Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Hot Potato Chip: Week 31

What we ate: Christmas treats.  A few too many, of course... Our main meals were fairly healthy, so I hope that makes up for it!

How we moved: Relaxed and fun, and feeling a bit more energetic again.

Tuesday: 35 minutes at home yoga (started as a walk, but the rain put an end to that!)
Wednesday: 45 minute swim
Thursday: Yoga
Friday: Was supposed to swim, but alarm didn't go off
Saturday: 40 minute swim
Sunday:  40 minute ride / walk (on the Napier waterfront path- I gave my bike to my sister with about 2km to go)
Monday: 45 minute walk; 15 minute OW swim (the rest of the time I mucked around)

Where we went:  Napier.  Such a lovely place to visit, I didn't want to leave!

What we wore: My sister made me a gorgeous maternity dress (and I may have stocked up a little on summer essentials in the Boxing Day sales)

What we bought/got given: Chip got some lovely Christmas presents- a book and cardi from his auntie and some cuuute wee hats from his Grandma

What changed: Not a lot, though getting some rest means I am feeling a bit more like me again!  I just need to remember to keep resting and not wear myself out.

Exciting moments: Single digit weeks to go... Exciting?  Or scary!?

What I miss: Being able to eat what I want.  Runny Boxing Day brunch eggs, rare meat, cold leftovers...

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

From the Hotpotatos and Chip

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Hot Potato Chip: Week 30

I'm 30 weeks pregnant today, and feeling absolutely ginormous.  I'm honestly looking at this photo and wondering how on earth I'm expected to fit TEN more weeks of baby in there! For some context, here's 25 weeks... so twice that amount of growth (and then some) left.

What we ate: My first stone fruit of the season.  And the first jersey bennies from *our* garden (I say *our* because although it's at our house, my mother-in-law is the gardener, and I can't take credit for anything... apart from choosing a house with what is virtually a greenhouse for a backyard!)

How we moved: Not much.  I decided after a couple of lacklustre weeks to admit that I was just bloody worn out and to take a week off.  The one exception was going to be yoga, but we got stood up by our instructor- obviously a sign! I got back into it slowly over the weekend (put off a bit by the inclement weather the whole country's been suffering from), and had a great "workout" with Phil yesterday evening; riding Penelope the Cruiser on the Karapiro bike path while he ran a 5k TT (in 18:07... Hopefully Chip inherits his speed, not mine!)

Where we went: Nowhere.  It was bliss.

What we wore: A new work skirt, half price at Pumpkin Patch.  It's far from elegant, but boy oh boy it's comfortable.

What we bought/got given: Clothes from a family friend.  And our cot arrived.  Yay! Phil has a good bit of furniture building ahead of him!

What changed: Chip seems to have found some room to move over the past couple of days; instead of squashy, pushy movements I'm back to feeling happy little kicks and punches every which where.

Exciting moments: Reaching the 30s.  I now feel like the countdown is actually on, and it's bloody frightening! I'm doing my best to forget about the loooong list of baby jobs on my list so we can relax over Christmas.  But once we get back from holiday, it's game on!

What I miss: Booze!  It's been a few weeks of holiday parties, and I'm sick to death of lemon lime and bitters!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Hot Potato Chip: Week 29

What we ate: Nothing stands out.  I worked. I ate meals at stupid times. I ate too many things from the snack box.  We didn't even have time to get the good strawberries.
How we moved: Not much.  Not much at all.  I am really letting the side down, advent challenge-wise.
Tuesday: Yoga
Wednesday: REST (work)
Thursday: REST (work)
Friday:REST (just tired, and lazy)
Saturday: REST (in Wellington.  And lazy)
Sunday: 40 minute walk
Monday:  REST
Where we went: Wellington.  I have decided I don't like pregnant flying any more.  It was hot and stuffy, I was tired and a bit nauseous, and the airplane seat forced me into a really uncomfortable position. Fortunately I have no flights left (and if things change and I need to get on a plane it's not like it's THAT bad).
What we wore: A new work skirt, and some trousers I'm planning to get turned into capris.
What we bought/got given: Some lovely knitted overnaps from Organic Baby in Petone.  I couldn't resist.  Also, a small pile of Golden Books.
What changed: I have slowed down a LOT.  I'm moving slowly, and I'm feeling utterly exhausted. Too many weekends away mean I haven't caught up enough on rest, and also that I'm trying to catch up on housework and laundry while dealing with a busy time at work, and stressing about Christmas.  Chip is definitely bigger, and definitely less comfortable inside me.  Poor wee baby. 
Exciting moments: Chip was doing very well at our midwife appointment today.  Sitting in the right sort of place, measuring the right sort of size, generally doing the right sorts of things.  Go Chippo!

What I miss: Feeling energetic. I hate not feeling like me!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Hot Potato Chip: Week 28 (nearly a week late)

What we ate: The return of nausea + the onset of summer meant the return of grain waves and orange juice, and a renewed love of iceblocks (I'm loathe to spend $2.80 on a glorified popsicle, but BOY those new ginger beer ice blocks are good!)
How we moved: Another full on week!
Tuesday: 30 minute walk
Wednesday: 40 minute swim
Thursday: 50 minute walk; preggy yoga
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 40 minute walk around the Mount
Sunday:  Tinman!
Monday:  Swim (35 minutes)
Where we went: Mount Maunganui for Tinman.  We stayed in a caravan at the Mount holiday park; a bit more run down than I'd expected, but it was wonderful falling asleep to the sound of the sea, and the couch-bed I slept on was surprisingly comfortable.
What we wore: It's more what we DIDN'T wear, which is the clothes I ordered online a couple of weeks ago. The sizing was all haywire, and I confess to having a bit of a meltdown when I discovered I had only one top I could wear!
What we bought/got given: A bassinet and boppy feeding pillow. There was a sale, OK!
What changed: Nausea and fatigue returned- they did tell me this would happen in the third trimester, but I wasn't expecting it to happen on day 1!  Fortunately, I haven't yet experienced a number of other third trimester complaints (knock wood), so I can't complain! 
What stayed the same: Everything else- but things feel like they're starting to happen (not in a labour sense, just in a stepping up the baby growing sense).
Exciting moments: Reaching the third trimester! And an old friend and colleague had her baby at 39 weeks- the number of ladies left between now and me is starting to dwindle!

What I miss: Clothes that fit!

Monday, December 05, 2011

Tinman 2011: Ending my pregnant running career on a high

This was my third year going to Tinman.  I set my standard distance PB there in 2009, then had a pretty pants race there in 2010 (which was a pretty pants season overall).  So I was keen to participate in some way, shape or form, even though I wasn't keen on a swim (with the risk of a good kick to the belly), and I haven't been able to ride a bike (except Penelope Cruz-er, sort of) for quite some weeks!

I asked Mike if he was keen to put in a team to do the sprint, and he hooked us up with a swimmer (Tom, who did the bike last year when I did the swim in Rotorua), and Team 3.5 was good to go!

The day was grey and a tiny bit chilly; a nice change from previous hot years.  We arrived at transition at about 6:45am, got Phil set up, then met my fellow team members to kill some time before it was time for the swimmers to "(wet)suit up". I didn't quite know what to do with myself for a bit while Phil warmed up and the others mucked around- I realised doing the run in a team was sort of the worst of both worlds, spectating and racing.  Lots of waiting around, but not necessarily able to be in the places I wanted to be in.

Fifteen minutes or so after finding Tom post-swim I headed to T2 to kill time there.  I figured Mike would be back between 30 and 40 minutes, and wanted to make sure I was there for him.  I wasn't very sure of the timing, but after awhile I decided that I had time for a quick pee break, as it was taking people a reasonable amount of time to get their bikes in.  Unfortunately, Mike has his speedy shoes on, and when I came out he was looking around the transition area, bike racked and transponder off.  What a fail! Despite wandering round with nothing to do for ages, I managed not to be in the ONE place I needed to be at the right time.  I'm not sure how much I cost us, but T2 was 1:48!

Bladder emptied and guilt fuelled, I started off at a cracking pace, about 11km/h, though by a few hundred metres in, I'd settled into a slightly more realistic (flat) run pace of more like 9.5km/h! It was fun to feel like I was "running" again- however slowly!  Of course, that didn't last long.  But I kept running along the Mall, with plenty of cheers the whole way.  My hips started to ache a little before I made it to 1k, but I wanted to make it to the Mount before I walked, so just slowed my pace some more and concentrated on my gait.

I walked the hill at the beginning of the Mount (and OMG, that was such a treat- I've run that bastard so many times in races and always resisted the urge to stop; last time only because a certain paparazzo was waiting for me...), and then started thinking about my strategy for getting around.  Eventually, I settled on a run 2 mins: walk 1 min system, which I tweaked a bit depending on where the hills came in.  I took a look at my average pace and realised I could aim to do 5km in 40 minutes, but the course is long so I wasn't actually sure I could finish in that time.

It was strange having people passing me the whole run.  I'm a decent runner, and usually run at a sensible pace, so I only usually get passed by speedsters on double lap courses.  There were no speedies with me this time (the lead men ran me down at the end of the Mount)- it was just middling to slow team runners who were burning me off! What I found particularly weird (and what my ego found damned annoying) is that none of these passers could see that I was pregnant unless they took a good look at my profile as they passed.  One girl actually ran "with" me and chatted for a few hundred metres and didn't say anything to suggest that she'd noticed.  My poor wee ego just wanted to shout: "I'M NOT JUST FAT! I'M NEARLY SEVEN MONTHS PREGNANT, OK? And if I weren't, I would be SO much faster than you!".  Luckily, I do have some manners.

Walking up the second "hard" hill on the Mount (those familiar with races on the Mount will recognise it as the one where the second photographer always hides), I was caught by a guy with one leg, who was crutching up the hill like a machine.  Dude was a total legend- swam, picked up his crutches to get to T1, one-pedalled it the whole 20km, and then crutched his way around the run course.  He called out "pick it up, you don't want to be passed by the one-legged guy" and I replied "you think one leg's hard, try four?!" (yeah, not my best work...) 

I did end up passing him, and temporarily passed another couple of walkers too.  By the end of the Mount, I was still averaging under my goal of 8:00min/ks (...and to think it would usually be 8 minute MILES...for a 10km... off the bike...), and I was motivated to run the length of the Mall to the finish.

I didn't get quite as many cheers on the way back- the men's winners had just come through ahead of me, and Mr One Leg was closing the gap behind me.  Quite often I'd hear a "Way to Go....." that would trail off and turn into "Oh my god, look at that guy go!"

It was very strange not being able to pick it up at the end- I was "working", but there is a limit to how hard I will push with Chip on board, so I was not only slow but also pretty relaxed, and some of the walkers who'd been conquered by the Mount streaked past me on the final straight. However, when I saw my teammates cheering, and realised that my Garmin had ticked over 39:00 as I approached the chute, I confess to digging in just a little bit more.

I stopped my watch at 40:04, Garmin time, satisfied that my official time would squeak under 40.  As my Garmin distance was 5.27km, I was pretty pleased. 

It's not every day a PW feels so good. But my hips have had enough of this, and it's time to focus on yoga and swimming, and to start really thinking about getting this body ready to bring Chip into the world in 2-3 months time!

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Hot Potato Chip: Week 27

26 weeks, 6 days
What we ate: Heathily from Monday to Thursday.  Less healthily after I passed my gestational diabetes test.  And then more healthily again, after I remembered that you don't need to celebrate not having diabetes by doing your best to GET diabetes.
How we moved: When we could- it was a busy week!
Tuesday: Morning 6k wog along the river trail.  Lovely!
Wednesday: At home workout before rushing to get Phil from the airport.
Thursday: Walk + yoga
Friday: Lunchtime walk
Saturday: Walk with my sister along river trails in Taupo.  Plus spectating...
Sunday: 3 hour walk
Monday: REST
Where we went: Taupo.  And it was bliss.
What we wore: I ordered yet another Piwaka t-shirt from one-day tees.  Ooops! A girl can never have too many.
What we bought/got given: A capsule.  For some reason imagining a tiny baby all scrunched up in it was particularly exciting! I'm taking a bit of a break from baby buying in the lead up to Christmas now- I'll still pick things up when there's a good sale, but I'm trying to focus on Christmas first!
What changed: I realised that running is pretty much over for me for good.  Carrying this much booty is just too hard on my poor legs and back.  I'm still planning to do as much as I can at Tinman though- I want to go out on a high note!
What stayed the same: Everything else.  Still sleeping well, still not too achy or painy. Still relatively energetic in relation to the first tri, but not in relation to any previous version of me!

Exciting moments: I'm 27 weeks today, which means by many people's calculation I'm in the third trimester.  Which is very freaky and exciting.  We also passed the "3 months til due date" marker this week, though we were too busy worrying and being relieved to notice.  So maybe I'll count the third trimester as starting from 28 weeks.

And a new heading as we head towards the final countdown (courtesy of Lisa); What I miss: Cycling.  Mountain or road; whatever.  I miss the fast wooshing downhill feeling, and the uphill grinds.  While I was not sad not to be racing this past weekend, thanks to the insaneo winds, I had some serious bike envy.  I'm worried that the bike mojo I've worked so hard to build will be lost when I get back into it.  There will need to be lots of trips to the Redwoods to visit Sprocket and ride the Dipper!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Advent Challenge

Since there's been a bit of enthusiasm for an advent challenge (yay!), and since advent starts tomorrow in NZ (double yay! and also EEK!) I thought I'd better actually come up with, and share, the "rules" of the challenge (even if that does mean posting three times in three days, which might just make your computers explode with hotpotato overload).

The advent challenge is meant to be motivating, but flexible. For one thing, it's holiday season, which is mental for everyone. For another thing, the people who have so far expressed an interest are a mixture of marathoners, triathletes, active preggos at varying stages of gestation, gym bunnies, and people who want to generally increase their activity levels. So we can't exactly compete for hours of training or calories burned or anything. And it's hardly in the holiday spirit from us to "compete" at all. So the "rules" of the challenge are that it is low-key, fun and flexible.
Here's what I suggest:
- buy an advent calendar of your choice. It can have crappy chocolate behind the doors, or it can have dear wee pictures of Victoria nativity scenes. It's totally up to you.

- get hold of some plain white stickers; about the size of the doors on your calendar if possible

- think of 5 or 6 different types of workout you do (mine will be strength, stretch, swim and walk/wog I think, but yours might be tempo, hill, speedwork, race, or swim, bike, run and MTB, or whatever you want). Try to include something new, or something that you want to do more of, if possible.

- fill in some stickers for each workout type, and some rest stickers too- we want to keep things flexible, and we don't want anyone burning out and falling asleep during present time on Christmas day

- every day, once you have done your workout or played your rest card, you get to open the wee door on your advent calendar and look at the dear wee picture or eat the crappy chocolate. If you don't do your workout or you run out of rest cards, no door for you!

- THEN you can blog or tweet about it. I'll go for a really creative hashtag - hows about #AdventChallenge? I'll publish a list of participants later this week, so let me know if you're participating.

- there are no winners, cos that's just too hard. But if you do something that I deem to be ridiculously awesome, I'll send you a bag of Cadbury Magic Elves- the best and most ridiculous Christmas candy in NZ.

NOTE: I realise there are LOTS of people who don't celebrate Christmas. Aotearoa is pretty short on people who celebrate Hannukah or Kwanzaa, and I am only very vaguely familiar with the traditions associated with those holidays. But if you would like to be involved in the challenge and you are not a marker of advent, please come up with your own holiday themed challenge and share the love.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The end of a streak- and a new challenge!

Sometime early in November, I realised I'd exercised every day of the month so far. So I decided why not keep it up? I recruited Lizzy to join me, and together we ran, swam, walked and yoga'd our way through the month of November.

Until Monday, when my streak came to an end.

I'd been struggling with the streak for a week or so. Work, midwife and testing appointments, ante-natal classes and things were starting to pile up. Last Wednesday I was out of the house at 6:30 to make it to the lab for my glucose screening test. I worked til 5:30 or so, got home a little after 6, caught up on the chores (after a weekend away and long days on Monday and Tuesday there was a bit to do) and got dinner, so we'd just have to heat it up when Phil got back from the airport. I then had 25 minutes to squeeze in an at home workout before driving to the airport to collect him. So I did it- and that's good, cos something is better than nothing. But it was that point that I realised my streak was starting to interfere with my sanity. It had stopped being about making exercise a priority, and had turned into being about sticking doggedly to an arbitrary plan.
On Sunday after W2K and the hot trip home from Taupo, I was so tired I collapsed on the couch while Phil did the groceries. Then we prepared tonight's dinner (we're having people to stay), ate Sunday's dinner, and I fell into bed and slept, and slept. There was no way I was working out on Monday morning, and I spent lunchtime at the midwife's, worrying because dear Chip had been uncommonly quiet. The extreme couch time on Sunday meant we still had to tidy up both guest rooms (making up beds, removing clothes horses and so on), unpack and do laundry after the weekend away, and just generally catch up. I soon realised starting that process after swimming (i.e. about 7:30) was going to be a Bad Idea. Plus, I had a feeling that Chip's quietness was related to my big walk and overall fatigue, despite my midwife's assurances to the contrary.

So, with a little sadness, I decided to flag my 28/11 workout, and devote my evening to vacuuming, laundering and bed-making. And I feel a million times better for it. I'm disappointed that I couldn't keep my streak going, but at the end of the day I've also got to be a lawyer, wife, host, and weekend holiday-er, and I've got to be even smarter about how I use my time, because I'm also a Chip-baker.

But because I still love arbitrary meaningless goals...details of my Advent Exercise Challenge to come!

Monday, November 28, 2011

W2K Walk Report

We spent the past weekend in Taupo with a bunch of friends.  Theoretically, it was a bunch of different people doing different bits of the cycle challenge (NZ's biggest cycle event by far), but in the end it was Phil and my brother in law doing the MTB as a team, and 8 taggers along!

We rented a fantastic house in Acacia Bay for the weekend- room for ten, a spa, smoochy cats, chooks and amazing gardens.  If anyone's looking for somewhere to house a big group at a reasonable price, let me know and I'll get the details to you.

After a long day of spectating, and a long night of election watching, I had a lovely, luxurious sleep in in the king sized bed Phil and I had bagsed.  Nonetheless, I was first up, and had plenty of time to relax on the deck with my book, eating my breakfast and drinking my caro.  And admiring the view too!

Everyone was planning non-pregnancy appropriate cycling adventures for Sunday, so I planned to hang out at the house, do some reading, and maybe wander down to the Bay.   But after spending the morning on the deck, book in hand, I realised I was feeling energetic and wanted more.  So I came up with the brilliant plan of having Phil drop me off at Whakaipo Bay, walking W2K and meeting him in Kinloch post ride.

I rode W2K last Labour Weekend, so I had a good idea of what to expect, and I thought as long as I sunscreened, fuelled well, and rested if I needed to, I could make it over.  A perfect endurance challenge for a 27 week pregnant lady!

W2K is basically the perfect trail.  It winds gradually up one side of a peninsula (I guess), and then winds back down the other side, for 14km in total (see the blue trail- the red trail is a 10km, extra for experts loop- the views from the headland are amazing!)

It's a shared use, two-way, trail, and probably just about wide enough for bikes to pass, but it really does work best when everyone is courteous, and everyone pays attention.  I saw dozens of mountain bikers out on Sunday, and everyone was polite and friendly.  It winds up fairly gradually- it's predominantly uphill, and there a couple of steepy bits, but it's all very walkable (and rideable), even for someone who's the size of a small hippo, and there are plenty of stumps and a couple of seats to pause for a rest and a look out over the lake.  It's manageable for all sorts of people, but still fun for super fitties, who can blat up, smash themselves around the headland, head down the other side and turn back (most normal people choose the "two cars" route instead).   There's reasonable bush cover on the way up, but it's very exposed on the way down, so sun protection is a must. And there's no drinking water, but there is a loo just past the halfway point- very important for pregnant women (and, to be honest, most people setting out on a 3+ hour walk).   The sign at the bottom estimates 3-4 hours, but if pregnant Kate can do it in less, so can you!

From about 1km into the trail itself, you've gained enough elevation to get a glimpse of the views you'll be rewarded with, which is wonderfully motivating.  Farmland to one side, views of the Lake, Mt Tauhara, and the mountains (Ruapehu, Tongariro and Ngauruhoe)- it's just spectacular.  

I took a camelbak filled with nuun and two muesli bars to get me through- I also packed an apple and a bottle of water in the car, although I knew my recovery food of choice was more likely to be a big fat ice cream in Kinloch!

I wore my Garmin- not (initially, at least) because I had any goals about pace or time in mind, just cos I was interested to see what distance garmy would give me. But once my pace had hovered around the 5 km/h mark for the first few ks, I set myself the cheeky goal of keeping that pace up for the whole walk- which would have led to 15km in 3 hours (I did an extra k at the beginning because of where Phil dropped me off)It's amazing how sloowly each km passes when you're walking instead of running or cycling, but time ticked on and I made my way up, remembering milestones from previous occasions, getting out of the way of mountain bikers, and keeping a beady eye on the numbers. 

My lungs and heart were good, and I didn't feel tired at all, but the bigger worry was my legs- my feet and hips get quite sore after a day on my feet, and I was worried that the previous day's spectating exertions would start to affect me soon.  At 5k I sat on a stump, texted Phil and ate a muesli bar.  I could feel that my feet were starting to get tired as they dangled off the stump, but I mostly felt pretty energetic and didn't doubt that I could finish.  Long drop stop at 8km, and another stump stop at 10km.  Unfortunately, the second stump stop became a sap stop- it went right through my pants and I had to text Phil to bring a change of clothes to the end!

The last 5 ks is a bit of a tease, really.  The trail feels like it's about to end for a couple of ks, then it does end at about 12 (or 13 for me).  But there's still a couple of ks to go- through a Kinloch subdivision, over a boardwalk to the lake, past the marina to the domain.  My legs and hips/bum were pretty wasted by this time, and part of me hoped I'd run into Phil early, even if that meant I didn't make the distance!  But Phil had taken my delaying texts to heart, so we didn't meet until I got through the domain and out the other side with 60m to go (you don't have to know much about me to know I waved at him to keep driving while I walked up and down a little bit of road to make the distance!).  Finish time was 2:55 for 15km (11.40/km or 5.1km/h).  Roughly twice the time it would take me to run it- but I was still bloody proud!

And my recovery food of choice?  Chip butties from the Kinloch store (who'd run out of fish...really???) and a can of deep spring fizz.  Brilliant.

I would thoroughly recommend W2K to anyone visiting Taupo- walk, run or ride it, and top it off with a picnic in Kinloch.


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Hot Potato Chip: Week 26

 26 weeks today!  That's got to be officially pregnant, right? Apparently, Chip is the size of a cauliflower, which seems a little absurd!

What we ate: A pretty good week, apart from Sunday.  I worked really hard at cutting out sugary drinks.  It's not like I've been drinking fanta all day long, but without booze, coke zero and coffee, I've been drinking more juice, and more flavoured water.  It's easy for the sugar in those drinks to add up, so I've focussed on not having them, and saving the sugar for an occasional Macs apple with dinner out. I've also been working on protein, which isn't easy for me- especially not when you add in the zillion or so pregnancy food rules.  I realise it's too late to fix anything pre-polycose screening test, but it's still good for me and for Chip!

How we moved:  #Novemberstreak continues, but barely.  Knowing I was keeping the streak up and feeling "accountable" definitely got me moving a few times!

Tuesday: 25 minute run at the lake; 20 minutes of weights
Wednesday: 1:05 walking (total- before work and at lunchtime); 45 minute swim
Thursday: 25 min walk; preggy yoga
Friday: 30 min swim (pm)
Saturday: 40 min walk in the am; 20 elliptical; 30 min weights; then a hilly 35 minute walk in Auckland
Sunday: Spectating!  I don't know if I'd normally count it, but it was a massive day, I was absolutely wiped, and I'd have easily done my 10,000 steps, so for the sake of streaking, I call it insies!
Monday: an at home workout, as I was flustered and still recovering from the weekend.  Did a light warm up in front of the TV, some leg and UB strength work, then a 10 minute preggy yoga youtube video.  I have indeed become a woman who marches on the spot in front of the telly...

Where we went: To Auckland for the Tri Auckland ITU race.  It was awesome, but exhausting- being in a big, busy city at a big event made spectating much more complicated than it usually is-  I walked and walked and walked and walked, until my feet hurt and my legs ached and then some! As mentioned above, I also ate like a little hippotamus- the early start combined with spectator syndrome really perked my appetite up!

What we wore: Nothing new or exciting.  But I ordered some clothes from gap maternity (...and spent $65 on shipping?! WTF?!) so there'll be new and exciting clothes arriving soon, I hope!

What we bought / got given:  Some clothes from the Farmers sale, and got some more second hand gear (just clothes).

What changed: Chip is continuing to grow, and sits quite low and to the front, which is making it harder to get up steep hills and stairs (the top of my leg will basically squash into my belly).
What stayed the same: Everything else! I'm still sleeping fairly well and am mostly comfortable, and thanking my lucky stars for that.

Exciting moments: Nothing much exciting baby related.  Phil may have felt his first kick, but the combination of paternal impatience, stubborn baby and not very strong kicks mean he's not entirely sure!  
 More exciting for me and Chip was watching Phil race in the sprint event at the Tri Auckland race and qualify to represent his age group at Worlds next year!  It'll be the most expensive sprint race in the history of time- I shudder to think of the per km cost- but the upsides outweigh the costs.  First, there's getting a tri-suit with his name on the bum.  Secondly, there's competing at a World Champs in NZ, which is awesome in and of itself, and super awesome for a guy who'll be becoming a Daddy the same year. Thirdly, there's getting to spend the winter months (and the new baby months) training for a sprint race, not a half ironman!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Hot Potato Chip: Week 25

What we ate: A good week on the whole; lots of lovely berries and fresh veges, not too many dark peppermint mini slabs... I'm getting worried about the gestational diabetes screening test which is coming up, and fear is making it easier to say no to sugar! I still need to work at getting more protein in during the day- not easy when there's a "pregnancy rule" for everything...

How we moved:  I've started a twitter pact with Lizzy to move our booties every day in November.  It doesn't have to be much to count, so long as we do a little something every day.  For me this is about enjoying the last few weeks of the second trimester before I start suffering from too many aches and pains, and embracing the spring sun before the real summer warmth arrives! This week wasn't as impressive as last week, but it was a bloody busy week now that we've added 2-hour long ante-natal classes every Tuesday, so I'm pleased that #Novemberstreak motivated me to keep going.

Tuesday: 30 minute walk; 10 minutes stretching (am)
Wednesday: 30 min swim (am)
Thursday: 30 min walk; preggy yoga
Friday: 45 min swim
Saturday: 20 min walk; 20 elliptical; 30 min weights (and then a looong day on my feeties)
Sunday: 35 min run between prepping for and going to a friend's baby shower
Monday: 30 minute swim (am) (we slept in...)

Where we went: To the On Your Bike expo on Saturday.  Walking around and chatting for a couple of hours made it a long afternoon, and I was pretty beat afterwards, but it was great fun (and I will hopefully post about some of the fun things we found there later)

What we wore: I love my Pumpkin Patch maternity leggings.  I'm now pretty much out of tops- trying to figure out how long the next size or so up will last, or whether it would be better just to bite the bullet and go maternity.

What we bought / got given:  We bought our stroller, and ordered our cot.  Exciting times!

What changed: Nuttin' really.  Chip grew a little, moved a little more, and bending down got a little harder.[ditto] I also realised for the first time that things like sitting at my desk and doing the dishes are getting a little more awkward!

What stayed the same: Purty much everything! [ditto]

Exciting moments:
I always count down to midwife appointments- hearing the heartbeat and knowing that everything's OK with me and the baby (as far as we can tell) usually gives me a couple of weeks of comfort.  We're moving from 4 weekly to 3 weekly now, and it won't be long before we move to fortnightly- so soon I won't have time to start getting anxious between visits ;)

The other "exciting" thing was starting ante-natal classes (we've started quite early due to the inconveniently timed Christmas break, so will be all done with learning when I'm only 30 weeks), even though they're not exactly enthralling at this stage...

And, because you've been good, and you haven't a bump pic for a while, here's the bump after a quick gym workout this morning (at 25 weeks on the dot):

 (and yes, I am freaked by the fact that this belleh has another 15 weeks of growing to do!)

Friday, November 11, 2011

My pregnant tri-season

Tri-season is well and truly under way, and just because I won't really be competing this year doesn't mean I'm not excited. Of course, I'm also freaked, because Chip is due to arrive during this tri-season. Blimey!

So, what does my season look like?

Phil's season kicks off with the Tri Auckland sprint race the weekend after next. It's going to be a massive race, as both the sprint and the Olympic distance are qualifying events for worlds next year, so there are heaps of people racing, including plenty of "names". While some of me would love to be racing too, I'm not a huge fan of big competitive races, because there are always too many super fast men whizzing past and lapping me on the scary bits of the bike (of which there are many in this hilly, technical course), and I'm super looking forward to spectating. And shopping in Auckland. OK, and ice creams in Pokeno too.

Then it's Tinman, which we'll be participating in for the third time. I'm running in a sprint team; Phil's doing the Olympic distance. Currently, I'm feeling pretty good about getting through the 5k, and if previous years are anything to go by, I have a much greater chance of winning a good spot prize than he does ;)

Phil has December off, but we'll hopefully make it down to Rotovegas for my favourite race of all. There's always someone to cheer on (at least two people this year, anyway), and I'm sure by that stage I'll be perfectly happy just to sit in the shallows at Blue Lake getting pruney for the whole race!

Phil's biggie this season is, again, the Port of Tauranga Half Ironman, which is going to be epic. I'll be part of a big, awesome cheer squad cheering on heaps of blog and twitter buddies, and real life people too. I'm planning my water gun strategy already.

Then it will be time for my one and only triathlon for the season; a small (field of two) maternity mini tri at my favourite triathlon stomping ground, Blue Lake. Course and dates are TBD, but it looks as though I'll have a good chance of placing in my category (25-29 preggos- hey, if it's not TriNZ sanctified, why should I have to age up??)

I'm hoping that by through limited participation and plenty of spectating I'll be able to keep my passion for the sport alive- I know I'll need all the motivation and enthusiasm I can lay my little hands on if I want to have a cracker 2012 season!*

*And by "cracker", I mean FUN!

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Hot Potato Chip: Week 24

What we ate: Mostly well with a few exceptions (grain waves when my nausea returned on Monday, a couple of servings of pre-dinner corn chips, and a few Whittakers dark mint mini slabs kindly brought to me by Ally).
How we moved:  Easy and often!  I said goodbye to my cold last weekend, and got to spend the week walking and swimming- with preggy yoga, a couple of gym sessions, and a run thrown in for good measure.  Long may this energy last...
Tuesday: 40 mins elliptical; 35 min walk
Wednesday: 40 min swim
Thursday: 45 min swim;30 min walk; preggy yoga
Friday:30 min walk; 55 min swim
Saturday: 30 min weights; 35 min swim
Sunday:35 min run
Monday: 45 min walk (am); 45 min swim (pm)
What we wore: The excitement for me this week was solving my burgeoning chub rub problem by purchasing a few pairs of cheap cotton "bike" shorts from good old Glassons.  Hello summer skirts, goodbye chafing!  I was also stoked to finally find a pair of maternity shorts I liked- and super stoked when I got them for roughly half price due to the combination of a few different discounts. 
What we bought / got given: I went clothes crazy at the Base yesterday.  Spent a small fortune, and we still don't have everything we need for any stage, but Chip will be two-thirds clothed until he or she is 1. Unless he or she is abnormally small or large, in which case it'll be about 6 months or 18 months :) We also ordered our chest freezer, so I can start preparing freezer meals :)
What changed: Nuttin' really.  Chip grew a little, moved a little more, and bending down got a little harder.
What stayed the same: Purty much everything! 

Exciting moments:
Reaching the 24 week mark, which means that Chip could, theoretically, make it if I went into labour now. This, of course, would not be ideal for many reasons; not least of which is the fact that we do not have nearly enough of the stuff we need to bring a baby home.  Stay in there, buddy!

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Deep breaths and bean bags: Hot Potato hits up preggy yoga

I have been meaning to find a pregnancy yoga class for, oh, about 19 weeks now. I've had the contact numbers saved in a gmail folder, I've talked to pregnant colleagues, but I never actually DID it.  First it was work.  Then work again.  Then general slackness.  Then sickness.

But finally this week, I got off my bum (not literally, I was in my trusty office chair) and phoned around, and found a class at the local parents' centre for Thursday night.  I wasn't sure quite what to expect; knowing that some preggy yoga classes are basically focussed ordinary yoga classes (i.e. pretty much a workout), whereas others are more of the deep breathing and feeling centred ilk (it didn't matter much to me which one I got- I just didn't know).

After a 3k walk there (thanks to a wrong turn) I was hot and running late and feeling a little flustered, but I had time to lay my towel out and settle myself down before we started.  I wasn't even last there, quite. 

The class was very much "deep breathing and feeling centred", and it was great.  The stretches were easy and relaxing, and we focussed on the problem areas we'd all identified in the beginning (mostly rib and lower back pain- ho boy, do I have a lot to look forward to).  The instructor kept up a running commentary about various pregnancy/labour related things as we stretched, which eased the tension- you just have to relax and stop feeling like a spoon when you're in a room full of women talking about the bodily processes involved in pregnancy and labour!  At the end, we had 10 minutes to give each other back rubs and chat, followed by 5 minutes of relaxing on beanbags and "connecting with our babies."

I left feeling a little taller, a lot calmer, and with an inexplicable craving for chickpeas...  Looking forward to next Thursday!

Friday, November 04, 2011

"Swim tag" or "how soon can you lap Kate?"

Today at swimming (...where I did 1700m- woot!), I invented a sweet new workout game I like to call "swim tag", or, as I introduced it to Phil, "how soon can you lap Kate?"*

It worked really well for us, and I thought it would be a fun training game for anyone who trains with a speedster!

What you need:
- two swimmers, one fastish, one slowish
- one pool, preferably not too busy

What you do:
- fastish swimmer starts first, slowish swimmer jumps on his or her heels
- both swimmers keep swimming until fastish swimmer catches slowish swimmer's feet

Repeat as desired. 

We "played" twice- the first time, Phil lapped me at my 300 (his 350). The second time he upped his game and caught me at 275 (he also got brainy and took off really fast on the first 25 so I couldn't hold on).  It meant that Phil was motivated to put some effort it for a decent interval, and that I was motivated to just keep going (pregnant Kate tends to swim shorter intervals), and it was a great way to get 600+ metres in.

*I say invented, but I'm going to guess I'm not the first person to "invent" this one.  But for now, let me enjoy it, OK?

Monday, October 31, 2011

Hot Potato Chip: Week 23

What we ate: Spaghetti on toast; my go-to "sick" food.

How we moved: Very little.  A few walks was all I had in me.  I've beaten myself up about this, but Rational Kate knows it was for the best.

Where we went: From bed to the couch to work to bed.

What we wore: A shrinking selection of clothes, precious few of which are going to work for summer.  I wish someone would invent mid-thigh length underwear for those of us with too much thigh...

What we bought/got given: Lots! I cleaned up at a local secondhand baby bonanza, and we received a generous pile of bits and bobs from our neighbours.  I love hand-me-downs; cheap/free, green and good for the community.

What changed: Chip got MUCH more active over the past few days; I've felt movement every day since Friday, and it was non-stop for a good chunk of this morning.

What stayed the same: Belly still feels like it's stagnating a bit.  I'm not complaining- I know someone's still growing in there, and it's about time I had a belly-growth slowdown!

Exciting moments: Movements are definitely still new enough to be exciting, so I'm counting them again :)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Hot Potato Chip: Week 22

The final halfway point.   I found out at (about) 4 weeks, with 36 weeks to go, and I'm 22 weeks pregnant today, with only 18 weeks (theoretically) remaining. I guess there's no denying it- I should probably start doing some more planning...

What we ate: My appetite is still a bit iffy, and I am working on not eating too much, as my "say when" button seems to be a bit munted. I get much less "hungry" and get full much easier- but have to make sure I eat a sensible amount and sensible things. 

How we moved: It was truly a week of walking- and good walking too.  I did my usual weights on Tuesday, and a 5k "run" on Wednesday, and from then on it was walking all the way, aside from a short swim on Sunday.  An hour (plus) of gnarly hills on each of Friday and Saturday, and lots and lots and LOTS of incidental walking which was awesome if a little hard on my feet, and a little bit too tiring for me at times.

Where we went: To windy wonderful Wellington.  What a weekend! Decaf flat whites, hills, friends, sea air...

What we wore: We dressed up in a black maxi dress for my friend's wedding- with a turquoise sash and necklace for some colour.  I was feeling pretty frumpy and hippopotamusy in the lead up, but scrubbed up OK on the night, I think!

What we bought/got given: A lovely wee bamboo silk hat from a good friend, and my sister made me a fantastic maternity skirt.  

What changed:  I started feeling Chip moving, for real this time.  It's still pretty light, and pretty sporadic, but it's definitely there and it's very cute! No morning sickness for a week or so.  Fingers crossed it stays that way... Unfortunately, at this stage it's being replaced by my first cold in ages, which is why I'm blogging instead of enjoying this gorgeous evening.  Grr.

What stayed the same: Not much! Maybe the belly, which hasn't grown much this week as far as I can tell.

Exciting moments: Feeling Chip squirming during our friends' wedding vows.  Keyoooot!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Hot Potato Chip: Week 21

Another half way point! We are now half way from (theoretical) conception to (estimated) birth. Woot! One more week, and we're truly halfway through.

What we ate: Chip has gotten to the squishing my insides stage, meaning my appetite is all outta whack. But I'm loving having salad veges and asparagus, and especially loving the beginning of strawberry season.

How we moved: Not enough. Again. I'm having trouble sleeping and have been exhausted. And lazy. The gym isn't air-conditioned enough for me, so it's not exactly tempting. Add a couple of days of emotional turmoil, and you have one lazy mama potato. A pissy swim on Wednesday, decent enough gym sesh on Thursday and a 5k walk on Sunday was it for me this week. Oh- and a 40 minute run that became a walk due to a soaring HR on Monday after I first drafted this :)

Where we went: To the pub to watch the Mighty ABs! (making it through the whole game which started at 9pm on a school night is no mean feat for preggo Kate)

What we wore: The white shirt, black bottoms combo got a workout again. I love Court, but was relieved to dump the white shirt in the wash on Thursday afternoon! I also got new maternity togs, which make me look like an oversized stripy something or other. I'm thinking of buying a plain black pair as well- for those times when I don't want to look like an oversized stripy something or other.

What we bought/got given: I bought Chip's first tiny outfit, and we made some serious progress on our decision list. No more purchases for now, but we're a darn sight closer to figuring out what we MIGHT buy, which is a step in the right direction.

What changed:

We saw Chip's bits!

I figured out I probably wasn't feeling Chip move- which was all but confirmed when I saw Chip wriggling all over the place at the 20 week scan, and punching and kicking me relentlessly, but was totally oblivious to it. Chip's placenta is right at the front of my body, so it may be that it's a while before I feel much more. Oh well!

What stayed the same: Still getting occasional days of morning sickness, but that's about it. Still figuring out how best to set up my pillow fortress every night.

Exciting moments: The 20 week scan, which confirmed that Chip is healthy and all major organs are present and correct and doing what they should. There was an "incidental finding" which, combined with googling and deciding I could read ultrasounds real good, sent me into a complete tailspin over the weekend, but I am now happy to rely on the medical profession who are unanimous that there is nothing to worry about.

And because you've been so patient, and because I was a good girl who made it to the gym this morning, some bump action:

(and 13 weeks, to compare)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Hot Potato Chip: Week 20

We have reached the first halfway point! It's the official one, even if not the "real" one.  There's another halfway point next week (halfway from theoretical conception to estimated due date) and yet another the week after (halfway from finding out to estimated due date). This week we stop measuring Chip from crown to rump and start measuring his or her complete length (currently a bloody long banana).
What we ate: On the whole, not enough, but what I did eat could have been worse.  An unusual problem for me- but basically, I was flat out from Monday to Thursday with Court, frantic drafting, and other work, and sadly, nutrition took a bit of a backseat.  I eat a healthy breakfast or two every day, and get plenty of veges in the bulk of my main meals, so I don't feel like I've let Chip down in any way- it just wouldn't be a great idea to continue along that path for much longer.  I did make up for it in the weekend, with lots and lots of mostly healthy food.  It was truly a weekend of the breadmaker, with a delicious wholemeal roast vege pizza on Saturday night, and a sweet, satisfying challah on Sunday.  The "dough" setting is a life changer.
How we moved:  In short, not much.  See busy in Court, above.
Tuesday- REST
Wednesday- REST (I miss the pool)
Thursday- 50 minute walk after work
Friday- 1 hour walk (to the supermarket and back)
Saturday- 8 km run (I was awesome, and "ran" 80% of the way.  Woo!)
Sunday- a good gym session, and a couple of 20 minute-ish walks.  Plus 45 minutes or so of sweaty garden work.
Monday- REST
Where we went: To Pirongia for the annual craft fair on Saturday.

What we wore: White shirt, black bottoms.  Over and over again.  Phil was a laundry and ironing hero.  Definitely a keeper.

What we bought/got given: Big bag of hand-me-down toys from a family friend.  Woot!
What changed:
  • Chip has GROWN.  I had masses of comments; from my old secretary saying "WOAH! Have you had a growth spurt??" when she saw me in the morning, to clients, opposing counsel, and opposing counsel's clients commenting and wishing me luck.  It's the first time everyone has happily assumed I'm pregnant with no worries about being wrong and offending me!
  • Along those lines, my ribs are well and truly gone.  They've been buried in flab for a long time, but I have a pretty broad rib cage so it's always stayed fairly prominent.  Now I can't even find it if I'm standing up.
  • Also probably as a consequence of Chip's growth spurt, sleeping is getting harder.  My pillow fortress is growing, and I'm struggling with backaches at night.
  • And finally (also a flow on from the growth spurt...), I'm pretty much 90-something percent sure that I'm feeling Chip moving about in there. It doesn't feel quite how I expected, but if you asked me to describe it, I think I'd say "it feels like something tiny punching my innards", so I suspect I'm right.   It wasn't quite the emotional, life-altering experience I'd been led to expect, partly because I'm still sort of thinking "was that? hmm, yep, pretty sure it was" every time.  But it's still neat, and is making it easier to face the countdown to our big scan on Friday.
What stayed the same: Still getting occasional days of morning sickness, but that's about it.

Exciting moments: Entering our second race- we'll be running as part of a team at Tinman!

(another no picture week- I missed my Tuesday gym sesh again... Maybe tomorrow!)

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Name our new addition!

Not THAT new addition.  We don't want to end up with Chip called Chrissie Kona Cervelo Cornfield, do we?

But you can help with our other new addition.  Here she is:

My new town bike (an* early 30th present) joins 5 other bikes in our garage, bringing our collection to six.  We've got:

  • my road bike, Eric the Strada
  • Phil's road bike, Derek the Strada
  • my mountain bike, Maxwell the Silver (ish)(Avanti) Hammer
  • Phil's mountain bike, Andre (the Giant... ok, I only I ever call it that...)
  • and Phil's old road bike, an unnamed blue avanti who is destined for repainting
Before the road bikes (and the road bikes before the road bikes), I had a shiny red Avanti hybrid, Mike the Bike.

So... what should we (OK, I) call her?

*very early, I'm still very young indeed... with a whole 4 months to go!

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Hot Potato Chip: Week 19

Wow- Chip is 19 weeks big today (in fact, yesterday...)  For those who are fans of fruit and vege comparisons, apparently Chip is the size of a small cantaloupe, and weighs around 300g!  (which sounds like a lot, but really is a bit over half a block of butter)  Excitingly, this means we are swiftly coming up to our 20 week scan, which we'll be having next Friday.  I might hold off on the update until after that!

What we ate: A bit healthier than usual, but still far from perfect.  Baby steps! I'm still very keen on oranges and orange juice.  Can't get enough!

How we moved
Tuesday- my usual weights and a nice walk back from the gym
Wednesday- 2k swim (my first 2k pregnancy swim- woo!)
Thursday- rest (as usual, somewhat connected to work)
Friday- morning swim
Saturday- morning swim (and then lots of work)
Sunday- weights and some walking
Monday- rest (with a big week of work ahead, expect a lot of rest in week 20)
Where we went: Work, mostly. 

What we wore: New work dresses from Top Shop- they're great!

What we bought/got given: Nuttin'.  But we did set up our jogging buggy, which was fun!
What changed: Nuttin'.
What stayed the same: Everything!

Exciting moments: Chip's first High Court appearance (it seems his or her future is not as a lawyer, sadly... or happily!)

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.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Hotpotato: Running

Last night I ran 5km without walking.  The first time since finding out I was pregnant.  I've "run" before, with varying degrees of success, but with a heart rate that sky rockets if I so much as think about running-running, tiredness that starts poking its head out after about 5 minutes, and the odd weird ache or pain (nothing worrying, just uncomfortable), I haven't done a whole lot.

So I was stoked last night when I headed out and after 5 minutes of plodding, my heart rate was still steady.  And at 10 minutes (a bit higher, but still steady, and still in my comfortable zone).  So I just kept plodding on (apart from a fountain stop) until I made it home.  And I was SUPER stoked when I mapped my run and it came out as 5km.  I know mapmyrun overestimates a bit, but it was still better than expected.

I know this won't necessarily stay the norm, but getting a bit of that RUNNING feeling again reminded me that I will be myself again, and that the fact that I've been tired for the past few weeks (and gained a small person in weight) doesn't mean I'm a fit-pregnancy failure.