Monthly Archives: May 2012

Baby K: 23 Weeks

23 Weeks – almost six months – wow! It’s hard to believe I have been pregnant for that long. January 17th was the day we found out, and it seems like it was SO LONG AGO! I am getting really excited for summer vacation to begin so that I can finally have some time to relax before baby comes. It is much needed!

What’s Happening With Baby?

This week the baby is a size of a grapefruit!

BabyCenter says that the baby is almost a foot long and weighs over a pound now. I don’t really understand how last week it said she/he was the size of a spaghetti squash and this week a grapefruit, which is smaller. I’m guessing the grapefruit is the size of its body, and the squash was length from head to toe? Baby is starting to get used to certain noises that he/she hears frequently like our voices, my heartbeat, and other loud noises. The blood vessels in the lungs are also getting ready to help the baby breathe once it leaves the womb.

How I’m Feeling

I have finally been sleeping better! THANK GOODNESS! This has made me a much more pleasant person to be around! I get very hot at night though, so I need to have the fan on full blast. Kevin laughs at this because I used to complain about his obsession with having the fan on at night. Now I’m the one who needs it!

I asked Kevin what else has been going on this week and he reminded me that I have been really emotional. There were (at least) two times I totally melted down this week. One of those was yesterday after school. I had a really busy and stressful day at work and came home to do tons of grad work, since my last two classes just began earlier this week. I was feeling totally overwhelmed with everything when Kevin came home from work and started talking to me about all these houses he found that he wanted to go see (we just got pre-approved for a loan and are starting the house hunting process). I lost it and immediately started crying. He was so confused until I explained to him how I was feeling really overwhelmed and stressed out. He is the best husband – he totally understood, said we would talk later, and told me to relax while he made dinner 🙂 I am so lucky.

How I’m Changing

I cannot believe the rate that I am growing at this point! It took forever for me to grow at all and even since week 19/20, my belly seems to double in size each week! I really do love it. I love watching it grow and it has become a magnet for people’s hands, which I also secretly love 🙂 However, my bigger body parts did cause me a little bit of stress this week. I am a bridesmaid in my sister-in-law’s wedding next Saturday, and back when we went dress shopping I was only about 5 weeks along. I knew I was pregnant, but nobody else did.

The dress, except mine is a pink watermelon color

Because I knew I was pregnant, I bought a size larger than the size I wore in the picture, which was pretty big on me at the time. When it came in I was so worried that it wouldn’t end up fitting me and I tried it on almost every day to check. On Saturday it still fit fine. I thought I might end up being fine and not needing alterations. Then on Monday to my surprise, it didn’t fit anymore!!! It fits fine around the belly since it has a high waist and is made of chiffon, but my boobs and ribcage have expanded so much that I couldn’t zip it all the way up. I was so confused about how I could have grown that much in two days. A woman who owns a local alterations store saved the day when I went in today to talk to her. After I made a quick trip to David’s Bridal for extra fabric, she told me she would be able to fix it. She wants me to come back next Wednesday to check on my size again and make any last minute adjustments. It’s hard to predict how big I will be in another week and a half- especially at the rate I’m growing lately! I am just going to cross my fingers that it will fit and look decent 🙂

Also, my stomach is very fuzzy!!! It has very light hair all over it. I don’t know why that happens but it’s weird.

     

What I’m Eating / Not Eating

Eating very well and healthily 90% of the time, but I have actually been wanting sweet foods this week. I made a really good Coconut Lime Berry Cake for a dinner with friends that I snacked on all week, and my friend make these Cookies and Cream Cupcakes that are TO DIE FOR! Of course she had to send her pregnant friend home with some 🙂 I am a strong believer that some treats are fine and a good way to balance out all the salads, oatmeal, fruit and veggies I’m eating lately!

How I’m Staying Active

I had a better week of running after a few difficult runs last week. It’s very inconsistent though. Some days I’ll feel great and some days I’ll feel horrible and wonder if that will be my last run. But I always get back out there and end up having a great one again. I did run on the treadmill a couple times this week due to the heat. My new iPod makes it a little easier but it’s still not fun. I did a long run of 10 miles this past Saturday, and since it was hot I ran to the gym, did some miles on the treadmill, then ran back home. It was a good solution and I think I’ll be doing that more this summer. On Monday when we were off for Memorial Day, Kevin wanted to do his long run, so I rode alongside him on the bike. It was so fun because that is what Kevin used to do for me before he was a runner. I loved it!

  • Run: 22 miles
  • Strength-Training: 1 Body Pump class
  • Walk: 1 mile (for Runners World Running Streak!)
  • Bike: 8 miles

     

Week 23 Summary:

  • Weight gained this week: +0.8 pounds
  • Total weight gained: +14.0 pounds
  • # of days until my next race with baby: 3! I’ll be doing my 3rd pregnant half marathon on Saturday 🙂
  • # of days until our next appointment: 6! Can’t wait to hear that heartbeat again.
  • # of Kegel exercises done for Bradley class: at least a thousand! LOL

For more pregnancy posts, visit the Baby K page!

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Runners World Summer Running Streak – Pregnancy Edition

A few days ago I noticed Runners World promoting their “Summer Running Streak 2012” on their Facebook page and Twitter. Since I love challenges like this and I love Runners World, I immediately clicked on the link to find out more. Basically, they are challenging people to run at least one mile per day from Memorial Day to the Fourth of July. That’s 38 consecutive days of running!

After I read about the streak my mind was convinced. I had to do it! And then I remembered that I am 22 weeks pregnant. Hmmm. Nevermind. Maybe next year 😦

But then I started thinking about it more. Why can’t I do the challenge? Can’t I just modify it a little bit and make my own rules to fit my new pregnant running abilities? I can’t see why not! So here is my plan for completing the Runners World Summer Running Streak 2012 – Pregnancy Edition:

  • I will complete at least one mile from Memorial Day (May 28th) to Independence Day (July 4th), for a total of 38 consecutive days.
  • Miles can be ‘completed’ by running, walking, or a combination of the two.
  • Instead of taking a rest day in between my longer runs like I am currently doing, I will walk a mile for ‘active rest’ (good for circulation, digestion, and recovery anyway!)
  • If I can’t get out to run/walk in the morning before it gets too hot, I’ll hit the treadmill or wait until the evening.

I always feel better after getting some exercise, so I know this will be a good way to motivate myself to stay active as it gets warmer and I get bigger. Even on days that I don’t feel like doing anything, I can always walk a mile. There’s a walking trail in my neighborhood and a track literally right next to my apartment. Four times around that thing is NOTHING! I can do that 🙂 There are also some things coming up that will make it extra challenging to fit in exercise- including my sister-in-law’s wedding weekend and traveling across the country to the West Coast to visit family. I can always get creative and walk around the airport if I need to fit it in!

So on Monday, May 28th (Memorial Day) I will begin my running streak, representing all the strong pregnant running mamas out there! Let the streak begin!

Anyone else doing the Runners World Summer Running Streak? Join me!

Baby K: 22 Weeks

22 Weeks! Time is flying now compared to the first trimester. I feel like I just wrote my 21 week update yesterday… and I’m even two days late with this one! I know I keep saying this but I have have been so busy lately with wrapping up the school year, grad school, and tons of travel. I think that is what is making time go by so quickly. It’s kind of scary when I think of how I only have 18 weeks left and there is still so much to do! I want time to start slowing down a little at this point! Especially when my summer break starts on June 15th. Then I want each day to crawl by!

What’s Happening With Baby?

This week baby is the length of a spaghetti squash! That is seriously insane.

Insane, but true! BabyCenter says that the baby is now measuring at 11 inches long and weighs almost one pound! What happened to my little lentil? That was 16 weeks ago!

At this point the baby is fully developed with distinct lips, eyebrows, eyelids, and even tooth buds! The eyes are still colorless, but if baby takes after mom and dad he or she will end up with blue eyes. The baby is very thin and wrinkly, and will start to pack on the pounds and fill out from this point on now that development is nearly complete. I think that is definitely true based on the way my belly is growing lately.

How I’m Feeling

Still feeling pretty tired like last week, but I am not passing out and napping at random times anymore. I have more energy but I still yawn all day long, which is really embarrassing as a teacher. I am also starting to sleep better and haven’t been waking up throughout the night as much. I really hope I didn’t just jinx myself by saying that! The good news is that my thyroid levels are back to normal after adjusting my medication and getting my blood tested again. This has made a huge difference in how I feel and I’m so thankful we were able to fix the problem!

In the belly I am feeling lots of movements! I read that the baby sleeps 12-14 hours a day right now, and I think that it must be sleeping a lot during the work day while I am at school because I really feel him/her moving in the morning and in the evening. It is almost always after I eat something. The movements aren’t strong enough for Kevin to feel yet, but I hope they will be soon! I know he can’t wait to feel Baby K 🙂

How I’m Changing

I feel like my uterus is really starting to show in my belly. Can you see in the front-facing shot how there is an oval shaped bump popping out? That is what I’m talking about! It’s definitely growing bigger daily. I felt a lot of achiness in my lower abdomen this week (as well as a super itchy stomach), so I have a feeling there’s a lot of growing going on in there.

      

I also noticed that sometimes the baby will be on one side of my stomach, or its pushing it’s butt out or something, because my stomach will get totally lopsided! I was walking down the hall at school earlier this week and looked down to see a huge bulge on the right side. It was so noticeable that even my coworkers commented on it. Eventually it went back to normal, but it is so weird to know that a little person is inside of me changing the shape of my stomach. I don’t think I’ll ever stop being amazed by that.

One more recent change that may be TMI, but this is my pregnancy journal and I do not care! This week I had my first experience with “leakage.” I had heard this could happen but didn’t think it would happen to me (HAHA! That’s funny). Yes, I sneezed which caused me to pee a little bit. I was home alone, and I immediately burst out laughing when I realized what happened. I know it’s going to happen more as the pressure on my bladder increases. Oh, the joys of pregnancy! I need to get better at doing my kegel exercises!

What I’m Eating / Not Eating

We started Bradley Method Natural Childbirth classes this past week, which are GREAT so far. I plan to write a post on Bradley and why we decided on this method, but I really think we are going to enjoy these next 12 weeks of classes. As part of our ‘homework’ all of the mothers have to keep track of our protein intake. It is recommended for us to get between 80-100 grams of protein during pregnancy. As a vegetarian marathon runner, I have always been very aware of my protein and careful to include protein at every meal and snack. However, I was curious to see if I was actually meeting the 80-100 gram requirements. After tracking my protein for the last 5 days I was happy to see that I have eaten at least 80 grams a day (usually closer to 90 grams) without really trying and just eating like usual. This is great, and it gives me something to say to people when they comment on me being a vegetarian and not getting enough protein. This happened before too, but it’s happening much more now that I’m pregnant. I am doing JUST FINE, thank you very much 🙂

How I’m Staying Active

Last weekend was very exciting when I went to the Historic Half to run with my friend in her first half marathon. I ran a total of 10 miles that day and felt great. However, I’ve had some tough runs since then. I am definitely feeling more tired and more pressure down there during my runs now. I have heard that the second part of the second trimester can be the hardest for running, so I’m just taking it easy and trying to make my way through it. The heat doesn’t help either! I think I’ll be treadmill bound soon. I’m also wondering when I should start wearing my Gabriela support belt. My belly isn’t too big right now, but I’m definitely feeling the pressure and occasional round ligament pain down there, so I wonder if it would help with that.

I am so happy that I’ve been able to remain so active over the last 22 weeks, but there are definitely some things I am missing. The biggest thing I can’t wait to get back to is really being able to run HARD. I have a love/hate relationship with speedwork, tempo runs, and any run that makes me really push myself. It’s a great feeling when I see what I can accomplish, that I never thought was possible before. That’s why I love training for and running marathons. I obviously can’t do those things while pregnant, and that’s fine for now, but I’m already thinking about my post-partum running and goals for myself. I can’t help it! Don’t get me wrong, I am REALLY enjoying running slowly and when I feel like it without any pressure at all right now. However, those types of hard runs that make me feeling like I might die or puke are terrible in the moment, but they make me feel like I’m on top of the world afterwards and they make me so much stronger. I can’t wait to get back to those kinds of runs.

  • Run: 24 miles
  • Strength-Training: 2 Body Pump classes
     

Week 22 Summary:

  • Weight gained this week: +2.2 pounds! My belly looks bigger this week and I had a lot of achiness in my abdomen (growing pains?) so I’m not surprised!
  • Total weight gained: +13.2 pounds
  • # of days until our next appointment: 11!
  • # of school days left until summer vacation: 14! The end is near!
  • # of strangers to acknowledge I am pregnant: 1 – at the Historic Half Marathon, I was waiting at mile 7 for my friend when a man ran by, pointed to my belly, and said (jokingly), “That’s no excuse! You should be out here running too!” I was so happy that a stranger noticed I was pregnant and not just chubby in the belly 🙂
  • Gifts for Baby K: A blanket and stuffed animal from my friend in grad class, and two more baby books from my best friend’s mom!

For more pregnancy posts, visit the Baby K page!

Reaching New Milestones With Friends

This was the third weekend in a row that we were at some type of race. Two weeks ago we were in Pittsburgh for Kevin’s race, last week we were in Delaware for my race, and yesterday we were at a more local race- The Historic Half Marathon in Fredericksburg, Virginia- and we weren’t even running it! Next weekend we won’t be at any races, but the week after that is the Virginia Wine Country Half Marathon that I am running. What can I say? We’re race junkies. We seriously live for this stuff!!!

We planned to go to the Historic Half to support my friend Amanda as she ran her first half marathon. We ran the hot mess that was the Hot Chocolate 15K together back in December, and that has remained as her longest race to date. She took a break from running to do the Insanity program that I let her borrow, and then came back to running even stronger than before to train for this half marathon. She lives in Fredericksburg so she trained on the actual course and felt super confident going into this race. However, she asked me if I would come run part of the race with her, since she really loved it when we ran the 15K together. How could I say no to that?

We looked at the course map and decided that I would wait for Amanda at mile 7. The farthest she had run in training was 9.5 miles so she felt that it would be better to have me there during the second half of the race. There are also a couple big hills towards the end (including the infamous Hospital Hill) and she wanted me there for support.

Kevin and I woke up early to make the 30 minute drive down 95 south to Fredericksburg. We arrived around 7:00, right when the race was starting. He drove me as close to the course as we could get before the roads were closed, dropped me off just past mile 3, and then drove to the finish line to wait for us there. I ran along the course (on the sidewalks) to get up to mile 7 where I would wait for her. It was really quiet through this part of the course and through local neighborhoods. Some people were starting to come outside to cheer on the runners and there was a marine at every corner since this race is part of the Marine Corps Marathon series. Even though I was running on the sidewalks, some of the spectators were making jokes that I was the first runner – I laughed and told them it would be amazing if a pregnant woman won a half marathon!

After running four miles I reached mile 7. This was actually perfect because I had wanted to get in a long run of 10 miles, and with the additional 6 that we would run together I’d be able to do exactly that 🙂 I got to my spot just in time to see the first male runner pass by, and not long after that a steady stream of runners came through. I kept my eyes open looking for a girl in a red headband and the blue race shirt, but it was tough because there were so many people! I also wasn’t receiving the tracking texts that I signed up for so I was afraid I would miss her. But then, I heard her scream my name as she approached where I was standing. I jumped right in and started running with her. She looked really strong and happy. She told me that she had just seen her husband and her two kids, and that she was feeling great so far.

Meanwhile, Kevin was at the finish area taking great pictures of all that was going on there.

Winner of the wheelchair race

First male and first female!

    

The awesome finish line

Gail from last season’s Biggest Loser walking the 5K

Amanda and I chatted as we ran along and the miles seemed to fly by. We went through downtown Fredericksburg, then over to the hospital where Hospital Hill was waiting for us. We passed mile 9.5 and I reminded her that this was the farthest she had ever run before and that she was KILLING it! I knew that her two goals were to run the whole race without stopping to walk and to finish around 2:30. We were right on pace to do that when we hit the hill. Since she had trained on this exact hill she was confident, strong, and knew what to expect. I was SO impressed with her determination. We were passing people that were walking up the hill left and right, and then finally we reached the top. She told me there was one more hill just before mile 12 as we crossed over 95. This one felt even harder even though it wasn’t as long, because our legs were tired. But we pushed up it, passed more people, and were still on pace to meet her goal. When we got to the top of the hill all we could see was the Central Park area of Fredericksburg, filled with stores, people, music, and excitement. The last mile was so much fun, and Amanda dropped her pace down to 9:30 as we approached the finish line.

Kevin was waiting at the perfect spot, and we saw him right away as he cheered for us!

     

Amanda was on cloud nine as she got closer to the finish line. She was about to finish her first half marathon!!!

She crossed the finish line at 2:29:49. She met her goal of running sub-2:30 and not walking at all during the race. She was so happy and proud and so was I!

Running with friends is one of my favorite things. I have run with my friends as they ran their first races, everything from 5Ks, 10Ks & 15Ks to half marathons and even a marathon. It never gets old to me to see them accomplish something they never thought they could. I love to share my love of running and what it can do for your mind, body, and spirit. It is truly contagious, and I hope to continue spreading this joy to others for a long time!

Baby K: 21 Weeks

Lots of exciting things this week! Kevin and I went to my hometown for the weekend to see my sister graduate from college, and for my Mothers Day half marathon in Delaware. It was really nice to have so much quality family time, since I live 3 hours away and we don’t see each other as often as I would like. It was also great to have my family see my growing belly 🙂

What’s Happening With Baby?

This week baby is as long as a carrot!

BabyCenter says that the average baby at 21 weeks is measuring about 10.5 inches long and weighs almost 13 ounces (although mine was that weight at our anatomy scan over a week ago!) At this point the baby has eyelids and eyebrows! Also, I learned from The Bump that if baby is a girl (which is what my intuition is telling me), she has already developed more than 6 million eggs inside her womb. Wow!

Sidenote: I love my new shirt from FireDaughter Clothing! I got the “Amaze Yourself” one too 🙂

How I’m Feeling

I am feeling great for the most part, but my first trimester exhaustion is returning a little bit. I’ve had to nap after work the last two days, and I slept for a while in the car on the way back to Virginia on Sunday. Kevin took this attractive picture of me on his phone when he got home from work on Monday… totally passed out!!!

I am also feeling baby move more, which is AWESOME! The movements are still pretty few and far between though. I am starting to realize how big he/she is, because the other day I felt something on one side of my abdomen, then I felt something right after on the other side! Baby is growing! I can’t wait for Kevin to be able to feel it. Right now he likes to rub my belly and talk to the baby, and I know that he is going to LOVE being able to feel him or her move.

How I’m Changing

Maybe it’s just because I look at myself in the mirror every day, but I really feel like my belly grew a lot this week. Do you see the difference between week 20 and week 21?

    

The bump continues to grow and change shape. As it gets larger my belly button is getting more shallow. I used to have a very deep innie and now I can actually see the bottom of my belly button! The hole from an old belly button piercing that never went away is getting flatter too. As the belly grows more people are touching it and commenting on it more. Although I haven’t yet experienced a stranger acknowledging my pregnancy yet – I feel like if you don’t know me you might just think I am a little chubby – especially in certain clothing.

What I’m Eating / Not Eating

Lately I cannot get enough of the following foods: avocado, cilantro, cereal, and pasta. My new favorite is this creamy avocado pasta recipe that is so delicious and vegan! Still doing well avoiding dairy, although I did decide to have a little cheese the other night when we went to On the Border for dinner (one of my favorites!), and it didn’t bother me as much as before. Maybe it’s my increased thyroid medication helping my digestion along? I have to get bloodwork done tomorrow to check my levels again, so we will see if all is good in that department!

How I’m Staying Active

The biggest news this week was that I ran my third race with baby, the Delaware Half Marathon! This was originally supposed to be a full before I got pregnant. I took it easy, enjoyed myself, and smiled the whole time! I love running so much and although running through my pregnancy has been challenging at times, I am so glad I’ve been able to stick with it this well. I really  hope I am able to continue for the rest of my pregnancy. Luckily I haven’t had any issues since my scary experience last week. I’ve been making sure to eat before my runs and drink lots of water, so I think that has really helped.

  • Run: 20.1 miles
  • Strength Training: 2 Body Pump classes

      

Week 21 Summary:

  • Weight gained this week: +1.0 pound
  • Total weight gained: +11.0 pounds
  • Mothers Day cards received: 2 (and I cried at both of them)
  • # of school days until summer break: 22!
  • # of days until our birth classes begin: 6 (more about that later!)
  • Best purchase of the week: OUR BOB STROLLER!!! It was on sale at Babies R Us so we decided to splurge and get it now. We chose the Revolution SE and plan to use it for running and everyday use. I was so excited when we got it. I made Kevin put it together immediately and went outside to ‘practice’ with it.

     

I don’t even care that I looked like a crazy person running around with an empty stroller. I was just so happy! Now I just need a baby to put it this thing! 19 more weeks (plus a few more – I won’t be running right after delivery unfortunately, LOL).

      

For more pregnancy posts, visit the Baby K page!

The Delaware Running Festival Half Marathon

Yesterday I had the time of my life running my third race with baby, the Delaware Half Marathon!

Before I knew I was pregnant, Kevin and I had signed up the run the full marathon. I officially dropped down to the half a few weeks ago, and as of this past Friday, Kevin decided not to run at all. He was recovering really well from the Pittsburgh Marathon last weekend. He felt great and was excited to become a Marathon Maniac after this race. However, two miles into our run on Thursday morning Kevin felt severe pain in his foot. The pain came out of nowhere and didn’t go away, even after rest and ice. Luckily, he works in a podiatrist’s office so he had one of the doctors check it out. He was informed that his pain could be either a stress fracture or peroneal tendonitis, was given a boot to wear and was strongly encouraged not to run on Sunday. He was SO disappointed, but we both knew it was best for him to let his foot heal so that he will be able to run our race in Seattle in late June.

We had planned to be back in my hometown this weekend for my little sister’s college graduation, and the race worked perfectly with our visit. It took place in Wilmington, which is only a 30 minute drive from where my dad lives in Pennsylvania. After the graduation festivities we went down there to pick up our race materials and check out the area so we would be prepared to park and figure out where to go the next morning.

    

We went to the cutest little expo to pick up our bibs and swag that included a shirt, hat, and a beer glass. This was a small race with only about 1,000 half marathon runners and 750 full marathoners. I’ve written before about how I feel about large vs. small races. I really enjoy the small, hometown feel of these type of local races that are put on by real people rather than huge corporations. They really pay attention to organization and details, and this one was no exception!

The next morning I got ready for the race by myself feeling a little sad that Kevin wouldn’t be running. But I was super excited to have both him and my dad come to the race to spectate and support me. My dad has only ever come to one of my races, my first marathon ever in Philadelphia. It meant a lot to me when he came that day and it meant a lot that he wanted to come to Delaware too. I think he was also swayed by the fact that it was going to be a beautiful day and the race was right on the water 🙂

I got dressed in my Running for Two shirt, took a few pictures of the 20.5 week baby bump, and then we were all off to Wilmington!

    

It took no time to get to the race start and find close parking (I love small races!) I hit up the porta-potty, relaxed for a bit in the runner’s village full of tents, tables, vendors, and other fun stuff, and took a few more photos with my race crew before it was time for the half runners to line up at 7:15 a.m. (The marathon started at 7:00).

    

My dad is really into photography and has a super nice camera, so he was all over the place trying to get good shots for me. He’s the best! He ever stood in the corral with the runners for a little while, LOL.

Eventually Kevin and my dad left the corral and found a spot up ahead to watch the race start. Literally right on time at 7:20 the gun went off and we were running! It was already getting pretty warm so I was thankful for the punctual start!

     

I started the race feeling great and running fast. Do you see those things coming out of my ears? What are those? They’re HEADPHONES! I know, I never run with music! But Kevin bought me a little iPod Nano that clips onto my shorts and I am in love. I am enjoying running with music again while pregnant because it helps take my mind off my slower pace.

  • Mile 1 – 8:56
  • Mile 2 – 8:57

I started way too fast and I knew I couldn’t maintain that pace over 13.1 miles. Plus, I was already sweating a lot only two miles in and half my water was gone already. I ran into Kevin and my dad again a little over two miles into the race and was so happy to see them again!

    

While I continued on, they hung out by the riverfront and enjoyed the race festivities.

I started slowing down after the second mile and as you can see from my splits, each mile was pretty much slower than the last. But I didn’t care at all. I was really enjoying myself and the scenery. Once we got out of the downtown part of Wilmington we ran into a shaded park and by the zoo. It was really pretty and scenic. I was loving it!

  • Mile 3 – 9:04
  • Mile 4 – 9:17
  • Mile 5 – 9:29
  • Mile 6 – 9:40

I passed the halfway point at 1:01 and I knew my second half would be slower. I figured I would probably finish around 2:10. At this point all the water in my bottle was gone so I was taking a lot of water at each water station. I also took Gatorade every once in a while even though it was orange flavored (ew!). The course took us through a residential area next. There were a lot of out & backs and little loops in this course, and more hills than I expected there to be. I don’t mind hills though because I think running on a pancake flat road is really boring. I really liked the course for a half marathon distance, but I was a little thankful I wasn’t running the full, since they do two loops of the half course. Not sure if would have liked that!

  • Mile 7 – 9:58
  • Mile 8 – 9:49
  • Mile 9 – 9:38
  • Mile 10 – 10: 56 (took my only walking break!)

Right before Mile 10 I got a little cramp after drinking some Gatorade. Any little bit of discomfort or pain makes me stop and walk these days just to be on the safe side, so I walked for the first and last time at this point. It was getting really warm, and although the shaded parts of the course helped with the heat, I slowed down a little bit more just to protect myself from overheating.

  • Mile 11 – 9:49
  • Mile 12 – 9:51
  • Mile 13 – 9:20

Right towards the end of the race we were back in the city. The course was not entirely closed and there were police at the intersections holding traffic as runners passed. I noticed that drivers were getting really impatient and honking because they had to wait. Also, the police were letting cars go through during the gaps in runners, but they weren’t stopping them in time which made me actually have to stop running to wait for cars to pass. This was REALLY annoying, especially right at the end of a race. But I let it go and picked up the pace to finish the race strong!

I rounded a corner and saw the finish line- with Kevin standing right there inside the running chute taking pictures! I was so surprised to see him there and not standing off to the side!

As I approached the finish there were no other runners around me and they announced my name and where I was from over the microphone. It made me feel like an elite runner or something! Have I mentioned I love smaller races? 🙂 My dad was on the other side of the finish and was able to get a few more pictures of me crossing.

I finished in 2:06:15, an average pace of 9:38/mile! Way better than I expected for being 20 weeks pregnant, but I truly felt great during the whole race!

Eventually I figured out why Kevin was standing in the finish area. He had been asked to help hold the finish line banner for the marathon winner who was expected to arrive in a few minutes. The winner was Michael Wardian, who is actually from Virginia! He finished 26.2 miles in 2:30:26 (average pace of 5:45/mile – that’s ridiculous), and he actually won the Rock & Roll USA Marathon when we were there back in March.

After Kevin was finished with his important duties, we went into the food tent so I could refuel. They had tons of great food – bananas, sandwiches, pizza, chips, and my absolute favorite- Philly soft pretzels!! Most races in or near Philadelphia have these after races, and they are the best. I love me some salty carbs! 🙂

After eating we hung out in the start/finish village for a little while. It felt great outside now that I was finished running. The weather was beautiful!

 The Delaware Half Marathon was an awesome and well-organized race. I enjoyed the whole experience, but the best part was having my dad and Kevin there, and knowing that I was running with my baby on Mother’s Day 🙂

Next up: The Virginia Wine Country Half Marathon on June 2nd!

Bittersweet Mothers Day

Ever since 2004, Mothers Day has been difficult for me. I’ve written before about how my mom passed away on April 18, 2004, less than year after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. I was a senior in high school and about to graduate and begin summer session at Penn State. While she was sick and after she passed away I became a different person. It forced me to grow up quickly. I was forever changed and so were my priorities. I knew what it felt like to lose someone I loved and who loved me so much. You aren’t supposed to have to say goodbye to your mother at the age of 17, but that is what happened.

Since that day I have thought about her every day. I missed her at my high school graduation. I missed her when I went off to college and when I graduated from college. I missed her when I accepted a teaching job in Virginia and moved away from all my friends and family. I missed her when I had good and bad days at school and wanted to call her to tell her about them. I missed her when I met Kevin and fell in love and realized he would never get to know her. I missed her when we got engaged and while I was planning my wedding. I missed her so much on my wedding day, and even more when I found out I was pregnant. I miss her every day. I can’t explain how many times I have wished I could pick up the phone and talk to her or hug her again.

Lighting a candle for mom on our wedding day

That’s why Mothers Day is always an especially hard day for me. However, this year Mothers Day is a little different. It feels very bittersweet. That’s because this year I am the one that is (going to be) a mother.

My mom and me, both of us 5 months pregnant.

   

It never really crossed my mind that this is my first sort-of Mothers Day. I know that I am not technically a mother since my baby isn’t born yet, but Kevin made a very good point the other day. He said that even though baby isn’t born, I am still working very hard to take care of him or her. I am the only one that the baby relies on right now. I am the one that is keeping it safe and healthy as it grows and develops inside of me. So I am a mother already.

1 month old with my mom

As I go through pregnancy, there are so many things I wish I could ask my mom and talk to her about. I was my mom’s first baby. My birthday is October 1st, and my baby is due September 26th, so our pregnancy timelines are almost the same. I think about her with every new milestone.

I want to know how she felt when she found out she was pregnant and if she was constantly nauseous the first 10 weeks like I was. I want to know when she first felt me move inside her. I want to know what her labor and delivery was like. I want to know if she got stretch marks. I want to ask her about all the weird things that are happening to me that you can only talk to your mother about. I want to ask her for advice about how to take care of a newborn and what to expect. I want to hear the funny and sweet stories that she remembers about when I was born and as I grew up.

I constantly have dreams that she is still here and playing with the baby once he or she is born. I dream that she is there to watch the baby grow up. These dreams are so real and they make me incredibly sad when I wake up and realize that I was dreaming. Even though she was sick and in pain, I selfishly wish she was still here every single day. It’s been 8 years and I still feel angry when I think about how she was taken from us. I still don’t understand why this had to happen to her when she was only 45 years old, with daughters that were only 17 and 13 years old and a husband that would do anything for all of us. It has left me with a lot of anxiety and fear that I will lose other people that I love, which I still struggle with today.

I am very lucky to have such a supportive family and I recently married into another amazing family. They have always been there for me with anything I need, but it is impossible to fill the void that was left when my mom died. Nobody can replace that.

She was a great mother, and I know she would have been an amazing grandmother too. I am sad that she never got the chance to be one, but I know I can keep her spirit alive by trying to be the kind of mother she was for my sister and me.

This Mothers Day is bittersweet because while I am so excited to be a mother and have my baby, I feel so sad when I think about my own mom and how her life was cut short. Now she is my inspiration to live a full life, make the most of the time I have with the people I love, and try to be the best mother to my baby that I can be. I will never forget those lessons.

Happy Mothers Day Mom. I love you.