Monday, February 23, 2009


5 miles on the treadmill at the gym today. Mixed up the speeds a little but average was around 9:20 pace. Easy cardio-wise, but my legs and weird near-uterus muscles start feeling it around 3 miles. Plan to hop on the trainer tomorrow morning for 30-40 minutes and take the core class at night. Getting anxious about going back to work, still don't know how I'll get out the door by 7am. Thank god my mom comes Sunday.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Oh yeah, MUSCLES.

Not going to stress out about not running "enough" these days.

I work out in some fashion just about every day. I just got a trainer for the bike this week so now I can do cardio at home for those days the gym or a run outside won't happen. (I would prefer a treadmill but this fit the budget a lot better.) And I really like lifting weights. A strong upper body matters to me more now than setting PRs this year, even though my ego wants to be able to say I got faster after pregnancy. I'll settle for being stronger.

Just trying to give myself permission to change my goals. I'm not abandoning all goals, just going for one that is more attainable. I'm just not finding time to do long runs, at least in this weather, with the BOB, and once I go back to work I think I just won't want to go out for 1.5-2 hours to run. I'll still run, just more for fun, or shorter distances (I still want to do speed work). And if I bike more or lift more than I run, I want to feel good about that and not lament the fact that I'm not running. Lifting makes me feel...strong.

Um, geez, this shouldn't surprise me. Consider the title of my blog!

Monday, February 16, 2009


The coveted vein in my biceps is back. Which surprises me. I have been lifting more and I have been sure to do more biceps than usual. But my body fat is up too. Maybe it's lower body though, hips and stomach, and my upper body has escaped it.

When I was lifting today, my friend was training a client (older guy) and when he went to get water she told me that he had commented on my being a "strong woman." Is it too early to take Andra to the weight room and expose her to this good body image stuff???

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Sunny day run

Ran 5.5 miles today, a cold, bright, sunny, perfect day for running. I pushed Andra for one 1.5 mile loop, Fred pushed her for the second, and then I did a 2.5 mile loop to finish. I was in such a good mood, just being out there, running sometimes with friends and sometimes by myself. When I got back to the parking lot and Fred said Andra was "going nuts" crying, I surprised myself by just going with the flow and not getting annoyed or frustrated (with one or both of them!). I realized then how important running is, and will be, to my sanity.

The first 4 miles felt great, the last 1.5 a little harder (I pushed from 3-4 miles). I still feel muscles/ligaments/something around my uterus/groin that I didn't used to feel pre-pregnancy, so things are good but not totally normal still. Fine for where I want to be now, slowly building up my long run. I hope to do 6 next week and soon be doing 8 at least twice a month. My next half isn't until the end of June, so I don't really feel the need to push the distance yet. I should still be focusing on weights. I have 2 more weeks til I go back to work, so I should take advantage of that because it could take me a couple weeks to get into a new routine in March.

Friday, February 13, 2009


So it's something every mom should do at least once...go to a playgroup. Through our YWCA, I found one for moms (face it, these things are not designed for the babies) of babies around Andra's age. 5 of us ended up on the emails, and we met today. It was just over a mile from my house, but - and this is so important to understand - in a different town. I live in the "city," playgroup was in the "suburb." The rich suburb. So I was doubly skeptical, but as my husband kindly pointed out to me that I was going in determined to hate it, I tried not to roll my eyes as I walked in and met these women. (They were all there before me, I walked over with the BOB since it was relatively nice out and I wasn't thinking I was motivated enough to go to the gym today - though I did lift weights some at home this morning).

I was underdressed. How does one underdress for playgroup? Well, for starters, I didn't have my 12 carat engagement ring on. Or my 6 carat diamond earrings. And silly me, I forgot to tell my housekeeper to pick up my $350 jeans from the dry cleaners. Andra looks cute, but is also not wearing designer clothes (not at the rate she's been spitting up lately!). One of the first topics of conversation is about furniture and things their designers have picked out (most of these women are fairly new to the area). Only one woman was remotely chubby (she was the nicest one). Obviously none of them buy baby things used on Craigslist (I will admit I did wonder if it would've been worth it to buy a new swing, the used one I got is older and not nearly as nice as the one I saw today). Even the mom who was a personal trainer seemed fake (she was, of course, the only one who worked).

At any rate, once Andra started to smell (major poop confirmed a little later at home), and after she raspberried some of her spit-up all over the fancy coffee table, we made our exit. Clearly she was as unimpressed as I.

We won't be going back...

On other notes, I ran 4 miles on the treadmill yesterday after some weights. This is the first time I've passed 3.5 miles on the damn thing since...well, probably October. I've run farther outside, but not in.

Funny faces

I took these pictures 2 weeks ago. Such a little pickle!

The last picture show how much her hemangioma has changed in 2 months. Barely visible on day 1.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


We went into the city today to have Andra's hemangioma evaluated by a dermatologist our pediatrician recommended. We had the consult, then were told that the office had mis-informed us about his accepting our insurance. Everyone else in his practice took it, but not him. Ok, well, he was very clinical and not so personal anyway, so we then went to see another (female) doc whom we liked much better! Both recommended laser treatments to speed the involution of the birthmark. It could take up to 10 years on its own, less than 5 with laser, and probably better results. Given its size and prominent location on her little forehead, we went ahead. I wasn't expecting the treatment to begin that day, but since they could fit us in and we were there, we did. It took all of about 15 seconds, during which they basically zapped it with a pen-sized laser. A little scary, but we'd known what to expect. I've had a wart on my hand similarly zapped, so I know what it feels like - it hurts, but only during the 15 seconds. poor baby. She, of course, was napping, and did NOT like being woken up that way! Sounds like we'll have those treatments every other week, for at least 10 treatments. Yippee. Did I mention also that I hate driving into the city, and I'll have to take her by myself for most of them given my more flexible work schedule?

She was good today though...we definitely changed up her schedule on her, so she was more cranky than usual tonight, but during the day she was a gem. Before her appointment, I had my WedMD interview. We had to go to this studio, and it was a little intimidating. Very professional, like, OK, this is real? Guess I was expecting it to be a little bit low-tech. But they sent me to make-up and the host doctor guy had cue cards all made up with my name and stuff. They were interviewing different people with RA all day. I think the deal is that WebMD will have a bunch of these short clips on the website soon highlighting how people are living with RA. There was a "yoga" girl, a mom with RA, a mom whose little girl has JRA, and, according to the printed schedule, I was the "exceptional fitness example!" Ha! Although if I think of myself as someone with a crippling disease, I guess I do fit that title. I just tend not to think of myself that way. At any rate, Andra slept right up until we should have been done with the inteview...if everything had gone according to schedule. As it was, she woke up hungry (understandably, it had been 4 hours which is unheard of in the morning for her) and squawked right in the middle! So we had to retake part of it after Fred hustled her out for a quick walk in the 60 degree NYC weather. But she let us eat lunch in a deli and walk back to her appointment, remained on the verge of a breakdown until we got out of the waiting room into the exam room, and slept in the car on the way home.

My reward for this was a massage tonight by my friend who's in massage therapy school. She has amazing hands. I'm the type who likes to FEEL my massage - if it doesn't hurt a little bit, it's not worth it. More often than not I've left massages feeling frustrated, not relaxed! Luz's are NOT that way. Plus she always asks about the pressure, more, less? So she doesn't leave it to me to speak up, which can be awkward. She's taking a pathology class this semester and has to do a "project" on someone with a disease: ME! Lucky me! Lots of massages, and focusing on my arms. Who'd have though you could get a half-hour massage on just one arm and still not feel like you wanted it to end??? Since my wrists don't bend (I think I have about a 40-degree range of motion...I don't even know what normal is anymore, but I'm guessing close to 180 - if you comment, can you leave me a degree estimate of your own?), the tendons and muscles in my forearms never get stretched out. Imagine running and never stretching your calves - eventually, ouch, right? I hadn't even really noticed, but now - I notice. It was absolute heaven.

Of course, even though I snuck out of the house thinking Andra was asleep, I'm pretty sure she woke up right after and cried the whole time. Fred won't tell me (smart) but...well, I know. I tell myself they both just need practice together, and that will only happen if I go out, but it's hard.

Long post. Andra hasn't woken up again, poor thing, so I'm taking that as a safe cue to go to bed.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Feel like a slacker

I'm feeling like I'm not getting into the swing of this baby thing. I do try to get out once a day, but even then I try to time it for when Andra's sleeping (which is not predictable, am I supposed to be trying to get her on a schedule or something??) to avoid the possibility of a crying baby in public. Even though she's so good, I don't want to deal with that.

Last Thursday I went to a lactation thing at the pediatrician's. I got some questions answered about going back to work (and then ordered an electric double breast pump...oh boy) and met a couple other new moms (Andra was the big kid at 8 weeks). Friday 2 of those moms and I went to another new mom thing at the hospital, and then out to lunch. It was actually nice being out with other people in the same place in life...and with potentially loud babies. They all slept though (or at least were quiet). Less stressful somehow?

Yesterday (50 degrees here) I had planned to test out the BOB on my favorite short run with some friends, including one of the new moms who has run marathons, but hasn't run since getting pregnant (IVF, didn't want to take chances). So I was SUPER excited. Woke up feeling hung-over though. Not that I had had anything to drink, but it sure felt like it. Ended up puking more than I think I ever have, slept most of the day on the couch, felt guilty for not playing with Andra more, and felt really badly that I canceled on this new possible friend.

So after not eating pretty much at all yesterday, probably being pretty dehydrated (I lost 5 pounds between Sunday morning and think?), I feel mostly fine today and think I should go work out. I won't, we just went for a half-hour walk to test the BOB. But I feel like a slacker. I still haven't run more than 5 miles (which would be fine with me actually, for February, if it hadn't been just one time). I am lifting and actually working out at least 5-6 times a week so I know I'm NOT a slacker. But I am not exactly getting used to worrying about when I can go. I even feel bad leaving her with my husband, as he's not really sure yet how to deal with her when she cries (which makes me feel bad for both of them). It'll get easier as she gets older, right?? Of course as I am typing this, she's been a happy angel in her bouncy, talking to herself, smiling...I couldn't ask for more. Yet being home is easier than being out and NOT KNOWING what could happen.

I realize this is a ramble.

On a totally different topic, we are going into the city Wednesday for a dermatologist appointment for Andra's hemangioma, and also WebMD is doing a series on RA and they are interviewing me for it! I'll be sure to post the link when it's up.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Cranky baby

Despite logging 9 hours (10:30pm-7:30am) of uninterrupted sleep last night, Andra's morning good mood only lasted an hour or so and then she got really cranky. Almost fell asleep a couple times but didn't. I was getting equally off to the gym we went. She fell asleep, I got in a decent workout (back and biceps, then 2.5 miles at a 9:00 pace and some stretching), and she even slept long enough for me to go to the library for some books and Runner's Worlds, and to get a shower when I got home. Now she's cranky again, but I'm hoping more food does the trick.

Last night I gave her a pacifier after a marathon boob-chewing session. She had taken one before, then stopped, but last night it worked again. I'm trying limited use of it, although the pediatrician said not to worry til 6 months or so when they start forming habits and losing the need to suck so much. Still, when it works, it seems too good to be true.

Last Friday I had lunch with my "coach" Kathy, my former student's Ironmom who helped me with a training plan for my marathon last year. It's obviously running focused (leading up to a half at the end of June), and doesn't officially start til March, so I have 4 weeks to keep focusing on weights. My plan is to do both a few days, and then just one or the other once a week. But when I do both, weights come first! That is opposite what I usually do but will hopefully lead to better results. Then come March, everything changes.My mom comes for a month, I go back to work, and I have to take the running plan seriously. Kathy was not very sympathetic about how I am going to fit workouts in; she told me twice a week I will do them before school (because I don't have a 1st period class), and twice before I go home (guess I will have to figure out the pumping thing after all), and then weekends supposedly it will be easier because my husband is home. I need this kick in the butt, it's a little scary, but today showed me that I NEED to workout, to have that time that is just for me. So I will do it.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

"Long" run

I ran outside today for the first time since Thanksgiving. 5.4 miles, no watch, really NICE. I'm pleasantly sore today. And the run kept me from eating much during the Superbowl (not that I could even tell you who played). Felt good to do a "long" run again.