Monday, May 16, 2011

Mommy the Triathlete

"Nancy Hill, from Spring Hill, Tennessee, YOU are a triathlete!"

That's what I heard yesterday morning as I crossed the finish line, right in front of the Parthenon.  

I am a triathlete!

It was so. much. fun.  I have honestly wanted to do a triathlon for as long as I can remember.  Even as a kid, I thought it sounded awesome and like indisputable proof that I was a real athlete.  So I guess now I am! 

One of my preemie mama friends came down all the way from Owensboro, Kentucky to do it with me, and it made all the difference in the world to have a friend going through it with me.  Becca's super fantastic physical therapist was the one who got us into it, so she was there as well (cheering me on when I was starting the run after she had finished the whole thing :) ), as was her super sweet husband Kyle. 

finished (note the operative verb) in 1 hour, 19 minutes and 3 seconds.  In about the time it takes to watch two commercial-free episodes of NCIS, I swam 250 yards, shimmied into bike shorts, 2 shirts (it was freezing - just over 50 degrees!), socks, running shoes and a bright yellow helmet, biked 8 miles, racked my bike and helmet and wrote a note to a friend, and ran (/walked) 2 miles.  If you are interested in such things, I finished 184th out of 227 "competitors."(There was nothing competitive about this race, at least not among the participants like me!  Everyone was SO encouraging!)  I "placed" (if you could call it that!) 21st out of 30 in my age group.  The swim was my strongest section (6:54, including entry, exit and scrambling to the transition area - which was the 133rd fastest swim), the bike was my worst (43:01, #194), and the run was in the middle (23:20, #174).  But really, I don't care about these numbers (though they are fun to look at).  What I care about are these numbers:

My blood pressure has always run in the 120's over the 80's, even before I was pregnant.  Okay, I thought my blood presure had always run in the 120's over the 80's, even before AND SINCE I was pregnant.  But I just looked back over my medical records (via, which is super-convenient), and after I had Becca, my blood pressure stayed fairly high.  Unfortunately, they don't have my vital signs recorded (in that system) from when I was inpatient and pre-eclamptic, but I know that at one point at least, my blood pressure was over 160/100 because that's the point at which they told us to go to the hospital.  I'm not sure where it went from there.  (I'm horrible at remembering numbers, even important ones.)  But after Becca was born, the doctors where happy enough with my recovery that I wasn't treated with BP meds, which I thought was great.  But now that I'm looking back at the stats they had recorded for me, and all of the BP readings are high - one of them as high as 143/93!  Holy crap!  (I'm not sure why they didn't say anything about this - I will say that I didn't get the best post-partum care for several reasons, but I won't go into that right now.  Needless to say, I will no longer accept, "Well, it's probably up because you are nervous about seeing the doctor," as an excuse not to treat or discuss it!) 

Even before discovering that I was in even worse shape than I thought I was, I was motivated to get off my butt when I read this article which reports the American Heart Association recognizing pre-eclampsia as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease later in life - a risk factor of the same magnitude as having FAILED a stress test!  Ouch!  (The previous thought about pre-e was that once the mom recovered, she recovered.  This move indicates that the leading research shows that having had pre-e has lasting effects on the mom's symptoms, which makes sense to me!)  I don't know about you, but I think having failed a stress test at age 31 is pretty crappy!  I have a lot of life that I'd like to live, and I'd like that life to include running around and chasing grandbabies for a good, long time, thank you! 

But 110/72?  That's someone in good cardiac health!  Maybe not great, but good!  And a pulse rate of 71 when pushing a cart full of groceries and little girl all the way through Publix (where I always take my blood pressure) is pretty good, too - average, even!  Just think of, average!  :)  Of course, I'm still carrying around extra weight, but even with the weight, my numbers look good!  (I didn't seem to LOSE much weight in the training process, but I've definitely got more muscle and maybe slightly less fat.)

And you know what other numbers I care about?  How about the 1 baby that is born prematurely out of every 7 babies born in Tennessee?  Or the 236 preemies born in Tennessee each week?  And what about the nearly $200 that my Triathlon for Trimesters training raised to fight against those numbers?  Yeah, those are numbers that I care about.  (And my gracious sponsors will soon be hearing more about those numbers in an e-mail.  Each dime you sponsored earned $7.50 for the March for Babies!) 

I'm hoping to do another triathlon soon.  I'm looking for sprint triathlons held on Saturday.  (Most are held on Sunday, when I'm kind of busy...and about to be really busy...but more on that another day!)  Now that I'm hooked, I might start caring about that first set of numbers as I work to get my times down...but in the meantime, I'll be proud of what I've done to the rest of the numbers.  Thanks for helping me get there.

p.s.  Becca can now say "triathlon" (="tiafyon") and knows that Mommy went in the "simming pool," "ride bike," and "did running."  Such a great cheerleader - I can't wait to do one with her watching!


  1. You are a serious rock star! There's no way I would ever be "hooked" on a triathlon. I'm really proud of your numbers, too. Good for you getting your heart in shape! :) big hugs to you!

  2. I find you to be an impressive woman. Seriously, Impressive!

  3. WAY TO GO, NANCY!!! That was awesome!!! Thanks for posting! :)

  4. Wow! Congrats on a great truly are a "super mom" w/ a triatholon title under your belt now....Thanks for sharing your time and energy into one of the best causes for children and families! Say Hello to Big girl Becca for me! Cheers, Karla B.