Reading and Riding For Two

To start the new year I thought I'd turn a new leaf and take a page from this book. Maybe next year.

Turns out this year I'll be needing this book.

Yes, I had it all back in nursing school. However, it's been a long time. I was 20 then and that's the one class, OK maybe not the one class, I had trouble staying awake in. Plus, there was one topic Obstetrical Nursing did not cover back in the 90's. So I had to get this book.

What an awesome book! The Runner's World Guide To Running & Pregnancy shared lots of humorous and inspiring anecdotal information. I love entertaining anecdotes but I also was really reassured by the more scientific side of things. It referenced this book a lot.


Lucky for me I had already ordered this book. In fact, fellow blogger Mama Simmons, had recommended this book on her blog, so it was the first book I thought to order when the pee stick was positive. It is an amazing book. It really made me so proud of all the amazing adaptations the human body has. Warning though, unless you have a strong interest in exercise physiology or  hemodynamics you may find it dry. In that case you, the Runner's World Guide To Running & Pregnancy would suit. I found myself with a highlighter, voraciously highlighting all of the interesting things.  The hemodynamic changes that occur during each trimester and all of the specific adaptations the body to create a healthy baby really excite me. Of course, I was highlighting all the parts I thought Tim would want to read as well. However, he's a bone Doctor. They use tools from the garage and really only nerds like those in anestesia, medicine, and ICU nurses care about such things as systemic vascular resistance. Plus, he's up to his eyeballs in all these papers on how to make crooked bones straight and this book really only validates that the human body is really cool.

I had all these "Aha" moments thinking that is why that happened. For example, I specifically remember cursing my oat meal 20 miles into the Great Western Loop. Julie and Beth were my witnesses. Seriously, I was mentally Voodoo dolling Mr Quaker's face. Above my growling stomach I stated "My oatmeal has failed me. It has never failed me." I felt betrayed....probably the hormones. Good thing I always have a Bento box full of treats nutritional bars on my bike.Turns out, I was not very metabolically efficient that day. Instead of burning fat for energy, I was storing it for my baby. Metabolic inefficiency is sooooo first trimester though. I am way beyond that now. In fact, I'm half way through trimester 2.  Well sort of, metabolic efficiency is not great during pregnancy but it improves throughout.  

I was also perplexed by my inability to regulate my temperate mountain biking. I was always having to stop a take off or put on my jacket. I felt like I couldn't tolerate heat when I climbed, then I would freeze intolerably. Usually, I can just deal. Another "aha" moment. While overheating is a risk for the baby, especially in the first trimester. Once pregnant, the body does an extra good job of shunting blood to the periphery (think rosy red cheeks). It's an excellent means of cooling. If you see a pregnant woman running with a flushed face, spare her the lecture and the looks. If  your you are really, really a concerned citizen and want to ensure she is safe, perhaps you can offer her a rectal thermometer. That would be a means of checking a core temp, lecturing on flushed cheeks would not.   

I could go on &on & on &on &on & on about all of these accommodations and acclimation the body performs during pregnancy because I am totally fascinated. However, I read that non pregnant people don't really want to hear it all because it's your pregnancy. It just makes you sound self absorbed. I try to respect that. I really do try, but I think I might fail especially when I get on my bike and ride with the girls. You see when I start to pedal instead of generating power I generate words. Whatever is on my mind comes out of my mouth, often it bypasses the cerebral cortex. Despite that I have friends who ride with me. I'm a lucky girl. I think I am having a "Fit Pregnancy" in part due to them.

An example of why friends one trains with are true training partners:  They (J &S) do their recovery work with me and I train consistently so that I can keep up and enjoy their company on those days. I try my bestest to stay within in the proper heart rate zones and not slow them down too much. This is a lot easier to accomplish on flat ground. These days I am definitely a flat lander. I, the self proclaimed lover of hills, am just fine with that. I really enjoy conferring all my medical hunches with Stacy and picking Julie's brain during rides. Julie knew exactly what I needed and got me this book.

Absolutely hysterical and yet so true. It's anecdotal and so honest. It points out things such as the fairness of pregnancies. It encourages the women who are nauseated by explaining to them that women who are not are cursed with excessive gas. It also explains some things that may be hard to come to terms with. She does so very simply and bluntly like this: Unless you have the figure of a super model you are pregnant. You are going to look pregnant. Not just your stomach, but your arms, back, thighs, and butt will get pregnant too. So go buy some decent maternity clothes. You are going to fight this but give it up. Once you do, you'll start saying things about how cute  and comfortable your new clothes are and how you may wear them post - post partum. The author kindly offers to hunt you down and set you straight if you do this. 

 If you just want a good laugh and have no interest in pregnancy read this book. It's serious comic relief.

So that's my world and I look forward to blogging some more about pregnancy and my experiences soon. I realize a lot of people are not at all interested in hearing about someone else's pregnancy. It's good that most others blog aren't about experiences during pregnacny. However, I personally am appreciative of what other people have shared regarding pregnancy and am really excited about this time in my life so here goes.


tim said...

do they make maternity clothes for men?

Jennifer Yake Neuschwander said...

Only for you Tim...

Rachel said...

out of the loop, i am. CONGRATS!! so happy for you two. can't wait to hear which color bike you'll be needing.