Sunday, December 26, 2010

resolution #2: a bit different

workout reform, version 2.0
lots of people vow to work out, train for races, and get out there and RUN in the new year. but how many people vow not to do so?

well, at least one, this year.

i finally heard from my reproductive endocrinologist. here's her emailed response, for anyone interested:
"Even runners with regular cycles are more likely to have ovulatory dysfunction than sedentary women. The theory is mild metabolic deficiency (aka a tendency to expend more calories than take in), making a picture more like hypothalamic amenorrhea. If your body thinks you are running from the wooly mammoth or entering a time of famine, the hypothalamus changes pulsatility to prevent ovulation and keep us from conceiving in unfavorable times. I rarely tell women to stop running, rather i recommend decreasing intensity and duration and focusing on appropriate caloric intake to cover expenditures."
i would have loved more specific recommendations, but i get her drift. she also attached another paper: by de souza's group describing markedly increased rates of ovulatory dysfunction in a group of runners logging an average of 32km/week (~20 miles).

this added fuel to josh's 10 argument, and (fine) at this point i feel like i have to just suck it up and give up my dreams of slow (but still awesome) long runs on the tobacco trail with a visible baby bump.

so now, my new weekly running allotment is 10 miles. as in, the length of my favorite long run, except this time i'll be spreading it over 3 different days and doing little other true cardio. i will lose fitness. i will get slower. i may gain weight -- but come on, since i'm aiming for a 25-30 lb weight gain [WITH A BABY, YOU KNOW] in this new year, this shouldn't be a big deal.

so: this resolution is to stick to this plan. of course, i don't plan to sit around on my butt doing nothing the rest of the time; i am planning to fill the void with yoga:

i just gifted myself a whole pack of classes from blue point

and potentially this, which was recommended by a knowledgeable reader:

although maybe not if it's TOO intense (or perhaps i will modify it).

so let's get to the specifics: MICRO style

measurable: i will aim for a maximum of 10 miles running per week, and will supplement with 2-4 sessions per week of weight training or yoga

inspirational: i don't need to spell out the obvious . . .

concrete: again, i think the outcome i am aiming for is pretty straightforward!

realistic: i think this plan is a reasonable one that i can stick to as long as i remember why i'm doing it.


well, my mornings are about to become less rushed, at least!

apartment therapy update
day #13's task was to declutter books and/or media. i decided to tackle the bookcase, since overflowing bookshelves are actually one of my least favorite things. i liked how maxwell referred to books as "collections of old ideas" -- while it is wonderful to keep your favorites (and those volumes you truly will refer back to), others have got to go to make room for new ones.*

josh and i have actually done this multiple times in the past -- a HUGE culling of our collections when we moved from durham to chapel hill, and a smaller one in the interim. but when i surveyed the shelves, there were still a number of candidates for weeding. some representative examples:

2006 guide to pediatric infectious diseases, anyone?

an extra copy of catcher in the rye?

i took away 10 volumes in sum -- i was limited as josh was at work and i can't exactly trim his collection without permission.

the end result is still not what i'd like it to look like, but it's better!

also, that sad little DVD collection had better watch out . . .

* i know i could just go kindle - after all, i ditched all my CDs for digital media years ago! -- but i have such an attachment to the physical PAGE. even though i feel guilty about the environmental impact of books, i just can't bring myself to let go. yet, anyway.

today's excitement
rounds (yes, i actually have to GO IN to the hospital -- can you imagine?) (if i can make it in the SNOW -- am i still in NC?!) (in case the tone is missing there, i'm kidding. it's been a ridiculously easy call week), and then more of this:

i have a presentation on cushing's syndrome to give tomorrow. luckily i took advantage of the quiet christmas evening last night to get most of it done.



workout: 30-day shred level 1 + 30 minute gentle hatha yoga from yogadownload

cooking: nope. but i think i am going to bake something fun tonight!


  1. Anonymous9:20 AM

    if u do follow new rules of lifting, just know that it gets to a point where the workouts are almost 2 hrs cause of how long you rest in between sets. maybe it would be a good substitute for a long run? but then again, i hear it can be intense, but at the same time, i'm sure you can make it less inense

  2. Anonymous9:25 AM

    Good luck with your new workout plan. As a runner, I understand how challenging the reduced mileage can be. At one point in my life, I had to reduce running and was feeling tortured about it. Then spontaneously, the thought popped in my head that I will be a runner for the rest of my life. Certainly, not always the same runner, but a runner nonetheless. For whatever reason, the long view really made me feel better. All the best to you for 2011!!

  3. anon wow, two hours!? yeah, i definitely am not into spending that long lifting, since i don't even enjoy it that much! i was hoping for 30 minutes tops. i guess i will either have to heavily modify (ie, just do some of the exercises) or just table it for another time.

    anon: ahhh PERSPECTIVE - always so valuable!

    thank you both for your tips!

  4. Heather10:51 AM

    Thanks for posting your RE's response. It's better than what I always got when I asked..."well, it couldn't HURT to slow down your running." It's disheartening that I've slowed my running WAAAAY down and still nothing...but, at this point I'd drink bacon grease for a baby. :) Good luck!!!

  5. I know this is hard for you but it will be worth it! What about eating more? Did the doctor say anything about that? I'm sure you eat a normal amount, but what about upping your fat intake? Did you ever read the entry on Meals & Miles when she talks about her period? There were a lot of good suggestions in the comments.

  6. heather: yes, you totally get it. better to have someone TELL you what to do in this case rather torture yourself with making the choice yourself.

    lee: i don't think i will make a conscious effort to eat more but we'll see what happens with the decreased activity. i actually contacted an RD to set up an appt to discuss tips to help w/ fertility -- i figured my insurance covers it, so why not ask an expert for advice? i will share what i learn there, too.

  7. Anonymous1:31 PM

    haha my Mom has a Kindle but she is definitely reads physical books way more often!! I love having something physical to turn and bend and hold in my hand. Nothing wrong with that!!!!!!!!

    Also, I sent this post to a friend who is a running-fiend. She has been having problems with regular menstruation.

    Happy Sunday dear Saraaaaaaaaaaaaaah!


  8. Hi Sara,

    I have been reading your blog for a while now and i tend to comment from time to time on here. I so appreciate your honesty around running and trying to have a baby. While I am not trying to have a baby right now (i just got married a month ago!), your posts have really struck something within me and because of you, I brought up this issue with my doctor when I saw her last week. If I had not brought it up, she would not have said anything but since I did, she said it would be helpful to make sure my calorie intake keeps compensates for my exercise and she also recommended a nutritionist.

    I find you to be so smart and so inspirational in so many ways so thank you. I also understand that lessening your usual work out regimen can feel quite challenging but like you wrote, remembering what it is for will make it all worth it!

  9. Heather3:31 PM

    Sarah...have you tried just RELAXING?!?
    I am kidding...I am SOOOOOO kidding!
    Anyways, my hairdresser told me about a book called The Conception Chronicles about women who had difficulty conceiving. It's written by women who had difficulty and they bring humor to the whole ordeal. I haven't read it yet, but as soon as the snow clears I'm heading to Borders to buy it...maybe you'd like it too! :) (It has to be better than google searching infertility facts/remedies...)

  10. atilla6:12 PM

    And I think you need BIGGER BOOKCASE

  11. Sarah, I have a recommendation for you for your new fitness plan - Jillian Michaels "Yoga Meltdown." It is total sacrelige if you are a true yogi (she says things like "I know this move sucks...") but it is a good work out - she reps out the yoga positions so it's good if you like to move while you workout. It is short too - only ~30 mins. Good luck with your new plan! Welcome to the 10 mile/week club - I have been here for a while now and BTW, I managed to lose all of the baby weight with a combination of Jillian and running ~10 miles/week.

  12. nan: thank you so much for your sweet comment! i am glad it inspired you to talk to your doctor. as i mentioned above, i think i am going to see an RD as well - since my insurance covers it, i figure i might as well take advantage of an expert's advice.

    it took me a while to get to this point - i had total amenorrhea for 1.5 years after stopping the pill. but you are right - it will be worth it!

    heather: ha, i love it. you're probably right, anyway! that book sounds fun. i actually just ordered a less fun but potentially informative one from amazon: "Making Babies: A Proven 3-Month Program for Maximum Fertility. it looked interesting enough to check out!

    atilla: wholeheartedly agree. we will get one eventually!

    denise: i like both 'real' and totally fake yoga (ie: the CRUNCH dvds) and you know i am down with jillian. i will check it out! and as fabulous as you look (although you always have!), that is a great endorsement as well. jillian should hire you!

  13. This is definitely not what you will want to hear, but I wanted to give you some "tough" encouragement on the weight gain subject. If the ovulation issues are at all related to hypoth. amenorrhea, then you really might want to consider purposefully gaining some weight. Many women with HA, including those who are underweight and those within normal weight ranges, need to gain weight in order to resume a period. I know how much that sucks, but one thing I did for myself was to consider the weight gain my "first trimester." I was 5 pounds overweight when I got pregnant with my son and therefore careful to only gain 15 during pregnancy. Honestly, it wasn't that difficult. Two days after delivery I was at pre-pregnancy weight, and withing 6 months I'd also lost the 5 extra pounds. This time around I had to gain the 5 pounds back before I got a period, and I will do the same thing again once we are hopefully pregnant with a second. I know it's tough to mentally handle weight gain when you know you are a "normal" weight, but the "first trimester" thinking might help a little. Also, although I've never met you in person, from your pictures I can tell you that you could gain 10 pounds and still look thin! Seriously! Best of luck to you.

  14. two DAYS after delivery -- that is nothing short of miraculous :) thank you for the advice, even though (you're right) it is so frustrating to me that even while totally within the normal range (and honestly, the size i've been pretty much since high school), my body isn't cooperating.

  15. Sorry to hear about the somewhat "forced" change in your exercise routine. It's a bummer to give up (or cut back) something you genuinely enjoy, even if it is for a worthwhile cause. Maybe this will be an opportunity to discover other things you might enjoy ... like yoga! I love Blue Point. Some of the classes/teachers are hit or miss but in general I've had a positive experience there. Definitely takes a while to get in the yoga groove but I hope you end up enjoying it!!

  16. Hi Sarah! Thank you for your links today in bringing me to this post...I really appreciate you letting us see that RD response since I was just diagnosed with Hypothalamic Amenorrhea and it's so hard to know what to do! I went off the pill in March since we wanted to start TTC, but after months went by no July I was diagnosed with HA. It's all very frustrating and confusing, especially since my OBGYN is being very vague on what I should do. My mom even recommended me seeing an RD since I'll admit, having to gain weight and eating more calories bothers me a bit. I've lessened my exercising but still no period.

    I commend you in your strength in trying for 2.5's only been months for us and it's already very hard. Congrats on your pregnancy and I'm so very happy for you and I look forward to following you along this journey :)