Runner Down!

What do you call yourself when you’re a runner who can’t run?! Really sad. That’s basically the best description. But don’t worry . . .  I’ll be back!

I knew it was bad when my ortho dr. called me on Saturday morning. And it was. Way worse than I expected. So what did I do you’re probably wondering? Well . . . I have stress fractured not 1, not 2, but 6 (that’s SIX) bones in my foot. Special. I’ve always been an overachiever. And I guess my injuries are no exception. I ran on it for 3 weeks, about 60-70 miles, after I first hurt it. That probably didn’t help things.

So now I have to use crutches and a walking boot for 6 weeks. Completely non-weight bearing. So that’s fun.

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As a runner my first question was “now what can I do?” And the answer was basically nothing. But not exactly nothing. I can swim. I can swim but I can’t kick. I have to use a Pull Buoy, which I learned is a foam flotation device that you hold between your legs to immobilize your legs. Also I can do weight training as long as it doesn’t require standing. No yoga, no barre, no squats, and of course no running or walking.

So I went out and bought a swimsuit. A one piece. And it’s a Speedo. But that’s not even the best part of my one-piece swimsuit story. I pulled up to the store (Academy Sports in Benton – super nice people) and a guy sees me getting out of my car and offers to bring me the motorized cart. I kindly declined. No thanks. But he wouldn’t take no for an answer. He had it waiting for me when I got inside. And he basically MADE me get in it. So here I am motoring around the sporting goods store shopping for a one-piece. In my work clothes.

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But I did find a one-piece. After trying on at least 6.

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I got this one. Dressing room selfies are cool right? Ha! Only if I’m laughing at myself. Which was definitely happening in this dressing room. I haven’t worn a one-piece since I was probably 9.

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And I got an awesome mirror selfie on the motorized cart. The first picture didn’t show my face and I was informed by multiple friends that it was not acceptable documentation of this amazing shopping experience.

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I had to back up to get the mirror selfie. Which caused some loud beeping. Because of course the motorized cart beeps when you go in reverse. Someone definitely saw me. I’m basically over being embarrassed luckily. Thanks kids.

Turns out swimming is hard. Luckily the cover is still on the pool so not many people see this disaster. I’m getting better thanks to a super nice cousin and the swim coach at the Athletic Club who has given me a few pointers.

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In other related news: If you’ve never used crutches consider yourself lucky. It’s basically the worst thing ever. Not to make light of actual disabilities, but I’m basically disabled. I feel like Michael Scott from The Office. I can’t do ANYTHING with crutches. Seriously. Nothing. Like I can’t carry my own coffee. Luckily Brian is an amazing husband and he’s taken over pretty much 100% of the family/household duties. I hope he doesn’t hate me before this is over.

Among the struggles with crutches . . . carrying a purse. Yep. My purse presents an extra obstacle. So I ordered myself 2 backpacks. One casual. One fancy-ish. The first one came today and Mason decided it belongs to him. Ha! He eventually gave it back after informing me at least 10 times that it’s too big for him.

I’ve also done a few home workouts. Otis isn’t a fan.

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So I’m a few weeks in of no running and I’m super sad. I miss it. I never thought I’d miss running, but I do. I’m crazy. I’m hoping 4 more weeks of non-weight bearing, then 1 week weight bearing, and then I can start running again. At the beginning. I’m missing 2 races between now and the end of May. Hopefully I’ll be back and ready for another 1/2 marathon this fall. But for now I’ll hobble around on 1 foot and swim.

My First Half

A year ago I would have told you I’m not a runner. I mean I did run. But I ran because I love to eat. In fact, when I injured myself 1.5 years ago, I told my physical therapist that I’m not a runner. I just run so I can eat cake. #truestory.

Things changed though.

I did a thing. A big thing. A crazy thing. But only half crazy. I ran a half marathon. Like I signed up, trained, and ran a half marathon with 25,000 other people. The St. Jude Half Marathon. And I finished! I did it! My time (because everyone wants to know) . . . 2:06:59. I’m pretty happy with it. This was my first one. And not my last.

So what was it like? Well it was pretty epic. The first 5 miles felt amazing. Brian, my kids, and my parents were at Mile 5 to cheer me on. That was the best. Mile 6 was through the St. Jude campus. I can’t even describe what Mile 6 was like. Everyone should run Mile 6. I had to wipe tears from my face as I ran out of St. Jude. Actual tears. The patients who were well enough were outside, cheering us on, giving high fives. I high-fived every single kid as I ran through. These sweet, innocent kids are so amazing. I saw a few more St. Jude kids later on the route too. And I almost cried again.

I ran as a St. Jude Hero and raised money for St. Jude. Did you know that no one pays for treatment at St. Jude?! That’s crazy right?! And because I’m from Memphis I had friends growing up who were patients at St. Jude. And now I have friends with kids who are patients at St. Jude. It’s really an amazing place. And I hope I never get to experience it firsthand. But it’s close if we need it and that makes me strangely comfortable.

Here’s my name on the St. Jude Heroes car! So cool!

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I struggled more than I expected during the middle part of the race. I had to stop for a massive cramp in my stomach. Not my side. My stomach/abs. And it was still sore over 24 hours later. Weird. Other than that I ran the entire time except when I grabbed water. I apparently need to learn how to drink water while running. Because currently I can’t do it. I tried. And choked.

The last .75 miles I could see the stadium. A guy running close to me yelled out to everyone “we’re going home, we can do this!” as soon as we made the final turn. And he counted down every 1/10 mile. I wish I had that kind of energy. I had enough to finish though. And then I may have almost cried again. I finished. In the middle of a crowd of strangers. And I almost cried. But seriously . . . I did it. I didn’t expect the emotional response but it just hit me right there in the middle of that crowd of strangers at the finish line.

Here’s me after the race:

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Oh and Joey ran it too. I even got him to join in my pre-race selfie. And he kinda sorta smiled.

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Here’s where we started:

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Oh and after the race you have to climb OUT of the baseball field. Like stairs. They make you climb stairs. Then of course I had to walk back to the van. And funny story . . . Brian announced that he had lost the key to the van when we were almost there. BUT we had a backup. In my purse at my parents’ house 30 minutes away. BUT we didn’t end up needing it. We went to the van and James found the key! Under the van. Seriously. See, kids are good for something. Saved by a 3 year old.

So now that I’ve finished, let’s back up. Here’s how I got here:

  • In 2010 I had back surgery. I wasn’t allowed to exercise AT ALL before then.
  • 3.5 years ago I had triplets. Before that I was a casual 3-mile runner for about a year.
  • About 1.5 years ago I injured my IT band and had to go to physical therapy and gradually increase my running. Starting with 1.5 mile “long runs.” I graduated from physical therapy. I even got a certificate. Which I still have. (I may be a hoarder)
  • I told my physical therapist I’m not a serious runner. Like my original reason for running, I was still running so I could eat cake.
  • In March I decided to run the St. Jude Half Marathon. My brother Joey and I decided to do it together. We didn’t train together because we live in different states. But it was still pretty great to have someone to talk to about the training. (FTR I came in before him at the race).

The fact that I was running an actual half marathon kicked in the night before the race. When I picked up my race packet at the expo. And of course more pictures.

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I’m not gonna lie . . . I was freaking out just a little when I picked up my race packet.

So what was the training like? Rough. I did a complete half marathon training program in the Spring. I made it to the last 2 weeks then I stopped doing long runs. Because it was July and I couldn’t run that far in the heat. But I started a new training program at the end of the summer and completed every long run (and most of the shorter runs and interval training). I ran 12 miles 2 weeks before race day. So I knew I could do it. I only ran about 5 times the last 2 weeks. I struggled with some tendinitis in my feet so I wanted to make sure I was completely rested up. It worked too!

Here’s a few more fun facts about running and my training:

  • At least once a week I wanted to quit
  • I decided that running is stupid pretty much every time I ran over 5 miles and wondered why I decided to do this. This was true on Saturday while I was running the race too.
  • I lost 2 toenails training for the half marathon. Apparently this is a “normal” running issue. Yay. I tried to glue them down. It worked the first time and a new toenail grew in and no one knew (except me and the girls at the nail salon. The ones who probably hate me for making them touch my gross glued-down toenail). The second one fell off. Luckily it was basically fall by then. I’m pretty sure I’m about to lose another one. See, running is stupid. Brian really told me to quit over the toenail thing. I considered it. Lucky for you, no missing toenail pics. No toenail/foot pics at all actually. You’re welcome.
  • Nothing will make you feel older than running. I can no longer walk around my house barefoot. In fact, I wear orthotic flip flops most of the time (when I’m not wearing boots or booties, my fave shoes ever). I love my orthotic flip flops. (Oofos). If you run you need them. You’ll thank me later.
  • I self-diagnosed myself with several injuries over the last few months. Extensor tendinitis and plantar fasciitis most recently. I actually didn’t run much the 2 weeks leading up to the race because I was worried I’d injure myself. I think the break was good for my feet but bad for my mental state and my confidence.
  • I now own 4 pairs of $16 socks (Feetures are my fave). They have a right and a left. Oh and I lost 1 basically the first week. So I have 3.5 pairs of $16 socks. They supposedly help with the toenail issue. I’m not sure . . .
  • I also own a fairly crazy amount of Lululemon. Maybe they’ll sponsor me. I probably need to get faster first . . . . But seriously this stuff is amazing.
  • And speaking of things I now own, I also wear a Garmin watch at all times. I bought it for the GPS and the running functionality. But I love that it notifies me about texts, emails, etc. Maybe I need an Apple Watch. Or a fancier Garmin watch.
  • I count while I run. Not always and not the entire run. But usually at least part of the run. What do I count? Sometimes my steps (10 sets of 20 steps at a time), always people (bikers, runners, walkers), and sometimes vehicles if it’s too dark for many people to be out. And I always count when I’m going up a big hill. Somehow it helps. See I’m a little crazy. Ha! Surely other people do this right?

So I guess I’m a runner now. I plan to do my second half marathon in March, the Little Rock Half Marathon. It looks mostly flat. But it’s Little Rock so it’s probably not actually flat, just flat for Little Rock. My goal for the next one is to finish under 2 hours.

And to wrap this up (I know you’re thinking “finally!” if you’re still reading even at this point), here’s some pics of our weekend:

Addison requested Central BBQ for dinner so we went there. The boys are still talking about “the BBQ place” so I guess we have 4 Central BBQ fans now.

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We took the boys to Starry Nights too. They LOVED it! Definitely worth the super long wait. They also like peeing in the back seat of the van (in the potty I brought of course).

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Sunday we came back home. And they boys have been asking to back since then. Maybe 2 weeks in a row at Nana and Grandad’s house set them up for disappointment. Oops!

Only Mason stays awake on long drives so he got the headphones. That lasted a whole 10 minutes.

And because it’s Christmas time and we are in the Christmas spirit I’ll leave you with this one:

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5 Weeks Old!

We’ve had a busy few days. Some ups and some downs like always. Overall we’re still making progress though.

Here’s my favorite picture from the past week. Holding sweet baby James!

 

Mason:
Mason got some really good news yesterday. His head ultrasound showed improvement again! Yay! Like I said last week, head ultrasound day is my least favorite day every week. Of course it’s Monday. This week, though, we got great news. Mason’s ventricles are getting smaller still and they think there is no bleeding outside the ventricles. We had to wait all day though. I missed Dr. Miquel’s call but she left me the best voicemail I could have hoped for. I would have given her a hug if she told me this news in person!
Otherwise Mason is about the same as last week. He’s being treated for a fungal infection so they can’t do much else right now. Good news on the infection is that he’s not acting sick and they identified it as a common form of yeast that responds well to the meds he is already getting. Once he finishes this treatment and we confirm that he no longer has a fungal infection, he will get the steroid to help his lungs get stronger.
Don’t tell Mason but he’s actually doing pretty well with his breathing. He’s still on the jet ventilator but they have been able to wean his settings so he’s getting less support.
Here’s a picture of Mason from today. He’s puffy (not fat). And he’s wearing a giant diaper (he graduated from micro preemie to preemie size). The puffiness should go down as his lungs get better and he gets off some of his meds.

Logan:
Logan had a rough weekend. And that’s an understatement. Last Thursday he got off the jet ventilator and back on the regular ventilator. This turned out to be too good to be true. On Friday he needed a new breathing tube and things went all kinds of wrong for him. Poor guy. He got a pneumothorax, which is an air leak in the lung. This has been a risk all along because we know he has sick lungs and he’s had PIE in the past, which is related. So Logan had to get a chest tube Friday to get the air out of his chest cavity. He recovered really well and actually went down to pretty low ventilator settings. Then on Saturday morning his chest x-ray showed that the PIE was back. So Logan is now back on the jet ventilator. He still has the PIE but he seems pretty comfortable. And he’s on pretty low ventilator settings still. Today they were able to turn the suction off on the chest tube too because they don’t see a leak in his lung anymore. So we’re making progress.

Logan is getting the steroid for his lungs right now. He’s on day 5 of 9. We haven’t seen much  improvement other than a lower oxygen requirement. Hopefully the PIE will go away in the next few days and his lungs will start to improve.

To make matters worse, Logan’s nurse this weekend picked out the most horrible blanket to cover his isolette – Nascar (sorry Nascar fans). I came to the rescue yesterday. The one he has now is much better (but still has creepy clowns on one side). Dr. Peeples is working on this for us. We’ll see if she comes through. Apparently she has a thing against ugly blankets. I’m glad we’re on the same page.

Here’s a few pictures of Logan from this week. He’s laying on his side to hopefully collapse the right lung somewhat, which will help get rid of the PIE. And he’s a little jaundiced but he’s getting meds for that too.

This is from today (June 3)
These next 2 are from Saturday right after he got the chest tube put in.

 

 

James:
James had a great weekend. He is taking the steroid for his lungs and it’s working! James got off the ventilator yesterday and is now back on the nasal cannula. Poor kid doesn’t like the nasal cannula in his nose though! When they first put it in he kept sneezing! And although he can cry now that he doesn’t have a breathing tube in between his vocal cords, he is so hoarse that not much noise comes out! I bet that’s frustrating! So far James is doing great off the ventilator. In fact, he’s doing so well that Dr. Miquel called him her boyfriend (and babies have to be really good to make boyfriend status). Hopefully he can stay off this time (and keep his older woman girlfriend too)!

I’ve said this before, but James is super feisty and he has an attitude! I convinced Dr. Miquel that he got this from Brian. She doesn’t know me very well obviously.

James loves his paci. Unfortunately he can’t hold it in his mouth so someone has to stand there and do it for him. Yesterday right after they extubated him, I stood there for over an hour holding his paci in his mouth and rubbing his little head. Then today Brian and I both spent at least an hour doing the same thing. Let’s hope this doesn’t become a thing! (I kind of like it now but I’m sure it will get old if he’s always this needy!)

James also had another big milestone today – he got to wear clothes! He is big enough and he is keeping his temperature up well enough on his own that he can wear clothes now! So today he got to wear a little t-shirt (it was huge on him) and he got to be swaddled for the first time. I think he liked it! They said I can bring clothes to the hospital for him but I don’t have anything small enough! He only weighs like 3 1/2 pounds!

Here are a few more pictures of James from this week.

 

I do not have giant hands I promise! His hands are just super tiny!

 

I put my ring on him for just a second. Not too long though because he likes to fling his arms around!

Mom:
I have had a lot going on the last few days too. As you may know, I have been struggling with breast pumping. Well the 3 things that help with breast milk are (1) a baby breast feeding; (2) low stress; and (3) supplements or medication. Obviously I don’t have (1) or (2). So yesterday I started taking fenugreek. And now I smell like maple syrup (just a little). And my burps taste like maple syrup too. As much as I like syrup (it is one of the four food groups after all), hopefully I’ll see an increase in milk soon too!

I went to see Dr. Dora today for my final checkup and everything is great. I was kind of excited to see how much weight I have lost so far too. So far I can wear 1 pair of shorts and 1 pair of jeans. This is pretty exciting news! Unfortunately the 1 pair of jeans are my least favorite pair of jeans (and I have a lot of jeans). Well, I got on the scale and . . . I weigh exactly the same as I did a month ago! What?! Seriously. If my mom and my grandparents didn’t read this I would say WTF. (sorry Mom and anyone else I offended). So I asked Dr. Dora if I can start running again and she said yes! Yay! Hopefully this will help with my stress level too. We’ll see.

I went for my first run tonight. It felt great. Let me clarify that a little. It felt great to be running again, to sweat, and to do something I enjoy that is good for me. The actual act of running did NOT feel great. And I did Week 1 Day 1 of Couch to 5k so I only ran 8 minutes out of the 20 I ran total (1 minute running, 1.5 minutes walking, repeat). Regardless, I’m glad I did it. And I have a long way to go before I can run like I did before I got pregnant! I’m sure once the babies come home I’ll get way off track and have to start over again in the future. But for now it feels good to be able to do something for myself.

15 Weeks and Growing

15 weeks today! For anyone who likes the fruit-baby comparisons, the babies are supposedly the size of apples this week (or 4 inches long).

I am finally starting to look a little pregnant (sometimes). Here’s a picture I made Brian take of me tonight. For anyone who asked for photos of my bump, you’re welcome. I guess I’ll post a few here and there.
Most of the time I just look like I’ve gained a little weight. I’m in that awkward phase where I look fat instead of pregnant. But I’m getting there. Several people have commented on my growing bump the last few days. Jack (my boss) even rubbed my belly today. Pretty awkward but I know he means well.
Basically I’ve been trying to eat right and get some exercise while I still can. Here’s what I’ve been doing:
Exercise: I’ve been trying to get to the gym some and I’ve been doing some prenatal yoga at home. I’ve been making it to the gym about once a week, but I would like to go twice a week if possible. Brian would prefer that I do nothing. My main goal is to stay healthy, keep the babies in for as long as possible, and keep myself strong enough to stay off bed rest as long as possible.
At the gym I do a light 30 minutes elliptical workout then either a very modified core workout or light upper body machines. 
Funny story about the gym this week: So yesterday I went to the gym after performing my Dance Mom duties. Unfortunately, there was a camera man there! And FYI, I just looked fat yesterday. Several of my coworkers confirmed this by laughing at my muffin top before I headed out. I blame it mostly on my poor choice of shirts but still, I had no business being in a video for a gym. Of course this happened though. For anyone who doesn’t know, I have been in the 10 Fitness commercials here in Little Rock for over the last two years off and on. I happened to be at the gym at the right (wrong) time – 10 am on a Wednesday to be exact – and I ended up in several shots for the commercial. Sometimes my cameo appearance is still included in current commercials. Hopefully this time they only got either my chest up or my butt down. Yeah I know, good luck with that. At first I was in good shape. I was parked on an elliptical next to an older out-of-shape lady who had no business being in the commercial. But then, of course, an attractive (for the gym) athletic younger guy gets on the elliptical on the other side of me (if he turns out to be hideous in the commercial don’t judge me – I couldn’t be caught staring at him so I really don’t know). I almost started picking my nose so they wouldn’t use me again. Maybe I should have . . . . 
Today I decided to stay home for my workout. So I did my yoga video (thanks Bethany and Keith). Now I’ve never done yoga before so I have nothing to compare it to, but is she serious? First, the yoga instructor and the students are all wearing unitards. And they are supposed to be in varying stages of pregnancy. I, on the other hand, do not wear a unitard, ever. Then, the instructor tells me things like “feel the dignity of your pose” as I’m falling over, or my favorite, “yoga is like childbirth” (yeah right, I know that’s a lie). Then there’s the “guided relaxation” segment at the end. This is the portion of the workout where my dogs always find something or someone outside to bark at. And either Brian or Addison always decide that this is a good time to come in the bedroom and ask me questions, including “what are you doing” or “are you asleep?” Needless to say, the guided relaxation doesn’t work for me. So yeah, yoga probably isn’t my thing. I do like it though because it stretches me out. But I haven’t really been able to fully relax during or after yoga yet. Maybe that comes later? Maybe I just need a less cheesy yoga video and/or instructor. 
Pregnancy Diet: Not really a diet I guess. But I am supposed to eat an extra 900 calories per day (300 per baby per day)! This is on top of my previous daily calories, which was around 1200. So basically double the calories. I try to get 2000+ calories a day. I am also watching fiber and protein. I downloaded a pregnancy nutrition app a few weeks ago to keep track of everything and that has really helped. 
My goal is to make my meals count and still eat mostly healthy good-for-me-and-the-babies food. I get full pretty fast (unless it’s pizza, and then I can eat a gross amount that would put any grown man to shame) so I try to eat snacks. I’ve started eating bigger breakfasts, like a smoothie with fruit, yogurt, almond milk, flax seed and spinach if Brian is out of bed (don’t knock the spinach until you try it – you can’t taste it and it’s so good for you!). And I’ve been eating snacks between meals, like pretzels, granola bars, yogurt (yum! and good for calcium too).  
Another big thing I have to watch in my diet is water. I need more than the standard 64 ounces recommended for everyone. I was told 80-100 ounces per day. I’ve done pretty well with this, usually closer to 80 but still good. And I can track my water with my nutrition app!  But as you can probably imagine, all that water means I can never sleep through the night without getting up at least once to use the bathroom.
My favorite foods right now – pizza, ice cream, cookies, and yogurt. I guess these aren’t pregnancy cravings though because I love these things all the time anyways. I also rediscovered bagels with cream cheese. One thing I have noticed is that I have reverted to my high school/college days and dip everything in ranch again, like pizza of course.