Race Schedule and Results

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Ten Tidbit Thursday

1.  I'm 39 weeks and 2 days pregnant.  I can barely form a rational thought, let alone an entire blog post so forgive the top ten list style post.  It's the easiest way to keep my thoughts in one place.  And yes, this explanation actually counts as one of the ten things so I really only have to do 9. :)

2.  I have a feeling it's going to be a hot summer here in Georgia.  We lucked out last year with a relatively mild summer - aka, we didn't need the ac on all the time.  It's gotten to the point where I'm pushing my limit of heat tolerance within my own home.  As a very wise George Darden explained this past weekend "the South wouldn't exist if there wasn't air conditioning".  Amen brother!

3.  I sat in bed this morning watching my sleepy husband come to a living state (one of my favorite things to do).  It's usually fairly cute to watch as he sleeps so soundly once he falls asleep.  As he was coming out of the comatose state that he had been in, he rolls over and says something to the effect of "we are all dying.  Every day we die a little more".   I said "but Abigail will be born soon, not dying" to which he responded "the day she's born, she'll slowly start dying too". Well good morning my love and thanks for the positive start to the day.  I still don't totally know where that came from, but we got a little bit of sugar in him as his blood glucose level might have been a wee bit low and moved on with our day.We'll just leave it at that!

4.  This past weekend we had probably one of the best Memorial Day holidays we've had ever.  Saturday night we went to a place called Masterpiece Mixers where we painted canvases.  I have been eying the place for some time now and have always wanted to go which is ironic considering I have zero artistic ability in me.  Maybe that is what fascinated me.  So I dragged Tom set up date night with Tom (they do serve beer and wine so it wasn't a hard sell) and we went for a two hour canvas painting adventure.  It was awesome.  And I must say, for us having absolutely no artistic ability, the pictures came our really really well. 

I want to go back when I can drink and maybe bring some open minded friends who would be interested in going.  Then, on Monday, we went to Stone Mountain with Matt and Jen Smith, had a picnic, I showed off a little of my bilingual abilities, we walked through the woods, etc and then had a cook out that night complete with Kacie and George.  The 6.5 of us (Caffrey was there and although he's a person, he didn't participate much in the conversation) had such a great time.  Many many laughs which is just what I needed!  It was in fact a perfect weekend!

5.  It was like Christmas in our house this morning.  Around 9am, FedEx delivered a big brown box and then around 11, UPS followed suit.  Although UPS was just bringing me a breast pump (I'll spare you the pictures and details... trust me, it freaks me out too people), the FedEx guy was the one I wanted to hug.  You see, I'm part of the Brooks ID program.  And since getting accepted, my running has gone down hill (you know... baby + smuggling a basketball + hills = walking) so last week, after having a woe-is-me kind of day, I went shopping at the Brooks site.  It was glorious.  I had so much fun.  And really, it was all about motivation.  I ended up getting a bunch of swag - new shoes, a visor, three shirts and a pair of shorts. 
I of course can't try any of it on (except for the shoes and visor), but it's sitting there, staring at me and ultimately motivating me.  One of the things I miss most is lacing up my running shoes and just going.  I can't wait for that!  Thanks Brooks... you rock!

6. Speaking of running and itching to get back, I am.  Triathlon though, eh, not so much.  It's weird.  I get twinges of wanting to do a tri soon and then I think about the training and the logistics (which I've done a bajillion times) and I just get discouraged about it all.  I don't know, it's weird.  It'll come back I'm sure.  We were walking the other day and Tom says "so what are your thoughts on IMFL 2014?".  My response - "I would love to cheer for you there".  I have zero desire to do an Ironman.  None.  Zip.  Zilch.  But then the conversation went on to talking about what halves would be fun - maybe Gulf Coast next year.  Maybe hitting up a good ole' Deer Creek in Ohio (I love me some small flat racing).  We'll see.  Tom and I are sharing a bike right now (don't ask... it's not worth it) so that could determine some things.  Oh... and being a new parent.  That too.

7. (I'm stretching to make this Ten Tidbit Thursday... bear with me).  This.

This is a very important staple in my pantry right now (Heather, you will appreciate this, trust me).  I have two boxes waiting for me.  It's always been my "reward" meal after the Ironman.  I Love me some blue box mac and cheese (and all it's buttery goodness) but we know that there is zero nutritional value to it.  When the time comes, Tom's going to get word that he has to make this.  That will be the sign that I'm going into labor.  I was told to eat something carby (this after them telling me that childbirth would be like a marathon - hopefully more like a stand alone and not the one that is part of an Ironman and that I needed to have calories in me).  I know that when I get to the hospital, I'm allowed a luxurious meal of ice chips (don't be jealous).  Our hospital went on to brag about their ice machine which "makes ice chips just like Sonic".  Really?  That's a selling point?  Now if you told me they had a tater tot machine just like Sonic, then that's something to write home about. Ugh... What am I getting myself into?

8.  I love this guy:
In the 10+ years that I've known him, I've never seen him with a hat on.  The other night I walked outside and found him like this.  Doesn't seem like much, but it was memorial day weekend and this was his PaPa's hat.  I asked him why he was wearing it (it usually hangs in our garage with a pair of his PaPa's work shoes) and he said, "My PaPa was a vet and died 15 years ago". :)  Made me smile.  He wore the hat most of the weekend before hanging it back up.

9.  In the next two months, I get to see my mom and dad, my sister twice, my brother in law and my in laws.  That makes me smile.  (shut up, they are totally coming to visit Tom and I and not to see the baby)

10.  Don't forget that I'm fundraising to support Kacie, Dani and Camp Twin Lakes as they prepare for RAAM.  If you would like to make a donation, no matter how big or small, we would all REALLY appreciate it.  You can donate here.  I talked to Kacie a bunch this weekend and although I'm sure she's a tad nervous, these girls of Power, Pedals and Ponytails are going to rock it.  I'm so excited for them!!! 

That's all I got folks.  Life is a lot of hurry up and waiting right now for TK and I.  We're waiting on some job news (good thoughts please!).  We're waiting on a baby (prayers welcomed).  We're waiting on a Noodles and Company to come to Suwanee (oh wait, maybe that's just what I'm waiting on...)

What's new with y'all?

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Two girls, their bikes and a lot of miles...

As many of you know, Tom has completed Race Across America twice.  It was a life changing experience for him, traveling across the country on a two wheeled machined powered by his legs and his heart.  Although we often laugh that it's a funny way to see the USA - head down, often times following a yellow line on the road, feeling like you are sucking air through a coffee stirrer, it has had such an impact on his life.  Three years since the last time he raced it, we still talk about it nonstop.  He created lifelong memories that I can only live with him through pictures and stories.

For those of you that need a refresher, Race Across America (RAAM) is a 3000 mile transcontinental bicycle race that starts in Oceanside, CA and finishes in Annapolis, MD.  It is known as one of the hardest endurance races in the world and cyclists can compete as an eight man team, a four man team, a two man team and a solo.  Tom raced both times as part of an eight man team.  And while even that seems unthinkable to most, the two man teams and solo teams are the ones that truly blow my mind.

Enter Kacie Darden and Dani Grabol. 
I love these girls.  I met them when I moved here to Georgia and they are some kick ass ladies. These girls are pretty very badass.  Both are experienced ultra endurance athletes.  They have completed Ironman races, won 50k running races, set world records biking across Florida, and recently outright won the Heart of the South bike race, a continuous 517 mile race as a twosome.  Both have done a DOUBLE Ironman (um... for those of you keeping track, that's 4.8 miles of swimming, 224 miles of biking and 52.4 miles of running.  In a day.  Continuously). In fact, they finished that race fourth and fifth overall and that's where they really got to know each other.  Last year, Kacie jumped into RAAM on an eight man team (because you know, when a team loses a cyclist prior to the race and you go to Kacie, she can totally just "fit it into her schedule") and after finishing, knew she wanted to do it again.  It didn't take much to convince Dani that the two of them needed to do something epic.

So epic to them is to race RAAM as a TWO WOMAN TEAM.  Did you get that?  Just the two of them (and their amazing crew of course), tackling the 3000 miles on their bikes.  Only two other two (wo)man teams have every finished the race.  Ever.  And Kacie and Dani don't just plan to finish - they want the world record which means they have to cover the miles in less than 8 days, 18 hours and 57 minutes.  I know these girls.  That will be no problem.
And then to add the icing to their enormous cupcakes, these ladies have chosen to make the race about more than just two women riding across the country - they are raising funds through their racing and training for Race Across America for an organization that again is close to the Kingery’s heart – Camp Twin Lakes.  Camp Twin Lakes is a network of camps providing life-changing camp experiences to thousands of Georgia's children with serious illnesses, disabilities and other challenges each year. They collaborate with over 50 different organizations, each serving a different population, to create customized programs that teach campers to overcome obstacles and grow in their confidence and capabilities. Camp Twin Lakes is thrilled to provide programs at various state-of-the-art locations throughout the state of Georgia, including camps in Rutledge, Winder, Warm Springs, children's hospitals, and more.  

Tom and I have set up a fundraising page to help Kacie, Dani and Camp Twin Lakes.  I hope that you will consider supporting them.  Please, even the littlest amount will help make a huge difference to so many kids!!!  And it's all tax deductible - can you help?  Click HERE to donate.

Really, what's not to love about these ladies???

I'm super excited for them.  I wish I could crew for them (although the whole "I'm going to have a newborn, I probably shouldn't leave" thing makes being gone with them on their journey a little difficult).  I really wish I could be there at that finish line because it's going to be amazing.

Kacie and Dani... if you are reading this, I just want you to know that my hat goes off to you.  It's been a tough journey and I know that.  If anyone gets it, I kind of do - I know the hours that you have both put in, the sacrifices that you have both made.  I know the ups and downs that come with training and the feelings you have now as the race approaches.  You are incredible women, not only on your bikes but as friends and I wish you nothing but continued success as you go out and CRUSH this race.   Have fun.  Keep smiling.  Take it all in.  Because in the end, the hard work will seem like nothing when you are left with a lifetime of memories that you created together!  So very proud of you and love you both!

If you want to follow their journey, they have a blog and you can find it HERE.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Guest review (from the hubs)

Tom's not really into blogging (like at all) so it's a treat when he gets to stop by and write a blog about something that he got to test out (which kind of makes me jealous too, but that's alright... I can let him have his test shoe glory every once in a while too).  So here it goes!

Hey all!  Colleen is involved with FitFluential and was given an opportunity to get me in on the action by trying out the Saucony Virrata. I'm always up to trying new things to help with my running so I was excited when these arrived (and yes, Colleen was a little jealous).

Right away I could tell that they were super light weight (only 6.5 ounces for a men's size 9) and I liked the colors, although they were a bit brighter than I usually go with.  Flashy is good, especially for a fast shoe!  They come in 6 different color combinations so I would probably go a different route next time, but then again, maybe not.  They grow on you fast! The box says "Flex the Laws of Nature" and these shoes do just that - you can practically fold them in half.

I didn't run long in them just because I'm used to maybe a less minimalist shoe, and this one has a zero drop, I didn't want to jump into anything without making sure it would work for me.  I did find the shoe comfortable - more cushioned than I had imagined with it being so light weight.  I liked that it seemed very breathable which is nice as the weather starts to heat up here in Georgia.  And I felt like it was a responsive shoe - definitely a trainer which is good as I'm focusing more on speed. Oh... and it ran true to size - maybe a little narrower than I'm used to but I attribute that to the trainer nature of it. 

A little about the Virrata from the Saucony website:

Stripped down to strong. The Virrata is our lightest and most flexible training shoe and allows your foot to move naturally. We removed everything that isn’t helping your run improve. What remains is a feather-light, ultra flexible shoe with advanced cushioning that promotes a powerful stride and allows your foot to move the way it was meant to. Built on a 0mm offset, this shoe lets your feet do the work while providing plenty of protection from the road. The breathable mesh upper makes the shoe incredible lightweight and quick-drying to run in wet weather conditions. Weight: 6.5oz. / 184 gm (size 9)

Simply put - this is a light weight, cushioned, flexible shoe that looks great and performs great!  I'm a fan...

Thank you Saucony and Fitfluential for the opportunity to let me try these out.  (*these shoes were sent to me free of charge and the opinions expressed in this post are my own)

Friday, May 10, 2013

A camera and a bump

We've been loving our new camera, although it's still a tad overwhelming.  I've definitely played with it much more than Tom, but I thought that it was important for him to get to know some of the settings on it besides the "auto" mode that he had been using.  And since my bump is growing and I don't have a ton of pictures of it, I thought that would be a great way for us to get used to the camera (on a side note - I am fairly opinionated about professional maternity pictures.  I won't share my opinions either way - to each is own, but I knew that at this time, we didn't really have the extra cash sitting around to have them taken anyway so this was a perfect "kill a bunch of birds with one stone" situation.)  

I'll be honest...I've been hesitant to share a ton of my belly pictures as it doesn't matter how big I am compared to someone else, or how I'm carrying (if I was paid $1 for every time someone said "you must be having a boy because you are all belly", then Abigail's college fund would be set), but I'm happy with how these turned out so enjoy.  Plus, I only have the belly for a few more weeks so I'm embracing the enormity of it. :)

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Pregnancy Fitness Must Haves

I’ve been blessed with a fairly easy pregnancy.  I didn’t have much morning sickness (actually I had none.  Zero.  Zilch.  I only three up once and that was about 4 weeks ago when I choked on some corn. )  I had a few nights during my first trimester where dinner was less than appealing, but I always ended up eating something.  I’ve had no food aversions and really no cravings. I hadn’t been ungodly uncomfortable, with swelling and peeing and all that stuff.  My blood pressure stays around 100/62 every time I go to the doctor.  My weight gain is at the lower end of the range that the doctors want to see (I actually haven’t gained more than maybe 2 pounds since mid-March although baby and belly are growing).  I go into the doctor’s office for my weekly/biweekly and monthly check ups and the nurses and doctors always say “You are our easy patient today”.  I like that.  It took me 7 years of marriage to decide that I did in fact want to have a child so at least it hasn’t been a horrible experience. 

One of the most important factors in me having such a great pregnancy is my activity.  From day one, I’ve said that I’ll do everything in my power to stay active because I know that it’s good for me (mentally and physically), but more importantly it’s good for my baby girl.  I’m not going to lie… working out hasn’t always been a breeze as my belly grows, but I’ve adapted.  I try to get 45 minutes to an hour of some kind of movement each day.  I ran regularly until about 33 weeks, and now it’s more of a once a week kind of thing.  I biked on the bike trainer religiously through 29 weeks and still plop myself on the bike as much as possible.  And I walk.  A lot.  Walking in our neighborhood or town is a little different than just a leisurely walk.  It’s a workout.  I’m talking, heart pumping, sweat dripping workout.  If you question that walking can be hard, I invite you to come walk with Tom and I anytime!  
People ask “how do you do it comfortably”.  Here are some things that have helped me:
  • Make sure that you are in comfortable clothes.  As my belly grew, I needed to change my workout clothes a little.  I switched from regular bike shorts to men’s bike bibs as they fit over my belly better.  Yep, I rocked them with a sport bra and they were dead sexy.  Just remember, I biked indoors in the privacy of my basement so I didn’t have to scar anyone by seeing that.  It’s a sight, trust me.


  • I bought loose coolmax shirts that were a size or two bigger than I usually wear.  I didn’t invest in maternity specific bottoms, but again, went with shorts and capri’s that are a size or two bigger, with a big waist band (TJMaxx was great for both the pants and tops and they didn’t break the bank).  I made sure that the waist band could be worn over my belly or under it.  Roll down yoga pants became a lifesaver.  Runingskirts.com had a maternity line and I was lucky enough to get one of their maternity skirts to try out.  I love it – it has a high belly panel which I can wear up or fold down.  They also sent me a cute sleeveless maternity shirt that is flattering and functional.  

  • I made sure that I had a great sports bra.  The first thing that grew were the girls (TMI?  It’s a fact people…) I really love these from Zensah (– it’s seamless and supportive).  I needed at least once size bigger.

  • Unlike many women I haven’t been constantly hot during my pregnancy. Actually, I’m usually layered and Tom and I joke that we live in different climates because I have more clothing on than he does. I found that when it was cooler, I needed a coat that I would stretch around my belly and that I could shed easily when I got warm.  I got the Zensah Seamless Power running jacket in a size Medium and it's perfect.  It stretches about my belly because of the material, but I know that I will be able to wear it when I'm not pregnant and it'll fit fine.  The sleeves are long, there are great thumb holes, and there's a pocket in the back that fits my phone and keys.

  •  Around 20 weeks, I invested in a maternity running belt.  I did some research because I found that my growing belly needed some support and that the Gabrialla Maternity Belt MS 96(i) was well liked with other runners.  I could only find it on amazon.com and it was probably the most clutch item that I purchased to stay active.  I was feeling more round ligament pain during running and also started getting Braxton hicks contractions when I ran (which just feels like my whole belly was tight).  I wear the belt religiously when I run and have actually put it on a few times in the last week or so when I walk.  It’s a weird sensation to have your big belly just hanging out, so the belt helps.
  •  Compression is my friend.  I’ve always loved my Norma Tech boots which I use a lot (after getting the okay from my doctor).  I often times feel like I have a tad bit of swelling (many times on only one side, depending on how baby girl is laying which is weird but totally normal) so I have been wearing compression socks or sleeves a lot.  Zensah has an ultra compression sleeve which is super tight and I have really liked using those.  I also like a good full compression sock because they cover my ankles and don’t really have a favorite brand.

  • Comfortable shoes – I am part of the Brooks ID program.  I love their shoes and gear.  I wish they had a maternity line because I only have a few shirts and shorts from them that fit right now.  But their shoes are awesome.  So maybe I’m a bit biased on their brand, but a comfortable, well supported shoe is key.  You are carrying extra weight and need to be supported.  

  • I always carry my phone with me if Tom isn’t around (although very rarely do we work out alone).  If something happens or I don’t feel right, I can call to have someone come get me (that hasn’t happened, but I want to be prepared)
  • I wear my RoadID Slim every day. It has Tom’s phone number and my mom’s.  Again, better to be safe than sorry.

  •  I carry water.  I drink a lot of water anyway, but when working out, I make sure that I have extra water to make sure that I don’t get dehydrated.  Dehydration can cause a lot of problems during pregnancy and I have found causes more contractions.  I also come home and immediately drink about 20 ounces of liquid… even after a nice slow stroll around the neighborhood with the dog.
  • I always eat something before I workout and usually find that I eat during my workout (maybe a granola bar or something small).  I haven’t had any nausea during workouts, but I find that I feel really hungry sometimes and I’d rather not have my blood sugar drop or anything when I’m out.
Expectations (and this is a big one)
  • I let go of all reliance on pace and distance.  As an endurance athlete, I always find that I get fixated on how far I’ve gone or how fast I’m going.  My pre-pregnancy pace has gone from 8:30’s to, well, I don’t know.  Maybe 12:30’s, although I don’t know that for a fact.  I run until I feel like I want to be done.   Or I’ll say “I would like to run 7 laps around the pond”.  Sometimes I make it 9.  Sometimes I stop at 3.  I run for time (only because I’m always going to be type A).  I bike for time and actually took my magnet off my back wheel.  I don’t care what my pace is.  
  • If I’m feeling off, I’m totally okay with saying that I’m off and switching things up – cutting a bike short, walking the rest of my run, etc.  It’s happened a lot.  I learned to listen to my body.  I don’t push through being uncomfortable.  I used to do that and I will again.  It’s part of being an athlete and I know that.  There are times when things are hard, and things ache and that’s all part of getting better.  Not during pregnancy.  If something hurts or feels off, it’s not right.  You can’t push yourself with a baby growing inside of you. :) 
  • Although many people suggest keeping your heart rate under 140 when pregnant, it wasn’t realistic for me as an athlete prior to getting pregnant.  Yes, I talked to my doctor about it.  Instead I use the talk test.  If I can talk, I’m going a good pace.  If I become winded or short of breath, I slow down or take a break.  If I can’t breathe, my baby can’t breathe.  Simple as that.
  • I don’t care what people think when they see me (and this is easier said than done).  When my belly was just starting to grow, I was super self conscious about it because I looked pudgy. Now I’m rocking a basketball belly and I’m proud of it. I don’t care if I’m waddling when I walk.  My “running” has become wogging (waddle+jogging) and I’m proud of it.  Luckily I’ve not had anyone tell me that I’m doing something wrong by staying active (quite the opposite actually).  Most days I get a “you go girl” when someone sees me working up a hill or shuffling along a trail.  I’m proud of my body for what it’s capable of in terms of carrying a baby AND being fit.

Check with your doctor
This is the most important thing you can do to stay active.  If there are any complications, let the professionals tell you what you can and can’t do.  I was very active prior to getting pregnant (hello, I was training for Ironman Florida) so I knew that it wasn’t realistic to go from swimming, biking and running every day to leisurely walking or nothing.  But for some people, that’s all they can do.  I know my body better than a lot of people and my doctor gave me a lot of freedom to create a plan that works for me based on how I feel.  My number one priority right now is Abigail.  I would never do anything that would harm her or put her at risk of being harmed.  And with less than 5 weeks until she’s here, I feel like I’ve helped her by staying active.  I know that it’ll help me with delivery and recovery.  I’m hoping I bounce back fast from everything.  But we’ll just take one day at a time.

Do you have any questions about working out while pregnant or what worked for me?
If you are pregnant, what are you doing to keep active?
If you see a pregnant woman with a full on basketball belly working out, would you be proud of her and yell “You go girl”?  (you should!!!)