Monday, February 21, 2011

Crash and (road) burn

My only real fear of biking while pregnant is falling...

It happened, but it wasn't that bad.  Wondering if my fear of falling didn't contribute to the fall though?
I bike to and from work every day and quite a few times in between.  Biking is kind of like walking.  At least the commuting is.  I ride on a straight bar commuter bike with platforms.  Simple hop on and go.

Riding home from work with the man on Friday afternoon, weather was nice, we were chatting it up...we got to the road where we turn right to put out bikes in the shed and I started to make the turn and the man didn't.  I turned into him enough to get our handlebars tangled.  The next few sequences play in slow motion in my head.  I was already off center and going down.  The handlebars became 'untangled'.  My front wheel turned right and I dropped to the left.  Looking back I think there would have been time to put a foot down - I mean, I wasn't clipped in.  My only thought was "don't hurt the baby".  I landed on my side, specifically my elbow, hip, and a scrap to the hand.  Luckily I had on long sleeves or this might have been hairier:
 Pretty sure the other hand was wrapped around the belly during the fall.  Now that I have had time to think about it, I wonder if my thoughts were "don't fall" rather than "don't hurt the baby" the outcome would have been different?  Not to mention how unlikely falling off my bike onto my belly would be.  Besides the little one is surrounded in a cushion of fluid to protect from things like this.  I did have to do a little self check to make sure I could still hear the fetal heartbeat (and it was still going strong).  Also, pretty sure I'm feeling some movement the last week or so and it has continued.  If there is anything wrong with the beano, I'm fairly certain it wasn't due to this fall.  Now, to move on to how I can be more reasonable in my thought process so that this doesn't happen again...
However, not sure "reasonable" and "thought process" go well together during pregnancy.

Till next time, keep on riding (upright preferably)...

Low mileage and new shoes

Running miles were slim last week - only a 4 mile run on Monday and a 3 mile run on Friday.  :-(

The excuse:
It all started with a 10 mile run a week ago Saturday.  I followed that up with a Sunday bike ride of close to 5 hours seat time.  Not hard miles, just a lot of time out.  Monday morning up early for a 4 mile run, and yoga in the evening.  Tuesday morning up even earlier for spin class.  By Wednesday my pregnant body decided sleeping in was the way to go.  It even talked me into taking a much needed afternoon off.  It helped a bunch and Thursday I was back at it with early morning spin.  Friday I was a little tired so I didn't push it, just ran an easy 3.  Saturday we had a nice group ride - close to 4 hours - I got a lovely burn between my jersey sleeve and where I pulled my arm warmers down - in February I'll take it!
Sunday was my first road bike race of any sorts at the Frost Bike 20 mile time trial.  I'll be posting more about it later, but it was a 20 mile ride and I was already a bit fatigued from Saturday so it equaled no run this weekend.

The Plan:
So, the goal this week is at least 3 runs.  Biking is only planned for Saturday so I should have Sunday for a long(ish) run.  Plans to run tonight before the Road Runner's meeting (that just makes sense right??).  Spin will be Tuesday and Thursday so another run on Wednesday.  Hope to throw in some yoga and weights plus the 2.5 hours a week I spend commuting to work via bike and call it good.

The shoes:
I have noticed my shoes are a little worn.  I have been running in an old pair of Asic Kayanos and they really have seen better days.  I knew I needed new shoes, and had planned on buying some more Pearl Izumi Streaks then the positive for pregnancy came.  Just not sure those light weight, race ready shoes will get me through pregnancy.  Finally decided that another pair of Asics were the way to go.  Went to The Run Around and tried on the Kayano 17s and the Nimbus 12s.  Found the Nimbus felt the best right now.  So, I'll be rocking these cuties for the next few months:
I'll keep you posted on whether they have the support to carry me through the next 20 or so pounds.

Till next time - keep running!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Feels like spring

The weather has sure changed.  We've gone from wearing ski gear and riding mountain bikes to no coat and back on regular commuters within 2 weeks.  Today was the day that I stood, holding my bike with one hand and the door to work with the other and I really had to force myself to open it.  My mind was running away with the idea of getting back on the bike and going.  So many flashes of beautiful wide open spaces within those few seconds until discipline got the better of me and I went inside.  Boo, sometimes I get aggravated with my responsible grown-up self!  :-P

Regardless, at least I'm able to get on the bike on days like this - even if just for my commute.

I've decided I want to start adding some more cycling pics to this blog - here is my first attempt at a "panda portrait" not on the back of a tandem (which could be considered a cheat).  ;-)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Belly runs

Last week roads were still a little sketchy so we skipped the long Saturday bike ride.  It meant I got to put in 10 running miles with my friend Brooke who was going 19 on her last build before Little Rock Marathon!  It was definitely the best run I've had in a while.  10 miles with only one bathroom break!!  Whoohoo!
We had to utilize main roads since there was still some slush and ice on side roads, but at least we were able to get out and enjoy the above freezing weather.  It was a good day all around with quite a few big wavers.  And we all know the number of wavers is directly proportional to the kind of run you have right??  ;-)

I was wondering on my way home, I'm right at 18 weeks and just starting to people see me and think pregnant girl??  Or, do they see me right now and think I should probably be putting in a few more runs?  Hehe!

I do know there are times when I notice my little belly more.  Last night while doing yoga I realized sitting poses seem to accentuate the bulge.  Then, today in spin class I just happened to glance at myself in the mirror on the way out and noticed that tank tops really don't hide much.  Gone (for now) are the days of flat bellies, but it sure is fun thinking of what all is going on in there.  :-)

Till next time - run on...
Running for two!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Road biking withdrawals

I can't remember when we've had snow in this area for such an extended amount of time.  Generally snow comes one day and is gone the next.  This last bit of snow came on January 25 and hasn't gone.  Temps have been cold and we've received more on top of the initial 19".  Last Saturday road biking was cancelled.  Commuting to work has continued, but on a mountain bike decked out in ski clothes and goggles.  It's a fun commute, but not a quick or dainty ride on the snow, ice, slush covered streets.  It's more like an Adventure Race - slipping, sliding, dodging obstacles (in this case it's vehicles, parked and moving).  I can deal with the commute, but I really want to get out and stretch my legs on a nice long road ride.  The trainer rides help, as does spinning class, but it's not the same.  This coupled with the fact that I know my pregnant body's time on a road bike frame is short lived is making me anxious to get back on.  Here's hoping for clear road and clear skies for the weekend.  If not we'll again dig out cross or mountain bikes and hit the road, but it won't be the same.

Till next time, ride on.

Gotta run

17 weeks along and running is still good with the exception of one thing - bathroom breaks.  They aren't consistent, but some runs lately have been a duathlon that consists of running, bathroom, running, bathroom, etc. I've read all about the blood flow causing more urine through your bladder, hormones, etc., but I don't get why some days it's worse than others.
This morning while eeking out a 4 miler at the Y with Brooke I felt like I needed to go the whole time.  I went right before starting and then again after a mile and wanted to stop for the next 3, but forced myself to persevere.    It makes me wonder how I will ever make it through running into the third trimester at this rate.  Guess I'll just take it day to day.
Running at the Y might have more benefits than being able to run with my friend who is faster than my preggo self - easy access to facilities.  Although part of me wonders if the fact that I know I have access to go makes me need to go more.
In the big picture I know this is minor and my running will continue and that makes life good.  :-)

Till next time, run on!

Monday, February 7, 2011


I bought a pair of yaktrax a few weeks ago - just in case.  I've been using them for my bike to work so if I do have to put a foot down it doesn't slip out from under me and they have been great for that.  Even just walking around on the snow and ice has been really good.  I'm not the most graceful so any stability I can get is helpful.
I tried them out on my first real road run in the snow on Saturday.  When I left the house it was still below freezing and roads were snow packed and frozen.  Perfect for the yaktrax.  I was hesitant at first, but eventually got into the swing of it and was able to run at very close to my normal pace.
I got to the Y and had planned on running a few treadmill miles with a friend who had 16 miles to do.  As is normal, all treadmills were taken so I just chatted and hung out for a bit till one became free.  I hoped on and between bathroom breaks (hormonal bladder) I was able to get in 6 slow miles before I decided it was time to head home.  The sun had come out in the time I was at the Y, as well as the cars, and roads were turning slushy.  It made the trip home a little worse.  Yaktrax can't solve slushy and uneven terrain.  Just tried to stay on less traveled roads and I made it home just fine.  Bottom line - yaktrax rock.

Till next time - run on (in the snow).  :-)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Biking to work in 19" of snow

Having 19" of snow is unusual for this area.  We have snow, but generally not more than 6" or so.  The decision to (at least try to) continue to bike has been an interesting one.  The precipitation began on Monday night with sleet and ice then quickly turned to snow.  By the time we got up and around we had around 4-5".  We scrapped the driveway and sidewalk then got mountain bikes out of the shed and headed to work.  Biking in the snow, while it was still snowing on streets vacant of cars (most businesses and schools closed based on the predictions of more) was calming and exhilarating.  We got to work without issue.  By 10am we had closer to 12" of snow and they decided to shut down the offices.  We waited till around 10:30am to give the cars a chance to leave then headed out.  It had become terrible.  The addition of more unpacked snow, combined with sporadic car paths led to a seriously thick slush that was close to unconquerable.  We basically ended up doing a walk/ride for the mile ride.  Got yelled at a couple times to get off the road by some seriously classy people, but we finally made it home.
Wednesday we had basically all the snow we were going to get (topping out at around 19") and main roads had been scrapped.  Still a thick layer of snow, but it was compacted and easy to ride.  The commute was back to being fun!  We worked most of the day then headed home and had basically the same commute home.  No issues, very few cars due to everything being shut down.
Today, (Thursday) I decided to ride to spin class (which starts at 5:15am).  I left the house when it was 0 degrees (warmer than the day before).  The ride wasn't bad at all.  Snow was still packed and frozen.  There were a few slick spots, but I was able to make it there and back without putting a foot down (pretty big accomplishment for me).  I went home, showered and headed to work.  In that short time, and with the addition of more cars, the roads had already begun to turn slushy.  Not terrible, but worse.  By lunch intersections were a slushy, crappy mess of intersecting paths.  I opted to hop off and jog my bike through a few of them for speed and safety.  I made it home and back just fine - no major issues.  Given the melting and additional vehicular paths I'm curious to see what awaits me for my evening commute.  I'll have to post back later...

Till next time - keep riding!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Snow commute

Well, I was commuting in my daily wear, wool coat, etc., etc., but after a sheet of ice and 16" of snow with temps in the single digits and wind chill in the double negatives (-13 degrees F today when we left) I've had to rethink.  My daily wear changed to under armor insulated tights and a pair of insulated Columbia hiking pants on bottom.  The top includes a tank, long sleeve tech t, & long sleeve fleece lined top.  On top of all that I threw on ski pants, a waterproof Marmot jacket, insulated boots, and Yaktrax.  Yesterday I had a gaiter for my neck, safety glasses, and a stocking hat.  Today I upped the ante and went with those things plus a Buff to securely cover my nose and mouth and added in ski goggles to keep from fogging up so bad.  Seemed to work - I was much warmer today, but that could also have something to do with the fact the wind wasn't blowing 40mph today and spitting snow in my face??
Some pics the man rode ahead and took yesterday on the way into work
(this was when we only had about 4-5" of snow - it continued throughout the day and stopped at around 16-17"):


The eyebrows were much better today thanks to the goggles!  Also, some roads were plowed today.  Yesterday was like riding in terrible mud.  Good practice I guess!  Reminds me how much I love my mountain bike if nothing else.
Till next time - ride on.