote my last blog at 26 weeks, and suddenly, I’m just about 35 weeks prego.  Where, oh where, has the time gone?!  I cannot believe I’m going to be a mom in just over a month!  These past few weeks have been incredibly busy and a bit stressful.  I’m taking one class this semester, I’ve been working 2-3 days a week (though I had to cut back to 2 over the past few weeks due to my pelvic pain), I started my childbirth classes, I’m in the doctor’s office almost every week, whether it be my OB or my endocrinologist, and my husband and I moved about 2 weeks ago and are still trying to get settled and set up some type of nursery!  On top of all that, I’m really trying to stay in shape, but with this move, it’s been extremely difficult to get in the gym or pool.  The weeks have been flying by, and I’m so ready to be done with this pregnancy, but at the same time not ready at all!

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17 weeks/35 weeks – What a difference!!!

The past few weeks have been extremely difficult for me to get my workouts in.  I’m tired, I’m busy, and my pelvis hurts.  Some weeks are really good where I’ll get 4-5 good workouts in, but this has not been the case over the past month.  With the packing/moving/unpacking, all the squatting and standing has left me utterly exhausted, and I’ve only been able to get in 3, maybe 4 workouts a week.  It’s been more tough on my mental state than anything.  I am really hard on myself when I miss a workout.  I get extremely cranky and feel like I am a complete failure and a terrible excuse for an athlete.  It’s not just about me either.  I’m really striving for a smooth, natural, unmedicated labor, and I feel like I’m letting my baby down by not conditioning my body enough for the big day.  I know this is ridiculous, because I know I’m probably more fit than the majority of pregnant women, but I put a lot of pressure on myself.  I’m slowly learning to take it in stride though, mainly because my pelvic pain is getting worse as my due date approaches, and when I take a day or two off, I convince myself that it’s better to rest. This has been my life over the last 2 months, so I wanted to fill you in on my most common thoughts so far during this last trimester.  It’s been so much fun reading some other runner’s blogs during their pregnancies and to know that I’m not alone, so I thought I’d share some things that some other running mamas can relate to.  So, in no particular order, these have been my most common thoughts: 1. “Ow, my pelvis!” – I don’t have to bore you with all the details (again), you can read about it here.  Unfortunately, this is my most common thought/complaint.  Hanging up my running shoes hasn’t been enough to stop the pain, it gets bad just from walking or standing on my feet for more than a couple hours.  It sucks, it’s annoying, and I pray that it goes away when I start training again.  At 35 weeks, I’ve finally decided to seek treatment from a chiro who specializes in SPD in pregnancy, and I even purchased an SI/pelvic support belt to wear for the next 5 weeks (yay!).  Here’s a link to the belt that I purchased (I’ll let you know if it works in a couple weeks!) 2. “I miss my running body.” – Maybe I’m just being vain, but I really do miss my running body.  I didn’t really realize or fully appreciate how fit I was until now.  Before I got pregnant, I would look in the mirror sometimes and truly think that I was fat (no joke) and would have a little temper tantrum by throwing myself onto the bed and just pout for a few minutes until my husband came in to console me.  <– This is actually more of a common occurrence when I’m injured and unable to run.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve really begun to embrace my pregnant body and even feel proud of it, but I’m definitely looking forward to feeling fit again!  Image 3. “I can’t breathe.” – I’ve gotten to the point where the babe is just taking up all the room in my little frame.  She is pushing on my lungs, and I just can’t breathe.  I’ve always been proud of my runner’s lungs, but now I struggle to breathe like a 400 lb man.  Sitting in a car is when it’s at its worst, when everything is just pushed up and cramped, and I start to panic when it gets tough to breathe.  It definitely subsides when I lie on my side. 4. “Did I just say that?” – Pregnancy brain is legit, my friends.  I have no control over what comes out of my mouth.  It’s a lot of gibberish usually followed by a blank stare or look of confusion while I’m thinking.  I can’t think of simple words such as “that” in a conversation.  It’s embarrassing. 5. “I’m supposed to pee in that little cup?” – Ok, so this only happens every 2 weeks (every week starting next week!), but it is significant enough to make my list.  Whenever I see the OB, they do a urine test to check for protein in the urine and glucose levels.  A couple of weeks ago marked the last time I was able to make it in the cup successfully.  Now, I dread it like the plague, because the last two times, I have peed all over myself, my clothes, and the floor.  I can’t see what’s going on down there!! 6. “I just want to run.” – This thought enters my mind daily.  I long to feel those endorphins and the pain of that last mile during a 16 mile run.  I crave it.  I need it.  I miss that sound of silence when I can just hear my own footsteps and breath.  I want to be in that zone where I get in a groove and knock off each interval, one by one, each getting faster and faster.  I can’t wait to run again…sigh. 7. “Give me chocolate (or anything with sugar).” – So, I haven’t really had any significant cravings or food aversions during this entire pregnancy, but I definitely started needing sweets more when I hit my 3rd trimester.  We’re talking “need” as in, “I need chocolate now, so don’t stand in my way.”  I have no self-control either, so if I ever buy a bag of Snickers or Kisses, I just inhale like 10 in a row.  It’s gotten to the point where Tad has to hide whatever sweets I bring into the house so he can ration them out. _DSC09798. “I still can’t believe there’s a baby in there.” – Some days, I feel ready to be a mom, but others, I just can’t even imagine how much my life is going to change.  Am I going to be a good mom?  Do I have a motherly instinct?  Am I going to bond with the baby right away?  Will I love her as much as I love my cat?  <– I know that sounds weird, but seriously, if you know me at all, you know that Chai is my pride and joy… Are my friendships going to change?  Will my running goals change, or will I even be the same runner postpartum?  How am I going to manage being a mom while working, training, and going to school?  Having a huge belly is an unbelievable conversation starter, and it’s been really fun talking to total strangers and hearing how much joy their children bring to their lives.  I’m so excited for this time in my life, and it’s something I’ve always dreamed about, but at the same time, I still feel like a kid myself, and there is so much I want to accomplish.  I am so fortunate to have such a wonderful and supportive husband, that I cannot wait to go on this journey into parenthood with.  He is my rock, my best friend, and I feel like we make a great team, so I feel pretty confident that I can be a great mom AND a great runner. 🙂_DSC1008 9. “Natural childbirth?  Bring it on!” – I’m sure some mom’s are laughing at this thought and my naiveté, but I feel really optimistic and excited about my labor.  I’m studying the Bradley Method, which is completely natural, drug-free, husband-coached childbirth, and I’m really looking forward to the experience!  I don’t know if it’s the athlete in me or what, but I am ready and fully embracing the challenge of going completely natural with no interventions, and I really have no fear.  Obviously, I understand that complications can arise, but I’m trusting in the Lord and have 100% faith in my husband and doctor to help me have a smooth labor. 10. “My belly is huge.” – Sorry to state the obvious here, but I must say this about 10 times a day.  I seriously cannot believe how big my belly is.  I’ve just now gotten to the point where things are starting to get really uncomfortable.  Rolling over in bed has become quite the task, and I had to tell my manager that this is my last week at work, because it is a definite struggle getting up off the floor when I’m fitting people into shoes.  I find that I am now starting to underestimate my girth and have a really hard time squeezing in and out of spaces that in my mind, my body is completely capable of.  I totally try to suck it in as I try to fit through a tiny space that I have absolutely no business trying to squeeze through.  Everyone comments, “you’re so tiny!” and I just respond with, “I’m huge.” So that’s that.  I’ve got 5 weeks to go, and I am beyond excited.  Our new house is really starting to come together, and I really want to make the most of this time with my husband, family and friends.  I’ve got so much to do these next couple of weeks and probably won’t get a chance to blog again before the baby arrives, so until then, please keep me in your thoughts and prayers that I have a smooth and safe delivery.  I’m looking forward to sharing my birth story and my comeback with you in the upcoming months!  Thank you all for reading!!  🙂

Hanging Up My Running Shoes (For Now)…

I think that every runner has a certain degree of an “I will not be defeated,” mentality, “no matter how badly it hurts.”  Being a pregnant runner, it’s difficult to let go of that, even when I know I should take it easy.  This is not to say that I have been pushing myself to the max, because that’s not the case at all.  I’ve been exercising quite comfortably and feeling great, except for the severe pain in my pelvis after my runs that leaves me almost immobile. After a couple months of talking myself into believing that my pelvic pain was just a normal symptom of pregnancy, I realized that I might need to cut back on the running.  After my last post, I actually did end up getting sick after my trip, from the cesspool of germs that we call an airplane, so I took about 8 days off from all exercise completely, to give my body a rest.  After that, I thought I would focus mostly on cross training and maybe run 3 times a week, just a couple miles at a time.  Last night was my first run in a few weeks, and boy am I paying for it today! Image It was the first time I really didn’t think about pace, in fact, I actually forced myself to run no faster than about 9 minute pace for 3 miles just to see if I could get through without the pelvic pain.  It really started to kick in after about a mile, but it didn’t hurt any less to walk, so I opted to keep running.  It was actually quite an enjoyable run, because I usually never get to run with my husband when he can actually carry a conversation.  He gets so quiet and focused when he tries to keep up with me, but last night, we were able to really enjoy each other’s company 🙂  The pain got so bad, and most rational women would have stopped running and started walking, but I just couldn’t do it.  I don’t mind taking little 20 second breaks here and there if I need to, but I just couldn’t force myself to start walking, due to my stubbornness and unwillingness to give into pain. There’s really no need to go into any more detail except for the fact that I can barely walk today and have had to waddle my way around, which has brought me to the conclusion that it’s time to hang up the running shoes for the rest of this pregnancy.  I’ve got what is called Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD) which is also referred to as Pelvic Girdle Pain or Pelvic Instability, and it effects 1 in 4 pregnant women.  Go figure.  What happens during pregnancy is that our bodies release a hormone called relaxin, that loosens all of your joints and ligaments so your pelvis can expand to make room for the baby.  This can cause instability and misalignment of the pelvis, causing inflammation and severe pain.  Ladies, it hurts something fierce!  The pain is right above that pubic arch, and it hurts most to walk or lift your legs as you would to put on a pair of pants.  I wish I had learned about it a little sooner, because there’s a chance that this could affect me up to a year after the baby is born. After last night’s run, I realized that this isn’t something I want to mess with and have already started taking the proper steps to recovering and making sure this doesn’t become an ongoing issue after my pregnancy, strengthening my core, pelvic floor muscles, and pilates.   It really breaks my heart that I can’t run anymore, because I always thought that I’d be able to run all the way up to delivery, and I really wanted to take pride in doing that.  Over the last couple of weeks, I had come to terms with not running as much as I’d like, but now I have to accept not running at all.  It really hasn’t been too bad though, and I’ve actually really been enjoying my workouts in the pool.  Adding some freestyle swimming has really helped with the monotony of aquajogging, and it’s really kind of a nice change! Image I’m 26 weeks today, and am really starting to get excited!  Tad and I have finally started the preparations (everything I read says that most women have their nurseries done by now!) and making purchases to get ready for Baby Jakes.  We just bought the crib and furniture, everything we need for cloth diapering, and a jogging stroller!  The fact that I’m going to be a mom has really started to sink in, and I am longing for the day when I get to meet and hold my little girl! Besides my SPD, I’ve been feeling really good and haven’t been experiencing any other symptoms of pregnancy.  The only thing I can complain about is that it’s difficult for me to sleep, only because I’m so excited.  My belly has grown so much, and now people don’t hesitate to ask me when I’m due.  I haven’t really gained much weight, which had me a little concerned, but I finally gained 2 lbs over the last couple days, so I think I’m heading in the right direction.  I was 109 when I got pregnant and gained weight really quickly, but I topped out at 122 at about 20 weeks and have been stuck there ever since!  I was 124 this morning, so I feel a little better about it.  My belly feels huge, so I know the baby is growing just fine in there.  She is kicking and moving around incessantly, which kind of freaks me out sometimes, but I love just lying down and watching my belly move around.  It’s so crazy! Pregnancy timelines are so weird.  I feel that 26 weeks has me at a solid 6 months, but I know some might disagree.  I thought this would put me in the third trimester, but apparently that doesn’t happen until 28 weeks.  Weird.  I have really been enjoying being pregnant, even if I can’t do what I love most, and being in the pool 5 days a week is allowing me to get some sweet Vitamin D and a nice glow, so I can’t complain!  I’ve been feeling energized and excited, and I’m constantly dreaming of my new life as a mom and my next race.  I think I’m going to focus on really building my base next year and racing my first half marathon!  The goal is to start racing in April and jumping into as many USARC races as I can.

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Beautiful daisies sent from my beautiful friends back home for my 29th birthday. Yikes, I’m getting old! Did I mention our baby girl’s name is Daisy Allison?

I’d love to hear from some other pregnant running mammas!  Have any of you experienced SPD?  Did it affect you post-delivery?  Any tips or exercises on how to relieve the pain?