Saturday, April 17, 2010

By the Pound

So…..uhm….how much weight did you gain?!?

That is probably one of the most common questions I get asked about being pregnant. From girls, and cyclists, and especially girl cyclists. And the question is usually asked with a grimace. Like extra pounds are a virus or a contagious disease or something. Actually pounds are probably even less desirable to cyclists than a virus. You get rid of the flu by sitting on the couch. You have to work your butt off to get rid of the pudge.

Norm and I at our anniversary dinner a few days before Tycho was born. Dont let the colour black fool you. There is 50lbs more of Wendy to love in that photo.

One of the few "full on" pregnancy shots of me just a few days before Tycho was born. And yes, that is Norm trying to get his arms around the bonus me.

Now that I have shed most of the baby weight (Thanks to my new Chariot!) I can come out of the closet and say that I gained almost FIFTY POUNDS during my pregnancy. Holy. Crap. All of the books & magazines said the average weight gain for pregnancy was 20-30lbs. Uh hello. I hit that mid-way. I am not usually a weight weeny. I can’t be. I am taller than most girls on the circuit and I am pretty dense so if I played that game I would waste away. I probably out-weigh the legendary “fillet” by 30+ pounds. But when the pregnancy pounds started adding up I wondered what I would tap out at. One morning Norm and I weighed in the exact same and he joked about finding a teeter-totter. ha ha ha ha ha – shut it. I think that was the same week I went into the midwife and saw that the last person on the scale weighed 126lbs – less than my non-pregnant state. I muttered something about midgets under my breath. But eventually I just had to embrace it. I was “eating for two”, if I went for a walk I was a hero, naps were prescribed and everyone said I looked great. How can you NOT embrace that?

Shedding the pounds with a little resistance training with my new Chariot.

Buuuuuut once Tycho was born (at just over 8 lbs), I was stuck with extra weight and a body that wasn’t good for breeding OR biking. The glow was gone. Time to get moving. I started with walking & swimming. Then graduated to hiking. Then added XC skiing & baby stroller boot camp. And finally I got up the nerve to start running & biking. I had to suck it up and ignore my bruised ego. January 2009 I was at the cyclocross world championships and January 2010 I was starting my run-walk program with a 30sec run for every 4:30 walk. Ouch. But the body is a pretty amazing piece of machinery and after 4 months I am only 5 lbs shy of my world champs weight. Now I am not saying that the distribution of that weight is the same (I missed the memo that when your hips open up for childbirth your ass follows) but it’s a start.

Monday, April 12, 2010


It had to happen sooner or later. And no matter when it happened, it was going to hurt. My first race back. Almost a year now. But what better way to hurt than on some local Vancouver island trails. I chose the Cumberland Vancouver Island Cup race as my comeback race. 3 x 45min loops of the best singletrack around. Norm was supposed to race with me but he lost the coin toss after our friend Erin called in sick for babysitting duty. Welllll thats not entirely true. She said she could still take care of Tycho but when she called to let the germophobe (me) know she was sick, her voice was so scratchy she sounded like a pack-a-day-princess and she described 2 year old Parker as having snot running down her face. Hmmmm. I decided to skip the fight with the common cold because I knew I would lose that round. So Norm got to ride up island in the sun and play super-dad-supporteur while I raced. 

I wasn't sure how the body would react to the harsh reality of a race after such a long hiatus. I have been able to get out riding at least 2-3X/week for the past month but race efforts have definitely not been in the program. As a result, the metallic taste of blood in my mouth after the first 200m was a bit of a shock. My Hei Hei Supreme was still pretty nimble on the technical trails and my legs were still pretty solid on the flat sections but I had to back off a bit on the climbs for fear of a giant mushroom cloud on lap 3. I had a great battle with Joelle Guynup for most of the race but lucky for me the race ended on downhill so I managed to lead the way on the last lap. Apparently a few of the local boys were pretty pumped I was not on form....yet. Norm hasn't lost his touch as super supporteur, even with a tot on his belly. While our handoff was sub par the bottle was full of cold coca cola to get me through to the finish. 

Norm and Tycho donned their Cumberland "dinner jackets" for the race and lucky for me our 2009 Kona kits were based on the dinner jacket (although no royalties were paid out to the town of Cumberland) so I fit right into the family portrait.

The morning of the race I wondered why my arms and back were so sore. I had only done a short spin in the afternoon the day before. Ohhh yeah. Then I remembered we had taken my nephew Torno to the Nanaimo BMX track in the morning and knocked off a bunch of laps before we (the adults) all got tired and had to drag him home. Wish I was 8 again.