Wednesday, May 30, 2007

26 steps

First, here's a picture of my handsome little runner from his second kids race last weekend. What determination!

There are 26 steps up the flight of stairs from the gym to the main floor of my building. Then I ride an escalator up to the second floor where I work. There's actually no stairway unless the escalator has stopped running, I'm not being that lazy, yet. To be honest, though, I'm considering taking the elevator all the way from the gym floor to my floor because that one flight of 26 steps is harder than my recent workouts! I don't know what it is about that stairwell, but it kills me lately. This morning I spent 45 minutes on the recumbent bike while reading a Stephen King novel (for the third time- I love most of his stuff). It seems far to casual to call anything a workout if I read through the whole thing, but my legs spun enough to burn approximately 210 calories according to the bike and I was sweating, although my heart rate didn't really get above 120. Not strenuous, but it's what I've got lately.

Big changes coming my way! I've been told that human resources is officially putting together my offer for a new position here at work. It's not a promotion, just a lateral move, but one that I'm very excited about. I've needed a change of environment for quite a while but was trying to convince myself that the flexibility of my job made up for all the other inconveniences. I had to stop kidding myself and go for it, I'm so glad that the right opportunity came along at the right time. I'll probably be there about 4 weeks before I'm out on maternity leave for 15 weeks or so, not the best time to make a transition but my new boss seems like a great guy. The work and family balance thing is getting better already.

Monday, May 28, 2007


That would be Over. Did. It. What a great weekend we had. Well, two of the three days anyway. After Saturday's excitement with the races and fun, we had a down day yesterday. As much as I sometimes complain about the lack of sleep, sometimes being tired trying to keep up with the boys or other small annoyances, they pale in comparison with seeing one of them sick or in pain. It started at 4:44 yesterday morning when I heard Superman crying. My first thought was, I'll admit, a little annoyance at being awoken that early on a Sunday. But the cry sounded more insistent than usual so annoyance quickly switched to concern as I headed to the boys' room. Superman was laying on his stomach, arms under his chest and legs curled up, a very normal sleeping position. When I got down next to him he was crying "head hurts, head hurts" and then I asked if he could move over and I would lay down and rub his back- hoping he'd go back to sleep. Then he said "Can't move, mommy" in between sobs. I got a little scared for a minute. I asked him where it hurt and he was able to move his arm to point to the back of his neck, I felt relief at seeing him move a little. He clearly couldn't lift his head, though, I suspected that he had strained his neck overnight. When I lifted him up to move us out to the couch, even though I was supporting his head, he let out a startling shriek that awoke Hot Wheels and I'm surprised didn't disturb SuperDad. We moved out to the couch and he continued to whimper but fell back into a fitful sleep for a while. When he woke up again he still couldn't move his head and was obviously in quite a bit of pain whenever his head moved at all. The whole day he stayed on the couch, with ice packs and children's motrin, he was bored but it hurt him so much to move he was able to stay still. A very unusual state of being for Superman, stillness. Finally about 7:30pm he asked to get up, he took a few shaky steps and then took off running. It was an amazing recovery given that not 30 minutes earlier he sobbed when I had to move him a little to change his diaper. We were pretty amazed. It was so hard to see him in pain all day, unable to explain to him why he was feeling such pain and being unable to help- other than the ice packs and motrin. We're just glad he's alright.

That lead us to today. We went hiking at a local state park with my brother-in-law, his wife and his two boys, 5 and 3- years old. We left the dogs at home this time because one of them is having trouble with his back leg and we didn't think he should aggravate the injury on the hike. The hike is a 1.6 mile trail with a 7.1% average grade. In our pre-kids day, we wouldn't take that trail because it's the easiest of the trails in that park. We wondered who would use that trail as a workout. Well, today was a workout for sure. The temperature was in the 80s, I was carrying the 22 extra pounds I've gained plus about 34 pounds more- Superman on my back. It took us about 45 minutes or so to reach the top, another 30 minutes or so to come back down and we spent an hour or so at the top having a picnic with the kids running around. Overall a very good day, but everyone is Beat. With a capital B. What fun.

Pregnancy status: 76 days to go.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

947 2/3, a non-race report

I'm giving myself credit for unofficially finishing today's event with the most children in tow, official #947 with the two in the jogging stroller in addition to a 2/3 baked "Critter". I'm not sure, but I only saw two other double strollers and neither of them was pushed by a pregnant woman. The forecast said, up until today, low 70's with a nice shore breeze. Well, it turned out to be in the low 80's and quite humid, not my idea of good weather for doing nothing, much less pushing 100 pounds in a jogging stroller for three miles. The event started out and our first mile split was 16:00 even, not great, but not too bad for a pregnant lady. Second mile we clocked at total 30:40, so that was a pretty decent pace. Final time was 45:40, so a 15:00 third mile, pretty good, I thought. The last half mile I was feeling quite uncomfortable, but I just wanted to be done. It was a nice event all around, and I even won a hydrangea plant in the walkers' raffle- probably worth nearly our entire registration fee for the three of us. The boys were excellent during the walk. Hot Wheels only asked once if he could get out of the stroller and when I said no, he didn't fight me or even ask again. They played quietly with their Star Wars guys and ate their snacks. Overall, a nice family outing. I have to admit, though, that it wiped me out much more than I had anticipated.

SuperDad ran an excellent 44:38 for the 5-mile course. He passed us with less than half a mile to go. He said that last mile was about the worst he's felt during a race. I know my brother-in-law said his first mile was an 8:40, so he may have gone out a little fast, but he kicked butt in his first 5-miler. I think he ended up 118 out of about 170.

Of course, Hot Wheels did well in the kids race. There were only about 12 kids in the race, not nearly as many as we had expected, and most were under 5-years old. Hot Wheels did a great job and finished the 0.3 mile course in 5:27. SuperDad ran with him, because it was around a block and we couldn't see the whole course, even though he said he wanted to run all by himself. SuperDad told me he stopped twice, once at the top of a hill and then on the back stretch, but he caught a second wind and cruised the second half of the course. When I saw him coming down the road I was struck by just how focused he looked. Most of the other kids looked like they were out there running but they were looking around, talking with their parents, etc. Hot Wheels just looked determined, didn't talk to anyone, I'm not even sure he was paying attention to me or his grandparents cheering, he just kept going. He was so proud of that medal, and he did mention that this time he beat his 5-year old cousin, who beat him in the race last month. We are trying to reinforce that even though mom and dad aren't going to win races, we're just out there to do our best and that's all he should do as well. We certainly don't want to raise someone obsessed with winning. Especially given his genetic inheritance, he's unlikely to be the speediest kid out there, we just want him to have fun. We found out there's another kids race next month, and they run with Spiderman! We might take a ride down there for it. SuperDad might do the 5k, or we could do the 2 mile fitness walk as a family instead. We'll see.

This course was really nice partially because it was an out and back with the 5K and 5mile on the same course. So we were able to see the 5 mile runners while we were still walking. The overall winner actually passed us before we'd even reached the 5K turnaround. He was cruising. I saw 4 jogging strollers that finished the 5 mile run, one with two kids- they were both under 2 years old, I'm pretty sure. But still- 5 miles WITH a jogging stroller, just crazy in my mind.

This afternoon I took the boys to a birthday party and they spent over an hour and a half in the moon bounce, even after all the activity this morning. Their energy is just endless and these days I'm quite jealous. I'm just hoping I can stay awake until they go to bed and then I'm planning to achieve near unconsciousness for 8 hours or so.

Pregnancy status: 78 days to go.

Sunday, May 20, 2007


On Thursday, one of my teammates for the June sprint decided that she'd like to do the entire race on her own- her first tri. I'm happy for her, although I'm slightly disappointed that the only racing event I had on my calendar for the year is canceled. I was trying to talk Superdad into doing the bike and run portion and I'd swim, but he's not into it- if he changes his mind in the next 2 weeks we'll go for it, if not I'll just sleep in that Sunday morning and plan to race it next year. The 5k is next Saturday and I will be pushing the boys in the stroller, grandma and grandpa are not available for kid watching. It's only a walk so it shouldn't be tough. I admit, though, the precipitous drop in my cardio ability over the past 2 weeks is frustrating. I find myself out of breath very quickly, like, a flight of stairs has winded me on occasion. I've had to modify entire cardio classes to remove the high impact moves like jogging in place, jumping jacks, plyo squats and plyo lunges. It almost makes attending class seem worthless so for the next 9 weeks I might be switching to treadmill and elliptical trainer workouts.

On a cool note, though, Critter is quite an active little one and her or she will often oblige Superman with some kicks and pokes when he's "talking to baby". Hot Wheels isn't very interested in Critter, but Superman is more excited and it's pretty cute. We just hope the enthusiasm keeps up after he or she arrives. I've got the rest of my life to train or race, only 12 more weeks to incubate a life. It's clearly the bigger priority right now.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Modifying.... everything

There was a part of me that thought just because I lost weight before I got pregnant this time around and I did have a better fitness level, I'd magically transport through pregnancy still working out and improving in those areas. There was also this part of me that figured since I started out almost 40 pounds lighter this time around, I'd be one of those cute little pregnant women that just looks, well, cute and pregnant. Okay, you can stop laughing now. Cute and little are 2 words that have never described me, pregnant or not, so why did I dwell on that illusion? I have to admit, though, it hasn't been awful or anything, just a little disappointing.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Next time I'll just buy the box

We went for a trip out to the local Nike outlet this afternoon because we both needed some new sneakers. I just need them for wearing around, I wasn't planning on new running shoes until after Critter arrives and I'm ready to get back into running. I did end up getting a clearance pair of Nike Free running shoes, they were $19.99, normally $85.00. The unfortunate part is that they are what I would consider the extreme of ugly. Pink and purple. Ugghh. But, for less than $20, I can deal with it. I did find another pair of clearance shoes for $19.99 to wear for every day use. The part I was a little sad about? They're size TWELVE. They were a bit roomier than the elevens and I know with the heat of summer my feet will likely swell even more and at least I've got a little extra room in these to accommodate that. There isn't as much extra room as I would have expected in a size 12, though. My feet are huge, you would think I'd have better balance, but no. The selection is also, not surprisingly, quite limited for size eleven and twelve, beggars can't be choosers, I guess. And now I'm all ready to start running whenever I can, in the lovely pink and purple shoes.

I am walking the 5k in 2 weeks. Still not sure whether I'll be pushing the boys in the stroller or they'll be hanging out with grandma and grandpa. I just hope the weather's nice for it. My triathlon's 4 weeks from tomorrow, too. The water at the beach seemed significantly warmer this past week, so my open water swim in 2 weeks doesn't sound like the painful venture I was anticipating last week. I'm planning to get back in the pool for a few good swims, though, but I will not be quite as prepared as I can intended back in January. I guess that's just life, it will be fun anyway.

Pregnancy status: 92 days to go.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Zippy runs again

I think we've created a monster, in the best possible form of the word. Ever since his kids race almost 2 weeks ago, Hot Wheels is a running machine. SuperDad has told me that during the day he'll easily run 20-30 laps around the house. Sometimes Superman runs, too, but he gets a little frustrated because no matter how much of a lead he gets, Hot Wheels can usually beat him. He's fast for a 2-year-old, but that's still not as fast his 4-year-old brother. Usually it's Hot Wheels and Zippy racing, sometimes Bappy, Jeffrey or a host of other racers join in. These imaginary friends don't seem to be a part of the family any time other than the races, though, I don't know much about them. Yesterday afternoon we took a great trip to the beach. SuperDad went for a run along the beach front. When he finished up, Hot Wheels wanted to know whether he could go for a run, too. We were sitting on the beach about 100 meters from the rock jetty at one end. Hot Wheels ran that loop for about 45 minutes, without stopping, barefoot in the sand. Superman joined in about half the time, he's adopted Zippy as a running partner of his own as well. It's amazing that Zippy can run 2 races simultaneously and at different paces. The boys kept themselves amused running at the beach until it was time to go home. And you know what? I never saw them breathing heavy or wanting to take a break. They were having a blast. I only hope that some day I might enjoy running half that much.

This has been a great week of workouts on my end, too. This morning was spin class and we did pyramids of seated climb, standing climb, standing hover and speed spin. They sometimes call it a sprint but there's minimal resistance so it's not really a sprint, just a fast spin. Yesterday morning's class was kickboxing and I'm a little disappointed that I must modify almost all the high impact movements to lower impact because they were causing a lot of discomfort around Critter. I suppose I'm very lucky to have made it to almost the third trimester with minimal discomfort from exercise. The first trimester there was plenty of nausea, fortunately only minimal actual sickness, but the second trimester really was great. I can modify workouts for the next 13 weeks and nothing bad will happen. Workouts will still be there when Critter's joined us on the outside. I know I've got a lot of work to do in the future, small steps.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Back in the swing of things

The cold from he!! is finally done kicking my butt. I woke up with only a very mildly sore throat this morning after almost 3 weeks of waking up feeling like I was swallowing glass. I had even decided to call the doctor today because this was bordering on ridiculous that I was still feeling so awful after such a long time. I guess once my mind decided to call a doctor, my body decided it had enough. Whatever the reason, I'm not complaining.

Yesterday morning was bootcamp class and we did over 100 walking lunges. So yes, my butt and inner thighs would like to fall off today. I skipped 6am class today but went for a nice 40 minute walk at lunch. We covered just over 2.5 miles, so I think I can still hold a 15 min. mile walking pace. I'm trying to decide whether I'd like to walk a 5k at the end of the month. It's largely going to depend on whether I'll have to be pushing the boys in the stroller. That's almost 100 pounds these days and even if it's on wheels, that might be more effort than I've got. I got an e-mail from one of my team mates for the June 10th tri and she said they anticipate the water temp will be in the low 50s. I guess that will motivate me to finish that 1/2 mile as fast as possible, especially since I'll be going it without a wetsuit. I think I'll try a beach swim in about 2 weeks for practice.

Hot Wheels now has another kids race on the schedule. SuperDad's going to do a 5-mile road race Memorial Day weekend and they have a 1/3 mile kids race. It's around a block in town, so one of us will have to go with him just to be sure he stays on the course. We told him we could walk far behind him if he doesn't want one of us to run with him. He said he'll think about it. He's been running all the time lately, he loves to do laps around the house with his imaginary friends, Zippy and Bappy. Apparently he and Zippy run at very similar paces because he tells me they often tie. He tells us he's looking forward to running another race, too bad there aren't more kids races in the area. We'll keep checking the schedules.

Pregnancy status: 96 days to go!