I just rode into week 36 of pregnancy. At a blistering 11.6 mph….
Right now on Slowtwitch they’re talking about how my seat is too high and my stack and reach is way out of whack.
And I don’t give a damn! I’m just happy that I can still get my expanding ass on to the bike seat. And it’s not easy. After week 32 I started noticing that the good old Selle Italia seat is not meant for wide loads.
Have I mentioned that I’m over being pregnant? Yes, I’ve reached the point of now just laughing at myself. I’ve also reached the point where my husband laughs at myself. He was looking at my belly last night and said:
I don’t know how it’s going to get any bigger.
I KNOW! But I also know that it will get bigger and that is what scares me.
Speaking of bigger, warning here to all of the pregnant woman: do not under any circumstances attempt to put on a piece of clothing from your previous life once you pass week 32. It goes without saying that it won’t fit. But there is no need to add insult to injury by discovering just how much it doesn’t fit.
The valuable lesson I learned is that my old running shorts don’t fit because of my hips. I have hips? Is this what they mean when they talk about birthing hips? Do these hips go away? Because I can’t afford a whole new wardrobe of running clothes.
So I’m big and over it. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, we can talk about something else.
Today I entered week 36. I was at the quarry the other night, swimming lovely 50 long course meter laps at a lovely pace that used to be the interval I sent off on with 30 seconds rest when it hit me that I only have 4 to 5 weeks left. I’m almost done. I get to go back to being me. It’s hard to believe it. Like one of those I’ll believe it when I see it scenarios.
Or when I don’t see it. I’d really not like to see my stomach jutting out every time I look down.
I’ll be honest with you. As excited as I am about this being over, I am also a little scared. Because I’ve made the mistake of reading some birthing stories and let me tell you – there are things you don’t need to know. It’s kind of like reading a race report which should educate you but just ends up scaring the shit out you and leaves you questioning whether you are ready or whether you ever could be ready for something as EPIC as….childbirth.
In the category of epic things, I lasted 55 minutes yesterday on the elliptical. I wore my heart rate monitor for kicks and giggles. These days my heart rate just hangs in the 130s. The only way it really goes up is if I go into a porta potty on a very hot day. I discovered that while walking last week. I made my usual every 20 minutes trip to the porta potty to find my heart rate climbed from the 110s to 142. I thought to myself why the hell am I wasting my time walking 8 miles with my heart rate around 110 when I can just sit in the porta potty for half the time at 142?
I’ve been walking. And also riding. I also got Chris to recently re-pimp my ride. Even with the flip up handlebars on my mountain bike, I now need to be higher. The end result – something so ridiculous that I refuse to post pictures. I almost refused to ride it. But then I saw some guy riding down the street with a bike built just like mine and a basket on front (no joke) and thought – hell, if he can do it on State Route 56, I can do it on the privacy of the path.
As you can tell from the picture above, the other night I had to ride my time trial bike indoors. As I spun along at a wattage I used to think you could only hold by spinning by your pedals backwards, I had this great idea that maybe I could increase my speed by getting a little more aerodynamic. Reduce my frontal drag. Strap on an aero helmet. It didn’t work. I was maintaining 12.7 mph. I’m thinking about uploading my power file into WKO+ just to be sure I can quantify the training stress I produced with that ride before I find myself in a hole of overpregnancyovertraining.
I was riding indoors because it was storming balls outside. The safest place to be in a whogotgodreallypissed storm is on your trainer in the basement. Apparently the tornado sirens were going off but we didn’t know. I was too busy pedaling and talking to Chris as he rode next to me. It was like old times. About 30 minutes earlier I had to rescue him from the track. He rode over to the track before the storm blew in and I found him in the middle of a 1600 with ominous clouds impending from the north and lightning bolts crackling all around him. He told me I was a good wife to come and get him, I just knew that if I didn’t pull out the shepherd’s hook and take him off the track, I might find him like a cartoon skeleton burnt into the track from lightning.
And how would I explain that to Max?
The weather here, as you can tell, has been glorious. The other day it was a 100 degree heat index and so I did not leave the house. The next day it was about 100 percent less humidity but still 88 degrees and the only time I left the house was to walk Boss. I happened to walk him by the house of The Man With A Thousand Dogs. The man literally has something like a thousand dogs that he walks on one of those multi-leash systems, a dog in each size that dogs come in. He himself is a large man with a loud, nasal voice that likes to shout at each of his 1000 dogs.
Anyways, I noticed that he has a pool in his backyard. And a few times have noticed him lying next to it –and this was a disturbing sight. But today as I walked Boss by his house, I realized I am missing a golden opportunity here. It’s hot outside, the pool is cold, I’m large, he’s large and we could both lay together, large, next to the pool while shouting at our 1001 dogs.
Unfortunately, he was not laying outside so I could not propose this offer to him.
At this point in pregnancy and heat (I’m not in heat, it’s just hot outside), the only thing that sounds good is ice cream. I’ve tried to refrain for eating it because if I ate ice cream every time it sounded good I would be larger than the man with 1000 dogs. But I’m at the point where no food sounds good, no food sits well and my stomach has very little room for it anyways. I don’t understand how women gain 60+ pounds in pregnancy. Where do they put all of the food?
I’m still not at Ironman weight. I keep getting on the scale waiting for it to crack 140 and … nothing. I’m stuck at 139.4 lbs. I think when I finally hit 140.6 pounds I will celebrate by swimming 2.4 miles since that is the only Ironman-type thing I can do right now. I also realized that I am now closer to my husband’s weight than my own weight when I started. That scares me a little. We were riding on the path the other day when I was struggling with a hill – and that term is relative, it was more like a false flat but in pregnancy all those false flats are true hills – and told him to just go ahead, not to wait for me. Out of pity, he waited and justified my slowness. He told me I was not only hauling myself at about 140 pounds but roughly 30 pounds of mountain bike (probably more like 25 but add on another 5 pounds of spacers and those ridiculous handlebars!) . So, I am now hauling around 170 pounds. Which means that my legs are going to be strong as steel when all of this is done.
By my calculations, since I’m hauling around something bigger than my husband it’s safe to say that next year I will be stronger than him too. You see, there are benefits to pregnancy.
Part of my workout plan also includes family walks. That would be me, Chris, Boss and Max. Somehow I get the short end of the stick carrying around 50 percent of the family but …. Tonight we went to Herrick Lake. I got a preview of Chris’ parenting skills. We were walking around the lake and Chris was letting Boss walk on the rocks. Not the safest thing, if you ask me, but Chris assured me that Boss needed freedom to explore the world. Sure.
Almost on cue, Boss takes a wrong step off one of the rocks and lands himself in the lake. Imagine my 10 pound Mexican Barking Cat completely covered in duckweed and strings of milfoil from that nasty lake while trying to doggie paddle himself back to the rocks. He looked like a little green monster! Somehow I managed not to piss myself at this sight while also thinking wow, Boss, with a swim stroke like that you’d most certainly make the Ironman cut off. You always hear about dogs being able to swim and I always thought it was mostly bullshit but he was really doing it. It’s like we have the next Phelps here.
But all we really had was a very wet, mucky Chihuahua who needed a second bath for the week.
After the walk we went for dinner. I confessed to Chris that I was starting to get scared about giving birth. His response, what are you scared about? Hmm…let me see…
To which he responded, how bad can it hurt?
Easy for he without a uterus to say.
It’s kind of like a race. I know I’m prepared and I trust that I am capable of handling whatever is thrown my way but that doesn’t negate the fact that this is going to hurt like hell. And I’m going to have to grit my teeth, dig deep into my reserves and gut it out.
Or, ask for the very powerful drugs.
So, to wrap up, I’m big, I’m scared and I’m riding a bike that rivals what your grandma is riding around town. I might as well be wearing my aero helmet backwards.
Did I mention how much I’m enjoying these last few weeks of pregnancy?