Sunday, October 29, 2017

Best workout yet

I kind of fell off the training wagon the last three weeks but I have had several workouts that show that if I started training properly I can have some decent results. I need to remember those workouts to keep me motivated when I get lazy:(

I did a 20/20/20 bike today, meaning 20min at 160W, 20min at 180 and 20min at 200+. And it went really well and better than when I tried to do it last week. It was actually my best bike workout yet! I held 165 the first 20' no problem and then 185 the second 20' and 206W the third 20W. The last 20W was getting harder both physically and mentally so I played a game and was switching positions between aero and sitting up to get me through it.
I did 3x5' hard two weeks ago and I managed 241,241 and 246. Nothing awesome but I am happy with it for now. They were hard!

I also went to pool this week. I could not go before because of the pool hours but my mom arrived last week so she watched Alex for me. I swam 1900 yards (clearly, I am not one of those A type personalities that need to finish the workout at nice round number:))) and I was getting tired towards the end. But that was expected since I have not swum for months. Now that my mom is here, and staying for 5 months, I can finally go swimming regularly. Woohoohoo!

On a running front...I did a tempo 5k at 8' pace, which felt like just a tempo pace so that is progress too! I also ran 7.5 miles at 9' pace, which was my longest and fastest run in a year, almost exactly to a day:) My ITB was bugging me a little bit so it might be time to start going for ART as a preventive measure.

And a baby update...Alex is almost 4 months old! She is so cute and awesome:)
I am worried that she will be one of those kids that walk at 8 months because she refuses to lay flat. She has always been very active and wiggling all the time but she started to demand to be pulled into sitting position a month ago (as soon as she catches my hands she starts lifting her upper body to sitting position) but even that is not enough now. She flexes her legs and locks them when we try to sit her up because she wants to stand now and she loves it. But I dont blame her. Laying on your back and staring at the ceiling is boring. Whereas standing up she can see so much more:)

Monday, October 2, 2017

FTP test

These last 3 days were days of testing. I did a 5k on Saturday to get a benchmark for running and today was bike test.
I really needed to get it done, because my bike workouts were pretty much just tralala rides without purpose but now that I know my FTP I will feel more motivated to do real workouts.

As I mentioned before, I thought my powermeter was not reading right because it read under 100W for all my rides and a tiny part of me was horrified that it might actually be where I am right now. But after my power was 103W after 2' of my test I knew it was not right. So I took the pedals off (I use Favero powermeter pedals), put them back on, calibrated everything and voila!, numbers are more reasonable now. Pheeeew! I was worried there is something wrong with my powermeter.

So the test:
I only did 20' test this time but plan on doing x20' in 2 weeks.
20' was enough today.
Avg power: 212W
Avg cadence: 74

I warmed up for 15', did one stride and started the test. Stopped after 2' to fix the pedals; not sure how long it took but I guess less than 10'. Pedaled for 5' to get legs moving again and started the test again.
I started very conservatively since I had no idea what I can do. I was at 203W avg at 10' and then built up from there. I told myself that every pedal stroke must hurt at least a little bit (and yes, they did hurt, esp last 2'!), only then I am doing it right.
I was staring at baby monitor the whole time hoping it will go off and I must "conveniently" stop and go tend to Alex:) But no such luck. She slept right through it, I even had time for a protein shake.

I am pleased with today. Power was not great but considering I havent done anything fast on a bike for over a year and dont know how to push and suffer and that I had no idea what I can do, I am happy with it. I know it will improve. 
I am mostly happy that I have a benchmark now.
I would like to do another FTP test in 2 weeks, this time 2x20' and I hope to be able to hold a higher power just because I will have a number to beat and I will be used to faster riding/suffering.

Btw, I have been here for 5 years now. This is the longest I have been in one place since 2005 when I started college. And this is the most boring place of all the places I have been but it is part of adulting I suppose. I made a choice not to move to India with an infant so I am staying here for a few more years.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Mt Vernon Fall Fest 5k RR

I found out that there was a 5k race in town I live in a few days ago (why dont they advertise these things more?!? And then they are surprised when only 35 runners show up! It was well organised, nice weather, they also had 1/2 mile kids race) so I decided to do it to get a benchmark for my runs.

I have been doing my intervals at 8' pace and the results from those two triathlons I did showed that I ran 8:20ish pace (which I did not really believed because my intervals didnt feel I could run 8:20 pace) so I was hoping to be able to hold 8' pace.

I did taper little bit for the race (run intervals on Mon, easy 4 miler with Bob on Thursday and 1h bike on Wed and 30' bike on Friday, plus my daily HIIT class) to make sure I can get a good benchmark.

I left Nathan and Alex at home, which was both nice and sad because I like having them at races (ok, they have been to only 2 races so far but it was still nice). Race started at 8 and Alex got up at 5ish to eat so perfect timing on her part! I pumped, ate a mandarin, drank a cup of tea, and arrived at race site at 7:15.
I felt little stupid warming up because well, I did not see anyone else warming up but I knew I needed to warm up at least a litle bit. I ran 10min and then did one 40sec stride and some dynamic stretching. I am glad I warmed up because I didnt feel that great warming up but felt little better after.

So normally I can win any race in the area. Southern Illinois is not known gor its running scene....But now that I can barely run 8' miles for a 5k I was not sure whether I can win. Because 8' pace not that fast and I thought that there might be a lady or two that can run 8 minute miles.
One interesting fact... it seems there were more women (20) at this race than men (15). Cool, huh?

Gun went off and I settled into a pace that felt comfortably hard. The course was rolling, ups and downs alternating every quarter mile or so. First mile was little more uphill and I went 8:03, sweet, right on target. Second mile 7:53 and feeling good. Third mile was slight downhill and I went 7:23, for an average pace of 7:53.
My total time was 23:31, which would put me at 7:30ish pace but I am not sure that it was correct since my Garmin showed the course at 2.97 miles and I believe that the course was short because I dont think I can run 7:30 pace yet, thereforeI am using my Garmin paces.
Total time does not matter really, I was interested in getting a benchmark for my interval paces and now I know that I can start doing the intervals little faster than I have been.
And I won female race (6th overall) and I won $50, which put me at $20 net profit:)

I am pleased with my progress and I am excited about it. Now I need to continue loosing the weight. It is not coming off as fast as I was hoping it would with breastfeeding. I only lost 10 pounds in 2 months. Which is a good healthy sustainable weight loss, but slower than I would like. I finally started to see 18x numbers on a scale two weeks ago but I kind of let my guard down after the wedding so I doubt I lost anything the last week. I still have 40 pounds to go! I have a new appreciation for heavy people and big chested ladies! Lugging 190 pounds and two watermelons around is hard! Especially when you are running.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Weekend wedding

I married my very best friend on Saturday!!!

Monday, September 25, 2017

Keeping the promises

Is it really a promise if I schedule my training plan and then stick with it? I guess it is kind of a promise to myself, isn't it?

As I wrote last week, my intention was to get to 4 miles of intervals and in my mind what it really meant was to do 4x1mile repeats at 8' pace.
I started HIIT class at a local gym and my legs were just sore from it! (My gluts' strength is pathetic...) The class is Mon, Wed and Th plus I have trainer strength session on Tue. I took Monday off (only did HIIT class) and then Tue came and no repeats, Wed, Th and suddenly it was Thursday night and I was sad/mad/upset with myself that I did not do those repeats and I knew I will not be able to do them over the weekend. The whole week my training was pretty much super easy and pretty much non-existant and I know it was my fault but I was just super upset about it/myself. At least I did thise HIIT classes.
Every day I would wake up to feed A at around 5-6 and tell myself I will do my run or my ride after the second feeding (she usually sleeps 9-5/6, eats, sleeps till 8, eats, sleeps till 10/11) but I never did. 
I did not get to bed until 11 on Thursday and then Alex woke up at 4 to eat. I almost did not get up, it took every bit of self-discioline to not go back to sleep after she ate. I am sure everyone has those days occassionally. But man was I glad I did get up! 
I had the best interval session yet! 4x1mile at 8' pace with 3 min walk/job and it felt good! The last 400 of the last two intervals were harder but it was more mental (boring!) than anything else. And I think I could have gone little faster (not much thought!). So yay for progress!

I will not do 4 miles of intervals every week though, it is too much, I think that 4-5k is enough. With some tempo runs thrown in.

I plan on doing bike FTP test next week, to have some baseline and really start doing some workouts instead of dilly dallying around!

Monday, September 18, 2017

Baby pics

Tri the Illini Race Report

I was sitting on a couch a month ago while A was sleeping and I felt like I needed to do some races. Now! And that's how I ended up racing 2 sprints the last two weekends.

This race was in Champign, IL organized by University of Illinois and it is a 2h15m drive. In an effort to save some money we decided to drive up in the morning which meant getting up at 3 to allow enough time for 1 feeding before we hit the road and a feeding and pumping before the start. Goid thing A is an efficient eater and always gets done to business and is done in 15-20min!

After last weekend's tri I felt like a pro packing which turned out to lead to underpacking....I didnt bring anything to keep me warm in the morning and I didnt bring a swim cap. I didnt realize that they do not give you swim caps in races that have swims in a pool. But it makes sense because they dont need to have different swim caps colours to distinguish waves. Thankfully some friends from work were racing and one had an extra cap. So I was sporting South Africa championship cap with some south african beach sand in it for good luck:)

Pre race was uneventfull, as uneventfull as it can be with a 10 week old baby that needs to be fed and breasts that need to be emptied...... I didnt have time to warm up at all because no matter how much extra time I thought I had, it was somehow spend on things other than warm up. I need to remember this for next year when I am actually racing.

Swim: 300m zig-zag style in an outdoor 50m pool. I have never done swim like that and I didnt like it because I was stuck behind people, other people were stuck behind me and I was slow! 6:30, which is really slow and I was disappointed. I cannot blame it entirely on the swim format but I am sure it contributed to it.

Long run to transition, put my socks, shoes, helmet, race belt on, check with Nathan on baby status (sleeping in babybjorn)...I am not breaking records in transitions and even Nathan told me I need to be faster:) I know, I know. Next year.

Bike: 14 miles. I biked 43:30, which was slower than last week but I know that no two triathlons are comparable so it is ok. I felt little slower than last week, probably because there were some inclines and I dont do those well. I need to start working on my climbing for Madison 70.3!!! Flats and downhills no problem though. I mentally stayed in the game the whole time, being focused and only positive talk.

Transition was not that great again....

Run: 5k around U of I campus. I felt good, stronger than last week, ran 24:45, so faster than last week. I realize that I take these tiny little steps, which leads to shuffling rather than running and I need to open my stride and run! But it hurts when I run! I need to work on being ok with being uncomfortable. One girl passed me (dang it!), but then I passed her back, she passed me again and then I passed her back for good at around 1.5miles. But another girl passed me and she was not running super fast but faster than me and for a second I contempkated trying t stay with her but then I did not..... I need to work on my racing game.
With about 400m to go a girl came up by me. I was like what? Where did you come from? And she looked good and fresh! I stayed with her for 50m and then we got to the intersection and I went right and she went left! She was not in the race. She was just someone out for a Sunday jog:))) It was a relief, I had to interest in sprint finish!

I ended up 3rd in my age group. I cant find results so dont know how many people were in my age group but they said the race had over 400 people! That's quite a lot. It is probably a season closer (is that a word? Since season opener is a word) for many.

Overall I am happy again with how I am progressing. I am glad my body is doing well, adjusting to training and allowing me to have fun!
These two races allowed me to see where the biggest gaps are (bike climbing, transitions) that I need to really work on.

Up next is just training, training, training and more training with a few 5k with Nathan thrown in.

In other news, Nathan took Alex to visit his mom on Saturday afternoon and although I love them both I was so excited they were both gone! I was finally able to vacuum the whole house, organize A closet and my closet and clean the living room. It was awesome!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Attempt #2 at mile repeats

I failed my 3x1 mile workout last week so I gave it another try today. I did it in the morning on TM while A was still sleeping so it was way less stressful than last week! I took yesterday off to recover from my Sunday effort (haha!) and was ready to get back at it today but I was dreading it! I went back and forth betweek doing mile repeats today and bike intervals tomorrow and bike today and run tomorrow just to give me one more day without that mile repeat workout. But my BOB car seat adapter is arriving today (I bought BOB Ironman stroller off craigslist on Sunday for a great price) and I will not be able to test it till tomorrow and if I did run intervals tomorrow I would have to wait until Thursday to test it (because no double runs for me yet, I am worried about injury) but if I did bike tomorrow I can run with BOB later that day. So yeah, at the end I sucked it up and did mile repeats today.
Rationally I should not be worried because I knew I should be able to do them no problem but I was still nervous.
And really, I did them no problem. 3x1 mile at 8' pace at 0 incline with 4' walk btw 1 and 2, and 3' walk btw 2 and 3.
Half mile into the first one I could tell my legs felt tired and I started getting worried about two more but it was probably only in my head because I had no problem finishing the 1st one and then 2 more.
I was briefly contemplating doing one more repeat but then decided not to. Next week.

I would like to get to 4 miles of intervals at 8' pace in the next 2 weeks (3.5 miles next week and 4 the week after) and then keep 3-4 miles but start dropping the pace.

I am thinking that I will continue doing faster intervals and hill intervals once a week through November in order to get stronger and then take Dec and Jan to build some base and then start again with intervals in Feb to get some speed into the legs for HIM in June. I will not have many hours to train with baby and a new job starting Nov 1 so I need to make every session count!

Monday, September 11, 2017

Litchfield Sprint Triathlon RR

It was awesome to be out there and racing again!!! I am so happy I did it.
I went in with zero expectations, just do a triathlon and enjoy being out there.

First challenge came when deciding what to wear since I am 40 pounds over the weight I was when all my tri cloths were bought. But surprising I was able to squeeze into my old trisuit although I looked like a sausage. Sigh...Swim was wetsuit legal but there was no way I could put on my i just somehow squeezed into my swimskin to stay warmer. That made me look even more like a sausage.
Next challenge was logistics. I totally forgot that I would have to nurse and pump before the start until Nathan reminded me to allocate extra time for that:) I usually do not stress too much about race prep and I did not this time but I can imagine that I would be super stressed if I cared about the race and about warming up or about being completely emptied before the start.

Drive was 1h50m so we got up at 4, I brushed my teeth, hanged diapers to dry, ete 2 english muffins with peanut butter, nursed the baby and we were off by 4:45. Thankfully A went to bed at 9pm and didnt wake up until I woke her up to eat. Goooooood baby.
The race had sprint, oly and half so quiet a lot of people racing (~70 in half, 110 in Oly and 130 in spri t) but they were super organized with parking so no issue there.
I racked my bike, set up my shoes etc in transition, nursed A and pumped but didnt have time to get all of milk out but I figured it will be fine since my trisuit was so tight that it was going to provide more than enough support:))

Swim: 0.3 mile. All sprint racing people started together and it was a beach start. I have not swam since mid-June and even before I swam 3 times in 6 months or so. But that was not really an issue I think. I just was not aggressive enough. Normally I am not scared to get punched or kicked but this time I was scared to get punched so when I found myself near someone huge I would stop and let me get ahead. And that happened a lot in the first 0.1 miles since it was crowded! I swam right around 11min and I did not look behind me but I was sure I was somewhere towards the end.

T1: Then quite a long run to transition, up the stairs and to my bike. It was very easy to spot it because Nathan was standing by my row and he was carrying A in a baby bjorn and she was wearing very bright red PJs and I was bright little arms and legs to know where to go. I took my sweet time because I was not racing, I was participating. Nathan told me with a surprised face that he only saw a few women go by. I did not really believe him. I was in that transition for 2.5min. The fastest transition was 46sec by some guy, so you can see that I was in no hurry. I put my bike shoes on and tip toed out of there.

Bike: 14 miles and it took me somewhere around 40min, with 19.2 mph. Nothing to write home about but I will take it. Now that I think about it, this was the 2nd time I was riding my P3 outside, ever. The first time was the day before to make sure I still know how to do it. I thought I was going at a good clip and I was passing quite a lot of people early on. That was because I was far behind and it is always easy to pass people when there is a lot of them in front of you. Nice confidence booster:)  At one point I pass a gal and then jumped onto my wheel. Grrr. I did not say anything but in the next turn I accelerated out of the turn in order to loose her and I did although she stayed close behind.

T2: I was looking for my bright PJ'd baby but did not see them anywhere.My T2 was way better than T1, although it did not matter at all. I will get to it in a second. Rack the bike, helmet off, shoes on and out.

Run: We started into a pretty big 1/4mile uphill. We also biked that way but it did not seem that steep or long on a bike. I was taking tiny little steps and running at what felt like 20min miles. But I was not running that slowly, I was reeling some people in. I passed two gals in the first mile and I saw 8:30ish at the first mile marker. Wow, I have not run 9 in training runs yet (other then in intervals). Also 2nd mile was in that range! Sweet. I was moving way faster than I expected. I expected 10min miles because that's what I do in my easy runs in training. My final time was 26ish minute, so 8:20 avearge. Again, nowhere near where I used to run but faster than expected. And I crossed the line the 3rd female.

Nathan and A were waiting at the finish. A slept the whole time:) Tired baby.

So as I said I was very happy with the race. It went better than expected it would 9 weeks after having a baby and it was awesome to be out there swimming-biking-running!
I am doing one more race next Sunday. I hope it is also this much fun.

About the results. The event was organized very well, top notch. However, the last splits captured were the end of the bike. Nobody from sprint race had their T2 and run times. And therefore the standings after the bike are the official results...... Remember how I smoked T2 and passed 2 ladies on the run? Did not matter because the official results has me as 5th female. I asked the organizer about it and he said he knew results were wrong but that there is nothing he can do. They did not make any official announcement or explanation or apology for what happened. I do not feel they handled that very well and I think that they had a lot of complaints. Not that I care about the results but it is a principle.....if you mess up like that, you explain to people instead of let people find out when results are posted.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Week 1

Since my "official", or we can also call it less luckluster more scheduled, training started on Monday, let's see how it is going. Not very well I must admit.
I did an easy 4 miler on Monday night in a storm stopping by the house every mile because A was screaming her lungs out if she was not outside listening to evening sounds and I felt bad leaving Nathan with her alone. But they were fine.
Tuesday I decided to do 3x mile on a track. I love track and I was excited and confident but it turned out to be a big fat fail:( I was going to go there after Nathan comes from work and then he was going to meet me there to perform a baby hand over so he can go to his evening class. Well, he got home 20' later than expected, my wedding dress arrived so of course I had to try it and then I suddently had 40 min before he needed to go to his class and it is 20min drive to the track. I decided to still try it, speeding and pumping while driving.... My warm up was a 2.5min jogfrom the parking lot to the track and then started my first mile. 7:57, right where I wanted to be and it felt good. Then my stop watch died! My favorite watch!!!! I have had it for almost 18 years. I got it for my 15th birthday and I loved it! I am going to try to put a new battery in and see whether I can get a few more years out of it. Anyway, 2nd mile and I died. I dont know what pace I was running but I think it was 9+. And I only did 1200m and had to stop because Nathan arrived with the baby. I still had one mile to go and A was sleeping in her stroller so I figured I can run it since I will see her from anywhere on the track and I would be coming around every few minutes to check whether she is still sleeping. And yes, she slept right through it and also through a few strengthening exercises I did after. And that last mile? It was a dead march, probably 11 min pace. I almost cried! I know know why I fell apart. Maybe all the stress leading up to the workout?
Wednesday I did muscular endurance (big gear) ride on a trainer (5x6 min) and either my powermeter pedals are not calibrated or I should just forget this whole triathlon thing and start competitive eating instead....even on ME pieces my power was 90-95 watts. I am 99% sure it is the powermeter but there is still that 1% that makes me quite worried.
Thursday (today) was a beautiful day, sunny and cool so I decided today is the day. A's first stroller run. I bundled her up so she couldnt move, put her in her carseat and into stroller and off we went. That stroller was heavy! I take her for stroller walks daily but without the infant car seat and adding the car seat and all the blankets I used for padding added quite a weight. We did 4 miles and although it was super slow I was happy with it. She was happy too, slept right through it:) I think I will like running with her for my recovery runs and Nathan will run with her too so I am on look out for a BOB now. Stroller I have is great for walks since I can go with car seat or without and I can turn the stroller seat portion facing out or facing me and I like that variability but it is not great for faster running. I found one on craigslist in St Louis (1.5h drive) and I am going to look at it on Sunday since I will be in St Louis. Then I did 30min easy ride followed by 1mile off the bike at 10pm after A went to bed. Two workouts in a day! Go me!

And why will I be in St Louis on Sumday you ask? I am doing a sprint triathlon. It was an impulse sign up and I am sure I will regret it 25 yards into the swim....Plus, what to wear...what to wear? I am 40 pounds overweight (I havent lost any weight in the last 3 weeks! Very frustrating!) and none of my old tri clothes fit. I have 2 days to figure it out (although I doubt I can figure out wetsuit situation. Obviously I cannot fit into my wetsuit. I will just have to swim very very fast to get out of water asap. Btw, I have not swam for months.)
Oh, and I am doing another sprint triathlon following Sunday too. I am not sure what I was thinking last week signing up for all these races! Im excited to race but I think I will be frustrated with my slowness.

Alexa had her 2 month check up today and she is at 10lbs 10oz (7lbs 2oz at birth) which is 25 percentile and 22 1/4 inch (20inch at birth) which is 50 percentile. She was at 25 percentile for both at 6 week check up so she seems to be growing in height more then in weight. Well, I am 6' so she might take after me. And she got her shots. She cried to 1min and then she was her happy self again looking around and taking the world in.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Group ride

Oh wow, I havent done a ride with a group since last year March/April when I was in Arizona for training camp. I did a few group rides in winter but it was in my boss' basement on trainers so that hardly counts.

When I first came to this little town in southern Illinois I looked for people to train with but no such luck. I found a group of people that rode bikes but I was always training and doing soecific workouts or they were riding too slowly or they were riding like roadies with random attacks and I just did not enjoy it. So I did most of my training alone. 
Until last year when a few people from work dcided to do Hawaii 70.3 and then we had some new people at work come from overseas and they do triathlons so now there is a group of people to train with! Plus a bike shop opened in town and they organize rides. 

Last Saturday I was finally able to join the ride organized by the shop. There was 9 of us, 6 non-Americans (all from work!) and 3 Americans:) I LOVED it. It was awesome to be outside riding. We took a route I never took before and we were rolling at decent but comfortable pace for 1h15m (although once I get fitter it will be too slow).

Then a colleague asked me whether I want to join him and his wife for a ride on Sunday and as soon as we started I realized I might be in trouble because it was little too fast for me right now. I did not do any pulling, just sucking their wheels and trying not to get dropped for 32 miles. I almost managed...but I did get dropped the last 3 miles but they were nice enough to slow down and not leave me behind. I dont ever want to get dropped! Structured training started today and there is indeed a lot of work that needs to be done!

My baby is 2 months old today!!!!!!

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Running progress

after finishing my easy 1h ride at midnight, I dragged myself out of bed at 7 this morning to do my running intervals. I had to get it done before A woke up because we were going to St Louis in the afternoon to get the marriage licence. Woot woot!
I didnt feel stellar during the warm up and A was kind of fussing (I could hear her via baby monitor) and I was nervous she would wake up before I am done. But she slept right through it, and I even had time to make me a recovery drink and shower.
Anyway, the workout. I have been seeing improvements and after 400/800/1200/800/400 ladder last week I decided I need to try to run a mile at 8' pace And then I changed that to 2xmile. With 400 before and after. And I did it! I did 400 at 7:30 pace (felt great to open up my stride and run makes me sad to call 7:30 pace fast but it is what it is. My old coach told me not to worry about paces. Just run consistently and speed will come) and then a mile at 8' pace. I was struggling! But it was all mental. I wanted to quit, I wanted to cut it short but I knew it was all in my head. It was not too hard, my body was handling that pace well, there was no reason to quit!
The second mile went better, I used some tough love on me to help me stay strong.
And then I finished with 7:30 pace 400.

Overall, I am happy. Just 4-5 weeks ago I was struggling holding 8' pace for 4x400. Now I can do mile repeats at that pace. It is true, I just need to run consistently and speed will come. Plus these extra 45 pounds are not helping me be fast either:(
And the mental struggle? I havent done anything that pushed me for 9 months! It is normal that I lost the ability/willingmess to push through uncomfortable workouts. But i know that as I continue doing challenging workouts, the mental toughtness will come back.

Baby update

A is 8 weeks old and growing like a weed. I finally pulled the plug and bagged and put away A's newborn diapers. My baby is growing up. I could hardly fasten them anymore so it was time. I use cloth diapers and love them. Everyone that knows me would not be surprised that I am going cloth route. Disposable diapers create so much waste! I hate disposable things! I hardly ever use paper towels in the kitchen, just use a cloth towel and wash it! We had fight party on Saturday and Nathan's mom asked for a paper plate....just use a regular plate and wash it. I also got cloth wipes and not only I feel better about not creating waste but they work better. And to take cloth diapering/less waste way of doing things I am using diaper inserts that my mom used on me and my sister. And then my aunt on my two cousins. And there are even two inserts that my grandma used for my dad. (Things made in communist countries sure last longer than chinese crap we get now....) Yay for my family for not making diaper waste for over 30 years!

A smiles a lot. She sees me, she smiles. She sees Nathan, she smiles. I make a funny face, she smiles. We love it!

She is also trying very very hard to talk back to me but poor baby doesnt know how to use her vocal organs properly yet. She is going to be a talker.

She loves outdoors. And I mean loves it. She cries, you take her outside and all new sounds and smells and light contrasts make her stop and just look around completely mermetized. I love observing her.

She started sleeping 6-7h at night last week. She goes down anywhere between 10 and 11 and sleeps till 4 or 5. No complains from me. Although I would not mind if she went to sleep earlier, like at 8. That would give Nathan and I some time alone. And I could get done with my workout earlier. It is 11pm and I just started my bike workout:( (easy spin, so I spend it playing on my phone...real work starts next week)

She loves her baths. She is a happy baby sitting in the tub filled with warm water. I cannot wait to take her swimming.

My mom cannot wait to meet her. So far she only saw pictures and videos and camera calls and Oct 19 cannot come soon enough. That's when my mom comes and stays until the end of March. It is a win win. A does not need to go to daycare when she is still so small and my mom gets to spend lot of time with her first grandchild.

And that is it! She is awesome and we love her so much!

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Hill repeats

My training for Madison 70.3 officially starts next week (I am not working with a coach as of now because I dont know how this whole new baby/new job/training for half-ironman thing works out snd I do not want to waste someone's time and spend money to prepare my workouts and then not be able to do them) but I have been some real running workouts the last month: some intervals (I almost died the first time I tried to hold 8' pace for 400m but it is getting better every week and I did 400,800,1200,800,400 last week and it felt pretty good! I am planning on doing a few mile repeats this week) and hills.
Today was hills day. Baby A slept from 10ish until 4am and I had to get it done before she woke up for a day since she doesnt nap long and I never know whether her nap will last 10 min (she loves her powernaps) or an hour so I cant get it really done during the day and Nathan has an evening class on Tuesdays.
I really did not want to go run outside because it was still dark and Nathan was sleeping so I did not want to leave without him knowing where I disappeared but then I remembered that I bought a treadmill for this reason. Plus he can sleep through anything so if A was to wake up she would be bawling without nobody comforting her. So off to treadmill taking baby monitor with me I went.
I decided on 6x2' with 1' rest at 10% incline and I think it was a good workout. I was naive and started to fast (10' pace) and had to lower the speed to 12' half way through the 1st interval if I wanted to finish that workout. Baby steps!
I also did little bit of weights afterwards (back, triceps and biceps) so I call it a productive morning!
By the time I was done with it (feeding the baby, pumping the rest, running, weights, recovery drink and shower) it was almost 8 and A woke up again to eat. She ate and then slept until almost 11. Crazy! She has never slept that much. But it was fine with me and I took a full advantage of it and took a nap myself:)

Sunday, August 27, 2017

New start

I have not blogged for over 3 years but I have decided to give it a go again so i can look back at this time in my life in a few years.
It seems that not much has happened in those 3 years.....that's what happens when you work/live in small town in rural Illinois. But there has been some changes so let's recap the last few months.
I bought a house in 2015- I never lived in a house, my parents and I and my sister lived in an apartment but my grandparents lived in houses and I always prefered that. I live living in a house although it is a lot of work. Because I dont want to put too much money into this house be ause I know I will move eventually (3-4 years) I (yes, I me myself) sanded and refinished and stained my hardwood floors, took one wall down, repainted and rearranged the kitchen caninets (well, my sister helped when she came visit on Christmas), build a deck, build a fence (again my sis and a cousin helped me with this). I am impressed by myself:)))
I found a wonderful guy who moved in with me in summer 2016
I was supposed to go on a work assignment in India starting in 2018 so we decided to start a family before we go.
We found out I was pregnant in November, due July 2017
Everybody told me not to go to India with a tiny little baby so we decided not to go. Instead, I decided to change jobs. I have worked as a plant controller for a tire manufacturing company the last 3 years and I decided that it was time to try something different and I have been playing with the idea to move closer to production process. Everybody has been very supportive and when I go back to work after the maternity leave (November 1) I will be going into Industrial Engineering. I am super excited!
Baby girl Alexa was born on July 4. My firecracker baby! She is adorable and we cannot get enough of her!
I signed up for Madison 70.3 in 2018.

And this is where this starts. I would like to document my journey about getting back to training and racing  (I did stay active during pregnancy but not as much as I would have liked , esp first 6 months when I was puking my brains out daily, even ended up in ER one night on IV for fluids), losing weight (I gain weight very easily and I gained close to 50 pounds), while raising my sweet little girl and working a new job.

I started running 2 weeks after giving birth and saying that it was horrible is an understatement. I did not have any physical birth-related pain (well, it was as painless as it can be after birth and episiotomy). Finally after 3 weeks I started feeling little better and i could actually use my core while running! I ran 6 miles today and it has been my longest run since....forever. I ran at 10' pace these day and my interval workouts (I did 400,800,1200,800,400) are at 8' pace. It makes me super sad and mad how slow I am but I think that after I loose more of this baby weight (I was at 215-220 pregnant and am down to 193, still loooooot of pounds to loose to get to 150ish) and am consistent with running it will come back.
Because of the episiotomy I was very cautious about biking and I started after 4 weeks and no pain at all. I have mostly been doing easy peasy pedaling. I need to start some real biking.
I have not swam yet......I swim at college that is 20' drive and their summer pool hours suck, they are only open in the morning and Nathan (my soon to be husband:)) goes to work before 6 so I have noone to watch Alexa. But now summer is over and school started so I need to find out new hours.

And on a baby front....Alexa is a happy easy going baby. She is super alert and moving all the time. She smiles a lot, especially at her dad, and she gets frustrated when I talk to her and she is not able to talk back. She tries very hard! She changes very fast. Every day we discover that she does something new!