>>January 26th, 2011
I am starting to get a little anxious now. I only have 3 weeks or less left before our baby girl arrives. The nursery is ready with everything in place. It’s such a cute room, pink and white, with cool birds, owls, butterflies, trees and flowers on the walls ) Adorable!! I hope our little girl loves pink, ha!!
It’s hard not to be a little nervous. The fear of the unknown, life changing experience coming soon…..yikes! Life has been changing as my belly has been growing! It’s crazy looking back at pictures of what I looked like at 0 to 7 months pregnant. I didn’t look pregnant at all, or hardly at 7 months. It is nuts how distorted our image of ourselves is!! And it didn’t help to have a crazy boss making rude comments so I would stay in shape (no need to talk more about this here). I never thought my belly could get any bigger when it was barely a bump. Yikes, scary that I thought I looked pregnant back then. But I am happy to say and proud that I have now gained 22.5 lbs in my 9th month of pregnancy. My Dr is happy and the baby is a healthy size. I’m a late bloomer for sure
I’m still walking quite a bit, about 4-6 miles a day, about 35 miles a week. It’s been so fun having all this time to spend with Belle and being outdoors!! I’m also swimming 2-4 days a week, depending on how I feel. Some weeks I even add in some core work, but at this point in my pregnancy, it’s very rare! It’s also hard to get comfortable in any seated position now, so I’d rather stand or lay down than sit. It’s such a weird feeling to have a basketball attached to the front of you and not be able to bend forward It’s really crazy. But, the coolest part of all is seeing my belly move when our baby girl squirms, wiggles, kicks, rolls, and turns. It’s so awesome to see!! She sure is an active little one. I would say she moves 17 of the hours that I am up, seriously!! My Dr thinks she is going to be very active )
>>October 12th, 2010
Having the time of our lives in Hawaii in September
Sorry it’s taken me a while to post again. Just been so busy and my mind is racing all over the place. It seems like just yesterday that I was planning my whole 2010 race schedule and super excited about my open water swim season, and just like that everything changed!! In an absolutely amazing way of course ) Well, I am well into my 2nd trimester, week 22 or 5 1/2 months. It’s crazy how fast the time has flown by. My 20 week appointment went really well. Baby Swanson is weighing 2 ounces ahead of schedule, which means I am a week and a half ahead of where I should be. And to their surprise, I had only gained 9.5 lbs at 20 weeks. Very low, but I’m trying to stay in shape for my job. Pretty cool how the body works!
19 weeks after a fun run and a dip in the pool
The 2nd trimester is treating me well. I have had a few rough patches with some stretching pains and stomach aches, but nothing to complain about. It’s funny that I say ’stretching pains’ because I am still pretty small, but my body is trying to make room for the growth of our baby girl. Sometimes it feels like my abs are fighting back and trying to stay strong while my tendons and ligaments are trying to relax. Sounds weird, but it’s so hard to describe. I guess it’s kind of like stretching a muscle that is on the verge of cramping but having no control of stretching or cramping. HA! Ok, not sure if you get it….just get pregnant and you will see, haha!!
Running, swimming and walking are great right now! Cycling, not so much unless I have to for work. My hip flexors hurt when I cycle now, so I have decided to cut back. Running is super fun still. Somedays I get pressure pains and other days I feel amazing. Everyday is different, so I see how it feels and then I adjust. Yesterday was my best run so far. 7 miles and I felt smooth, fast, and did some of it on trails Reid and Belle are so awesome. They run with me and never complains about anything. If I have to walk, they just walk with me. They are the best training partners and best friends anyone can dream of. Yeah I am biased but they ARE pretty amazing!
Some of you have asked what my training weeks look like and to be honest I wake up and decide what to do and of course it all depends on what my job as an NTR has in store for me. I also sometimes do TRX at home, but that’s been lacking as of lately. Today I decided to do an easy swim on my own and just have fun in the water. Sometimes I just go to the pool to PLAY!! Yes I am still a kid at heart!!
Hope everyone is doing awesome!!
>>June 7th, 2010
1st place Alcatraz challenge
Yes, I am officially at 77 San Francisco Bay swim crossings! That is Alcatraz Island across the bay to Crissy Field, Aquatic Park, or St Francis Yacht Club. All swims have ranged from 1.2 miles to 2.3 miles. Water temps have been as coold as 50 degrees F, to as warm as 61 F. It has been a unique experience each time. Every swim has been different due to currents, tide, eb flow, wind, fog, sun, seals, dolphins, but no sharks yet ) I have had an amazing time and I am so blessed to have the opportunity!!
Last Sunday, I raced in the Alcatraz Challenge swim. Reid was the race director for this event. It was a busy time leading up to the event for Reid and the Tri California staff. As always Tri California puts on the best races. And I am proud to say Reid did an awesome job. I was super stoked to have been able to do the test swim the day before the event. This is a swim where 6 of us take a small boat or 2 out to Alcatraz Island and do the swim to test out the water conditions for the next day’s race. It’s pretty sweet being out in the middle of the bay with no one around. I love it! It’s such a cool feeling, one that I wish everyone can experience!!
Back to the race. I felt good, not great, but good enough to swim through the chop and against the current to come out with a win. Yay! I was stoked. Here is a link to the results…..http://raceresults.eternaltiming.com/index.cfm/20100530_Alcatraz_Challenge.htm
Fun times as always…..keep smiling )
Kind of funny, taking a shower post race
>>May 28th, 2010
My BFF Kristin and I post swim
I’m absolutely LOVING open water swimming once again! Every spring/summer for the past couple of years, I have raced in a bunch of open water swim events. Some races take place in frigid lakes, some in the chilly ocean, rivers, and even SF bay. All swims for Pacific Masters Swimming points competition have to be swum without a wetsuit. Something I totally agree with and even wish triathlons for pros would change to non wetsuit! I know some people would totally disagree, BUT alot would agree as well. It’s what separates the real swimmers from the non swimmers. I am not saying that I am a real swimmer, but for some reason I do way better without a wetsuit. It’s just so much less restricting even in the best wetsuits out there on the market, one of which I tested out before it went out on the market and am lucky enough to have, the TYR Hurricane. It is awesome and great for tri’s that still require a wetsuit )
So far this season, I’ve raced in 3 open water swims. Two lake swim races and one bay swim. The water was very chilly in all 3 but bearable for sure. It’s super cold getting in, but once the gun goes off, I don’t even think about the cold. I just put my head down and swim. All the races so far have been so brutal at the turn buoys. There have been so many great swimmers all vying for position throughout the race. This is what I love about swim races in the open water. It’s physical, tactical, and cool! At two of my races I had a great position at the turn buoys but still managed to get dunked, kicked, pulled and even had my suit ripped. NICE!! As crazy as it sounds, it’s kind of fun to be in all the action up front I love to work hard and it’s awesome to have so many great swimmers to work with.
Spring Lake, Santa Rosa
So far my record is 1st place overall in my first swim, 1st in my division and 5th overall in my second swim, and 2nd in my division and 4th overall in my third swim. So far I am leading the open water points competition and hope to keep that up going into my next several races. Wish me luck!!
Belle loves to come to races, she gets to swim too!!
>>April 24th, 2010
Sometimes, life throws crazy curve balls at us and we have to deal with them the best way we know how. We can either dodge them or take them head on. Reid and I have had a couple curve balls thrown our way and for a second I freaked out, but quickly realized that freaking out was not going to help our situation. Of course Reid is always there to tell me to calm down and think things through…and to move on. He is clearly the best husband out there, hands down (ok, ok, I am biased I know). But he is pretty amazing
Last Friday we had our 5th wedding anniversary, YES 5 whole years have flown by. I know everyone likes to say time flies by, but seriously it has flown by so fast that I can remember our wedding day like it was just yesterday! Reid and I share the most unique bond ever, I don’t know any other couple that does what we do, day in and day out and never really ever fight. We may disagree but we get along so well, it’s a pretty amazing feeling. We are soooo lucky. And so appreciative of it all!!
Leading my 75th Alcatraz swim, and a huge barge cuts us off, YIKES!
Several days after our anniversary is my birthday (April 21st)! 5 years ago on my birthday, we had just celebrated buying our house, racing IM AZ, getting married, and starting new jobs…..all within 3 weeks. It was the most hectic, memorable, and amazing time of our lives……And the times just keep getting better and better. Life is full of greatness, you just have to find the right opportunities and always stay positive. That’s what I learned and keep learning!
anniversary dinner with friends
After an awesome swim set on my bday, Reid and I joined several of our friends on the weekly Bakery ride. It started drizzling on our ride to the ride. No biggie, we put our rain jackets on and had fun. It was fun for the first half of the ride, then the cold and wind and heavy rain set in and we were freeeezzzing. Of course one of our friends decided to push the pace, like he always does, but most of us were too frozen to respond. I tried to go with the quick pace, but I got dropped. Well, kind of, my good friend JD gave me a couple of good pushes and I got back on. Then it started pouring even harder and I was hurting again. And again, my awesome friends helped me stay in there. So sweet! Love my buddies. We are always there for each other. By mile 40 of our 60 mile ride, we were all now frozen solid but laughing so hard at how CRAZY we were to be out there in the 40 degree temps, 30 mph gusts and heavy rain. It’s amazing how a positive attitude can change even the harshest of conditions. Cold, wet, numb, getting blown all over the road, yet still all SMILES!! It can only make us stronger!! What a day, it was a great day!!
One more thing to write about….I’ll be quick. I recently got asked to be the new host of my own show! HA, kind of. I will be the new host of TriCal TV. I am SUPER EXCITED! This will be awesome. I just got started the other day and will be out at Wildflower, reporting, interviewing, filming, racing, and leading swim waves on a stand up paddle board. Look for me out there. Here is a little clip…..http://www.tricaltv.com/ You can watch me at 00:03, 02:14, 02:58, and 03:48.
Life is great!!
gymnastics posin' with good friend Heather
>>March 26th, 2010
The other day when our weather was in the 70s, Reid and I decided to take Belle to our favorite lake Del Valle, just a 30 min drive from home, to do some Stand Up Paddling (SUP)! It’s a beautiful lake, surrounded by green hills, trees, and home to lots of wildlife. We love it here. Belle usually swims with us as we play around and have a great time in the clean water. But this day we brought our SUP boards and wanted to teach Belle to ride along with us.
This was Belle's first step on the board and it took a second to learn
It literally took a second for Belle to catch on and figure this out. AMAZING! I must say she is the smartest pup around, oh and super cute too ) Reid asked her to jump on the board and hold still. Just as he said, she listened and stayed on perfectly balanced, exactly where he wanted her to be. Super cool. I got on my board behind them and off we went paddling around. I, of course, had our camera with us so I coulc take tons of pics. It was a memorable time and one we definitely will never forget. What an awesome day!!
Belle and me SUP'ing
After paddling around for over an hour, we decided to head back to shore to let Belle do her favorite sport of all time, diving! Off the dock….. We seriously had one of the BEST times ever at the lake!!
Belle playing after SUP'ing
>>March 17th, 2010
trying to break away
I decided to try out road racing again. I had raced for a year back at the end of 2003 and part of 2004. To be honest, I wasn’t a huge fan of racing bikes back then, but something in me this year said I should give it another shot. So with the support of Wells Fargo Racing Team, I started out with a 48 mile road race 5 weeks ago. It was awesome and I had a blast with one other teammate in my race. We placed 1st and 4th. YAY, it was a great start for sure.
Winning our awards, 1st and 4th
A week later I thought I could do a team time trial after not riding my tt bike for over 5 months. Smart decision right?! Wow, did I pay for it. First off my teammate is 3 times faster than me, yup Reid. Secondly, we got to the race start late and didn’t have time to warm up. Yikes! But optimistically I thought we would still be able to pull it off. Not the case….we went from 0 to 30 from the start and I was holding on for dear life. Withing 4 miles, I was toast, done, fried!! My legs were on fire and all I could do was spin to try to flush them out. Not even 18 mph was an option at this point. Yup, a bummer, but more importantly a HUGE LESSON learned! I HAVE to warm up. I can no longer just jump into a race and hope that my legs will carry me through no matter what, that was the case years ago, but yes I am getting older
Next race up just a week later, Snelling RR. This race was mixed with crazy weather and road conditions and another super cool experience. 50 miles of racing fun, slight rain, lots of rough roads and flooding! We had huge flooded areas on the road that we had to ride through. I’m talking 4 to 6 inches deep and 400 ft long. Yes many crashes and attacks all occurred in these sections of the race. It really helped to have good bike handling skills throughout these crazy sections. Tyler Stewart, a local pro, Tracy Hogan and I had a blast talking strategy and racing together for the first time in a road race. Tyler attacked tons and got attacked, Tracy covered, I covered, some others covered, it was all so much fun! Within the last 400 meters of the race, I had a good position on the inside, but as soon as we rounded the last turn, some chick dove right into my spot, nearly taking me out so I slowed and lost momentum. I need to learn to be more aggressive. But Ty, Tracy and I still finished in the breakaway pack and top 15.
Tyler, me, Tracy in the break away pack
4th race in row was MercoRR. This race is a huge one with the likes of Colubia High Road, Tibco, Peanut Butter and CO 2012, Touchstone, to name a few of the pro teams. I was nervous but excited to race against these amazing women. I felt way more at ease when Alison Starnes of Tibco, approached me prior to the start of the race and said “hey do you remember me? we rode together at the best buddies ride.” Of course I remembered her, she is awesome, so strong, so sweet! Then Emma Rickards of Tibco gave me a big hug and said good to see you again…. Aww, I was feeling the roadie love. Seriously though, I love these girls from Tibco, they are super strong, successful, and sweet. So, the race went something like this…..start, attack, attack, attack, I went for a break with the pro road champ, got caught, nearly fell off, held on, attack, attack, suffer, suffer, suffer, and finished. 72 miles done, average 23 mph. I was proud of this effort, I held on as long as I could with the best of the best in road racing and made it to the finish! The current World Champion from Germany won the race and 3rd went to the current crit champ, 15th went to the current road race champ! NICE!!
Brooke, Emma, and Emma and me....Tibco pro roadies
Ok, lastly a Stage Race this past weekend. I realized after the fact, that this was a wee bit too much for my body to handle. Too many races in a row, not enough recovery. Again, fun to race with Tyler and Tracy. We had a good time in the crit, Tyler killed the TT. Tracy did awesome too. I survived. Just didn’t feel like myself. I felt lethargic and achy. But I did have fun hanging out and racing with friends. Stage 3 of the stage race was not going to happen. I woke up the next morning feeling sick again and called it a day. Reid also was feeling sick, so we decided it would be best to rest, recover and get ready for the next race in 2 weeks. Smart decision that we were happy with. Now that is a first for me. Normally I would push through it and dig a deeper hole for myself. I am getting smarter these days, ha!
Tyler and me after our cool down
>>February 12th, 2010
We got a super cool call from one of my sponsors, Surf Tech, the other day. They proposed an amazing opportunity to be photographed by a National Geographic and Patagonia photographer, Ben Horton, for their catalog. We jumped at the opportunity and before we knew it we were well on our way to Yosemite! Woohoo!! Oh but I was a bit bummed that we couldn’t bring Belle. It would have been too hard and she probably would have wanted to be in all the shots with us My mom and dad took care of her for the day, as they always do when we are away, she is soooo lucky!!
We met up with Ben and his lovely girfriend Izzi in Mariposa, a small quaint town 30 mins west of Yosemite. We had the best breakfast at the cutest little cafe while Ben told us stories about his amazing expeditions as a National Geographic photographer. His last expedition comprised of a 1400 mile trip across Canada with 24 sled dogs and 8 others. From the -20 degree temps to the slippery treacherous icy patches, they covered all 1400 miles without anyone getting hurt. It was so exciting to hear all about this adventure. We also had the privilege of hearing about Ben and Izzi’s trip to Costa Rica complete with details about how close they came to being eaten by crocodiles and bull sharks, YIKES! This couple is one amazing, hard core, super adventurous team. Love them!!
Once we made it into Yosemite National Park, the temps dropped by 10 degrees. It was in the mid to upper 30s which, quite frankly, was way warmer than we thought it would be. We drove up and around the most beautiful scenery you will find anywhere, and settled on a river bed that looked perfect for a little Stand Up Paddling! It was surreal. We were dressed in a couple of base layers, 2 to be exact, and board shorts and booties! I have to admit I was a bit nervous to step foot into the just above freezing river water. Brrr!! Reid was first in and like a pro up on that baord and moving down the river having the best time. I got in quickly, only get my feet wet but those surf booties are amazing. They keep you so warm! As soon as I paddled down the river and looked around at the serene beauty of Yosemite and realized what we were doing, it hit me, that I am one super lucky girl! I was in the middle of Yosemite National park, paddling up and down a river, with El Capitan in the foreground and Half Dome in the background, snow all around, it was just surreal. I am so grateful for this opportunity! Ben shot tons of awesome pics and then we were on our way to another river bed for some different scenery.
The second place we took pics was just as breath taking as the first. How could it not be? Yosemite is one big amazingly beautiful National Park. This next set of pics would be taken from underwater. So yes Ben put on his wetsuit and jumped in with some super cool underwater cameras and lenses and all kinds of sweet stuff!! He was FREEEZING!! But such a trooper. We had to paddle around and under some huge boulders which were right next to where the river dropped off and changed into rapids. It was the coolest feeling ever to paddle around this nature mnade obstacle course and not get swept down river. I could feel the power of the river pulling me down river everytime I made a turn around the boulders. So we had to paddle hard to stay up river After our second set of pics, we warmed up and got dressed in all our super cozy clothes and headed to another spot.
This last spot was so fun! Izzi brought tons of food and we had a picnic alongside the river on thes rocks and made some yummy veggie sandwiches. We had goat cheese, avocado, sundried tomoato spread, tomatoes, and apples. Oh yeah and some cookies for dessert! We were all smiles after our epic day!! Thanks so much Surf Tech, Ben, Izzi, and Reid for an unforgettable day.
Ben and Reid
Izzi and Ben
>>January 18th, 2010
This last week was mixed with some really cool opportunities. Somedays I feel like I am all over the place with so many new ideas and exciting things that I want to dive right into. I guess that is way better than not knowing what to do and not being super busy!! On top of my “want to try” list was coaching gymnastics. Don’t get my wrong, I do LOVE coaching triathlon, but gymnastics is also so near and dear to my heart. It was my life for 16 years! I lived in the gym, starting with 20 hours a week for years to 40 hours a week for the last 6 years. And back then I LOVED it. Now, you wouldn’t catch me ever trying that many hours for triathlon again. That spells injury! for me at least! Been there done that!
I had a unique opportunity to coach at a gym where my ex coach’s wife is the head coach. I also have some friends who have daughters that attend this gym and they have been trying to get me to coach for years. I finally gave in and made my way over to the gym and had a long chat with my friend, the head coach. I started that day and shadowed with her through an entire practice. It was during that practice where I saw myself all over again as a little girl aspiring to become an Olympian. It brought chills and tears to my eyes. At that moment I just knew I needed to be there to help these young girls achieve their dreams. It was an amazing feeling to go back to that place in my mind and remember exactly what went through my mind at least at one point during every grueling practice. I coached three days last week and loved every second. The girls are so sweet and so willing to learn. They soak in every piece of information I give them and I see the desire to succeed in their eyes.
I was lucky that not only did coaching gymnastics make me smile all week long, I was invited by TRX to take an 8 hour long certification class yesterday in San Francisco. I was so excited for the invitation. We actually practiced on the TRX suspension training systems all day long. It was amazing, I learned so much and even got to demonstrate for the class, some fun and super tough gymnastics moves using the TRX So now I am officially a TRX trainer. Woohoo…..Can’t wait to help others discover the most amazing total body workout system. I am a huge believer. I think everyone should own a TRX. Click on this link or copy and paste AND start today, you will see results so quick!! Have fun!
TRX helps sculpt your back
>>January 10th, 2010
Molly's hubbie, Jeff and I and the dogs ahead
Cujo, Stanley, Max, and Belle
Family photo!! all smiles
Reid, Belle, and I drove up to Pinecrest with our friends Molly, Jeff and their 3 dogs (Max, Cujo, and Stanley). We planned on spending a couple of hours snow shoeing and letting our dogs lead the way while frolicking in the snow! It takes a little over 2 hours to get up to the snow. Surprisingly it was in the 50s as we neared the trailhead. But within a couple of miles the temps dropped into the mid 40s. Still super warm for a play day in the snow.
All the dogs were so excited as soon as we pulled up to the trailhead. Belle was so happy to see her friends and even more excited to romp in the snow Her favorite friend is Stanley. They all get along so great, but Stanley especially loves to follow Belle around wherever she goes, up in the woods, off the trails or just way up ahead of us. Wherever Belle goes, Stanley must follow They are super cute together!!
Belle and Stanley leading the way
Two fun hours of snow shoeing, taking tons of pics, having a mock running race, and just having a blast was all we needed to be all smiles on the drive back home!! Oh and the stop to have some awesome pizza on the way home was a bonus! And Starbucks too, YUM!
If you haven’t tried it, you should definitely check out snow shoeing. It is an awesome workout and you can go as hard or as easy as you want and you still get in a great workout! Your quads and hammies get in some really great work…oh yeah and so do your lungs at 6000 ft of elevation. We are already planning another trip to the snow very soon!!
Great cross training makes for a great season to come…..Get out there and try it out
Leading the way
The guys and the pups
Jeff, Molly and I
Belle, Stanley, and Max