2017 Year of the pregnant triathlete

2017: Year of the pregnant triathlete

I wasn’t the only one to take a hiatus from triathlon this year while pregnant with Ironbaby!

I have to admit I went through a few emotional rollercoaster rides this year since I wasn’t able to do any triathlons. Of course, happy healthy baby is my #1 goal for the year. I’m thankful for that!  My Ironbaby finish line is drawing near, and I’ll soon be getting back into training mode when I recover.

I still felt like there was something missing, though. After going from one extreme (Ironman training) to the next (pregnancy!), I couldn’t help but feel like I was missing out just a little bit this year.

2017 was the year of the pregnant triathlete.

Gold Medalist Triathlete Gwen Jorgensen and Ironman Kona Champion Mirinda Carfrae also took the year off from triathlon during their pregnancies. Not that I’m close to being in their league, but  I quickly realized that it’s ok to slow down and step back for a bit!

Well, I admit I did try to compare myself to Gwen just a little bit. I read that she was running 60+ miles a week in the first trimester, and much more than that as her pregnancy progressed. I thought I should be able to still run as much as I wanted. I was wrong. I didn’t even run close to that mileage NOT pregnant, but I knew my body’s limits and stopped while I was ahead!

I was blessed with a healthy pregnancy – and I’m truly grateful.

I’m nearing 40. I know I’m not as young as I was when I was pregnant with my 3 boys. I didn’t work out when I was pregnant with Oldest Son or Middle Son. My pregnancy with Youngest Son started off great, and I anticipated keeping up with my workouts and running through the entire 9 months. I had a bout with placenta previa at 16 weeks (which thankfully resolved itself). However, I was still on restricted activity after that and could not run or lift weights for the remainder of the pregnancy.

My pregnancy with Ironbaby has been a different story. I’ve had zero complications, and no restrictions. With my midwife’s approval, I was able to continue running and lifting, riding on my trainer as long as everything continued going good.

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I ran the Lincoln Half Marathon in May at 19 weeks pregnant. Then, I did the Cornfield Cornfield 10K in June at 24 weeks pregnant. There were no PRs, but I was just so thankful to be able to do those races.

Pregnant triathlete problems: round ligament pain and bladder control!

When I hit the 3rd trimester in July, round ligament pain started setting in and it was harder to run with a baby bouncing on my bladder.  Even riding my bike on my trainer started to become a huge challenge. I was just uncomfortable, and my growing belly made it hard to enjoy riding.

It was time to pull back and listen to my body.

Nowadays, I walk 2-3 miles a day. The dog LOVES this! I also lift weights at least once a week. I taught group fitness classes until July. I feel great, and know I’m so lucky to be healthy enough to continue working out.

I miss running though. A lot. And, I miss my bike. I think my bike misses me too, but we’ll be back together again before I know it.

As my due date nears, I can’t help but look back at last year’s timeline.

One of my reflections from 2016 that showed up on my Facebook memory feed this week, was my epic PR that I had at the Des Moines Triathlon.  I crushed my goal of breaking a 3 hour Olympic triathlon by over 12 minutes. Though I missed competing in that race this year, I can – and WILL – do it again!

A year ago,  I was gearing up for my “peak week” in my 20-week training schedule for Ironman Louisville.  I did my 100 mile bike ride on Saturday (with a 10-minute run after), followed by a 20-mile run and 4000 yard swim on Sunday. I’ll do it again.

This weekend’s plans – if I’m not having a baby – include walking, nesting, and enjoying time with my family. These days, I can barely run 1/10 of a mile without my round ligaments screaming in pain. Or peeing my pants.

And that’s ok.

Well, not the peeing my pants part, but knowing that I have been truly humbled by my body’s limitations as a pregnant triathlete. Knowing that family still comes first, and it’s ok to slow down a little bit and focus on my Hubby and my kids. Triathlon will still be there next year, and I’m excited for my post-Ironbaby comeback!

Change of Plans: New Goals for 2017.

My hiatus from blogging since early February is very unintentional. I had a huge change of plans.

At the end of one of my last articles, I put out a call to action for my readers to commit to goals. I realized it was time for me to do the same. The next article on my story board was going to be my race plans for the 2017 season. Well, let’s just say it’s a good thing I hadn’t committed to any non-refundable races.

There will be no sprint triathlons, olympic triathlons, half-Ironman or full-Ironman races for me in 2017.

There will, however, be an Ironbaby.

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I am pregnant. The reality of this is still sinking in, even as I hit the 2nd trimester of this surprise pregnancy. I’ve spent the last several weeks with mind-blowing nausea and fatigue.   Luckily, the fog of first-trimester symptoms are starting to lift, and I’m slowly starting to feel human again.

I’ve been doing some freelance work, which has been a great learning experience. Some days, that’s all I could do (aside from caring for my family).

I have such mixed feelings.

Hubby decided after Youngest Son was born, that he was done having kids. I wasn’t quite there yet, and held out hope that he’d change his mind. That was, until we hit potty training. Once we hit that phase, I decided I could not potty train another human being. Ever again. So, about 3 years ago–I decided was done. I knew in my heart and my mind that I was done. Even after my miscarriage in 2015, I was done,

The only problem is that we hadn’t taken permanent measures yet.

Now that the initial shock has worn off, I’m happy about this pregnancy. Our kids are thrilled. We realize just how blessed we are to have another baby joining our family. Permanent measures will be taken, ahem, before this baby is born.

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Change of plans: shift in focus for 2017.

There are women that have competed in triathlons (and yes, even Ironmans!) while pregnant. However, that is not for me. I am a klutz on the bike, and distracted drivers while I’m biking terrify me. I could never forgive myself for putting my baby in danger.

I’ve continued to run, bike (on my trainer!), and lift weights regularly. I admittedly haven’t gotten in the pool since IMLOU, as I’ve had a huge aversion to lap swimming since the the long 4000+ yard training swims. I know soon enough, I’ll be thankful for the pool and swimming will feel good as I get bigger.

This year, my focus will be to grow a human while making sure I’m the best wife and mom I can possibly be. Though there won’t be any PRs this year, I still plan to recreationally run a couple races. I’m registered for the Lincoln Half Marathon, which I may or may not actually do. If I do–I’ll do a slow run/walk for fun. If the weather is crummy, I won’t bother.

There’s always next year.

Change of plans: Sherpa for the year.

The bright side of all this, is that Hubby gets all the training time to himself this year. No balancing training for Ironman or triathlons (for me) and ultra marathons (for him).  Once he finishes the Boston Marathon next week, he’ll shift focus to doing the Lincoln Half Marathon and then possibly a few ultra marathons later this year.

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I’m excited to support him this season, and to support our kids’ activities. I’m looking forward to volunteering at local triathlons and encouraging everyone else around me. It’s a great time to pay it forward.

I’m already thinking about next year’s plans.

I know how physically and emotionally exhausting a new baby can be, and I know how rigorous Ironman training can be. Regardless, I’m keeping the idea of a late-season Ironman on my radar for next year.  I may alter that plan, obviously, but it’s giving me a little mental boost of looking forward to next year and setting new goals.

In the meantime, I’ll share my triathlon and running tips–and highlights of continuing some training during pregnancy. I’ll live vicariously through my family and triathlon friends. So, tell me about your race plans this year–I can’t wait to cheer you on!

 

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Plan your destination race with these valuable tips

Registering for your destination race this year? Here’s how to plan the best trip and make it a vacation!

It’s February already. If you haven’t planned your races for the season yet, now is the time to commit. If you’re looking to combine a race with a vacation, this article could make or break your experience.

For our busy family, we like to plan races and vacations that overlap. We really enjoy doing races in different locales. If that race is within a 4-hour drive of a vacation spot, why not plan a family trip around it? Think of it as a two-birds-with-one-stone type of mentality, but we decided this is a great use of our time and resources.

The first destination experience

My first destination race was in Aurora, Colorado in 2010 for a sprint triathlon. After spending a week in the mountains with friends, we topped the trip off with a sprint triathlon. I attributed the time spent as “acclimating” to the altitude. For me, it worked great. For my friend, well, she got dehydrated and cramped. I should have learned from her lesson.

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New Year Goal

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

What is your goal this year? We have another 349 days left to make some amazing things happen before 2017 ends.

I want to encourage you to pursue a goal that you never thought possible. While it doesn’t have to be fitness or race related, it definitely can be. Think of something on your bucket list. Anything. What is one thing on that list that you want to check off this year? Is there a trip you’ve been dreaming of taking? Do you have a new hobby you want to begin? Maybe there is a job change that would make you a happier person. Start thinking about it.

My current struggle to set new goals

While I’m doling out the encouragement, I’m admittedly struggling to set my own goals right now. I am in a serious rut after IMLOU. I want to do another Ironman. Bad. The bug bit me really hard.

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