Sunday, November 22, 2015

Pregnancy training, months 1 and 2

Pregnancy: Months 1-2

Disclaimer: This blog only shares my personal experience-I am by no means a health expert. The level of training that I entertained during pregnancy was cleared and approved by my doctors. Please consult your doctor before you attempt any strenuous physical activity during pregnancy.

When you are an endurance athlete, “getting pregnant” is also part of the challenge. In order to start baking my little man, I had to reduce the intensity and the volume of my training. Training full time for Ironman, working full time and trying to get pregnant did not translate as the perfect recipe. Once it was agreed with my coach to adjust the schedule for the new goal of planting a seed and growing a human, the “magic” happened within 4 months. I had originally cleared my schedule from any racing attempts to achieve this goal thinking it would be instantaneous: it was not and I got bored. So I took up trail running. No stress, no time comparison with road PBs. It was a win-win-win situation. I raced the Ironknee in May and finished 2nd female OA. Little did I know, I was (finally) pregnant (2 weeks) at the time.
In June, I took a pregnancy test and tested positive… I contacted my coach and we agreed that I would train on my own. I would log everything in Training Peaks so I could have a record of my activity level.
So now that the whole background is out there, here is a quick glimpse of what I did in the first two months of pregnancy, training-wise.

Month 1 (weeks 1-4)
I kept the intensity level unchanged as I did not know I was pregnant. I suspected it but I could not “feel” anything different, I just sensed it. In the second month (1 tested pregnant week 5), I adjusted the intensity to avoid “cooking” my little growing muffin.

Training log:

Weeks 1-4:
Regular training schedule (about 10-14 hours with about 3 hours of high intensity)
Race on week 2 a trail half marathon and ran to 2nd female OA.

Week 5:
I found out I was pregnant; I started training on my own since I did not know how the pregnancy would unfold; I reduced the intensity level and volume as I felt exhausted.

Weeks 6-7:
I only managed 7-10 hours of training as I felt very tired.

Weeks 8-9:
I finally started to regain some energy.
Week 8: 13:15 hours of exercise with 69k of running
Week 9: 14.5 hours of exercise with 69k of running.

The first couple of months were an adjustment as to how tired I felt. Once I had met with my doctor, I got cleared to keep training. In fact, my doctor encouraged me to go ahead as physically and mentally, it would be harder for my body to stop…so I kept running ;)

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Quickest 2015 recap!

This post will be short and sweet and I will post some entries regarding my activity level during pregnancy and postpartum. 2015 was a very eventful year. 

The biggest challenge this year was giving birth to Xavier! On February 16th, we welcomed our wonderful son, after 31 hours of active labor. Fun times. The whole birth will get its own post so you may choose to read it...or not!!! I will only say that despite the long labor (it’s called labor for a reason), I was lucky enough to have a very easy and uncomplicated pregnancy. And yes, we are “those” parents who have an easy baby. I’ll leave it at that.

Race wise, 2015 was very successful. I ran PBs over PBs, I did not get injured and most importantly, I managed to keep Xavier healthy with a solid enough training schedule.

Here’s the short recap of the racing season:

Jan1: Resolution run 5k (22:20)-33 weeks pregnant, 2nd female OA
March 22: Modo 8k (33:26)-5 weeks postpartum, 3rd in AG
May 3: BMO half marathon: 1:31:46, 7th in AG
June 19: Longest Day 5k, 19:30 (PB), 7th in AG 16-39
June 28: Scotiabank Half marathon, 1:31:09, 3rd in AG
August 15, Seawheeze Half Marathon, 1:28:30 (almost PB-6 seconds off), 10th female
September 6th, Conquer the wall 30K, 2:09:13, 3rd female OA
September 27, Berlin Marathon, 3:07:56 (PB by 8 minutes, 129th female)

Now, it’s not all fun and games. I did not start at a few races. Life is not as simple as it used to be. There are definitely some adjustments to be made being a new mom and some struggles to be overcome when trying to race somewhat competitively. I am grateful for each race I get to start, finishing brings in satisfaction. Running PBs, well, it's icing on the cake and let’s just say I ate a lot of iced cake this year!!!

DNS race list:
May 24: Shaughnessy 8k (mastitis)
June 7: Sandcastle 10K (getting over a cold post mastitis)
October 24: Hallow's Eve trail half marathon (exhausted)
November 14: Phantom 25k trail race (body is tired and is now in off season)
December 12 50K: was an ambitious goal which will have to be postponed-underprepared and rest required.

If you are interested in checking out how I kept active during pregnancy and postpartum, I will be publish the relevant posts by the end of the month (somewhat of a tall order).

Finally, I want to thank Eric for being my number 1 supporter, Xavier for being the best tiny human, my family, Bjoern, Steph and all of Team Ossenbrink, Lara Penno and the crew at the Right Shoe, lane 7 at CDSC… and I want to thank my body to be stronger than ever!