Tag Archives: Jericho hill

The big ‘C’

I’m not Brittany, and I’m not Christina. I’ve run marathons, half marathons, countless other races. I’ve ridden up the demanding hills of Horseshoe Bay on my bike, and twice in one day up Jericho. I can climb the Grouse Grind in a respectable 55 minutes. And I thought, as scary as the prospect is (just like all those other things once were) I could surely compete in childbirth too. The docs, however, seem to have other ideas.

A couple weeks ago my obstetrician asked what my intentions were regarding childbirth. It’s not the first time I’ve been asked this question, so I was prepared, and instantly said I wanted to go the natural way. She gave me a questionable look (apparently the size of my  hippopotamus thumb-sucking alien baby is cause for concern) but left it there merely saying, well we won’t know whether the baby will be able to fit until the time comes.

Fair enough. I knew I had a big baby, and sure it scares the bejesus out of me to push that sucker out, but everyone in my immediate family has had big babies. And my hips look to be far more child-bearing than my mom’s and sister’s who were both rail thin when they got preggers. But then last week I had to see a different obstetrician and she pretty much stuck the fear of God in me.

She spent a good 10-15 minutes going over the dangers of me going through vaginal childbirth.  She told me that my last ultrasound showed a baby with a belly in the 95th percentile, while the rest of it is within the 50th percentile … so pretty much I’ve got a pot-bellied baby!

Really hope our baby doesn’t look like shrunken head guy from Beetlejuice!

She said when you’ve got a ‘husky’ baby you run the risk of presenting shoulder dystocia which is when the head makes its way out, but the shoulders get stuck under mama’s pelvic bone. If that happens, she described a chaotic “emergency style” delivery room with doctors and nurses everywhere trying to manipulate the baby out by doing things like pushing mama’s knees back or the docs trying to pull the shoulders out from under the pelvic bone (uhm, OUCH!). She also noted there’s a possibility the baby’s collarbone could be broken! Not cool 😦

And she prefaced all that with: “I’m not trying to scare you, but ….” Are you freaking kidding me? Seriously, I’m beginning to think they get a thrill out of seeing my eyes grow so wide they nearly pop out of their sockets!

Damn these doctors, not only do they make me wait for 50 minutes before seeing me (my appointment was at 3!) they set off a flurry of worries!

I left that appointment feeling pretty damn despondent. I mean, if my family is built to have babies as my moms has said for as long as I can remember, what the hell is wrong with me? Why was this shoulder thing never once mentioned to my moms or sister-in-law, who are both five-foot nothing and had ginormous 9 pounders? Why were c-sections never once in the cards for them? And it can’t just be the diabetes, because my sister-in-law had gestational diabetes for all her pregnancies? So what the hell is wrong with me?

I know a c-section isn’t the worst thing that could happen to me, and I know some super strong women who had to undergo c-sections for various reasons, but when you’ve heard your whole life your body was built for baby bearing, and now that’s potentially being snatched away from you, I don’t know it feels like a DNF or a DQ… a failure. And the worst part is, I feel I’ve done everything right. My blood sugars have been near perfect, I haven’t over indulged in sweets and fatty treats. I just don’t understand where I went wrong. And that sucks!

We haven’t made a final decision yet, we’re going to wait and see what my next ultrasound on Aug. 23 reveals. The OB said if the baby appears to be 10+ pounds (are you freaking kidding me? How the heck does it go from 5 pounds to 10+ in one month???) then we’ll need to have a serious discussion about the risks and benefits for both sides…

And because of all that, I was forced – forced, I tell you – to go buy a new pair of shoes… or two. And then I was forced – forced, I tell you – to go for another calming pedicure.

Otherwise it would have been tears city, and we can’t have that now can we 😉

Down-up deja ‘view’

Yesterday morning when I woke up I was feeling like crud – like in the sharp sheering, gut-wrenching, ohmygawd my stomach is being ripped apart crud – and I’ll be honest, the last thing I wanted to do was go for a ride. But it had been weeks since our last ride together, in fact I think it was my birthday. We were supposed to go last week but the rain and migraine got in the way of that, and I knew if I didn’t go and then started to feel better, I’d be kicking myself for the entire rest of the day. So, I geared up.

Mario rode towards UBC while I drove … I’ve decided I much prefer starting my rides at UBC rather than riding out to UBC as it gives me more time in the city.

Now, there’s two options for starting this ride:

  1. We ride up Camosun, 81 metres of climbing over 2.4 km
  2. We turn left and ride along Marine, which is like a never-ending road of slight incline, which seriously pisses me off, because it looks flat, so flat I should be making good speed, but noooo, that invisible hill has me going at a snail’s pace for like 500 km.

Mario thought, because I was feeling like the aforementioned crud, I’d choose the so-called “easy” route, and so he turned left right off the hop. But the thing is, despite my huffing and puffing, and my cursing and glaring, I like Camosun. The hill is hell, but it’s a quick hill, and I know once I peak that hill, I’ve got a seriously long downhill coming at me – who wouldn’t choose that route? And so, I clipped into my pedals, turned right and pumped my legs super duper fast, silently giggling at the thought of Mario having to turn around and catch up to me, which he did at three quarters of the way, but three quarters of the way nonetheless. One hill down.

The bottom of Camosun, which by the way, is bumpy as hell to ride down!

Not long into the ride, Mario made mention of us possibly going down the “big” hill to Spanish Banks, but quickly hedged back on the thought, figuring I wouldn’t be up for the climb back up Jericho: 90 metres elevation, 81 metres climbing, 2 km distance. “Well, I’ve got to do it at some point,” I said. And I kid you not, Mario’s eyes instantly twinkled and within minutes we were zooming – I mean ZOOMING – down the big hill.

Before climbing back up, we stopped at Greek Days on Broadway and noodled around for a bit. It was there that I realized, I couldn’t turn my bike computer off and that it was still recording my average pace, which given that we’d been walking – SLOWLY– around for a good 15 minutes, my pace drastically dropped, which totally annoyed the hell out of me. So the entire route to Jericho, I was pedaling as fast as I could, trying to get my pace back up to a decent average. But then, I had to climb Jericho and the pace majorly took a nosedive again. Two hills done.

We stopped at Malones for a patio lunch with our bikes, and I started to gripe about my lost average, and Mario said, “Well, we could just go down the big hill again…” Without thinking it through, I accepted the challenge. Two down/up Jerichos in one day PLUS an up/down Camosun, that’s never before been heard of in Princess history. I so deserved that chocolate chip cookie from Mix Bakery, one of the best bakeries EVER! Three hills done.


  • 11 a.m. BG before: 10.6
  • Temp. basal: -100 per cent (4 hours)
  • Distance: 45 km
  • Average pace: 23.9 km/h
  • Fastest pace: 49.4 (it felt faster)
  • Time: 2:12:36
  • 3:30 p.m. BG after: 8.2
  • Temp. basal: +50 per cent (2 hours)

And I so deserved half this funghi pizza and a nice cold glass of Belgian beer too!

Just look at that pizza! And the dark beer! Yum! Yum! Yum!


Murder he wrote

I’m not a millionaire, not even close, I don’t have a life insurance policy, and until recently I was pretty sure Mario hadn’t secretly taken one out on me. But then there was yesterday: 80 km on a bike, 4 days after racing my half marathon, and 9 days before having to race my full marathon. Oh yes, there was a lot of cursing going on, some under my breath, and some quite clearly vocal.


  • 10 a.m. BG before: 9.6
  • Temp. basal: -50 per cent
  • Distance: 80 km
  • Average speed: 20.8 km/hour
  • Time: 3:48:00
  • @10 km BG: 8.0 @45 km BG: 4.9 (lunch, no bolus = big mistake!) @65 km BG: 14.4 (bolus 2.00 units)
  • 3 p.m. BG after: 11.1
  • Temp. basal +50 per cent (1.5 hours)

Because the sun was still shining yesterday and because Mario and I hadn’t been out on the bike in quite some time, and because it’s not often we get to ride together on a weekday, and because I hadn’t done much (and by much I mean anything) since racing the half on Sunday, we decided to go for a ride. I had no idea he was banking on 80 km!!!

While I can run for miles and miles, this is only the second ride in my cycling history of clocking in at 80 km. The first 80 km ride happened just one and a half months into my cycling resurgence, when I told Mario I wanted to be challenged. So, with me on a my fold-up bike, we rode to Horseshoe Bay and for those of you who know the area, you know it’s pretty much a non-stop hill. Needless to say, probably about the third hill in the curses and dirty looks were flying strong. This time around, Mario invited a buddy of his to come along, which meant I’d pretty much be riding solo, which normally isn’t a huge deal. However, when you’re consistently trailing by like 50 car lengths, then it becomes a big deal.

And the worst of it, this buddy of Mario’s had only just taken up cycling weeks ago, whereas I’ve been riding for a good three or four years. I tried to justify my turtle pace: His leg muscles were much more manly than mine (thank God!) but his had hair and mine didn’t; advantage me. I’d rode all the way from New West, whereas he’d only joined us at UBC; advantage him. I’d just raced a half marathon, my muscles were fatigued, but he’d just gone through a life-change that could slow anyone down; advantage me.

Was it a murder plot planned by the both of them? Do-do-doooooooo!

Not one reason I came up with made it any better. My legs were dying, aching with fatigue, they didn’t want to go any further, and my mindset wasn’t helping matters. With every kilometre that clicked on my bike computer, the blazing ball of red fury that was glowering from my eyes burned ever brighter. And then, I nearly burst when I saw the tiny dots of Mario and his buddy approach Blanca Street. “There is no F$#@^%*# way I am going down there,” I spat out. See, I’ve ridden this route quite a few times with Mario and while normally we go the opposite way, I knew where this road would lead – DOWN to Jericho Beach. And just like gravity what goes down must come up and that hill is a friggin’ bitch on fresh legs not to mention mushed out legs. They turned. He was lucky, because had he not, I may have very well have taken my own insurance policy out on him! Just saying…