Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Houston Marathon in a nutshell

Tomorrow marks 2 weeks since I ran 26.2 miles. It honestly feels like a lifetime ago. I still can't believe I actually did it! I find myself driving around Houston reminiscing about portions of the race route... It feels SO strange to drive on the same streets that I shed my blood, sweat and tears on just a few short weeks ago.

For anyone out there who is considering running a marathon (or any race for that matter), I'm here to tell you...DO IT NOW! What's holding you back? What better time than NOW to sign up for a race and run it? I could have thought of 4,798,379,822 reasons not to run the marathon, but it was a goal of mine and I put it on paper, then I signed up for the race...and did it! Now that's what I call accountability! Thanks to lululemon and our culture of goal setting, I set my mind to running my first full marathon within one year of giving birth to my child, so while I was pregnant I entered my name into the lottery for the Chevron Houston Marathon. Don't kid yourself...I was 99% sure that I would not get picked to run it, so I thought I had an easy out and at least I could say "I tried". Imagine my surprise when I found out 1 month after my c-section that I did, indeed, get "selected" to run the marathon, and so did Blake.  WHAT!!  You mean we're actually supposed to do this!? What was our excuse now??

So...6 weeks after having Briggs I got cleared to start working out again and I slowly began jogging, and let me tell you, 3 miles felt like a marathon in itself! I could not fathom how on earth I would be able to run 26.2 miles in just a few short months. I knew I had to really get my butt in gear if I was going to pull this off, so  in October Blake and I, along with my BFF Samantha, started a 16-week training program. The running schedule was manageable but time-consuming. We stuck with it and we put in the miles. We were ready.

January 15th arrived sooner than any of us expected and it was time to put our hard work to the test. I can honestly say that running that marathon was one of the hardest things I have ever done...but I accomplished my goal...I RAN 26.2 miles within one year of having a baby. In fact, I ran it 7 months after having my baby. This ranks in my top 5 proudest accomplishments in my life.

This was the dialogue in my head during the run:
  • Miles 1-8 = all smiles, high fiving and shouting at people in the crowd. FEELING GREAT!
  • Miles 8-10 = sudden outbreak of hives all over my body. TERRIBLE itching. WTF!?
  • Miles 10-13 = panic setting in... WHAT is going on!? Am I dying??? --> Mom to the rescue with Benadryl cream!!
  • Miles 13-15 = Ok, I can do this. Must. Keep. Breathing. (and running).
  • Miles 15-18 = HIT MY WALL! Why so soon? 8 more miles!? F*#K you!
  • Miles 18-23 = Seriously how am I going to carry my dead body over the finish line??
  • Mile 24 = lululemon TO THE RESCUE!!!  I love you all!
  • Miles 24-26.2 = I did not just run all this way to DIE before the finish line...Must. Finish.
Once I got that medal around my neck I felt a sense of accomplishment, but my exact words were "I will NEVER do this again". I had just endured the most brutal beating my body could withstand. That was the most physically and mentally challenging 5 hours I had ever endured. And then I puked my entire body weight. 5 or 6 or 7 times....

Nobody ever said running a marathon is glamorous, right? Rewarding? Yes. Shiny, sparkly and glamorous? No. BUT I DID IT. And for that, I felt like an Olympian. But I also decided that I was retired from running marathons. One and done. Or so I thought...

Within a day or two of the race what I call "runner's amnesia" set in and I sort of forgot how brutal it was. Kind of like childbirth, you magically forget all of the pain and suffering you endured, and you focus only on the magnificance of the event and the satisfaction you get from saying YOU DID IT. So, just as quickly as I went into retirement, I came right back  out and decided that my marathon running days are not over.

Goal: I will run a 4:45 marathon BY December 2013!

I'm giving myself some time before my next full marathon, but I will do it again. And I am actually looking forward to it :)   So, I challenge you to sign up for a race, even if you hate running and think you could never do it. If I can do it, you can too!

Blake, Shan and Sam...all smiles BEFORE the race!

"Anyone can give up, it's the easiest thing in the world to do. But to hold it together when everyone would understand if you fell apart, that's true strength".

Friday, January 27, 2012

Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end: then stop.

As I was stewing over my next blog topic I decided that it would probably be best to start from the beginning and give y'all (yes I say y'all, I'm from Texas) the 411 on what we've been up to over the past year and a half or so. Exciting things have been happening!

At this time last year I was preparing to find out the sex of the fetus that was growing in my belly. It was such an exciting time for us. Blake and I thought FOR SURE that we were having a girl, so imagine my surprise when I saw a little pecker willy on the ultrasound screen :) I had to completely flip gears and join Team Blue. Not gonna lie, it was a little hard for me to get the visions of headbands, tutus and hair bows out of my head, but once I realized what a STUD my son was going to be I quickly became overly obsessed with all things boy.

Rewind even further to sometime in the early summer of 2010. Blake and I so desperately wanted to have a baby but things were not panning out how we had hoped...  Remember the days you spent trying to PREVENT pregnancy!? What ever happened to it being a one shot deal?  Anyway, when the two of us set our minds to something there is pretty much no stopping it, so we decided that we wanted a baby NOW, and we had to find a way to make that happen. After extensive testing we discovered that we had pretty major fertility issues, as in "You have approximately a 3% chance of ever getting pregnant on your own". I am no betting woman, but I don't like those odds.  Three percent? Really?  But we are good people and we deserve a baby! That's exactly how we felt and I remember us both being angry at the fact that some not-so-deserving people can get pregnant at the drop of a hat. Once we got past that we decided that we didn't want to waste any more time, so we moved straight to the big guns... Houston Fertility Institute

  1. IUI- Intrauterine Insemination: Attempted in July of 2010, which resulted in a BFN, otherwise known as a Big Fat Negative in the Infertility world.
  2. IVF- In-Vitro Fertilization: We began the process in September, and boyyyy was it a not-so-fun thing to go through. We're talking multiple shots and several medications every day. I vividly remember Blake stabbing me in the belly every night. I would sit there and squirm but I kept reminding myself that "it's all worth it if it brings us a baby...". I was right.
I ended up being one of the "lucky" ones who produced an exorbitant amount of eggs. I felt like I was walking around with cantaloupes for ovaries, but again, it was all worth it. Just about the time that I felt like I couldn't possibly walk any more with these ginormous ovaries, it was time for my Egg Retrieval. They were able to get 24 eggs out of me! HOLY S#*T! No wonder it felt like I was smuggling fruit in there...

Anyway, we had great success with IVF. Our clinic does ICSI with every IVF procedure, which means they actually inject individual sperm into every egg. In the end we wound up with something like 20 fertilized embryos, 9 of which made their way back to the freezer to be used at a later date :) We transferred 2 beautiful embryos into my ready-to-be-implanted uterus and the dreaded 2 week wait began as we sat on pins and needles waiting to find out if the procedure had worked or not.

In the end I got pregnant with ONE perfect, strong, superhero rockstar baby...and his name became Briggs. I may be biased, but he is  literally the happiest, sweetest, STRONGEST, most beautiful little creature I have ever laid eyes on. We had a long hard road but we wanted him SO badly and I can't help but think that our struggles have shaped me to be the Mother that I am today,and for that I am thankful.

Briggs was born on June 5th, 2011 when I was only 36 weeks pregnant. After my struggles with infertility I somehow thought I had earned a "free pass" when it came to pregnancy, but I was wrong. I will save that topic for another discussion... but after 5 weeks of bed rest and several visits to the hospital, I ended up having a c-section and Briggs weighed in at a whopping 5lbs 1.5oz. June 5th was the best day of my life.

So here we are, it's 2012 and Briggs is growing like a weed. Actually, he's quite small :) but he continues to grow and flourish before my eyes and I can hardly believe how fast time flies. He will already be 8 months old on February 5th and I find myself frantically trying to plan his 1st Birthday! Where did my 5lb newborn go?

I absolutely love being a mother and cannot imagine anything more rewarding. Everyday I remind myself to enjoy every minute with Briggs because we really do have so little time... I often find myself contemplating how many children we should have. I knew I would love being a mom but I had no clue just how much sparkle it would bring to my life. Sunshine, glitter, oomph, whatever you call life is (even more) full of it thanks to a little baby named Briggs.

5:00am Ready for a c-section!

Love in it's purest form

Welcome to the world, tiny man

Thursday, January 26, 2012

my new favorite past-time

And so it begins...a new internet obsession for me (which is probably the LAST thing I need). Alas, I have decided that I want to be an expert "mommy" blogger because, let's face it, facebook and pinterest don't take up enough of my precious spare time (insert sarcasm font). I visit countless blogs and websites on a daily basis and admire the work that goes into them, but I never thought I'd have the will-power or commitment necessary to maintain a juicy, read-worthy blog...BUT it's 2012 and it's sort of still a New Year and I decided that this year I'm going to stop procrastinating on things I say I'd like to do, and instead I'm going to actually DO them. Like, for real. So all those "To Do" lists I've got saved in my iPhone are going to start getting did. Stay tuned for pinterest projects galore!

First things first, this will be a blog about anything and everything, because I am WAY too A.D.D. to focus on just one thing. I will be talking about everything from babies, pregnancy, and infertility, to wearing stretchy pants for a living (lululemon duh), running marathons, and being obsessed with (but rarely completing) DIY projects. Things are going to start changing around here! Not only am I going to become an expert blogger, but I'm also going to become a professional DIYer, Suzy Homemaker, and Party Planner Extraordinaire...all while striving to be the best and hottest mom on the block (and blogging about it)! That sounds easy enough right?

So now I leave you with a picture of my pride and joy as I contemplate my next blog topic/craft project/party theme. Ahhhh I have too many thoughts swirling in my head!

Briggs Sterling Searcy

Let the blogging commence!