Tuesday, April 21, 2009

26 weeks and counting

Little bambina Stellita chiquita weighs almost 2 pounds now. She is movin' and groovin' most of the day, especially when I am doing yoga. I think she might be trying to do the poses along with me!

I feel great. Nick and I are spending a lot of time outside working in the garden while the chickens wander around and Pepe sleeps. I can't wait until the veggie garden starts producing some food!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The chicks go to the garden

This afternoon, we put the chicks in the veggie garden so they could get some sun, peck around, and have a little adventure. I was a little nervous, but it went very well. The chicks followed me around like I'm the mother hen. I had to keep looking down to make sure they weren't underneath me so as not to step on them.

Pepe stayed on the outside of the fence and was very happy to watch his little sisters walk around. He knows that he isn't allowed to get too close to them, so he just sort of laid down and watched from the side lines. He's such a good dog!

Nick's Triathlon Race Report - Rage in the Sage

Race: Rage in the Sage
Distance: 1/2 Ironman
Date: April 18th, 2009
By: Nick Tostenrude

Race Strategy: Training race for IM CDA. I felt this race would give me a good indication on my current fitness level with 2 months before IM CDA. The bike course (~6,000ft elevation gain) was great practice for the hilly IM CDA course as well. Because of my leg injury (I haven't been able to run much for the past 2 months) my plan was to race hard on the swim and bike and then speed walk through the run. I realized that any time I gained on the first two legs would be lost while walking 13 miles but I prepared for this mentally.

Swim: After practicing in lake Mead the day before, I was nervous about the waves and swimming out against them at the start of the race. I couldn't get any rhythm going on my own and I figured it would be even worse with a mass start; however, with a 6:10am start, the water was pretty calm and this hardly crossed my mind during the race. The swim went well. I was able to sight and stay on course better than my last 1/2 IM and kept a manageable pace. I got out of the water and felt I could've pushed harder during the swim but, overall, I was pleased that I felt controlled. I did get very light headed and dizzy when I stopped to take my wetsuit off but once I held onto something the feeling went away fast. 37:59 (58 out of 145)

Bike: The bike course was a modified out-and-back with rolling hills for most of the course. The roads were in great condition relative to the other tri's I've raced. After the initial hill out of transition, I pushed hard on the bike for as long as I could. I managed to pass over 20 people by the main turnaround at mile 25. Around mile 40 I started to 'feel' the hills a bit more and popped out of the aero position for the first time. My right glut started hurting around the same time. The hardest part of the ride for me was maintaining a good speed on the smaller grade hills. I did most of my passing on the steeper hills and when I reached a couple riders that were on the same pace as I was, I would make my gains on the uphills and they'd get me back on the downhills. I stayed in the big chainring for the entire ride. I may need to spin more for IM CDA. I was pleased with the ride. 2:47:27 (32 out of 145)

Run: The run course was 90% dirt/gravel trail with a big 2 to 3 mile hill out of transition. It then leveled off and overlooked lake Mead for most of the run. There were even a few old railroad tunnels to run through. I actually enjoyed the course quite a bit but maybe that's because I was walking and had the time to. I knew I had had a solid swim and bike and that was my goal so I was thrilled regardless of how the run went. I started the run expecting to speed walk the course but was planning to test my knee to see how it felt. I figured I could keep a 12-13 minute pace walking fast. Out of transition, I walked up the hill, and watched a few people pass me on the way up. I tested the knee out on a flat section and got about 50 ft before I felt pain. Back to walking. More people passed. By mile 6 or so, I had given back all of my gains on the bike. I gradually increased the amount I was able to actually run and managed a couple sections where I almost made it a mile before I had to walk again. So, for the most part, I settled for trying to emulate those speed walkers you see on TV, the ones with the arms and hips swinging. Yeah, I remember making fun of my mom and her friends for walking like that and now I'm in a race not only doing it, but trying to figure out what the optimal arm swing is to help increase my speed! It was hard to not be smiling out there on the course. I eventually jogged (hobbled) across the finished line. 2:27:29 (109 out of 145)

Overall Time: 5:59:33 (70 out of 145)

Summary: I felt the race was a big success. The 2008 Utah Half was my first 1/2 IM and Rage was my 2nd. I had 9 months since the U.H. and managed to improve my swim by over 13 minutes (I had a miserable swim at the U.H.). My bike came in 2 minutes longer than U.H. but the the course was much, much more difficult. And I actually PR'd on the run by 12 minutes. Yeah, I really did. My conditioning was much improved. I felt fresh after the bike...much more fresh than I did at U.H. At U.H. I struggled through the run whereas at Rage, I was begging my knee to let me run because I felt like I could push harder. That was the best part. I as also pleased to break 6 hrs while walking most of the run.

So, overall, it was a great race. the course was challenging but very scenic and enjoyable. The organizers and volunteers (lots of volunteers) did an excellent job.

Night before race dinner: Spaghetti & Meatballs with Garlic Bread and extra salt
Pre-race Breakfast: Banana, breakfast bar, and granola bar ~1 hour before race. One gel 10 minutes before race.
Bike Nutrition: 1 Hammer Perpetuem, 2 Water Bottles

Friday, April 17, 2009

Liv's 28th Birthday

I admit it, I was fully expecting my birthday to be a pretty normal/boring day. But Nick wouldn't allow such a thing to happen. Before I even had time to open my sleepy eyes, Nick was downstairs making us tea and breakfast to fuel us for our long day ahead.

Our first activity of the day involved two of my favorite pastimes: volunteering and gardening. We volunteered at a local community garden and green house. The green houses are owned by the adjacent High School and are run completely by volunteers as well as the High School students. All of the students at the High School are considered "troubled youth" and therefore had been previously kicked out of the normal public school system. The volunteers and High School students work together to grow fruits, vegetables and houseplants to sell for fundraising as well as donate to the local low-income families in the community so those families can learn how to be more self-sustaining on a low budget. It was amazing to be part of this communally-focused program. Even our friend Sara came to volunteer with us and we all agreed that we will definitely be returning to volunteer again soon.

The day ended with a dinner of cheese and chocolate fondue at the Melting Pot with our favorite Utahs: Sara and Dan Buri and Soup. We all ate our weight in melted cheese and chocolate and went home full and happy. I'm grateful for such wonderful friends, such a wonderful community and mostly for my thoughtful husband who made my Birthday about all of the things that are most important to me.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Stella at 24 weeks, only 16 more to go!

It's so strange to think that most of my friends and family haven't seen how different I look now that baby Stella is growing so quickly. I'm a week behind (I'm actually 25 weeks now and this picture was taken last week), but I will update with another picture in the next few weeks.

At 24 weeks, Stella weighs just over a pound and is almost a foot long! I feel her move constantly. From the outside, a hand on my tummy can feel her kicks and punches, too. She wakes me up throughout the night with her insistent salsa dancing, but I just keep telling myself that it will get much worse as she gets bigger, so I try not to complain.

The newest additions to our family

Today marked the day that would have been my Mom's 53rd birthday. The last six years has been very hard. On the day of my Mom's birthday—every year—I do something special to honor her. In the past, I have volunteered or worked in the garden. She was an avid volunteer and gardener, so I feel that if she were still here today, she would want me to spend the day with her doing one of those two things.

This year, my vegetable garden is going to be larger than it's ever been. With the help of my Sister's boyfriend, Chris, we came up with the idea to use chickens as pest control in my veggie garden as opposed to pesticides. I thought there was no better day than today to go with my Dad and Sonja to pick out these new additions to the family. Please join me in welcoming them!

The brown one is named Mavis and she is a Welsummer chicken. The yellow one is named Henrietta and she is a Buff Orpington chicken. The black one is named Chris The Spider Killer and he is a Black Sex Link chicken. Chris is named after my Sister's boyfriend since he was instrumental in helping me to find a solution to the pests (mostly spiders... ew!) in my garden.

The chicks will also produce 3-5 eggs a week for us, so we are looking forward to never-ending combinations of quiches and omelets. If you have a recipe you would like to share with us, please do!

With Dad and Sonja just getting on their flight to head back to Seattle, I am sad because I will miss their company but I am thankful that they were here to spend the last few days with us and be part of the yearly celebration of my Mother's birthday.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

March Training Results

Another month down. Only twelve more weeks until the main event, IMCDA! I'm still not running but trying everything to 'fix' my damn leg. I'm getting used to the idea that I may need to walk a marathon come June. With that in mind, I've bumped up my bike and swim mileage in hopes to get a nice lead heading into the run. Here are my hours and distances for March. I've also posted February below that for comparison.

I participated in one event this month, The Tour de St. George Century ride. It was a great first experience in southern Utah. The majority of the ride, I was riding in or around various red rock canyons, with interspersed rivers, lakes (probably reservoirs), and natural elements that made the ride more interesting. Not to mention, it was right around 70 degrees and a perfectly clear day. I finished up 103 miles in about 5 hours and 45 minutes. Not bad, considering I took 3 breaks to pee. I guess I'll have to learn to pee while riding like a real Ironman before June's race.

bike - 27:03 - 447.8 mi
swim - 15:00 - 35,652.4 yds
run - 3:40 - 20.6 mi
Total - 45:43 - 488.8 mi

bike - 16:39 - 266 mi
swim - 8:47 - 19,900 yds
run - 8:54 - 53.6 mi
Total - 34:20 - 330.9 mi

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

23 weeks and counting

I know it's amazing... first we move to SLC, then we get married, now we are starting a family. It just seems so right to do all those things in this order now that we live in Mormonville!

Really, the most exciting part of our lives right now is the upcoming addition to the family. I am 23 weeks along (pregnancy lasts 40 weeks for all of you that have yet to read "What to Expect When You're Expecting"...) and I feel great. I have more energy than normal and I am beginning to actually look pregnant, instead of just chubby.

Oh, and IT'S A GIRL! We will name her Stella Kimberly Tostenrude and she is expected to arrive around July 28th, 2009 — but the midwife told us to expect her the first week in August so as not to be disappointed when she doesn't arrive by the 28th. Here is a picture of her little face.