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Friday, March 20, 2020

The problem with blogging...

By the time I get around to putting all my wayward thoughts together, the entire world has changed!
I started and erased this post half a dozen times already, but I have a quiet minute now to collect myself and put up some updates. So here goes!

Here in NOLA we're a hot spot, no doubt thanks to Mardi Gras, which brought travelers, germs, and crowds together for weeks. But at this point, most of the country has adopted the restrictions that were so stringent to me a few days ago. Our community is doing its best, but in addition to a very rapid transmission rate, we are financially hurting. This crisis will truly cripple New Orleans: we rely heavily on tourism and the service industry. Everything New Orleans is famous for is banned now!

How I've modified work:
jeans day every day! 
How we're working: I am still at work, in fact I'm busy. Most of my week was spent trying to convince insurance companies to pay for costly oral chemotherapy. With our hospitals treating COVID19 patients, they're no longer safe places for high-risk cancer patients, and our goal was to discharge them on oral treatments that most closely match their current chemotherapy. A lot of this was off-label, and I had to work hard to get our patients covered. This is all new territory, so insurance companies don't have guidelines in place for when a patient has to be treated at home because they're immunocompromised and our hospital has COVID19 positive patients. Nor are we sure we're even making the best choices for these patients. I admire how much faith they have in us, and how creative the healthcare team has been in making sure these most-vulnerable patients are safe and treated!
David is working from home four out of five workdays, and the baby is still at daycare, which has stayed open to serve healthcare workers.
Still getting super sweaty in the park
(it has been in the 80's here)

How we're worshiping: Our church will livestream Sunday's service. Bible study was via Zoom, and church is posting daily prayers and liturgy on Youtube. It's not the same, but I admit the Zoom was not bad at all! A little hard to converse, but we made it work!

How we're socializing: Besides social media, we are:
Spending more time on the porch. Our house is raised, so we're well over 6 feet from any passers-by!
Using FaceTime. I never got into FaceTime, usually because I am driving when I call people, but I like the extra humanity it provides right now.
Checking in more often. Everyone feels isolated, so I am making sure to call or text friends more often than normal.
I plan to also arrange for a neighborhood porch dinner - we can all socialize over dinner from somewhat afar. Our houses are close enough together to make this work!

How we're running: The only thing that has changed is the lack of group workout. We are too large of a group to be legal! I definitely miss that, but I do love still having the park available to get my running in. Actually, the park is packed lately. Maybe we will all be more fit when this is all under control!

I hope you and your family stay safe and healthy through this crisis, and that you have the emotional support you need to stay sane. Be well!

Friday, March 6, 2020

February running

You don't get a recap of January running, because you know what I was doing in January? Three things: being miserably overdue, having a baby, and then recovering from said baby. Yeah, I ran some scattered miles, but they were mental health miles! (There were some standout runs in January, though: running 1.5 miles while in labor, 48 hours before he was finally born, and a 3 miler 13 days after he was born - an early, but much-needed, run!)

Honestly, February wasn't much better. The first few weeks to months of a baby's life are just so full of changes, it's hard to get a schedule down. Our little guy struggled with eating and gaining weight at first, too (he is fine now - he did PT with the sweetest physical therapist ever and learned how to suck!) so that monopolized a lot of my time. I had to breastfeed, pump, bottle feed every single time he ate, so that took up a good part of my day (also - I hated it; I wanted to be cuddling my baby but I had to toss him on a boppy and pump constantly!). So running took a back seat.
car pump life (on the way to track)

I ran 98 miles in February, and that included:

- My longest run, ten miles with the stroller
- My first workout back on the track, which was as bad as I expected. I modified the workout, and ended up with 8x400 at 5k pace with 400 jog. I ran an average of 1:35, although it was clear I was out of touch with my pacing, as I ranged from 1:32 to 1:39.
- LOTS of short, 3 mile runs
- Several big breaks, including while on a business trip (handling a baby on a business trip was tough enough; I didn't think I could also exercise, but as it turned out I probably could have. David came with me to watch baby, and they were both angels!).

I am hoping to gain some consistency in March. I don't want to jinx myself by putting it in writing, but our schedule has stabilized now that baby is sleeping through the night! When he turned seven weeks old, he started daycare (I went back to work at six weeks, but we were traveling for my trip that first week, and the other days David kept him so we wouldn't have to pay a full month for just a few days). I don't know if daycare just exhausts him (he takes short naps there!) or if it's related to his improved eating, or if it's just related to his age, but he is now sleeping 9pm to 6am. Actually, it's really about 7:30 to 6, but I force him to wake up and eat at 9. He wouldn't wake if I didn't get him up, and getting him awake enough to eat is a challenge! He will (cutely) look up at me and smile before promptly falling back asleep.

With this lovely new schedule - and it is indeed lovely! - we have some flexibility in our schedule again. The 6am wake up is a little restrictive, as I have to either be back from my run by then to feed him, or leave after he eats (which only gives me about an hour to run, even if I am totally ready to go before he gets up). But I can't complain at all. This week we have been doing feed at 6, then I go running at around 6:40, and David takes baby in the jogging stroller. So far it has worked out great! He loves the stroller, and usually falls asleep near the end up the run, just in time for his first nap of the day. And I can get a quality run in while he's with his dad. I'm crossing my fingers that his night schedule sticks: he's been at it all week now, so I hope it's not a fluke!