This Runner's Trials

Assault on Cherokee Triathlon Relay 2011

Posted by runnerstrials

One year ago, I completed my first Olympic triathlon, Assault on Cherokee. The seaweed filled lake and the incredibly hilly bike ride made it a really hard race.

I may or may not have vowed never to do it again…

Famous last words :)


My husband and brother-in-law were planning on doing this race again this year. On Friday, I heard Dan's "female friend" (they're in that stage of dating where they haven't defined their relationship yet) Laura, decided she wanted to race but she's not a swimmer.

That's all it took for an idea to brew in my head. We could do the tri relay! I could swim, she could bike, and I'd surely find a crazy friend willing to run a 10k with 36 hours notice.

Say hi to my crazy friend.


Caitlin saved the day and completed our tri team!


Swim, bike, run.

She was also our official photographer since I forgot my camera battery at 5 am. Thanks for the pics, Caitlin!

So why did a swim that freaked me out last year seem like an awesome idea at 21 weeks pregnant? Because I knew what I was getting into. Swimming through seaweed is gross, but way worse when you're not expecting it. Besides, how could I pass up the chance to race with my baby boy again (check out races 1 and 2 of pregnancy)?


I am so, so glad I did this race :)

I had 3 goals going into the swim: don't swallow water, protect my belly, and have fun. I feel really comfortable swimming while pregnant but I still needed to take steps to protect my baby.


I didn't want to swallow water because who knows what kind of waterborne diseases lurk in the lake. I don't think I swallowed much. I'll be on the lookout for GI tract symptoms all week though!

My strategy for not getting kicked in the stomach was simple: start after everyone else. The relay teams were supposed to begin with the first wave, but I really didn't want people in the later wave swimming over me. So our team started the race 5 minutes late. Luckily Caitlin and Laura also agreed this was "just for fun" so no one minded.

The swim felt great. I cannot say how grateful I am to have this form of non-impact exercise during pregnancy.


There was barely any seaweed which was an awesome perk. I felt strong the whole time and even had to take a break for a minute because I was catching up to a pack of people. I actually beat a handful of people. But more importantly, I beat last year's time by a full 2 minutes! Amazing what not panicking from seaweed will do for your swim time ;)


I finished the 1300-1500m swim in 32 minutes. (We're not sure of the distance. The race's website says 1300m, they announced 1400m at the start, and our shirts say 1500m…)

Then we made the long half mile hike up to transition area.


Next it was time for Laura to bike. She did awesome, finishing the very challenging 28 mi bike course in 1:52. Did I mention she's only been biking for a few weeks?!


Finally it was time for Caitlin to run. She knocked out the 10k in under an hour. I was super impressed because the heat and humidity really picked up right as she took off.


We did it! It was so much fun. Thanks so much girls for racing with me and baby :)


I got a lot of compliments from people for racing while pregnant. There were also a few people who sighed "oh thank goodness" when they found out I was just doing the swim, and not the whole tri. Definitely no biking for this girl until 2012.

My brother-in-law kicked booty. He got 6th overall and first in his age group. And he's only swam once in the past year. Don't you love people like that?


Hubby did not have a good race. He felt dehydrated halfway through and was miserable on the run. He still did awesome in my opinion though!


Will there be any more races for baby when he's in my belly? Only time will tell ;)



My first son

Posted by runnerstrials

March was a really low point for me. After my first failed cycle of infertility this year, I felt like a failure. We escaped on a tropical vacation, yet I couldn't run away from the thoughts in my head.


When I assumed things couldn't get any worse, they did (or so I thought at the time). In the middle of my next fertility cycle, my doctor called my ovaries weird and wanted to put me on the pill for awhile. Of course, we know the ending; I was actually pregnant but didn't know it.

I was desperate. I needed to know if I'd ever be a mom. I did what any other woman would do: I consulted an infertility psychic.


This psychic had been correct with some of my twitter infertility friends. She had a 75% accuracy rating. So I asked for a reading.

It took 3 weeks for her to get back with it. In that time span, I found out I was pregnant. Yet, I was still eager to hear what the psychic had to say.

She told me I'd either conceive, find out I was pregnant, or have a baby in July (not necessarily this July). My first child would be a son. He'd be the life of the party, get along really well with people, but be a huge mama's boy and love me more than anyone.

At first, I freaked out. The baby in my belly could not have any associations with the month of July. I feared for a few seconds that her reading meant I was going to lose the baby I was carrying.

Then I realized she was 100% right.


My first son was born on July 24, 2002. I didn't meet him for a few more weeks, but it was love at first sight. And he fit the psychic's description to a T.

Nati celebrated birthday number 9 this past weekend by engaging in his favorite activities.


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And eating cupcakes (it runs in the family):

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I know most people say they love their pets, but I'm borderline unhealthily obsessed with my furball.

Nati taught me how to be a mom.

I now know that when my baby is sick in the middle of the night, I'll pop out of bed with more adrenaline than I have on race day.

I now know that a lot of extra work goes into planning a vacation the whole family can enjoy, but it's totally worth it.

I now know that it's normal to keep track of how much your baby poops to make sure he's eating enough.

I now know not to plan to get anything done beyond nervous pacing and crying if my baby ever needs surgery.

I now know that any mood can be turned around when you see the face of someone so innocent who loves you and needs you so much.

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It's hard to believe that in a few months there will be another little boy in my life who melts my heart and teaches me so much more. Just thinking about it leaves me at a loss of words…

But in related news, does anyone know where I can find a similar stuffed dog to this one?

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We need Nati represented in the delivery room. Sadly, this stuffed look-alike got left behind on our wedding day :(

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Week 20 pregnancy update

Posted by runnerstrials

I'm technically halfway through my pregnancy! I cannot believe it.


I have a feeling the second half will last longer than the first. Simply because I didn't know I was pregnant until week 4. So I've only been aware that I'm pregnant for 16 weeks. If the little guy behaves and stays put until his due date, the second half of pregnancy will be 20 weeks. Making it a bit longer. Make sense? ;)

The belly

You're all well aware how I feel about my belly. I feel big and love it. Look what's happened in only 5 weeks!

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I've heard from a few people this week that I look much bigger than 20 weeks. I'm taking that as a compliment :)

Weight gain

I'm up 1.5 lbs. this week. Making the grand pregnancy total 9.5- 10.5 lbs.


According to my weekly pregnancy updates from babycenter, I should have gained 10 lbs. by now. I'm quite proud and honestly shocked that I seem to be right on track.


I had one episode of minor bladder spasms this week. My only other pregnancy sign was the constant fatigue. I've accepted that I'm not going to be one of those women who get a surge of energy in the second tri. And that's more than fine by me. I heart napping.



My workouts are going really well. The addition of swimming regularly has left my body feeling less achy. In fact, I didn't even take a rest day this week. Oops. I'll be sure to fix that next week!

But I am getting sick of the treadmill. My normal treadmill boredom busters won't work since I need to take it easy. I'm taking two trips up north in the next 6 weeks so I'm hoping the weather is cool enough for me to run outside.

Weekly run down:

  • W: 4 mi run (treadmill) at 9:35 pace
  • Th: 1100m pool swim
  • F: 3 mi run (treadmill) at 9:40 pace, 15 min elliptical, upper body weight machines
  • S: 3 mi run (outside) at 9:49 pace, 20 min water running in the lake
  • S: 30 min lake swim
  • M: 4 mi run (treadmill) at 9:48 pace
  • Tu: 1100m pool swim

Mileage: 14 mi

Meter-age: 2200m + 30 min lake swim


I'm happy to say my mood has really shifted since the anatomy scan. Of course, my biggest fear is still not getting to meet and take home my healthy baby. But I'm also starting to accept that my pregnancy is real.

I've been hunting for baby stuff like crazy. It's all so darn cute! We plan to register at the end of the week.

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LOVE the little Clemson hat and "lil tiger" socks.

I'm also freaking out a bit. I'm only home TWO weekends until mid-October so I feel like there's a lot to do.


Movement: I'm still feeling lots of little flutters! Question: do they ever get stronger and feel like real kicks? Or is it just the flutters? I want him to kick me so hard it hurts :)

Cravings: Remember last week when I said my potato chip craving ended? I lied. All I've wanted the past couple of days is salty foods. I guess nearly two weeks with salt was too much for me.

Days until I'm laying on the beach: 17. I'm going to see my parents in NJ and I'll take day trips to the beach with my friends and family the week before HLS. Cannot wait.

Days until "babymoon": 56. My fingers and toes are crossed that I can still walk around by then!

Names we have picked out: One and it's set. But I'm keeping it a secret… for now… but it's really hard ;)