It was one of those days that felt perpetually bathed in twilight — clouds moved easily on a breeze and hung so low they seemed to surf the tree tops. Rain fell in short bursts. It is June; but summer felt like a world away.
Despite this, our family was out amid it all. The kids were layered up, waterproofed and snuggled down in the double-jogger. One slept, while the other chattered away, like a busy (and slightly ruffled) red squirrel.
The clouds lifted briefly this week to reveal a downy white dusting of snow on the peaks above Lemon Creek.
My husband, absolutely ecstatic about the sighting, called me to share the news. Talk of the fresh snow percolated through town and our paper's photographer, Michael Penn, was even asked to snap a photo of the tell-tale sign of winter's impending arrival.
I fiddled with the touch buttons on the screen of my iPhone, navigating into the depths of my running log.
I had to know.
Perhaps seeing my mileage tally would be a motivator; perhaps I was subconsciously plotting my own defeat.
It has become habit, you see (I blame my days of competitive skiing and running) to log every footfall, every minute and mile spent exercising. I examine the run times, the mile averages, my pace, the terrain and route. Most times, doing so acts as inspiration.
His little Bogs boots crunched across the snow-covered, frozen boardwalk. Every few feet my son would pause to stomp an ice ball, peer into a dark hole or swipe his mitten through a tuft of downy snow before plopping it promptly on his tounge.
"Of course your are," I said. "You can be my hiking buddy any day."
I ran five miles yesterday, bringing my week’s tally to around 17 miles. It’s a far cry from the 35 to 45 miles I was tallying this fall. But my body deserves a break. I am, after all, nearly 20 weeks pregnant.
This all may shock some. In fact, I think the sight of me and my burgeoning belly bopping down the road has turned more than a few heads. Some friends call me crazy. My mom urges me to take it easy. At my friends I just smile, to my mom I send assurances.
Ultrasounds. Scientifically speaking, they’re a procedure in which sound waves are passed into the human body to produce a reflection signature, which can reveal details about the inner structure. In pregnancy, they’re handy for revealing major physical abnormalities in the fetus or potential complications for the mother. On a personal level, it’s really just a chance for the doting parents to catch a glimpse of their new baby.
The stitch low in my side radiated down and around my belly. It was too low to be a traditional side ache, too high to be a muscle cramp and it wasn’t the first time I’d felt the tell-tale pinch.
But I kept jogging. The day was glorious. It was one of those spring days bathed in sunshine and fragrant with the smell of damp earth. My legs felt strong and the cool breeze wiped the sweat off my brow. Each turn of the trail seemed to reveal a path more beautiful than the one before. Those who live in Juneau will truly understand when I say, it was just one of those days ...
Gaining weight during pregnancy is like the flab that comes with old age — it’s inevitable.
But there’s another side to this coin. Dads-to-be and significant others seem to suffer from a phenomenon commonly referred to as “sympathy weight.” Think the “freshman fifteen” in college — it’s absurdly common yet totally avoidable.