Friday, August 30, 2013

Chicago Triathlon Take Two

Sara, David and me before the race.
According to Maslow's hierarchy of needs, I should be sleeping right now. I am most definitely- by any measure- terribly sleep deprived. And I just put my body through hard, hard work this morning (written Sunday) in 90 degree heat. But I'm too excited about my great triathlon to not blog about it. Plus, my sleep debt is so large, a half an hour nap isn't going to leave a dent!

Now that I think about it, I've been turning Maslow's good old hierarchy on its head for a while as I chose training over sleep day in a day out since little Z was born four months ago. Not that I would be well rested if I hadn't been swimming, biking and running so often- I would still be tired, I'd just be tired AND likely depressed AND certainly less self-actualized. I'll stop talking about Maslow now, but I do feel that I just skipped straight to the top of his hierarchy today:)

View of the swim from our apartment race morning.
As you may recall, my first foray into the world of triathlons wasn't pretty. Last year at the Chicago Triathlon (sprint distance) I did a lot more panic stricken hanging on boats and back floating than I did swimming. I redeemed myself at the Lake Geneva Tri (sprint also) a few weeks later, but still, it was clear that swimming was my weakest leg by far.

Walking to the swim.
Today (again, written Sunday), I did twice the distance (0.93 miles) in only 10 minutes additional time! Hurrah! Did I panic? Yes. Multiple times for multiple reasons. But I KEPT IT TOGETHER!! I didn't not spend any time on my back and my two boat pit stops were needed and probably helped my time overall.

A much less exciting picture since I'm SWIMMING! Without
being able to SEE!
I made it (front left)1
Oh, but the panic. It's just part of the swim for a lot of people. I was nearly in tears in the start corral until I stopped myself thinking it would be no good to have tear water in my goggles. But boy did I want to cry. The start was relatively uneventful but I had a heavy panic feeling in my chest for the first quarter mile. I'll tell you what didn't help. NOT BEING ABLE TO SEE A DAMN THING. My goggles fogged over and I just couldn't see. And there were no life boats to stop at until past the 1/4 mile mark. Eventually Adam and Bonnie realized I couldn't see when I wasn't making any kind of move toward the buoy turn around and they started yelling at me to "go left, go left". I probably would have swam all the way to the field museum if they hadn't been there because I couldn't even see the big orange buoy. Ridiculous. Once I stopped to defog my goggles things got a little better, but I still got freaked out by people grabbing my legs and kicking me. I probably swam an extra 1/8 mile at least because I zig zagged so much. My breathing was not optimal. But there was a good 1/4 mile in there were I felt good- really good- and knew I could swim a longer distance if I absolutely needed to. I stopped at a second boat for a breather because I was getting short of breath, probably cuz my form was deteriorating. But all in all, I'm damn proud of that swim. I've had no lessons or help of any kind since last year- this was all me putting in the time and working on my fears:)

I really need a road bike, I look so goofy!
The bike was better this year too. Maybe not mph-wise (I don't feel like doing the calculations to compare but this year was around 15 mph), but I enjoyed parts of it whereas last year just felt like a slog. Might have helped that I rented a "fitness" bike with thinner wheels rather than my mountain bike.  I really need to get a road bike- I think I could get into biking given the right equipment though 116 miles (Ironman) will always seem really really far. I didn't push it too hard on the bike. I pushed it a little bit intermittently. I spent the first 5 miles rejoicing that the swim was done:)

Cover your eyes! So pale I'm shining!

By the time I got to the run I was hot, hot, hot. And the waves behind me had it even worse. I had to stop to pee and that combined with walking through the aid stations and basically just putting one foot in front of the other I ended up with 9:42 min/miles. In that heat, I'll take it.

My final stats:
Swim: 51:37 (which includes 0.25 mile jog to the transition)- swim rank 2477 (out of 2611)
Bike + both transitions (I forgot to put my chip back on after taking off my wetsuit): 1:45 ish
Run: 1:00:17- run rank 997 (out of 2611)

There's no question what I need to work on: I need swimming lessons and more pool workouts and a road bike. But the first thing I said to Adam when I finished was that I'm ready to do a 70.3. I didn't really want to go any further on the swim, bike or run today in the heat but I could have.  And I will next summer. Not bad for 4 months post partum!!!

Even better than having such a great race was having such a great race with friends! Sara kicked some serious butt after a challenging swim start and super late start time (meaning the heat was the worst for her) and David is an absolute beast on the swim and the bike. I'm trying to convince them both to join me in an half-Iron next summer. I think I might have 'em:)

David owned the bike and swim.

...and looked happy on the run!!

Victorious Sara with her parents....

...and the sunflowers!

Adam did such an amazing job of cooking dinner, watching Zooey, demanding I skip a feed last night to get some sleep. He is so supportive of my athletic endeavors on a daily basis; I am so lucky and so grateful. And Bonnie did some serious pinch hitting- feeding and watching Zooey (and making her giggle, which is awesome!), taking my sweaty clothes no questions asked (truly the definition of a good friend) and enthusiastically cheering us on every step of the way even though she was feeling pretty tired herself. I'm so lucky to have such great friends and family who are supportive and can be talked into crazy things like triathlons:) Zooey, for her part, was super well behaved for Adam and Bonnie and was full of grins for me after the race. It was my first triathlon without her with/in me every stroke, pedal and step of the way! My perfect little girl:)

Waiting for me on the run.

Four month family shot.

Photo credits to Adam, Bonnie Kaplan and David Teplinsky. Thanks for the great shots, friends!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Wonderful, Wonderful Weekend

Thanks to my mom, Adam and baby Zooey combined with good luck and good weather this was a perfect weekend! Highlights:

1. SLEEP!! Z only got up once in the middle of the night Friday AND Saturday. Friday didn't feel that restful because she got up at 1:30 am and then at 5:30 am (which I'm counting as morning rather than middle of the night) but Saturday by ANY measure she "slept through the night" from 7:15 until 3:30 am! That's over EIGHT hours!! We, of course, want to replicate this but we have no idea why it happened. Maybe she matured just enough, maybe her fussy spell earlier in the week was the developmental growth spurt that allowed for this? Maybe it was the busy busy day with lots of stimulation at the Chicago Botanic Gardens on Saturday? Maybe it was that Grandma has sleep gifts we do not because it was indeed the first night in months that she was put to bed by someone other than Mom or Dad? Whatever it was, it shows she is capable of long sleeping and while I know this won't happen every night it was a taste of a more sleep filled future!

2. EXERCISE!! 19 mile spin on Friday and Lake Michigan swim on Sunday gave my mental health a boost. Mom and Zooey walked with me to the swim and along the lake as I swam today which gave me the extra motivation I needed to deal with the HUGE waves in the lake. It was a tough swim but I got it done. Phew!

3. ZOOEY TIME!! Zooey has been waking up smiling and ready for the day lately. She even entertains herself in the crib for 30 minutes to an hour before requesting our attention in the morning. What a sweetie:) Then it's smiles, smiles and more smiles when we come to fetch her. She has a favorite toy- Mr Monkey- that makes her smile even if she is hungry, tired, or otherwise cranky. And Sunday, she rolled over for the first time! My mom, having a sixth sense about these things, announced to Adam and I that Zooey was about to do tummy time so we were loitering around and we all got to see it happen! Zooey laid on her back sorta stunned for a minutes afterwards ("What just happened?") then went about playing in her activity gym. Fun stuff.

"Hello, Mr Monkey!"

Grandma and Z

4. CHICAGO ADVENTURES!! The four of us (Mom, Adam, Zooey and I) went up to the Chicago Botanic Gardens on Saturday. It was an absolutely beautiful day with the flowers in full bloom. We tried to recreate one of the pregnancy photos with Zooey which was challenging to say the least but the result is still good. Note that Adam's head is partially cut off- he says that's just what happens when your head is "too big" :)

March 2013
August 2013

5. VAL AND ADAM TIME!! My Mom is the best. Seriously. She stayed the weekend (rather than going back home to Cherry Valley) just so Adam and I could have a few hours alone together at Lollapalooza. I really wasn't sure if going to see Mumford and Sons was the right thing to do- we are so tired! But I feel if we don't keep doing the things we like now we could easily become those folks whose lives so revolve around their kids that they lose themselves- not the kind of parent I want to be! Plus, I think it's vital for the parent relationship to be maintained as a separate entity- Adam and I need our alone time together to keep our relationship healthy and happy, which is certainly a good thing for Zooey! I think the technical term is 'trickle down happiness' :) Or it should be, anyway. We really had a great time at the show! We found great standing room on the steps just stage left so we had an unobstructed view. Folks were super friendly, everyone was in such a great mood- all 150,000 of us watching the show! We left a bit early and stopped by to catch a couple Postal Service songs on our way out which was great fun as well. And home by 10, followed by a 5 hour sleep! All in all, the best weekend we've had in a long while!