As you *may* have guessed from my relative slackage and completely falling off the face of the planet when it came to chronicling my now totally theoretical sub-2-half attempt, I'm gestating a human and thus all racing has gone out the window.
Obviously this is a big deal in my regular life but I'm not really going to make a big deal out of it here because I'm not the first runner to get pregnant and won't be the last. (Also, we do not use inane abbreviations - although pregnant, I remain capable of typing complete words.) Not everyone is in the same place in life that I am - I WILL forgive you if you tune out and your eyes glaze over for the next year.
We'd begun thinking about starting a family this year. Running is great for my stress relief and I decided it was better to just keep running than to not-run while trying to conceive (and then I'd be out of shape cardio-wise AND also stressed out). Sure, we were trying to produce a baby, but I still have a life to live. Three months in, nothing had happened, so I signed up for a marathon.
During marathon training we put plans on hold for a few months because the whole baby timeline didn't quite fit with the whole moving-continents timeline, so I did a triathlon. Then I had all these great plans to train with Coach Shem for a sub-2 half... and then had to take it all back about a week before training was supposed to start. Oops! I *am* a tiny bit sad that my sub-2 half goal is on hold for another year, especially as I really felt it was totally and absolutely within reach this year if I trained very hard and very smart. But honestly, I will have many more years in which to run half marathons, so I'm fine with that.
This young'un did an olympic-distance triathlon in utero when he or she was just a tiny ball of cells, and before I knew any better. It is obviously destined for great things.
Me: I hope this child inherits YOUR athletic ability.
Husband: And your obstinacy.
Me: Yes...although that's probably a dangerous combination for its health and our sanity.
The week after the tri, I felt far more breathless on my recovery runs than I should have; finally, I figured out something was up when a friend said his bunny rabbit had died and I started weeping. (Seriously? I hadn't even met the rabbit in question.) At that point I went and peed on a stick thrice (always replicate your results).
Growing a human is hard work. I am exhausted and overheated a lot of the time - thanks, progesterone. But from all accounts it is worth it. And I hear getting to the start line is the easy part.
Anyway, the next six months should be rather entertaining for me - if not for you...Think lots of easy runs, #teamgluteusmedius, new sports bra reviews (my ribcage seems to have expanded along with my boobs), all the other nonsense adventures that I get up to when I'm not training singlemindedly for one thing, and maybe I'll finally fit into all my oversized race shirts.
- I have been rolling out of bed and running however much my body will let me, without the GPS, for about 40-50 minutes at a time and usually somewhere between 5km and 10km. (I've slowed down so much, I should get a heart rate monitor and take advantage of it.)
- I'm following an approximate tri-training schedule - swim, spin, run - but without the speedwork, hill sprints or anything too high-intensity. I've also been taking a spin class because it's entertaining, but because I can still breathe while cycling I don't trust myself to limit the intensity on the hardest track, so I kind of sit back and ride easy during that track.
- If any of you have ever done any run-specific strength training through pregnancy (my goal is to build stability, not to push myself), I would love to hear what you did and get some suggestions for exercises and modifications. One site I saw recommended not using any weight heavier than 10 pounds - I'm pretty sure this is BS for otherwise healthy women, as pregnant women who already have toddlers presumably lift those toddlers. Unfortunately I've let my paltry Bodypump class schedule and weight training in general lapse for a few weeks while I felt too gross to do much of anything, so I will be starting over from scratch. I'm particularly liking the TRX suspension exercises I've been doing - they're easily modified for whatever intensity I want.
- I am really, really glad I am experienced enough to know what intensity levels I can work with at this point, as well as what's normal and what's not.
There are some weeks/ days I've been unable to eat three bites of chicken soup and other days where I've bounded out of bed and gone for a...well, a shuffle. It's listen to your body day, every day, as I figure my body knows precisely what it needs. (Although, evolution? Listen up, it's 2014 and I live in a developed country where the risk of food poisoning is fairly low. Can we make a deal with the nausea, please?)
Week 5 - Extremely late period, shortness of breath during recovery runs. At first I think I'm sick, but with none of the other usual flu symptoms like sore throat and runny nose. Wonder what is up. Pee on a stick.
Runs: 3. Swims: 2. Yoga: 1. All exhausted. Growing a new human is hard work.
Week 6 - Awkwardly give away some of my race registrations and withdraw from the track group I'd said yes to. Good thing I'm good at verbal contortions.
Runs: Oh yeah, I sprained my ankle in spectacular fashion this week and was rehabbing it so, um, 0. Swims: 3.
Week 7 - Inform a couple of people (both sets of parents, tri group swim coach) on a need-to-know basis (generally, professionals who might be able to give professional advice). Swim coach says: "Bask in the fact that you have complete licence to NOT improve. Think of it as a limited-time promotional offer." Coach also says to keep things at RPE 3 (out of 5) or below. Sure, I can do that.
Supposed to do standard-distance aquathlon this weekend. I feel fine but decide the risk of getting kicked during the swim is a little bit too great (waves are designed such that the fastest men's wave will swim right over me halfway through my first lap and their second). Got kicked in the face last tri. Decide to avoid that.
Runs: 3. Swims: 3. Yoga: 1. Nausea: intensifying. Exhaustion: Resistance is futile. One night after work I simply retired to bed with a book and some herb tea - and passed out before 8pm.
Week 8 - ultrasound this week. See a heartbeat. Cool! Doctor gives the green light to keep running ('running'). Runs (erm, or walks): 3. Swims: 1. Nausea: 7. One no-good, very-bad, cannot-keep-anything-down, horrible day in which I simply take the day off work. Still breathless when I run, but I can run about 2km, stop and walk for a bit, then run another couple of km.
Week 9 - Ran/ walked/ trundled a couple of times. Very low-intensity spin class: 1. Walks on treadmill for duration of one TV episode: 2. Naps: 5.
Husband did his first ultra, a trail 50k (80% humidity, 27-30 deg C temps) this weekend, but I was terribly pukey so there are no photos of that. Pffbbt.
Week 10 - I begin to feel much more human again in appetite and energy, and have resumed something that is actually recognisable as running. Runs: several, including the #runtweetupSG. Yoga: 1. Spin class: 1.
Week 11 - Work went a bit insane this week because of a major conference and another major work project so I wasn't terribly active; I also spent the weekend at a data bootcamp for journalists, which was the most time I've ever spent on dedicated hands-on data practice (fantastic) but also the most time I've spent sitting continuously on my bum (not so fantastic, and I must be getting old because I needed a serious backrub after that - this is when I decided I needed a standing desk). My niece was born this week. Exciting times all round! Runs: 2. Swims: 1
Week 12 - The nausea is easing at most times except late in the afternoon/ early evening, when I suddenly develop a tension headache (often caused by a combination of hormones and increased blood volume), queasiness, and the overwhelming desire to take a nap. Runs: 5.
Week 13 - Another doctor's appointment. Runs so far: 2 including the Great Eastern Women's 5K (race report later)!