Friday, February 22, 2013

One year ago - running and racing

A little late on this one as my sweet Ella's 1st birthday was a week ago today but oh well. As might be obvious, I love to run. I wasn't running much between getting engaged and having my first baby, but ran until about 28 weeks with my 2nd baby before going on bed rest then ran all through our 3rd baby's pregnancy, doing a 5k at 37 weeks. Because I'd been doing even more running as an athlete by this point I really wanted to run all the way through this 4th baby's pregnancy both for health reasons but also for my own internal satisfaction of being able to say that I did, that I'd done even better than before.
Well come about 20 weeks was this awful pubic symphysis pain. Basically a great ache or pain that feels like your pelvis is coming apart in front where it is connected by strong connective tissue down low. By 28 weeks I believe I just could handle it no longer. I couldn't go 10 steps running/waddling. It hurt too much and just wasn't worth any long term damage. So I called it good with a half pregnant half marathon trail race that was organized for me that I unfortunately only did half of. I was bummed a bit but didn't let it get me. I stayed way active with spinning, weights and swimming.
After her birth it was a rough comeback to running, harder than after my other babies. Could have been I was older, on my 4th full term pregnancy, that I have giant babies, or a combination of all of them.  I do not believe it has anything to do with my staying active during my pregnancy.
So I mean I was running faster and farther than most people probably, but for me it was slow. I remember trying to run slow for the first time at 2 weeks out on a track and that darn pubic symphysis pain just killed me. I didn't make it one minute, probably not even 20 seconds. So I started walking only. The first day I think I walked a mile and felt it the next day in my core and pelvis. I gradually increased my walking distance up to 3-4 miles then gradually sprinkling in 1/4-1/2 mile running (slow) segments. My legs and lungs were fine, it was my pelvis and lower abs that took forever to strengthen again. I ran a half marathon at 10 weeks out and definitely felt that low core by mile 8. It was rough, definitely my postpartum limit.  Even in October, 8 months out during my 50k I felt the strain there by 20 miles in. Yeah I can run far and fast according to some standards but it's been a challenge. I'm actually going to ask for your help with it in my next post.  However the challenges, running is a release for me, it's me time. I love to explore the trails and mountains on my own 2 feet but even runs from the house are just a chance to be out, see the sky, and think or occasionally enjoy music not exactly suited for the minivan ;)

Racing wise I did an open water sprint tri at 5 weeks, 9 weeks, 14 weeks (in a much too large wetsuit to accommodate my belly), and a pool tri at 20 weeks. I had friends question me maybe thinking it not a good choice but I did it because I love it and its fun! Pregnant women are allowed fun. It was fun to swim bike and run and fun to see friends and fun to push my body to safe limits I knew my body and baby could handle. Athletes tend to know their bodies well and this was my 4th baby. I had a great time!

9 weeks.  2nd OV at Women Rock Tri

14 weeks, last open water tri - Saratoga, 4th OV

Just tanning my baby white belly.  One of my last successful runs

Even if I couldn't run, at least I could wear my super cute tops to spin or lift or teach.
I felt SO cute and confident in them!
Rusching(sp?) for maternity wear?  Best.  Thing.  Ever.

Last real race with baby #4 inside and baby #3 happily on my lap

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

One year ago - cycling

I rode outside until about 20 weeks I think, really can't remember actually, but I do remember doing a pool triathlon on my 20 week mark, after that I stuck her on the trainer. As I got bigger though I moved to the spin bikes. I love the trainer but don't love spinning, but it's a lot easier to drastically change my bike fit on those than my own. I rode till 39-40 weeks (not the last 5-10 days after that because I was just sure she'd be born the next day, hahaha) and by that point I was basically in beach cruiser bike position :) Sitting up almost straight, bars in as close to me as my belly would allow so I wouldn't have to lean over, because there really wasn't any room to do so.

Like swimming I felt quite normal cycling. Took the weight of my belly down and allowed me to get my heart rate up and feel my muscles work without killing my pelvis. I grew to like the spin classes more, defiantly a good workout, I just think I like knowing what's coming and being in control of it.
I managed to wear my regular bike shorts, just low on my belly but definitely didn't wear my bike jerseys. Instead I LOVED wearing my Fit2BMom tops. Oh how I loved those.  Looks like one of my favorite tanks is on sale too

Anyway, I got back on the bike at about 2 weeks, still on the trainer. Much easier to work with baby's feeding and sleep schedule just being downstairs. It really didn't hurt to sit in the saddle.  If I'd attempted this after my first baby....oh wait, I never would have.  I couldn't sit comfortably in a padded chair for months, I even remember trying to strap a pillow to my bike seat to ride it on my trainer.  No good.  She was my smallest baby but involved lots of drugs, intervention, the bed, and nothing natural really.  Everything but a C-Section.  Getting on the saddle 2 weeks out with this baby I attribute that not tearing and no prolonged pushing with Miss 9lb14oz. I believe a gentle birth in the water with no drugs allowing me to push quickly but with control and midwife assisted perineal support and the warm water aiding stretching of the tissues made all the difference, water birth, amazing stuff I tell you!  Cycling postpartum felt good to not have gravity working on or bouncing my pelvis, pelvic floor, and recovering core muscles and ligaments, again, I could just sit down and work my lungs as muscles. But you gotta do what you gotta do when dad travels for Altra a lot.

I only rode with her on the trainer like this for a few minutes really, she wasn't fond of the idea.  

And now at almost a year old miss Ella had to have her right of passage ride on the aerobars all of my other kids have.  We don't ride like this for a long, a couple minutes.  It's not nearly as fun as it looks for mommy, but I'll do what I have to do

Monday, February 11, 2013

One year ago - swimming

I should be in bed, been trying to be better about that, but I wanted to do 1 post each day this week reflecting on this week last year.  You see my baby girl turns 1 on Friday and I can't believe it!  I loved being pregnant with her (and all my babies) and loved my belly and was proud of my activity level, so just want to look back a little.
I've swam 3 times in the past 2 weeks.  That's good for me, really.  I hadn't swam before that for probably almost 3 months?  Really didn't keep track.  Have just been doing so much running and not planning any tri racing that I figured why?  Then I swam again and remembered, I do enjoy it!
I loved swimming while pregnant.  No where else did I feel quite as normal athletically than in the water (probably why I had 2 water births, LOVE them!  Email me for any help/advice).  Loved the weightlessness.  That big belly was heavy to carry!  I was self conscious at first when I had to go to a 2 piece suit, wearing a towel out on deck, but then I didn't care anymore.  I loved watching people's reactions.  They'd see me from the back or even front sometimes, and then from the side  :)  I'd just smile.  I look at pictures now and yes my belly was an awkward sight, especially at the end, but I rocked it  ;)
I was out being active and that's what counts!  I wasn't showing the world my belly to scare/scar or chase away people to get my own lane, it's all I could wear!  I didn't really have any issue with tempo slowing much, could do all the strokes fine but didn't do much butterfly or kickboard the last 5 weeks because it hurt my lower back, but I do recall swimming squares  :)  In our bubbled 50 meter pool they set it up short course, half with lane lines, the other half without.  Not the flip turn itself, but the push off hurt my low belly, stretching the ligaments trying to hold my big baby and belly in place.  Swimming squares was perfect though!  Only a push off once every hundred or two, just to change direction if I wanted.
Today I didn't need to though, but I thought of it fondly.  I swam up till 40 weeks 2 days I do believe, 3 days before she was born.  Swimming also felt great around that 6 week mark after when I was ready to get back in, nice to not have the jarring of my weak core muscles gravity can provide during running.  Good times I tell you, good times!

I like to look at this progression of my belly.  It's surely not all my swimming belly shots, but a decent bunch.
I went from my regular once piece suit, excited to grow out of it, to a much larger one piece suit (not pictured),
10 sizes larger I believe, 28 to 38, to a matching 2 piece suit (below), to a mismatched 2 piece suit at the end
just to accommodate my remarkable 10lb human growing body.
I do cringe a little looking at just how out there and strange my belly looked sometimes,
but I sure was proud of it and grateful for it and my healthy body!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

It's on!

2013 Antelope Island Buffalo Run - 50 Miler Entry Invitation

Event Date: Friday March 22, 2013