The First Four Months

The First Four Months

People seem to disappear when they have babies.  It made sense before our little guy was born, but now that I’ve survived the first three months, I understand why.  I do not intend for my blog to become a mommy/baby blog but I do want to make three posts that outline the baby “stuff” we found most useful.  One every four months or so for his first year.  I found these posts immensely helpful when deciding which baby things to buy before he arrived. I also strongly encourage you to consider buying second hand.  Baby stuff gets outgrown so quickly it’s easy to find it in great shape at thrift stores and garage sales.  We got the majority of our stuff from garage sales, friends, and 2nd hand shops.

1. Badger Diaper Cream

This stuff is a lifesaver.  Our little guy has not had one case of diaper rash UNTIL the moment we used a diaper cream other than Badger.

Saved our butts

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2. Ergo Baby Carrier with infant insert

While recovering and adjusting at home I made it my goal to get out of the house EVERY day. Even if it was just walking for 10 minutes.  I forced myself to get comfortable with the Ergo and the infant insert when he was barely two weeks old and we started walking just a little bit every day.  It was so good for us. (I had an emergency c-section so recovery was a bit rough)

Ergo carrier

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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3. Ikea night light.  Breastfeeding at night in the beginning can be tricky.  You want to be able to see what you’re doing but not so much light that you’ll wake baby up fully.  This little light has been so helpful.  Click it once to turn it on and it cycles through all the colors, click it again and hold, and it will maintain that color and level of brightness.

Friendly night light

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4. Miracle Blanket swaddler.  We tried so many swaddles. We tried the basic blanket swaddle, the lightweight summer version, the velcro kind, the Woombie. You name it, we probably tried it.  This one worked the best. Our little guy could not Houdini his way out of it.  It is soft and comfortable, not too warm and never seemed to bunch up around his face or choke him.  We found it a bit too late though as he sleeps with us, unswaddled every night.

Cozy and soft

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5. Bouncer.  Do not buy these new. They are at garage sales everywhere.  We have two bouncers and they have been a lifesaver for me while home alone.  We keep one in the bathroom 100% of the time so I can shower easily.  We keep another in the living room/kitchen so I can have my hands free as needed.  He also goes in a swing sometimes. I try not to leave him in it longer than 30 minutes at a time.

Mommy’s 2nd hand

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A few other essentials for baby and mom:

-100% cotton cloth diapers for use as burp cloths. We have 10, 15-20 would probably be more useful but we keep forgetting to get more

-Carter’s and Gerber brand short-sleeve onesies. We used SO many of these.  If it had been summer when he was born, we probably would have used more.  He outgrew his newborn sized onesies fast so having them up to 6 month size has been helpful

-A hand pump. We bought a Medela brand hand pump and it was so helpful when my milk came and and I was engorged. I was able to pump off some milk easily. Also it took nearly three weeks for my insurance-covered electric pump to arrive and I used the hand pump in the meantime.

-Nipple cream. I used Motherlove brand nipple cream, which is 100% safe for baby.  I don’t really use/need nipple cream anymore but if I had to do it all again I’d just use coconut oil.

-Contigo water bottle.  If you’re going to breastfeed, you’re going to be very thirsty. Especially in the beginning.  You’ll want a good, BPA-free, leakproof water bottle.  The Contigo bottle is so great. Never leaks, holds a lot of water, doesn’t sweat. I went through 3-5 fills of this bottle/day in the beginning. I still go through 2-3 fills.  If you have a hospital birth they’ll likely give you a very large bottle in the hospital.  I brought mine home with me and used that for the first couple weeks.

-Bamboobies reusable nipple pads.  These are SO comfortable, reusable and worth every penny. I prefer the nighttime pads because they are the most absorbent.  I tend to leak a lot.  For disposable pads I  love Johnson’s brand. They are very soft. The J&J are not individually wrapped which was something that irritated me about other disposable brands.  When you’ve got a newborn anything that takes extra time is annoying.  The J&J pads can look a little wonky under clothes, so beware of that.

- A freezer full of easy to heat and eat meals.  As well as lactation cookies.  I ate a ton of Amy’s brand dairy-free burritos. It turned out dairy is a major cause of colic for out little guy.  Burritos were especially helpful because they took about 2 minutes to heat and I could eat them with one hand while holding the baby. Also helpful was a ton of fresh fruit and chopped veggies on hand.  Crackers and veggies dipped into hummus or edamame hummus was a good quick snack.

-Nursing tank tops. Target’s Gilligan and O’Malley nursing tank tops are the most affordable and comfortable of all the ones I tried.  They are $20 each and hold up great. I used them as a bra under other shirts and wore them at night. I lived in them the first 8 weeks at home. The Target tanks run a bit on the long side and also fit me during pregnancy. The support is surprisingly good and I do not have a small chest.

 

 

 

 

Morning Sickness, I Survived it.

Morning Sickness, I Survived it.

I meant to write this post awhile ago.  It’s not really in line with most of my health and fitness topics but I wanted to put it out there somewhere, should someone else go through it, or know someone going through it.  Especially before my brain turns to goo after this kid is born.

Severe morning sickness is no joke.  It often lasts all day and night.  It is debilitating and depressing.  It cannot be managed alone.  I survived but I felt like very few people truly understood how bad it really was.  The handful of people that “got it” were my partner, my ND, my OB-GYN, and my family.  My family primarily understood because we all watched my older sister go through it twice.

It’s not just feeling like throwing up, it can be serious stomach PAIN as well.  Sometimes I simply felt sick and had stomach pain but couldn’t vomit.  In fact that’s how the majority of the first few weeks of it went.  It’s feeling faint and weak.  In addition to the usual early pregnancy changes in the body like fatigue, crazy emotional mood swings and dealing with the concept that you’re HAVING A BABY!

Here’s how I survived:

1. See your ND, OB-GYN, MD, anyone qualified to help you get medications you need to feel better.  Also to make sure you are not dehydrated are actually able to eat SOMEthing.

2. Get a note for work.  Find out if you can take time off, get on short term disability, and be up front with your employer if you can.  I tried to keep my pregnancy secret but I felt MUCH better when my coworkers and supervisor knew what was going on and why I was so sick.

3.  Accept IV fluids if offered. You’re probably dehydrated. You probably don’t THINK you’re dehydrated, but you probably are.

4. Take the medications. I know, you feel guilty. You don’t want to give them to your growing baby, but it’s also not good for a growing baby to have a perpetually sick mama.  I waited too long to give in to the prescription medication and I think I would have been SO MUCH happier if I’d started them sooner.  In addition to taking the meds, keep trying different meds until you find one that WORKS. I was pretty hopeless on my first prescription med, it didn’t work and actually made me feel worse.  The second one changed my life.  I generally prefer not to take prescription medication and wanted so_much to only give this baby the healthiest food and pregnancy possible but those hormones are serious stuff.

5. Eat ANYTHING that sounds good to you.  Except of course high mercury fish, alcohol, and soft cheeses but I’m 99.99% sure those things will sound awful to you.  I am dead serious about this.  My partner basically said to me “I will get you anything you want”.  My body wanted Pillsbury toaster strudel one day.  I haven’t eaten those except maybe one time as a teenager. I can’t explain it. However she got them home and I promptly ate two, after not eating but possibly 200-300 calories for the previous two days.  It may be that the person taking care of you (or you yourself) buys a ton of weirdly appealing food and then you cannot stomach any of it.  Do not feel guilty.  Speaking of food:

6.  Foods/beverages that sounded good to me at one point or another during the worst of my morning sickness:  pudding, tapioca, cold fruit cups, popsicles, ice cream, yogurt, kiefer, saltines, grapes, mashed potatoes, Sprite/7-up, chicken noodle soup, soup broth, ginger ale, Gatorade, white bread toast, pretzels, cereal (I highly recommend the multi-pack of different flavors), Malt-o-Meal, potato soup, rice (sometimes w/ butter), smoothies/protein shakes.  I’m sure there’s more but I can’t remember.

7. ASK FOR HELP.  I failed MISERABLY at this.  I depended far, far too much on my partner and it was hard and stressful for her to help me go through it alone. I should have reached out and asked more people for help.  I regret this so much now.

8.  When I was in a really bad place morning sickness-wise my partner broke down and pushed me to drink those AWFUL nutritional shakes (Ensure, etc.).  They were HORRIBLE but I think they kept me out of the hospital.  I cannot even imagine ever going near one again but they are an option.  Just stay away from Strawberry flavor.

9. Lower your expectations of yourself and your ability to do anything.  Let the dishes and laundry pile up.  You CAN’T do it.  See #7.  I actually felt guilty because I wasn’t working out. I could barely go from the bed to the bathroom without feeling faint.  10 months is a LONG time, letting things go for a few months is not the end of the world.  Our house became a DISASTER.  I am amazed to look around now and see that it’s organized and clean (mostly) and I have a dresser full of freshly washed and folded baby clothes.  It will happen. People CAN help you.

10. Don’t eat dried fruit.  Just don’t. If for some weird reason it starts sounding good to you, eat something else.  Coming back up it’s like shredded rubber erasers.

Remarkably I STILL have morning sickness. I’m nearly 8 months pregnant now and I wake up ill every morning.  It’s an odd combo of heartburn and morning sickness together.  It’s still nowhere near as bad as the 16 weeks or so I spent in hell.  Truly those weeks were some of the worst of my life.  In part because I wasn’t sure if the whole 9.5 months would be like that.  I’ve been off the medications since I was 20 weeks or so but I still resort of ginger ale and ginger chews on occasion.  I still eat what sounds good but I eat a much, much more healthful and balanced diet that includes vegetables and fruits in large quantities.  I honestly never thought that would happen!  I still cannot stomach broccoli and that was one of my favorite foods pre-pregnancy.

Even more amazing, I’ve managed to gain 22 lbs and the baby is measuring 90% percentile already. Clearly he has not suffered as a result of this!

First Outdoor Swim of the Year!

First Outdoor Swim of the Year!

Delicious, tempting pool

 

I finally made my way to one of my favorite local outdoor pools today.  It’s a bit of a drive but it’s worth it.  The water was clean and absolutely perfect. It wasn’t horribly crowded and the sun was shining! YAY!  I was a bit sick this morning, as I am most mornings but I sort of pushed myself a little bit and I’m glad I did.

I didn’t really stick to any sets or keep track.  It’s a bit too late for that kind of swimming during this pregnancy I think.  Things certainly felt different than my swim a few weeks ago.  Freestyle still feels great but breaststroke felt weird!  My belly feels like it’s a bit in the way and my inner thighs are tight and sore.  My kick is much weaker.  Overall I’m much slower in the water.  I’m usually a fast lane swimmer but I felt very much like the medium lane was challenging enough.  In general it just felt SO good to be in water.  I crave swimming every day.  Now that I have a maternity suit on the way, I think I’ll be in the pool much more.

I think I’m definitely at the end of being able to wear my Speedo. I could feel it pulling across my belly and it wasn’t the coziest feeling.

After I got out I was STARVING in a way I couldn’t believe.  Fortunately there’s a grocery store across the street.  I sat in the sun and ate my lunch.  I smelled slightly of chlorine and sunscreen that didn’t wash off and I felt very much like ME.

A Pregnant Swimmer’s Gripe

A Pregnant Swimmer’s Gripe

Last weekend I attempted to squeeze my 25 (now 26) week pregnant body into my Speedo.  A few months back I bought a Speedo Endurance suit, my absolute favorite cut/style for swim team.  I accidentally ordered a size too big but I figured I would save it in case I gained weight or (hopefully) got pregnant.  I’m glad I saved it, but that suit might fit for approximately one more week, and not very comfortably.

This brings me to today when I foolishly was excited to shop around online for my first maternity lap suit.  They simply don’t exist.  There are plenty of maternity swim suits out there. Oh yes, cute little tankinis, bikinis, y-backs, and u-backs. These are great if you want to sit around and look cute, maybe splash around a little bit.  However, if you’re a serious swimmer, or hell just a bobbing lap swimmer, you’re going to be disappointed.

At one point Speedo made maternity suits and oh how I wish they still did.  I finally found one on my tried and true swimwear shopping site Swim Outlet.  It was the ONLY suit that has an actual decent crossback style (won’t fall off or slip off shoulders), good colors and came in a size XL.

Photo from www.swimoutlet.com, EQ Swimwear Harmony Maternity Swimsuit

I wish I were this tan. Thank you EQ Swimwear for making at least ONE swimsuit that will work for lap swimming.  Now I get to wait and pray and hope it fits and is long enough (a maternity lap suit that’s also long-torso cut? HAhahahahahah!).

For now, I’ll squeeze into my Speedo for one more week.  Tomorrow is my first outdoor swim of the year. I’m SUPER excited even though it will likely only be about 55 degrees during the morning when I swim.  I have enough “insulation” and pregnancy hormones that I will be plenty warm.

Inspired

Inspired

I am inspired.  An online friend of mine has been working very hard the last year to get in shape and prepare for her 40th birthday in style.  To reward her hard work and celebrate they’ve traveled off with their small son to a tropical paradise for two weeks.

I realized my very own 40th isn’t terribly far away, 3 years, and perhaps it’s time for me to plan too.  3 years seems like a long time but in reality it’s not.   My last major vacation (as in: over a week) was a trip to Japan and we saved and planned for about three years.  (it was great!)

Three years from now we’ll have an almost 3 year old and I would hope that would be enough time for me to return to my old level of fitness. Or at least somewhere close.

I’ve been struggling lately a bit with pregnancy body acceptance. I feel like my body is this wonderful baby making machine. I DO love my body, but the changes are pretty dramatic, and fast.  I would not have it any other way.  However, despite how it looks to anyone else, I see myself as an athlete and I’m used to feeling strong and muscular and now I have to see myself as strong in a whole new way.  Since I haven’t been on quite the workout schedule (not even close!) that I was prior to getting pregnant things are beginning to soften a little.  My arms and shoulders don’t look like swimmers arms anymore, that’s for sure.

My first goal is to continue to have a healthy pregnancy and to deliver a healthy baby boy.  I’ve been keeping up with my Waddle Challenge 100% and it has been a very worthwhile investment. Although there are times when I don’t feel AT ALL like going for a my walks or swimming, I feel better when I do.  I suspect I will be grateful when the big day comes.

Long term, I want to start thinking about how I’m going to get back to the shape I was in before I got pregnant. I don’t mean I want my pre-baby body back, I know some changes are permanent. I just want to be able to get in the water and swim the way I used to. Hike five miles and feel great.  Get on my bike and ride 20 miles.  I think I’d like to spend my 16 week maternity leave simply being with my baby and learning how to live life as a trio.

As 2014 approaches I hope to be back with my swim team again and thinking about adding in hiking and biking or whatever I fancy as spring and summer comes along.  I have no idea how this will go but I’m visualizing it it in my head.  All in eventual preparation for sailing into my 40s in style.  Perhaps in Kauai.

For now I’m going to keep admiring my beautiful basketball and my slightly increased metabolism. :)

I think it’s time to investigate maternity exercise wear!

Planning and The Waddle Challenge in Action

Planning and The Waddle Challenge in Action

The Waddle Challenge went very well last week!  I managed two, 30 minute fast walks. One during a lunch break and another after work.  I also did a ton of walking on Saturday and Sunday, so much that it would have been silly to time it.  I finally have a near-normal level of energy again at the end of the workday. I really thought that would never happen!  My days are still very much determined by how much sleep I get.  A bad night’s sleep fully ensures a miserable day the next day.

I did great with my diet and ate lots of fruits and veggies! Last weekend I made a bunch of homemade meals for us to each throughout the week.  On the menu was a crustless veggie quiche, vegetable lasagna, toasted hazelnut quiona burgers, and homemade cherry walnut chocolate granola.  Those dishes really got us through the week.  I froze the leftovers. I tend to get sick of a meal after eating it 2-3 times.

I really think the key to success for me is always going to be planning.  Making sure I have an outfit to workout in (I get sweaty enough during a 30 minute walk that a change of clothes and quick rinse are really necessary afterward!), planning some or all of my meals in advance, keeping fruit on hand.

I didn’t have time to make as much as last week but I did make a batch of gluten free “bran” muffins with lots of seeds and raisins, sweetened with dates.  I also made Nic’s favorite gluten free pizza with veggies on top.  That will keep us going for a couple days at least.

One thing I didn’t do this week was yoga. Every week I say I’m going to do it and then I don’t! I would really like to get in at least ONE yoga session this week.  Especially now that we have some space cleared out in our living room.

It has been very warm (80+ degrees) since Friday which is very non-typical for May here.  I am thoroughly enjoying it and also learning how to cope with heat while bigger than I’m used to.  It really has meant listening to my body and drinking A LOT of water and lemonade.

Spring and summer weekends are my absolute favorite. I wish I could take more time off but I’m saving every possible day off for maternity leave.

 

Waddle Challenge in action

Waddle Challenge in action

 

Sunshine and my favorite city

Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans. – John Lennon

Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans. – John Lennon

I haven’t disappeared, drowned in a murky lake, or slipped into a world of fast food and cupcakes!  I’ve been very busy since Dec 25th. I’ve been growing a little baby boy!  I am 21 weeks pregnant as of yesterday and it has been quite a ride so far.  I found out I was pregnant on Christmas Day, not even four weeks pregnant yet.  Shortly after, I developed a severe case of morning sickness (also called hyperemesis gravidarum) that put my world in a spin.  January, Feb, and March  were three of the most difficult months of my life.  I really thought I wasn’t going to ever start feeling better but thanks to prescription medication, self care, many, many hours of sick leave, love, and rest I’m doing SO much better!  I still wake up sick every morning but by lunch time it’s mostly resolved and it’s at a level I can tolerate at work.

Unfortunately during this time healthy eating and fitness have really taken a back seat.  Exercise is nearly impossible with HG, as is eating the way I would normally eat.  Vegetables sounded absolutely revolting until week 16 or so.  I managed fruit, only barely.  In the last three weeks I’ve returned to an almost normal level of healthy eating.  Modified slightly for heartburn.  I’ve also started trying to exercise at least three days a week.  It’s amazing how quickly my ideals about how exercise and pregnancy went out the window when I got sick!  Most days my goal was to try and eat SOMETHING! Anything! To get in at least 1000 calories and enough fluids to keep me off an IV.

I am a person motivated by goals and so my pregnancy goals now are to exercise three times per week for 30 minutes and get at least 4-6 servings of fruit and veggies/day.  The diet goals are fairly easy, it’s the exercise that has been a challenge.  If it doesn’t happen before 5pm, it’s highly unlikely that it’s going to happen.  So it’s ending up that I’m doing two fast-paced walks (“waddles”) during the work week at lunch and one weekend workout, typically another walk or swim.

Next week I’m adding in a goal to do yoga 1x/week as well.  Things are starting to stiffen up with the added weight, water weight and increased sitting!

I’m calling this is the Waddle Challenge.

I’m thinking about the direction I’d like this blog to take with this huge change in my life. I’ve concluded that I really love the health, fitness, and recipe portion.  I really don’t want to make this a baby blog, of course I would love to mention my little on occasionally but that’s not the focus.  I want to share my journey through pregnancy from a health and fitness standpoint and as a get back to fighting strength after baby is born.

I’m also hoping to update my recipe section with some new ones and categorize them in a more user-friendly way.

For now, here I am with my wee little bump at 13 weeks (I’m considerably larger now!)

13 Weeks

13 Weeks

Fitness, Interrupted and Meal Planning

Fitness, Interrupted and Meal Planning

You Can Do It – Even if “it” is resting

My never-ending migraine seems to have FINALLY left me a alone which is a huge relief.  However now that it’s gone, I’m very aware of the neck pain that was likely causing it.  I had xrays and fortunately nothing was broken. I was slightly concerned since it was the result of a bump on the head.  My C5 and C6 are a little compressed and probably causing the pain.  I think I’m finally on the mend now but ooh boy has this been a lesson in patience and stillness.  I feel like my body and mind are sometimes at odds with each other and if I’d just let them work together, things would go so much more smoothly.  I so desperately want to jump back into swimming, back into hiking, pick up yoga again.  Essentially I’m desperate to get moving but my neck wants to heal and my body wants to continue resting.  It feels like an eternity since I’ve been the fitness machine I’m used to being.  However, I believe it will all be good for my body and mind in the end.

Since I have a little extra time on my hands, I’m putting more effort into thinking about nutrition and my future.  We had a good run of meal planning for about four weeks.  Initially when Nic wanted to start meal planning I was so resistant.  I don’t know why except that I thought it would take up too much time.  It turns out it only takes about 30 minutes of planning.

During the week while doing our usual web searching  whenever one of us comes across a recipe that sounds tasty, we save it in a shared Google docs folder.  We don’t limit on what type of meal it is (breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack, dessert).  In general we’re trying to stick to wheat-free, low-ish carb meals.

On Friday or Saturday I sit down with my list of meal ideas, a weekly calendar, our upcoming CSA box ingredients and I come up with almost all of our meals and snacks. It sounds overwhelming but it really does take about 30 minutes. I have a general idea of what grains and spices we already have.  Sometimes I do a little extra looking around for recipes.  My favorite recipe resources are ohsheglows.com and The Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen.  I also read a few fitness/nutrition bloggers and get recipes from them on occasion.

After the meal plan is created, I type up a grocery shopping list.  Then Nic and I make the trek out to the grocery store and/or Costco if needed. (secret insider tip on Costco: to avoid lines and get the optimal amount of sample snacks, go right at opening on Saturday morning.)  It turns out that every-other-week is a “big” trip and every other is a “small” trip.  We don’t usually buy a lot of produce thanks to our CSA.

If you search on Google you can find quite a few meal plan templates and I suggest you pick the simplest one you can find.

I’m off to eat my lovingly prepared and planned wild rice, sauteed chard and mushrooms, and curried organic/free range/local chicken. :)

Keep on Truckin’

Keep on Truckin’

In the last three weeks I’ve had a migraine that has ranged from extremely painful to just bothersome.  I sort of knew migraines could last longer than a few days but I wasn’t sure it was recognized by the medical community.  It’s also possible to have a migraine that is tolerable enough to go to work and about normal activities, although not happily.  Mine started out very painful with an aura and ended yesterday (thankfully!) with just mild pain. My mom had a famously horrible migraine that lasted nearly six weeks one summer.   During my nearly three weeks of migraine pain I managed to go for one run averaging 10:30/minute miles (very fast for me!), two relatively hard hikes, and a couple of swims.  I regretted each workout because I felt so much worse afterward.  I am also dealing with plantar fasciitis and my foot has been very painful (I’m giving up running for 3 months or more after my next race!).  Inside all I wanted to do was rest, lie low, recover, be lazy.  I am so terrible at listening to what my body wants.  My body, my head, my feet were screaming for a break.  I am afraid that if I give in, I’ll never get back up again.

Of course, the minute I gave in and started resting, I started getting better. I also went to the doctor and got some help.  I asked for help at home.  I spent about two days really taking it easy, saw the doctor and the chiropractor and today? whaaddaya know? I feel BETTER!  I am working on better listening to what my body wants.  Believe it or not this last episode shows progress for me.  All it took was two days of taking care of myself.  Two. Days.

Mentally it was really hard for me to feel “off my game” for three weeks. I am no serious or competitive athlete, but inside my head I certainly am. Especially with myself.  My attitude was poor because I felt poorly.  After two weeks of headache pain I was starting to lose hope and get this sense of failure.  I know it’s small peanuts in terms of life/world/human problems but I’m glad I kept going and got to the other side of it.

In the last few weeks I discovered Alex Clare.  I’m sure you and everybody else has heard Too Close but the rest of his album is very good too.  My favorite song is Tightrope.  Tightrope is all about not giving up.

“The only thing I’m sure of is, to have no fear at all,
Just go, keep on going on.
And the only thing that’s certain is that sometimes your bound to fall,
Just go, keep on going on.”

 

Race Report: Fat Salmon 2012

Race Report: Fat Salmon 2012

One summer race down, two to go!  Although I have done plenty of open water swimming and a number of triathlons, I have to admit I was a bit hesitant about the Fat Salmon.  Normally i have a bit of an edge during the swim portion of a triathlon because triathlon attracts athletes that tend to excel in running and biking.  I usually come out in the top 10-25% of the swim portion.  The Fat Salmon (FS) attracts very good swimmers.  I was SO nervous on race morning when I started looking around at all of the well sculpted shoulders looming around.

I really prepared by swimming regularly for three months at masters practice and 5 weekend open water swims with the same group.  I’ve swam the much more than the 1.2 mile distance plenty of times both in open water and in the pool, but it’s always been broken up into sets.  I haven’t swam a mile or more continuously in over 10 years.

I’m happy to report that everything went GREAT!  Once I got in the water and started paddling around, I felt more comfortable.  There was some wake, but it was manageable.  I wore earplugs to protect my ears from the cold and I think they helped a lot with motion sickness because I was not sick or dizzy when I got out of the water.  I admit 1.2 miles felt like a long distance and at times I felt like I was swimming forEVER but in comparison to the people swimming 3 miles, it was a piece of cake!

My goal was simply to finish the race and so I took my time.  I stopped occasionally to adjust my cap or earplugs and I really didn’t push it.  The last thing I wanted was to swim too fast and then be exhausted halfway through.  I admit I was a bit sad when I saw my time: 47 minutes.  I let myself feel sad about it awhile and then I let it go.  I had just completed 1.2 miles of open water swimming! Not something to feel bad about!

Before the race, smiles and nerves

 

After the race, exhausted and relieved!