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2018 Races…TBD!

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Diastasis Recti: Every Mother Runners Worst Enemy

My brain is exploding with new, amazing discoveries about rehabilitation of the core and coming back after baby. There is so much I want to share here that it is spilling out of my brain faster than I can type it!!

I have recently begun to really take charge of my recovery post-baby...a full 7-1/2 months after the fact. But, better late than never, no? I did an initial round of physical therapy as soon as I was cleared for full activity, at 8 weeks postpartum. I was able to get back abdominal strength that was completely eliminated in the aftermath of my emergency c-section experience. And by completely I mean *completely*. Sitting up straight was an enormously difficult task. Standing at the sink to clean all the bottles and pump parts required multiple rest breaks because I didn't have the core strength to hold myself up without back pain creeping in, so this meant I had to rest on my forearms. A LOT. It was really bad. And those two months of PT did wonders for restoring my 'general use' strength so I could function normally, start running again, and get rid of the back pain I was experiencing daily.

Now, I need to finish the work I started and close the diastasis recti (DR - an unnatural separation of the abdominal wall, more or less) that has remained despite all the core strengthening I have been doing. Or, perhaps, the DR has remained *as a result of* all the core "strengthening" I have been doing?

Boom. I just said it. Postpartum truth bomb to myself. I was doing it all wrong. I'm in the freaking business and I *still* was doing it wrong.

Guess what? The six-pack abs I worked so diligently to create and maintain over the last decade were worthless. They looked awesome, they served me well in the short term, and I could wear cute, fitted shirts. Then, throw in two pregnancies, an emergency c-section, and only then did I discover how much all my hard work has been in vain (and for vanity). The body is exceptionally good at faking it, until you break it. Pregnancy doesn't give you a DR, lifestyle gives you a DR and pregnancy just brings it to the forefront and holds a mirror up to all your unknown mistakes. (An aside: you would be amazed to know how many *men* have a separation of the abdominal wall.) DR isn't a pregnancy,  "I-had-big-babies" problem (for reference, my kids were 4.5 and 6.5 lbs). DR is a pressure system problem.

My biggest mistake? Breathing. No, seriously. I have been a belly breather for as long as I can remember, and a belly sucker-inner. I won't go into all the details of why this is bad because it would be a silly-long post, but go HERE to find all the goods and to join me in the rabbit hole :)

I am seeing an amazing PT, Susan McLaughlin. I attended her prenatal workshop when I was pregnant with my daughter and was very impressed with the content and used most of what I learned as I prepped for birth/delivery. I'm excited to be working with her and after what I have learned in our first two visits, and the breath work that I have been doing for three weeks has already improved my situation enormously. After a few days, I was hooked and discovered an unopened can of worms I never knew existed.

I mean, I've been breathing my whole life, right? So I've basically been prepping my body for this challenge all along. My pressure system is off and getting it to a good place is actually seriously hard work. But not physically hard. It is mentally hard. Relearning how to breath is a weird thing. I started at a three-finger width DR three weeks ago and when I rechecked it after 10 days of focused work on my home 'exercise' program Susan gave me, it was down to just barely more than one finger-width. AND ALL I HAVE DONE IS WORK ON BREATHING WITH MY ENTIRE RIBCAGE (aka "360 breathing"). No planks, no crunches, no bridges, no sidelying hip abduction, no quadruped bird dogs. Breathing. That's it. I think about it all day long, and even have found myself thinking about it as I fall asleep at night, before I lift my toddler, while I'm holding my 7 month old, driving, eating, all the time! My running is even better now because I can breath. I didn't even know that I was having trouble with it before all of this. Hills? They are my new friend. I seek out hills to run now because I can practice good alignment and ribcage breathing all at once. Who knew?!

The things I am learning are not just great for my own situation. I have been able to cross it over into my work and help others. I was working with a gentleman patient earlier this week with an interesting ribcage (and seeing us for something "unrelated" to this...but, c'mon, it's all connected). I checked and found a 3 finger width DR (IN A MAN), watched his breathing while he did some of his exercises (belly breather), and then showed him (manually and with verbal cues) how to manipulate his breath and use his full ribcage. I was curious. He could get awesome closure of his DR (down to 1 finger width) and good tension of the connective tissue. He said his back felt a lot better just in those few minutes. It was so cool, and he was really encouraged!

Anywho, like I said, rabbit hole :)

In all of this, my ultimate goal is to be able to get back to the kind of running I did before kids (long distance) and for the long term. I don't want to pay later for short cuts used for short term benefit (and long term negative consequences). It takes patience and time, but the payoff is significant. I see enough of the negative consequences walk into the clinic every day to know that it's not how I want to be in 20-30 years. Susan remarked at my most recent appointment that I'm lucky, I get to take advantage of all this stuff I'm learning so early on and for the long term (I'm in my mid-30s). That was a good reminder...because sometimes I feel like I'm learning it *late* in life, ha.

In other news, I've found a new pair of shoes in my quest to discover what else is out there other than my beloved Brooks Ghosts, which I have worn exclusively (for road running) for the last eight years. The Altra Intuition 4.5...I'm digging these so far. I'm also (coincidentally) reading Katy Bowman's book "Whole Body Barefoot". Not my intention to be a barefoot runner, but it is my intention to learn as much as I can about all of the things :) And feet are really, really cool things...they are our foundation, the place where so much of our experience of our world starts!

(Katy Bowman and her Nutritious Movement website/blog/podcast/books is incredible stuff. Check it out if you also want to fall down another rabbit hole with me.)

Okay, I need to stop myself here. I can feel full on nerd-mode starting and I want to redirect that energy towards other awesome things right now, such as super-snuggles from my kids :)

Paige, out.

(P.S. Now take a deep breath and try to fill your entire ribcage...let it expand from every nook and cranny, like a balloon expands in all directions, not just front or back, up or down. ALL directions. And, then smile :))

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Redefining Our Normal...and Exclusively Pumping for the Running Mama

There have been several things that have changed in the wake of Operation Offspring 2.0. Not the least of which is what running looks like now. Gone (for now) are the days of willy nilly daily 10 milers, trails runs, weekend meandering long runs in excess of 30 miles, running together, sleeping in, etc. Now, running looks more like getting in one mile at a minimum in order to keep it kosher, "long runs" of 5-10 miles on the weekends, road running, a lot of solo runs or running with a sleeping toddler in the stroller, running to/from daycare to get it all in, running in 'shifts' so that the kids are managed and we can do a faster run sans 50 lbs of stroller and toddler or baby, no sleeping in, an area the size of a postage stamp to do foam rolling sessions post-run, etc.

But, I wouldn't trade it for the world. Not really. Of course, there are days when I feel pretty overwhelmed by it all and I definitely reminisce about the 'old days'. Who wouldn't? Anyone who says they don't is lying :) I love instilling a love of running in our kids. E is happiest running full tilt down the sidewalk, racing mommy or daddy, doing laps around the gym at school. Hopefully, A picks up the running bug as well!

Two is a huge change from one. People who make it look easy are also lying and totally losing their minds behind closed doors. Guaranteed. I don't think we are making it look easy, but just in case we are just know that it is super hard and we are hanging on by a thread most of the time :) It's a very sweet thread. A thread I am thankful to be holding onto, for multiple reasons.

I am trying to find new ways of enjoying my running and reallyreallyreally trying not to compare it to how it used to be or, worse yet, comparing myself to others (that is the *worst* thing you can do). Working on consistent running, improving endurance, improving speed, setting my sights on shorter stuff for now, improving core strength, staying injury free. Though, I am looking to do a 50k this fall, once I am done pumping.

Pumping. Now there's an interesting twist in all the fun.

Since A doesn't nurse, I have done what any insane mom would do: take on the task of exclusively pumping. It sort of just happened. I remember finally feeling semi-conscious in the STICU and knowing that I would need to get a jump start on milk production so I had the nurses snag me a pump and I got to work. I kept it up throughout my hospital stay, and continued when we got home because things weren't looking up in the breastfeeding department. When it was looking like A wasn't going to be "drinking from the tap" (as my lactation consultant lovingly put it, LOL), I doubled down and began researching how to make it all work. Enter: exclusively pumping (EP). I am basically a human cow, pumping straight into bottles and then A gets the good stuff. I was super-resentful at first. I mean, it's not supposed to be so damn hard, right?! But, it is. I feel lucky it worked out so well with E. At least I have that experience under my belt. Once I exhausted every conceivable trick in the book, I felt that it was time to find another way. I had a feeling EP was going to be our reality earlier than when I succumbed to it, but I had to try everything first. Otherwise I would always wonder.

I read as much online as I could about EP and tried to find information about running and EP. There was nothing. At all. So, it's an experiment of one. I started out pumping up to 8x/day, then by two months it was 6x/day, and at 12 weeks my supply was stable enough that I could drop it to four times/day and still have the same production as I had at 8x/day. My production has been massive this time around. I struggled often to keep production up when I was breastfeeding E. It's interesting how different so many things are about this particular journey. Pumping 4x/day isn't bad, in fact it's downright convenient if I'm being honest. I can plan it around whatever I may be doing each day. I find it works best if I have 6-7 hours between pumps (I get much better results this way, which is completely against everything I read that insists you have to pump at least every three hours in order to keep up supply. I say, find what works for you :)).

I can run as usual as long as it's after I pump, otherwise it's just uncomfortable. Racing is totally fine except I'm not sure how hard running would effect things and I really don't want to race long enough that I need to factor in a pumping session. Seems like way more work than is necessary. Someone in an online running group said something that I really resonated with. "I've decided that's it's just not the season of life for me to be running really long distances. But, that season will come back around and I'll be ready when it does." She was talking about how her young family was taking priority over ultra distance training and racing. It made me feel so much less alone. They are little for such a short period of time that I don't want to miss any of the really good stuff because I'm out doing a six-eight hour run. More power to you if you're able to/want to do such things :)

I plan to EP as long as possible, but not beyond one year. That's my limit :) I breastfed E for 21 months and only stopped because I was pregnant with A. But I haven't had enough of the Kool-Aid to feel like I want to pump past 12 months :) Plus, I have a crazy frozen stash. So much, in fact that I was able to donate a huge chunk of it when I realized we weren't going to use it before it would reach its use-by date. I found a mama in need and handed over 173 precious ounces from those early days (so it's the really good stuff!). It felt good to help someone out and it felt good to free up space in our friends' deep freezer that they have graciously let me take up space in with my stash. As time goes on, I'll probably end up donating most of my stash since I'm able to pump more than enough to give A the freshies everyday. We'll see.

In any event, I have my eyes on a trail half marathon early summer, and maybe a return to the steeplechase if we are in town. The 50k (North Face Park City) I really wanted to do doesn't appear to be returning to Utah, so I'll need to find something else for the fall.

Lest you think I have it together in putting together this post, you should know it has taken the better part of three hours, two diaper blowouts, a baby nap, coloring with my toddler, two loads of laundry, and two readings of Goodnight Moon before actually finishing :)

We are redefining our normal on a daily basis. At least that part of our life is consistent!

Paige, out.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Streaking in Public

I feel like I have so much to catch-up on, mostly because I do :) Now to just put pen to paper...or, rather, fingers to keyboard.

In 2016, we went back to Hawaii for our fifth wedding anniversary, and for Mother's Day that year, E and Geof got me a new Suunto GPS watch, and it needed to be used in a big way :) Geof was in the midst of a run streak while we were away, and at the time E basically only napped in the running stroller, so runs were a way for us to spend time together and get E some sack time.

I fell 'bass ackwards' into my very own running streak. 

I didn't notice it for several weeks until Geof mentioned it and asked if I had taken a rest day yet (something I always made sure to do at least once/week). I checked my run log and sure enough, I managed to forget to rest...whoopsie!

Can't stop, won't stop. Oh, wait, I did stop :)

From May 20, 2016 thru December 29, 2016 (7 months, 10 days...224 days) I ran every day, at least two miles, and averaging 4 miles/day for a total of 889 miles. Looking back I can't recall why I stopped, but I do know that the next day is when I found out I was pregnant again. Then the air quality got really crappy and I will not run on orange or red days because it makes me feel like I'm sucking on a tailpipe the entire run.

I was back to running the next day and I continued to run up until June, at over 29 weeks pregnant. I was psyched to make it past the 16w6d that I ran while pregnant with E. This time around was a significant improvement, and this pregnancy was drama and complication-free. Hopefully, A will grow up to love running as much as his sister already loves it :)

Streaking was a lot of fun, and garnered me a significant amount of good fitness and strength going into my pregnancy. More so than I would have anticipated. Never discount the power of a few miles a day, for both body and mind. I also listened to a lot of audiobooks during that time.

While I have no plans for another run streak, I do see it in my future, one way or another. Once the worst of the inversion season passes it may just sort of...happen. It's cool how it just became a part of my day, like morning coffee. It was never a question of if but rather of when each day.

Like I said previously, I'm just happy to have running back in my life :)

Paige, out.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Catch-up Time

It appears it has been over two years since I last posted here...I guess I have been busy!

Where did I leave off? Oh yes, I ran a 21k race 5 months postpartum, in 2015. Then the following summer I ran a steeplechase which was super fun, and a good challenge for me!

And then life started changing. December 30, 2016 we found out we were pregnant! And, at the end of this past August we welcomed a very handsome and happy baby boy! Our threesome became four.

Life has been very different in the wake of his birth. I like to find silver linings wherever I can, to determine the 'purpose' of a particular event. This helps me to cope. And I needed all hands on deck to cope with all that ensued. I think I will save the full story for another post, but long story short: completely uncomplicated and amazing pregnancy and I was able to run comfortably through 29.5 weeks which was significantly longer than with my daughter. I went into spontaneous labor at 39.3 weeks (woohoo, for full term!) and a very healthy and happy baby resulted. Super thankful for all of this. However, I was wheeled in for an emergency c-section (the complete opposite experience I hoped for and expected), and two hours post-op I suffered a severe hemorrhage and underwent a second procedure to find the source(s) and stop the bleeding. Next thing I know, I wake up in the shock trauma ICU, intubated, laying totally flat, and unable to speak. I would not have believed you if you told me that four days later I would get to discharge home. It was a scary 48 hours and I, thankfully, was unconscious for most of it, but my sweet husband 'got to' experience the full force of it all.

No one involved in any of my care and recovery expected me to make it out so quickly and to rebound the way that I have, but to me it felt like an eternity. The physical and emotional battle that ensued was unprecedented, and looking back I can't believe all that we have gone through. From being completely unable to care for myself to being back to running better than before in just 11 weeks I feel incredibly thankful for my husband, my family, my health, and my body's ability to mend itself. Getting cleared to pick-up my 25 pound toddler was a really big day in our house. Dropping the 40 pounds of fluid weight that I put on in the hospital, being able to see the tendons in my feet again, going for a one mile walk/run, driving, starting PT to get my ab strength back, sitting up from a fully supine position...all enormous milestones.

I have a completely new perspective on life, and recovery following a trauma. Perspective I have (thankfully) never had before, but that has enhanced my ability to empathize with others. There's a silver lining.

Eight days old

Big sister is loving her baby brother and dotes on him. Brother is a sweet, charming little guy who loves to "chat" and smile and being insanely adorable...but he also really likes to not sleep at night just yet :)

Anywho, I started back running on October 29 and each run has been better than the last. I even did some intervals last week while pushing the jogging stroller! I am seeing a women's health specialist for some physical therapy to restore core strength, pelvic alignment, and overall strength in order to return to running in the smartest way possible. We are quite done making humans now :) so I am excited to eventually get myself back on the long distance trail. But, for now, I am content to just be able to run again!

Paige, out.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Xterra National Trail Champs 21k: Finding the Fire

I'm trying something new and attempting a post from my phone.  I feel so tech-forward.  Or am I way behind the times and bloggers have already been doing this for some time?  Probably that.

In any event, I ran my first race in over a year last month!  It was the Xterra National Trail Championship 21k (half marathon) at Snowbasin Ski Resort outside of Ogden, UT.  And, it was fantastic!  My goal was to finish somewhere between 2.5-3 hours, accounting for technical trail bits and the 2,200 ft of elevation gain.  Oh, and accounting for a serious lack of training :) I figured three hours would be more like it.  So when I rolled into the finish chute after 2h:34m I was more than thrilled with the outcome!

Muscle memory is real!

The race was so much fun!  Geof, E, Cadence and I drove up race morning and met up with our friends also running the race, Beth, Betsy, and Tom.  I was a little nervous about how things would feel above the waist and had very little concern for the legs.  Being a nursing mama, and this being my first athletic endeavor since E arrived, AND being that I would be away from the babe for an extended period of time I wasn't sure what to expect.  I tried nursing her one more time before the start but she was far more interested in everything else going on around us and went on a meal strike :) Oh well, glad I pumped before we left!

The race was smaller than I imagined it would be, less than 200 I think, so as we began the initial climb up the first ski hill there wasn't too much uncomfortable jockeying.  My legs felt amazing and my lungs were already burning :) My goodness, how I've missed this!

I felt so out of practice that the night before I wasn't sure how to carry hydration, and if I even needed to.  I definitely wanted to avoid dehydration (which can wreak havoc on milk supply).  After consulting with my fellow comrades, I decided on carrying a handheld.  I felt so dorky, like a total novice, and that was sort of fun :) So, handheld in hand, I broke into a power hike up the first climb.  It felt goooooood.

I'll spare you the blow-by-blow, but I will say that this was a terribly beautiful run through some gorgeous fall foliage, delicious single track with sweeping views, technical footing, a few good climbs, and several miles of absolutely joyful downhilling.  I would definitely run this one again.  I was feeling the effects of my undertraining by the halfway point, but then came 4-5 miles of downhill at the most perfect time.  I relaxed the legs and the mind and let gravity bring me down the mountain.  I was actually running the descent hard enough that my quads began to fatigue.  I haven't done that in ages!  I made up a lot of time on this stretch and passed a lot of folks, which is always a nice little energy boost.

I sipped from my bottle frequently and refilled only once, near the end.  The weather was so amazing (sunny and cool) and the terrain was exactly what I needed.  There was one final stretch of uphill before descending a ski hill into the finish chute.  It felt so good!  Geof was wearing E, who had completely passed out for the duration of the event.  Cadence the pup was very excited to see her mama, though! :)

After some stretching and some chatting we said our goodbyes and sought out a shaded grassy area so I could nurse E.  I was ready!  I never really felt uncomfortable, but it was good to relieve some pressure post-race.  All my nursing mamas know what I mean ;)

I love that post-race glow; it's something I have really missed.  And I love that post-long run ache.  I felt like I hadn't done a thing the next day so I'll take that as a sign that I'm on my way back :)

The following weekend we went up to Logan to help crew at the Bear 100 and I would be lying if I said it didn't light a fire in my belly...  The thought of returning to that race makes me downright giddy :) I am staying away from 100s until I wean from nursing, but I could totally be ready for a good race by next fall.  I just don't know what my training could look like in reality now that it's no longer just Geof and I these days, and I'm not going back just to finish...I want to do it faster next time :) So, we'll see!

In any event, it's good to be back and really good to know I haven't lost the fire!

Paige, out.

Friday, August 28, 2015

I'm Back, Baby! Well...-ish

As of tomorrow it would be two months since my last post...I just couldn't let that happen :)  Good thing I have some news to share...I JUST SIGNED UP FOR MY FIRST POST-BABY RACE!  

A good idea?  Probably not.

Will I be ready?  I think so.

Am I excited?  Of course!

Am I nervous?  I walked away from the computer twice to give myself time to think it through some more, because, somehow, the last three weeks wasn't enough time to stew over it.

So, it's not like the old days, running ultras all willy nilly.  While I will be biting off slightly more than I can chew, it's much more low key than in the past.  I will be running the Xterra Trail Run 21k (half marathon) in Ogden, UT on September 20th.  It'll be a birthday present to myself :)  I did a bunch of Xterra races back when I lived in Chicago and always enjoyed the low key nature of their events.  I'm not sure how this event will stack up, especially since it's the national championship race ;)  No, I'm not competing, and anyone can sign up and run.  I just want to run trails and be surrounded by other super excited runners.  It has been TOO LONG.  And these will be all new-to-me trails.  Yay.  My friends Beth, Betsy, and Tom are also running, so that was really the main selling point :)  

I've been doing a fair bit of road running with E in the jogging stroller and hiking whilst wearing said baby, but I've also done a fair bit of not running...easy to do with a four month old babe and fully renovated priority list.  Speaking of, how cute is this?!

Really stinking cute, that's how cute

Yesterday, I took Cadence up Millcreek Canyon and we ran to Dog Lake for the first time this year (and Cadence's first time ever).  It was a glorious, glorious 6.2 mile trail run and it felt AMAZING.  That's when I decided to put on my big girl pants and just sign up for the race already.  It's sort of incredible what the body remembers and while I make no claims to having near the fitness I had pre-pregnancy, my legs have done a darn good job remembering how to run.  And Cadence is a really awesome off-leash running partner.  Come to think of it, this was our first time running together!

I start back to work part-time next week and I'm both excited and nervous.  Nervous because it's going to be weird not having a tiny human attached to my person all day long, and because new things always make me nervous :)  Such is life. 

I have big dreams of a 100 mile run next fall, but we shall see.  Best laid plans...  For now, half marathon in the mountains it is!

Paige, out.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Rolling With My Homies

I was on the floor doing my morning planks this morning when I suddenly remembered...I have a blog!  There has been a lot of life happening since my last post in February.  It's a little bit crazy to consider where I was physically and emotionally when I last wrote here, and where I am now, almost five months later.  

Well, let's get up to speed, shall we?

I continued to walk at least two miles/day, sometimes venturing onto the trails as my growing belly allowed me.  Then I began working in March.  I was LOVING my work.  It felt so good to finally do my thing.  I was bouncing around to multiple outpatient clinics for the company I work for, waiting for my "home clinic" to get things ready for me to join them for good.  It was a lot of fun to meet so many different therapists and staff around the valley and to learn something different from each one.  I met so many awesome patients and was hitting my stride.  

My belly was growing beautifully, and I was also LOVING that!  Baby Dunmore was getting more and more active and prepping for his/her arrival quite vigorously.  We ventured over to Healdsburg for the Lake Sonoma 50 (Geof was running, not me :)) and stayed with friends, John and Lisa for a long weekend.  It was fantastic.  Events transpired at this point that led my midwife to believe that Baby Dunmore was likely to make an early appearance.  She wasn't 100% confident in that statement, but she wanted us to be ready, just in case.  So we set about finalizing things and finishing up the nursery. I had a sneaking suspicion that she was right, but didn't fully believe it either. 

I left work one Saturday in April, books strewn about my desk, open to specific pages to remind me to research a new technique for a patient when I was back in the clinic the coming Tuesday.

Sunday, we spent the ENTIRE day nesting...without realizing that was what we were doing.  I mean seriously intense nesting...cleaning, organizing, purging, more cleaning, more organizing.  It was so awesome.  How did we not see it coming?

Monday early afternoon I was standing in line at Target, waiting to purchase some last minute items for myself in prep for baby's arrival.  And I felt a trickle.  'Oh my.  That's unfortunate.  Did I just wet my pants a little?'  This happened several more times that afternoon.  I never thought twice about it.  I just chalked it up to a little bit of late pregnancy incontinence.  I was only barely more than 35 weeks along.

I finished up errands for the day, and then we were sitting down to dinner.  About 15 minutes into our meal, I started to describe what happened that day when I suddenly felt a gush that stopped me mid-sentence.  I ran to the bathroom, unsuccessfully.  'WHOA, what was that?!'  I gathered myself and returned to the table to pick up where I left off.  And then WUSH!  Just like the freaking movies!  And of course I couldn't sit still and let it happen, I had to pee-pee dance my way back to the bathroom, spreading the love, as it were, the entire way!  Sorry, TMI, but it's true.  I shouted to Geof that I think perhaps my water just broke.   Uh, ya think?!

So, anyway, here we are a full month before my due date and we are rushing off to the hospital after a call to the midwife where she urged me to get to the hospital in the next three hours.  

I guess I wouldn't be heading into work the next day after all :)

Long story short, it was an amazing birth experience.  I mean amazing.  Sure, it was scary because the little tike was showing up 4 weeks early, but it was obviously time.  Baby Dunmore was ready to come and meet us!  We were waiting to find out what our little bundle of joy was, and I highly recommend it.  Talk about a sweet surprise!  We got a girl!!  It was even more of a surprise as I was completely convinced we were having a boy, ha!

Everything went without a hitch and I was lucky enough to be able to have the unmedicated birth that I had hoped for.  I wouldn't say that anything about it felt good, but it was a challenge I was most definitely up for and I'm really glad I was able to follow through.  From check-in to delivery it was about 13 hours total, but thankfully the uncomfortable phase was very short lived, just a few of those hours.  

After just a couple of days we all headed home.  We felt enormously grateful and very lucky to have had the experience we had.  

Presenting Miss Ellery!  This was a month or so after she was born, but I just love this photo :)

Life was taking a whole new direction much earlier than expected, but the only option was to roll with it.  To be honest, I was sad to miss out on that last month of pregnancy as I had enjoyed it so much; sad to miss out on that last month of prep, nesting, and enjoying our final days of just us two.  Strangely, I had trouble adjusting to my rapidly flattening belly.  I loved that big pregnant belly! :) But then I got over it and am now back in runner mode :) 

Yes, I can run again!!  Once the Chariot arrived from Geof's mom and step-dad we were excited to get out for our first spin.  Ellery LOVES her new ride!  She only fusses when I stop or slow down.  I may have to start calling her Coach ;)  

Check out those rims!  Rolling with my homies...Geof and Ellery :)

Adjusting to life as parents is a trip and definitely not for the faint of heart.  We are just two months in and life is completely different, barely resembling any part of what it once was.  But it's a pretty darn good trade.  Ellery is our tiny little dreamboat :)

It's good to be back running.  I feel like I've got a blank slate, which is kind of cool.  I'm keeping my runs short and sweet, and including plenty of walk breaks as dictated by our 100 degree weather, in addition to my decreased fitness.  I'm thinking I'll sign up for something fun, like a 1/2 marathon, this fall, to keep me honest.  Why not?

Paige, out.

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