The ABC of a post partum recovery

At 6.5 weeks post partum, I might not have the visibility into everything. But I wanted to write this because a lot of people who have come to see Arhan have asked me, in a hushed, confidential tone, how I am doing. I say I’m doing great. It’s like, there is an epidemic out there of post partum depression. That’s the image cultivated by the media too. I don’t disagree it’s hard for some more than others. Sure, there’s some physical discomfort, challenges with breast feeding, getting comfortable with the baby etc. But I didn’t expect this to be a walk in the park. I didn’t expect to be miserable either. And more importantly, I’ve had tremendous amount of help and so really, truly, frankly it’s been great.

So here is what I think about having a healthy, positive post partum recovery.

A is for acceptance.

If 10 months of pregnancy didn’t teach you patience and acceptance of a body you ceased to recognize, you better get it straight now. You’re not going to be running marathons just as yet or drinking with friends in the pub. But it will happen, slowly and surely, you will be going back to doing those and more. Moreover, post partum is WAY better than the last 4 weeks of pregnancy, where you’re pretty much a beached whale playing the waiting game. It’s also about accepting that everything is not going to be the way it was. EVER. I am not talking about having the efficiency around housework. Its having to accept that there is always going to be someone and something more important than your immediate needs that will need more attention. And it’s about being happy about it. Pregnancy is like an idyllic time sometimes that prepares you naught for what parenting is really like. There’s nothing glamorous about less sleep, diaper changes, incessant feeding, learning to cope with baby and other aspects of life. But overwhelming that it is, the first thing you have to do is accept it for what it is and only then can you actually enjoy the smaller things. Like the way your baby calls out to you when he needs something. Mine is a man of few words. He just calls once and you will be at that beck. He won’t cry and bring the house down but that one yell can be heard anywhere in the house. He knows he’s boss now.

B is for bonding.

Not just between you and your baby. But also between you and your baby and everyone else. I’ve had incredible support from my husband and mother-in-law. Early weeks into post partum we established a routine of sorts. A neat division of labor. I was responsible for feeds and some diaper changes. Bharath took bulk of diaper changes, bringing the baby to me when he needed feeding, helping with calming Arhan if he was fussy and most importantly, taking care of me. And Amma took care of the household and Arhan during our off times, namely early mornings and afternoons. She is exceptional when it comes to MILs.  I have never felt judged by her and genuinely gives me the same care she gave her own daughter. From preparing my meals carefully, to making sure I had enough food as I was feeding constantly, to  taking amazing care of the baby – she spends long hours babbling to him, she will change his diapers, put him to sleep, calm him. To us, this seems normal. But many people asked me why I didn’t have my mom come help instead. To that my answer was always that my MIL was the best equipped to help. She had seen two recent new borns, Arhan’s cousins and she is one of the most tireless, selfless people I know. My mother, who is coming in later months to help, was missed in her presence but not because I was lacking in affection or care. So I have grown closer to my husband and mother in law like never before.  My FIL had a chance to stay with us too and for the first time in his life, he held a newborn. We have also spent lots of time with my sister-in-law’s family. I feel as a family, this child has already brought us so much closer in these few weeks.

I feel closer also to my friends. We were accepting visitors from day 1. I was so touched with all of our friends who wanted to come and showed so much love for our child.  I can’t say I was this loving towards other people’s babies before. I have a great group of close friends, some of them first time moms. They dropped by with food or just to hang out with the baby and me. Thank god for social media! Thank god for Whatsapp! and Facebook. I am constantly chatting with my FTM mom friends on Whatsapp! about every little challenge. I have 2 or 3 Whatsapp groups with mom friends. Its amazing knowing that no matter what, I am not alone in this. No problem is too insignificant and we revel that our kids will grow up together.

B is also for breast feeding.

Whether it is for you or not, whether you have too much milk supply (I did) or too little (too many other women I know), get help early.  And if you’re not, no big deal. I found a great lactation consultant who gave me solid advice and advice I could work with (she said I could drink yeah!). She was knowledgeable but flexible. I spoke to her several times after the visit too and it’s the best money I spent. I could write a whole different post on breast feeding but the long and short of it is, yes it’s natural and yes, its bloody hard. It’s both. And because it’s not easy, get all the help you can early on. You may exclusively breast feed, pump and feed, breast feed with formula or just formula. Whatever you do, remember the long term picture – too much hullaballoo on breast feeding these days – your baby WILL grow, he or she will have normal brain development and his or her success as a human being in life will not hinge only on whether you breast fed enough. (It does hinge however on who you are). Formula is not evil. So I would ask women everywhere, to stop beating themselves up over breast feeding and just do what works. I for one, had over supply which came with it’s own issues – engorgement, gassy baby from excessive let down (flow), baby in distress during feeds (imagine drinking from a fire hose), hard for baby and mom to feel comfortable feeding. Everyone assumes that its easy just because there’s enough milk and he’s growing well. It’s hard with too much milk too. I remember one night, howling in pain from engorgement, trying to figure out how the pump works. That night my son was my champion. He fed every hour, helping to assuage the quantity and pain. He is such a good kid.

And finally, C is for challenges.

There will be those everyday especially with breast feeding, diaper rashes, baby not sleeping, baby sleeping too much, not enough poop, too much poop, sick baby, sick mommy etc etc. And you will overcome them all with the help you have. So get all the help you can. And no help will be redundant. Challenges also mean sometimes you’re going two steps forward, one step back. For example, after 6 weeks my OB okayed me for exercise. How excited was I after staying homebound for 6 weeks. So i went to post natal yoga (which was fun – yoga with the baby – more on that later) and a long walk with Amma and Arhan in his brand new Bob stroller (love it). I promptly fell ill the next day. So I spent the remaining time in bed, quarantined and handing baby off to Amma. And that’s fine too – I just hope he doesn’t forget who I am. That I doubt – now that he has begun to recognize me and my voice, he makes lip smacking sounds at me. It is extremely endearing.

So if you can let go and just let your baby and life take over, let the days meld into nights of feeding but also spending lots of time looking at your baby’s hands and feet, marveling at how you made something so beautiful and perfect, let everyone who wants to help you, do so in their own way – whether someone brings the baby to you, feeds you, helps with laundry, helps clean the house/kitchen and even when things are in no shape or form the way you want them to be, let it go. Because these days are not coming back. The first smile, that yell he gives us when he needs a diaper change, even him crying when he is fussy – every little thing he does makes me want to crush him with love. I am extremely lucky to have had the support system I have but I am also lucky to have a calm baby who is reasonably fussy. But even if your baby is unreasonably fussy, you still need to hold onto those moments because they’re not coming back.  Always remember, that it’s harder for them than for you. You’ve had a lifetime of coping with challenges. For them, even the basic act of feeding is work. That’s why we laud babies that feed well – they’re doing their job well! For them, things are changing and they’re growing every single minute of every single day by leaps and bounds. And, that’s the first thing I have learned about being a parent. C is for Change. Change is eminent and constant. So live every minute of it well.


The birth report

This blog has seen a lot of race reports. Here’s a first birth report. What’s it doing in a blog about running and fitness, you wonder? But this blog has kind of morphed into something which is related to running and fitness but more about my thoughts in general. And there are so many parellels with a race, I think it would be appropriate to write about it here. Anyway, read at your own risk, some gory details included :).

You’re also wondering how do I have the time to blog now, 20 days after birth, the days and nights are melting together into feed times, burping, changing diapers. It’s also full of lovely moments where I nearly crush my baby in my arms, heart exploding with love. I look at him and wonder how he was in my tummy and how incredible it is that we played a part in creating something so perfect. No one is perfect until you give birth to them. Fact. But I can do it because of the incredible support from family (husband and mother-in-law) during these post partum days. My main job is to feed Arhan and bond with him. Cooking, cleaning, laundry is handled by MIL and I help when I can. I cannot even imagine having to do this on my own. So I get some time to blog and internet :).

Anyway, this post is more about my weeks prior to birth and labor. I always wanted a natural delivery but given that I was having a lot of fake contractions through pregnancy I had all but given up exercising in June, my 8th month going into 9th. Also work was terribly busy and I was having 10 hour days. So working out, including yoga was distant in my mind. I rationalized it thinking I didn’t want to go into early labor. Maybe it was prudent. But, I don’t recommend it. Even with frequent and irregular Braxton Hicks (fake) contractions I recommend all to-be-moms to continue some form of exercise routine. Even if it’s at home and about 20-30 minutes of yoga (the best) or walking (second best). Yoga really helps tone the birthing muscles (pelvis, thighs etc.) and bring baby into position. Walking helps in those last few weeks to help baby descend.

I stopped working 2 weeks before my due date. And that’s when I went back to exercise. The baby had dropped I felt (called, lightening) and I felt a new lease of energy. The pressure against the chest had eased. I took to taking 2 mile walks a day interspersed with 15-30 minutes of yoga a few times a week. My baby wasn’t in the right position (right until birth) so that’s what I was doing.

I completely believe he got down to zero station (head on cervix) due to my walks. The walks were exhilirating and inconvenient at the same time with all the pressure his head put on my pelvis. Yet I do not doubt it worked, as my mom and my doctor and midwife told me it would. But it didn’t start labor.

Contractions continued intermittently but not regular. Finally due to a minor complication in the final week of pregnancy, I went in to get induced. I was devastated. I thought this may snatch the natural delivery from me. Oh how I’d researched and studied labor comfort positions, my husband was well prepped to be my birth coach and I shuddered at the thought of an epidural making my lower body go numb. In my head, induction (using pitocin, a drug to induce labor that mimics oxytocin that brings on labor) implied epidural and could lead to c-section. Countless women’s stories had tested this hypothesis. I won’t go into the details. I viewed pitocin as the drug that brought on strong and regular but unnatural contractions and I thought I might not withstand the pain.

But I was also secretly excited. I was finally ready to meet my baby! We were ready with all his stuff and everyone at home was just waiting.

When I went in to get induced, the doctor on call started with non-drug interventions. They started with a foley bulb that helps with cervical ripening. At the end of that procedure (overnight), I was 7 cm dilated. We were elated. Maybe I would start labor! They broke the water and I spent the whole day walking, doing yoga poses to get labor started. But labor did not start. Finally after nearly 24 hours of being in the hospital with no labor (was a great time actually, like being in a hotel, we listened to music, watched shows on Netflix and ordered dinner), they started the pitocin drip at 6 pm on Friday Aug 2.

And  in an hour labor began. I knew this was it. The contractions were spaced 3-4 minutes apart and they came strong. My husband was phenomenal during this time. We used ALL the tools we came to hospital with – the myriad positions, the birthing ball, the yoga mat, and tips from the birthing classes. It was going really well. The thought of an epidural didn’t even cross my mind. I knew exactly when a contraction would come (pitocin doesn’t give any relief like natural labor) and knew how long my breaks were. I’d relax during the breaks and think about eating a burger, P Terry’s in particular. We had hindustani classical music playing to help through the relaxation.

Things suddenly began going downhill when the nurses couldn’t get the baby HR monitor to stay on my rotund belly. They kept poking and prodding and we were getting very agitated with this unnecessary disturbance. All we wanted to do was work through the contractions. But they kept coming in and prodding the monitor. Finally, my doctor came in and explained we might need internal monitoring. That’s when they insert an electrical thingy and stick it on the baby’s head and the electrical charges help with monitoring the heart rate. We were appalled and against it. But we quickly understood it wasn’t much of a choice between that and being supine to have the monitor do its job. So finally we acquiesced and that’s when she said I had progressed  in terms of dilation. But I was close to 8 cm. That was great. Things were moving.

I tried to sit on the floor on the yoga mat to lie down. The bed was too soft. As soon as I sat on the floor, I felt an incredible urge to go to the bathroom! Yikes, it was already time to push. I’d been in labor only about 2 hours. I kept saying, it’s probably too early but we should call the nurse. I got back on the bed and as soon as I did, I felt the baby was coming. Pushing was the hardest part about labor. The contractions were the most painful and the urge to push was so strong I had to scream to manage the pain. That was probably the only time I might have wanted to epidural. I told myself, it was too late. The midwife came in and began instructing me. She was absolutely amazing. Bharath says my connection with her during this noisy time was quite remarkable. He kept me hydrated and kept encouraging me, saying I was doing just fine. But I zoned everything else out and it was me and the midwife. They got the delivery table ready with what looked like torture implements. I looked away and just kept focus on pushing. I was fading at this time. In between contractions I drank water and the nurse got me an oxygen mask which felt like heaven.

The final push, I will never forget. When we knew it was time,I asked Bharath to change the music to a vedic chant we liked, the Gayatri Mantra. Neither of us are very religious but we wanted Arhan to come into calm amidst the hospital chaos. The music also helped my mood change even though the pain level just spiked. I knew it was time. It felt like a ball of fire came through the birth canal. The midwife told me not to push hard and to calibrate the push. I almost stopped pushing for fear of spilling out the baby on the floor. I tried a little harder and like a ball of fire he came out. Oh my, what a relief it was. There wasn’t a minute to feel anything except extreme relief and exhaustion. The nurses helped Bharath cut the umbilical cord. I don’t know what else was going on. Then they put him on my chest. All gooey from the birth canal in a towel. He came out bawling but as soon as they placed him on me, he went quiet and began starting wondrously at the lights in the room. Everyone kept saying, what a beautiful baby. But I was still too dazed from the whole experience and how fast it happened. Labor of 4.5 hours including pushing! Unbelievable. All the things that I imagined that could have gone wrong with drug induced labor, none of them happened. I had pitocin. I had internal monitoring. But I hadn’t needed the epidural. (Had I been in labor a few more hours I don’t know how this story would have gone I hope I’d have done it without my spine getting numb).

Holding Arhan in my arms was pretty darn awesome. I silently thanked him later for making it easy on me. He was kind to his mother. He was a good baby through the pregnancy but he was especially remarkable for how good he was to me during labor. I’ll forever be thankful for that.

So my continued advice to all to be moms – exercise, eat well, sleep well. And make those last few weeks count – get on the floor, sit on the floor in Indian style, squat, cat-cows and lots of walking. There is no guarantee your labor will be short but these things help, tried and tested!!


The 36 minute speed workout, with love from Joao

So I spent one night a week at a hotel thanks to work. And using the best advice I got from my masseuse/running mentor/ultra runner Olga (check out her blog), I’ve been putting this time to good use. I use the hotel gym to do my hill workouts or speed workouts. Because even though its speed workouts with Joe on Tuesdays, it’s so hot that there is no speed. There is only one thought “must not pass out, must finish run running/standing”. Last Tuesday it was brutal at 101F, walking up the Hill of Life, I had to sit down 3 times to bring down my HR. Three times! I’ve never had to SIT during a run!

Anyhoo, back to the hotel workout. So it’s something I learned with my hottie Brazilian coach Joao. Warm up for 1/2 a mile at an even pace on the treadmill. So you run at like 5-5.5 miles to get your HR up (and your legs awake if it’s in the morning). That took around 6 minutes. And then its 5-6 repeats of the following: run hard (I run at 7mi per hour or at 8.34 pace) for 4 minutes and then recover for 2 minutes. I usually go for full recovery so that I can make the 4 minutes easier and make it count. Otherwise it feels like my heart will pop. The workout seems easy but each repeat gets harder. The hardest is probably the second or third because recovery takes the whole 2 mins. By recovery I mean, either run/jog slow at 4.5-5 miles per hour or sometimes I power walk at 4 miles and use the entire 2 minutes to bring down the HR. When I used to do this in Brazil, outside, I didn’t have an idea of the pace, so I was told to use a target HR. So hard means running at 175-180 rpm and recovery is at 140 rpm. (Dreamy Joao used to say Hart Hate, but he meant love).

So based on your speed your 4-2 intervals will vary but it’s a good way to start with target HR also.

It is one of the best workouts for

1) becoming faster – I did about 3.5 miles in 36 minutes and it gets better every time. When I ran the 10K in Sao Paulo, I really felt myself becoming much faster thanks to 3 months of medium long runs and lots of speed workouts like this.

2) losing weight – trust me it works best when you run hard (and of course don’t pound on breakfast right after)

3) when you don’t have much time, the whole workout is 36 minutes! It can be shorter if you’re faster than me or you can run longer miles if you’re faster than me.

4) It’s not great for endurance but if you do it frequently your recovery times get shorter and you’re able to sustain longer intervals at high speeds. So eventually endurance builds up if you’re able to go up to 45 minutes. Remember you only need 30 minutes (intervals of 4 + 2) for 5 repeats so more than that will help build endurance I think.

Again I’m no expert so take this at face value!

Running through questions

First, a 4 mile run in 100F feels very different when it ends from when you begin. I like to think I have gotten better at handling heat. And you bet I have. Last year, I wouldn’t have made it through this run. But I think slowly but steadily getting out there in the heat, humidity and whathaveyou in TX or elsewhere in the US where there have been heat waves, it’s been working. Every run is different but every run has helped build that resilience to high temps. In Chicago, there was a heat wave but I got in about 4-5 runs in my week long trip there. Even though it was disgustingly humid and I walked a lot more than I ran, I still managed to do 3-4 miles. Being on the lakeshore obviously helped. It was gorgeous with or without the heat. It was different running in the midwest, where I lived as a couch potato. I saw the city and the town I lived in for five years of grad school, West Lafayette IN in new light. Bharath even showed me a neat 2 mile trail inside the city that would have been gorgeous for running even in the winter. Bharath actually did some of these short runs with me but he really doesn’t like running (despite his new Vibrams which felt better). Still, I was glad for the company at times.


Rants cntd.

Most of my blog posts are muses or sometimes, gushes about my latest outdoor activities. Today it’s a rant. I’m pissed off and frankly I have no idea who’s to blame. Other than of course, the usual suspect, the system.

This is how the most usually productive part of my evenings progress:

5.30: leave work
6.00: run
7.00: eat/beer

This is how it was today

5.10: leave work because the run today is at Spicewood Springs entrance to Bull Creek Park.
6.00: still on TX 360. The beauty of hill country not good enough.
6.10: show up where I think the entrance should be (never been there before).
6.25: No sign of runners, nearly got run down by, you guessed it, a freaking SUV!
7.00: hungry, blogging with rage

So I continue my rant about this ridiculous arrangement. Sit in my car, in traffic for 45-60 minutes. To go run on the trails for another 60 minutes. Worth it? I’m feeling less and less sure. The fact is, I love the running part. But I already pay some money per month to run with the group. The traffic and gas, not to mention opportunity costs of leaving work early on running days, are making it quite expensive. And so the economist in me is really beginning to question this. These are ONLY my private costs. I bet there are externalities (I’m one more car on TX 360, which is not on my way home and is congested, one more infinitesimal point on the demand curve for already expensive gas, etc. etc.). What’s the point in doing something you love when it really feels like a freaking burden. Traffic is the reason I stopped my music class.

And how ironic it seems to drive to where I’m going to run. Sure I don’t have a backyard trail. If I did live by backyard trails it would mean driving more everyday to work because I work downtown. So it feels like I could never win. So should I suck it up for the 2 days a week I need to go through this pain to go do something I like? Or should I buy into the big house with a big yard by a backyard trail dream? (No I haven’t lost it completely yet).

And here I go whining about this stupid American lifestyle. I’m not sure what it will ever take to change it. Certainly the housing crisis not the myriad oil crises haven’t done anything to teach us the ridiculousness of this unsustainable life – driving everywhere, living far from work, humongous houses with high electricity consumption and all that.


Brazil is a country of paradoxes. It feels like it’s in the middle of this momentous change, where lifestyles here are stangely often Westernized (read Americanized) and yet very Latin at the same time. My observations in this post are of course limited to the Brazilians I have met through work so let it be known it’s not representative.

Brazilians drink to good health – the word is Saudé! every time you raise your glass of Choppe or Caipirinha. Saudé translates as health, and when you think about it, really there is nothing else you’d rather drink to. Because, health is everything. Yet the hard working Paulistanas can’t seem to manage to find time to really focus on health.

For one, if you thought the women down here all look like Gisele Bundchen, you’re in for a rude shock. They look, very, well, normal. (The great bods are in Rio).

Let’s start with the meals. Brazilian meal times are the opposite of American. Well, on weekdays breakfast is equally sidelined. For Brazilians, the most important meal time is lunch. And this is true on working days,even on days when you’re breathing down a fire hose, when you know you’re not going to go home until midnight. In the US, if you were that busy, you plan to bring/order lunch, eat at your desk and bang away on the keyboard so you can get out a decent hour and go home, to your loved ones or your couch. But here that’s not an option. You have to go to lunch with your team, and you have to spend two hours eating – one Brazilian even told me, it doesn’t matter how long it takes to eat lunch, the amount of work I have to do is constant and large – so I might as well enjoy lunch!

Eat what you may ask? A full meal, with disproportionate representation of meat, fat and carbs (oh, they love their cheese here) and very litte vegetables. Lunch is not a sandwich or a salad as most people in the States would opt for, so that they don’t fall asleep at their desks. No, Brazilians will pull out the stops at lunch – it’s a large piece of grilled meat (or several, if you go to those all-you-can-eat places), rice, beans, small salad, a drink, dessert and coffee. Of course coffee, because without that coffee you’d be sleep-walking back to your desk. And several more cups of coffee through the day to keep you awake after the soporific, humongous meal! Come to think of it, Brazil is the only place you’ll get absolutely stuffed on sushi thanks to rodizió.

And then you walk back after a lunch at a very slow pace because you’re half asleep or you really dont want to get back to work. Or sometimes you take a taxi, lest it be more than a 10-12 minute walk. And sit at your desk for the next 6-8 hours. Some of the people at work do make an effort to go to the gym or play soccer, but many of the junior people work until 8 – 9 pm (have to make up for the time lost at lunch and innumerable coffee breaks) or go to university for various numerous professional degrees they keep studying for. In the States, woe upon you should you schedule calls after 6pm. In Brazil, it’s totally normal for folks to go to client meetings and return to the office at 7pm to continue working. So, no time to work out on a weekday for sure.

And then comes the fact that São Paulo is not really a walk-friendly city. You can walk, at the cost of your shoes. No shoes (especially those purchased here) can make it beyond 3 months if you choose to walk. I spent R$291 on 2 pairs of shoes and they’re both broken.

However, the city does put in an effort for its citizens’ saudé and plenty of people will be seen using these. SP’s central areas have a bike lane which is dedicated ONLY on Sundays. So on Sunday mornings scores of recreational and more than recreational bikers take to the streets, often with kids in tow and use the dedicated bike lanes for about 5 hours of the morning. The city is also dotted with several parks, the largest one of them being Park Ibirapuera with a 3k paved loop around well-landscaped trees and little ponds and lakes. The park also has a dedicated bike lane. On weekends, especially on a sunny day, its absolutely packed with runners or families enjoying the outdoors. However the “beautiful” people can mostly be spotted in the mornings on weekdays – it’s almost a causal relationship – they’re good looking because they run in the morning but because they run in the mornings they’re beautiful. Eitherway, it’s GREAT eye candy. Definitely incentive to wake up early for a good run before work. The city also has other parks and this is not only great but necessary because, not everyone can afford the uber-expensive gyms in town (north of R$300 per month) and not everyone should hazard running on the streets because the auto traffic barely obeys auto rules, so forget about pedestrian safety.

And not everyone can run on the boardwalk along the Atlantic Ocean in Rio.

Rio is a city that couldn’t be more different from SP. For one, its GORGEOUS! SP has its own charms but for all purposes it’s a concrete jungle. No its the definition of the concrete jungle. Rio on the other hand has beautiful beaches and when there are beaches to be enjoyed in great weather, you need to have beach appropriate bodies. If you’re Brazilian you won’t be caught dead in gringo bottoms, the Brazilian bikini bottoms or the male “Sunga” (= speedos) covers not much more than a thong . So naturally, there’s some pressure to keep fit because you’re as often likely to be seen in beach wear as in office wear. I had a chance to run in Rio when I visited and it will forever be one of the most gorgeous runs I’ve had. I ran from Botofogo till Pão de Acucar’s lift and then ran up the hill next to Sugarloaf along the rocky Atlantic coast.  Absolutely breathtaking. Needless to say it was not a timed run because I often stopped to admire the view.

So, overall – like in most developing countries, good health and fitness has income-elastic demand in Brazil. It’s expensive – in terms of time and in terms of money. The labor laws mandate that companies provide additional compensation to employees for lunch (so everyone has a lunch card and a groceries card with a stipulated amount per month) so no incentive remains to skimp on lunch. In the US, we pay for our own meals but gym memberships etc. are not as expensive as here, relative to income levels. Add to that longer working hours and commute times. So it’s difficult for the average Paulistana to look like Gisele Bundchen. But if you want to party, come to São Paulo.  They work hard and definitely party harder. Naturally, a lot of opportunities to raise your glass to Saudé here!

My Review

great bike for my purposes

By pinnacle from austin, tx on 7/19/2011


4out of 5

Pros: Sturdy, Stable, Good components

Cons: Gear shifting cranky

Best Uses: Roadracecommute

i bought this as i recently got into road biking and triathlons but didn’t want to spend too much. great value for money and i got it on a sale for nearly $200 off. i like the sturdy frame which means i can use it for non-training purposes also such as local commuting. i like the size and weight but the gear shifting can sometimes be cranky (see Lexa’s comment above). overall, i love this bike and I do want to ride it all the time.