Monday, June 23, 2014

Post Baby Racing

Siris is 4½ months old this week. He’s awesome.  

I wasn't sure how this racing season would go after Siris was born. I was hoping to do some short course racing in the first half of the year to get myself back in shape, with the goal of racing Deuces Half in Show Low in June. Deuces was my very first half IM in 2010, and has been one of my favorite race venues.

I've been able to bike for about 3 months now, but I have only typically been able to ride on the weekend due to my preference for time with Siris, and my work schedule, including annual spring business travel.  In addition, I have only been able to run 2-3 miles at a time due to my pelvis not returning to its pre-pregnancy state quite yet. I have been advised by athletes I know and trust that this is due to breastfeeding and hormones that aren't yet back to normal, affecting my bone structure. Running too soon could cause serious injury.  I went to a spinal surgeon in April due to shooting pains up my back and butt, and was told its related to my pelvis and hips not being back to their pre-baby condition. Breastfeeding is worth it for Siris, so I have resigned to biking only for now.

St. George 70.3 Relay 

I talked with my coach Nick before Siris was born about trying to participate in the St George 70.3 relay the first weekend of May as my first post-baby race. Nick agreed to race with me - he swam and ran, and I biked.  He and his wife Rachel just had baby #4 in April, so we named our team “So What If We Have Newborns.”  It was fun to go to check-in with Tyson carrying Siris around in his baby carrier.  He is going to be raised in this crazy endurance environment… poor kid J
Me and Tyson before SG
Me and Jenni after
Tempe International.
She's a stud.
The SG bike course is TOUGH. I didn't get the training in that I wanted due to the pelvis issue impacting my riding for the 3 weeks prior. I planned to ride Bartlett a few times in preparation, but the one time I made it down Bartlett, I turned around before the last 6 mile descent. Wimp! Let’s just say I was nervous heading into SG. Very nervous. I managed to finish the bike leg in just over 3 hours. Not ideal, but a pretty epic ride regardless. Nick and I ended up taking third place in the relay division. And, most importantly, I reclaimed my motivation to train and race. AND, Tyson and my friend Brooke both raced the full race and both had fantastic race days. I am anxious for the day that I can race the entire SG race for myself. Epic.

Tempe International
I entered Tempe International sprint distance mid-May to see how it would go. I haven't raced a sprint since my very first triathlon in May 2009! My swim performance was less than desirable (I started too far back and got stuck behind), I crushed the bike (it was only 12 miles!), and I managed to run the entire run course after not running for a month. It wasn't a great performance, but I did take second in my AG, to my friend Jamie Dunn.

That was a nice start to the year when I didn't really know what I was capable of. I figured I could make it through an hour race even being out of shape, but "redlining" in a sprint when you haven't seen Zone 4 in over a year is interesting! I even managed a little sprint to pass some poor unsuspecting guy at the finish line.  Sorry, man.  I do still have a competitive nature…

Deuces Wild
I have not been able to run more than 3 miles. I knew I would enter a Deuces race, as we had planned to take Siris and rent a house with friends. I love the 56 mile Half bike course, and the Olympic and Half swim distance is so similar that I just can't bring myself to sign up for the Olympic and cheat myself of the opportunity to go longer on the bike. But I knew I can't (and shouldn't) run a half marathon. So, what to do? Against my coach's wishes, I signed up for the Half. Silly girl.

Deuces Swim - 34:59
The swim went fine. They shortened the course to 0.92 rather than 1.2 due to the lake water level, and the Oly race swam the same course. I'm okay with that :) Keep in mind this time compares to my friend Robin Watson who swam a 21.52. Really. Let's just say I know I have lots of room for improvement!   I haven't been swimming since Siris, and you can tell.  I won’t ever be a Robin Watson, but sheesh I have some work to do.  My arms are sore, two days later.

Deuces Bike - 2:49:07
I love this bike course. I was able to get in four "long" training rides that were 50+ miles - two solo 50 mile rides, SG 70.3, and a 60 mile ride with a small group. But nothing at elevation and nothing truly "long" which I think should be 70+. Oh well, it's race day!  Managed the second fastest female bike split, but I didn't meet my goal of breaking 2:45. I got crushed on the last few miles of hills, but it was a fun day.

Interesting note on nutrition… I find that since I'm not training too much right now, my nutritional needs on the bike are lower. Must be a metabolic burn rate thing. I'll be talking to Brooke at Fuel to the Finish about this. Bike fuel: Heed in my Speedfill, one Honey Stinger Waffle, one Huma gel, one picky bar. No water refills.

Deuces Run - 2:42:48

Yep, you read that time right. My Deuces run should be 1:45-1:50. When I don't have a 4 month old :). I enjoyed the first part of the run... I took it slow with the idea that I wouldn’t get hurt. The trail portions of the run were fine, but the road parts after about 4 miles caused me too much back/pelvis pain, so I walked much of the second lap.  I had to fight the inclination to run through the pain so I could have a decent time, but the awareness of a long-term injury kept me walking.  It was interesting to walk in a race.  I have never walked big chunks like that, and I debated dropping out at the end of the first loop. But I decided it would be good for my head to FINISH despite the barriers, and to feel what it’s like to walk large chunks.  Many people do this regularly, and it was good to feel it for myself.  I have to admit that getting the “great job, you’re almost there” cheers from people made me want to shout obscenities like “don’t you know I have a small baby?” or “I don’t usually walk like this” or “shut up – I’m not really doing a great job.”  I bit my tongue and thanked them.  Tough day out there, but I know I did the right thing for my longer-term racing.
Me at Deuces.
I'm smiling because I've been walking!

Now What
I am supposed to race IMAZ this year, but I have to get my run in check before I can train. Nick says to stay at the 3 mile mark for runs until Siris is 6 mos or I don't feel any pain while running. We shall see how it all evolves.  In the meantime, I am hoping to get in more bike miles, do a little swimming, and keep running 3 miles around my neighborhood.

Onward and upward!

1 comment:

  1. You simply amaze me! Congrats on the race- Wow, what a fast ride. Can't wait to see what's next for you!