Friday, August 31, 2012

last Friday before school starts...

Our family has had a bit of whirlwind year.
Engaged, married, pregnant within a span of seven-ish months.
I hope my son has had a great summer, his last summer as our "only."

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

twenty two weeks

I woke up at 4am thinking about waffles and Nutella and that was it...
Wiiiiiiiiide awake.

While bike racing seems to consume my dreams lately, food occupies an embarrassing portion of my thoughts during waking hours. Suddenly, I am ravenous pretty much all. day. long.

What else has the twenty two week mark brought me?
  • anticipation for Halloween when Count Chocula and Frankenberry cereal will be readily available again
  • lots of attention from Max directed toward my belly (he has taken to talking to his future sibling..."are you a sister or a brother? Come on, poke me or something...")
  • insomnia (nothing new to me)
  • the realization that I may not want to wait til the last minute for Christmas shopping this year (the fact that I am even thinking about Christmas in August is pretty remarkable...don't you worry, I am not changing my procrastinator ways entirely) 
  • an ever-increasing appreciation for my husband's patience...I am a mess,  sometimes constantly fretting about stretch marks I don't even have, being indecisive and acting like what we're having for dinner is the most insurmountable and overwhelming choice one could possibly have to make...I'm sure it's exhausting, but he is taking it like a champ ("Bill, you're breathing too loud...")  
At least the boys will wake up to homemade waffles this morning...

Monday, August 27, 2012

37 vs 30

Pregnant at 30:
Staying up late, poring enthusiastically over the Book with the Ugly Cover, too excited to sleep.

Pregnant at 37:
Asleep by 9pm, too tired to leaf through trashy gossip mags (the updated Book with the Ugly Cover was abandoned during the first trimester when a frozen bag of strawberries thawed and leaked all over it, rendering it the Book with the Ugly Moldy Cover).

What's up with the frozen strawberries? Gross.
Oh...I was too lazy to make a proper ice pack for a hormone-induced raging headache...I guess I was also too lazy to properly dispose of said "ice pack" and it found a comfortable place to thaw on my bedside table.
Poor, poor Bill...  

Saturday, August 25, 2012

calling it...

"Marsh Creek?"
I couldn't decide where to ride and then it occurred to me...

It's almost September.
Nearly six months pregnant, I've decided to call more moutain biking for me.
At this point, my belly is much bigger (which confounds me because I have only gained eleven pounds so far) and the baby is not as well protected if I fall or crash.
It's not worth it.
I'll still ride the bike paths around here and I have even unearthed my old spinning bike from the basement for some workouts when the weather is perfect for cross bad.

quick aside: Yes, I have an actual Spinning bike...years ago, I spent a few days at U of Penn to become a certified Spinning instructor. To be honest, the music snob in me was the impetus to start teaching. And it was a lot of fun.

Calling it.
I feel lucky to have been able to continue riding trails this far along, but not as lucky as I feel to be carrying a squirming, kicking, very active baby.
As for that very active baby, I caught a glimpse of some freakishly long legs stretched out during our ultrasound last Showers, indeed.

Thursday, August 23, 2012


My sister-in-law broadcasted on Facebook that the taproom just tapped Green Flash Imperial IPA.
I have had a few sips here and there along the way of whatever Bill happens to be enjoying at Sunday dinner, but I haven't had an adult beverage since April.
It's not a big deal and I certainly don't miss alcohol (in fact, the few sips I've indulged in have tasted odd), but Green Flash is one of my favorites.
It reminds me of sitting at TJ's with Sara on a Thursday night while she makes fun of me for being old.

I think I miss my friend more than I miss my beer...why does Texas have to be so far away?
Summer without a beer is kinda weird...


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

head high barriers

two cross dreams in one night:
1) I am racing Town Hall cross with all the usual suspects, except it's nighttime and the barriers are! I approach the barriers and dismount, dejected...everyone is laughing at me.

2)'s super muddy. I've forgotten my kit and I'm racing in my jeans. The starting grid is two lanes wide. Two lanes. We are called up, two by two. I'm next to Diane Vettori (hi, Diane)...she gives me an extra pair of gloves she just happens to be holding. I may be wearing jeans, but at least I have some sweet gloves to race in.
Again, it's nighttime.

Cross dreams...appropriate this time of year, I suppose. My cross bike is literally gathering dust.

Monday, August 20, 2012


caught in a downpour at the national zoo...

We ventured to Virginia this weekend to help send off one one of the coolest, most classiest women I've ever had the pleasure of racing with. She's moving to Minnesota and I am going to miss her presence here on the east coast.
Even though silly real life logistics such as location/work/being grownups have kept us from hanging out on a regular basis, our friendship has grown beyond the start grids and caution tape where we first became acquainted.
Cross is like that.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

twenty weeks (only twenty more to go)

Clearly, the focus here has greatly shifted from race reports/riding/adventures on the trails/cross cross cross/practice race repeat  to the occasional ride/mostly musings on my current state (expecting).
If you've stuck with me, thanks...
If you've had enough of my burgeoning belly and pregnancy updates, I invite you to return in the spring.
I'll still be here, working my ass off to balance mothering an infant (and second-grader) and hopefully getting reacquainted with our local mountain bike series.
Time will tell.

Until then, here are my ruminations of being twenty weeks pregnant at age 37 (Advanced Maternal Age, pshhhh, really?)...
I am coming to terms with looking like this:
Guys, it's not that bad.
I have no idea how much weight I've gained, but it's nice to be round and curvy for a change.
Yes, my belly awkwardly bumps the tops of my quads thighs when I am climbing the smallest of hills at White Clay.
I don't have quads anymore.
My leg muscles are definitely less defined thanks to moderate efforts on the easiest terrain, but hey, I'm building a human.
But, I am still moving.
If anything, I am more inclined to go for a long walk in the evening than before I was pregnant. Even after a tiring day at work, it feels almost meditative to wander around the neighborhoods as the days get shorter.
Maternity clothes still suck, though.
Without completely breaking the bank, I found a few cute pieces...cute jeans that won't stay up, for one. I am beyond the little tricks and modifications for my regular clothes and the horrible belly panel on maternity skirts/jeans sucks. Most of the summer dresses and skirts in my closet still fit, but I'll be scrambling a little when the weather turns colder.
So, yeah...I am finally coming to terms with the physical changes.

Emotionally, I am starting to realize it's more than just being pregnant.
It's a family of three becoming four.
It's unending sleep deprivation and choking hazards and constant supervision and running low on diapers and cleaning bottles and even more laundry...
But, it's exciting...
I am getting excited to hold and snuggle a baby again.
Swaddling. Feeding. Stroller adventures. First smiles. First giggles.
First sleeping through the night (okay, with Max that came around nine months...and that was maybe a six hour stretch).

twenty weeks.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

but, I don't want to play in the rain...

An emergency at the office left me with a surprise day off today.
I'll take it.
My dad and I had plans to ride, but it's been a rainy, stormy morning and I just want to stay put.
If cross season was looming for me, I'd be out there chasing him around muddy fields with my lungs inside out.
But, I am training for Baby this year, not cyclocross.

Tomorrow I will be half-way there, twenty weeks pregnant.
A patient's mom pointed to my bump enormous belly the other day and said, "Hey, I thought I was just looking at your wedding pictures."
Blushing, I kinda shrugged and said, "Honeymoon."
Lady, what are you insinuating?

At prenatal yoga, all the ready-to-pop/due-in-September moms were lamenting about the good old days, the comfort and ease of the blessed Second Trimester.
When I mentioned that I am due in January, it fell on deaf ears (because I guess I'm not "as pregnant" as them)...
So silly.

I'm just trying to keep moving and enjoying feeling this way.

Later this week, we will take another peek at the baby (and it will actually look like a baby this time). I'm really good at worrying about things that are out of my control, which means I am already fretting over whether everything is developing the way it's supposed to in there.
I'm excited to see the little one, but also just scared scared scared.

I didn't look like this a couple months ago

Saturday, August 11, 2012

thank you, London

One of my first dates with my husband was a track meet at Henderson High School (my old school).
Bill and his former relay team were being honored with a Hall of Fame plaque and I tagged along to meet his brothers and dad for the first time.
The track meet itself was exciting and reminded me of watching a cross race...the action was pretty straightforward and I was transfixed.
I have never played's been established here that I failed gym in high school and was required to take phys ed every day my senior year (and twice on Thursdays) in order to graduate. Even that was a close call and I squeaked by that last semester, days before graduation, only by agreeing to do the calligraphy for the football team's certificates. I hated sports, I hated gym.
Volleyball? I used to turn around, facing away from the net (or stand with my arms crossed, only moving to dodge away from the ball).
Basketball? While I was a pretty hardcore Sixers fan, when it came time to show my (5'2") stuff on the court, I'd "forget" my uniform and be relegated to study  write elaborate notes to my friends on the bleachers.
The mile run portion of our fitness test? That was awesome...I would walk, sullenly, the opposite direction of everyone else along the perimeter of the track.
Clearly, I was most secure in the art studio/darkroom/english class/library, while Gym only confounded my surly high school self and brought out the worst in me. I can't believe how lousy my attitude was, yet I can totally believe how lousy my attitude was.  
Needless to say, I certainly didn't attend any track meets, or any sporting events for that matter, when I went to Henderson.
Initially, getting to know Bill, I couldn't quite grasp the enormity of his past  running accomplishments...I didn't know the specifics of his events, let alone the intricacies of running 800 meters solo vs a 4 man relay team vs a 100 meter sprint. As far as I could tell, you just run like hell around the track until it's time to stop.

Clearly, over the years I have gained an appreciation for fitness and athleticism through my own love of cycling. I have so much more respect for athletes and for sport itself, having finally tasted competition/victory/defeat for myself. It's taken a long time, but I get it now.

This year, more than ever, I have been transfixed by the Olympics, much like I was transfixed (and inspired) by that track meet at Henderson two years ago. Although I've always been into some aspects of the Games (gymnastics when I was a little kid, for sure) and can recall some of the more noteworthy, storied Olympic moments (I don't know why I remember Mary Decker's fall in '84), I never made a point to watch every night.   
However, The London Games have found the three of us winding down together at the end of each day with swimming, diving, gymnastics, cycling, power lifting, boxing, track and field, whatever we can catch that night. While I constantly ply Bill with questions about running (what are their shoes like? how come they start in that position? how do they train for that?),  Max is busy admiring the girls (and their "tight, shiny suits") on the balance beam and uneven bars. I also believe it's no coincidence that my son has become incredibly brave and confident in the pool these past few weeks. We've witnessed records being broken and seen some ridiculously badass displays of strength and skill in all kinds of disciplines. I like that my kid is curious and excited about sports.
If anything, he's growing up with an appreciation for sport that I never had...with any luck, our kid(s) will at least face the net and try to run the mile when it's time. 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

trail fail

Normally, this time of year I am beginning cross workouts with BP.
Scramble from work to our not-so-secret practice location...
pedal back to the cars, sweaty and exhausted
Repeat every week as the days get shorter and shorter...

Although, I have no need (or desire) to partake in the cross workouts,  I thought it would be fun to join BP on his preparatory trail runs (roughly 25 mins at a moderate pace, not to give away all his secrets)...
Fifteen minutes into tonight's run, I had to slow to a walk as weird pains crept into my lower belly (not weird alarming pains or cramps...just enough pain to say, hey,maybe this isn't the most favorable workout for me at this point).
So, I relented to my body and finished up with a brisk walk.
Limitations, there has to be some...

Saturday, August 4, 2012

bitches (Moms, you should know better...)

I went to target & exchanged my Centrum prenatal vitamins for Nature Made...
The Centrum vitamins upset my stomach, but I think it was the lingering doubt/guilt that was plaguing me (thus causing my upset stomach) after a conversation with a pregnant friend about our vitamins.
About my inferior vitamins.
The judgement moms and moms-to-be pass on one another is ridiculous and kind of sickening (and I'll be the first to admit, I've been one of those bitches rolling my eyes or sneering that I am doing a much better job at taking care of my kid/taking care of myself...).

My son is seven now.
I am amazed at how independent he is...I am actually bewildered sometimes at the things he can accomplish all. by. himself.
Simple things like shoe-tying...not-so-simple things like swimming in the deep end, confidently ordering dinner at a restaurant with excellent manners, or navigating another child's bad mood with genuine empathy.
Do you know how awesome it is after a long, tiring (brutally hot, lately) day to send your kid upstairs to get ready for bed completely and totally on their own?
To be able to finally sit on your ass while you trust your kid to perform tasks such as showering, brushing their teeth, putting pajamas on, and turning off the lights before coming back downstairs?
It's a big deal when your kid can safely turn the water on the correct temperature, shower unsupervised  without assistance and actually end up clean.
Where was I going with this?
I would like to think my kid is well-adjusted/polite/pleasant/independent/awesome because of the fantastic job i've been doing as his mom.
That's kind of naive, though...
I can claim credit for some of that, but I also believe it's partly luck of the draw.
It's luck and circumstance and a whole host of influences much bigger than me...
It's hard work and determination and steadfastness and consistency and the tireless support of family and friends...

It's why I try not to be so snarky or judgemental about other moms (and moms-to-be).
It's why I try not to make a face when other women talk about their birth plan or what kind of high chair they use or whether they use cloth or disposable diapers or whether they feed their baby formula or breast milk (that's a touchy one...jesus christ)...
It's why I am defensive about some of the choices I make (like continuing to mountain bike nearly half-way through my pregnancy or foregoing genetic testing to learn whether our baby has certain birth defects).
I'd like to see a little less criticism and judgement and a little more encouragement and support.

All this because of some vitamins I picked up at Target.
(and the deluge of hormones, no doubt)

my firstborn 2004

my firstborn (now)

Friday, August 3, 2012


I can feel the baby move now...
mostly when I am in bed reading or when I first wake up, but now there are subtle flutters and pops randomly throughout the day, too.
I forgot how strange and amazing this feels.

I am still comfortable on my bike, but the heat and humidity have kept me off the trails this week. Instead, I've been taking long, brisk walks after dinner.  
Long, brisk walks that leave me plenty of time to marvel at the changes quickly taking over my body (by the end of the day, my wedding ring is too tight from water retention/swelling...for one).
Long, brisk walks that leave my legs tired and ensure at least a few solid hours of good sleep.
This pregnancy has me conflicted.
I am having a hard time surrendering to the belly, the swelling, the heightened emotions, the constant physical change.
I so wish I could revel in the physical aspect of being pregnant.
With Max, I felt like the Champion of the Pregnancy Glow...I felt strong and confident. Full of energy.
I was proud of the belly.
This time, I'm fully aware of the awesome task at hand...the blessing of building a human inside me.
I get that.
I just want to be able to reconcile what's going on behind the scenes/beneath the surface and what I am seeing outside.

Huge, I tell you...