Baby Update

Patrick and I did it – we are pregnant. It took two months (we were unsuccessful in month one and successful in month two). We waited the traditional 12 weeks before announcing the pregnancy. The first trimester was fairly rough, but I kept reminding myself of what my mother said “Enjoy this time. It’s not often that you are pregnant.”

Besides the happy news of baby Lemieux, there has been some sad news. My dad has been in hospital for almost a month now and it’s been stressful. Patrick and I have been flying to Wisconsin weekly to visit and keep Mom and Elizabeth company. I’m so thankful that I am not abroad this year and that I am pregnant and able to skip training to be with my family when needed.

Now, back to the fun stuff. Here are some fun things about my pregnancy:

How many weeks pregnant: 13.

My guess on gender: I thought it was a girl, until I saw the ultrasound and then I thought boy.

Pat’s guess on gender: Boy.

Food aversions: Weeks 5-11, I could not stand meat, vegetables, or salads. I also could not cook as the smell of cooking was awful (thank goodness for Patrick!). I would try so hard to have a salad, but a bite of anything nutritious made me nauseous.

Food cravings: I would call it food survival, not cravings, as nothing else sounded good. I could stomach white toast with butter, white pasta with butter and/or cheese, cottage cheese, bagels and cream cheese, crackers and cheese, mashed potatoes, and fruit. Basically I could eat anything that was white in color, or anything unhealthy. I also craved sweets. I had hot chocolate every night as well as cookies, pastries, donuts and more. Patrick said he was going to make a salad for dinner and I said, “That’s OK, but how about we just go to McDonalds? I’d be happy with a double cheeseburger, fries, and a shake.” I was eating unhealthy and am unsure if it’s the hormones or if I’m giving myself a “break” from my normal healthy eating habits.

Sleep: I am sleeping 10-12 hours a night, plus a long nap mid-day. This is not normal. Usually I sleep 8 hours a night with a short 15 to 20-minute nap.

When I feel my best: I feel my best when running. My nausea seems to disappear when I’m running so I’ve been running quite a lot to escape the first trimester blues.

When I feel my worst: I feel my worst when I have an empty stomach or when I smell cooking. I started to leave crackers and apples by my bed to eat in the middle of the night and in the morning. Poor Patrick wakes up to some loud crunching.

Biggest area of growth: My stomach was the first to get bigger, followed by my chest, thighs, waist, and more. For a month or two, I just felt flabby. Now I feel pregnant :)

Times I go to the bathroom during the night: On average, I go to the bathroom three times a night.

Belly button in or out? My belly button is still in and I think it’s even more pronounced now that I have more fat on my belly.

Wedding rings still fit? Yep! Although my legs get swollen.

Best moment of being pregnant so far: Seeing baby Lemieux move on the ultrasound and counting baby’s 10 fingers.

Worst moment of being pregnant so far: Waking up and feeling awful, followed by a day of laying in bed. One day I felt so sick and tired, I spent the entire day in bed without my phone, computer, TV, or book. Pat delivered food in bed and I spent the rest of the day with a bucket within an arm’s reach.

On my to-do list: Patrick and I are actively looking for a home and have been unsuccessful. We have a ticking time bomb to get a home (and then outfit the home with baby supplies!).

Training: I have been exercising about once a day. For the first trimester, I didn’t feel well enough to do more than one thing a day. Now that I feel better, I don’t have time with all the travel back home. It’s nice to take a break from the intensity and three workouts a day, although I do miss feeling fit. I have been mostly running just because that’s what feels the best and that’s what is easiest when traveling. I sometimes hop in the water for a swim, but usually only get in 1,000-2,000 yards. (I get bored quite quickly without my training buddies.) I haven’t been biking much as it’s winter and I don’t have the motivation to ride a trainer.

Patrick and I are going to wait to find out the sex of the child. 2016 was an amazing year, but 2017 will be the best by far (as long as Dad heals up!). Having a child trumps any and every athletic achievement. The joy Patrick and I have right now is indescribable and I can’t even imagine what we will feel when the baby is born. I will obviously stay state-side this year for medical care and will not be racing triathlons

 

 Picture of Baby Lemieux  

Picture of Baby Lemieux  

 Going for a walk as my second "workout" 

Going for a walk as my second "workout" 

 :) 

:) 

 I went to the Pettit for a run while I was in Wisconsin.

I went to the Pettit for a run while I was in Wisconsin.

 This is how I felt most days in the first trimester  

This is how I felt most days in the first trimester  

2016 Gwen Jorgensen Scholarship Recipients

It is with much excitement that Patrick and I announce the 2016 Gwen Jorgensen Scholarship recipients. The Gwen Jorgensen Scholarship was founded in 2014. It was created to assist junior draft-legal triathletes and paratriathletes in pursuit of excellence in the sport.

This year there were 223 applicants. Patrick and I loved reading through the applications as it allows us to feel more connected to the current junior racers. Deciding on the recipients is the hardest part. Thank you to all who applied, and to those who were not awarded, Patrick and I encourage you to apply in the future.

Special thanks to USA Triathlon Foundation, ROKA, the New York Athletic Club, Sleep Number, Jennie-O Turkey and the other private donors for their financial contributions. Patrick and I contributed over $10,000; however, thanks to the other donors, we are awarding over $35,000.

The following juniors are awarded $5,000 this year:

·       Owen Cravens (13-year-old paratriathlete from Algonquin, Illinois)

·       Lauren Steinke (17-year-old triathlete from St. Cloud, Minnesota)

·       Austin Hindman (18-year-old triathlete from Wildwood, Missouri)

·       Jocelyn Bonney (18-year-old triathlete from Long Beach, California)

·       Drew Kroeker (15-year-old triathlete from Colorado Springs, Colorado)

 

·       Christy Lausch (coach of MC Elite, a junior triathlon team from Mount Airy, Maryland) is awarded $5,000.

·       Deanna Gellineau and Allysa Seely are awarded $5,000 for a paratriathlon camp in Arizona

 

The following two individuals will receive a new Specialized bike:

·       Veronika Davis (16-year-old triathlete from San Diego, California)

·       Nick Johnson (17-year-old triathlete from Des Moines, Iowa)

 

The Gwen Jorgensen Scholarship will continue in 2017. More information about the application process will be available in 2017.

Thank you,

Gwen Jorgensen and Patrick Lemieux

Island House Tri and NYC Marathon

So much has happened since my last post that I've fielded questions to organize my thoughts:

What have I been up to since Cozumel?

Patrick and I went on a mountain bike vacation in the North Woods of Wisconsin. It was a perfect recharge. I traveled for sponsor and media engagements. For Patrick’s birthday, we flew to Austin, Texas, for the Formula 1 race. Red Bull sponsors two F1 teams so Patrick and I were able to enjoy the race from Red Bull’s suite. I loved how accessible the drivers were. Every driver, even the ones who were not the favorites, were interviewed by the announcers. We walked in the pits and talked to the drivers. Taylor Swift performed at the F1 after party. Taylor was visibly sick, blowing her nose throughout the show, but she was a professional and had an amazing performance. My favorite part was hearing Shake It Off.

What was my training like after my WTS race in Cozumel and before the Island House Tri and NYC Marathon?

I had about four weeks to prepare for both the Island House Triathlon and the NYC Marathon. I started riding my Time Trial (TT) bike twice a week. I did some longer TT efforts (3x10 minutes) and hated them. I complained, but got the work done. I also started to increase my runs. Before Cozumel, my longest run was about 19km. After, I increased to 25km. With the help of Jamie, I started doing one marathon workout a week. I did 3x6km, the TC 10 Mile, and twice I did 3x7km. Every week was new and my pace varied from 3:45 to 3:30 per km. The TC 10 Mile was so much fun and I exceeded my expectations when I ran 53:13.

How was the 2016 Island House Triathlon?

The 2016 Island House Triathlon had a new format: it was a three-day stage race. Every day was non drafting and athletes competed on TT bikes. I would have much preferred to use my road bike, but using TT bikes made the race more fair between the short course and long course athletes. Eighteen females started the race and after two days, the bottom eight were eliminated. Day one started with a 750m swim. An hour later, we did a 20km TT on the bike. Two hours later, we completed a 5km run. After day one, I was in third place, about a minute behind first. This was what I expected.

Day two was a 750m swim, 5km run, 40km bike, 750m swim and a 5km run straight through with no breaks. Patrick recommended I run conservatively on the first run. I didn’t allow myself to run faster than 10km pace for the first 5km run. This strategy worked and I ended up biking well and was able to end the day in first place, making up more than a minute deficit.

Day three was a non-draft sprint triathlon. I had about a 45-second lead going into the final day and was able to come away with the win. I was surprised and happy with my performance, especially with my bike on day two. Thank you to everyone who made The Island House Triathlon a success. It is not easy to put on a race, especially after Hurricane Matthew hit the Island a few weeks prior. The Bahamians have done an incredible job cleaning up the island and getting it back to where it was pre-hurricane. I can’t wait to go back to the Bahamas!

Why did I decide to run the NYC Marathon?

I’ve been asked if running the marathon was a publicity stunt. This surprised me, but because of all the press I received, I can see why people may have thought this. I actually don’t like the limelight (as I am an introvert), but I learned I cannot do anything anonymously or quietly after winning a gold medal at the Olympics.

Out of the three triathlon disciplines, running is my favorite and I’ve always wanted to try a marathon. The NYC Marathon is an iconic event and a distance everyone, even non runners, know. I couldn’t run a marathon before the Rio Olympics—I asked Jamie if I could and he said no. But after accomplishing my goal in Rio, I thought, What better timing than now to run a marathon?! I signed up with no expectations, no goals, and no agenda. I wanted to run the marathon because I love running and I wanted to see what I could do.

Thank you, ASICS, for working with New York Road Runners (NYRR) to enter me into the NYC Marathon without a qualifying time. I’m proud to work with both ASICS and NYRR to give back. Last year, NYC Marathon runners raised $33.9 million for charities.  While in NYC, I participated in the #ExtraMile. ASICS donated a pair of shoes to Girls on the Run for each person who completed the ASICS Extra Mile Challenge. I ran the #ExtraMile and met some of the girls from Girls on the Run who received the shoes. Seeing the girls excitement, enthusiasm, and joy was well worth the extra mile I ran/walked post marathon.

What was the NYC Marathon like?

I had a prior engagement in Madison, Wisconsin, on Friday, November 4th, so I flew to NYC the next day and woke up Sunday morning excited and nervous to race.

The race was professional. It felt like a World Championship with the hospitality and support—smooth airport pickups, onsite massage and chiro, hospitality suite, meals covered by the race directors, etc. Thank you, NYRR, for the wonderful welcome!

My race started at 9:20am in Staten Island. Since we were staying near Central Park, athletes were bused to Staten Island at 6:15am. We arrived at an indoor track around 7:45am. During the bus ride, we drove through some of the five boroughs. I thought, This is taking a long time. How in the world am I going to cover this distance by foot?! At the indoor track, some of the athletes started warming up and I remember thinking, I can’t waste one step. I’m going to need every ounce of energy to get me to that finish line.

At 8:30am, we reloaded the bus and drove five minutes to the starting line. I did a three-minute jog and a few run throughs. The race started and the first 5km was super slow. When the next 5km started, I thought, Sheesh! This feels kind of quick. And before I knew it, we had run two kms around 3:20 pace. This was way too quick for me and I ended up averaging 3:29 pace for the second 5km.

Going into the race, I had no goals or expectations, but I told myself I couldn’t run any kilometers faster than 3:30, so running 5km under this pace was not ideal.

After the change in pace, I decided to slow down and drop from the group. I ran solo for a long time into a headwind. I did have Neely Gracey to run behind for a bit, but she ended up dropping me. I’ve been asked, “At which mile did you start to feel the wall?” And I really can’t remember one moment or time when this happened. I remember a lot of pain. Every step hurt. It hurt to run downhill, it hurt to run uphill, and it hurt to just move. The hardest part was the last 5km. I remember thinking, Please, finish line, are you here yet? I knew I could make it to the finish line, but I was exhausted, tired, and my competitive nature was drained out of me. Two or three people passed me in the last few kilometers. Usually when someone passes, I latch on for as long as possible. But this time, I let them go without attempting to go with them. I just hoped to reach that finish line alive.

When I finished, I was disappointed. I’m not sure what I would have been happy with, but I’m not happy with 2:41.

Do I wish I had trained differently?

Yes, and no...I didn’t have the proper amount of time to train. I think I should have done more training on hard surfaces. Because I was increasing my run mileage, I tried to train on soft surfaces but on race day, my legs were sore before mile 10 (because my legs weren't used to the pavement).  

Should I have tapered more?

I decided to not taper as I wasn’t running enough for a taper to be effective. Prior to the NYC Marathon, I peaked around 70-80km a week, and I ended up with my highest weekly mileage on race week at 90km.

What was my favorite part of the race?

The fans! I cannot tell you how many people cheered “GO GWEN!” Thank you, thank you, thank you! I wish I had enough energy to smile and say thank you as I passed, but I was using every ounce of my energy to move me forward. I think my favorite sign I saw said:

SWIM
BIKE
JUST RUN GWEN!

I will never forget the fans, the pain, and the NYC Marathon. It was such cool experience. 

*My splits from my watch in the NYC Marathon via my GPS watch per km:

4:19

3:34

3:33

3:41

3:29

3:31

3:20

3:26

3:24

3:34

3:29

3:35

3:33

3:35

3:33

3:29

3:35

3:30

3:25

3:47

3:45

3:52

3:42

3:58

4:24

3:58

3:42

3:53

3:42

3:57

4:01

4:14

3:50

3:56

3:57

3:51

4:05

4:11

3:58

4:19

4:22

4:10

What’s next?

In an ideal world, I want to get pregnant and have a baby and then train for Tokyo in 2020, but you can’t plan pregnancies. Patrick and I were unsuccessful in month one, and we are now on month two. I will take a little break before slowing getting back into some swimming, biking and running.

 Mountain bike vacation

Mountain bike vacation

 TC 10 mile race

TC 10 mile race

 TC 10 mile

TC 10 mile

 Sleep Number event with Patrick

Sleep Number event with Patrick

 Loving the F1 race

Loving the F1 race

 Island House Triathlon TT bike on day 1

Island House Triathlon TT bike on day 1

 Exiting the water at the Island House Triathlon 

Exiting the water at the Island House Triathlon 

 Island House Triathlon

Island House Triathlon

 Fundraiser for the WI Bike Federation 

Fundraiser for the WI Bike Federation 

 One of many signs I saw at the NYC Marathon - thanks for all the cheers!

One of many signs I saw at the NYC Marathon - thanks for all the cheers!

 The struggle of those last few steps at the NYC Marathon ...

The struggle of those last few steps at the NYC Marathon ...