Thursday, September 11, 2014

From Counting Miles to Counting Steps

I know. I said I would update more often. But truthfully, I've physically started writing a blog post at least 4 times, only to get discouraged and not post. "Fit pregnancy" has been hard, ya'll.

First I had really low blood pressure in the first trimester. That has thankfully gotten better, but then I started to get a pain in what felt like a groin muscle pull that radiated up into my back. Come to find out, this is something that many pregnant women experience (even non-runners). It's called pelvic girdle pain, and it might not go away until after the baby is born.

I'm pretty disappointed. I was talking to my mom about it over the phone and I found myself crying when I told her I might just have to stop running after I had a particularly painful run that morning. This might have been mostly because of hormones.. but still a huge disappointment!

So I've had to adjust my expectations. Again. I had this idea that I would tally up all the miles that I had run while carrying my baby. Of course, I can do other things. Like biking, elliptical, and walking (snore). I've felt some pangs of jealously whenever I see a pregnant woman that I followed on twitter post a picture about a great 8 mile run, but staying healthy for my baby is more important. I'm still going to continue to test it with shorter runs, but perhaps the trouble I'm having is just God's way of telling me that I can't run long distances and grow a little person safely at the same time.

What I have been doing:

1) Lifting twice a week. For those really interested, I'm following the beginning program from "The New Rules of Lifting For Women."

2) James and I bought His and Her Jawbone Ups. These have been pretty fun. At first I thought that we might be competing for steps, but then James went and joined the Army Ten Miler training team and I have an office job, so he pretty much dominates in the steps department every day. But, I've been trying to make sure I get 10,000 steps on the days that I don't work out, and just move more during the day in general.

3) Biking. I've found some great pinterest spin workouts that are about 30 minutes long that I can do during lunch at work. I also still did an 18-mile bike ride with my church, but I'm frankly starting to get a little scared of road biking in traffic now. I'm carrying a small person on my torso now!

4) Run-walking. I'll do some kind of interval workout with about 2 minutes of running, 3 minutes of walking, etc. It seems like when I run faster, my pelvic girdle pain nearly goes away, so while I'd rather run long, this seems to work for me for now.

So I've gone from counting miles to counting steps. Only about 3 more months of pregnancy to go, so I suppose I can deal a little while longer. And I can't wait to meet our little guy!

<3 Amy

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Preggo Week 17

Hmm. I'm not sure it's realistic for me to go back to blogging every week. I might switch to bi-weekly soon, but we'll see! Week 17 is almost over. I did run a couple times this week and it felt... good.. except that my bladder feels just kind of funny during the run. Kind of like something is sitting on it and causing some pressure. No idea why that would be. #saracasm But the good news is that I don't experience this at all while biking, so I might be doing a little more of that.

I did get my two sessions of lifting in! I was cautioned by my doctor to not try to lift more weight than I already was. Just to maintain, since apparently it's really easy to injure muscles and tendons during pregnancy (everything is more stretchy to prepare the the huge amount of stretch that will happen to my torso).

I did do pretty well on my goals and I think I'm going to continue to keep these basic goals every week for now.

Yoga x 1 hour (check! did this on Sunday)

Lifting x 2 sessions (check!)

cardio x 3 different days (kinda check. one of my "cardio" sessions was a long walk.)

Eat 2 servings of (low mercury) fish (check!)

Eat 3 veggies a day (check!)

Eat 2 fruits a day (check!)

We are doing something called "Colorful Choices" at work. It's this little health program where we get to log fruits and veggies for points. I've gone a little crazy. It's made those last two goals really easy. My coworkers and I have been totally switching our eating habits for this crazy little game. 

Most of our meals have looked a lot like this. 
Also, I'm regularly feeling baby kicking! Sadly, the little guy (or gal) seems to quiet down whenever James puts his hand on 'em (a habit that hopefully will carry on after birth?), so he hasn't felt anything yet. But I'm hopefully he'll get to feel something soon. 

In other news, my husband summited Mount Rainier on Monday. Earlier this year, 6 climbers died on the mountain in an avalanche so of course, I was extremely nervous. But he and his buddies were fine and they had a fantastic day to climb. And I was a little jealous when I saw the pictures. 
He's a stud. 
And I'll end of a 17 week tummy pic! This pic is actually a few days old. Now that I'm almost 18 weeks, I think I've popped a little more. I'll post another pic tomorrow on instagram with the official 18 week pic. :) 
Much love, 

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Pregnancy: Week 16

James and I just got back from a really nice weekend up at Kalaloch beach. We went to a first-come, first-serve basis campsite, and luckily got a spot around noon on the 3rd. So thankful that the Army decided to give James the 3rd and 4th off, because it worked out really well with my work schedule and got us there before the rush. Our spot was so prime that a guy came up to me within 10 seconds of me getting out of the tent on the morning of the 4th to ask if we planned on staying that night (I know, super peaceful wake-up, right?). Luckily, the next morning was a lot more quiet after the fireworks so we still had a relaxing stay.

View from our tent. 
How was camping while pregnant? Well, I didn't have to pee until about 5am both nights there, so I would call that a pregnancy-win! And during the day, we pretty much just hung out at the beach. It was a little chilly, but we (really, James) built a couple driftwood fires that warmed us up.

So how as running been going? I've never been very good at working out to stay in shape. I mostly have been a runner for the love of running. I don't remember the last time I felt this out of shape, and it makes me not like running quite so much. However, the low blood pressure seems to have gotten a lot better, so now it's just a matter of trying to slowly get back into shape. I failed my "running streak" that I had mentioned in a previous post. Running every day is pretty hard while dealing with morning sickness (which actually did get a little worse at the very very end of the first trimester/2nd trimester). I randomly fell upon the comic below and had to just laugh because that's exactly how I've felt.

I think I'm going to start posting my workouts on here to try to keep myself more accountable. I'm just keeping it simple, one week at a time. Hopefully, this will help me to remember to post more on here too!

Goals this week:

Yoga x 1 hour

Lifting x 2 sessions

cardio x 3 different days (at least 30 min each time)

Eat 2 servings of (low mercury) fish

Eat 3 veggies a day

Eat 2 fruits a day

Oh and here's my current bump.

Still not much there. I found some cute nursery sheets at Babies 'R Us and bought them yesterday with James. The lady gave us a gift receipt without even asking! I guess that might be policy or something, but James still gave me a hard time about it. "When are you going to get serious about making a baby? No one can tell you are pregnant yet!" Haha.

Until next week friends,

Thursday, June 5, 2014

What I Didn't Expect: First Trimester

I'm officially 12 weeks along today. My little bit of morning sickness that I had is subsiding. I'm now able to go grocery shopping and cook without feeling sick to my stomach! I am pretty sure that my husband is as happy as I am about that. I'm not officially at the end of the first tri, but I think the hardest part of it are over (the higher risk, the morning sickness etc). Here are the things I didn't expect:
  1. I didn't expect to be so tired. I'm struggling at work. Especially in the afternoon. Staying focused enough to actually work on my projects has become a daily challenge. And not drinking coffee isn't helping either (see #2). I hope this is something that improves going into the 2nd trimester.
  2. I didn't expect to, all the sudden, despise coffee. A cup or so a day of coffee is perfectly fine during pregnancy. I was set on keeping up my habit. Then one day around 6 weeks or so, I felt completely repulsed by it. I don't miss it. You don't need to feel bad for me. I've had a couple cups the last week or so because the nausea is going away, but it's still not my first choice of beverage right now.
  3. I didn't expect to not be very sick. Double negative sorry. But my mom and sister-in-law were both super-sick during their first trimester. I naturally assumed this was the norm. I actually haven't felt very sick. I did mention that I wasn't cooking, so we were eating out a lot. I did throw-up once.. but I think that was from running too soon after pancakes and totally unrelated.
  4. I didn't expect running to become so hard. I was in half-marathon shape prior to getting pregnant (I made sure) and all the sudden, it's hard to keep up a 10-minute mile. My doctor took my blood pressure and it sounded different than what I normally hear (90/50 I think) and so I asked her about it. She said "Oh yeah, that's perfectly normal in pregnancy. You can continue to run and you'll actually get a really great workout still, even if you don't go as fast." I was actually really sad to hear that because, believe it or not, I actually don't run primarily to workout. I run because I like to race and run long distances. So I decided that I don't think I can run a half-marathon until this baby stops stealing so much of my blood. I've settled for a 5k in a few weeks. I'm also running or walking at least a mile a day with the Summer Runner's World Run Streak.
  5. I didn't expect to fall in love with a peanut. At 9 weeks, I painstakingly drank the 32 onces of water to go in with James to the first ultrasound. A girl that looked about 18 years old escorted us back to the room. She told us that she was an intern and would be performing our ultrasound but that the actual tech would come in after she was done to check everything. I just though..Okay, well it's probably going to be a while before we see anything. She then put the gel on me and stuck the little thing on my tummy. Within about 10 seconds, "There's your baby!" I wasn't expecting it at all. I thought I would cry or something, but I just kind of stared in shock. It's now the lock screen photo on my phone and I can't stop myself from looking at him/her at least a dozen times a day. I think I'm officially in love with something that, frankly, resembles a peanut or kidney bean more than a person.
Much love,

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Running (for two!)

I haven't been blogging for a while. My husband got back from his deployment at the end of 2012 and life settled down and got wonderfully boring. In the back of my mind, I still remembered my little blog. I thought to myself.. maybe when we decide to have a baby... it would be fun to blog about being pregnant and running. And just.. being pregnant.

So anyway.. I'm happy to announce that we're having a baby!

I haven't felt very sick. I don't have a baby bump yet. Am I pregnant or is this just a little virus that makes me feel a little sick all all the time and happens to also make my boobs big and sore? It was such a relief to go in for the ultra sound and see that there was actually a baby in there. With a little heartbeat. That was moving.

It feels more real now. Though still slightly unbelievable. I'm really excited to share this adventure with you.

<3 Amy

Keep on praying. Keep on running.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

How to Survive a Deployment with Grace and Dignity

This has been a post that I've been wanting to write for a while. I don't claim that I handled the deployment perfectly. There were more than a few moments of heartache and complete meltdowns. But this is the list that I've compiled from my own experience and from talking to women much wiser than I.

1. Don't compare. James's unit was the last one to deploy for 12 months. The month after he deployed, they switched to 9. I was really bitter about that for a while. But you know what? Deployments were 18 months not so long ago. And I'm sure there were plenty of people that envied the 12-month deployments when that happened. There will always be someone whose husband has a shorter deployment. Or who gets to talk to their husband more than you do. Or one who gets more flowers in the mail than you. Wasting time on comparison will only make the time go slower.

I have a friend at work whose husband is only in town on the weekend. She timidly told me that she knows a little bit what it's like to go through long separations, but then said right away "but I know it's not exactly the same." Apparently, she had another military wife get angry at her for making the comparison. Really? Sure, it's not exactly the same. But what's she going through is hard too, and we should never downplay other women's trials because we think ours are harder.

2. Realize that someone, at least once, will say something thoughtless. I've seen more than one list that says something like "Things to never say to a military wife." It's going to happen to you. It might even come from a fellow military wife. I even had it happen with my husband. On instant messenger, James greeted me with an "I got stabbed today" and I immediately (within exactly 1 second) fell apart. He then proceeded to tell me (probably 2 seconds later) that one of his soldiers accidentally stabbed him in the arm with a box cutter, so he needed a few stitches. It's a funny story now, but I think it's a good example of how a lot of us are on an emotional tipping point during deployments.

Your loved one is at war and it's difficult for people to know exactly what to say, so they say the wrong thing. The best way to handle this is to be prepared and realize that people in most cases, are just ignorant. Picture yourself responding calmly and with grace before it actually happens.

When I wore my deployment pin while I was working at the running store, I had a handful of customers who wanted to talk with me about their opinion of the war. When it got to be too much (which only happened a couple times) I just told them, "You know, I'm really proud of my husband, but right now I'm just not in an emotional state to talk about that." Maybe for you, it will mean walking away. Maybe it will mean a quick inner prayer "Lord Jesus, help me handle this ignorant person with grace." Maybe it might mean putting that person in their place. And you know what? If you start crying, maybe they'll never say that hurtful thing to anyone else again.

3. Stand up for yourself. Maybe it means insisting that you keep your phone near you at work. Or possibly asking your in-laws for a little space when he first gets home.

4. Remember that it's hard for his mom too. As his wife, it's going to affect you (and your kids if you have them) the most. The next person it will in most cases affect most is his mom. Her baby is at war. What she's going through is different, but very hard as well.

5. Support one another. Find at least one battle buddy that will understand what you're going through. Fellow bloggers are fantastic, but I can't tell you how much of a difference it made when I got to meet with my friend Sam for coffee in person every week or two.
Do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Philippians 2:4

6. Pray for him. I went through the Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie Omartian multiple times. I don't know that God decided to keep James safe because I prayed, but at the very least, it helped me remember that God is in control. Even if the very worst had happened, God would have carried me through it.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

7. Find something to keep yourself going while he's gone. Don't say "your love for one another." I mean something else. For me, it was a couple things: my running goals, being a leader for my church youth group, and my faith. I talked to another wife recently that said she made a goal of reading 25 books and ended up reading over 30. Another friend of mine said that her 1-year-old daughter kept her going. I have another friend who finished her law degree during her husband's deployment. Find something else to base your identity in besides being his wife. I know that may seem strange or drastic, but it will help you to not be completely focused all the time on the fact that he's gone. Make yourself proud of your accomplishments for when you look back on this time.

She is clothed in strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future. 
Proverbs 31:25

Is there anything you think I missed? How did/are you handling the deployment?

<3 A.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Life Goes On... (Even when my blogging doesn't.)

I haven't been keeping up with my blog. I feel guilty about it. Truthfully, I'm at my computer 8 hours a day, and getting on my laptop when I come home at the end of the day isn't all that appealing to me. I miss blogging sometimes. It was something I needed during all that training and the deployment. Now I've got a job I love and a husband that loves me (that is actually home!) and there's just not a lot of extra time to blog.

However, I do continue to have people that keep on stumbling to my site from pinterest or from googling about Ranger School. I really do appreciate getting comments and tweets from you. And there are those couple blogger friends that I made when it was hardest. I thought I'd give you all an update. :)

On April 26th, James and the rest of his brigade competed for the Expert Infantry Badge. It's a little backwards, because a lot of them, including James, already have the Combat Infantry Badge, which basically means that you've been shot at and returned fire in combat. The CIB is normally worn instead because it outranks the EIB, but it's still always good to have another badge under the belt. Only about 10% of guys that try for the EIB will get it.

To earn the EIB, the soldiers had to do a series of events to show their expertise at being an infantryman (makes sense, right?). One of the events was a 12-mile march with a 30+ pound ruck on their backs. James, being the competitive runner that he is, decided he wanted to win this. So out of his whole brigade, James finished first after running the 12-miler at a 9 min/mile pace.* Only James and one other guy in his platoon made it to the 12-miler event so the rest of their platoon skipped breakfast to be there to cheer them in. I'm pretty sure James's platoon was pretty proud of him as their platoon leader.

The general that presented the awards in the ceremony actually shook his hand after the ceremony for doing so well on the ruck. I had to be at the ceremony, because I couldn't resist another opportunity to pin another badge on my husband. It's probably one of my favorite things about being an Army wife.

Then not long after that, I ran the Tacoma City Half Marathon with my friend Chrissy and James ran the full. I ran a 2:01, which I was pretty proud of, considering that I haven't been able to run as much as last year. James ran his first regular (non-Army-ruck) marathon at a 3:15. He started at the same time, so it was kind of cool to get done and then find a place to cheer him on.

So those are the two major events that have happened since I talked to you last. On the weekend, we try to take advantage of living in this amazing state with lots of outdoor-sy things to do. Like kayaking, biking, and camping. Our church has a bike club, which is pretty dang awesome.

My job is also really fun. I am doing even more programming now and I love it. I think it's a good sign when the day seems to go by fast because you're having fun doing what you're doing.

Alright. Well there's my update. I update twitter and instagram (both @runningarmywife) way more often these days. Follow me on there and I would love to follow you back!

Much love,

*Which is actually around the speed that I would have run it with no extra weight.

PS: A couple months later, and James's eyes are perfect from the PRK. Thank you, Army!