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!