Friday, February 27, 2015

Baby On Board

Let's get the big news out of the way first. I'm pregnant!  I'm currently 16 weeks and some change, just beginning the second trimester. I'm due in August. I know that one of my New Year's goals was to blog more often but I just wasn't ready to talk about this yet and I haven't had much else to talk about, including biking. I kept starting a blog post, and then....not finishing it. I'm going to try and change this now that I'm feeling better. My hope is to write at least one post a week.

I'm alien?

The first trimester was pretty brutal for me. I felt awful everyday, and it really limited my daily activities including bike commuting. Morning sickness is no joke. In the first few weeks of my pregnancy, I was able to continue biking as normal. However, when I hit about 8 weeks or so, the nausea and vomiting was just too much. I couldn't get more than 2 miles or so before nearly (or actually) throwing up. With the weather getting colder (and snowier), I gave up for awhile. It was too much.

Now that I'm in the second trimester, some sense of normalcy is starting to return. I still have bad days, but I'm also having good days as well. I'm hoping to return to bike commuting more regularly.

My midwife has cleared me for biking (as long as I wear a helmet. Ok lady. Fine.) and keep it slow and steady. I plan to keep it up as long as it is comfortable for me. So far, so good. I'm only starting to develop a bump, so I haven't had to make too many adjustments to the bike.

This winter, combined with morning sickness, means my bike miles have been pretty abysmal. I've only ridden to work ONCE since the new year. It's been difficult because I often get out of work around 10 or 11pm, and I'm not comfortable riding in the dark on streets that might have ice on them. Pregnancy has definitely made me much more cautious about potential falls. Riding TO work is usually fine, because that's in the middle of the afternoon. Riding after dark in the cold is just not appealing. I think I might have a solution though. I bought a bike rack for our car (why yes, we are now a household that owns a car. It's been 3 months and I still haven't driven it.) and my plan for the rest of winter is to ride IN to work as often as I can, and then have the Husband pick me and the bike up FROM work at night. I haven't had a chance to test it out yet.

I did take the opportunity to add some small items to my bike, Kermit. First, I added some Fiks Reflective strips and stickers to my bike since it was getting darker earlier. 

Please ignore the mess in the background, mom.

Then I added a Baby on Board sticker on the back. Why? I don't know, honestly. Maybe folks will take notice and be a bit more cautious and courteous. Or maybe I'm delusional.

This will definitely make all drivers more courteous.

I also set up Blue on a trainer in our apartment, and I've been riding that here and there. I'm usually good for about 25 minutes before nausea starts to take over. It's definitely not as fun and satisfying as riding outdoors, but its better than nothing.

This is my first pregnancy, so all of this is new to me. I've been looking around the web for good pregnancy and biking resources, and they are a bit scarce. There are a few good articles, but I haven't found anything particularly enlightening. I'm more interested in hearing/reading about personal experiences anyway. I've found a few blogs that mention pregnancy or  have a summary of biking while pregnant, but nothing with the nitty-gritty of daily life as a pregnant cyclist. I'd like to change that. We'll see how capable I am, though.

Some upcoming events that I'm looking forward to include:
  • The 2015 Erandonnee Challenge: Runs from March 5-16th. The specific details are at the link, but the idea is basically to complete 12 errands in 12 days on a bicycle for a total of 30 miles. Similar to the Coffeeneuring Challenge, but with less caffeine and more baguettes. It's a relatively "easy" challenge, and will help to motivate me to get moving again.

  • The Vasa Ride: WABA's "spring" ride (it's awfully cold for a spring ride). I opted for the 30 mile option this year, but I might bail to the 15 mile. Or maybe I'll feel spectacular and do the 60 (doubtful). This is a fun, yet deceptively challenging ride. Folks that manage to complete the ride are "rewarded" with Blueberry Soup at the House of Sweden. I've had the blueberry soup before. It's.....soupy. It's on Sunday, March 15th.

  • The 2015 Police Unity Tour: So this one is a little tricky. The dates (as always) are May 10th-12th. I'll be about 6  months pregnant by then. I'm definitely still "participating" (and I will be hitting you up for fundraising soon too. Get ready). As much as I would like to believe I could do the actual ride without issue....I can't. We ride in a peloton (as a coherent group), and a specific pace has to be maintained. This poses two problems for me: my heart rate can't get too high (and on the big hills, it will probably get too high if I keep up the same pace) and the risk of a fall is much higher (since we are riding close together, if one person goes down it usually take a bunch of people with them). If this ride was more like The Ride & Run to Remember, I would definitely attempt it. Since everyone rides at their OWN pace and everyone is pretty spread out, I can go as slow and steady as I would need to. That's just not possible on this ride. SO, I have two options available: I can still participate by volunteering as part of the Support team, or I can "ride" at home on my trainer. The Support role would be a LOT of work. I don't know if I've ever talked about the role the Support team plays in the Unity Tour, but its huge. They keep everything running smoothly and make sure the riders have absolutely everything they would need. As a rider, all I really need to worry about is pedaling my bike. My lodging, meals, repairs, maintenance, directions, etc are all taken care of. As a rider, my role is super easy. Get up, get on my bike, and go. That's it. The Support staff are amazing. They are often up earlier than us, and their days finish way after ours. It's a lot of work. The Husband was actually considering joining up as Support this year too. I'm a little hesitant to go this option because it IS a lot of work, and I'm not sure if I could keep up. I don't want to be a drag or slow everyone down. I'm considering it though. My other option is to "ride" at home. I still have my cue sheets from previous years with the mileage for each leg. I could just follow along at home each day, and then ride to the Memorial on the final day to meet up with the group. I think I could definitely do this. My midwife has cleared me either way, so I just need to make my mind up.

Anyway, that's all for now. If you have any links or suggestions for resources on biking and pregnancy, or want to share your own story, definitely let me know. I'm all ears.