Saturday, June 30, 2012


Typing a blog post on my phone while rocking a sleeping baby may not be ideal, but it's a way to get it done. And it keeps me brief. We had a good trip to Coeur d'Alene last week and have been recovering ever since. I will post a full spectators' report and pictures (the few I got) soon. We were super happy with Jeremy's 30 minute PR on a much hillier course, and I think he's gotten this whole Ironman thing down, just in time to retire from the distance for a while. I'm totally impressed that he trained for two of these things mostly by himself. When he was on call and had to stay nearby, he did multiple loops of the same boring course. Impressive. He must bore much more slowly than I do. But he does have more music on his iPod, and the satellite radio app now... hmmm, take note, self.  I just registered for a spring 70.3.

We are getting super excited for the upcoming holiday week. The fun starts today; we have a special visitor flying in as I type. I cannot wait to see her and show her how boring this place is the desert sights. Then we are headed back home to the southeast for a few days, since we're getting to be experts tat this whole flying-with-an-infant thing. Happy 4th!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Heading north for IM

We picked the perfect time of the summer to head to cooler weather. It's starting to get hot here in the desert with only one day out of the 10 forecasted to be under 100F. I looked at my weather app the other day and said to myself, oh good, Saturday will be nice -- only 97 degrees. We are thankful to be in the high desert with a little altitude to keep us cooler than, say, Phoenix.

Last year we took off for a trip to California around this time, and Thursday we leave for Coeur d'Alene. When it was 103 here yesterday afternoon, it was 55 there. I've started digging up warm fuzzy baby clothes that Hunter has never worn. Since he's been alive I think it has been under 50 degrees for about 15 minutes. He may also get to experience that moisture that falls from the sky.

Hunter and I are getting super excited to be co-spectathletes this weekend. We are just hoping the daddy doesn't take as long getting to the finish line as the mommy did 9 years ago. I have always wanted to go back to CDA. It's not a redemption thing actually. I would hope that even given my lack of long training lately that I could have a better marathon if I got out there this weekend. I really just enjoyed the city and the course -- so much so that I spent all that extra time lying on the grass on the side of the road. I probably could've picked a better spot than in the middle of a neighborhood, like by the lake.

Here are a few things I learned that I can pass on to Jeremy:

- when you're that far north, you get to wake to light and finish your 13:50 IM in the light.
- while a bout of hyponatremia may have made you wary of over drinking, you can still get dehydrated when it's a record breaking hot day.
- you meet more people when you walk the marathon, and you can have your picture taken more.
- sometimes a nap and a gallon of Gatorade is all you need to feel refreshed for the final 10 miles.
- when you can't walk anymore, sit. When you can't sit, lie down.
- if your only choice is 100 degree Gatorade and you're thirsty enough, you will drink it.
 - you can ride up a hill passing people with your eyes closed if there's too much sweat in them to see.
- sometimes the water temperature is the last thing you should worry about.
- enjoy the day no matter what!

Go Daddy!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Racing in Ruidoso

I raced, it hurt, and I got second. The best part of the day was the happy baby I brought along with me. 

So that I can remember how it all went, here are some details. My preparation in the days before this race included planning when I was going to nurse the baby, how early I was going to get up, and how many baby supplies I needed to bring with me. Hey, I'm new at this mom stuff; it can be overwhelming. Surprisingly, I remembered things like my bike shoes and helmet.

Hunter's been an early riser lately, so we all woke up in plenty of time for breakfast and last minute packing, then headed up the mountain. My erroneous weather app said the low was in the mid 50s, when we actually hit the low 40s on the hour drive to Ruidoso. I hadn't brought warm clothes, and thankfully the sun came up and heated us up. The baby fell asleep in the car, and I finally relaxed.

I got registered, set up in transition, and did a little jogging up and down the hill by transition while the race director spent 15 minutes going over every detail of the course, including how we were expected to stop at a stop sign on the bike (I didn't). With less 30 minutes to spare, I headed back to the car with the baby and husband in it, and we had a little last minute nursing session.

Finally, it was race time. I somehow missed the men's start and looked up to find the women all lined up and ready. The run course starts by going straight up a hill that seems endless but is probably only .1mi. I wanted to start off slowly, but might've been a little too conservative. I think I was behind half the field as we turned the corner at the top of the hill. Jeremy even said, "you started off really slow." But one by one, I caught a few women. I recognized 2 ahead who I'd outsplitted on the run last year. Once into the trail, it got steep fast. I learned at my first 50k that even fast runners walk the hills, so I walked as fast as the woman in front of me was running. Two women passed me on these walked hills. Over the crest, I was right behind them as they tiptoed down. The trail was so much easier to navigate than it had been last time I'd run it; it was icy and muddy, and I was pregnant then. I charged right by them and went on to catch the two up ahead. By the far side of the lake we were running around, I had caught the #1 woman and we ran together for a bit. After the final hill, I started picking it up for the downhill back to T1. She stayed right behind me, even as I almost missed a turn. Thankfully a man behind us (we caught several, even though we were 10 mins behind for a less than 3.5 mi run) caught us before we got more than a few steps by. 

So I won the run! My time was about 2 minutes slower than last year for just under 3.5 miles. Once I thought about it, the elevation gain was just under 300 ft, which is pretty significant for such a short run. Unfortunately I didn't win T1, probably due to my lack of practice. Oh well.

The bike heads back up the same hill out of transition, then there's a bit of downhill before the long stretch up up up to the turnaround. This year there seemed to be even more headwind going out than last year. Or at least that's what I'll blame my 3 min slower time on. I was expecting the local woman who won last year to come by me on the bike. And she did on the early downhill. I always get smoked on downhills. I tried to keep her in my sights for as long as possible, but the distance was growing. I started focusing on the next man ahead, and passed several more going up that endless hill. Did I mention the bike was only 10 miles long? It had a relatively significant elevation gain too, at about 630 feet. The downhill was smooth enough for me to not get nervous before I hit about 40mph. 

Back into transition, which, by the way, is gravel that you have to carry your bike over, cyclocross style, Jeremy told me to be aggressive on the swim since a big pack of men had just gone in. We had to run across the street and through a parking lot to get to the pool (and thankfully that part was carpeted), then swim down and back in each lane, get out, and repeat. The first 200 went smoothly; I didn't pass or get passed. I followed a few men out of the pool, and a volunteer told me that I needed to do TWO LAPS! I nodded and kept running out of the building. Only when I got outside and realized I was headed toward the finish chute did I turn around, duck under the ropes, go back inside to the opposite end of the pool and start my second round. Oops. At that point I was behind a woman who had just gotten in the pool, and she seemed to be going a decent speed, so I followed. Breathing toward the lanes behind me I saw a quick-swimming woman who I was scared was gaining on me. I decided to make the pass, but there were hoards of men at the next wall, some swimming under me, others at me. So I had to wait. The last 50 yards I finally found some clear water and passed, then hopped out of the pool to see the volunteer again. She was laughing at me for running around the building. I did my best post-swim sprint down another carpeted path back through the parking lot to the road, which was the finish line. My swim was slower by around 30 seconds, which I could attribute solely to the extra running. Or maybe the fact that I have been to the pool 4 times since Hunter was born. But I think I swam smoothly and efficiently for me, probably since I wasn't being beaten up.

 The grand finish line at the end of the carpeted path through the parking lot

Hunter had been sleeping most of the race, but when Jeremy cheered for me he woke up (to cheer also, of course), and was ready to EAT when I finished. I grabbed all my gear and headed back to the car for the last leg of the race: more nursing.

The kids' race followed and we hung out in the shade and snacked (all of us) until Hunter fell asleep and I got my award. He was happily hanging with Daddy in the Bjorn, sucking his favorite finger most of the time.

A quick stop to pick up our latest favorite Ruidoso food-- chicken salad sandwiches from the Herb Market (the only food I wanted while in the hospital after H was born) -- and we headed back down to the heat. I wore Hunter out playing in the car apparently; after we got home he went to sleep and stayed asleep for 15 hours (minus a few minutes when I got him to eat and changed him)! He is already sharing my longest sleep record. And at such an early age.

Next up for me may be a race in an actual lake, the one I won from the swim last year (!) before I knew I was pregnant. I have memories of a hot slow run.

For the family, the next endurance event is a big trip to Coeur d'Alene, packing a BOB, carseat, and bike box. Oh and then there's that Ironman that Jeremy's going to do :)

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Race Week!

I haven't raced a triathlon not pregnant since this race last year. It has occurred to me this week that my choice of a first race could be a difficult one; it's at 7000ft and anything but flat. And the run is half trail. Why did I pick this one again? Oh yeah, because it's only an hour away and the trophies are carved wood bears (very large and awesome carved wood bears). They are very appropriate, since last time I was on the run trail this winter I saw this:

I turned around soon after, mostly because it was wet, icy, slippery, and sloped into the lake. And I was pregnant.

It's good I wanted to do a semi-taper for this race. First, our pool has been closed for the last week for mostly unexplained reasons. And we aren't given a lap lane in the outdoor Olympic sized pool. What a waste. So my taper from 2000m once a week has lead me to 0m a week. I'm going to try to get one more swim in dodging the kids, probably wearing my paddles for protection, this week.

I've been complaining of arm pain lately. This fat baby has given me tendinitis, and now I feel carpal tunnel syndrome coming on. But Sunday night I felt especially achy. If that's what a 90 year old feels like I'm not sure I want to be 90. Jeremy said that's how he felt on so little broken sleep during residency. I asked myself if I was doing too much exercise, and the answer was a definite no. Sleep must be the issue. During the night I felt like I'd neglected to feed H on one side; it was so painful. Monday morning I was still dragging and achy, so I napped with the baby. There was no run or even walk that was going to happen feeling like that. It kind of hit me right as the wise big sister texted me, that this was a case of mastitis. A couple of antibiotics later, and I'm a new girl. We got out this morning for a run, and H stayed awake for 4 miles. I was just about home and finished with the run when he fell asleep. I've decided that I'm going to keep running as long as he sleeps, so right past the house we went. I did small loops for another 3.5 miles until that darn sun sneaked through the stroller shade and woke him up. My neighbors must think I'm crazy going back and forth and around and around.

The race day plan is to set an alarm, but probably wake up somewhere around 4-4:30, when H wants to eat. I may go ahead and get ready and drag the poor husband out of bed to start our trek up the mountain. I am hoping to have a sleeping baby during the drive. Maybe even a sleeping mommy... Besides all the triathlon gear, I'm also going to be packing the baby gear, including the pump. If he doesn't want to eat right before the gun starts the race, I may be in the locker room pumping. The race should last just over an hour, but fat babies can't miss meals!

I've learned to make very loose plans with a baby, so we'll see how that goes. As long as I come home with a carved bear and a happy baby, it will be a success.