Thursday, January 29, 2009
The very first man to run a "marathon" died at the end. 26.2 miles was a true test of strength. Then again, he was naked, shoeless, and didn't have water stops, GU, and live music every few miles.
I was first "attracted" to marathons in college when my roommate and I made life-long goal lists. We set a goal to run a marathon before we graduated and ran the Bend Oregon marathon in 5:45 (pretty slow considering it was all down hill). We wanted to do it just because a marathon seemed so foreign and outrageous.
Last year I decided to run another marathon - this time it was to see if I could. I started running again as a New Year's resolution and the resolution stuck - I was addicted. So I wanted to see what my mind could do. I remember a phrase from a long time ago - "the mind tires before the body" - marathons are the true test of this notion. 13miles? Fine - difficult, but do-able. 20miles? Hard, you start wondering why. 26miles? A true test. 26.2? Why in the world did they add the .2 - why couldn't Marathon be closer to Athens? The finish line? Total accomplishment.
To me transition means change. It means having to be flexible and not insisting on the norm or comfort zone(s) because these don't exist anymore. Transition means giving up some things and gaining others - usually, transitions are a good thing. I think.
We have a few transitions coming up:
- My company is working through the economic roller coaster
- Matt and I are moving - initially we had slated February 26th but the girl who wants to take over our current apartment is living in a hotel until we move out, so the new move date? February 13th - it's going to be a busy two weeks!
- I just became an "Ambassador" for my favorite clothing company - this means I'm going to be in some of their posters and postcards ... the catch? The photo shoot is in a week or two - I'll be 15-16 weeks pregnant and looking more like a before picture than a fitness icon. But the truth? I'll be a mommy-to-be on the run - and that makes me happy.
- Most important, we're pregnant with TWINS! (side note, we learned what the nurse thinks their sexes are today - but it's super top secret until confirmed)
Running through transitions means breathing, reflecting or just turning your brain off, and getting through the transition to the finish line - the change. Running through means beating the obstacles and enjoying the end result. Running through transitions means changing pace when needed - slowing down to catch breath and take in views.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
I've made it to 14-weeks - woo hoo! - with no morning sickness, just a lot of really exhausted feeling days and worries/what ifs. Tomorrow we go for another ultra and we're hopefully going to find out the sexes (I can't WAIT!) It's been a busy 14th week. We signed a lease on a new apartment, showed our apartment and have someone who wants to move in immediately, sold one rug and are selling a lot more furniture.
Oh! And, I am now an "official" Ambassador for my favorite store - I have a photo shoot on February 8th (I really really hope I'm not showing too too much).
What a week.
So what's going on in there?
The twins are now 3.5-4 inches long and weigh almost an ounce.
Here's what Baby Centre UK has to say:
(p.s. when looking at the picture, multiply by 2)
"The body is now growing faster than the head. This week, its parchment-thin skin covers itself with lanugo (ultra-fine, downy hair that usually disappears before birth). Though eyebrows are beginning to grow and the hair on top of the head is sprouting, this hair may change in both texture and colour after birth.
About now, the fetus can grasp, squint, frown, and grimace. It may even be able to suck its thumb. Researchers believe these and other movements probably correspond to the development of impulses in the brain.
If you haven't yet made an appointment for maternal serum screening (also known as the triple test), you may want to do so now. The test provides more information about your baby, and screens for Down's syndrome and other birth defects. Also, your obstetrician may recommend an amniocentesis between 15 and 18 weeks for women over 35 and those with a history of birth defects. If you are over 35, have a look at our article on how age affects pregnancy.
• Note: Experts say every baby develops differently -- even in utero. These fetal development pages are designed to give a general idea of how a fetus grows in the womb."
Monday, January 26, 2009
Meatballs, salad, and squash
1 lb grass fed beef from Pt. Reyes
1/2c yellow onion
1/4c chopped basil
Mix everything and roll into 4 balls
Cook on medium heat on burner for 5min on each side until brown
1 spaghetti or other squash
1c spaghetti sauce
Cut squash in half and bake on 350 for 60-minutes
Heat sauce on stove until bubbling but not boiling
Top squash with sauce
2 tbsp goat cheese
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Wash arugula. Add goat cheese and toss with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
Why it's good for you?
This isn't the zone diet precisely, but it does combine protein, a small amount of fat, and carbs for a perfect mix. Squash has a lot of beta carotene which is great for the eyes and beef is packed with iron.
Why it's good for baby?
Right now, baby's bones are growing and so are their organs. Well balanced meals are imperative to help proper growth. I'm hoping that eating squash will help baby's eyes so they don't have to wear glasses like mom.
Why it's good for runner?
As a runner we're burning calories all the time and need a good balance including fat, protein, and carbs. The iron from beef (which can also be gotten from many veg options) provides energy (to go further) and substance (to keep muscle but burn fat).
Sunday, January 25, 2009
I did a quick search on all my favorite organic and fancy-pants (Barney's) washes and came up with my own recipe:
- 1 large container of Cetaphil
- Aloe gel
- Lavender oil
- Ylang ylang oil
- Tea tree oil
- 1 beautiful expensive looking container
- Average diaper use/month 320 - double that for twins!
- Total/month - $640
- Average diaper use/month 320 - double that for twins and add a few disposable for public
- $272/320 with Tiny Tots
- $156/320 with ABC Tidee Didee
A growing number of green-minded parents are starting to recognize the health and ecological benefits of reusable cloth diapers over disposables. Most brands of disposables are made from petroleum-derived plastic and wood fiber—some 250,000 trees fall each year to feed America's disposable diaper addiction.
According to The Green Guide, 95 percent of U.S. families now use disposable diapers—to the tune of as many as 8,000 per child. As a result, 3.5 million tons of them clog landfills each year. Accompanying these diapers, of course, is untreated fecal matter and urine that can easily contaminate the groundwater surrounding landfills. Pathogens in this waste can be spread far and wide by insects and animals.
Furthermore, the process of bleaching disposable diapers to make sure they are as white as possible before they get to consumers leads to the generation of the chemical dioxin, which besides being potentially harmful to factory workers and the environment surrounding manufacturing facilities, can show up in trace amounts in the diapers themselves, potentially exposing babies' skin to a dangerous carcinogen. ..."
- How do we get out of our (perfect) 1-bedroom fast so we don't have to pay two rents (did I say perfect? I mean really, we can see the Golden Gate bridge from our kitchen, Alcatraz from the living room, have original crown molding (not mold), and gorgeous hard wood floors)
- How do we pack and move when we have accumulated a LOT of stuff over the years?
I need an assistant...
Saturday, January 24, 2009
So here's what's going on in there from one of the experts (it's kind of gross and I'm happy to be quoting and not chronicling for you) - What to Expect When your Expecting:
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
- Will they be healthy?
- Will they be good people?
- Will I be a good mom?
- How can I be a great mom with twins?
- Millions more
- Where will we live?
- How will we manage daycare?
- How can we afford food/clothes/cribs/toys?
On the bright side, I know things will work out. The healthy happy part is the most important.
According to Child Birth Solutions, this week I can expect:
- Cravings (I have been eating a lot of pickles and chocolate ... but I ate those before - now I just have a reason)
- Starting to show (I am ... someone uploaded pictures from the race I ran this weekend (someone who didn't know I am pregnant and hopefully just thinks he got a "bad angle" - my best girlfriend called so excited because she can start to see something going on)
- The twins' vocal cords are developing (maybe that's what all the growling is)
- The twins' intestines are moving into their abdomen
- The twins are starting to grow fuzzy hair (and they're only 2-inches long!!!)
- The twins' birthstone will be Ruby (Contentment)
- The twins' Astrological Sign will be Leo (Matt's sign)
- The twins' Flower is Larkspur or Water_Lily (Green, Russet and Red )
- The twins will be born in the Chinese Year of The Ox
- This time next year The twins will be 25 Weeks Old!
- The twins will start kindergarten in 2014, be old enough to drive a car in 2025, finish high school in 2027, and will graduate from college with the class of 2031, give or take a year. Can you imagine? Wow, I feel old already!!!
Saturday, January 17, 2009
Intro: the Library card. It's a little ridiculous actually, my very first job was at a library and after living in San Francisco for 5+ years I'm only now getting a card? Better late than never I guess.
Last week I checked out:
- A pregnancy book on twins (I've already bought 5) - savings of $11.95
- A DVD - savings of $4.99
- My book club book for this month, Persuasion - savings of $5 (used on Amazon)
This money saving thing is turning out to be easier than I thought ...
It felt great, though. If I ever felt short of breath I walked and when I started getting too hot I'd peal off layers and drink water.
Being up in the trails over the water was fantastic, too. I love running alone on those trails - there's plenty of time to think (and believe me there's a lot on my mind). On the docket for this race? "I'm so glad the tests went well, I'm so glad the tests went well, I'm so glad the tests went well." These pleased feelings morphed into: "where the heck are we going to live," and "what will they be like?" It's crazy thinking about these little people literally growing inside me and coming along for everything I do - will they like running, too? Will they be "good" people? Really right now I'm just hoping for happy and healthy - hopefully Matt and I will contribute to the rest.
After this trail race I think I'm going to hang up my muddy shoes for a while. I'm still going to do some road races and I'll definitely be taring up the streets of San Francisco for fun runs. The down hills really started scaring me, though, so I'm going to chill for a bit.
Here's a good article on Running and Pregnancy from HowtobeFit.com:
The article opens with a study done in 1990 on a group of 29.1 year old pregnant women (my age exactly). The women averaged 24.8 miles per week the 3-months leading up to pregnancy and 80.3% of them went on to have natural births (versus C-sections) with 7+lb babies.
- Stretch (something I'm not so used to doing but need to do)
- Listen to your body - if you feel Braxton Hicks contractions (rhythmic tightening of the lower abdomen) stop and walk
- Schedule runs times when least tired (never for me) and run to get over the nausea (never for me)
- Let yourself stop and walk
"A race or two can be exciting and stimulating but only if it is approached with the idea that it will be no more than a slightly-faster-than-usual run with a lot of friends. Moderation is the name of the game. A pregnant runner should not participate if it is a very hot day, or if she tends to be compulsive and knows that she may not be able to hold herself to a reasonable pace. Developing a relaxed attitude can be quite a learning experience."
Off I go to stretch, drink water, run/walk/job, and enjoy a fun run (I'm not even calling it a race).
Friday, January 16, 2009
Well I've crossed the 3-month mark but I'm still not "out of the woods." On Thursday Matt and I went to CPMC for my integrated screening (the first of a two part test that looks for neural difficulties and Down Syndrome). The test was fine - easy actually - the waiting is killing me!
I love facials - actually, I love anything around pampering myself. With twins on their way and a New Year's resolution to be better with money, I can't splurge on $80+ treats once a month. Intro the "educational" facial.
One evening after a particularly gruelling work day I walked a new route home through the financial district and happened upon the "Cinta Aveda Institute" a beauty school here in San Francisco. They offer facials and hair by students but with a teacher overseeing them. When I first walked in I was offered a $20 coupon (I think everyone, even the lower cost options, are really hurting with this economy) for a discount off a treatment so of course I signed up for a facial on Saturday. The facial was AWESOME! The entire facial was with Aveda products and the estitician made sure not to use salicylic acid or the like because I told her I was pregnant. The treatment was topped off with a head/neck/shoulder/foot/hand massage - can't be beat. All this for $20 (normal price is $40)!
Who said splurging has to be bank breaking?
When I can finally get my hair done again I'm going back for a $14 cut and $40 color.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
After lacing up and making it a block down I started getting the heebies with all the movement on the sidewalk (bodies shifting in their sleep). I made it to the water and then rounded Ft. Mason - cresting the hill I smelled a familiar stink ... SKUNK!!! Oy. Thankfully the wafting smell missed me and I ran on and finally made it back home before the sun even approached the horizon.
This afternoon was the more exciting part of the day - my second ultrasound and the first part of the integrated screening. Matt and I made our way to CPMC where we met with a genetic counsellor for a painstaking 50-minutes (it's scary learning all of the problems possible with babies and even more scary knowing there's never 100% assurance that they'll be alright and even more scary that with twins everything is twice as likely!) The counselling went well and in we went for the ultra - it was SO amazing! We saw the twins sleep, wake up, and start moving. They're now 2-inches long and beautiful. We also got to see them in 3D which was ... weird. To be honest I actually don't much like the 3D, I'm a black and white fan. 3D looks a bit like egg yolks in a sauce mixer to me - just weird.
Can't wait for the results and my next ultra!!!
After the test I felt like all my baggage (worries/fears and physical running baggage) vanished. Knowing "things are looking good" is amazingly relieving.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Women's Health and Fitness (my favorite mag) listed the best and worst breakfast foods today from Eat this Not That.
Topping the chart? Eat Kashi Vive Toasted Graham & Vanilla not Kellogg's Smart Start Original Antioxidants. I'm actually a Puffins kind of girl, but I used to be a huge fan of Kellogg's Smart Start.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
- The bus run: when bus riders are one block+ off from the bus as it pulls into the stop, they always seem to do a faux run/shuffle; in all honesty this faux run is probably slower than a walk
- The red light run: when (side) walkers are making their way to a cross walk and see the yellow blinking, there are two types: those who stop and those who red light run - stepping into the street 1-4 seconds before the light turns red but absolutely holding up traffic
- The run run: my favorite kind - running full out, sweat flying, breathing rasped, up the hills of San Francisco
- The pregnant run: this is my current run; this run fits into any of the above buckets but comes with an extra arm motion - elbows up at breast not so discretely holding the upper twins in place because no matter how sturdy my new D bra is they hurt like heck
Sunday, January 11, 2009
This morning I met up with GGRC at the Warming Hut and set off for an aggresive(ish) but paced run. I did the Warming Hut > over the Golden Gate Bridge > up through the Marin Headlands to the "Saddle" > back down. The run felt great! I tried to pace throughout to keep my breathing steady and not over exert. We wound up doing an 8:24 pace (9:30s up the hills) and did a total of 7.23 miles - not bad!
Saturday, January 10, 2009
I'm at 11.5 weeks which means I'm just about to start getting tests and am a few weeks away from the "fear zone" in pregnancy. I'm also starting to gain weight - at first I lost 7 lbs and now I'm back up to 125 and they're just going to start adding on from there, I'm sure.
This pic is right after a 3mi run - not too far, but felt great!
Here's what's going on in there:
According to Baby Centre UK, the twins are now 1 1/2 inches long, about the size of a fig, and almost full formed. Little tooth buds are starting (I hope they don't bite) and their bones are hardening. Mind you, this pic, description is for pregnancy with 1. You can read more about the internal haps online.
The night progressed with baby stories which was actually a lot of fun. Despite not wanting people to know, I do like talking about babies / what to do / etc.
At one point the Mr. was talking about how incredibly fat I was going to get and it actually hurt my feelings. Here's my take - when you're pregnant, it's a bump. There are of course some people who get "fat" outside of the pregnant bump, but not everyone - I very well might, but I certainly don't want it pushed in my face. Now this is by no mean a tisk to the Mr. - I think when people get pregnant vocabulary changes. That, and emotions are flying a million miles a minute.
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
I love being inspired - do you have stories of runners / mom's / teachers who are inspirational through their activity?
Check out this article on Fit Pregnancy about runners expecting twins:
"Cheryl Kruse Shwe, 34, a running coach, ran between 15 and 35 miles a week in San Francisco until the day she delivered her baby. Juliet Hochman, 34, a former Olympic rower from Portland, Ore., traded running for power walks partway through both of her pregnancies. And they’re not alone."
Read the full article ...
I fall into the "Advanced" category - My running hang up isn't being winded or weight (because I haven't gained any yet), it's being too tired to get up let alone run.
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
So my take?
Yoga + Running = Good
Yoga + Pregnancy = Good
Runner's World has a great article on how Running and Yoga go Hand-in-Hand detailing how yoga can help with the breathing aspects during a run and alleviating pain post-run.
Health and Yoga offers 5 "tools" detailing how yoga is beneficial for expecting mom's:
- Yoga Exercises
- Deep Relaxation
- Stop stressing so much about the what ifs of the first trimester of pregnancy (which I'm almost finished with - woo hoo!)
- Get all the snap crackle pops out of my joints so I can make it out for an enjoyable run (rather than short or painful)
Monday, January 5, 2009
I'm still in the super-top-secret pregnant mode - aka, 10.5 weeks in and waiting to tell people until after the 14-week mark. During the holidays it's rather difficult to pull my secret off.
At our New Year's Eve party I offered to make the margaritas - I offered so I could quickly make a virgin one then pack the blender with tequila and pour for the rest of the crowd. An amazing fete if I do say so myself.
Here are some of the other (white) lies:
- Co-workers want to go to happy hour - Oh, I can't - I promised the hub I'd make dinner tonight.
- Co-workers talking about newly pregnant sister (she just found out - not sure she wants the whole office to know) and talking about how she's too young and too poor (she's 29 (my age) and makes a similar salary (not bad)) - I think it's great as long as she and her husband are happy!
- Boss says he can't work because his wife is 2-months pregnant and is having a tough time - Poor thing! I'll cover for you. (I mean this one - I think pregnancy is different for everyone)
- Throwing a dinner party and game night - no lie here, I'm buying non-alcoholic Beck's and cheersing away
- Girlfriends want to take a weekend trip to Vail - Can't, I'm saving for something big (two somethings actually!)
- Book club night (aka, get together with the girlfriends, split copious bottles of wine, and dish) - I'm doing a 1-month detox for my New Year's resolution
Sunday, January 4, 2009
My travel days are going to be put on hold for a while but my love of cities will remain. Currently we live in San Francisco - and love it! But with low ranking school systems, expensive houses and rent, and shocking ... uh, sites I'm wondering if this is the city for raising twins.
A quick Google search brought up the following cities:
- Minneapolis, MN
- Provo, UT
- Groesbeck, Ohio
- Western Springs, Ill
- Deerfield, Ill
- Echelon, NJ
- Arapahoe, Neb
- Waverly, Neb
- Wilmette, Ill
- Lackland, Tex
- Waterville, OH
- Hopewell, TN
- Boston, MA
- San Francisco, CA (YAYAYA!)
- Minneapolis, MN
- Portland, OR
- Omaha, NB
- Denver, CO
- Colorado Springs, CO
- Seattle, WA
- Oakland, CA
- San Diego, CA
I think what it comes down to is:
- Where do you feel safe - where will baby be safe
- Where are your family and friends
- Where is work OR where do you want to work
- What are the schools like (I'm a huge advocate of public - San Francisco is not winning any awards here)
- Where are you happy
Lately on my runs, short or long, I've been getting winded within minutes. It may be because I've cut my mileage over the holidays and with the first pregnancy spotting scare ... or it may be (drumroll) because I'm pregnant with twins! Talk about a body changer. I'm just over 10-weeks so there isn't much belly to get in the way of running, but everything going on in there is effecting running; namely, my blood and nutrients are busy on other projects now than just fueling my runs.
I don't want to stop, though. I stopped for a few days and thought I'd explode - running is my biggest stress release and passion. The solution? Run-walk-run. To continue without getting winded, I've slowed my pace by nearly 30-seconds per mile and am sticking to the flats (for the most part - I do love the hills). I'm not doing sprints but I am making myself pace even more which leaves little room for burning out.
Here are a few articles that provide more information:
Running During Pregnancy - Babyzone
Are Trail Running and Being Pregnant Compatible?
Saturday, January 3, 2009
The kitchen - we're not too concerned with fitting baby things in the kitchen yet (outside of highchairs) but we do want to capitalize on space. Z-Gallery has an awesome expandable tall bar table that could double as a dining table.
The living room - we currently have a handful of chests thanks to my Godmother in the Philippines, a huge tube TV, nice couch, two leather chairs, and some modern/Asian drawers. If we stay in our 1-bedroom, the living room will have to double as a bedroom (when I first laid this out I was picturing one baby, not two). Right now I'm really liking the Bloom Snug from Giggle for a living room baby seat, and baby furniture from Dwell - but within our budget we'll most likely be buying cribs and dressers from Ikea.
The bedroom - right now we're working on getting rid of junk; that's step 1. We need to put stuff into, too, so I'm trying to convince the hub that we need the Borghese Lingerie Chest as Z-Gallery. For the little ones, we're looking at adding a bassinet (at first I loved the Ninna Nanna bassinet from Giggle but now I'm looking at the Graco Pack 'n Play for twins because of it's size and the different ways you can use it).
The bad news is there are tons of options out there and reviews on both sides of the fence for almost every one. The good news is I have time for more research ... and more layouts (my husband is an architect so he's already working our home up in autocad to see how everything will fit (more fun than function)).
Thursday, January 1, 2009
San Francisco provides awesome running routes - my favorite takes me along the water around Chrissy Field, under the bridge, and through the Presidio. Today I wove up through Presidio Heights taking stairs and hills all the way (gotta keep the booty up).
I've always been sensitive to smells when running but ever since I became pregnant I've been especially so. During my run I enjoyed the water smell, wet grass, and trees - then got into some funky smells - cigarette smoke (this is like torcher to me), champagne puke on the streets (at least the city has sophisticated drunks?), and rotten food in open garbage bins. Yuck!
For some reason the city didn't sound like a city today (and it wasn't my Coldplay/Madonna mix blasting in my ears). It was void of cars and filled with family sounds - laughing, talking, playing.
All in all, a great way to start 2009.
Here are a few favorite poses:
- Warriors 1, 2, and 3 - with feet 3.5-4 feet apart, the front knee bent and the back foot at a 90 degree angel you stretch arms overhead, then one out front the other behind, and then to really work it, get the back flat like a plank, bend over, lift the back leg, and put arms behind
- Big toe pose - this one is great for runners - you bend over keeping legs straight and hold your big toes (or in my case, elbows because I can't reach my big toes); you can feel the stretch up the back of both legs right where you need it
- Child's pose - the best at-rest post ever - on hands and knees with toes pointing outward, bend over and put hands all the way in front of you and then circle them back to rest at your hips