Introducing GM (and his birth story)

Reader Advisory:

The following may be TMI  for the average reader who comes here to hear about my race training and workouts. It is a post about our newest arrival – GM! Before having kids, the thought of reading a birth story was strange to me. I didn’t understand why people shared them and what the point of documenting them was. But I’m so glad I captured LM’s (here), and I’m happy to share GM’s too. So, if you aren’t interested, please feel free to stop reading now 🙂 

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What 38-Week Pregnant Workouts Look Like For Me

Just keep moving! Just keep moving!

That’s been my motto these days. On the days that I get up and get in an hour or so of walking/running in the morning, I feel so much better. No swelling (at least so far), better mood (as usual) and more energy overall. So, even on the days I’m tired and feeling too big to move, I’m trying to get out there.

This week included something besides running, which is not common — some brief kettlebells workouts AND a swim! It was 80+ degrees one morning, and being able to float in a pool was amazing. (See, it was “feels like 80” at 6 a.m…so it got much hotter)

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37 Weeks Pregnant and Trying To Keep Up

Three. More. Weeks.

Three more weeks!

If this baby comes on time, we have three more weeks until its arrival. We have three weeks to get the room ready, three weeks to get mentally prepared (which I never am) and three weeks to keep on running/walking.

I’ll be the first to admit that this week was ROUGH. There were a few run/walks that I did where the baby was either on my bladder or felt like it was on my pelvis and trying to come out (TMI?). But I’m still getting out there, still enjoying my early morning workouts and alone time, and still moving!

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Celebrating My Five Year Old and Running

My oldest turned FIVE this week. FIVE! I’m not ready to have a five-year-old, as it sounds SO much older than four. But before you ask – how does this relate to running – I’ll let you know. For his birthday, he wanted to wake up early and “go for a run with Mommy.” So, that’s how we started his day! With a 2 mile run/walk 🙂

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Turtles, Herons, Deer, Oh My!

For those of you following along, I’m still run/walking! It’s really mostly a walk these days, but I’m happy to be getting in these kinds of miles at 35 weeks pregnant. And maybe it’s because I’m doing 70% of walking, but I also have been noticing much more wildlife on my runs, which I’ve been enjoying so much.

For example, this week I saw deer, blue herons, turtles, and more. Here are some pics:

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The End of a Streak?

What constitutes the end of a running streak?

Since April 2020, I’ve run at least one mile every day. In the beginning for me this meant 4-5 miles/day. As I’ve gotten more and more pregnant, and bigger and bigger, I told myself to “just run one mile.” Then after that, I would walk/run the rest. But as if this week (Day 412), my “just run one mile” turned into “can you walk/run one mile”? And that’s when I wondered – is my streak over? Does a walk/run count for a streak?

If a walk/run counts, I’m still streaking.

If it’s running without stopping, then day 411 was my last day.

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Slowing It Down

I know I have been saying this for a few weeks now, but I’m slowing down when it comes to running.

At 33 weeks pregnant now, running is not so comfortable. While my weight is the same, I’m bigger during this pregnancy than my last one – at least in terms of the size of my bump – which means many runs feel like I’ve just ate a full Thanksgiving meal, have already run up 7 flights of steps and also have a full bladder. I’m so full and out of breath, even though my heart rate isn’t up!

With LM, I ran a 10k and 5k the WEEK she was born. The Cleveland Marathon weekend was the weekend before I gave birth (and was 39 weeks during the races), so I somehow managed to do those races. But, I didn’t run too much up to that – just 1-2 days a week. So I’m hopeful to keep that up, even if that means my streak is ending soon.

Not a running photo, but seen on a walk this week — so many turtles!

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Some Hot Chicago Running

This week, I was lucky enough to get away from home for a few days and enjoy a short vacation with the family. We decided to take one last family vacation before the new baby comes, so we packed up the car and headed to Chicago!

We had a great time, and it was wonderful to spend some time with B, FW and LM. Work has been really busy lately, so having quality time with everyone was something that I don’t take for granted. And, I was able to get in some running with a change of scenery, which was definitely needed. My favorite places to run are along water, but also in cities – and Chicago has both! So I spent most of my days running along the lakefront trail. And this week I hit a milestone and goal I had set for myself recently – 400 days of my running streak!

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Being Pregnant During the Pandemic – My Take

If you can’t tell by the title, I’m pregnant. And yes, it’s a pandemic. But, it’s not all bad.

Not to belittle anyone’s pregnancy experience – and I’m so glad I’m not a first-time mom right now – but despite all the downsides of being pregnant during a pandemic, there are also some things I’ve come to enjoy. So, in the spirit of looking on the bright side of things, here is a look at some of the things I’m grateful for being pregnant at this time:

It’s Easier to Keep Your Secret

With pregnancy #2, I started showing earlier. This meant it was harder to hide from my coworkers or those that I wasn’t ready to share the news with. And, I had to “fake” drinking at a few holiday happy hours. This is baby #3, and I swear I started showing the I found out! (only slightly joking) But, since I’m working from home and live on Zooms all day long, it has been easier to hide my growing belly. In-person holiday events/gatherings and other happy hours were pretty much nonexistent this year. So, nobody notices what I’m drinking (or not drinking). This meant I could tell people when I was ready.

No Strangers Attempting to Touch My Belly

If you’ve been pregnant, you’ve probably been in this situation: You walk into an elevator. And the stranger next to you takes one look at your belly and exclaims, “Oh, a baby!” and proceeds to rub your stomach. It’s uncomfortable, and if you’re actually in an elevator, you’re somewhat stuck. But, during a pandemic, not only do I have fewer situations with strangers, but people tend to keep their distance. So far, my next door neighbor is the only one to comment on my growing belly, besides my 2-year-old.

Fewer Awkward Comments from Acquaintances

When you have fewer social interactions, you have fewer awkward ones. There are no colleagues looking at you one day and saying, “Hey, you really popped today!” Or clients commenting, “Are you having twins?” Or extended family sharing how much larger/smaller/different you look from their [insert name of someone in their family] who is also pregnant. 

Fewer Colds

Being sick anytime isn’t fun. But being sick when you’re pregnant and not allowed to take most medicines — that’s a new challenge. We’ve been lucky and stayed mostly healthy during the pandemic. Our kids have been home since March 2020, which means they haven’t been at daycare. That, combined with the fact then when I leave the house I’m in a mask, means we’re simply exposed to fewer germs.

More Time

Especially in the beginning, life seemed busier. The kids were home, we were watching them while attempting to working full time, and it was nuts. But now that we’ve gotten into a groove and things have settled down, there’s simply more time. No commute means an hour back in my day. No daycare drop off and pickup? That’s more time back. No play dates, board meetings, etc. = more time. That means more time for breakfast on the porch. More time for family walks. More time for baking. More time for nature hikes. While we can mourn for all we’ve lost this past year, I’m grateful to have all the time to spend with my growing family. 

Questions for you:

Have you been pregnant during this pandemic? What was it like?

A version of this first appeared on Northeast Ohio Parent Magazine.

Book Ends

This week’s running post theme is — book ends. I’m starting to really feel the weariness and body aches of pregnancy hit me (I’m 31 weeks), and my runs are getting harder and harder. But, I started the week (Sunday) and ended the week (yesterday) with two good runs, which makes it somewhat easier to keep up my running streak for a few more days. Today is day 395 of my running streak, and super proud to have run this long. But, it’s getting harder and there are some days when I’m not sure I’m going to be able to make it.

What made those runs good? Sunday, B and I were on our own (B’s parents had the kids) and we got in a run by ourselves! I wanted to do 1 mile without stopping (my typical goal) but I made it to 2 miles and then we mostly ran/somewhat walked the rest. I felt pretty good nearly the entire time – at least much better than when I run without him! And yesterday, I had gotten more sleep (thanks to the kids sleeping in on Saturday morning), and I found a really good playlist and lost myself in the miles. I don’t typically listen to music while running, so it was a nice change and definitely helped.

Here’s how the rest of the week went:

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