After five months, I’m just over halfway through pregnancy. So far, things have been pretty smooth, despite plenty of new experiences. In some ways, being an athlete has been advantageous because I’m pretty aware of my body and good at listening to it. However, in other ways, I’ve had to shut off the athlete side of my brain, and try being more flexible and laissez-faire with training.
My husband, Trent, and I took a trip to Chile over Christmas to speak at a sports conference, hiking Patagonia and travel around a bit. Since I’ve been teaching full-time and volunteer coaching, things have been pretty busy and I was looking forward to relaxing and getting in a small training camp. I was able to do both, but definitely had to account for how travel, jet lag and heat would affect the pregnant me. As an athlete, I’m always cognizant of those things, but this time around took more days off and pulled back when I was tired much more.
I’ve learned that pulling back is the best thing I can do when I’m feeling off. As athletes, we’re so used to pushing through discomfort and fatigue that it’s hard to turn that mentality off, but being pregnant and having another human being to worry about has helped my more rational side make decisions. In retrospect, I probably could have used that more in the past.
I recently caught a bad cold and felt pretty lousy for a few days. Usually my thought process would be that if I don’t have a fever or sign of infection, I can get out for a run. Instead, I took 3 days off and felt immensely better, enough that I could get back to normal training within a week. Lesson learned for the future: perhaps a few days off will lead to better quality training in the long run instead of slugging through some miserable, lower quality training because I feel I should.
So, I’m feeling good and have much more energy now that I’m into my second trimester. I’m still running about 60K a week with a couple pool runs and weight sessions. My workout pace has gradually gotten slower, but I just focus on getting to my threshold or tempo heart rate for between 15-30 minutes in the middle of a run, a couple times each week, as well as throw in short hill sprints or strides.
Weight training is something I’ve had to be pretty flexible with because most of my weight gain is at the front of my body in the form of a nice round beach ball, it has caused extra pull and shifting in my pelvis. Any exercise that increases forward torsion has had to go. Thankfully, I have a great strength coach, Tyler, who has been adjusting my training as I progress through pregnancy — so no more forward kettle bell swings and no more pull-ups.
Overall, I’m happy to still be able to run, be active and healthy, as is our baby. Our last ultrasound showed our baby has a really strong heartbeat and, as Trent noticed, a nice big rib cage. We figure that’s because he’s already been training!