Monday, March 24, 2014

Tucson Tri Relay Race Report

Sorry it's long, and all I did was swim :)
This was my 4th relay ever, but my first on this course.  And my first triathlon since Oct 2012!
For those of you that don't know... I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl on Dec 9th.  I've been trying to get back to exercising, and can manage about 2-3 workouts a week (usually kettlebells at Evolution Fitness).  Months ago, Holly asked if I'd be interested in a relay...I didn't respond, a little out of fear, as I hadn't been in the pool yet to test out my new buoyancy (boobs still big, belly now small) the last time I swam was December 2nd (1 day until due date - I stopped after that out of fear that my water would break in the pool and I wouldn't notice).
So I finally got to swim.  I took Harriet to my in-laws house, and their community has a pool.  It was quiet at sunset and I had the most glorious swim that made me feel even more connected to my body -- connected my new mother self to my old swimmer self was just a wonderful feeling and to go back and hold sweet, warm little Harriet was just extra amazing.
So I told Holly, yes we should do a relay - we recruited Elaine for the swim.  I swam one other time at Clements, and that was my race prep. 
Only mistake...I still went to Evolution on Saturday and busted out one heck of a workout, so my arms were sore going in. 
I got to Hillenbrand at 7:00am, met with Holly, got my number, found a sharpie and marked myself.  Husband came with Harriet, too.  After I warmed up, I lined up to get in the pool - Elaine offered her encouragement ("This is all riding on you!")  Eric was explaining to Harriet that this was "mommy's element" and told her how much I love swimming.  And Jim (race director) called my name "Christine-where-have-you-been?-Nelson".  I answered "I had to make a baby!" - which knowing Jim, I am sure was unacceptable, when I should be in the pool swimming with Masters 6 days a week.  Nothing is more important than swimming.
Anyways - swimming was HARD.  I am still sore. I was worried my time estimate wouldn't hold up, but I passed twice and was passed once, so I figure it was A-Okay.  The last time I swam this course was July 2012 - my time then was 11:15 and my time now was 11:51!  Not too shabby :)  I am hoping to add swimming to my routine soon, but still adjusting to my new life as a working mom.  Maybe when Udall opens (3 weeks!).
In the end, the TTG Nerds (because we're all engineers) took 1st place women's relay with a time of 1:08 - faster than any of us can do alone, of course.  Got the towel to prove it :)  Go Holly & Elaine for super fast splits!
Thanks to all the TTG volunteers!  After being president for 2 years, it's awesome to see how amazing our new board is and their support and energy is evident.  This club just keeps getting better!  I'm proud to be part of it :)

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Some pregnancy workouts I shared on Facebook...

The outdated pregnancy books encourage exercise, but warn you not to go over 120 bps heart rate.  This is so you don't starve your fetus of oxygen. I - having been someone engaged in athletics for quite some time, and more recently paying attention to my heart rate - know that my body doesn't start starving for oxygen until the upper 190-205 range.  I know exactly what it feels like to hit my lactic threshold.  I know that this number is different for everyone, and that 220-your age, is a HORRIBLE way to govern your own limits.  My heart rate ranges anywhere from 55 to 205.  I know this through practicing awareness.

When I first got pregnant, my husband found me a book: Kettlebell Mommy.  I was thrilled to have the resource! Not only was there sound advice on how to taper down from my current state of fitness, but it was using my favorite form of exercise, which is available to me in my own home.  I've used the workouts in the book, which are separated out by trimester, and have used the exercises to help guide me in what I should and shouldn't be doing right now.

FUN FACT: I completed a KB snatch test before I knew I was pregnant (~5 weeks pregnant) - 100 16kg snatches in 4 minutes 15 seconds! That's the test instructors have to take (along with a couple others).  I had also just mastered 20kg snatches and incorporated them into all my workouts. 

And, for fun, I thought I'd include some recent articles on the public's opinion regarding pregnant women crossfit: here and here.  I'm not a crossfitter, but there is some overlap in Kettlebell training.

Now, the pregnancy books WEREN'T kidding when they said there would be joint laxity issues.  I've had this nagging hip problem ever since week 17 of pregnancy.  I've been to the Physical Therapist and have determined that my joint laxity was effecting my left side more than my right...which meant that there was an anterior tilt on ONE side of my pelvis.  A few adjustments and a focus on hip rehab, and I'm back to my current "normal".  I've taken to interspersing kettlebell moves and hip "prehab". 

Here are a few example workouts I've done that I've enjoyed and felt completely satisfied by. I've been swimming about twice a week, doing kettlebell/prehab workouts twice a week and walking the dog 3-4 days a week. 

I'm a happy and healthy mom-to-be!

October 13
 3 rounds of stretch cord side walks
20 bird-dogs
1xKB Around the World w/12kg

Swing/Squat Ladder w/12kg
20 swings + 10 squats
18 swings + 9 squats
16 swings + 8 squats
2 swings + 1 squat
total: 110 swings, 55 squats

3 rounds of:
5 elevated pushups (hands on a bench)
walking lunges, no weights

20 bridges
20 bird-dogs
4x10 Clamshells each side 

Sept 29

3 rounds of stretch cord side walks
5 sets of:
{10 goblet squats w/ 12kg
10 L/R Rows w/ 12kg
10 L/R Snatches w/ 12kg}

Now with heart rate :)

Sept 21
3 sets of side walking with stretch cord around my feet

20 swings + 10 squats
18 swings + 9 squats
16 swings + 8 squats
2 swings + 1 squat
total: 110 swings, 55 squats

3 sets of farmer walks with KB in overhead position

45 s plank
45 s L plank
45 s plank
45 s R plank

and 30 minute dog walk. 


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Ragnar Cape Cod - 5/4-5/5/2013

Is this report late?  Well I promise there is a good reason.

Subtitle - "how I survived Ragnar while newly pregnant"

Yes, that's right folks - Ragnar Relay while 10 weeks pregnant.  I ran 16+ miles and baby and I both survived.  The hitch in this plan is that we hadn't told any of our friends yet - being sort of early, so also had to be keeping the whole baby thing a secret.

So, onto Ragnar!

We arrived in Boston on Thursday evening and drove towards the start line.  Well, last year's start line.  Our team captain made reservations based on the previous year's course, and then they moved the start line like 45 miles.  So Van 1 had to wake up EXTRA early to get to the start.  Our team was "Muscles & Crabs"  A cute pun (mussels/muscles) - but we forgot until too late that they are known for Lobster is MA, not Crab.  Whoops.  It's ok - no one made fun of us :) 

The course was fantastic - I've been to Cape Cod before, so it was fun to run through all the neighborhoods and admire everyone's gardening (being from AZ, we don't really have gardening).  The course was REALLY well supported being just a few weeks after this year's Boston Marathon.  There were police at every street crossing throughout the entire course - for 30 hours/200 miles of running.  It was a bit chilly for my liking - 35 degrees low and 65 degrees high.  That's what I call PERFECT running weather, but not great recovering weather.

My runs ...
Run #1 - 7+ miles.  It was cool and beautiful with views of water.  I ran faster than I expected and was very pleased.

Run #2 - overnight run - 5+ miles.  My legs took a few miles to work into it.  Like I said, it was a little too cold to recover - I think I ran 2 miles before I eased into my gait just right.  I ran through a town where I had been before and reminisced about eating Lobster ice cream there.

Run #3 - 3 miles on a paved multi use path.  Ok, my legs were done.  My IT band was all cramped up and I just did walk-run the entire distance.  I don't really get too down on myself about these things.  I had nice scenery and I was so close to being finished, so if I had to walk it was really no big deal.

Ok - now onto how AMAZING my friends are.  One of our van members injured himself on his first run.  No one badgered him about it, just discussed and picked up his remaining legs.  Van 1 (us) took one leg and Van 2 shifted around so that everyone ran about 2 extra miles to pick up his last leg - so as not to burden Van 1 with 2 extra legs.  No one complained or anything.  They were just like "hey our friend is hurt, and this is what we have to do".  I love them. 

I truly had a great time on this Ragnar.  Of course, that always has a LOT to do with who you are with.  We stayed an extra day and night in Boston when it was over and enjoyed it immensely.

Ok - the preggers stuff.  Our team's custom is to get to our hotel take about 1-2 hours to get ready, while cracking into some 6 packs - then go out for dinner & drinks to celebrate.  I am a sleepy person anyway - and I dislike this tradition, but usually peel my eyelids open for it every time because I'm a trooper.  Well, preggers me is NOT a trooper.  I looked at my husband and said, I can't go out, I REALLY need to sleep...I don't care what you have to tell them, I'm just not going.  So I walked into the hotel, showered, and collapsed into bed. ... then slept for 12 hours straight until 6am the following morning.   That's really the only way being pregnant affected me at Ragnar.  Lucky for me - I did not spend my first trimester sick. 

While thinking myself a badass for running 16 miles in my first trimester, had my badass handed to me when I met a team of 12 Mormon women, 3 of which were pregnant, and one was like 7 months pregnant and running the Ragnar.  Ok, I'm not a badass, SHE is. 

All the crabs at the finish line!

Van 1 is ready to start

Runner #1 before the injury striking a crabby pose

This is how crabs "Take your mark"

This is how crabs drink beer at the finish line

Love my hubby!

When in MA, Crabs drink DUNKIN

View from run #3
View from Run #3

Crabs riding the Boston Duck