Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Gender reveal!

I know, I know, I was a complete tease last week when I told you I'd had an ultrasound but wasn't telling you the gender yet. As promised, we told our families over Thanksgiving and are finally ready to tell the world. Without further ado:
it's a boy!!

Honestly, we were a little surprised. We did not have a preference, but both Mr. Joanna and I, and pretty much everyone who knew much about my first pregnancy and this one, thought it was a girl. It's fun knowing. Now we get to begin the wonderfully sweet process of picking a name, planning for the nursery, and daydreaming about snuggling and raising newbie. 

Here in blogland, holy moly but y'all have been busy posting! I'm still catching up from being gone for Thanksgiving. I'm getting there! 

Monday, November 28, 2011

Mondays in Love: Thanksgiving Edition

I'm back from Thanksgiving and about ready to get back to the blog world (seriously, I'm really behind. I'm not trying to ignore you, I just haven't been home!). This very American holiday was nothing short of fabulous this year. We don't have any family in Chicago, but decided to meet up there anyway because, well, why the heck not? We got a fancy schmancy name-your-own-price hotel easily within walking distance of Michigan Ave. We made reservations for Thanksgiving dinner out, saw Being Elmo (fabulous! seriously for all ages), went to the Shedd Aquarium, did a little shopping, and fulfilled one of our very few family traditions: the mid-generation pre-Christmas martini night out.

Me (rocking the Shirley Temple), Mr. Joanna, Kdot, and ODP

This tradition started almost a decade ago when my brother and I escaped from our parents' house for some last minute Christmas shopping and from listening to Anderson Cooper at 14 decibels (my mom finally, years later, got hearing aids, thank goodness). We found ourselves at an outdoor mall near noon on a Monday feeling, yeah.... I looked at the predictable Applebee's, looked at ODP, and told him we were going in for a drink. So there, noon on Monday before Christmas, we had martinis. And a tradition was born. I love this tradition.

We got back from Chicago late Saturday night and today we're fully back into the swing of things and I'm back to running. THANK YOU Cyber Monday for letting me buy my coveted maternity running top at $15 off!! Can't wait for it to arrive. In the meantime, give me a day or two to get caught up with blogs! 

Monday, November 21, 2011

Mondays in Love: It's a.....

Healthy, growing baby!

Yes, as of this morning we know the gender. But you're going to have to wait until after Thanksgiving to find out. :) We are going to tell our families first. I hope you understand. For now all I can tell you is that everything is looking healthy and normal. We are so blessed!

In the meantime, let's see if y'all have reliable instincts on these matters. What variety of baby do you think I'm expecting??

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Odds & ends

Sorry if you saw an early version of this in Reader. Did not mean to hit Publish just yet...

It's been a quiet week around here. The I'm-shy-on-iron situation kept the early part of the week running-free. But, I got updates, yo.
  1. I had a fantastic Wednesday morning run. I think I'm out of the woods on this whole iron situation. Leg cramping frequency is down. BOOYA. 
  2. The Holiday Booty Buster Challenge starts on Saturday. Since my mileage is so far down and I'm clearly not in training mode, I put myself in the "Building" category. I love the way this challenge is set up this year and I'm excited to play along!
  3. I've also signed up for The Boring Runners' 2nd Annual Freeze Your Thorns Off 5k. I'll be just shy of 7 months pregnant on race day, but, why the heck not? I'm hoping to still be running, but if not, even a big pregnant lady can walk!
  4. This is maybe my favorite part of this list. My friend/neighbor is planning to run another half-marathon and has asked for input on a training schedule. I'm so geeked about this. More than she probably realizes actually. I've made several of my own training plans, some with input and some without. I'm so excited to finally have a chance to help someone else make one of their own! Maybe she'll let me tag along for speed workouts and scream Fartlek intervals at her. Just kidding. Sort of.  

Monday, November 14, 2011

Mondays on Notice: Iron Deficiency

I have struggled from time to time in my adult life with brief periods of iron deficiency. Only once before can I remember it really being a problem. In the summer of 2009 for a while I was bruising like an over-ripe peach, the palms of my hands hurt all the time, and my muscles felt weak. With some focus on my diet, it passed.

Iron deficiency during pregnancy is common, particularly in the second and third trimesters (I'm currently second trimester). You can read all about it here if you're curious. I didn't realize until I traveled how closely I was walking the line on keeping my nutrition in check.

Two days ago while in Florida I noticed an odd bruise on my leg. Then Saturday I saw a similar one on my left arm. Suspicious. Then yesterday my legs felt like they had no strength in them at all. With a few other symptoms happening too, I'm pretty sure the signs add up to borderline iron deficiency. The second night I was in FL I woke up in the night with foot & leg cramps (low on potassium?). It only took 2 days of being away from bananas and iron-rich breakfast cereals for this to happen. Crazy.

The plan was to do about 6 miles yesterday. But I knew almost as soon as I woke up that I needed to take a break. So, I'm taking a break. RW says that all runners, regardless of consistent running volume, need to take a break every now and then. So, this is mine. This past week was very low mileage, and I'll continue to take it easy until I can bring my diet and symptoms into balance. I'm mainlining spinach, Mini-Wheats and bananas to get back in check. Wish me luck!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Unsweet tea: revelations of running

I'm back from Florida. Old people are cute. And the running ain't bad either.

From the hotel, it was just a few blocks to the Key of Brickell, which is very small and almost entirely hotels, with a pedestrian-only path around the perimeter. I ran a few laps around the island (key?), joyously soaking up the water views and palm trees. I am really thankful for these chances to see and run in other landscapes from time to time!

A weird thing happened while I was gone. I found myself faced with the choice between sweet and unsweet tea at a restaurant. And I ordered unsweet. This can only mean that I've lived too far north for too long, right? Next thing you know I will be able to pronounce the word "Lysol" like a Yankee and will enunciate the"l" at the end of "school" consistently. Perish the thought! :)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Off to the Sunshine State, broken hearted

Bright and early tomorrow morning I'll be on a plane headed to Florida for work. I'm hoping to get in a run in the sunshine while I'm there. Thank goodness for smart phones--the GPS keeps me from getting lost and I can use it to take pics to share. Win! AND when I get back I'll get to see some friends who are in town for (what's left of) the weekend. It's gonna be a great few days.

But I'm broken hearted too. Like everyone else, I am horrified, confused, and saddened by the events coming out of my beloved alma mater this week. I want to say two things about it. First, I think this sums things up pretty well and I encourage you to read it (if you don't fb you can read it here too). I realize this is controversial and I ask you to respect that this is my opinion, even if your own is very different.

Second, that we are still, now and forever, Penn State, and we are so much more than this. From Facebook:

‎"Penn State Football doesn't define us. We are so much more than that. We are the number one school in the country among recruiters from leading companies, according to the Wall Street Journal. We are a leading research institution accredited by the National Science Foundation. We are over 94,000 students across campuses, with alumni in every state and 87 foreign countries. We are the creators of the number one student-run philanthropy in the world, raising over $78 million for the Four Diamonds Fund since THON's creation in 1977. Don't forget how incredible this university is, and don't allow irresponsible oversight to destroy our reputation. FOR THE GLORY."

Monday, November 7, 2011

Mondays in Love: A Blah Run

There's tension here at JoannaRuns. I had a crappy "long" run this weekend, but it's a beautiful thing anyway.

The thing I am desperately in love with is, in fact, the same thing that totally FUBARed my "long" run yesterday: the growing baby in my belly. Allegedly the kid is going through a growth spurt right now. No freaking kidding!! This weekend was an epic saga of eat-sleep-repeat (read: conserve energy) while cramming in as much work/family/cleaning the house time as possible. The run just was not going to happen on Saturday. And when it did happen yesterday, it was slow, tired, and not a lot of fun.

No runner likes to see a run go awry. But, I am so helplessly in love with this tiny person I don't know yet. I want to shout this from the rooftop: I felt the first kicks last Thursday, and it's beyond magical. Right now while I type this I can feel my baby squirming around, just a little. I can't wait to get to know this baby. The next ultrasound--and gender reveal--is in two weeks. I feel like a little kid at Christmas, just almost incapacitated by the desire for the big day to be here already. I so badly want a peek!

This weekend was the first real reminder that sometimes I'm going to have to let things go when it comes to running while pregnant. While I can and will continue to run long into the pregnancy (maybe even up until delivery, if I'm lucky--my doctor and I are both hoping for this), there will be times that I need to cut myself some slack in even the reduced mileage/speed that I've been doing the last few months. I have to remember that the bar is different now, and that my finish line is the healthy delivery of my child (God willing) and not a PR under a huge digital clock. (Although, incidentally, a "labor PR" would be welcomed. Seriously. I was in labor for over 22 hours last time. And the image of a huge digital clock over a hospital bed is hilarious.)

Those of you who know me well know that I totally suck at letting things go. But, I've been through this once before, I get it. And I'm just so, so thankful.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Hoarders, Running Data Edition

Let me start by saying that I am absolutely not a hoarder. If anything, I'm a little trigger happy on disposing of things. Over-crammed closets, cabinets, and rooms stress me out. So imagine my surprise when I realized that I have become a hoarder of running data. It all started so innocently.

At first I kept data only intermittently or not at all. Then I kept it on, then on Garmin Desktop Training Center. Then, well, things got out of hand. 

See, because I work around the clock and my employer prefers to keep it that way, my laptop belongs to my employer. Last week they updated it, and in doing so backed up everything except my Garmin Training Center data. *%^&!! I lost my data, at least in Garmin-ese anyway.  

My response may have been overkill. I decided to start backing up to Garmin Connect. And...I've decided to start using dailymile (find me! I have like 4 friends on there right now. It's kinda sad and I feel like a noob), although that one was just for fun.

That means I'm now storing running data on Garmin desktop and online, runningahead, and dailymile. That's right, in FOUR places. Not counting the record keeping for HBBC and POTM (see badge to the right). 

Am I alone here in my insanity? How many sites/places do you store your data? Have you ever lost massive quantities of it? This is out of control.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Only a runner

Pregnant woman tend to remember more of their dreams and have more vivid dreams than the rest of the population. I knew this was true for me, but didn't realize how common it was until I got an article from You can read all about it here (and probably learn more than you want to know about the approximate size and composition of buns in the oven at 17 weeks). The short version goes, we wake up to pee frequently, thus interrupting REM sleep and allowing us to remember more of our dreams.

The other night I had a dream where I had amnesia (true story: I just had to ask my husband what the word is for when you can't remember anything). In this dream, I could not for the life of me remember who I was. It wasn't like it was on the tip of my tongue and I just couldn't spit it out, it was like the information genuinely was not stored in my brain any more. In the dream, I solved this problem by happening upon a picture of me taken during a race, then used the bib number in the picture to look up the race results and figure out what my name was. 

The weirdest part? The Redhead was helping me look up the bib number. We've met in real life on multiple occasions. Had this been real, she could have just told me who I was. But I think we've established that this is the ludicrous production of a pregnant runner's brain. 

No one other than a runner would have this dream. Ever. This makes me cherish it. And laugh at myself. Do you ever have crazy runner dreams? What's the craziest of them?