Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I dig your blog

An exciting day in Hot Potato history - I've been tagged twice for the I Dig Your Blog award.  Woo!  I think this is my second award in 5 or so years of blogging. I was tagged by Lizzy, of Run Bake Race and Britt from Life in a Holding Pattern, both of whom are lovely running ladies.

The rules are that I am to give three random facts about myself, and then tag five other bloggers to receive the award.

So, here goes:

1: I don't like bacon (although I do love the smell).  Apparently this puts me in a pretty small minority of people; well, carnivorous people at least.

2: I am terrible at all team sports.  So far without exception.

3: Despite being a New Zealander, I can name most of the Presidents of the United States, thanks to a children's encyclopedia and an Animaniacs song.  I can also list the states in alphabetical order, though it takes a bit of effort, and I often end up with 49...  That's a result of geeky family dinners.  Some families drink or watch TV.  Mine talks science, and memorises long lists...

And I'll tag:

Casie at Witness to the Fitness
Lisa at Bake Bike Blog
Britt at xoxb
Mike at Sub 6
Lucinda at Lucinda Lucinda

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Hot Potato Chip: Week 18

What we ate: This was the week of the mozzarella, spinach, tomato brioche.  Healthy? No (but at least it has spinach, right?).  Delicious? Yes!  I've had a few "bad" days, and have found that a carb-y savoury second breakfast when I arrive at work works wonders.  Well, temporary wonders, anyway.  I also tried Caro (non-coffee) for the first time.  It's OK.  Definitely Not Coffee, but I feel better about drinking it than I do about either caf or decaf (both of which, I confess, I have consumed from time to time).

How we moved:  A good weekend topped off a messy week.  Swimming has been terrible- I blame Phil.
Tuesday- weights + 5k run after work (woot!)
Wednesday- swim (at St Peters, nice but a bit pathetic)
Thursday- unplanned rest (worked late-ish)
Friday- unplanned rest (worked late-ish)
Saturday- walk up the Mount (and around a bit)
Sunday- C2S
Monday- 20 minute walk/run to loosen the legs out

Where we went: To the Mount (and Tauranga) for my lovely Kate-cation.  This was Chip's fourth trip to Tauranga, I think. 

What we wore: My new Piwakawaka t-shirt (which has been out of commission due to a stubborn curry stain)

What we bought/got given: Maternity clothes and a "Fitsplint" (which I will write about properly later)
What changed: The bump popped out even more.  There's no denying it now!
What stayed the same: "Bad" days are still popping up fairly frequently, and just when I least expect it nausea and tiredness will come back to smack me in the face.  Still no movements :(  [no need to edit this...again]

Exciting moments: Run/walking C2S with Ally + our bumps!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Race Report: City 2 Surf (and my Kate-cation)

Today was Chip's first race fun run!

Phil was off to the rugby in Auckland, and we had some major transport issues, so in the end I decided to make lemonade, and have a little mini Kate-cation at the Mount. We drove down on Saturday morning, in time for lunch at Wholly Bagels in Tauranga, then a short wander and a smoothie before my motel opened for check-ins at 2.

I had a bit of a rest and a read to recharge my batteries (partly pregnancy tiredness, partly laziness, pure and simple) then got dressed for a walk up the Mount.  I felt a bit ridiculous with a Camelbak on when so many others were in jeans, but it was the easiest way to carry a drink, my room key and some money for later! It was my first trip UP the Mount, as every other time I've been, I've been in tri-mode with no time for leg-hurting joy trips.  I'm very glad I finally went- it was absolutely lovely.  The quintessential Kiwi walk, with baby lambs on the lower slopes, and lush bush and birdsong at the top.  What I especially liked was the way the view changed as I made my around, from Pilot Bay and the Kaimais, to vast expanses of ocean, and then back to Main Beach, and all the holiday homes. It seems obvious, but it's not that often you get so many so different scenes in a 232 metre climb! I've missed hills, what with being knocked up and living in Cambridge, but I found I was OK as long as I went at my own pace and stopped for lots of photos (which are on my phone, whereabouts unknown, and probably rubbish anyway!)

I was bloody hungry post walk, but it was 5pm and too early for dinner, so I killed some time with a lovely shower, and some hunger pangs with an orange, before getting changed and heading out for dinner.  I meandered up and down the main road a bit before realising what I wanted most was a crumbed fresh snapper from the fish n chips shop.  Maybe not ideal pre-race fuel, but the sun and the sea air said "yes", and I obeyed. I took my parcel over to Pilot Bay, and sat looking at the calm sea, drinking apple juice and eating my chips, finishing just in time to walk back to my motel before it got too dark.

Had a rubbish sleep.  Uncomfy bed, plus stress about daylight savings, plus tired hammies and calves which haven't worked in awhile plus trying to sleep on my left side* equals UGH.  I'd been awake on and off for ages when my alarm went off at 6:00 (waaaay too early, but I was so nervous about getting the time change right that I thought "if I set it for 6:00 and that's actually 7:00, I'll still be ok!".  Reluctantly dragged my stiff self up at about 6:30, ate some yucky porridge, got my room packed up, and left a little before 8 to walk to the shuttle.

The shuttle was horribly bumpy- not much fun for a slightly unsettled morning tummy or a baby bump!  Arrived at registration at 8:15- with 1:45 to go before the start time.  That's more time than I allow for a bloody half ironman!! Talk about over zealous shuttle timing.  The race atmosphere did pump me up a bit though, and I killed a fair bit of time with bag organising, loo stops, stretching and tweeting before my preggo race buddy Alison arrived.

A couple more loo stops, a bit of shivering in the chilly showers, and a fair bit of yakking later, it was time to line up.  We tried to stay far enough back, but of course there were still decent runners behind us and slow walkers in front of us- it was pretty slow across the start line, and nice not to be bothered by it for once!  We didn't really have a plan or a pattern figured out.  We just jogged when we felt like it, and walked when we didn't feel like it anymore! Occasionally, we'd use a milestone to guide us "let's start again at the speed limit sign", "let's keep running until the 6km market", but mostly, we just did what we felt like doing.  I kept a vague eye on my HR- I found that Alison could always tell if it was sneaking up (or else she didn't ask unless she was feeling a bit more effort too!)- and kept it around the 145-150 zone (it was 149 on average, I think because the higher walking HR on the Base Track kept it up).  It never felt like I was working too hard, and the k's ticked by much more quickly than they have in training, even though we were averaging over 8:00/km!

After a quick stop at Coronation Park, we hit the Base Track.  My first time ever running it clockwise!  We were surrounded by other walk/runners by this point, which meant quite a lot of passing back and forth as everyone's rhythms were out of sync- basically, the two of us stuck to a walk up/jog down approach, which worked pretty well.  A couple of times we accidentally kept going on some slight inclines- I think our energy got the better of us a bit!  I was feeling much better than I have in training, which I attribute to having company, taking longer walk breaks, cooler weather, and just having an OK day (no achy growing pains, and no morning sickness).  We reached the end (closer to 11km than 12) in 1:34 or so, and it felt like we'd been out for no time at all. It was lovely finishing a race feeling fine- if a little odd!

I had a few doubts about going ahead with today.  I was nervous about covering 12km after some of my recent runs, and with transport issues and a busy time at work, it all seemed too much.  But I'm bloody glad I did.  It reminded me that I do want to keep running/ wogging, and looking for those good days until I just can't.  I'm glad to be able to say I "raced" with my future son or daughter, and I'm glad to have reminded myself that I love so many things about racing- not just the pushing hard and the PBs!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Hotpotato Chip: Week 17

What we ate: Nothing all that noteworthy, as far as I can remember (which I get proves the point).  We made a new rice dish from the Healthy Food Guide- it was called a kedgeree, but we gave it a bit of a paella kick.  Easy, low-maintenance, vege-full and delicious!  It's not often we find something new to add to the rotation, so I guess that was the highlight.  I've been STARVING the last couple of days, and have had to resort to second breakfasts at about 8am... As you'll see below, all that food's gone somewhere!

How we moved: Another messy week- quite a few "bad" days, lots of work, and a bit of a write-off weekend.  Onwards and upwards!
Tuesday- weights
Wednesday- treadmill run; weights
Thursday- rest
Friday- unplanned rest
Saturday- easy swim (30); walk in the bush (45ish)
Sunday- spin (45)
Monday- unplanned rest (sick all day, and went straight to bed when I got home)

Where we went: Does going to Arapuni for a bushwalk count as going "somewhere"?  It was lovely, anyway- and we saw lots of fantails.

What we wore: Ugh.  A bit more poppage on Monday marked the end of wearing normal tights, and the end of most of my tops.  Time for some more shopping.

What we bought/got given: A hammock off trademe.

What changed: Bit more belly growth.
What stayed the same: "Bad" days are still popping up fairly frequently, and just when I least expect it nausea and tiredness will come back to smack me in the face.  Still no movements :(  [no need to edit this]

Exciting moments: Another midwife visit = hearing the baby's heartbeat again (yay!), and getting the form for my 20 week scan... which brings the "to find out or not" dilemma into focus!

And your reward for reading to the end?  My fat + baby belly at 17 weeks.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

A new kind of endurance event

Now that I'm in the second trimester, I'm starting to feel "actually" pregnant, rather than just "nervously early pregnant".  Which means gradually coming to terms with two things that I almost believe are true:
  • first, that I am almost certainly going to be delivering this baby sometime in February or March; and
  • secondly, that once that's happened, we're going to have an actual baby.
And THAT means that instead of reading the first few chapters of my pregnancy books religiously, I'm starting to branch out into the later chapters and (eek) childbirth books (the ones about actual babies can wait a bit more).

Which has taught me that although I'm not going to be doing any triathlons this season, I am still training for an endurance event.  Quite a tough one, from what I can tell!

And that means that although I have a long way to go, I'm trying to think about how I can best train for the big event.  It's not my only goal with exercise- it's also important to me to stay as fit as possible so that I feel healthy, and so that I can bounce back as quickly as possible afterwards.  But thinking about how my training will help me prepare for labour is helping to bring a bit of structure to my strength workouts- it's not just about kegels.

Here's what I'm focussing on so far:
  • keeping strong all over- it's an endurance event, after all
  • working on my balance, by incorporating single legged squats and plenty of bosu work (both for late pregnancy, and for labour)
  • staying off my back as much as possible, and away from seated positions as much as possible.  It's not super necessary yet, but it's supposed to help the baby face the right way later on, and I'd like to get into the habits and routines now.
  • keeping my legs strong, with plenty of squats, including lots of wide squats (I'm saving the deep squats for at home, though!)
  • adding extra core exercises in- pregnancy is hell on the abs, apparently, and I want my back to be good and strong.
And here's what it looks like at the moment:
  • Narrow squats with barbell pulley
  • Wide squats with barbell pulley
  • Chest press
  • Dead lifts/dead row (or seated row on a bench or swiss ball)
  • Shoulder press and shoulder raises on bosu board
  • Single leg squats 
  • Bicep curls on bosu or swiss ball
  • Tricep dips or kickbacks
  • Planks
  • Swiss ball crunches or knee raises
I'm loving being back in the gym- I've missed it a lot, and I can tell the return is much needed (I'm weak as!), and I've enjoyed working on inventing my own pregnancy weights workout (with plenty of research, of course!)  Hopefully it helps in some small way but, if not, at least I'll be lovely and toned ;)

And for Casie, here's the bump at 16 weeks on the nose.  It felt a lot bigger that day than it looks in the mirror shot!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Hotpotato Chip: Week 16

What we ate: Grain waves.  Nausea returned late in week 16, and it was grain waves all the way (ok, two normal sized packets).  A healthier weekend last weekend; partly because Phil was away for some of it.  Lesson learned: do not buy the pre-marinated tofu from the supermarket.  Harden up and do it yourself!
How we moved: A bit of a messy week, without my usual weekend workouts to make up for it.  I'm enjoying my Tuesday morning weights + bump photo routine, even though the bump always looks smaller in the photos than it does to me!
  • Tuesday: 40 minute weights workout (cut short due to a bloody nose.  Eww)
  • Wednesday: unplanned rest
  • Thursday: 1700m swim
  • Friday: Run to gym, weights, walk home
  • Saturday: Aborted "long" run
  • Sunday: Short spin + some strength and abs
  • Monday: Unplanned rest (we realised we had a seminar to go to and decided to make up a swim)
Where we went: Nowhere much!

What we wore: The big work skirt still fits, but nothing else does, apart from a couple of dresses! I need to sort out some new workout gear, as my favourite running shorts sit in just the wrong place. I've ordered some extra work clothes, as I'm getting sick of rotating my two outfits ;)  I'm not sure what I'll be doing for corporate gear in summer.  Eek.  I also experimented with the belt over bump look for the first time. 

What we bought/got given: A baby monitor; another daily deal type special. We're not really sure if we need one at all given how close the babywill be to us, but figured it couldn't hurt, and we might as well snag a bargain.
What changed: The bump's definitely popped more, and I've had a lot of horrid round ligament pain. 
What stayed the same: "Bad" days are still popping up fairly frequently, and just when I least expect it nausea and tiredness will come back to smack me in the face.  Still no movements :(

Exciting moments: Ordering a "fitsplint" support garment in the hope that I will be able to keep running!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Can I keep being a pregnant runner?

(Warning- there's a little bit of slightly TMI-y pregnancy stuff in the following)

As you know, my journey to becoming a pregnant runner has had highs and lows.

Yesterday's "long" run was another in the "lows" column, and has me wondering how long I'll be able to keep this up; and, indeed, how long I'll want to!

I set up as I had the previous week- a camelbak full of water, a tube of clif blocks (just in case) and a fully charged ipod (to take my mind off the ploddiness).  I'd planned an 8-ish k route, but hoped I'd be feeling up for 10km or so- after all, I have a 12km race to train for!

But only a few minutes in, I could tell it wasn't going to go well.  My heart rate was over 150 (my self-imposed "limit"*), so I slowed down.  At 4 minutes, I was still feeling off, so I decided to adopt a run 4, walk 1 pattern in the hope that it would allow me to go further.  But even that didn't help.  If I didn't watch my pace, and keep it unbearably slow, my heart rate would go straight up.

A little over 1km in, I noticed some abdominal tightening, in what felt to me like the bump area- not quite painful, not quite not painful, so I took it even easier in the hope that it would die down.  But it didn't, not really.  I took a turn that could take me closer to home, and also took me via a toilet (about 3km, I think)- I knew of other pregnant runners who had struggled with bladder pains due to all the squashing.  After a quick pee, nothing felt better, so I decided to walk the rest of the way home, trying to tell myself that the pangs were round ligament pain, or bladder or digestive system related, but feeling in the back of my mind that I was going to be making a call to the midwife or phoning Phil in a panic.

I had a brief lie down with my pregnancy books when I got home.  Despite my nerves, I was pretty sure what I was feeling was stretchy, growy pains.  I remembered that the usual cure for round ligament pain was a rest, but I was still a bit concerned as the books didn't quite cover how I was feeling (they mostly referred to shorter, sharper pains), or deal with running specifically, so I turned to google.

Typing in round ligament pain and running brought up plenty of useful articles.  The gist of these is basically that I can feel free to keep running (assuming my midwife OKs it), but that it might be too uncomfortable sometimes.  A belly band might help, but not everyone likes them.  Not all people get the same amount of ligament pain, and every pregnancy is different, but I've had quite a bit on and off since about 7 weeks, so maybe I have a less stretchy uterus, or weaker abs or something.  And if that's my lot in life, that's OK.  And if it's the worst part of pregnancy for me (apart from those kilos) then that's fantastic.

The thought of stopping running makes me a bit sad.  But I'll be honest- I'm not particularly loving this pregnant running thing.  Hobbling along at 7-8min ks, with a shuffly, ploddy gait isn't really the stuff runner's high is made of.  But NOT running?  That's tough for me too, because I love it, and I want to be able to get back into it afterwards! Not to mention that I want to do my race!

So the plan for now is:
  • Talk to the midwife next week, just to make sure everything's OK;
  • Start running on the treadmill now- it's boring, but I can get off whenever I want to without worrying about being away from home;
  • Look for a suitable belly band (if I don't need it for running, I'm sure it will still come in handy further down the track);
  • If I can't run on the treadmill, move to the elliptical, as well as doing some aqua jogging or pool running on top of the swimming;
  • Set the bike up for spinning again;
  • Keep up my leg weights and my swimming and walking, so I'm still fit and strong and ready to run post pregnancy.

*A lot of sources will still tell you not to let your HR go over 140bpm despite the fact that this was debunked in 1994.  I stuck to 140ish during most of the first trimester, as I was terrified, but I'm now trying to follow the less arbitrary "mild-moderate" guideline- after all, my easy/comfortable running HR has always been in the 150s.  But 150ish is about right for me to approximate mild-moderate, and because I'm a garmin geek, I'm still using HR to keep an eye on things.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Hotpotato Chip: Week 15

What we ate: Loads more fruit and veges than in previous weeks, but there was still room for a little too much takeaways, and a few too many work-food indulgences (it was slice that slayed me this week). I craved Asian-y noodly dishes, and on Sunday I ended up making myself a second breakfast of stir fried noodles, frozen bean mix (edamame, green beans and butter beans- one of the best frozen veg products out there), omelette, soy and sesame oil at about 10:30am. I don't think anything has ever tasted So Good.

How we moved: It wasn't a bad week, all in all. I got slammed with first-trimester style fatigue on Thursday, so took a rest day. On Friday we had grand plans to swim, but got an email telling us swimming was off during the afternoon. We could have gone elsewhere, but we were feeling Friday-ish, so we ate pizza instead. Here's how the rest of the week looked:
  • Tuesday: 45 minute weights workout
  • Wednesday: 4.65km run, with a little undulation (35 minutes)
  • Thursday: Rest
  • Friday: Rest
  • Saturday: Walk to the gym, 45 minute weights workout, walk home
  • Sunday: "long" run (see below)
  • Monday: 1700m swim with lots of kick
Where we went: Auckland for shopping and high tea with friends.

What we wore: Still fitting into a non-maternity work skirt (it hardly counts, as it's a good size and a half above my usual size). I feel remarkably non-pregnant when I wear it, as it sits high on the wee bump, and is just sort of big. I wore a new pair of maternity work pants yesterday, and got a lot of comments. My togs still look OK on, but it's harder and harder to get the straps over my shoulders, as more and more of the fabric is needed to get over the belly.

What we bought/got given: A stroller! It was a bargain so we decided to be spontaneous. Reviews were a bit mixed, but we're prepared to spend a lot of trial and error on getting the perfect jogger, and we'll use trade me to sell it on if necessary.

What changed: A bit of "poppage" on Monday had me feeling well and truly pregnant, but the bumps down a bit the next day, so overall not much. "Good" days are gradually started to equal bad days.

What stayed the same: "Bad" days are still popping up fairly frequently, and just when I least expect it nausea and tiredness will come back to smack me in the face.

Exciting moments: Visiting (and falling in love with) our first daycare centre made everything seem a bit more real, and made me feel much less stressed about our plans for next year.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Sunday long run

I prepared for my run by filling a camelbak and grabbing some clif shot bloks.

Charged up the ipod and the garmin.

Kept an easy, steady pace the whole way- I pretty much skipped all of the fast paced, "running" songs.

Walked at the end, knowing enough was enough.

Recovered with gelato in the sun.

Total distance?  7.08km.  Total time? 55 minutes

But I feel like I ran 20km, or for about 2 hours.

Oh, how things have changed.  But what hasn't changed (yet) is how much I love it.