Friday, March 30, 2007

Nineteen! And first race excitement

I have a confession. I'm a swim slacker. When I started thinking about doing a sprint triathlon about this time last year the only thing I was sure I could do was the swim leg. I swam on a summer swim team for a few years up until I turned sixteen and started working. I wasn't the fastest person on the team, but I don't think I was the slowest. It's possible that I was, but it's one of the only sporting events I was involved with that I don't clearly remember being the worst one on the team. (Softball, basketball, cross-country- worst one on the team, that was me) Anyway, I didn't train much for that sprint triathlon swim, maybe 10 times I hit the pool and we did one open water swim to bike practice as a team. That was the only team training I was able to attend and my coach was clearly underwhelmed by my swimming abilities and gave me some small training tips. Things like- "you end your stroke to early so you're only getting half your stroke finished" and "your entire body position is wrong in the water so you're not swimming efficiently", you know, little things that could easily be fixed in the 2 weeks remaining before the first triathlon of my life. Anyway, I decided I wasn't going to be able to make any big changes at that point, I'd just go with what I've got. When we arrived for the tri, our coach asked us to estimate our times so they could be at the right spots to see us. The swim exit was easy, coach was right by the transition chute checking out our times. I had estimated about 12 minutes for the 500m swim- I think he thought I was giving myself too much credit. I think he was shocked to see me out of the water with a 10:19, putting me in the top 1/3 of the field. As I ran by he turned to someone else with us and said "wow, she's already out?" and I loved that swim, truly I had a great time. My second triathlon, the swim was cut woefully short, it was supposed to be 500 meters, but I think it was more like 300- which is bad for me because the swim's the only spot I can get some distance on anyone at the back. Of course as soon as we hit the bikes they all pass me like I'm standing still.
The point of that rambling was that I'm an okay swimmer to start with. So, when I get to the pool for a swim "workout" I tend to just hang out and do some laps. Nothing too exciting or strenuous, but I figure until I'm something other than a crappy biker and runner, those are the workouts to push myself because I've got tens of minutes of improvement to make there. What am I going to gain by pushing my swimming- maybe 2 minutes in a sprint? It's not great reasoning, but it gives me permission to slack in my own mind. This morning I decided to at least work a little hard for a little while and let me tell you- those of you that workout hard in the pool every time, it's tiring! I can usually repeat 100s on 1:45 continuously but this morning I tried to push it, I got down to the 1:35-1:40 range a few times and I was sucking wind! I'm still having breathing issues, not sure whether it's this cold still weakly kicking around or that I've got pregnancy congestion, so that added some discomfort and difficulty to those repeats. I've enjoyed reading Triteacher's swim analogies. This morning I thought about scooping the water and also swinging the rudder, I mean Critter, towards the wall when breathing. I think that actually helped, although again, good form is tiring. That's when I decided to do a few stroke count 50s. As you might guess from the title of this post, I hit NINETEEN. Okay, I only did that twice, but it was on the non-flip turn leg which I think is more accurate because I tend to push harder off the flip turn than off the start wall. Most of the laps were 20 or 21, still better than the first time I tried counting, all because of form- with some great analogies. Thanks, Triteacher! Maybe I'll have to start putting in real workouts at the pool, some day.

There's a first race coming up at our house and it's not on my race schedule. Hot Wheels is going to participate in his first kids run at a local 5K at the end of April. Dad's planning to run the 5K, I'm considering run/walking it but I'll be a last minute decision. Hot Wheels, though, has been asking for months when he's going to get to run in his first kids race. I wrote the race organizer to find out the distance but she wrote back and said they vary the distance based on the ages of the entrants. Superman keeps saying he wants to run, too, but most of them require that the kids be three and since he just turned two he might have to settle for spectating with mom, dad, grandma and grandpa. Hot Wheels says he's practicing whenever we go outside and he runs around for a while, he seems very excited. I haven't even told him yet, that the race organizer said all the kids get a finisher medal, I'm going to let that be a surprise. If it's a full quarter mile on the track, I'm not sure he can run the whole distance, but we'll see what happens. He keeps telling me that he really wants to win his race and I tell him that as long as he tries that will be great. With the two of us as parents I'm afraid he's more built for endurance than speed so I'm trying to hint that while he might not be the fastest kid, he shouldn't let that bother him. We'll see, he's got 4 weeks to "practice". We're not actually telling him to practice anything, he's doing it on his own, I don't want anyone to think I'm out there with a stop watch pushing intervals on a 4-year old. I'm just so excited that this is something he's really taken an interest in, he says he wants to race like mom and dad. I'm flattered that anyone would call what I do "race", I'm more in the finish-without-dying category, but I'll take the admiration.

Pregnancy status: 20 weeks, 5 days 135 days to go.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

While I do enjoy winter

It's just so awesome that spring is really here. Monday after work the kids wanted to go to the playground so we put on coats, hats and gloves and headed off to play in the 45 degree windy weather for an hour or so. Yesterday, it was nearly 65 degrees and gorgeous! We all packed into the car and headed to the nearby state park and beach. Hot Wheels got to play with his remote control monster truck in the park with dad and Superman and I hit the beach for a while. He ran around in that sand like crazy- I told him if he caught a seagull he could bring it home so he was pretty motivated. After about half and hour the battery on the rc truck was done, so Hot Wheels and Dad joined us and then we headed off to do a little hiking around the woods. We didn't get too far, though, we circled a pavilion on a hill and then the boys wanted to run up and down the hill for a while. You can see they enjoyed themselves. I was thinking- "You're voluntarily running hill repeats? Crazy kids." but to see how much fun they had running, and rolling, down that hill and then trying to run back up to the top it really made me realize that this stuff should be, and can be, fun. More nice weather expected today so we'll head out to another beach park for more fun, we're so lucky to live close to some great places to play. To me there's nothing like the smell of the salt water, especially in the spring, and the sound of the waves on the beach. It's almost like a mini-vacation to me just going to the beach for an hour or so, perfect.

I'm finally about over the cold. I'm still too congested to swim, but I hit the elliptical trainer yesterday and this morning I participated in step aerobics class. My joints have definitely gotten looser and I hit the floor once when my ankle rolled, but it was a decent 45 minute class. Tomorrow's cardio intervals class and Friday I'll swim, really, I will.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Celebrating Half Way

Today's the day that Critter's half done cooking! Only 140 left to go, time's really been flying by this time around. Makes me wish I'd get another go around, but we'll have a wonderful time as a family of five. It's also the 4-year anniversary of Hot Wheels' due date. He decided to arrive late so we've got a few days until his birthday. Superman arrived right on time, I hope that this one doesn't come early- I lose out on maternity leave if that happens.

Superman and I seem to be on the getting better side of this cold although it's a good thing we bought tissues recently because between the two of us, we polished off a box of 80 tissues yesterday. Not sure I'll make it to the gym tomorrow as the past two nights haven't involved much sleep, we'll see. The weather's not going to be great today, either. I think it's a watching-cartoons-under-a-blanket-on-the-couch-day. That will be fun.

Saturday, March 24, 2007


Another cold? I've only really recovered from the last never-ending cold about 2 weeks ago and sure enough, Thursday morning I woke up with a sore throat and the echo in my head could rival something out of the Grand Canyon. I muddled through cardio intervals class on Thursday morning but when I got up to head to the pool yesterday morning I realized I was just not going to make it through a workout. I didn't even make it through the whole day at work, I left at lunch time and came home. Not that I get rest at home, but staring at my computer, trying to make sense of the numbers and words through the haze of the head cold just wasn't working either. Hot Wheels started sniffling on Tuesday but he never really got much sicker. Superman and I, however, have caught this cold full force. Poor Superman had a fever of about 100 degrees yesterday and again today. His cheeks are flushed and his eyes are watery and red. He looks so pathetic and he still refuses to slow down. You'd never know he's sick to watch him running around but when he's not running around he actually sits still, which is not a normal state of being for Superman. He didn't sleep well at all last night, so I'm anticipating that he'll nap this afternoon- another rarity in our lives. I'm hoping I'll be back to the gym on Monday, even if it's just some time on the elliptical trainer or treadmill.

Wednesday morning I decided to sleep in and I stayed home until my 8am doctor's appt. It was nice to be home for a while with the kids before heading out. There's a part of me that thinks maybe it wouldn't be so bad to just give up this working out deal and sleep later in the morning, go to work later, but still get home at the same time. The larger part of me knows it wouldn't be worth it, but sometimes it sounds nice. The ultrasound appointment went well, Critter was active and cooperative. We were able to get all the required pictures for the doctor to declare "Normal Baby Ultrasound". My mom was disappointed that she couldn't figure out whether Critter's a boy or girl, I think she was hoping to figure it out and then she says she would have kept it a secret but I think that's doubtful. The technician was able to tell, but the rest of us will found out in August.

Thanks for all the positive comments and wishes after my post earlier this week. I'm not sure where the pity-party came from, but it's over now, thanks for coming. I think the aches and pains I was feeling were the precursor to this impending cold and I had to think about the fact that even before I was pregnant I had good weeks and bad weeks with working out. It's just life. And people have days when they've got more or less energy no matter where they are in life. The thing I felt most guilty about was my lack of patience with the kids, I hate to feel like I spend all my time with them picking on them- and for much smaller things than I would normally take issue with. I know that they're fine with some time on their own- part of their jobs as kids is to learn to entertain themselves and a down day for us as parents is just going to happen.

Here's a mommy moment: I remember reading an article written by a woman in the United Kingdom about how she's bored to tears by her children. She won't take them to the park or a museum, she doesn't play games with them and she won't come to watch them if they're taking part in activities like sports. She does not attend birthday parties with her children, she sends them with the nanny. She talked about how she was doing the children a favor by teaching them early in life that the world does not revolve around them and how it was just as important that she gets manicures and go shopping as it would be for her to interact with them. There were tons of comments left, some people agreeing with her for not coddling her children, but most expressed disgust at her selfishness and wondered why she had the children in the first place if she didn't want to spend time with them. When I read that I just felt sad for all of them. I admit that not every minute of time spent with the kids is the most exciting, but to be unable to see how wonderful it is to watch your children grow and interact with the world around them is sad for all of them. One of the reasons I want to stay involved with triathlons is that I do agree it's important that my kids see that I have my own interests and for a while after they were born I didn't have much of a balance in my life. We have a small house and there are only about 10 places to hide for a game of hide-and-seek, but all four of us played last night for about 45 minutes and the kids had a blast. How would they feel if I told them it was too boring for mom to play hide-and-seek, they should do it themselves? First I think they'd feel like I was bored by them and not the activity- they couldn't distinguish between the two at this point. Also, I think that will taint their enjoyment of activities, if it's too boring for mom then it's probably too boring for me, too. The article sounded like she does care for her kids I just think later in life they'll all regret the times they didn't share.

It's finally nice outside, almost 50 degrees already at 9am. I think we'll head out for a walk in a little while. The fresh will help knock this cold out faster, I hope.

Pregnancy status: 19 weeks, 6 days; 141 days to go.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

What's the license plate on that truck?

The truck I feel like I was hit by at some point over the past 2 days. Yesterday morning's workout was a 35 minute kickboxing class and then a few minutes of some strength training and stretching. I felt great during the class and then some time during the day it all went to crap. It doesn't feel like normal post tough workout pain, and the workout didn't seem much harder than what I've been doing recently. However, I feel like I've been flattened. I'm sore, slow and cranky. The worst part of it was that it made me into "spectator mom" when I got home from work. I was just wiped out. I had enough energy for reading stories and watching the kids run around, take a bath, etc., but I just didn't have it in me to participate as usual. I had less patience and by bedtime I was downright "crabby mom". Then when they were asleep I felt guilty because I've only got about 4 hours a day with them during the week, I get home at 4pm in they're in bed around 8pm. I live for those hours and when I feel like I wasted them it makes me feel worse. I guess the pregnancy hormones are just hitting me hard this week. I'm really frustrated with the job situation and I'm not very good at just sitting back and waiting, but there's nothing else I can do. I backed off on the workout this morning and just hit the elliptical trainer for 30 minutes. Tomorrow morning's swim will be good, too, I'm looking forward to trying out those paddles again. Paul has suggested that maybe I'm getting to the point where I need to back off on the workouts. He mentioned I don't have to be in "triathlon shape" right now, which made me laugh because when I did my 2 triathlons I don't really think I was in "triathlon shape", whatever that is. There is a part of me that's really worried about my fitness levels falling back so far that I'll never get back after the baby arrives. And it's not as if I started at the shape I wanted to be in, so I've got even farther to go after the baby. Then it's hard to work out while nursing and my whole body will just be out of whack for a while. Maybe I'm fighting it too much. I'm definitely gaining weight and I'm not doing anything unhealthy, but I guess if I'm really feeling poorly a day off won't kill me, right? The weight's another issue, but it's just a mental one with me. The scale hit 170 this weekend. When I was in weight loss mode I worked so hard to get below 170, that was a long plateau, that even though I know it's for a good reason, I felt a twinge of anxiety when I saw the numbers on the scale. I've got 20 weeks left and probably 15 pounds more, so I'm trying to just push those thoughts aside as much as I can and focus on the good stuff. Some days it's just harder than others.

On the nice side, tomorrow morning's the ultrasound visit with critter. I'm just to see a healthy little person growing in there. I may have to distract grandma from the screen when the technician gets to any identifying areas- she'll try to figure it out. She's pretty sure it's another boy, although I know that she and my sister are both hoping for a girl. If it is, my house will explode in pink between the two of them. I truly don't care, it will be a wonderful finale either way.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

So glad to be home!

My original flight was supposed to leave Pittsburgh at 3:50pm yesterday. When I arrived for training in the morning, the company I was at told me they would try to get me on an earlier flight since it looked like traveling east was going to get tougher as the day went on. I was able to get booked on the 1:25pm flight, we actually took off at 3:46pm. I was one of the last 2 flights allowed to land in Providence before they cancelled all inbound flights. While I was on the shuttle to get my car, the man next to me was talking to his daughter who was supposed to take the 3:50pm Pittsburgh flight. It was cancelled and they've been told they may not get home until tomorrow. The airports around here are saying it might be Monday before travelers can get where they were headed on Friday. Gotta love the good old March nor'easters, huh? It took me 2 hours and 15 minutes to drive home, a drive that usually takes less than an hour. There were about 10 cars off the road along the way and that was only on my side. It was an awful ride, but at least I'm home.

I discovered sort of an exciting thing about myself this week. I'm an exerciser. I went on this trip figuring I might use the hotel fitness center Tues, Wed and Thurs. I was traveling in on Mon and out on Fri, so I thought I wouldn't get in any workouts those days. I arrived on Monday and I had 2 and a half hours until I was meeting up with a friend for dinner, so- I headed down to the fitness center. There was no pool at the hotel and the fitness center was pretty pathetic- 2 working treadmills, an elliptical trainer, exercise bike, stair master and one small Nautilus. I did 32 minutes on the elliptical trainer (the max allowed) and then 30 minutes on the bike. Tuesday morning I got up and did about 40 minutes on the treadmill, Wed was 32 minutes on the elliptical trainer. Then Thursday I woke up and thought the clock said 6:20am, so I got up and got dressed and ready for the gym. After I had my contacts in I walked past the clock again and realized it said 5:20am but I was already up so I headed off. I did 32 minutes on the elliptical, 30 minutes on the stairmaster and 30 minutes on the bike. That was quite a workout! Fortunately they had laundry so I had enough workout clothes even though I hadn't planned on as many workouts. Friday morning I had intended to sleep in, but I was up at 6am so I put in another workout. While I did well at the gym, the food was a nutritional nightmare for the week. So I'm not weighing myself this week, but I'm also not going to beat myself up, just move on. It's a new week starting.

The boys seemed to be fine without me and they acted more excited about the little trinkets I brought home than they did to see me. But I know they missed me, they just had fun with Dad while I was gone. They did sleep through the night every night that I was gone. Think they slept last night? That would be, NO. Superman woke me up about midnight and wanted me to bring him back to his bed. Every time I tried to leave, he woke up and cried so I eventually gave up and just dozed with him for the rest of the night. They also got up around 7am most days while I was gone, this morning- 5:50am and Hot Wheels was ready to go. I think we'll head outside a little later and see if this snow is worth playing in. I don't think so because there was quite a bit of sleet, so it's just a slushy mess snow, not even good for snowmen. Of course, they're happy to get outside just about any time, so we'll find something fun out there.

Overall it was a decent week although I don't intend to travel for work for a very long time now. I'd just rather be home. I've got a lot of blogs to check on, it looks like it was a busy week for many people. We've got the half way ultrasound this week, my mom's going since Paul's staying home with the boys. It will be fun to check on critter and see him or her squirming around in there.

Pregnancy status: 18 weeks, 6 days. 148 days to go.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

So, so thankful

This morning my mother called, I usually bring the kids over to see them for at least a brief visit on the weekend and we were planning to get together today. As soon as she started talking, I realized we were not getting together today, it was one of those conversation openers that you never like to hear:
"I have to tell you what happened to dad yesterday, but before you get upset you should know that he's alright now."
She proceeded to tell me that he was down at the boat yard with a 74-year-old fellow retiree friend trying to fix the cover on the boat. He was pulling a line to increase the cover tension because high winds have been a big problem down there. I'm not sure whether the line snapped, or the attachment point on the cover ripped, but immediately there was too much slack. He was pulling hard enough that the sudden slack caused him to lose his balance. Their boat is situated at the very corner of the boatyard and when he lost his balance he fell backwards, miraculously clearing the 8-foot rock-lined drop before he hit the river. He broke through the ice in the river and went to the bottom. He was able to pull himself up towards the surface, but was unable to find the opening in the ice where he had fallen through. Somehow, he found a small opening and his friend was able to direct him to a larger opening in the ice where he held onto something until he could be directed towards a way out. I don't have the details, I'm not sure anyone is clear on any of it, it happened so fast. There was no one else in the boatyard yesterday afternoon and if his friend had not been there, he wouldn't have made it. If he had fallen with just slightly less force, he probably would have smashed his head into the rocks on the way down and not come back up. If he hadn't been able to find that opening in the ice as quickly as he did, well, you know what I'm saying. His friend was quite overwhelmed, too, as he realized quickly how helpless he was in that situation and as he told my mother what had happened she broke down completely. My dad lost his glasses and he needs a new wallet. He's got some nasty gashes on his head from where he hit the ice trying to break through from the underside. He's also pretty sore from the force of breaking through the ice somewhere on his lower body. But thankfully, he's alright. My mom said he was pretty quiet last night, I can only imagine what a horrible experience he went through and especially coming just 3 months after hospitalization for heart troubles, his mortality has really been shoved in his face recently. They needed a quiet day at home and I'll see them when I get back from my trip.

On a lighter note, we had a great family afternoon- just what I needed before spending five days away. The kids were very excited to show me a new trail in the woods off our road that they found last week while walking with dad and the puppies. We set off after Superman took a rare nap, the boys each pushing their doll strollers and Paul with the puppies while I tagged along. It's about a quarter of a mile to the trail entrance and from there it was probably another half mile, across a shaky bridge over a small stream and following on an embankment that at times was pretty steep, until we reached the place that they stopped last time. Hot Wheels spotted a point where it looked like the trail picked up again, on the other side of the stream. Of course there was no bridge of any kind at this point, so we scouted out an area where the rocks seemed close enough that the boys could make it over with some help from dad. I'm not really known for my steadiness or being all that sure-footed, so dad was in charge of stream crossing. The puppies, of course, just jumped in and across, and I followed along as best I could. We guessed at where we were heading and we were wrong. About half a mile later we ended up on a road sort of close to where we thought, but not close enough that we could take it home. So, back into the woods, over the stream, along the embankment, over the shaky bridge and back home. Our quick walk turned out to be a very enjoyable trip almost 2 hours long. The boys both walked alot, Superman needed a lift after we hit the first road for a few minutes and then they both needed to be carried a bit about 2 tenths of a mile from home. Not bad mileage for a 2- and 4-year old. It was a beautiful 50 degree day and one that made it so nice to be a family, spending time together outside. Not that we didn't lose our patience a little when Superman started dawdling along picking up sticks and rocks and generally poking along, sometimes we forget what fun it must have been to be a 2-year old out in the world. As much as I'm excited about this baby coming, it was also one of those days that made me just slightly sad that while the boys are becoming so independent and self-sufficient, we'll be starting all over again soon. We've got strollers that can do off-roading and I've got a good baby carrier, so we'll try not to stop the normal pattern of life completely, but things will be different again for a while. But it's all worth it.

Not much more than 12 hours from now, I'll be on the road to the airport. I'll be home around 7pm Friday. I'm trying to look at the bright side of being away that long. I hope to get 4 nights of uninterrupted sleep, I get to sleep in all the way until 6:30am and still get in a workout before heading off to work. However, I'll be at work until 6pm every night and I'm usually done a 3:30pm. Eight hours a day of instrument programming and instruction and then we've all got to go to dinner together, so it will be a long week. I hope the hotel has a decent gym, but I guess we'll just see what happens. Happy week, all.

Pregnancy status: 18 weeks, 154 days to go.

Friday, March 09, 2007

No, I'm not at the pool right now

Since it's 5am that's where I had planned to be. Instead I've been sitting here at work for over an hour. Part of it is an annoyance- I had to brag yesterday that for the first time since he was born, HotWheels had slept through the night for 10 nights in an row! (The previous record was 3 nights.) Last night- not so much. So I've been up since 1:52am.

However, part of it is not his fault because even after he fell asleep again about 3:27am I was still wide awake. I was thinking about work, things I've got to get done and a new opportunity I'm hoping works out. I was lying in bed composing an e-mail I wasn't sure I would send so I just decided to get up, come in, and write it. If you've got some generic good luck thoughts- I'd appreciate all I can get. I hate it when people get all cryptic, but I don't have much to say other than a good opportunity I REALLY hope works out. Besides, we all know I'm pregnant and that's the only really big surprise around my life the past few years. Happy Friday. I'm off to the gym when it opens at 5:30am. I guess some elliptical trainer's on tap for today, a good hour will work off some calories.

Edited to add that I had a good workout, it was 50 minutes on the elliptical trainer, 463 calories. By 10am I was VERY sorry that I decided to get up and go to work at 3:30am, I had already been there 6 hours and had 5 more to go. Oh well. Tonight was pizza picnic night and we just finished a Wallace and Gromit movie that everyone enjoyed. Thanks for the good luck wishes, I don't think that anyone I know actually reads this blog so I can safely (I hope) mention that the opportunity I hope comes through is a job in a new department. The wheels of bureaucracy move slowly so it will likely be many weeks or a couple months before I know anything. Being 4 months pregnant I'm not exactly the ideal looking candidate for many prospective bosses. But I've got a pretty unique skill set that pretty closely matches what they're looking for. A new challenge would be awesome right now, so I appreciate any positive thoughts coming my way.

I've got a week of training next week in Pittsburgh. I leave Monday morning around 9am and won't return until Friday around 7pm. It's the longest I will have been away from the boys since they were born and I'm not really looking forward to it. It was supposed to be the final link that put me over the top to get a promotion this year, but I've already basically been told that's not going to happen. So, now it's just some resume padding and maybe a chance to sleep through the night. I'd still rather stay home. Oh well.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Fessin' up

I got to work this morning and tried to get an experiment started before I hit the gym. Things didn't go smoothly and I missed a run before class. Then class started about 5 minutes late, so I only got in 30 minutes of cardio and then 10 minutes of core. The heart rate monitor measured an average of 128 bpm for 48 minutes. Not too much exertion there.
Then, the real confession is my calorie count for the day- 2165. I can't believe that Babyfit says I've still got a 195 calorie buffer for the day, I feel like I ate too much! Right now I feel more sluggish than I have in a while, definitely this week. Really, trying to eat better does make me feel so much better in general. When I've ignored what I "should" do, it's rarely worth it in the end. Oh well. Tomorrow's another swim morning and then another 3 hour training at work. ugghh. I'm sort of looking forward to the week of training next week, a new environment for a few days will be fun- as much as 9-hour days of instrument training can be fun.

Pregnancy status: 17 weeks, 4 days; 157 days to go.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Loving Month #4

My first 2 pregnancies were very uneventful and I'm grateful for that. I never felt poorly or really all that uncomfortable but I also never felt great. The past three days have been the best I think I have felt in ages. I went swimming this morning, although for some reason I still had to fight with myself to get out of bed. I didn't get to the pool until 6am instead of the usual 5am, so I cut the workout short and did 40 minutes instead of an hour. I lost track of my workout distance, I think it was somewhere around 1800 yards. It was my first time using my new Speedo swim paddles and it was quite a workout. At first I had trouble keeping my thumbs pointed down as the paddles went into the water, so a couple times I made quite a splash as the paddles slapped down flat on the water surface. I finally got the mechanics down and it was quite a shoulder workout, that's for sure. I don't usually take many breaks while swimming but I did notice that I needed a few more breaks today as I got short of breath more quickly than usual. I think that's what makes swimming so difficult for people that take it up later in life, if you're not used to the breathing pattern I think it's hard to adjust to not being able to take a breath any time you want. You can't really breathe harder, either, you've only got the time it takes to complete the stroke before your face is back in the water. Overall, it was a decent workout.

Yesterday and today I had to sit through 2-hour meetings at work. Yesterday's meeting was after lunch and I had eaten pasta. I thought for sure I was going to be fighting to stay awake for the meetings but surprisingly I stayed awake the whole time! Yesterday afternoon wasn't a fight at all, this morning was a bit tougher but I just kept taking sips of my water and that kept me up. This energy is a sharp contrast to a few weeks ago when I could barely stay awake sitting at my desk. I think the hardest part of the first trimester for me was the complete exhaustion, all the time. The nausea was annoying, the getting sick was awful, but those were more temporary than the exhaustion. It's likely I'll never be pregnant again, and I will NOT miss going through the first trimester after this time around.

Third day of food tracking, today I was a little high on calories- 1925 or so. I had some extra cheese with dinner and some butter on my wheat bread. Small indulgences, but I've got to keep them in check otherwise it will add up. Tomorrow's cardio interval class, always a good workout. I'm going to try to get in a 1-mile run before class. I hope to keep up the running a few weeks more at least, I know it's going to get more uncomfortable as critter gets bigger and my center of gravity gets thrown off. A mile's no big deal, I realize, but it's better than nothing.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

What are my feet doing?

I'm posting a picture of my feet taken during the run of my second triathlon. It's a bit embarrassing to post the rest- maybe a future event when I've lost another 20 pounds or so. At first I was surprised when I saw the picture at how the outside of my heel was going to hit before the rest of my foot. Then I thought about the wear pattern on pretty much all my shoes, and that's how I walk and run all the time. I've never had good luck with my feet, shoes and running. I wear size 11 narrow (I measure about a AA, or B at the widest), which are hard to find in general. The only brand I wear is Nike because they tend to be the most narrow, but my toes still slide around too much up front and I'm always getting blisters. I don't know whether I need a stability shoe, a cushion shoe or what. And what is it called that I'm doing, is that over-pronating or rotating or something? I just know nothing. I usually buy myself a new pair of shoes in April, but I think this year I'll hold off until after the summer and buy myself a new pair for my "welcome back to training" when maternity leave is over. The funny part about feet is that HotWheels wears the same pattern into all his shoes- the outside heel is the first thing to wear out. He did not inherit my foot shape, however, I've always joked that Paul has Barney Rubble feet because they're so wide they're practically square. HotWheels inherited his foot shape, Superman's got my foot shape. He wears almost the same size as his brother whose almost 2 years older. I hope they inherited Dad's athletic ability, though, and not mine.
Another really good workout this morning. I ran a 10 minute mile and then ran/walked another 2 miles for a total of 3 miles in 35:32. I walked another 10 minute cooldown. I wasn't moving much better than that when I wasn't 17 weeks pregnant, so I'm happy with it. The hard part is monitoring my heart rate. In the past I know the recommendation was that pregnant women shouldn't let their heartrate go above 140 beats per minute during exercise. I think I can crawl my heartrate up to 140 bpm, that's barely a workout for me. I'm fortunate that most guidelines now say that as long as you're rate of perceived exertion isn't too high, it should be fine. The first mile I felt good and relaxed, I hit 165 bpm about 8:30 into the mile and by 10:00 I was hovering at 169- I've decided for me that 170 is where I back off. I was ready to walk then anyway, so I walked for 2 minutes and it was back down to 130, after that, every run interval shot my heartrate up to 165 within a minute and a half, so I spent most of the time doing 2 minute run-walk intervals. It doesn't worry me too much that it goes up because it does go back down within a couple minutes. Five minutes after I got off the treadmill it was back under 100, which the trainers have always told me is a good sign- when you recover quickly. I AM going to the pool tomorrow, I'm looking forward to trying out my new paddles.

Day 2 and the food tracking is going well. I was at about 1800 calories both yesterday and today. The babyfit website recommends 2000-2300 per day for me but I think that's a bit high since I was at about 1500 a day when I wasn't pregnant and that's where I could maintain my weight. The extra 300 a day isn't really necessary yet, I guess, since critter's only about 5 ounces right now, but the extra's been mangoes and blueberries for the past couple days, so those are good calories, right? Go with me on this.

Pregnancy status: 17 weeks, 2 days; 159 days to go.

Monday, March 05, 2007

A good start!

This morning's workout was great. I did a 10-minute mile warm-up and some walking on the treadmill and then went to circuit training class. It was 1-minute intervals of stuff like: jumping jacks, stair master, rower, Burpees (ugghh- I slacked a bit on those), step-ups, etc for 30 minutes. I wore the heart rate monitor and when it got into the 160s I backed off a little. At the end of the workout I recorded an average heart rate of 140 for 1 hour and 1 minute. I took off the monitor for the last 10 minutes of light weights and stretching, overall a good workout.

Editing to explain a Burpee (they are also a seed catalog): Stand up straight, reach down so that your hands are on either side of your feet and then you have two options 1) jump so that your legs are straight back into a push-up starting position or 2) individually move your legs to reach the same position. Then, there are 2 options from here 1) jump your feet back in, so they are outside of, but right next to, your hands or 2) individually step your feet so each is next to a hand, then jump up, return to standing and repeat. Maybe they're also Squat Thrusts? Either way, they stink.

Now I'm off to breakfast- blueberry cereal and milk. Maybe with a banana if there are any in the cafeteria. Even if they have a tray of muffins, they can't tempt me today, I'm feeling good!

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Sometimes I don't think, some ramblings

If you are what you eat, that would explain why after this week I am FAT. I was sidetracked by another cold this week, had 3 half-hearted workouts and the cravings hit big time. You may remember my blueberry ramblings, I am still on that kick. As of this evening, I've had blueberries in the following manner: fresh and frozen by the handful, in muffins, in mini-muffins, in pancakes, in coffee cake, in chocolate squares (Hershey's dark chocolate blueberries and cranberries) and in waffles. The week, and really the past month, has been a general nutritiohal nightmare and it's catchinng up with me. The maternity jeans that I haven't even been wearing long have gone from a flattering fitted look, so an almost obnoxious- too tight in my upper legs look. I REFUSE to buy new jeans that I will wear for only 20 weeks more (my maternity leave starts at 37 weeks and then I can switch to all shorts and comfortable pants) just because I'm not eating properly and have outgrown them. I'm all for indulging at times during pregnancy, but I'm going to undo all the work I did to lose the weight I lost before getting pregnant and it's just not worth it- even for a blueberry muffin. So, right here and now I'm committing to TRACKING what I eat and being accountable. It has to be done and putting it off won't help. So there, back on track starting tomorrow morning. (Wait, I've got left-0vers from dinner tonight that I'll eat tomorrow so maybe I'll get on track on Tuesday. Just kidding, portion control can be done!)

The not thinking part comes from my latest foray into "something new". As my husband could tell you, ever since he's known me I'm always looking for something to do. I'm not very good at just being in the here and now, I need to feel like I'm working towards something. Although ever since the kids came along, that urge has really become less disruptive to my normal life as I'm more content than I ever have been. However, last spring I had to try this "triathlon thing" and in contrast to being the once-in-a-lifetime-do-it-to-say-I've-done-it, it's something I fell in love with. My latest adventure is an on-line course in proofreading with the intention to taking it on as a part-time job. I've always been a bit of a grammar geek and I've been told it's something I've got a natural aptitude towards. Apparently, I WAY over-estimated my qualifications because this course is very intimidating and it's pointed out to me that I pretty much know nothing. I've got about six weeks to finish the course and after that I should be qualified to work as a freelance proofreader. It seemed like a good idea until I really thought about the logistics. In order to be financially feasible I'd need to work about 10 hours a week. Where the heck did I think I was going to pull another 10 hours out of my week to do another job? I'll finish the course and take it from there, but I'm venturing a guess that this venture will not lead into much of anything. Oh well.

On a happy note, Thursday was a sort of holiday in our family. My sister and I were both adopted as infants, we're not biologically related, which is readily apparent when we're seen together. The day that my parents brought us home from foster to care to live with them has always been celebrated in our family as sort of a second birthday, our Homecoming Day. Hallmark doesn't make cards for it, but it's the most important family holiday for us. My biological parents were 2 high school kids that made the very unselfish and responsible decision to see a pregnancy through in order to give me up to my parents, 2 wonderful people who just couldn't have children of their own. I can't imagine growing up with any other parents, or without my awesome sister, and I am forever grateful that my situation turned out as it did for all of us. My eternal thanks to my biological parents, for giving me my family- my awesome parents and wonderful sister.

On to a new week.

Pregnancy status: 17 weeks; 161 days to go- time's just flying by.