Tuesday, May 27, 2008

I've caught a bit of a cold and feel wiped out. I have not ridden in a week, thus my ability to post more than one time per month. I have been sleeping (trying to anyway) and using the Neti pot. There isn't much pregnant women can do to eradicate illness and the Neti pot seems to work better than anything else. I spent a good chunk of last night coughing and getting almost zero sleep. This illness is not helping my attempts to keep some sort of physical shape. The last ride I did I felt bonked the entire time and took a short cut home. I miss the ability to breath while riding my bike uphill. It is pretty amazing how things change and rather quickly.

Our little baby is really busy! I can feel her move off and on all day long. Scott has only felt her one time when she was kicking really hard. Being a pregnant bike racer is tough at times as I am unable to race and participation for me is not that much fun. I miss going to races and trying to go fast on my bike. I am trying to take each day one at a time and enjoy being pregnant as much as possible. It gets tougher as my belly and other body parts expand. We already have our baby's name picked out and are not telling. I have been reading Mothering Magazines and various books including Hypnobirthing, The Diaper Free Baby, What's going on in there?, and I just ordered both Having a Baby Naturally (published by Mothering magazine) and The Vaccine Book. My youngest sister and some of my good friends are essential in recommending good books. I feel very fortunate.

I hope everyone racing season is going well. Scott and I check race results and try to keep tabs on everyone.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Dr. Mongeon is helping Scott get back on track. Scott is fighting some gut illness, so to speak, and this next course should help him get back on track. Scott had Giardia last year, identified by Dr. Mongeon, and once treated felt fantastic. Spring is always a tough time of year for Scott with the snow mold, pollens, dust (thankfully Scott cleans, but neither of us are that great at dusting).

I have been training as much as possible. I think I over did it a bit yesterday as today I am really tired and moving slowly. I hope to get a nap in and then a short bike ride later on. The weather has been great lately. Beautiful all weekend and now again today. Scott's brother rode back from Duluth to the Twin Cities today (he rode up on Friday). He doesn't have a car, so his bike is one of the few ways he uses to come visit. No wonder he DNF'd the Cable Classic. It took him 9 hrs to ride up the day before.

Not much else going on. Just reading a ton of baby books and trying to get things lined up for when baby arrives.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

The Cable Classic bike race took place yesterday. It was good to get out of Duluth. I am starting to feel a big caged and overworked. We have been cleaning our house and getting things organized for our babies arrival. Granted we have lots of time, but I already feel far behind on my motherhood reading.

I am going to focus on the good things about the race/participation event. It was warm enough at the race start - and sunny - that I could wear shorts and a short sleeve jersey. :) Luckily I stuck my arm warmers and vest into my hydration pack for the end of the race. I was very comfortable temperature-wise for the first 14 miles and riding at a decent pace, keeping the rubber side down on my bike for the entire race. At this stage in my pregnancy, I cannot afford to fall and I rode extra careful and slower especially on the downhills. I was riding my winter bike - which I love, but it is a hardtail and soooo much slower and more work than my race bike. I am still waiting for my front fork and rear shock to arrive for my new bike. I convinced Scott to ride his old Fuel instead of me and the steer tube is no longer high enough for my growing belly to be comfortable. Although, a full-suspension would have definitely been the bike to ride on this course. I don't remember there being that much singletrack last year - but I had more time to take it all in and enjoy it than in previous years. I got a lot of riding out of the saddle time during the race - I figured about 12 miles (of a 23 mile race) or so as about 1/2 way into the race my belly was very tired of the bumps. I stood on every downhill and rough section. I got to experience the race from an entirely different point of view. After riding a hardtail for this race and I can say they are much much slower on rough terrain. If the trail was baby-butt smooth, then a hardtail would be great. It was brutal on this course for me anyway. Luckily, Scott took off the bontragger rigid fork and put the suspension fork back on. Baby hates bumps and I am sure I would have had to DNF had I not had a suspension fork. Otherwise, the course was fantastic with a bit of cyclocross-type barrier action. There were high winds the night before the race that blew down a bunch of trees across the trail. I must have dismounted about 10x to climb over size-able trees! After about 14 miles I got really tired, my little 'governor' (baby) turned on the brakes and I had to slow down to mostly a crawling pace. I am not sure why. Two weeks ago I felt fantastic! This past week I have felt terrible riding; klinda bonky and low energy most of my rides. Baby must be growing or something. Other good things are that I got to see a lot of riders I don't usually get to see and congratulate local Duluthians on a great showing!

More than half way into the race it started to get cold. And windy. I wasn't working as hard so that was part of it, but it started raining after I finished. (Thankfully I had that extra clothing with me as I had to wait for Scott to ride back to the start of the race to get the van). Luckily, our good friend Ron rode with me the last mile or so of the race. I needed some encouragement at that point. I am hoping I feel fantastic once baby is out and I lose the baby weight that I have not fully gained yet.

Other good things about the day is that I felt so tired, hungry, and a little bonked that Scott and I shared some doritos and coke. I cannot tell you the last time I ate that kind of stuff (crap was the first word that came to mind). Nothing like a race to make me crave bad food. I have been really good during this pregnancy as far as nutrition is concerned and thankfully preganancy has taken away my cravings for chocolate. I have been really good at staying away from caffeine as well and gave up my daily cup(s) of coffee. The first trimester pretty much created a major adversion to coffee and I haven't gone back except for the occassional decaf from Beaner's.

Scott felt fine for the first 5 miles or so of the race and then pretty much had nothing after that. It is so odd. Maybe he is still fighting the cats? He took a short cut to bypass the finish and head to the start of the race to pick up the van. He was thinking of his pregnant wife and making sure I wasn't the one to have to ride back to pick up the van! Otherwise, he wasn't sure he'd quite make it back he felt so terrible. We need to figure out why he doesn't race well. It is incredibly frustrating for him. One thing this race helped me develop is empathy for Scott.... it is not very fun for me to race slow (as I did in this race) and I can see why he would DNF instead of forcing himself to finish when he feels so crappy. I felt really bad the last nine miles and if I knew a shortcut to get back to the finish I would have probably taken the DNF and shortcut. It is tough to stay in a race when the body is not cooperating. At least I am pregnant, have way more blood volume, some physiological anemia, and extra weight that I do not normally carry as all reasons for my inability to go faster than medium speed. Most days when I ride I go incredibly slow. I was practicing balancing while riding during this race as I would crawl up the steeper climbs at such a slow pace that any slower I would have tipped over. But, I was still happy to be outside, on my bike, and in the woods riding singletrack.

I better get to bed. Back to work tomorrow morning and baby needs me to sleep. She has been really active and I can feel her move quite a bit when I am sitting or laying down. It is really cool!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Scott and I are finally ready to let people know we/I am pregnant. We are five months along and have kept relatively quiet about the pregnancy. Our first visit to the OB kinda freaked us out because the risk of miscarriage is quite high (1 in 300) for women > = 35 y/o; especially in the first trimester. Since about 14 weeks pregnant or so, I finally started feeling better. Before that I was very tired and fatigued. I napped several times a day (even at work in my office with the door shut) as I couldn't push through it. I took the pregnancy test after feeling so tired for several weeks that I either had to be pregnant or overtrained. I can feel our little baby moving daily now. It doesn't feel like too much, but it is really a neat feeling. Scott cannot feel it yet, but in another coulple of weeks baby should be stronger/bigger. So far, apart from being tired, everything is fine. We had our 20 week ultrasound and everything looks fine and normal with baby. We were very relieved. We opted not to do any prenatal testing/screening for genetic problems as it was just an assessment of risk and not a definitive test; amniocentesis is not an option we would choose (1 in 200 procedures miscarry).

I am still training as much as I can. I have been hiking/walking and running (short distances) more, but I am still biking and lifting weights. Pregnancy doesn't get in my way as far as activity goes at this point; it is more work that gets in the way - but I think most people struggle to find the balance between the two and all the other obligations. I am signed up to 'race' at Cable in a week. I am sure it will be more of a ride than anything else as my breathing is a limitor at this point (and has been as early as 7 weeks). I hope to keep riding as long as I can and it still feels comfortable to ride. I have been riding my bike with my bars up a bit higher to make it more comfortable.

Scott and I have also decided that we have to get rid of our cats. After talking with a new doctor in town, the doctor basically said to get rid of the cats as they are destroying Scott's immune system. We think that is why he has not raced well or consistently in a long time! If anyone is interested in one or two sealpoint siamese cats, please comment on my blog. They are great cats. One male, one female. Neutered/spayed, declawed, litter box trained. They love to be with people and be 'pet'. The female cat, Kissa, is real lovey. The boy cat, Bartleby, is more aloof, but hilarious and loves to be played with.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Today I helped volunteer at the annual childrens helmet give away sponsored by The Ski Hut, SMDC and Kohl's. There were plenty of volunteers fitting helmets and lots of happy kids (and adults) of all ages that left with a brand new bike helmet. This was a great event to help promote bike safety. During my ride today I couldn't help but notice that about 1/2 of the riders didn't wear helmets (children and adults alike). I am not sure what they are thinking. I have worked in rehab as a Physical Therapist and after working with patients that have brain injuries it really helps solidifies the need to always wear a helmet!

Otherwise, I recently gave away my WORS All-in-One prize from winning the series last year. I won't be racing the series this year, so Trek, our Midwest Regional Team Manager, Don from WORS, and I thought it would be great to give the certificate away to a new female rider that wants to race WORS. Go to www.wors.org to find out the name of the lucky winner. I hope she enjoys the races, courses, and meeting other riders.

Today was the Iola race. Scott raced, but didn't feel very good. His first three laps were basically a ride and then he finally started feeling a bit better the last two laps. He didn't let himself DNF (thankfully). I think it builds character to finihs, but I have to admit the year we were drinking bad (bacteria laden) water I DNF'd once. I felt horrible and was going so slow that I couldn't help but think, What's the point? I really dislike racing slow.

The weather finally cleared this weekend. It was so beautiful both saturday and sunday. I was in heaven both days, getting outside, training and being warm. This spring has been the worst weather I have ever seen in Duluth. Most days are 35 or 40, cold, windy and rainy. The forcast is usually pretty crappy and then, like today, turned out to be beautiful. It is much more motivating to train when the sun is out. I cannot blame it completely on the weather, though. Work has been horribly busy and thankfully it is finals week this week so there will be a bit of a recovery period (from work) before first summer session starts. I have a lot to prepare for that, but it is much more flexible than regular class.

Better run to bed as it is getting late and Scott just returned from his trip to Iola.