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Pregnancy, exercise and me

(…the and me part is the most important.  Everything here is just my own experiences and it’s not meant to make any suggestions of how anyone else should do anything whilst they’re pregnant.)

Somewhat unbelievably (to me!), I’m already half-way through this whole growing a human thing. So far, I think I’ve been lucky… I’ve not been sick for a start, and have felt pretty normal, if not super, super tired at times.  Today we had our 20 week scan: I’d been incredibly nervous that our little person wasn’t going to be growing OK, but they seem to be fine! It was amazing to see their bones and brain and tiny heart all doing their thing in my tummy.

When I first found out I was pregnant, I have to admit that one of the first things I thought about was how I was going to keep training as I had been before.  Running, cycling, swimming and the gym are all huge parts of my life, and the thought of not being able to do them as much as before did really freak me out. Despite knowing that exercise is good for me and for my baby in pregnancy, I was afraid the midwife would tell me do stop doing all sorts of things and then I’d be really torn about what to do… Anyway, she didn’t and I made peace incredibly quickly with not doing quite as much as I used to.

Here’s how I’ve been getting on in all my favourite sports!

Running

Having run a lot of miles in April (100 miles worth of races!), I took all of May off running, to allow my body to recover.  And – ta-dah! – get pregnant.  I was actually quite looking forward to starting training for a speedy half marathon, until, well, I peed on a stick and everything changed!  By about 10 weeks I started to find running a struggle – not uncomfortable, I was just getting slower and slower every single run, and really struggling if I ran before breakfast, the time of day I used to get some of my best sessions in.

At about 14 weeks, I ran a 10K with my pals around Victoria Park at The Pride 10K. The race was fun, but crossing the line, I was very pleased I didn’t have to do that distance any time soon…! I am currently running 3 – 4 times a week, for 30 minutes or so.  I’m really just trying to appreciate being comfortable running, and not caring about time at all. Even though I found out today I’m currently running 5K at the same speed as my friend’s 5 year old..!  I’ve got no plans to run any distance whatsoever at the moment, and I am in awe of anyone who is running anything further than 5 miles and is preggers.

running

I do have plans for post-pregnancy though – Brighton marathon 2021.  Baby Bez will be about 15 months old, and it’ll be 10 years since I ran my first marathon.  Watch this space!

Cycling

I got a new job in Brighton about 4 weeks before I found out I was pregnant, and one of the things I was most looking forward to about working in Sussex again was being able to cycle to work.  And – happily – I’m still on two wheels! It’s a 20 mile round trip, and so I’m doing more miles a week commuting than I’ve ever done, but really enjoying it.  Luckily, apart from having to go up hills more steadily than I’d like (although any excuse to take it easy), I’m not finding cycle the struggle-bus that I’m finding running.  I can still fit on my road bike, but might adjust to a hybrid as the bump continues to grow.  I am finding I’m extra careful at junctions, but on the whole, drivers in Brighton are a million times kinder to cyclists than they are in London, and I do mostly feel like my precious cargo and I are safe. I’ve pinned my ‘baby on board’ to my rucksack though, in the hope that people will give me a bit of a wider berth!

rucksack

Swimming

When I was working in London, I really let swimming slip – and I was really missing it.  I know that I might need to use swimming as my form of exercise more and more as baby grows, and so I’ve been getting back in the pool once a week for the past 6 weeks or so.  My glorious local lido is staying open until mid-October, and even if it means just staying in the freezing cold water (OK, 17 degrees) for 10 minutes, I am determined to keep going until they close up!  Then I’ll head inside and find out that 10 minutes a time does not make for good swimming training…

swimming

Strength

Before I bought anything else baby-related, I bought ‘Bump It Up’ by Greg Whyte, as despite knowing that most things in the gym were going to be fine, I was nervous, especially about core exercises.  I’ve been religiously following his strength and core routines twice a week, and although I am not getting any stronger or more powerful at all, but that’s not the aim right now. If anything, I’m training to make sure I’m strong enough for birth, recovery and then lugging a baby around!  It’s a really helpful book though, for peace of mind if you are worried about what do to in the gym if nothing else.

Yoga

All I can really say on yoga is: I went to pregnancy yoga for the first time on Wednesday, and I can’t stop thinking about how amazing it was.  Bolsters, blankets, breathing… it was amazing and I can’t wait to go back.

 

This whole pregnancy thing has for me been pretty awesome, and it’s kind of surprised me how much I’m loving my body change and how at ease I am with the fact that I just can’t do a lot of the things I was doing just a few short months ago.  I feel so incredibly privileged to be growing this tiny thing and I just want to do everything I can do keep it as safe and healthy as possible, forever.

 

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