Monday, January 31, 2011

Two weeks in a Row

Pretty happy with the pregnant body lately.  First, the nausea seems to have subsided.  Second, it managed to get me through a 67 mile bike ride (avg. 15 mph) on Saturday and an 8 mile run on Sunday (two weeks in a row - whoohoo) and still feel good when I got finished.  It's truly amazing what the body can do.  It's a whole new world exercising when pregnant.  You pay way more attention to your body.  I do way better at fueling and hydrating.  I listen to my breathing and make sure it's never labored.  Every twitch or ache is evaluated before moving on.  I thought it would be bothersome, but it's refreshing in it's own way.  It's teaching me to use my power more than my lungs.  It gives a whole new appreciation for what my body already does and now it's doing all that while it's busy making a new little life.

I seem to be gaining and expanding on schedule.  There is a definite baby bump in place as well as around 6-7 extra pounds.  They say you hit the 2nd trimester and things turn around and you have renewed energy and I think they are right.  It wasn't spot on 13 weeks, but at almost 16 weeks it's feeling pretty good.  Let's hope it lasts.

As for tonight - looks like I'm going to go do a 4 miler with Brooke.  With the winter storm warning we have it might be the last time we leave the house for a day or two, so better enjoy!

Till next time, run on!

Monday, January 24, 2011

8 miler

I got to looking at my training log.  Basically I ran the Mother Road Marathon 10-10-10 then I took a couple weeks off.  Got back to running low mileage, found out I was pregnant, then went and hiked the Grand Canyon.  Since we've been back from there runs have been either 4 or 6 miles and mostly on the 4 mile side.  I had one 7 miler in November, an 8 miler on December 31, and finally another 8 miler yesterday.

My goal has been to not push myself too hard.  With long rides on Saturdays it has just felt like too much to do much of a run on Sundays, but I think a lot of that had to do with my sinus infection.  I'm back to feeling better and I got up feeling like I wanted to run this Sunday.  It was nice.  I had my friend Brooke with me for 4 miles so they went quick.  The other 4 consisted of 2 to her house and 2 home so alone time was broken up.  It definitely was not the quickest pace, but that's really not the point right now.  :-)

It's good to feel like running again.  I hope this continues.

I've been more aggressive about yoga lately too.  I've been doing it 4-5 nights a week.  It really helps with stretching, flexibility, relaxation, and sleep.  Ultimately helping with my running and desire to run possibly??  :-)

Till next time - run on!

Cycling Apparel

For cold weather commuting my apparel basically consists of what I am wearing to work for the day, my wool coat, my helmet (sometimes a band for ear cover), scarf, pant leg strap, safety glasses, and gloves.  When your commute isn't too far this all works.  If I was going further I might grab a buff to pull up around my face and throw on an extra pair of socks or shoe covers.

I've already talked in prior posts about the basic cold weather cycling gear, but there are some things I have found this season that have been beneficial.  I'd like to chat about them here...

I think I seem like a Columbia groupie (this is not the case), but they really do have some decent quality stuff.  I honestly thought they only made fishing shirts until we took a trip to Portland last year.  Anyway, I really dig this shirt for cold weather rides and really cold weather runs:
It comes equipped with a handy dandy pocket for my iPhone, ID, and some cash.  It's fleece lined and breathable.  I can't wear it running for anything above freezing, but for anything below it's fantastic.  For rides I will pair it with this shirt:

It is breathable and form fitting (also from Columbia).  It has thumb holes so your shirt stays in place while adding additional layers!  On top I add this little jacket from Pearl Izumi:
It's their W's Elite Barrier Convertible Jacket.  It's thinner than I anticipated when I ordered, but it's a great wind block and keeps me warmer than expected.  I have worn it for rides and runs.  The arms and upper back zip off for a vest when you heat up.  Or, you can do a partial unzip to just get a slight breeze.  For a 30 degree run I wore this jacket with a short sleeve tech t-shirt and was plenty warm.
On bottom I wear insulated tights for runs and rides.  On rides I just add the padded shorts on top.  I have also added these PI thermal leg warmers:
Prior I was just wearing knee warmers.  For really cold days these are great over thermal tights.  When it's a little warmer (40's) I can get away with regular tights and these.  I have also worn these with my shorts and ridden the 2 miles to spinning class.  It worked for that distance, but probably not much further in below freezing temps.

When you look at the cost of all these things (I did get most on sale), it seems crazy.  I generally only wear the really cold weather stuff a couple times a week so I only have a couple options.  Other than that I wash clothes a lot.  Between 2 of us our Saturday long rides equal at least 1 large load of laundry!  :-O

I'm just glad my real clothes still fit and that I'm not stuck buying cold weather maternity biking gear!  ;-)
By the time I'm really showing the temps should be tolerable for riding in about anything - possibly moo-moo's.  Eeek!

Till next time - ride on and stay warm!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Saturday Long Rides Continue

We rode January 1, 8, & 15.  Each ride has been pretty chilly.  The 1st and 8th were hands down the worst though.  Never got above 30 degrees and winds were 10-15 mph.  We smartly rode into the wind to begin with and were able to relax and chill with a tail wind on the way home.  Rides have gone from 40, to 42, to 45 miles last week when the weather was in the mid-30's for the duration of the ride - sweet!!  The man and I have been riding to and from the start location (another 5 miles each way) so we're definitely getting some seat time.  Last weekend the group pace increased quite a bit.  There were two main reasons - nicer weather, and bigger (stronger) group.  It will continue to gain momentum until I am unable to hang with the lead pack and will be relegated to the mid-pack ride.  Any other season I think I would be plotting how to get stronger and work on hanging with the lead group as long as possible, but there is something different this season.  It's called pregnancy.  So, not only will I be chatting about biking from a female perspective - I will also be chatting about biking from a pregnant perspective!  Pretty sure it's going to be a different experience!  :-)

Not sure what this Saturday will bring.  We've had snow this week.  Main roads are clear, but side roads are sketchy.  I'm guessing there will be some preliminary work done tonight to make the final call.  I'm hoping for a road ride, but I'm sure we'll take cross bikes out on the gravel if roads aren't clear and that will be fun as well.  

Till next time - ride on and stay warm!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Of Dogs & Babies

First things first, this blog is going to be changing.  There is big news in our house.  We are expecting!  July 19 to be exact.  As of today we are 13 weeks and 5 days along.  We have had a couple of ultrasounds and been to the doctor to hear the heartbeat a few times.  We are even able to use our own (borrowed) fetal monitor and hear the heartbeat at home!  Pretty exciting in itself.
Running will continue (as long as the doctor says I can), but races are on hold.  Not to say I won't compete in a 5K here or there, but time will not be a consideration.  Maintaining conversation pace is the new speed work.  Some days this is tricker than others!  (not because I push it, just because I get winded more easily these days).  ;-)

So, like I said still running.  Also, still biking.  We had a 56 mile ride on Saturday and it left me a bit fatigued for my Sunday run.  Definitely not going to push it so I opted for a 4 miler - just enough to get the juices flowing.  Once I got going I felt pretty great.  The weather was nice (low 40s) with the sun out.  I was able to run 9 - 9:15min/mile pace on the flats and deliberately slowed down on hills and never got winded.  For me this was a good pregnancy run.  On this run there is one terrible hill, it's a short one, but a steep one.  It swipes my breath on the run and the bike.  I had made a decision up front that I would not push it, that I would just walk it.  I got to the bottom of the hill and had slowed down getting ready to take the first walk step when here comes a German Shepherd charging and barking.  My speed increased and I panicked as he chased me to the other side of the road.  I did get my wits and stop, face him and yell for him to get back.  He did a bit, but was not going to back down.  I finally managed to get past.  I know if he would have meant to hurt me he could have, so I assume he was protecting his home and once I was past that he was fine.  It still didn't calm me down.  I walked down the hill to get my breath, but of course my emotions got the better of me (hormones) and I had a little cry which didn't help.  Finally I was able to breath normally and continue my run home.  By the time I got there I was a little angry and frustrated and had to vent to the man friend.  He suggested I call animal control.  I think I should turn in the owners.  His argument was animal control picks up the dog and then the owners have to pay to get it out so it hits them.  I worry people that won't even make the effort to keep their dog out of the road (where it could get hit) won't make the effort to pick it up.  Maybe I'm too soft, maybe I should have called.  Opinions??
In the future I think pepper spray is needed.  Just no sense taking chances even when running the city streets of a small town!

Till next time - run on and run safe!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Cold, cold, biking

The man friend is an avid cyclist and has plans to keep us biking throughout the frigid cold of winter - and not just on the trainers.  He's started Saturday morning bike rides.  The plan is to start at 10am and ride anywhere from around 1-4 hours depending on who shows, weather, etc.  He sent out an invite to do a test ride in the cold temps the Sunday before last and we were the only crazies to show.  We made it 1-1/2 hours in around 30 degree weather.  Everything was fine except my hands and feet.  The feet had 2 pair of wool socks, shoes, and PI barrier shoe covers.  When we finished my feet were cold and wet.  :-(
So, 2nd go around was this Saturday.  It was colder, but we had other crazies to join us - 4 others to be exact - awesome!  We left the house at 9:30am in order to ride to the start point.  It was 20 degrees, felt like 15 when we left the house with winds out of the NW.  I changed up my gear on the feet.  Wicking socks, wool socks, then Gore waterproof booties, followed by shoes, and PI barrier shoe covers.  It was still cold and I had to continue to move my toes around to keep feeling, but I survived 3-1/2 hours in those temps.  My fingers were still fairly numb so I made the decision to order the PI barrier lobster gloves.  I have the regular ones and I love them in cold temps, but freezing temps are pushing it.  I ordered a men's small so that I can hopefully wear a liner under them.  I'll post on how that works out.  In defense of all the gear I have I should mention that I have extremely poor circulation in my fingers and toes so if it will keep me warm it should keep anyone warm.

My core stayed toasty.  I wore some inSport insulated running tights, my wool socks were of the knee variety, knee warmers, my Exte Ondo Ribbon bib shorts on the bottom.  The top was a bra top, tank, long sleeve Columbia techy shirt, arm warmers, and a long sleeve fleece lined Columbia shirt.  I also had a Columbia Omni-Heat neck gaiter and a Buff to wear up over my ears and face to protect from the wind.

So, this Saturday I'm hoping to be more prepared.  By spring I will have mastered cold weather biking (and forget all I learned by next winter - guaranteed).  ;-)

Keep riding, keep warm!

Erick's Run 2011

Yesterday was the 20th annual Erick's Run in Carthage, MO.  Weather was (in my opinion) great for running - think it was around 35 and sunny with only about a 10 mph wind from the south.  There were around 30-40 people that showed up.  After a long ride in the extreme cold the day before and a persistent cough on my end, the man friend and I decided on an easy run.  Given that, I'm not even sure of our finishing time at this point.  We ran an 8-1/2 minute 1st mile, 9 minute 2nd mile and ? 3rd mile.  We had errands to run and didn't stick around for awards for a change (not that we would have received any, but we could have found out our time).  Maybe it will be posted in a few days.  Regardless, it was fun to just head out and run one and not push myself or worry about time.  The highlight of the run was the Higgins family coming out in full force to cheer on the CRC!  :-)

So, I consider the new year started off right - 3-1/2 hour bike ride on the 1st, 5K on the 2nd.  I'm thinking about taking today off, but who knows.  Maybe I'll get some energy and go for run #2 this afternoon.

On the agenda later today is to come up with my 2011 goals!

Till next time.
Run on.