Tuesday, March 31, 2009

"What a cute little baby"

I had a Doctors appointment at 8am today. That gave Michael & I enough time to join some friends for a run from Pure Austin before heading to the appointment.

We had another ultrasound today. Baby G didn't seem quite as active as last time but was still moving around. The nurse said it might be taking a nap after it's run. I wouldn't be surprised, by this point I think Baby G is getting accustomed to the morning workouts. Actually, Baby G has already logged about 190hrs of workouts which may be why the placenta looks so huge right now. Studies have shown exercise during early pregnancy leads to an increase in placenta size. When Michael saw the ultrasound he commented, "Doesn't look like there's much space in there."

Among other humorous comments from the appointment was the comment from the nurse, "What a cute little baby." To this Michael replied, "Don't they all look the same in the ultrasound?" The nurse insisted they don't and ours was cute, made us laugh a bit. I'm just happy to see Baby G moving it's arms and legs around although I'd definitely prefer a cute baby over an ugly baby.

This evening we went for a swim at the Quarry. The water temp is about 65 right now, still wetsuit temperature for me. The wetsuit still fits but I'm not sure how long that will last. Even though I've only gained about 4lbs from my pre-preggo weight, it still felt a little tight around my belly. I think I'm soon going to be on the lookout for some old wetsuits that people won't mind letting me borrow... next step will be moving up to women's small. I'm hoping I don't get to the point of needing Michael's wetsuit, that would imply about 50lbs of weight gain, 2x the amount my doctor said I should gain by the end.

The other big news / rule of the appointment was the bike ride update. Doc said she doesn't want me riding a "real bike" on the road after this weekend. I've been cleared to head to Galveston and have fun but after that my trainer and I will become best friends. Assuming the weather is good this weekend, Baby G and I will plan to be out at Galveston doing something, just for fun. If there's a repeat of the 2007 monsoon (picture to left) I am most likely going to be dancing in the rain or not bothering to race at all.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

My new Shimano 7900 Dura-Ace Group

I took this picture the other night so we could send it to Felt. That's me, on my 2008 Felt FW1, holding up some parts from my new Shimano 7900 Dura-Ace group.

You may be wondering why a pregnant lady would have this brand new, top of the line, set of components for her bike... Although the idea of testing out the newest components is quite appealing they won't actually be on my bike until next season.

At this point I'm hoping you are utterly confused about this whole situation, you should be. If you'd like to place a guess on how all this came about do so before reading any further.

Felt Bicycles has set up a number of tutorials to teach it's dealers about their products. As incentive to complete these tutorials they have a drawing at the end of each month to win some great new gear. At the end of January I happen to be the lucky winner of a new Shimano 7900 Dura-Ace kit. Sweet!

Although I had an idea that I might be pregnant I didn't want to listen to the suggestions about selling my new kit for money. After all, I am a Garel and it wouldn't be right if I didn't want to have the coolest gadget. Besides, I'd just won it and things like that don't happen all the time.

So I ordered my kit, with my 165 cranks, knowing that I would probably keep it until next year before getting to fully enjoy it. It just didn't seem logical to install the new gear on a bike which will be sitting on the trainer most of the summer.

As a side note, I also have brand new hubs and spokes on my Zipp 404's. They are super light and the hubs are smooth as butter. The wheels probably won't see any tires until next year, just another little bit of gadget fun which I'll have ready to go when the time comes.

Sunday, March 22, 2009


Last night Michael & I finally saw Slumdog Millionaire. Actually, he saw part of it on the airplane back from Taiwan but missed the majority of it because he was asleep. After weeks of failed attempts to plan the movie outing, we finally made it last night. It was well worth the wait, I really enjoyed the movie.

Many times it seems I am disappointed with a movie that receives a lot of good press. You go in expecting a great movie and leave thinking it wasn't worth all the hype. This was not the case last night, it was worth the compliments it has received. I good story which was played out in a way that kept your attention and peaked your interest. I also think the directors did a wonderful job casting the movie. Michael did some reading on it when he returned and learned of the Bali-wood and no-name actors they'd chosen for the parts, I think they made some good decisions along the way.

This leads to my next train of thought... I need to collect a list of movies to watch over the next 6 months. I'm planning to be doing a lot of trainer rides this summer and it's a good time to get in some quality movie watching. Unfortunately, unlike a friend down the road, I don't have a list of movies I want to see. I'm hoping I'll collect some ideas from others. Good movies, no horror flicks, no subtitles (can't read them on the bike), and nothing with kidnapped children because I consider those horror flicks.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Clearing the head

I've been very congested the past couple of days. So badly congested and fatigued that I spent most of yesterday in bed. My big activity for the day was a 30min walk around the block with Michael.

Aside from feeling as if my immune system is in a depleted state, I'm also concerned about Baby G, hoping my sickness doesn't have any adverse effects. For some reason this seems to be my concern quite often. Am I doing too much? Am I eating correctly? I'm assuming I'm not the only person who has felt this way during pregnancy.

Sleep last night didn't go so well. I was blowing my nose a lot and had a couple of coughing attacks. I was so stuffed up I had to breathe through the mouth most of the night. This led to a dry mouth and a lot of water consumption. At some point this morning I had a dream that I was trying to drink water and couldn't feel or taste it. I eventually woke myself up to discover I was very thirst at that point.

When Michael was ready to roll out this morning I was still in bed, feeling quite fatigued. He was joining a couple people to ride a damn loop and that didn't sound like a good idea to me (I am still debating when / where to ride outside). Instead, he said up the computer to Pandora so I could listen to U2 radio while riding on the trainer. This worked out quite well, I got in a nice ride and was able to blow my nose whenever I needed.

Quite an interesting adventure, I hope I'm making good choices.


P.S. You may notice a tan-line on my arm. That was a result of going out to lunch on St Patrick's day w/o sunblock on. 1.5hr in the sun w/o the SPF and I was toast, go figure.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Morning (aka "All Day") Sickness

Morning sickness seems to be one of the most glorified aspects of early pregnancy... or maybe I should say most horrifying aspect of early pregnancy.

A lot of people ask how I've been feeling or tell me stories of what they endured. Contrary to popular belief, it seems there are a lot more women who don't toss their breakfast every day. Don't be fooled by this, not throwing up is very different from not feeling morning sickness.

I've been feeling it since early January. As I drive to swim practice my stomach is usually in a horrible state but luckily that seems to be less obvious while I'm exercising aerobically. There are a few references which suggest exercise is one way to decrease morning sickness, good news for me. The bad news for me is that the natious feeling lingers for a while. There are some days when I feel sick to my stomach all day and I often feel worse after dinner.

Today was quite possibly my worst day yet. It seems that I have been attacked by some local airborne allergens. The entire day was a haze of feeling bad and horrible. I tried my best to hide it although I believe a few people figured me out.

I just tried a sinus flush for the first time. It's a strange thing to do but quite similar to the way I feel when I try to swim in the ocean. For some reason I always seem to catch waves at the wrong time and flush that salt water through my system. I'm hoping the sinus flush works, I'm not enjoying the extra discomfort.

Another pregnancy rumor relates to when the morning sickness subsides. I've heard you're in the clear after the first trimester. Unfortuntely, I also just heard a story of someone who dealt with it her entire pregnancy. This is when I hope the exercise decreases symptoms theory is on my side. I'd love to gain back my motivation to work out.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Was it planned?

The post-it above has been stuck to our bathroom mirror since Feb 2007. I put it up when Michael returned home with his "project" airplane. Here's the entry from his blog:

Oh yeah.. When I got home after picking up the project, there was this little post-it note on the mirror... A translation for those who may be confused at the terminology: (A) Lancair flys - that's this project.. (B) PhD in hand - Michelle is back in school going for her PhD in Biomechanics.. (C) 3:10 marathon - My Boston Marathon qualifying time.. Last year I was 30sec off, wasn't even close this year. (D) Slot to Kona - Michelle has hopes of getting a slot to the Ironman World Championships in Kona, HI.. (E) Another Garel - Our mothers are hoping this win's the contest (though not hinting at anything - we're not trying at this moment).

When I started to tell people I was pregnant I was surprised about the most common question I received, "Was it planned?" Eventually I started to ask people why this question had come up, they all seemed to have different reasons for asking me this. Even after hearing why they asked the question, it still continues to catch me off guard.

So, for those of you asking....

Yes, it was planned. It was more planned that most anyone knew. Michael & I have been together for 12 years and we decided long ago that we wanted to have kids. We also decided long ago that we weren't ready for kids, instead we wanted to have time together first. For a long time we knew we were still too selfish and when the time was right we'd know it.

We've known it's been getting closer for a few years and there are a few things that were 'checked off the list' before we tried to get pregnant. For example, running Boston with an injured foot. In general, I had no business to be running Boston last year but I knew it was something I wanted to do so Michael told me to go do it when I knew I could, check. The biggest thing was getting a faster Ironman time. IM FL was my 7th IM. Until that point, my first one had been my fastest and that was not sitting well with me. I signed up for FL knowing it was a fast course, probably my best chance to assure myself a fast time. I had a pie-in-the-sky goal of sub 11 hrs and with the help of strong training partners, good weather, and a great coach I managed to cross the line with a minute and a half to spare. I cannot begin to explain how great it felt to cross the line that night. As crazy as this might sound to many of you, that time is really what sealed the deal on starting a family.

One of my friends asked me if I'd accomplished everything I wanted to before starting a family. Of course I have. Michael and I have spent years together being selfish with our time together and now we are ready for our next challenge. Okay... I'm scared to death but I'm ready to be scared about it.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

My arms are going to fall off

When I woke up this morning I was still feeling exhausted. No worries, this wasn't the first time I've felt that way. I packed myself up and made my way to the UT pool.

I asked one of the other girls in my lane, who just had her 2nd son last year, if she felt tired before she started to show. She said the fatigue was her first sign. She joked, "Something is taking over your body." Very accurate description of how I feel. Today was surely an example of that.

By 1hr into the swim I hopped out of the pool to grab my emergency gel, I was bonking. By 1:20 into the swim my speed had petered to nothing and I was done. Our swim workouts never seem easy but this one really took it's toll and I could feel myself falling apart.

I think yesterday also played a part in this. My day started out with my Mon morning weight session. I was pleasantly surprised yesterday, my stomach didn't hurt while I was lifting. It's amazing how much I appreciate something I never realized I had.

I've already begun to think about adjustments to my weights / core workouts. I'm pretty uncomfortable doing core work on my belly but I found back extensions to be okay when I lay across an exercise ball. I think the exercise ball might become a new best friend. I've read some mention of how it makes weights and core much easier as you progress through pregnancy.

Keep in mind, this reading has been a double edged sword. It seems that the more you read or find on the internet, the more conflicting advice you discover. So I tried to pull a couple of key thoughts away from my search yesterday: focus on form and make the necessary adjustments throughout pregnancy. Personally, I think I'm going to try to roll with it and see how I feel when deciding what I can and can not do.

As a side note, substitute teaching the J&A core class before I told anyone about my pregnancy was quite a challenge. I worked hard to cover my fatigue. A few weeks ago I was so starving and tired that I made a trip to Tom's market at 4:30 to buy some food. The others around me seemed concerned that I was eating so much I'd feel it during the workout. I was thinking to myself, "If I don't eat this now I don't think I'll make it too the workout."

Returning from my segue on core workouts... yesterday afternoon was a solid bike with intervals and a swim. A good quality couple hours that set me up to wake up a bit tired today.

When I got out of the pool today one of my friends asked what I'm craving. I replied, "A nap." So I'm going to take that opportunity and give myself 30min right now.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Baby G's first race

I've run the 3M half marathon every year I've been in Austin, except 2008 (foot injury). This year, I was hoping for a PR, which would mean I'd have to run faster than my 2006 time. The course was rumored to be a bit short that year but I was feeling good about my running.

Well... good until about 3 weeks before 3M. That's when I started to feel fatigued and worn down. In December I'd been easily nailing my targets at the track, feeling strong and relaxed as I ran. The first track run in January (Sun 1/4) felt slow but I shook it off since I'd been feeling so fatigued that week. By the 2nd Friday of January I was toast. I went to the track twice that day to 'attempt' my workout. I struggled both times and had to bag the workout after only completing a couple of my mile repeats, much slower than expected.

That Friday was the day when I knew for sure that something was going on. I'd been a bit dizzy at fast Friday swim the week before but had attributed that to my fatigue and a hard workout. Being so tired on the run was a different story. For me, it's rare to bag a workout mid way through. Strangely enough I felt the urge to attempt it again later in the day, assuming it would be better. Not only was it worse the 2nd time, I started to feel quite run-down and was still pretty wiped out when I got to dinner.

At that point I faced a bit of panic... what if I am pregnant and just messed something up by going to run harder than I should've? That question was my biggest concern for most of January. I was still putting in some good training and worried that I might be doing too much.

By the time 3M rolled around my goal had shifted a bit. Instead of trying for a PR I decided to just go out and see how the day went. Michael joined me mid-way as part of his long run, training for the marathon. When he joined me I was still feeling pretty good but by mile 10 I didn't have the energy I was hoping for. Instead of picking up the pace as planned I struggled to keep myself from slowing down too much. I ended up finishing 10s slower than my 2007 time, 2 min off my original goal for the day. Don't get me wrong, it was a good run but I had wanted to feel stronger at the end.

I went off to work and that's when another huge bit of anxiety hit. Mid-afternoon I went to the bathroom and saw a horrid sight, reddish-pink discoloration. Let's just say I got a bit freaked out at that point. I thought I'd run too hard or dehydrated myself so much that I'd messed things up, it was a horrible feeling. Thankfully after some google searching I discovered a probable cause, I'd eaten a large amount of raw beets and hummus the day before. As a reference, raw beets will effect the color of your urine. Although I'd eaten them before, this was the first time I'd seen the effect of having too many.

Being pregnant is quite a roller coaster at times. It's unsettling to be so concerned about things happening to me and worried that I might have done something wrong. It was even more difficult to keep a lot of the concerns to myself. Although a couple co-workers knew about my beet story they didn't realize why it had bothered me quite so much until I explained myself a month later.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

When did you figure it out?

Before I start writing this post, I should probably mention the most common thing I've heard about pregnancy, "everyone is different." I'm pretty sure that observation is correct. Why would we have any reason to believe differently?

I've had a lot of questions about feeling sick, fatigued, etc. Some people wonder when I started to feel it or how bad it is.

One of my friends told me that she seemed to instantly know when she'd gotten pregnant. I wondered if that would be true... I'd have to say that is the way it went.

At the close of last year I'd been running well and feeling good. I'd even begun to attempt flip turns and had successfully completed a few of them when I was in Miami. On New Years day Michael and I had a good Runtex to Runtex run.

The next day began a string a less stellar workouts. My log was splattered with comments about feeling tired and slow for a week. I had a suspicion that I was pregnant but part of me wondered if it was just in my head. Maybe I was telling myself it could be true because we'd started to try. Or maybe I was just feeling fatigued because I'd been making a lot of trips to the hospital to visit one of my friends. I kept wondering if that horrible feeling in my stomach was really due to pregnancy.

Yes, all those feelings were due to what I suspected, I knew the answer long before a saw the 2 lines on the stick. By the time I actually took the home pregnacy test it was almost a joke, I'd waited until Michael returned home from his Taiwan trip and by that point I was already 9 1/2 weeks pregnant. The test says it takes 5 min for results, I was about half way done brushing my teeth when the 2 lines showed up, unquestionably clear.

So what did we do? We called Michael's mom at 5:30 eastern time to tell her the news (I'd gotten up early for a swim). She was excited but Michael's step father was a bit less amuzed by the time of the phone call. It was a complete suprize to them, we'd kept our intentions pretty quiet to avoid any questioning.

That part of the plan worked well. My mother had been down to visit for the marathon and suspected I was pregnant but didn't ask. There was only one person who actually asked us if I was pregnant. Aside from that, we did a pretty good job keeping our plan to ourselves. More later on 'the plan.'

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Starting to blog again

It's been over a year since I last posted to my blog. A lot has happened since then, I might even reminisce about some of it later but for now I'll just explain why I'm starting this up again.

The ultrasound pictures you see to the left were taken last week, they are ultrasounds of my belly. I am just about 12 weeks pregnant right now. My due date is Sep 28th.

As you may imagine this is a big deal for Michael & I, we're super excited.

I decided to start up my blog again to have a reference for some others. My comments will be for my family / friends who want to keep up to date on how things are going and also for people who might be able to use this as a reference.

For those of you who know me, you might also know that I am a relatively active person. Although there are a few references out there about exercising through pregnancy, which I will discuss in a later post, there are a lot of questions still floating around. I am by no means and expert but I thought it might be nice to share my story so others might be able to use it as a reference in the future. At the very least it'll save my coach from getting so many emails whenever I feel the need to share my thoughts of the day.

I hope you all feel free to comment and ask questions. Of course, I reserve the right not to publish all my thoughts on the Internet.

- pregnant MG