Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Brrrr...Snowed In!

I was so VERY happy to have the phone ring this morning with the message I was hoping for: No School! I didn't even fully wake up, just climbed back into bed and slept long, long, long. On my drive home from work last night the snow started falling. I stopped into the market for just a few minutes and when I came back out the parking lot and my car were covered in a blanket of snow. I actually slid driving out of the parking lot. Yikes. Luckily I didn't hit anything. The rest of my drive home was super slow.

I am sore. I didn't stretch or ice after the marathon. It was just so cold and wet and all I felt like doing was getting into dry clothes and eating something. Not that it would have made a huge amount of difference, as it is normal to be sore. I have been keeping busy today puttering around the house. There is still plenty to do, as I got out all of the Christmas decorations on Friday but didn't get things put out/away before the marathon.

The report is that there is more snow coming, but it hasn't snowed all day so it is hard to imagine. While it would be nice to have another day off of work, tomorrow is a half-day anyway and it is a "gold" day (periods 5-8) which is my "easy" day--I teach one intro. class and the other two are advanced (Drawing & Painting and AP Studio Art). Whatever...

I hope Charles is ok out there in this snow. He came by yesterday and I put some food out for him and made a cozy bed in the cat carrier with warm blankets inside and a cover on the outside to keep it warm and dry inside. But by the time I went back out with the blankets and such he was gone--just his little paw prints in the snow. Hopefully he found somewhere to stay warm.

I think I'll go back to tidying up around the house now.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

I Did It...It Is Done

Wow...what an experience. It is amazing sometimes how something can be over and it is like..."Really? It's over?"

Not that I wasn't wishing those last 5 miles or so away. The last 4 miles were MURDER. This wasn't because I didn't fuel up or hydrate properly--that was perfect. And not because I didn't train properly--I did well (the best possible under the circumstances), although getting terribly sick the week before last left me in less than optimal health, all things considered. I chalk the pain and diminished performance in those last miles (really everything after 22 miles) up to the COLD wet weather. My muscles still felt strong, but my joints felt frozen stiff. It was like I had about 10% of my range of motion available and no amount of will or mental energy could remedy it. I did use my mental capacity to get me though. I imagined being pushed, pulled...helped along. I called on Jesus...I thought of William...I told myself that if I could give birth to my son--knowing he wouldn't survive--that I could do THIS. It was with great relief that I ran down the home stretch and across the finish line. Tears of hapiness were in my eyes.

Despite the challenging finish, our time was fan-frickin'-tastic! Our dream time was 4 hours, which we were on pace for until, well, mile 22...we ended up finishing in 4 hours and 8 minutes. We were on pace to finish in 4 hours until those last few miles...but really, at that point I was doing all I could! Erin was always a step or two ahead of me and while she was having issues of her own my perception was that she was strong and that I was holding her back. Her joints were frozen and painful though, too, and her arches were giving her the business...she asked me at one point in those last few miles "Is it possible that my hip might give out on me and that I could collapse?" I told her no. I was so wrapped up in my own little world that I didn't pay it much mind. I had wondered that, myself, during my first marathon because I had a terrible hip injury that I had been nursing for weeks. It didn't happen then, so I knew that this pain--which was "situational"/due to the weather, I am sure--wouldn't take us down. Luckily, my brief but confident answer brought her peace of mind. She had to remind me of it after we finished when I was going on about how she had to babysit me during the last few miles and that she could have finished in 4 hours without me.

On our way to the marathon she was saying something and used the phrase "in the long run" which I thought was particularly funny considering that we were heading out for a very long run. This came up a few times. We enjoyed the marathon so much--joked around a lot and had a good time. It was so cool to run through Seattle...down 5th Avenue, across the I 90 bridge--which wasn't as windy as I had feared--out to Seward Park and back (where it felt like one of our weekend long-runs since we run that every so often) and then through the Arboretum and beyond...which actually is quite a hilly stretch of the marathon. They describe the marathon as "moderately hilly" which I almost scoffed at, having run the Anchorage marathon, but from mile 17 or so there are some significant hills. The most notable hill was after mile 21, a very steep hill followed by a long, long incline. There were plenty of other hills to come after that, pretty much until the end. I don't mind hills--my legs are strong and I do hill training--and they provide an opportunity to use different muscles. I think at that point that anything would have felt bad because that's just the way it was.

I love training for and running marathons and will definately run another one. I can't imagine running one without Erin, though, so that is definately a factor. If all goes well and we make another baby I won't be training for one any time soon. And Erin is seriously considering teaching abroad next year. I'd like to keep running a "new" one each time. And I think I prefer a late Spring/early Summer marathon. I enjoy training in the Winter and into the Spring...then taking it "easy" during the Summer to recover. I also think that I wouldn't mind traveling again for the next one--it worked out fine for the first one and I have the food thing down well enough that it won't pose a problem.

Ahhh...the future...who knows what it will hold?

Saturday, November 25, 2006

The Day Before the Marathon

Tomorrow at this time I will be milling about, getting prepared to run this marathon. It has actually stopped raining for almost two days now, which has me nervous. Does that mean that it is just doing to dump on us? Last night on the news they actually said that SNOW is expected this weekend! No, it can't happen.

We went to the Expo yesterday to pick up our numbers, chips, and "goodie bags." It was the biggest Expo that we had been to--but that does make sense as it is the biggest marathon that we have run. I was able to find a shirt to wear, which is a good thing since I hadn't found one yet. It really does pose a bit of a challenge to figure out what is the best thing to wear since we have absolutely no real idea what the weather will actually be like. All we can do is guess. Erin's uncle told her that he ran one of his best marathons in a snow storm. Please, please don't let it snow. Funny--I was so worried about the rain and wind (and I still am) but I REALLY don't want to run in snow.

And my sore throat, cough, runny nose are still around. It's all more pronounced when I first wake up, so I am trying not to dwell on it.

I need a mantra. Something more inspiring than the others that come up for me when I am running ("latte, latte, latte" "the faster I run, the sooner I'm done" "f**k, f**k, f**k"--the second two only surface when it is a really long run and I am getting to the point where things are really hurting...the first one, well, lately that has been my mantra pretty much all of the time).

Yesterday evening I started pulling out all of the Christmas decorations. I rearranged the furniture a bit to make room for the tree. The house is a mess right now, with open boxes everywhere and ornaments and decorations on almost every surface. I am supposed to take it easy today, so I think putzing around (as LInda would say) decorating the Christmas tree is just the type of activity to keep me occupied. That, and getting everything ready for tomorrow.

Ok, time for my um...seventh? helping of Thanksgiving leftovers. 'Tis the season:)

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving

It is a rainy, gray Thanksgiving. We are having one of the wettest Novembers on record...about to break the record from 1933. I went for a run today and kept myself occupied by dodging puddles. I only missed once when I was looking at my watch at about 4 miles or so...I didn't want to stay out too long, since the marathon is Sunday. I don't mind running in the rain but for the marathon it sure would be nice if it is dry and NOT windy. But it will be what ever it will be.

It is just the two of us for Thanksgiving this year, but that didn't stop me from making a turkey. There will be lots of leftovers which is good because I can take them for lunch. Mom and Dad and the in-laws are coming for the marathon, so everyone stayed put for Thanksgiving.

Today feels like a Sunday...a lazy quiet day.

Last year Thanksgiving was busy. We went to my parent's house and there was a housefull because my sister's wedding was a week later. Her husband's brother and cousins were in town from England and Italy. It was great. Everyone was admiring my belly. Since I am normally so little, the belly was quite noticable to all of my family. The relatives of my BIL from out of town thought everyone was crazy--they had no frame of reference to compare it to.

I'm trying not to stress too much over the marathon. It is my third one, so I know that I have it in me to do it. Yet there are all of these doubts:
I've been really sick and am not quite back to full wellness, what if this has an effect on my endurance?
It was so hard to get enough week-day runs in since I was working such long hours--Did I train enough?
What if it is stormy--windy, cold, and rainy? How much will that slow us down?
Will I eat the right foods, be properly fueled, hydrated...etc.?
Am I getting enough sleep?
And there are more doubs...but those are the big ones. I read recently that it is totally normal for runners, especially those who don't have a coach, to doubt the choices that they have made in training and be nervous before the marathon. So, once again, I am *normal*...but that doesn't bring much solace.

Focus on happy positive things:
mashed potatoes and gravy
pumpkin pie


Wednesday, November 22, 2006

stepping into this blog thing

Well, here goes nothing. I am doing this on impulse--was just reading another blog and followed the link to create my own. It occurred to me not too long ago when I was reading one of the blogs that I check in on now and then (blogs created by moms who are having difficult pregnancies, having the NICU experience, or who have lost their babies) that having my own blog might be a good idea. It is just a couple of days before my marathon and "post-marathon" is when I go into pre-TTC mode.

So here goes nothing. It will be good for me to finally get things together so that I can post pictures and whatnot as well.

A little bit about me and what has lead me here. A little over a year ago my husband and I decided to start our family. He had tried to talk me into it a couple of years prior, but I was really not ready yet. I just KNEW it wasn't time. I still didn't think it was quite time yet last August, I thought that I would be ready in one more year. But when he asked me what real difference a year would make I had no good answer. I realized that I was as ready as I ever would be (not having any clue how much more "ready" I would be feeling as soon as there were two lines on that HPT) and so we immediatly started trying.

We got pregnant the first month! I was certain that I was pregnant, too. I could feel something in the works--I swear--from the time of conception. My MIL, who is a nurse, didn't believe me. Then two weeks later when the test was positive she just had to shake her head. We weren't sure if we would be able to conceive without some help, as my husband was diagnosed and treated for cancer two years prior. He had banked sperm and we knew there was a possibility that me might have to go that route. Imagine how thrilled we were that we could make a baby all by ourselves!

I won't turn this into a chronical of my pregnancy. I don't think that I have it in me to do that right now, although I do think that I would like to do that some day.

In brief, the pregnancy was never one--as I imagine the vast majority of pregnancies are--where I was blissfully unaware of how delicate, precious, and fragile life is. I worried about my little "Wiggle" constantly. I came to the conclusion that this is just what it must be like to be a parent and that I would worry about this little person for the rest of my life. But there were plenty of reasons to worry for real, as the pregnancy had one scare after another. Ultimately, I went into pre-term labor (PTL) at 5 months (22 weeks), my water broke, and I had to give birth to my son William even though I knew that he was too small to survive.

Since then I have come to understand that I have a condition called Incompetent Cervix (IC). It is such an awful, insulting name for a condition. And I have none of the markers for it--there is nothing about me that would send off any red flags that this would be something to watch out for. Which is so tragic, because if I had been able to carry William for a week or two more he would have had a chance at life. I follow a blog for a baby that was born at 23 weeks in August and he is alive and well. Life is no picnic for his mom and dad, as they watch him struggling to develop...but he is their son and they love him and are so lucky to have him in this world.

My doctor has told me that in subsequent pregnancies I will be watched closely by a specialist (perinatologist), as it will be a high-risk pregnancy. And I will have a procedure done called a cerclage. The doctor will literally sew my cervix closed! At the top of my To Do list right now is to call the perinatologist for a pre-TTC consultation.

I am apprehensive. I want to have a baby so badly--yet I am also extremely scared. I am scared of losing another child and I am just scared in general of what another pregnancy will be like--filled with fear and anxiety...And then I am also scared that I won't be able to get pregnant at all.

There is a lot to be scared of.

But we will move forward because...we have no choice.