Monday, December 28, 2015

Gift Guide 2015: Mother Runner

Oh heey, guess who forgot to actually post the Christmas gift guide! My ideas of what I want for Christmas this year is dramatically different from what I wanted last year (top of my list: more than 6 hours of sleep). If you have a friend with a new kid and a list of goal races, here's what I recommended for a gift this year:

- Babysitting. Whether it's an hour after a busy day for a yoga class, or offering to get up early to babysit during a race on a weekend, an extra hand is always welcome!

- A matching kit. Matching tops and bottoms are always helpful, because they make you faster, obviously, but after days of just wearing whatever is clean, pulling out a matching tank top and capris can make a new mom feel like a million bucks. And faster. (I prefer SOAS, obviously)

- A fancy planner. Even though flexibility and patience are the ultimate virtues with a baby, once something of a schedule starts to re-emerge, planning ahead is everything. Being able to write in appointments, workouts, races, and to-do lists all in the same place is key to actually getting things done. I like the Passion Planner (make sure you use me as a referral ;) ) or Moleskine Dashboard.

- A good sports bra. In between pregnancy and breastfeeding, running and training, I now own a full range of sports bra sizes, from small cotton pullovers to 38Ds, and have to choose wisely before every workout. A gift card to Title IX to pick out a good sports bra, or a SheFit bra that's adjustable, can keep everything locked and loaded.

- An all-purpose bag. Coming from someone who waffles between carrying a backpack on a three week trip and the same backpack for a two hour sprint triathlon, the right bag to hold the right gear is crucial! Right now, whenever I got anywhere for more than four hours, I usually have my backpack full of my laptop and school binders/case books, a bag for my breastpump and accessories, and, depending on the day, a small gym bag or diaper bag for the baby, plus usually a handbag. It's a lot to throw over my shoulder. While I'm not looking for a bag to replace all of that, I would like a nice purse/diaper bag, like the Blush Fawn Design bag, or a laptop bag/pumping bag, like the Juno Blu bags. While I also love a good gym bag, having a little sweatproof, stinkproof bag like the Lululemon Sweaty or Not bag is great for keeping workout clothes on hand in case you find an extra half hour in your day.

Stocking stuffers for your runner:

- Fancy socks. Either some running specific socks, like Feetures!, or full compression socks,

- Hair bands. There simply are never enough hair accessories on hand. I like Sweaty Bands to keep whispies in place (I can never leave a race expo without a new one) and these fancy elastics.

- Face wipes. They wipe off makeup before a swim, wipe off sweat after a workout, or clean baby spit off your shoes. I like the new ones from The Honest Company, since I can add them to my diaper bundle, or the simple and clean ones from Target.

- Earbuds, to keep your playlist playing in your ears, or to catch 30 minutes of the real housewives while on the treadmill. I've been using Yurbuds.

- Luxurious body products, since everyone has to shower, and sometimes it's the best five minutes of the day. I recently got a little gift pack from Lush, and since I love floral scented body products but usually can't use them, I'm starting to think their Rose Jam body wash is worth the cost.

I hope everyone had a very merry Christmas! We just got back from almost a week in Ohio, and Lilly was an ANGEL and slept for most of the six hour drive both ways. Tomorrow is her first plane ride, from BWI to San Diego with a brief layover, so wish us luck!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Chasing new dreams: Ironman 70.3 Superfrog 2016!

One of my bucket list races is Superfrog, a half ironman race on Coronado Island off San Diego. It was originally designed by the Navy SEALs stationed there as a training race to prepare for the Ironman world championships in Kona, Hawaii. It includes an open water swim in the Pacific, a looped bike with some serious winds, and a run that includes both road and sand. I've been wanting to do this race because of it's history as one of the oldest HIM races, and because it's known to be so challenging. As a cherry on top, it is now one of the few HIM distance races left that is a Kona qualifier (though for active duty military only).

This was at the top of my list for last year, but when I found out I was pregnant, it went to the back burner. This week, though, I committed, and registered for 2016!
Since it's all the way on the other side of the country, and falls right in between my next move and starting Army stuff again, it will definitely present some logistical challenges. In addition, training during bar prep this summer, with a baby, is going to require some serious help from my husband.

Wish me luck!

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Glass Slipper Challenge 2016: Let the training begin!

Today we are officially 12 weeks out from the Glass Slipper Challenge 2016! I can't believe it's so close already! Time to get started on training!

As I'm thinking about the coming training, I know there will be a few challenges:

  • Most of my training will be in the winter in Baltimore. Running outside will be rough not only because of weather, but also because of limited hours because of my school schedule.
  • I'm pretty much starting from scratch. I finished a 5K on Thanksgiving, and finished in just under 30 minutes. While it felt pretty good, it's nowhere near what I'm hoping for my goal pace for this race, not to mention I haven't run more than 3.1 miles at a time in 5 months.
  • I definitely need to keep working on strength and core! My plan this year will have to include plenty of lifting, core work, sprints, and active recovery, such as foam rolling. 
  • Back to back races includes a slightly different kind of training, which can be a little more exhausting.
  • It will be my first travel race with K and a baby! I can't wait to bring her to WDW for the first time, even if she'll only be 6 months old :D 
The GSC is always a fun race, and not designed for PRs, per se, so I'm really excited it will be my first big race after a baby. I'm definitely planning on having fun, enjoying the full Disney experience, but pushing my pace a little bit and using it as a jump off point for training for the RnR San Diego marathon in June. 

Of course I plan on dressing up! For the 10K, I'm planning an awesome new Tangled costume, and will probably be bringing back Mulan for the half. 

Is anyone else planning on doing the Glass Slipper Challenge next year?

Sunday, November 22, 2015

SOAS Brand Ambassador Team 2016!

I am so excited to be on the SOAS Brand Ambassador Team for 2016!! Even though I wasn't racing as much this past year, being a part of the SOAS team was so inspiring, and having the opportunity to be on the same team as these amazing women definitely has me pumped up for next year!!

What does it mean to be on the ambassador team? It means I get to represent the best women's performance clothing company when I race and train, be a part of the ambassador community with amazing athletes all around the world, and share what I know with all of my followers on social media! To start the sharing, here's what I love about SOAS:

  • They're a small company, based in San Diego, and design and market just for women athletes. Being in SD gives them ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD to test their clothes in perfect training conditions, so you know it works. 
  • Every piece they make is perfectly designed for women athletes. Before I found SOAS, I had trouble finding cute race kits that fit just how I wanted them. I usually stuck with black pieces with some pink, but the shorts were usually too long, the tops too short or too fitted, or the legs were too tight in the thigh. Everything in my SOAS kits fit perfectly: the shorts are a perfect, flatting length, don't squeeze in the thighs; the run tanks are loose but still light and cool, and the run shorts literally feel like wearing nothing. 
  • Can we talk about the designs? The first SOAS kit I ever bought was the old pink and black polka dot kit, and it was SO CUTE. They've moved on to some more sporty, stripey themes in the past year, which I think are a really good balance of being feminine and strong, just like everyone on the SOAS team! I know I don't need a matching kit for every day of the week, but I wish I did! 
As if the regular kits aren't enough, SOAS does special kits every year for everyone racing at the Ironman world championships in Kona. The pieces are usually available just for pickup in Kona, but I managed to get a few pieces from the collection to wear for some serious motivation this year, including the biggie tank, some board shorts, and a sports bra. I was pretty excited that they all matched one of my Kovey bikinis that I like to wear for training (cause matching colors makes you go faster!)

  • Not only are these clothes awesome for training, I love how versatile they are for every day. I have the Barcelona Nights Biggie top, and wear it to class and even work all the time. It's the perfect size to cover up my baby belly, is loose enough to wear while I pump without flashing anyone, and is light enough that I never get too hot. 
  • Finally, I do get a discount to keep me in all the latest SOAS kits, and I get to share a discount with you! If you are looking for some shiny new clothes for the winter or for next year, use my name on the SOAS site!

And, as if the SOAS team wasn't busy enough being awesome, they've upped the ante and launched a men's line too! Check out HANSYM racing

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Team SOAS Ambassador Challenge Round up!

This year I've been a brand ambassador for SOAS racing, the most awesome line of women's tri/active clothing on the market. One of the challenges we got this year (other than race and be generally awesome) was a social media challenge with a different them each week. Now, I tried to keep up on my instagram, but with a baby and full time law school, trying to think of a clever picture that says what my favorite training session is wasn't that easy, so I definitely skipped a few weeks! Here's a quick roundup of what I did, though, and a few "fill in the gap" thoughts.

Week 1 – ‪#‎ThisGirlCan‬ ... plan for next year! At this point I was a little over 8 months pregnant, definitely wasn't running, and had that itch to race hard! I started planning out my next season of races, and now that I'm back into base building, I can't wait!

Week 2 – What’s your favourite item of SOAS kit and why – the one piece you can’t live without? Definitely, hands down, these run shorts. A pair of polka dot shorts was the first piece of SOAS gear I bought a few years ago, and I immediately fell in love with them. Here are my Barcelona Nights, Sunset Cliffs, Varsity, and Team shorts:

Week 3 – What’s the most amazing place you have swum, biked or run (or all three). For this, I said DC, because it's so inspiring! I love doing races in DC. San Diego comes in a close second, though. 

Week 4 – What’s in your kit bag? Since this was about the time I was due, I was very tempted to post a picture of my hospital bag :p That definitely had enough SOAS stuff in it...I actually wore my ambassador team shorts and tank to the hospital when I went into labor, and almost freaked out when the nurse asked if she could cut off the tank for my epidural. I didn't though, but here's what my super cool ambassador kit bag looks like! Right now it is stuffed with EVERYTHING, from my helmet to a yoga mat, but I can't wait to pack it properly for my next race! 

Week 5 – What’s your favourite post training meal? Uh, a pint of ice cream and about five bottles of water. Done. 

Week 6 – Share a picture of your ‘sunset cliffs’
Somewhere deep in the archives is a picture of Kevin and me before we got married out at sunset cliffs in San Diego...but I don't feel like dragging out the external HD to find it. See above picture for the sunset cliffs shorts ;)

Week 7 – What coffee are you? Extra shot venti caramel macchiato (or seasonally, peppermint or pumpkin sauce), probably paired with a case book. 

Week 8 – What’s your favourite training session? Anything that makes me feel actually accomplished after. 90% of training is doing something you're already good at, but whenever I finish either an amazing speed session that makes me want to throw up, or a really long run that makes me feel like I can actually finish the next marathon, those are the best!

Week 9 - What are your goals and dreams? 1) to be the best wife/mother/soldier/lawyer/athlete I can be, every day; and 2) one day race at Kona

Week 10 – Who or what inspires you? On the one hand, I am so inspired by the generations of servicemen and women who have served before me, who paved the way for this great country, and I am inspired to live every day so that their sacrifices weren't in vain. Now, though, I'm inspired to be the best role model for my daughter, and never let her think that she can't do something just because she's a girl. 

SO there's my roundup of the Team SOAS challenge! 

Team SOAS is taking applications for the 2016 ambassador team through the end of the month! Check it out here

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Tri Talk Tuesday: The Off Season

I've definitely been in an "off season," if you will, for the last year, but I'm joining up for Tri Talk Tuesday, with Courtney, Phaedra, and Cynthia again! Since I have a lot of rebuilding to do, and some big goals for next year, I'm approaching the coming off season as more of a "ramp up" season. Here's my goals and plans for the coming cold months:
  • Build a base. I definitely need to re-build my base, and I'm taking advantage of this opportunity to be better than I was last year. I'm going to focus on gradually building distance while focusing on speed, so sprints won't seem as terrible! I also want to build my strength back up with lots of full body gym work. I did a lot of swimming while I was pregnant, so I'm pretty confident I'll be back at longer workouts. As for looks like my trainer will be coming in handy again this winter!
  • Establish good habits. This applies to pretty much everything: take the time to focus on my form when running, plan out good meals and snacks, and start positive habits, like journalling. With a new baby, I can imagine all this will be a little harder than it sounds right now, but planning ahead (only buying fruit instead of halloween candy, for example) and remembering my end goals will help. 
  • Create a new training plan with specific goals. I'm usually pretty good at creating awesome plans, and then "adjusting" them whenever I feel tired, which makes my race goals adjust as well. This off season, though, I want to make a practical plan with solid goals and splits for each workout, so I don't waste time, and, hopefully, get better results when race season comes around! 
I'm still working on my race schedule for next year (as well as my plans for things like, graduating from law school, moving to a new state, taking the bar, and minor life events like that), but I'm itching to get back to hard workouts! I can't wait to feel exhausted from mile repeats, not just from walking up two flights of stairs! Wish me luck!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Fall Favorites

Holy moley, it's already October! To be honest, October is one of my least favorite months; it gets colder, my birthday is over, and I hate Halloween.
September, though, is the best! The weather is still appropriately summery, pumpkin spice lattes arrive, and my birthday is September 30th! Plus, my little Sweet Potato's birthday is now September 2, so it's a month bracketed by birthdays!

I'm learning to embrace fall, as every basic white girl has, and here are some of my favorite things right now:

  • Fall race season! I am not racing much this fall (I made my first goal the Thanksgiving Turkey Trot), but my husband sure is! I somehow conned him into registering for the Marine Corps Marathon (he's a sucker for anything that sounds exclusive or hard to get), so the past few weeks I've had fun watching him train and gear up. He recently raced the Navy-Air Force Half, completed his 19 mile long run, and is running the Army Ten Miler and a Beer Mile in the same weekend. It's all the fun parts of racing (expos, checking out the swag, planning race day logistics, recovery brunches) without actually having to sweat! And as if that weren't enough, there's always the Ironman World Championships in KONA to look forward to! For anyone who gets to be there in person, SOAS did an awesome Kona collection this year, and you should definitely check it out/order everything! 
  • Reading the news: Every morning, there are three things I read as soon as they drop in my inbox (around 7ish, when SP wakes up and wants to eat): 1) Runner's World Quote of the day; 2) The Skimm; and 3) Washington Post 202. I get some motivation, usually a good laugh, and then some in-depth campaign/news coverage, as well as a weather report. I feel so much smarter than when I just woke up and scrolled through instagram....(though that happens a lot after the news)
  • Pumpkin everything: I don't remember if I ever had a pumpkin spice latte before last fall, but I think I've made a quick study. I did get a good ol' PSL the first day they were available, and I've even fallen for pumpkin spice Oreos, pumpkin spice coffee creamer, and even this ADORABLE PSL coffee cozy. Some other fall favorites that I can't resist: Apples (cue the Apple Day tradition from MBC, which I can't wait to celebrate next week) and Chai. 
  • New clothes: Yeah, other than maternity pants and extra large tanks, I haven't been shopping for new clothes in almost a year. While I'm not fully on board with the "Han Solo" look, I'm definitely loving leggings and looking for some new long tops and sweaters! Exclusively pumping while working a full day for clinic/almost full time law school requires some adjustments to my current wardrobe defaults of a tippi sweater and jeans, and I've definitely learned to carry around a jacket and/or a cool scarf to cover any leaking mishaps.  
  • Easing back into an exercise routine: Nothing makes one miss running more than not being able to. Hopefully this month I can start getting back to the gym, adding short runs, and building my strength back up, so I can start training full strength after the Holidays. I definitely need to focus on rebuilding my core strength, and can't wait to get back to kettlebells. I might even start trying to add some yoga! My plan right now is to just take it easy, listen to my body so I don't cause any damage, and come back next year better than ever! I love the fall challenge over at Tone It Up, and, if anyone is looking for a great postpartum plan, my friend Ashley is offering one over on her website, GlowBodyPT
Alright, that's enough positivity about fall for now. What are you looking forward to?

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Welcome, Baby!

Two weeks ago I started a draft post to reflect on August. It was basically going to go something like this: August went by soooo slowly. I feel like I got nothing done, and now school has started (last first day of school!) and nothing else will get done.

Since I started that, time has absolutely FLOWN BY, and I really can't believe it's already half way through September! That means:
- I am almost a quarter of the way done with this semester.
- My birthday is in two weeks.
- It's been two weeks since I had my little girl!

Yep, not much longer after I started thinking about how time was dragging by, I ended up in the hospital with a new baby! Here's how it all went down:

Birth story
So, Tuesday, September 1st, I woke up, late as usual since I've been staying up until all hours of the night, and noticed that I was definitely "leaking" a little more than usual. I obviously decided to ignore this, and finished up some homework, went to a meeting at school, considered going to the gym in the afternoon, and then decided to sit on my couch until class that evening. Around 3 in the afternoon, my husband came home from the gym, and immediately started freaking out (in a calm way). I insisted I was fine, we went to get slurpees at the 7-11 across the street, and then he finally made me call the labor and delivery desk to tell them what was going on. Since I hadn't felt any contractions or anything, I was pretty sure they were going to just let me go until my appointment the next day, but that's not what happened. The nurse said to pack my bags and come on in for an exam, so that's what we did.

It was about 3:30 in the afternoon at this point, so we were a little rushing to try to avoid the traffic on the Beltway getting to Walter Reed. Obviously this is impossible unless it is 3am on Saturday. It took a little over an hour to get there. After changing into a lovely backless, bottomless hospital gown (the best kind), we waited a while for the nurse to do an assessment, then waited a while longer for the OB residents to come do their assessment. Finally, the senior doctor came in to confirm that yes indeed my water had broken, probably the night before, and they wanted to induce me right away to avoid any complications. Baby was on the way!

By this point, we had found out other things, such as, the L&D could not actually find me in the Army medical system, despite the fact that I'd been seen there the whole pregnancy and have been in the Army for 6+ years. This explains all the empty spaces on my discharge paperwork, since they just put in the bare minimum to get me admitted. As I was settled in to a labor room and hooked up to all the monitors and getting IVs put in my hand (ouch), my new nurse also mentioned that apparently I was having contractions about four minutes apart, but they were going to put me on pitocin anyway. I still didn't feel a thing; this might explain everyone's confusion as to why I didn't feel any BH contractions through the entire pregnancy.

Since K still hadn't eaten anything since he got back from the gym at 3, and was also a little stinky, I insisted he run out to get some food and change his clothes while I was still settling in. He went out to Bethesda to get some Shophouse for him and a dozen cupcakes for the night shift nurses, and came back with all of our bags loaded across his back. I was enjoying the fact that I was not sitting in a commercial law class, and indulged in watching Cokie Roberts on Book TV before trying to get some sleep (not so easy with a blood pressure cuff going off every 30 minutes).

By about 5am the contractions were getting much stronger, strong enough that I could definitely feel them, and around 6:30 one of the residents came by to check me and say I was definitely dilated a little over 6cm, so I could totally get the epidural if I wanted it. By that point, contractions were coming about every two and a half minutes, I had completely forgotten all those breathing techniques I never quite mastered, and was doing a sort of, breathe in for 4, scream out for 4, breathing technique. However, everyone does shift change at 7, so I had to wait until almost 7:30 before the anesthesiologist and his brand new resident showed up. I may not have been able to see what was going on behind me, but I heard every little detail as the resident learned how to find the crunchy part of my spine and thread a catheter in there. Thank goodness for modern medicine.

Shortly after that, I think I fell asleep again for a little while, and was a little in and out until around 11 when my midwife came in to say that she wanted me to wait a little while before pushing to see if baby would come down a little bit. Something about not wanting to tire me out....seeing as how I'd only had jello and broth for the past 15 hours, probably a good call.

Once I started pushing, though, I felt great (epidural was still going strong), and my midwife, K and I ended up swapping stories about our worst race experiences. I think that made my midwife a little more comfortable with how long I was pushing, and after about two hours, little Lillian made her appearance! I got to hold her right away while K cut the cord, and everyone got to work on all the "after birth" bits. Since I still couldn't feel anything, see anything, and didn't really care, I just focused on my new little girl while K got an in depth look at what kind of "reconstruction" I was getting (apparently several stitches on my cervix and outside, as well as having to do a full sweep inside to make sure the whole placenta and a huge clot was out). I definitely felt all that later, but since that was the worst part of labor, I'll take it!
So, here's Miss Lillian Qianye, born at 2:16 on September 2, 2015, weighing in at 7 lbs, 7 oz and 19 1/2 inches long!

After two days in the hospital, we made it home and are trying to settle into a new routine! My parents drove out from Ohio the day we got home for a night, and my mother in law has been with us the week and a half since as well. Since I went straight back to school (after the Labor Day weekend), I've been exclusively pumping, with some formula supplementation the first few days home. She just keeps getting cuter and cuter!
I've been taking it easy, and spent the first week just trying to get enough sleep and the right nutrition to get some energy back. Last weekend we did venture out for a little bit, and I tried out a new baby wrap (I ended up tying it too loose and mostly used it to keep the rain showers off her).
For now, we're just enjoying every moment at home, being boring and tired, and trying not to cry every time I look at her perfect little face. Since the fall race season is ramping up, and K has a full schedule (N-AF Half, Army Ten Miler, then Marine Corps Marathon), I'm thinking my next few posts are going to be about spectating with a baby! 

Monday, August 3, 2015

5 Things: Pregnancy Fitness Favorites

35 weeks down, and made it through two months of summer! With only a few weeks left, I am starting to succumb more and more to a cycle of "energy burst - gym - eat - lay on couch - sleep ten hours - clean everything - lay on couch - eat" which, as you can imagine, is keeping my husband pretty happy. I have an ever-growing list of things to do before I get back to school, but I'm happy to report a 80% solution on baby stuff (as in, we have everything we need, and most stuff is cleaned out, but there's still a pile of dusty boxes in the nursery that will eventually be going to storage), and hopefully I'll be prepared to balance school and baby!

In the meantime, here's five things that have been absolutely ESSENTIAL to keeping up with fitness during this whole pregnancy:
  • Bao Bei Belly Sport Bra: Since I knew I wanted to stay active during my whole pregnancy, but didn't know how big I would get, early on I ordered this belly sport bra. From about five months on, I wore this for all of my workouts, running, kettlebells, and elliptical, at the gym and outdoors. It provides more of a "hug" feeling, like everyone is held in, without being constrictive in any way. I was worried that it would be a little hot during the summer, but it's really not that bad, since the fabric is very supportive but also very wicking. I also like that it extended the life of my usual run t shirts once my belly started hanging out the bottom. 
  • SOAS shorts and tanks: About 90% of my time is spent in these shorts, whether I'm headed to the gym or not. I also love the razor run tops, since they're super light, wicking, and big enough to cover my growing belly. So far I've been wearing medium shorts and tops, which were just a little loose before I got pregnant, but I'm pretty sure they'll stay in the rotation until I wear them out. Beyond the fit and awesome soft material, the prints just plain make me happy: for a few weeks I was 100% in love with barcelona nights, but then got some new stuff in the sunset cliffs prints. If it wasn't 95* out, I'd probably also be in love with the tights; those will have to wait for fall though! (if you want some, you can use code HANNAHHE to get 10% off!)
  • Swimming: Since running the BWC 5K at the end of June, I've been laying off the running for the most part, and amping up the swimming. While I'm no longer doing full masters workouts like I was through May, 40 minutes of easy laps and water running about every other day is now my standard workout. I've mostly been wearing spandex shorties or Nike bikini bottoms and tri tops (yes, more from SOAS) for swimming, which keeps me covered. 
  • Water: Even more important in the summer, I've been trying to guzzle water like no other! I always have a water bottle with me, and about five bottles in the fridge chilling. Sometimes I throw in some Nuun tabs to keep it interesting, and I still occasionally have a soda, but for the most part, I'm going trying to hit at least 100 oz of water a day. It feels like a lot, but I'm still thirsty!
  • Fitness videos: Since swimming alone is not quite enough to keep me feeling toned, I still hit the weight room two or three times a week. I love having a quick workout ready to go, so I don't waste any time. My favorites are from Tone It Up, and prenatal workouts from my friend Ashley at Glow Body PT (check out her blog too!). 
For the first time in my life, there is a delicate balance between working out and regretting it, and laying on the couch and not feeling at all guilty. Even knowing I have limitations, I still feel like I need to pull back a little more when I work out, and it's making me more and more tired. I'm sure my husband will have his hands full keeping me down for however long I need to after having the baby, since I'll definitely be itching to get back up to speed! Meanwhile, I'll just have to remind myself to listen to my body, think long term, and take care!

Monday, July 6, 2015

Road trip! Fort Campbell to Baltimore, via Asheville, NC

It's finally summer! Well, it's been feeling like summer for quite some time, but I'm finally done with my summer on-the-job detail with the OSJA at Fort Campbell, and I have the next 7 weeks to relax and be at home.

To get back from Fort Campbell, K flew down to Nashville and stayed with me for my last few days of work, and then we drove home together. He was supposedly helping out, but I think I ended up driving about 9 hours....of the 13ish we drove (I hit all the bad traffic). Even though it was a little bit out of the way, we stopped in Asheville, NC, for the night on the way back. I originally was hoping to visit the Biltmore, but because of traffic, we didn't get to AVL until almost 4pm; not quite enough time to enjoy one of the country's largest historic homes. Other than that, I only really knew of Asheville from references in the Mandie mystery books I used to read when I was young, and from the Hunger Games.

Things to do on a trip: breweries, good food, and a little bit of relaxing. We managed to get all of that in during the one evening we had in Asheville.

First up Highland Brewing! We made it just in time for the first tour of the evening, but since we've done so many brewery tours, we ended up deciding to skip it and instead do the Troy & Sons Distillery tour right next door. We did make time for a tasting flight, though (they also have delicious root beer on tap).

After all that, we went to the Grove Arcade in downtown Asheville, where there is no parking. Seriously, what's up with no parking. We browsed through some of the shops, including one that was a book store AND champagne about two of my favorite things! We also got a last minute walk in appointment at the Wake Foot Sanctuary, which was an interesting experience. K got their summer special, which was a lemon-scented foot soak with neck and foot massage, while I opted for the Salty Beach Rose, with lavender, jasmine, and rose salt soak, and shoulder and neck massage. We also ordered a pot of tea. I swear K can turn his brain off and relax at the drop of a hat (or, he just lives in a perpetually not-type-A bliss...), so he was practically snoring, but calming down is a little harder for me (especially when I'm allowed to have my phone). The experience included almost an hour of soaking our feet in large copper tubs, while relaxing together on a giant couch; we were the only ones there for the last appointment of the evening  (I didn't feel bad about possibly bothering someone else whenever I whipped my phone out or took this picture). It felt a little bit like a pedicure, without the chatty nail tech, pumice stones, or new polish; I enjoyed it for the evening, but probably wouldn't be a regular if we lived closer.

After all that, we headed to the Grove Park Inn, where we stayed for the night. After checking in, we dropped our bags off in the Vanderbilt Wing and got dinner at the Friday night seafood buffet at the Blue Ridge Restaurant. The buffet included three rooms of delicious food, including hot and cold crab legs (K loves crab legs), a noodle station, and a whole room just for dessert. Personally, I judge a buffet by the desserts, and this one was at least an A-. They had a cherries jubilee station, or you could just make a sundae with fresh vanilla ice cream; lots of little desserts and tarts, as well as cookies, and a delicious coconut cake. Also, there were jars of candy all around; who doesn't love a few malted milk balls after dinner! K always judges his buffets by pure variety and how long food as been sitting out, so I think he would go with more of a B. Some of the dishes definitely weren't that fresh looking, perhaps because the restaurant wasn't crowded, and the quality on the hot crab legs was a little hit or miss. We got to sit by the window, though, and enjoyed a lovely fireworks display a little after 9pm while we enjoyed our desserts.

After dinner, we were planning on walking around the resort a little bit to see what else there was to see, and ended up at Elaine's, a dueling piano bar hidden in the Vanderbilt wing. We stayed there for a while and had a lot of fun before finally getting to bed a little after midnight.

The next morning I definitely enjoyed sleeping in, in a room with soft, clean sheets, and lots of pillows, not to mention a lovely bathroom. After two months in Army lodging, my standards were pretty low, but this resort brought them right back up to the top. I enjoyed a lazy morning just looking out our window at the Blue Ridge Mountains, with some fresh coffee, and then took a long shower.
 Before heading back on the road, we finally took a nice walk all around the property. Since we were near the bottom of the Vanderbilt wing, there was a tunnel from the wing out to the resort spa. If we had more time/I wasn't pregnant, I would have liked to get a day pass for the spa just to laze around all day, like we did last year at the Homestead Resort in VA. Instead, I just took a picture in front of the waterfall, with the old Inn building in the background.
 From the original Inn building, you get an amazing view of the mountains, and downtown Asheville not too far away. How lovely is this view?
After a little more exploring, we finally had to get back on the road and head up I-81 back home. One day I would like to get back to Asheville, visit the Biltmore, and explore more of the outdoor space. I would definitely go back to the Grove Park Inn, even if it is a little bit pricey, and hopefully make time to explore that spa!

For now, though, I'm ready to just sleep in every day, finish "nesting," and get in a few more adventures before this sweet potato shows up. We're down to single digit weeks now, which feels like not much time at all! 

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Race Recap: Baltimore Women's Classic 5K 2015

And for my last official "race" of this pregnancy, the Baltimore Women's Classic 5K! I did this race last year, and really enjoyed it, so signed up again for 2015. It's one of the oldest and biggest all-women's races on the East coast, and is really well organized.

Bib pick up
You can pick up your bib at the charm City Run stores in the week leading up to the race, or the morning before, which keeps race prep pretty low stress. Since I've been at Fort Campbell, KY, for the past 7 weeks, and flew back home for this race and a wedding the night before, I was glad I could just walk over to the race start at 7am and pick up my bib then. The finish/start area still had a ton of tents and vendors set up, though, so there was still a little bit of an expo atmosphere.

The course starts and ends right around Rash Field on the Inner Harbor in downtown Baltimore. From there, it follows Key Highway for a little bit, goes up a hill, and winds through Federal Hill fr about a mile and a half before dipping back down to Key Highway and along the harbor to the finish line. There are probably two noticeable hills, one right before the first half mile point and one right before two miles, and the rest was pretty rolling and standard Baltimore terrain. There were two water stops, which was great, even though it wasn't as hot and humid as last year (or I wasn't as hungover as I was last year...). The last 1/3 of a mile goes right along the harbor walk, on the water, with a light breeze, and lots of twists and turns, so you don't see the finish line until after you pass the Rusty Scupper.

My race
Being over 30 weeks pregnant, I wasn't gunning for a PR like I hoped for last year.
Feeling like a whale....but maybe it's not all that bad
I was mostly happy to be able to run at all.....though I use that term liberally. I started out feeling ok, despite only walking for PT for the past week or two, but by the first mile, my shins were on fire, and I slowed to a walk. After trying my old run-walk, and still being in pain, I switched my stride to more of a toe strike, which helped relieve all the strain on my shins but used a little more of my calves than I like. Oh well, no pressure on the pregnant running lady! A little before the 2 mile mark I spotted one of my friends (who was running her first 5K since I made her sign up for it in March), and I stuck with her for the last mile. Since she didn't have her inhaler, and my legs hurt, we made quite a pair running/walking down Key Highway. Despite the gorgeous weather, grabbing a cold water and iced towel at the finish line felt great! We finished in just under 45 minutes of clock time.

As usual, one of the main reasons I run is for the swag, and the BWC never disappoints. At bib pickup you get a t shirt (this year it was an awesome cotton blend, not a technical t, which I actually love just as much as a tech t) and a reusable bag, which is big enough to go in my trunk for when I forget my grocery bags. At the finish line, I also got an ice towel, which I thought was a little odd, but I threw my towel from last year in my gym bag and actually use it quite a bit to wipe down my face after working out, or bring it to the pool with me. It's also one of the few 5Ks that hands out medals, which is just adorable! All finishers also get a rose, which makes the finish line look a little bit like a well-trodden wedding aisle near the end.

After the race, my friends and I met up again and found K, who was an awesome sherpa and carried around our four bags, jackets, extra water bottles, t shirts, and inhalers while also taking insta-worthy photos. He held on to our stuff a little bit longer while we dived into the expo area to grab bagels, Chewy bars, pretzels, more water bottles, and bananas (and watermelon!). I am a HUGE fan of both chewy bars and watermelon at the finish line, so this race always gets an A+ for food! I wasn't able to find a whole box of bars to snag, but I did fit several (dozen) in my bra.

After a few more photos, we all started walking home (being law students without cars, we all live downtown and were able to just walk to the start area), and stopped at Tesfa Cafe right around the block from home for coffee and a croissant.
5K medal, FTW!
I think I'm going to make a little medal hanger for all the medals I've gotten while pregnant, and put it up in the nursery!

Meanwhile, I'm thisclose to being done in Fort Campbell, and I'm so ready to head home! 

Sunday, June 14, 2015

28 Weeks Down!

It's official: two trimesters are over, and I'm only 12 weeks away from being due! EEEK! I still have another three weeks of temporary duty at Fort Campbell, and then it's time to get cracking on baby prep. So far, I've ordered a crib...and picked out about three super I guess I have a lot of work to do. Here's a quick update: 

How far along?  28 Weeks
Total weight gain/measurements: 20 lbs
Maternity clothes: It's summer, so.....kind of. I'm still hiding in "regular" uniforms, though I did upsize to a Small-Regular ACU top and fold down my Small-Short bottoms. In my off time, I pretty much live in SOAS run shorts and tank tops. 
Stretch marks: Nope, and still using Honest belly balm after every shower. 
Sleep: As much as I can get....some nights I'm out by ten, and some nights I stay awake until almost midnight, but I have to be up by six every morning for formation. Over the weekend I woke up a few times to some pretty strong kicks though!
Best moment this week: Spending the weekend on the lake with my friend Ashley! I got a little bit of sun, drank lots of water, and just enjoyed floating in the water!
Miss anything? Uh my bed, my kitchen, my shower, my towels....pretty much everything about being at home. Only three weeks left in this hotel room.... 
Movement: Yes, for sure! As soon as I lay down in bed, she starts doing flips!
Food cravings: Anything cold! My main food group this week was watermelon.
Anything making you queasy or sick? No, unless you count the heat! Walking more than half a mile in this 90+ weather is just painful.
Gender:  Girl!
Labour signs: None, thank goodness! Everyone keeps warning about Braxton-Hicks, but the closest I've had is some tingly obliques after I run.
Symptoms: Other than a belly? My wrists/hands have been a little bit painful from some carpal tunnel, but I feel really lucky that I haven't really had any major symptoms at all so far!
Belly button in or out? In
Wedding rings on or off? On
Happy or moody most of the time: Mostly just's hard to be happy about being in the middle of nowhere by myself in a hotel room. 
Looking forward to: Heading home for a wedding in two weeks! And being home for a good a week after that, so I can get started on this baby stuff for real!
Training: Since I'm here at Fort Campbell for training, I've been making an effort to join in with group PT as much as I can. This week included a day on the track (man, I miss running timed laps!), a gym day (I did kettlebells and the elliptical), and a "long run" of about 3 miles.  For the most part I skip the "hard core" training like ruck marches (I'm already carrying 20 pounds, no need to add an extra 35), very long runs, and ultimate football. I can't wait to get back home so I can get back to the pool, and go to the gym on my time! 

Friday, May 29, 2015

Five Things for Friday

Since I haven't written in a hot minute, I'm going to get back into this slowly with an easy, random, unstructured Five Things on Friday! Here's five things on my mind this evening:

1. Pregnancy, Week 26 down!

I can't say it was quick, but I have to say it's true that the second trimester is the best! This week I started dragging a little bit again, and I miss all the energy I had! I am back on the grand Army schedule, and up around 5:45am for an hour of PT, then working 9-5, all without caffeine! I know I've been having problems with my nutrition, and focus on getting enough protein and vegetables but not enough on eating small, frequent meals, which makes my energy drop quite a bit during the day.

Also, being back in a unit brings out my competitive side, and now is not the time to try to keep up on the run! My feet have been hurting a little more, despite new inserts, but this week I still managed to get in a 4 mile run, a gym day, a day of ab work/slow sprints, and then a two mile walk. Not quite what I've been putting in over the last few months, but I'm still exhausted!

In the last few weeks, though, I've definitely been feeling this little sweet potato start moving, a lot! Maybe it's because I've been squeezing her into uncomfortable Army pants, but laying in bed and watching my belly jump around is definitely a little weird! It's also good motivation to keep moving, because she definitely starts kicking more when I stop to walk during a run or workout.

Some things I am loving right now: my Bao Bei belly sports bra, all of my water bottles (I usually have two with me and one in the car), and watermelon! So much watermelon!

2. New SOAS Herringbone tights

Today, SOAS announced a special run of Herringbone tights! How cute/adorable/awesome are these!

Of course I ordered a small right away, and now I'm seriously considering going back and adding a matching sports bra to my order. I haven't tried the SOAS tights yet, since I just couldn't decide which ones I wanted (I've almost ordered the Barcelona Nights and Team 2.0, but keep missing my size), so I'm pretty excited for these. I packed THREE pairs of the SOAS run shorts, and I pretty much live in them (right now I'm sitting on my bed in my ambassador shorts, tank top and hoodie), and I just missed delivery of the new razor tank top and Sunset Cliffs shorts, so those are waiting at home for me. The waistband on these shorts and tights is so perfect for my growing belly, and even when I wasn't pregnant, I loved them! (Don't forget you can use code HANNAHHE to get 10% off if you want to order some)

3. Nashville

I've been working on my list of things I want to see/do/eat in Nashville while I'm here. So far I've been there to go to the airport (to fly to SD to visit my dear husband for MDW) and to pick up groceries at Whole Foods. Of course I will have to find the best cupcakes in Nashville, probably find a cute little coffee shop for all this work I need to squeeze in on weekends, and maybe even hit up some antique shops. I'll probably also be looking for a nice spa for a prenatal massage/facial before I leave too, just to keep me amused on the weekends. And, of course, visit places like Belmont and the Hermitage. Any suggestions?

4. Races for 2016!

While I've been trying to make it through 4 mile runs (and looking forward to the Baltimore Women's Classic 5K in a few weeks!), I've also been obsessing about perfecting a training plan and race schedule for next year. So far, I'm already signed up for the RnR DC half in March, the RnR SD Full in May (eek!), I'm waiting patiently for the Glass Slipper Challenge registration, and would LOVE to do Superfrog 70.3 in September. It's also my last year in Baltimore, so I will hopefully be able to jump on all those local races that I love or haven't done yet, like the Zooma Annapolis Half (though I think it's the same weekend as SD), and the Cherry Blossom Ten Miler. I definitely plan on building up from zero after recovering from this baby and crushing it next year!

5. Nursery planning

Of course, even though I'm out here in Kentucky, I have all kinds of plans for the nursery for when I get back. I've been trying to pick out the perfect pieces for a nice San Diego-themed gallery wall, and building up my online registry with pretty much everything covered in sea horses and mermaids. While I was out in SoCal last weekend, I picked up this adorable onesie:

Friday, May 8, 2015

Summer in Kentucky: Packing for TWO MONTHS

Now that the craziness of finals week is over (no really, have you heard how Baltimore has been lately?), it's time to relax.....just kidding, I'm leaving tomorrow for eight weeks at Fort Campbell, KY, for my summer on the job training with the Army. No, I am not really looking forward to spending two months away from home while I'm six months pregnant, but I'm trying to stay positive about all I'm going to learn, and take advantage of the opportunity to focus on staying healthy.

Today I packed everything I thought I'll need for two months in a hotel suite. I tried to write this all down so I don't forget anything.

2 x ACUs (I refuse to wear the maternity ACUs, but I hear most CIFs don't have them right now anyway because the Army is starting to field a new camo pattern. Hopefully my small-shorts will stay on with a rubber band for the next two months...)
6 x PT uniforms (shorts and t shirts)
5 x tan t shirts
2 x boots and 5 x boot socks
2 x running shoes and 10 x ugly ankle-length white socks

I'll have access to a laundry room, so I'm just planning on doing laundry every weekend. I'm bringing Tide free & clear pods, since they're easier to pack and I've never worried about spilling half a tub of laundry detergent.

Kitchen stuff:
different sized tupperware so I can pack my own lunches
an immersion blender and cup
protein shakers
Clif bars and Picky bars
Beach trail mix from Trader Joe's
3 water bottles
2 months of prenatal vitamins and DHA
I just ran out of protein powder, so I'll just have to find something clean and chocolately when I get there

Honest sunblock spray
Honest belly balm
Honest shampoo/body wash
Lush conditioner bar
Sea salt body scrub
Neutrogena foaming face wash
Neutrogena liquid sunblock/face lotion
tons of hair ties/bobby pins/clips and all my new fancy SweatyBands

J.crew maternity jeans
J.crew minnie pants in black
5 tank tops/3 t shirts
bao bei bellyband
2 SOAS shorts, 1 pair of black shorts
SOAS tri top and black swim bottoms
Lululemon LBD/Pinkblush maxi dress
rainbows sandals and black Sperry flats

On the one hand, I feel like I'm way overpacking. On the other hand, this is a tiny percentage of what I live with on a day to day basis. Maybe it will help me "downsize" a little bit when I get home (though I doubt K will have the same ideas), but for now, I'm fine with not having too many options for clothing. Right now, I still feel like I haven't quite hit that "cute bump" stage and only my close friends I see every day think I look pregnant. I know wearing a uniform everyday, and gym clothes in my spare time, won't make me feel great, so maybe I'll need to find a new way to make myself feel good about being fat (other than knowing that every day brings me a little bit closer to meeting my little girl); maybe I'll revert back to my deployment habit of ordering colorful new under wear every month.

Other than work, though, I'm definitely looking forward to some adventures! A good friend is having her bachelorette party in Nashville in June, Pitch Perfect 2 is coming out soon, and I might even do something fun for Memorial Day. Can't wait to explore the area!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Sole of the City 10K 18 April 2015

I'm officially done with classes for my 2L year! Now, just two finals and two papers to go......and what better way to procrastinate on all of that than by typing up a quick race review for the Sole of the City 10K this past weekend!

I found a picture of me running on the race site, so I'm clipping it! I got to wear my full TEAM SOAS kit for an actual race, and I love it!

Yeah, I feel like I look like I just ate a lot of pizza (which I may have the night before), but seeing as how I'm at almost five months and barely have a bump except at night....I'll take it.

The Sole of the City 10K is an event put on my Charm City Run, and goes right through the "best" parts of downtown Baltimore. It starts at McHenry Row, near Fort McHenry, then winds past the Inner Harbor, down to Fells Point, back through Harbor East, and then up the IH and back to McHenry Row. For the most part, it's a pretty flat course, except for a few hills in the neighborhood, and hits a few cobblestone streets.

CCR always does really great events (I'm going to their Ladies' Night tonight, so that should be fun!) and has stores around Maryland, so packet pickup was a breeze. K and I stopped by the McHenry Row store on Friday night, picked up our bib, and were out in five minutes. We both opted not to get the race premium this year, UA hoodies, since I didn't really like the women's style and K already has plenty of hoodies. Last year's premium was a UA quarterzip coldweather jacket, and I absolutely loved that one.

The race is on a Saturday morning, which I think is great! I love kicking off my weekend with a race and then still having the rest of the weekend to get things done. Also, it started at 9, which means we didn't even have to leave our house until 8:30! It was a quick walk down to catch the free Circulator bus that went right to the ace start at McHenry Row. Sometimes I forget how awesome local races area, especially when they're within walking distance!

The weather in April was absolutely perfect for racing, and definitely the nicest morning we've had all year! It started out a little bit chilly, but got into the 70s by the end of the race, and was plenty sunny. I remember to put on sunblock, but by halfway through the race I was definitely feeling the heat. I did bring my fuelbelt sprint, though, and filled it up at both water stops, to make sure I stayed plenty hydrated.

As I said, this course is pretty flat, and also very scenic. Since K had a rough week at the gym, he promised to stay with me for the race, and I kept a pretty good run-walk system of about a half mile of running to a tenth of a mile of walking, and kept our pace a little under a 12:00 minute mile on average. My little sweet potato didn't seem to like it when I stopped to walk, though, so maybe we have a little speedster on our hands.

We finished in just a little over 1:12, right on pace, and then stopped to enjoy the finish line party. They had awesome food, including wraps, pretzels, chips, and we also snagged a bunch of chewy bars! There was also two beer truck stops, and the line wasn't too terrible for either.

Overall, if you're local in Baltimore, this is an awesome race to start off the spring! It's local, easy to get to with public trans, the premium is always really nice, and it's just nice to run on the same roads you usually do, but without worrying about any cars! 

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Halfway done! 20 Week Bump Update

I can't believe it, but Baby H and I are halfway through this pregnancy journey! I definitely haven't been doing those weekly "bump updates," but here's what's been going on so far:

The first trimester was a CRAZY time balancing constant fatigue and extra demands of school. In January and February, I somehow managed to sleep about 12 hours a day, keep up with classes, turn in a student note for publication and do edits, and compete in a moot court competition. I definitely wasn't going to the gym as much as I probably could have, but I was so tired and stressed out and trying to avoid the usual winter sicknesses, it was probably a good thing. Whenever I did have time to work out, it was usually a quick spin session on my indoor trainer, or a short, low intensity lifting session. I tried to keep my diet balanced, but was mostly able to keep down soft carbs like pasta or PB&J, and even though I never got any bad nausea or morning sickness, I definitely lost a few pounds.

Since the end of February, though, I've been feeling great! I feel kind of like I'm back in training for a big event, but with none of the hard work! I'm paying attention to my diet to make sure I get the fuel I need; I'm resting, going to bed early, and sleeping in compression socks; all of my workouts have a focus, even though I try not to spike my heart rate too much and get tired a little earlier than I used to. Just like marathon training, but no long runs! Having some energy back has been nice, because school definitely has not slowed down, and now I'm gearing up for finals!

And, since it's that magical halfway point, K and I went and had our anatomy scan ultrasound yesterday, and guess what?! It's a girl! She's growing just fine, and is plenty wiggly.

Even though I'll be spending May and June at Fort Campbell, KY, of course I've started planning some nursery decor. We wanted a "San Diego" theme, and now I can add lots of mermaids!

As far as running and training have been going, I've definitely got a few new favorites!
- I've pretty much been living in my Team SOAS running shorts and tank top, because the waistband is so stretchy and comfy. I've been waiting for the next round of Barcelona Nights shorts for the summer! I also started wearing my tri tops with black compression shorts for my swim workouts, just because I appreciate the extra coverage on my butt.
- I also invested in a new pair of Asics Kayanos and Superfeet insoles. I heard a lot about how all the pregnancy relaxin hormones can cause arches to fall, so I figured now is as good a time as any to invest in some good feet support.
- I've also been wearing my Zoot Compression 2.0 socks, both at night and during the day under my trousers. Now that it's getting warmer, I fully intend to rock my usual summer recovery look of wet hair, race t shirt, running shorts, and compression gear with flip flops.
- I've also just started getting a bump (and have gained all of six pounds), so I also ordered a Bao Bei Belly Sports Bra, which will hopefully be useful all summer while I can still run, and to cover my belly so I can still wear my usual race shirts.

Does anyone have any good tips for surviving the second half while enduring summer in Kentucky and Maryland? 

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Tri Talk Tuesday: The Bike Trainer

Today is Tri Talk Tuesday, hosted Cynthia over at You signed up for WHAT?!, Phaedra at Blisters and Black Toenails, and Courtney at The TriGirl Chronicles

This week we're talking about the BIKE TRAINER. Since the bike is a HUGE part of every triathlon, it only makes sense that a HUGE part of tri training is spending time on the bike. For those of us who can't just hop on the bike and go for a 20 mile ride anytime, for reasons such as schedules, weather, and location, an indoor bike trainer is where most of this training happens. 

I only just recently invested in an indoor trainer, this past December actually. This means for the last two seasons that I've been here in Baltimore, a huge majority of my bike training was spin classes and 90 minute sessions on a spin bike at the gym, with only one ride a week outdoors, when the weather was decent. Not ideal, but it got the job done. 

Since I got my new trainer, though, I must say I don't know why I waited so long (other than for obvious reasons like space). It was literally a life saver this past winter when my gym was closed on snow days, and I was cooped up inside for days at a time without the courage to brave the icy streets to even walk to school. Here's my top 5 favorite things about having a trainer permanently stationed in my living room:
1) During my first trimester, when I spent most of my time curled up in that pile of blankets you see on my couch trying not to move, whenever I did get a random burst of energy, I had the option of just hopping on my bike for a quick session. This was awesome, because that random burst usually came at 8pm when it was about 5 degrees outside and the gym simply wasn't an option. 

2) I can wear whatever I want. No worries about matching shirt and shorts, or even a shirt, or even clean shorts. For the most part, I can hop on my bike in a sports bra and cycling shorts and the hit the shower.

3) That fifth season of Bones isn't going to watch itself for the third time. I might as well be getting in a good sweat session while "catching up" on the aftermath of the Gravedigger. 

4) Let's face it, law school kind of sucks and has a lot of ups and downs and deadlines and frustrating days when hearsay just doesn't make sense. When I've had enough of writing a paper or trying to figure out the rules of evidence, a long, fast spin session can be a good release. 

5) Last but not least, I can make my husband jealous when he hears my trainer going and he's just sitting on the couch getting fat (or recovering from his own earlier workout).  

Since I'm not in any sort of training cycle right now, I'm not doing too many targeted workouts. My usual trainer session is about 42 minutes (the length of an hour TV show without commercials) and involves randomly adjusting the resistance. Stay tuned, though, because I anticipate this piece of equipment becoming my best friend again next year as I tackle a baby/the bar/another 70.3!