Geez time flies when you have a wee one consuming all your energy – I thought maternity leave was going to be a massive holiday!
When Logan was 10 weeks old, I managed another half marathon, and another 2nd place female overall! Crathes was a heck of a blustery day, so the conditions were a lot harder than when I did Dyce, but the time was relatively similar, so progress has been made! I went a 1.28 which I am super proud with, not just because of the conditions, but because Logan was wanting to play the entire night before (he was smiling and panting away for hours…) and also because I was feeding him right up until 2 minutes to the start! No warm up for me, but the car was parked really far away from the castle, so Kyle helped me look discreet by a bench in the gardens… (and of course a bunch of tourists decide to choose that area to linger around and take photos as I was going – typical!).
( https://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/fp/sport/other/1843265/outstanding-crathes-castle-half-marathon-performance-sees-runner-cross-line-with-73-seconds-to-spare/?fbclid=IwAR2zTFUjI7PdNJm5jirjlG-P6KW4WhNBIbarW55UB6YO5ReuK0j7KzIZJQs )
Anyway, the following day I felt like I’d ran double the distance, but it was a lot of fun and I am loving challenging my body and essentially starting again and having new PBs! I still have the course record there, but I’m not sure I was even near it at the 12 mile mark yesterday, so don’t want to think like that! A massive well done to Kerry for another awesome 1st place, and to Kirsty and Fiona for babysitting Kyle and Logan while I was running!
The following week I had my first triathlon in over a year, and thought it apt to do it in the place I did my first ever triathlon, Huntly! I did one cycle outside on my TT bike in preparation, but the electric gears failed (I should have had it serviced after finding out I wouldn’t be riding for a while…) so the road bike it was! Thankfully, Total Endurance helped me massively with swapping over equipment on the day, as was Steve, the race organiser, who couldn’t have been nicer!
A sub-21 1500m swim (I’ll take that for only swimming up to 5km per week at the moment), a 1.02 40km cycle (I SUCKED on the hills but I have lived on a turbo for a year, and I was on a road bike), and a 42min 10km run (one or two brick runs plus not wanting to push the pelvis made for an enjoyable 10km that I may have even negative split!) made for a course record of 2.08 and a race I loved pushing myself in. And I had a smile on my face the whole way (Ok, apart from the swim…I need to train more!)!
I thought it might be a good idea now to write about my journey in pregnancy and the last 12 weeks after having a baby, sporting wise. Please note everyone is different and my experience seems to be very different to a lot of women (less than 2 hour labour, people at work not even realising I was pregnant etc etc) but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a walk in the park (or run, or cycle, or swim).
Oh, also, if you are a boy, you can stop reading now! Unless you are weirdly into this sort of stuff…! You can look at this cute picture instead:
So I didn’t really feel the whole 3 trimesters thing. The first maybe 8 weeks all I had was a sore chest area. Then it was all about the next 8 weeks. They were the WORST! The smell of coffee was DISGUSTING (and continued to be gross unless it was in flat white form). I didn’t want ANY fruit or veg, or anything else that sounded remotely healthy. I wouldn’t say it was a craving, because I crave these every year, but hot cross buns was my jam. A six pack from Tesco bakery next to work was an almost daily meal. Anything doughy sounded amazing! Oh, and also anything cheesy. So I had a LOT of pizza! Weirdly, Kyle joined in on these meals (perhaps not indicative to good race performances for him either!) despite his previous loathing of my hot cross bun addiction…
I found adding Berocca to my morning routine definitely helped, as well as drinking lots of fruit juice (I was usually thirsty but also didn’t like the thought of water). I know fruit juice isn’t great with all the sugar and missing fibre, but it was the best I could do at the time. I also drank a lot of milk, usually in flat white or hot chocolate form.
After those horrible 16 weeks (the worst week I had was when Kyle did his Wolds Way race. I think we both had a terrible weekend that weekend! I was only a few weeks along but was so bloated and no normal clothes fit me. I also couldn’t eat anything as I felt too full). Present day me would tell 1st trimester me not to be too hard on herself. Big deal if you feel gross for a couple weeks: go for a walk, get some fresh air, eat what you feel like, have a bath, sleep more, and just wear some comfortable clothes.
After the horrible patch, I gradually enjoyed my fruit and veg again (still hated the sound of coffee but, being a caffeine addict, mornings were terrible!), and – although I didn’t weight myself until the final few weeks just out of curiosity more than anything else – I topped the scales at 70kg if you’re interested), I could tell I was looking a little better in my face and limbs, and my skin and hair was a bit healthier. I seemed to be getting lots of compliments, which was bizarre to take in considering how terrible I felt in the first 4 months!
I think Morocco also really helped! Some vitamin D, spa days, good wholesome food, and lots of rest really made me feel amazing!
Ok so as for the “training” part… have a look on my Strava, but in short I tried to do something every day, even if it was a long hill walk while Kyle did hill reps (so we could high 5 lots!), or a 40 min swim (I did these most lunchtimes… Chris and Claire who I swim with every lunchtime at work encouraged me and made me want to go and have fun with them to break up my day!) Even if I went swimming in a lethargic mood, I knew I would at least get some banter and usually I ended up getting at least 2km in and going back to my desk in the afternoon feeling much MUCH better! Remember I couldn’t have coffee? The swim was my new drug!
If I physically couldn’t get out of bed earlier than I needed to for work, my swim was my workout, and I knew I could go back to bed after work having done something. If I could cycle in the morning, my go to was the GCN training videos on YouTube (if you haven’t seen them – check them out!). Because I wasn’t wanting to faff about loading Zwift (which is now my lifesaver post Logan!) at that time in the morning (and I didn’t want to know my power at that time, either!), these videos made me feel like I was training with people, so I pushed it more than if I were just pedalling away watching the Kardashians myself, and that also was a great way to start my day (again, since no coffee!).
Unfortunately, running was a no no. I had pretty bad pelvic girdle pain, which meant walking was sore, never mind turning it into a jog. I only ran when I felt ok, and it was always on the treadmill (much less impact than road, and I could stop when I wanted). IF the rare occasion came up when I thought “let’s give it a go”, I would usually do something like 10x1on/1off, and that would be enough for me to feel great. I never learned, because every day that I ran, I didn’t sleep at all, as lying down must have stretched the area that was already inflamed getting bigger in preparation for birth, and I had already spent most evenings sat up in bed, or giving up and going downstairs to drink a(nother) hot chocolate and play with the cat.
Sitting at my desk also brought a lot of pain, so work kindly gave me a stand up desk and, in the days where I REALLY didn’t feel like swimming, or if I had a meeting (which happens quite a lot around lunchtimes…), there was a special room where I could go and I did a YouTube pilates video. For someone who never looks forward to pilates and yoga, I looked forward to doing this video as it really stretched me out!
To summarise, I listened to my body but I was lucky enough that, although I had girdle pain, I could still do STUFF. And I am someone who loves breaking a sweat every day to make me feel human, particularly if I am sat at a desk all day! Although I felt great in the last few weeks (I didn’t grow too much, I was still in normal clothes, and I managed to come 3rd at the Portsoy 10km..!), I still had my struggles, but did what I could to not get down about it (attempting a swim just to get out the office, eating what my body wanted, forcing vitamins in whatever form I could, getting fresh air, or admitting defeat when my mind and body told me to!).
Oh, and my most proud moment of pregnancy after the Portsoy race, is swimming 4km maybe 12 hours before going into labour, and managing to tumble turn off every wall…!
If this has made zero sense to you (I feel I have just word vomited all my pregnancy feelings) please feel free to message me for any advice! I’m not sure I can help, but I know my comeback seems to be going quite well so far, and that people were quick to judge me when I was pregnant. One physio told me I was doing too much too close to due date that my body would be too tense and my abs wouldn’t want to “let go” of my baby, therefore my labour would be long and painful… it’s funny how many people have their opinions!
But anyway, if you listen to your body but try and do something every day (even just a stretch), I PROMISE you will feel much more like you!