So it Turns Out I'm NOT a Supermom

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As I was preparing to go back to work, I had this grand plan in my head. Henry was still waking up once or twice a night, but I figured this was a manageable schedule for when I'd be back to work. Marathon training was going OK, considering, and we finally had our childcare situation lined up. I was going to be able to balance a career, my family, and maintaining an active, healthy lifestyle. I was going to be a Supermom. I'm now in the middle of my 4th week back to work, and boy am I pooped. Henry has regressed back to every 3 hour feedings, and we've consistently been up 3-5 times a night. Twice a night seems to be a welcome rarity. By the time I get done with an 8-10 hour day at work, I'm totally beat, and given that Henry needs to make up for lost time on the boob, I'm constantly feeding him. My visions of evening runs with the stroller have turned into mommy-baby naptime.

Last Friday, Henry was up 5 times overnight. By morning, I was SO tired. All I wanted was for Steve to say, "Here, honey, I've got this one. I'll go get him a bottle." Instead, he poked me and informed me the baby was hungry again. I got up 20 minutes early to throw supper in the crock pot only to discover I left the tubing to my breast pump at work and would be pumping with the hand pump so Henry had food to take to daycare. So much for those extra 20 minutes. By the time I got to work late, crabby, tired, and at the end of my rope, I thought, "Hmm. I'm still hungry." That's when I realized I had forgotten to eat breakfast. I haven't forgotten to eat breakfast in 30 years. Of course then he had a great weekend equipped with a happy demeanor and lots of giggles and naps with mommy. I started the week rejuvinated, but I'm already back to needing a mid-morning caffeine fix...

I've been getting in my long runs on the weekends, but there has been a serious hole in the rest of my training. My 18 miler 2 weeks ago went really well, but my 20 miler a week ago wasn't so pretty. I'm a little nervous how the marathon will go this weekend. I'm just going to have to focus on hanging out with people at the back of the pack and enjoying myself. It's the only way I'll get through the last 6 miles.

On a brighter note, being back at work has been going OK aside from the serious sleep deprivation. I bounced back faster than I thought I would, and although I don't have as much time at the end of the day to socialize (I'm running out the door to make it pick up Henry), I do enjoy seeing my coworkers again. I'm also back to a weight that I've been before. Granted it's a weight that I usually see at the end of an overindulgent winter, but it's relieving to at least fit into my "fat" pre-pregnancy clothes. I've got another 6 or 7 pounds to lose, but I know I need to be patient. I worried so much going back to work that I couldn't find any clothes to buy, but it has turned out that I've been OK wearing some carefully selected items from my own closet. In the last couple of weeks, I've been catching glimpses of myself in the mirror and have noticed that I'm getting my waist back! Last but not least, Henry's demeanor is getting MUCH better, and we can at least lay him on the floor to play for a few minutes here and there. We used to have to hold him constantly, and even then, he cried all of the time. It's amazing how much you can get done in 10 minutes without a baby in your arms! We still haven't figured out his tummy troubles. We're seeing a pediatric gastroentrologist on Friday. I'm currently off of all dairy, soy, and wheat products. At times it's really hard, especially since it means we have to cook all of our food at home, but I keep telling myself that lots of fruits and veggies, lean meats, and nuts is really how I should be eating anyway. I haven't been perfect and have snuck in a baked good here or there (I'm hungry ALL of the time and have a whole mouth full of sweet teeth), but overall, it's going better than I thought it would. Henry hasn't had a bloody poo since last Thursday. It's hard to say whether it's sheer coincidence that his demeanor is getting better since getting rid of wheat and soy or whether it's making a difference...

Steve's been putting in crazy hours at work, but some of that is starting to work itsself out. Hopefully in the next couple of weeks, I won't need a daily afternoon nap. Henry will continue to be happy enough to take out in the stroller, and Steve and I can take shifts in the evenings so the other one can get out and get in a workout. In the meantime, I'm running a freaking marathon this weekend! It's been my dream since I signed up to put a sign on our stroller in the cheering section that says, "I did this last year." I'll be back next week with a race report!

St Croix Valley Sprint Triathlon Race Report

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Henry's asleep in his bunny swing, so I'm going to try to make this quick before he wakes up again. My first week back was a very tiring one. Henry has decided that he doesn't love eating at daycare and would rather get up a few extra times during the night to make up for all of those lost feedings. We've been up 3-5 times most nights this week. Thank God it was only a 4 day week. I guess this week will be the real test. Speaking of Henry, as if I don't talk about him enough around here lately, I think his demeanor is getting better. This is giving me hope that he's a 3 month colicky baby and not a 6 month colicky baby. I really can't thank you all enough for the massive amount of support, suggestions, thoughts, and prayers you've offered me the last few months. I REALLY needed it, and you came through. We still haven't figured out his intestinal issues other than the fact that he most likely has allergic proctocolitis. I went off dairy again this week, but I'm not convinced it's dairy. Next on the list is soy and then eggs, so if it doesn't get better, that's where we're headed. After the LC told us that it was ridiculous to be cutting out so many foods and that she didn't think it was an allergy, she called back 4 days later to say that she thinks it's most likely an allergy. Thankfully, most kids grow out of it around 12-18 months or even earlier, but I still want to nip it now so his poor insides aren't so irritated.

OK - enough about that. You came here for a race report. This was the first postpartum race I'd done. We've gone to cheer on Steve at a couple of them this summer, but this was my turn. We layed out and packed as much stuff as we could the night before. I made a list of everything we needed to grab the morning of - diaper bag, my tri bag, my breast pump for the car ride, our baby, etc. The BOB and my bike were already packed up. Henry woke up twice during the night, including one feeding that lasted an ENTIRE hour. He's never eaten that much in his life. Guess he thought he was gearing up for a race, too! Our alarm went off, and we quickly busied ourselves packing up and heading out the door. The goal was to leave around 6 so we could be there by 6:30 (transition closed at 7:15). As I was pumping on the way there, I realized that the bottle I had grabbed to put the pumped milk in had somehow not made it into the car. That's when Steve and I realized that we had managed to forget the diaper bag, too. Great. Mom of the year right here. We keep a small diaper bag in the bob, so I wasn't worried about diapers, but I felt sick knowing that I was about to leave Steve with 10 ounces of milk, a hungry baby, and no way to combine the two. We made plans for him to go to a local 24 hour Wal-Mart while I was on the bike if needed.

When we got to the park, we unloaded the car and stopped at a picnic table so I could try to feed H a little before I needed to race. He halfheartedly ate and then proceeded to throw up most of what he ate. Double great.

Emergency feeding time...

I picked up my race packet and headed into transition with baby in tow. It didn't take me long to set everything up, don my wetsuit, and stop for these photos:

Posing with Henry before the Start

Henry giving me a pep talk before the race

The swim:
I've never done a sprint tri. The shortest distance I've ever done was an oly. This was the first swim I've done where I didn't look up and think, "Holy cow, that's a really long way to swim." I said a quick prayer of thanks before my start. I really do havw a lot to be thankful for. Soon it was go time! I sighted OK, felt OK, and was out of the 1/3 mile swim in 12:14 - not great by normal standards, but I've only been in the water twice since I was 16 weeks pregnant.

All smiles coming out of the water

This took me way longer than it should have. I fumbled all over with my wetsuit, my shoes, and with the decision on weather to grab my mini bike pump. I was out in 2:16.

The bike:
I've long touted this race as a great beginner race. I did their oly a couple of years ago, and it's my PR. The sprint distances aren't intimidating, and you can stand up during almost any given part of the swim. Plus, it's at the end of the summer, allowing plenty of time to train. Steve did this race a few years ago, and it's a good thing I walked through the course with him the night before or I would have been surprise by the GIANT hill on the bike. This ride? Not beginner friendly. It's slightly uphill for the first 3 miles of the out and back and then gets really nasty. I haven't reviewed my power data yet, but at one point, I looked down at my Powertap to see I was on a 7% grade hill. People were walking. I was in my granny gear and still thought I would lose my cookies. I was WORKING! My speed was pitiful. I was so glad to hit the top (and the turn around) but then quickly became nervous on whether I would do OK handling my new bike on a descent that big. I did have to break pretty hard on one curve that they had warned us about, but otherwise I did OK. I went back and forth with Katie, a local triathlete/runner that we know. I smiled and told her she'd be getting me on the run. I finished the 10 mile bike in 38:12 - a 15.7 mph average. I have to admit that I'm disappointed with this average, but looking at the winners, all times were slow on the bike. You just never make up that speed once you've lost it on the uphill, and like I said in my last post, you can't be too hard on yourself when it's only the 4th time you've been on your bike in over 3 months. I could hear Steve cheering me on as I came into transition.

Coming in off the bike

Much smoother this time. I was in and out in 1:36.

The run:
I've been lamenting for weeks about how slow my running is coming along. The endurance has come back, but my speed just hasn't budged. I had done a 5 miler a few days prior where I averaged 11 minute miles, and I was ecstatic to see an entire minute drop from my usual min/mile pace. I was thinking that 10:30s -11:00s would be a realistic goal given my recent training times, but my body had other ideas. I took off out of T2 with a pace that I thought was comfortably fast.

Starting my run

I was relieved to discover that once I was running, barfing seemed much less inevitable. I talked with a local mom (I think her name was Tiffany) on my way to mile 1. She recognized me from my blog and offered me encouragement that cranky babies don't always stay that way. I was shocked when I hit my watch at mile 1 and saw a 9:24. I wondered if I could maintain that kind of pace. At mile 2, my watch read 9:03. Awesome. I was feeling great. I was pushing for two reasons: 1. I was racing and 2. There was a good chance that Steve had a very hungry Cranky Hank waiting for me at the finish line. I was cheering people on as I was passing them and cheering racers who were still heading toward the turnaround. I was still feeling good at mile 3 - 8:45.

Still feeling good on the run

When I passed Steve and Henry as I was running toward the finish line, I shrugged and told Steve I had no idea where this run speed came from, and that's when he snapped this priceless photo:

WHERE did this run come from?

Heading toward the finish

I had 8:53 as my last split for a total run time of 36:13 - just over 9:03 min/mile average.

I got a little teary at the finish line. I had so much fun and was so happy to be back. Total time: 1:30:29 - 4/11 in my AG and 32/89 women.

All packed up and ready for some FOOD!

I found Steve and was relieved to find that Henry had slept through most of the race - disaster averted. He actually slept through me packing up my stuff and eating the DELICIOUS post race luau pork sandwiches that they were serving.

Henry was still asleep as we loaded up the car

He made it all the way home before waking up and being ravenously hungry.

I would love to do this race again. First of all, it would serve as a good measure of improvement, but it really is a fun race. Although I've never been a lover of sprint races, I think I could really get used to doing a few of these. It's a great way for me to learn to push my limits.

One year ago today, I was smashing my PR at Rev3 Cedar Point half. Last week, I did my first postpartum sprint. It's amazing how much has changed in the past year, and I'm excited to see how the next year unfolds.

Next up on my racing calendar is the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon. I felt awesome on my 18 miler yesterday and was relieved to discover that my times are coming down a bit. There were several local running groups doing 20 milers on my usual route, and it was fun to be part of that excitement. I'll hopefully get in a 20 miler next weekend and will then be headed for taper town. It's been my dream ever since signing up this year to put a sign on the BOB that says "I did this last year." You know I'll be stopping for baby kisses on my way to the finish line.

My First Postpartum Tri Race Report Coming Soon!

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I'm officially done with my maternity leave tomorrow, and to be very honest, I'm an emotional wreck today (as I have been for the last 3 weeks thinking about going back to work). I hope to get a race report up sometime soon to tell you all about my sprint tri yesterday, but today, I'm just going to enjoy being with my two favorite boys.

In short, it went WAY better than I expected. Nothing stellar, but just being out there 12 weeks to the day after giving birth is something to be pretty thankful for. The swim went about as good as it could have. The bike wasn't what I'd hoped it would be, but I forgot about the HUGE hill basically comprising the entire bike, so for having been on my bike all of 4 times now since May, I'll have to be happy with it. I pulled the run out of somewhere, and if I can find out where that was, I'll have to go looking for more. I went about 2 minutes faster/mile than what I was thinking it'd be. That could have something to do with a major mommy mishap in packing that left us with a potentially hungry baby at the finish line. Thankfully, Henry cooperated during the race!

Most importantly, I had a smile on my face the whole Day. I had SO much fun and can't wait for next year!

Stopping for a photo with Henry before the start

Out on the run

Happy Labor Day, everybody!