At 5 Months Pregnant, I became a Triathlete

I am a runner. I am 5 months pregnant. As of June 23, 2013 I am also a Triathlete.

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Ready to Go

I love to run. My husband loves to compete in triathlons. He has run a few small races with me but for the most part we have kept to our own sport, until this year. After watching him train for and complete many triathlons I finally decided to join him.

I knew triathlons were a whole other beast compared to my normal road races; I had no idea what I was getting into!

I also knew training for this race would require many early mornings and after work workouts along with some creative scheduling between my husband and I. We both work full time and have a 2 year old that is a ball of energy but not always the most cooperative when it’s time for mom and dad to exercise. We scheduled swim classes at night and I planned to have weekly long runs with my amazing Fort Bend Fit family. We planned on numerous family weekend bike rides to the park, taking the long route to make sure we got in enough miles. There was even some strength training sessions I knew I could get in during lunch breaks at work. I planned to train for a couple of months running, biking, and swimming in hopes that I would not only finish my first triathlon but do it with a smile on my face.

Then my husband and I received some amazing news in March, I was pregnant! I knew my husband and I wanted to have our second kid sometime this year but in my mind I figured worst case scenario I would be 2-3 months pregnant when this race came around. But, Life sometimes has its own exciting plans.

When the pregnancy test came up positive I quickly did the math and realized my plan of only being slightly pregnant for my first triathlon was out of the window. Instead I would be halfway through my second trimester! This scared me, really scared me. The first thing that popped into my head was that I had stopped running during the second month of my first pregnancy. If I wanted to complete this race I had to stay active and actually increase my training into my 2nd trimester; I was uncertain if I could do it.

Luckily, I have an extremely supportive husband and a doctor who knows better than to say no to a pregnant lady! I am also very determined (or stubborn as my husband would say).

In spite of my growing belly I decided I would still try to complete this race. Not surprisingly I didn’t train as hard or often as I would have liked. I was able to get in about 4 swim classes and only one 10 mile bike ride. But I was able to stay on top of my running, thanks to my great running partner who wouldn’t allow me to sleep in on a Saturday morning.

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My Husband and I before My FIRST Triathlon

On June 23, 2013 I didn’t just complete a triathlon, I complete my FIRST triathlon, five months pregnant.

Here are the stats:

Slow swim – 9:42.5

Faster than expected bike (on my husband’s old hybrid bike) – 37:50 (15.9 MPH)

Happy pregnant running pace – 33:25 (11:08/M)

My total time was 1:25:51 (including transitions which I deliberately took slow)

I am extremely happy with these stats. I didn’t really have a goal time but wanted to get as close to 1:30 total time as possible – SUCCESS!

The COOLEST part of this race is that although my husband finished before me and was able to cheer me into the finish line (he started the swim first), we were ranked 342 and 343 overall. The BEST part – I BEAT MY HUSBAND! Shh…don’t let him know I am telling the world; he is a little sensitive about it ;) I only beat him by 11 seconds but this was my first triathlon, his seventh, and I was 5 months pregnant. One month later and his best friend, who also completed the race with us, still won’t let him live that down!

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Post Triathlon

My New FAVORITE Running Shirt

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You read right, I am PREGNANT! Baby #2 is on its way and due sometime in early November.

I refuse to state the due date because they are always WRONG.

I am currently 18 weeks pregnant, 4 1/2 months, and finally feeling like myself again. The first trimester wasn’t horrible but I was a little (a lot if you ask my husband) moody, extremely tired, and overall lazy. I have some energy back now and have started working out more consistently. After I completed my last two half-marathons (pregnant) my running has slowed down. But, I am still meeting up with my running group on the weekends to get some miles in. My running partner is pushing me to sign up for a 10k and a half-marathon in early fall but I haven’t decided if I am that crazy yet! I still plan on upping my miles in July when our season starts but I am sure I will have to find some new people to run with because I AM SLOW.

My husband and I are still on the fence about finding out the sex of this child. We didn’t find out the sex for our first child and she was a wonderful surprise. Of course he would love to have a boy to carry on his name but he says he will be happy with another girl. After all, they don’t call them “Daddy’s Girl’s” for nothing! I too don’t really care what the sex is. I would love to have another girl so my daughter can have the amazing relationship my sister and I have but I also think a little boy would be fun. I guess we’ll have to wait and see…

I am happy to report that my ulcerative colitis has stayed in remission. I still go to the bathroom often and the nausea in the first trimester didn’t do my stomach any favors. I was in remission for about 6 months before I got pregnant and the rule of thumb is that if you are in remission when you get pregnant it is likely you will stay in remission while pregnant. Having an ulcerative colitis flare while pregnant was a HUGE worry for me since I first became sick when I was pregnant last time. I did not want a repeat!

I am excited to meet the new addition to our family and to see if it really is triple the work with 2! I know my life will be turned upside down again once this little one arrives but I look forward to all the love and challenges ahead J

What I Hated About My Vacation

A week ago my husband and I took our first vacation in three years, without the kids. We chose to visit a small town in Vermont that was only a 3 1/2 hour drive from our house. It was great not to have to rush to get on a plane. On our trip, we took a falconry course, did some shopping at the factory outlets, took a glass blowing class, went to an amusement park, made a couple of visits to the hotel’s spa and just relaxed.

Learning the art of falconry.

Learning the art of falconry.

My very first time blowing glass.

My very first time blowing glass.

Sounds amazing, right? What’s not to love? I actually feel awful saying there was a part of this vacation that I didn’t like, but it’s true.  Sadly, what I didn’t love was the food. And I love food. But seven nights of eating out simply killed my stomach. At home, I cook pretty healthy and we only have dessert once a week. Unfortunately, restaurants don’t cook like I do. Almost every dish in a restaurant is cooked with a combination of butter and oil. Add some wine and a dessert for seven consecutive evenings and you have a recipe for daily upset stomachs (and a few extra pounds!). We did enjoy some great restaurants on our vacation but almost every evening I was curled up in a ball with a stomach ache.

My new enemies - wine, butter and oil.

My new enemies – wine, butter and oil.

I left for vacation a little under the weather from an ulcerative colitis standpoint. But I came back with a full-blown attack. A whole week of eating out simply did me in. I brought back some great vacation souvenirs – new clothes, self-made glass pieces and maple syrup. And one not so great – a flare up. Now I’m running to the bathroom a couple of times a day (including in an auto-body shop on Thursday – gross but you do what you have to, right?).  As always, I’m hoping for a quick recovery. Cross your fingers for me!

-By Gia

Angie’s Half Crazy Half Marathon

Ok, so this is a (very, very) late race report but better late than never right?!?

Angie's Half Crazy Half Marathon 4-7-13 medal

Angie’s Half Crazy Half Marathon was my last half-marathon for the season. It was held on April 7th and it started earlier than all of my other races, 6:30 am, but I understood why as it was a HOT race. I saw people at the start line wearing pants and long sleeve shirts and thought to myself “they are going to regret it”. Although it did get pretty hot, upper 80′s, I saw people pushing through in their warm running clothes all the way to the finish line, amazing.

Angie's Half Crazy Half Marathon 4-7-13 burning up

I can’t imagine how HOT she was by the time she finished

About the race: The course was a loop that starts in Clear Lake, passes through three different cities, and by the Lyndon B Johnson Space Center. Parts of it were scenic and the rest of it was on main highways and roads. It was a flat, fast course with unfortunately little shade.

This is the first race of the season that I knew I was running alone. The friend I had signed up with notified me the week of the race that she wasn’t able to make it. Since I had pretty much run the last two races alone I wasn’t worried. I was actually looking forward to running alone, something that I never thought I would love. The past two races brought out my real joy of running and for the first time in years I felt happy and comfortable completing 13.1 miles without having someone to talk to or music to listen to. I really felt like a runner.

I got to the race early and was surprised by the crowd. This race was over double the size of my past two races (around 950 people) and the lines for the bathroom were insane. Luckily, I was able to go and make it to the start line 4 minutes before the start, whew.

The race started before the sun came up so it felt great to get moving and warm up. The first few miles felt pretty slow, I think because it was still dark. When I looked at my watch and realized I had been keeping a pace in the low 10′s I felt a lot better.

Angie's Half Crazy Half Marathon starting in the dark 4-7-13

Starting before the sun came up

As the sun came up my pace did actually slow down a little. I slowed partly because it was hot and partly because I really wanted to enjoy this race and scenery. I took extra time to enjoy peeking through the fence at the Space Center, to take in the views over Clear Lake and enjoy the scenery in all the parks we ran by. This race was more about my love of running and being outdoors than getting another medal and competing against my best finish time. This race was just for ME and I enjoyed every.single.minute of it.

Angie's Half Crazy Half Marathon 4-7-13 (2)Angie's Half Crazy Half Marathon 4-7-13 (3)

I finished the race with a time of 2:19:13, 10:38/M pace (10:31 pace according to my Garmin). I treated myself to an after race massage and even enjoyed a few Girl Scout Cookies J

p.s. There was a really cute proposal at the beginning of the race!

Angie's Half Crazy Half Marathon proposal 4-7-13

She said YES

End note: As I was writing this post I got very nostalgic about this past running season. The 2012-13 season was my second season of long races, although I have been running for 5 years. I found that I truly LOVE running and it is no longer just a way for met to get and stay in shape. I am sad that there will be no more long races for a couple of months. I can’t wait until next season rolls around and I am able to run some of my favorite races again. Until then, I’ll be training for my first Triathlon!

by: Cara

Neglect and Abuse

To our readers – I apologize for neglecting you. It’s been a while since I’ve written. It’s not that I haven’t thought about it a million times, but I simply haven’t had the time to sit down and do it. I’ve been so busy lately that anything other than the basics  (kids, cooking, cleaning, sleeping, have gone on the back burner. Funny thing is, I can’t even tell you what I’ve been busy with. Just life, I guess.

 

In addition to neglecting you, I’ve also been neglecting my medicine. I’m embarrassed to admit it, but sometimes days go by before I remember to take my pills. I’ve been doing this whole medicine thing for 23 years and I still forget. How is that even possible? Luckily, with the exception of a few bad days here and there, I haven’t suffered  greatly. I know I’m on borrowed time and so I’m doing my best to not be so forgetful.

 

And now to my sister – I apologize for the abuse. I’ve left this blog to you for the past few months without so much as an “I’m sorry” or “I’ll be back soon.” You’ve just trekked along by yourself, not even asking me when I’m coming back. That’s true sisterly love. And I appreciate it.

 

I’m back now. Hopefully for good. And I have a lot to share.

 

2013 Seabrook Lucky Trails Half Marathon

It’s been weeks since I posted and this race report is now two weeks late, oops! Better late than never I guess ;)

March 16th was the 10th annual Seabrook Lucky Trails Half Marathon / Relay / Marathon weekend. Yes – this is a weekend long event! Saturday is the half marathon / half marathon relay event and Sunday is another half-marathon / half marathon relay with a full marathon / full marathon relay added. Since I don’t actually want to destroy my body I decided to only participate in one day’s events and chose the Saturday half marathon.

Race morning: Like many race morning this one did not start off as planned. My stomach had been really bothering me the day before so I was extra nervous about this race. I also hadn’t run much since my last half marathon so I was nervous about racing in the heat with a lack of training. But, I am stubborn so I got up for the race anyway!

Since the race was an hour away I waited until I got to the event to eat my pre-race Cliff bar. I am glad I waited because it went right through me, ugh. Within a few minutes of eating the Cliff bar I had to use the lovely port-a-potty. I had already “gone” once that morning at the house so I didn’t expect to have to go again so quickly. My morning stomach issues put a little fear in me about the race. For the first time I was glad it was a loop course because I could easily stop half way through the race and not have to be transported to the end of the course (it was a two loop course where you passed the finish line twice).

Around 6:15, right before my bathroom issue, I received a text from my friend (and the person that made me sign up for the race) that she just woke up; the race is an hour away from her house! I had run races alone before but I was really looking forward to having someone to talk to keep my mind off of my stomach and help push me along if I needed it. I wasn’t going to let anything stop me from at least starting the race; the only failure is in not starting.

Thankfully, I had a wonderful race.

Some of the fun signs along the race

I found out that I LOVE trail runs. The race went by a residential neighborhood then onto the trail with a few miles around water in the middle of it. The quiet, beautiful scenery was a great distraction and I ended up not minding the loops at all.



There were water / Gatorade stations every 1 to 1.5 miles but there were only two port-a-potty spots on the route. Because of this I was a little scared to eat anything during the race in fear that it would go right through me and I wouldn’t have anywhere to go. I ended up taking one GU around mile 8 where I knew a bathroom would be close. My stomach didn’t love the idea of the GU but luckily I was in need of the calories and energy so I was able to hold off going until the end of the race.

Results: I finished in an amazing time of 2:15:45 (10:21 min / mile pace). I wasn’t expecting a great race due to the heat, loop course, rougher than normal terrain and my oh so fun stomach issues. But, in spite of it all I still made it close (less than 2 minutes) to my PR at the Jail Break Half Marathon a couple of weeks before.

I am still in disbelief of the times on my past two races.

I have two running races left this year: Crescent City Classic 10k in New Orleans this weekend and Angie’s Half Crazy Half Marathon the weekend after. After that I ONLY have my first Sprint Triathlon in June to train for!

By: Cara

It’s Houston Rodeo Time & Shiny NEW Shoes

Disclaimer: The Houston Rodeo and my new shoes have nothing to do with each other but I am so excited about my new shoes that I had to share!

Houston Livestock and Rodeo Show


Every year the Houston Rodeo sets up at Reliant Center for about three weeks. The festivities include a barbecue cook-off, wine competition, fair rides, bull riding, cow roping, tons of farm animals on exhibition and big name music concerts each night (Bruno Mars, Tim McGraw, Kenny Chesney, Pit Bull, Blake Shelton, etc.). It took me five years of living in Houston to finally make it to the rodeo and when I went three years ago I had a blast. My husband and I went to the cook-off and saw the Black Eyed Peas concert. We watched the bull riding, Mutton Bustin (if you don’t know what this is look it up – it’s hilarious), and horse roping. We wandered around the fair and visited the petting zoo. My husband even tried some of the wonderful (enter sarcasm here) rodeo food and chowed down on a big turkey leg. He skipped the fried Oreos and pickles though!

I hadn’t been back to the rodeo since 2009 and I was very excited to take my daughter this year. She LOVES dogs and cats and I had a feeling she would have a great time at the petting zoo.

Feeding the Llamas, goats, deer, alpacas, and sheep
She loved petting the furry animals even though they were very, very stinky


She was all smiles until one of the roosters “Cock-A-Doodle-Do’d” right next to her. She freaked out! She was loving feeding and petting the animals of all sizes but after that she wouldn’t get out of my arms.

After the petting zoo we visited the other animals (show animals and lots of babies) and walked around the carnival for a while before heading to the restaurant area. My husband was craving the huge turkey leg again so he decided to indulge in this rare (unappetizing to me) treat. I decide to stick with a chicken wrap since I didn’t want to test my stomach on rodeo Mexican food or any of the fried “creations” that the restaurants could come up with – good choice for me. For the first time in a long, long time my husband spent some time in the bathroom that afternoon instead of me!

New Shoes
In addition to spending time at the rodeo this weekend I bought two new pairs of shoes; I know you are just as excited as I am ;)

I purchased a new, lighter pair of running shoes to take me through my next two half-marathons and the summer running months. My previous shoes were the same style but the trail version (I liked the colors). They were heavy and not very flexible. My new ones are amazingly lighter and BRIGHT!

My second pair of shoes are my FIRST pair of bike shoes. It is sad how excited I am about these shoes, and they don’t even have heals! My husband bought cleats for my bike (pedals for the bike shoes to clip in) a while ago but I never got around to buying the shoes for them. Since my husband and I have started training for the upcoming Tri season I figured it was time I learn how to “clip in” like the pros J I now have the shoes and the cleats…let’s see how long it takes for my husband to install them!

Time to run, bike & swim

By: Cara

Jail Break Half Marathon: Sick, Lost, and a PR!

I woke up Saturday morning feeling alright but not great. I decided I’d at least start the race and if I didn’t feel like I could finish it was OK.

The only failure is not starting.

The Jail Break Half Marathon started at 7:30 am at the Baytown Police Station, almost an hour away. I had to be there early to pick up my packet so I was up at 5 am and in my car by 5:30. At 6:15 I exited the freeway at Main St., following my directions, then drove, and drove, and drove looking for the police station. It was only supposed to be about 5 minutes off of the freeway and I knew I couldn’t have missed a parking lot full of cop cars and eager runners.

I decided to stop at a gas station to ask for directions.

Warning: You will get VERY weird, scary looks from a gas station employee when you ask where the police station is at 6:30 in the morning!

The gas station employee was no help. He said he wasn’t from the area and had no idea where the police station was; I think he was just scared about why I was asking. I decided to just plug the address into the GPS – duh! The GPS told me to get back on the freeway and go up a couple of exits to the N. Main exit; I was at the W. Main exit.

Why are there two main streets within a few exits of each other in Baytown?

After finally parking a few blocks away and reaching packet pickup I meet up with my friend at 6:45. I tell her about getting lost and how I am happy I still have some time before the race starts to get ready and relax a bit – or so I thought. She nicely informs me that the race starts at 7 am and has now idea why I thought it started at 7:30 – I don’t know why I thought that either.

All smiles before the race

The Jail Break Half Marathon course was an out and back loop including running to the top of the Fred Hartman Bridge (remember this from the
La Porte Half Marathon).

When the race started I was still stuffy and a little cold but I figured I had made it to the start and the weather was nice (starting in the 40′s and only heating up to the 50′s) so I might as well run. I started out a little fast running with my friend but quickly slowed down reminding myself that I had to run “my race” and not overdo it in the beginning (something I used to be VERY guilty of).

When I run I don’t look at my pace, the mileage, or my time. I have my watch set up to beep at me for a 5 minute run interval followed by a 1 minute walk interval. I keep the display on my heart rate. I run as hard or easy as I feel like while keeping an eye on my heart rate to see how hard I am pushing myself. In my last two half marathons I have finished within one minute of my PR and within seconds between the both race times. I never looked at my pace/time/mileage on either of those races.

At the second mile my friend left me for a bathroom break (which I didn’t have to visit thanks to Imodium). By the time I got to the bridge at mile 5 I was feeling great and decided to be daring and run up it- my glutes are killing me now! I saw my friend running up as I was running down and I thought I must be running really slow if she has almost caught up to me, but I kept going. After the bridge the race went thought the Baytown park, which was the only scenic part of the run, and then back on the streets for the last 4 miles.

The last 3 miles too FOREVER; I really felt like the mileage markers were off. My watch was beeping at me for the intervals and I lost count of how many run/walks it was taking me to go from one mile marker to another (it usually took two). Finally, I looked at my watch after the 12 mile marker to see how many intervals I had completed throughout the race – 22. I did the math and realized that was only 126 minutes, 2 hours and 6 minutes. I was convinced my watch was wrong. The miles were dragging on and I knew I was running slow throughout the race. I thought the watch must have miscalculated somehow but it’s ok because I would get my real time when I finish the race.

I was ESTATIC to see the finish line. I enjoyed the race but was ready for it to be over. I sprinted the last 0.1 mile and happily stopped my watch without paying attention to the time (I had set it back to watching my heart rate). I walked around the finish line to cheer my friend in and then I saw it. The finish line clock read 2:16! I knew that clock had to be right and that meant that I had finished the race in under 2:16! I had killed my previous half marathon PR of 2:24:24. Two minutes later my friend crossed the finish line; she also destroyed her previous PR by almost 20 minutes.

My official chip time was 2:14:14. I still don’t know how I ran an average of 10:14 minutes/mile. I am not sure if I will ever be able to beat this new PR but I have two half marathons left this season (March 16th and April 7th) to try!

We’re innocent!

By: Cara

Cold / Sinuses / Allergies / Whatever

Wake up – take allergy pill – go through a box of tissues (in spite of the medicine) – take Nyquil - take sleeping pill because Nyquil doesn’t work – wake up groggy with a red, irritated nose. Repeat.

This was my schedule starting last Tuesday morning. I guess I had too much fun with my family during Mardi Gras!

Here are a few teaser pictures from my weekend. I promise to write about it later; I had a WONDERFUL time.

I hate being sick with a cold/sinus/allergies/whatever stops me from breathing well. I haven’t been sick in YEARS (well at least not from a cold) and then Tuesday morning I woke up feeling a little off. I ignored it and figured it was my body rejecting waking up at 5 am after being on vacation the past couple of days. But as the day went on I realized I was getting sick. I took an allergy pill, hoping it would work, and then continued to work on my box of Kleenex that I always keep on my desk. Tuesday night I took Nyquil to get a good night’s sleep, hoping I would feel better in the morning. I should have known better; Nyquil doesn’t normally work on me. I woke up All. Night. Long. and was a zombie at work on Wednesday. My sinuses (not really sure what it was but that is what I am going with) were still awful Wednesday but I trudged through work. Wednesday night I took a sleeping pill and went to bed early.

I woke up Thursday morning feeling AWFUL. I let the dog out (too tired to actually walk him) and then promptly got back in bed. I worked from home in the morning but had to get to the office before lunch for a meeting with my boss. I stayed for a couple hours after the meeting then left to finish up the rest of my day working from home, in my bed. I was sick, tired, and pissed because I didn’t think I’d be able to participate in the Jail Break Half Marathon on Saturday.

I took another sleeping pill Thursday night and again went to bed early. I woke up Friday feeling A LITTLE better and decided to try not taking any medicine. I told myself that if I could get through the day without medicine then I could run the next day. And I did! I still went through a lot of Kleenex and took a nice nap in the afternoon but I survived with any antihistamine.

Friday night I set my alarm for 5 am and hoped I would wake up and be able to breath like a normal person again. I didn’t go to bed too early but I slept without taking a sleeping pill – success! I was hoping one more good night’s sleep would allow me to at least attempt the Jail Break Half Marathon the next day…. (Jail Break Half Marathon race report to come)

by: Cara

You do this for FUN?!?

I receive the daily Living Social emails and usually just delete them (yes I know I can unsubscribe but that takes effort!). As I was going through my emails last week one of the daily deals caught my attention. The subject of the Living Social email was “Colon-Hydrotherapy Treatment”. What?!? The description of this deal read:

“You may have just gotten a promotion, bought a new boat, or gone on vacation, but digestive difficulties have a way of casting a pall that’s difficult to escape. Try to eliminate your issues with today’s deal from D-A-N Wellness Clinic: Pay $35 (regularly $99) for one colon-hydrotherapy session, or get three of them for $99 (regularly $297)….”

The company’s website states that they “bring elegance, simplicity and dignity to colon hydrotherapy”. They will happily “irrigate and evacuate the contents of the bowel“.

Really? You want me to pay $35 ($99 without this deal) for you to shove a tube up my butt and evacuate my bowel. No thank you. I can’t believe people pay (a lot of money) to voluntarily do this. I even remember seeing a Shah’s of Sunset episode (yes I sadly watched the show) where one of the guys paid for colon hydrotherapy (colonics) for his female friend for her birthday as a way to help her lose weight. Seriously, people are crazy – or stupid – or both.

I am still in shock over this colonics craze. Having something shoved up my but is not my idea of fun and it doesn’t sound like a great way to cleanse myself or lose weight! I bet none of the people who pay for “colon irrigation” have IBD!

by: Cara