Wednesday, March 23, 2011

It's Double Birthday Day!

Yes, I have two children born on the same day 12 years apart! When I tell people this most assume the 12 year old was annoyed or inconvenienced when he got a little sister for his birthday. Nothing could be further from the truth. When we told the kids we were having another baby and told them the baby was expected around March 20 the first thing Brendan said was "Have the baby on my birthday Mama." I told him he needed to pray about it because his Mama doesn't control these things.

All of my children have birthdays with 3's in them 30, 23, 13, 31. So when I went into labor March 3, we thought the timing was perfect. However, after a little test run we realized it wasn't perfect timing, just a nice dry run to make sure we were ready.

When labor started very late at night March 22, we realized March 23 would carry a double blessing. My labors with both children could not have been more different. With Brendan I had a lot of pre-labor starting around 28 weeks and spent the last 3 weeks of my 37 week pregnancy 5cm. One would think this would lead to a faster labor but you would be wrong. After 12 hours in labor at the hospital at 6cm I was sent home. I returned 4 hours later and Brendan finally made his appearance after 22 hours of labor. The worst part was how managed my labor and birth were. Every decision was made for me and against my will. Thankfully Brendan was born healthy at 5 pounds, 12 ounces and I took him home less than 24 hours later.

Lilia's labor was peaceful surrounded by people who loved us, she was born at home in our bathtub. Brendan had paved the way, because of his birth I vowed to not have any more children in a hospital if at all possible. She was born into Ken's hands weighing 9 pounds 3 ounces and to my shock she was a girl!

Shortly after the birth Ken ran upstairs to Brendan's room and announced "Happy Birthday Brendan, you have a baby!" Brendan could not be more pleased, he thinks it is very cool his baby sister was born on his birthday, he is her "Birday Brudder"

Watching my baby boy and baby girl blow out their candles last night I remembered watching Brendan blow out 12 candles while holding his new baby sister, I couldn't be more proud.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Starting Healthy

Sometimes it seems the hardest part of endurance racing is getting to the start line injury free, this is always my #1 goal.
Training for my upcoming Olympic distance race was going very well. My run is really coming along this season, shaving 1:30-2:00 off my pace. In the off season my coach and I worked on my form to make me faster and hope to keep me injury free.  Well, I got faster, 1 out of 2 isn’t bad, right?
A few weeks ago I noticed a tinge in my right shin, this is an all too familiar feeling. It was tight at the beginning of my run but would get better as I went so I wasn’t too worried. About two weeks ago I noticed the pain lasted longer and bothered me while walking the day after my run. I knew it was time to give my ART (Active Release Technique) guy a call.
I got to his office and told him what was up, it was obvious immediately that I waited too long. I honestly thought this was a preemptive appointment and I would nip it in the bud…. Not so much. The good news is I still had some time to get better before my race and with help from Dr. Cadena I am confident I can get to the start. I also have a great coach so I have plenty of fitness already in the ‘bank’ so having to cut back on my run the last week shouldn’t affect me too much on race day.
Reoccurring injuries are very frustrating. The first step is trying to prevent them and taking care of them as soon as possible before a minor injury becomes something season ending.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Rest & Recovery

My coach has a quote on his website “The proper combination of stress and rest leads to success.”

After a long, hard run it is important to recover so your body can start to heal before the next swim, bike or run. I am very fortunate to have an incredible recovery crew.

When I stumble in the house after a long run I am asked immediately if I would like water and do I want ice in that water (Kerianne & Avery) followed by “How was your run Mama? Last night I came in to see the boys in the kitchen making dinner. I make my way to my bathroom and start the cold water running for my ice bath. The ice from our automatic ice maker is brought to me by one of the boys. Then the girls come in to check on me to make sure I am OK and ask if I need anything else.

I have a hate/love/hate relationship with the ice bath. I HATE being cold, hate it! But I know the ice bath helps my legs recover quicker. I start the water and shed my clothes except my sports bra. I have found that keeping it on helps me stay warm on top and not shiver as much.
Once the water is covering my legs I pour the ice in. I have a good size tub and long legs but I am able to straighten them so they stay submerged. The very important part for me in tolerating the ice bath is keeping my toes out of the water. My meaty parts can handle the ice cold but my bony toes cannot, having them in the water is painful and makes me want to get out sooner. I stay in the bath for 15-20 minutes, at least until all the ice is melted.

Then I get out, dry off and get some clothes on, log my run on BT and it is time to eat! I do my best to make sure I get protein, carbs and plenty of water. When I am done eating it is time to get wet again but this time it is a hot shower. I get dressed again, have a beer and then a date with my foam roller before hitting the sack.

Last night I had an 8.59 mile run at an 11:35 pace which is very good for me, I met or exceeded all my goals for this run. Tonight I have my first bike fitness test. I will put Dori on the trainer in the garage with a fan in my face. Warm up and then go as hard as I can for 20 minutes, recover a bit and then go as hard as I can for 5 minutes before the cool down. The purpose is to measure the amount of power I put out during times of stress to help my coach set power goals for me in an effort to improve my bike intensity and speed. I will admit I am a little skeered but I hope to get through it without tossing biscuits. Knowing my recovery crew is on hand to help me after makes it so much easier!
The great news is Friday is an OFF day for me. These are very rare since my coach thinks swimming is an OFF day (that’s what happens when you are coached by Aquaman). So and honest to goodness off day is very rare when there is a race on the horizon. TGIF for sure! 4 weeks and 3 days till Kemah Olympic!