Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The feed zone

Yes it's another post about food. And speaking of the feed zone, I'm interested in the book of this title. Years ago I found Allen Lim's recipe for Sushi Rice Bars with bacon and eggs, and they are awesome on long rides when you're tired of sweet stuff. I remember one ride where a certain dog yet-to-be-rescued named Shelby got a couple of them to tide her over until Damie went back to pick her up. She seemed to like them too. Anybody have the book? Reviews?

At home our feeding zone is usually the recliner. It sits in a sunny windowed corner of the living room, and soon after Hunter's birth we turned it to face the television. It rocks and has huge puffy arms, plus I added a back pillow, a mini boppy (actually a neck pillow) and a tray table with a water bottle, so I'm pretty much set. I can get really comfortable there. I watched the neighbors' entire move, I see them walk their dogs many times a day, and I cringe when Heinz, fresh from Germany, still insists, despite his crispy fried red skin, to go shirtless while he digs up the wildflower bed.

I'm pretty sure baby Hunter looks at me and only sees one thing: lunch. He's the stereotypical male, glancing at my eyes, then down to my chest. :) I seem to fit right in with my family of big milk producers, at least based on Hunter's weight gain. I honestly wouldn't mind if his rate of weight gain tapered off a bit. He went from less than the 25th percentile at birth to at least 95th by 2 months. My poor arms were not ready for that kind of strain. 

I've found another goal so I can start working on some new PRs: milk pumping. So far I've only timed my pumping once, and got 5oz in 6 minutes. I wasn't particularly full at the time, so I'm wondering what I can do if I go in tapered. :) My pediatrician tells me that every 5oz is about 100 kcals, so breastfeeding is a super fast way to get off those extra calories. I don't often run fast enough to burn 100kcals in 6 minutes -- that's over a mile for me! 

If Hunter weighs around 14.5 lbs, and he needs about 100kcal/kg, then he's eating 650kcal/day, or over 30oz. No wonder I'm thirsty and dehydrated all the time. He does seem to eat ALL THE TIME, but I really enjoy feeding him, so it's never a problem. Plus that means I can eat more!

Just since my last post I've done some baking. I started making homemade bagels since we just don't have anywhere to get them here. They're delicious! Then our two plum trees started ripening their plums. We have millions of birds who will peck a few holes in each plum if we don't pick them fast enough, so we got a good harvest over the weekend. I've made a plum pie and banana plum bread. The pie is gone, and the bread is only 12 hours old, so it's half finished. :)

My sweet little baby has started smiling all the time at us instead of just in his sleep. I can actually act silly enough to make him smile at me now. He really only gets upset when his little tummy hurts, and I'm wondering what I can do differently to help him. I am proactive in giving him drops, but I'm wondering if i should cut out dairy from my diet. I mostly get it through cheese, which I've given up before (one torturous Lent season with my friend Lara). I'm trying to cut back, and then find myself forgetting that the half of a large Papa John's that I just downed has plenty of mozzarella on it. Oops.

Every day's goal is to eat just a little less dairy. And keep running. I'm not going to jinx how running with the baby is going by writing about it, so I'll just say it's been better than ever lately. I know it's just a phase or a fluke, just like that great sleep I got last night. :)



Friday, May 25, 2012

My own PRs

The new PRs of the athletic kind aren't coming as quickly as I'd inferred they would from Dr. Clapp's book, so I'm making up my own. I am actually doing ok with the stroller running this week. For a while Hunter was waking up quickly when jostled over the stray rocks and large pavement cracks. Here's a tip: go over cracks at an angle even if it means looking like you're drunk driving. I understand it's hard to keep debris out of the street when 80% of the front "yards" consist of a few trees and, if you're lucky like we are, multicolored rock patterns (and as a side note, I have recently noticed THREE yards with actual grass in our neighborhood being dug up and replaced with rocks). But it sure is annoying to a sleeping baby to have to startle like that. So back to the running. I set a new record this week with Hunter tolerating the stroller while I ran 5 miles straight. Then I even walked a half mile for bonus. All at a (sad as it is) record pace with the BOB: 9 mins per mile.

Much more fun PRs I need to start recording have to do with my binge eating. I'm excited to have my appetite back after 9 months without one, and I may be overcompensating (probably why I am still hanging on to those 4ish pounds). 

-It started with Nutella. In just about 2 weeks I, all by myself, consumed two jars of the LARGE sized Nutella. I may have used 1/4 cup of it to make some banana bread.

-When my sisters were here we made chocolate chip cookies and before adding the eggs, ate the usual spoonful(S) of dough. After they left, I made an entire batch of cookie dough sans eggs and ate it straight. It was very deliberate. Jeremy helped me with it, thankfully. But who is left alone all day unsupervised with the stuff? 

-Next I made some brownie/cookie/Heath bars, but had to buy a couple of bags of Heath, since we ate them all before I could make the bars. They were just ok, so I sent half of them with Jeremy to work.

-Somewhere in the last 10 weeks we made dump cake, which is half fruit, right? We can finish that off in under 24 hours, easily.

-I refused to buy any more Nutella, but remembered that I had half a jar of dark chocolate almond butter, so I finished that off within a day.

-We have a neverending supply of ice cream at our house, usually Breyer's vanilla. Then J got me some Ben and Jerry's that I stretched into 2 days.

-I just finished off the Newman O's, but we've had those since Monday.

I wonder if this has anything to do with all the cooking shows I watch while nursing and rocking the baby. Thankfully on Chopped there's at least some inedible (to me) ingredient that helps take my appetite. 

What have I learned from this? Don't look at labels so often. When you see that a large jar of Nutella is 4000 calories (wait, it's not healthy?), it makes it just the tiniest bit less enjoyable. I should find more healthy ways to set PRs, or at least substitute some grapes or something for the chocolate. At least I can set attainable goals this way. Is anybody up for a binge eating challenge?

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Short and sweet

I'm thinking back to my track and cross country days of running intervals of 200-1200m. While those 1200s around the "back 40" practice football field didn't seem so short, especially when dodging errant footballs and the occasional player, they appeal to me now. There's a lot of bang for your buck when doing speed workouts, and that's what I need now, in the days of timing baby feedings and daddy at home. 

I took off the garmin and even the watch, since I know the mile markers on my usual route. I've been trying to remember old workouts and even how it's supposed to feel to race again, especially those short painful distances. My latest run intervals have been pickups between light poles. My bike workouts this week have consisted of trainer intervals while watching Ironman videos (some of my favs are the 1989 Allen vs Scott and a 1985 classic). Conveniently, I can hop off the bike at a moment's notice to nurse and recover, then hop right back on for the next interval, a la Monday's workout. I haven't bothered to calibrate the computrainer lately, so i don't have an exact wattage to try to hit; every day is different. See, no pressure. Back in the days when I raced 5ks regularly I didn't have all this technology. I'm getting back to my roots, and hopefully some faster running. I'd be happy if I was anywhere near some of my old speeds.

Back in college, when I got converted to middle distance from longer stuff, I never thought about stride length or turnover or really even what shoes I was wearing. Therefore I'm having a hard time remembering those things that I barely noticed. I just ran workouts as fast as I could, or at the pace I was prescribed. I think I had a longer stride with a slower turnover, but it seemed more powerful than my current stride. Today's trend is toward a shorter faster turnover. I'd rather just not think about it and run fast.

It may be the shorter faster training, or maybe the lack of sleep and sleeping on my side all the time, but my legs and hips have been killing me. In the middle of the night it is worst, and subsides during the day, thankfully. The painful wrists and arms are another issue, but at least they don't effect my running!

I did find a couple of awesome bras from Moving Comfort. I highly recommend the Juno, and a close 2nd is the Fiona. They have adjustable straps that unhook and velcro in front, therefore nursing just before a run is totally doable. Not that Hunter sleeps in the stroller anymore, but at least we can try. It's been getting trickier to run with him. He's a happy baby except when his tummy hurts, and the reclining in the stroller isn't helping that tummy. We stay close to home so he can decide if we're cutting it short. He usually likes to take his first nap an hour or two after we get up, and that's the best time for me to take him out, since it's coolest then. We've been having good temps lately, but they're increasing, and I see that early next week is forecasted to be 97F. So it's first thing in the morning or not at all.

Another short and sweet thing in my life is this cute little boy, who's really not all that short. He's growing like a weed, mostly out, but up some too, which is to be expected given daddy's stature. We have to go in to the clinic tomorrow for the 2 month shots, so we'll see if he's doubled his birth weight yet. He's getting strong from practicing his jump squats on our stomachs, just like we saw him doing in an ultrasound at 12 weeks. Now that's something I need to be practicing myself. 

Good luck to Damie and the IMTX racers on Saturday!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The returning stitch

It's easy to pinpoint the most painful part of running right now. The stitch is back. Actually it's more of a sharp muscle cramp in my abs, kinda like an ice pick poking me in the stomach. This is not the first time I've suffered through this. I remember that it happened in a 5k. Something always happens to me in that particular 5k, whether it's the stitch or a pitstop in the middle of the course. The first time it happened, the only relief came from massaging it so deeply that I left bruises up and down my stomach. I learned later when it returned during college track meets that doing a few crunches then stretching beforehand seemed to help. So I'm trying all of these techniques, and in the meantime I still have something on which to blame my super slow speeds. 

Since my first race will probably be a sprint triathlon with a 3.5 mile brutal trail run (I had to walk a few parts last year), I have started doing some pickups. And I'm wearing the garmin so I know exactly how sad these attempts at speed are. I had run a few miles with the stroller one morning, so went out for just a couple miles of faster paced running that evening. I was excited at my speed until I really processed that I had just run 2 miles at a speed I've run a few Ironman marathons. But I'm getting faster, or my intervals are just shorter and more downhill. Mostly the latter. I'm now doing 30 second pickups at my old half marathon speed (must stop the comparisons!). Going downhill helps my confidence and stitch pain, so I may start walking the first half until I get to the top of the hill. 

While it's always fun looking at my fastest speed of the workout, I'm not sure the garmin always tells me the truth. I think back to that bike ride I did where apparently I surpassed the speed of sound by 1000 mph or so. And this was on a mountain bike. Must've been during a fall.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

In some shape

My big goal for the summer, besides sleeping 5 or more hours straight, is a return to racing. I planned my first attempt for the Ruidoso Sprint Triathlon, up on the mountain, just down the street from where Hunter was born. It occurred to me just this past week how quickly this race is approaching. It's in less than 6 weeks. In the past this would have seemed like plenty of time. This spring, time is flying quickly and my legs are not. I'm in some shape, but it's not race shape.

Back on the Quintana Roo for the first time since my last race in October, I realized that sitting straight up on the trainer or spin bike fails to train one critical area (no, it has nothing to do with the saddle). My neck and upper traps were almost shaking with effort just a few miles into the ride. Winter Neck is what I've always called the pain that accompanies the first few rides of the spring when you can't imagine how you ever spent more than 30 minutes in that atrocious position. (Do others have this problem, or is it just my bike set up? hmmm) It's worse than ever this year, and I realized it's because a good aero position is pretty much the opposite of nursing position for the neck area. And the latter is the position you'll most commonly find me in these days. I'm ready for a nursing ultramarathon. 

On the plus side of my baby training, my biceps are getting super strong with the gradual increase in my load (that baby is getting heavier every day). I'm also doing lots of deep squats, like when I have the baby in a carrier and drop something on the floor. You can't just lean over and dump the baby out. Balance is something else I'm inadvertently working on. This increasing baby load surprises me every time I go from sitting on the floor with him to trying to stand. He's now moving so much and getting so strong that he can throw me off balance without warning.

I actually went to the pool last week, and swam this time (instead of just chatting and showing off the baby). When I jumped in I immediately noticed the lack of buoy in my stomach. I practically sank. You'd think my two new buoys would help. I was super slow, but since I rarely timed anything while pregnant, I thankfully don't know if I'm actually slower now. On the up side, flipturns are significantly easier.

Since I've actually attempted each of the 3 sports required in a triathlon now, maybe I'm ready? In my crazy little mind I'd wanted to go faster than I did last year at this race (and beat that one chick on the run-- the one who told me my run was "there" but I needed to work on my swim -- what? my run sucked last year and she beat it).

The most important part of getting ready for this race might be getting a new race suit that covers a bit more. Any brand suggestions? It's been a while since I've gotten to choose. 

I've been training my little cheerleader with daily walks still. He's going to wonder why he's not participating.