Sunday, March 3, 2013

The New Hardcore...Running at 30 weeks

What is 'hardcore'? Definitions include "intensely loyal, or die-hard" as in a "hardcore fan", "extreme", "unswervingly committed, uncompromising, or dedicated". Certainly most would agree on certain athletic examples of hardcore- like swimming across the Bering Strait or winning an Ironman.  But those of us who strive to be better day-to-day athletes need to bring our definition of "hardcore" down to Earth a bit so that we can have our own slivers of "hardcore" to keep us motivated. For example, silly as they may sound, my little glimpses of hardcore include the time I ran my daily mile in my work clothes and clogs in the snow before a rare night out with some girlfriends (I couldn't skip my run!), bursts of speed during marathons when I think I have nothing left, long runs (15 mile +) in less than 20 degree weather, or speed workouts when I ran faster than I ever had before.

In the past few months, hardcore has been decidedly lacking. It's difficult to feel hardcore when your running pace and distances are slowing over time. However, paradoxically, over the past week I had a few glimpses of hardcore once again. The more pregnant I become, the more happy I am with my ongoing work-outs. I keep thinking I'll have to slow down or "give up" on quality exercise soon, but each week I surprise myself by pulling out some legitimate sweat sessions. For example, on Monday I went to the gym, ran 2.5 miles at an increasing pace (notably with 2 much younger non-pregnant women walking on the treadmills next to me!), then worked my muscles to near fatigue at my training class which was intermixed with 3 x 3 minutes of moderate sprints when my trainer told me to "shake it out with some light cardio".  Light cardio, ha! How about running at 7.0 mph at 30 weeks! That's a legit non-pregnant workout. I'd say it's hardcore for running at 30 weeks! Tuesday I did a spinning class and despite staying in the safe cardio zone of not getting short of breath (almost) the whole time, I somehow rode 1 mph faster than usual. Again, a legit non-pregnant workout. But I'd say it's hardcore for spinning at 30 weeks pregnant!

So today, I'm going to take some time to congratulate myself. On still running. On still spinning. On still swimming. On INCREASING my weight lifting while pregnant compared to prior. On working out 5-7 days a week even during the third trimester.

That said, I think my 45 in 45 goal is not going to remain realistic. I'm about to be "on service"  for the next two months which means my schedule is not going to be very flexible. I'm finding that in order to maintain my current exercise schedule I need to allow for adequate rest time every 3rd day or so (rest time= feet up on the couch for at least an hour) and I won't be able to do this consistently for the next two months.  Plus, I've pretty much nixed early morning workouts (I'm prioritizing sleep), thus some days it just might not be possible to squeeze in more than 10 minutes a day. So rather than keeping track of time and potentially feeling bad if I don't reach my goal of 310 minutes each week I'm going to shoot for 5-7 quality work-outs a week: 2-3 weight work-outs, 1 run of some distance (3 miles?), 1 spin and 1 swim. Hopefully, I'll still have glimpses of hardcore:)

With only 10 weeks to go, I'm starting to think about postpartum workout plans. While I fully realize it may not be possible to keep up my 1 mile run a day immediately postpartum, I'm going to try! We took the BOB Ironman for a spin at REI last weekend and it is awesome! So light! Though it won't be as light once we put the infant seat and the infant in there:) And I'm looking forward to swimming lessons, getting my new road bike (my "push" present!) and starting post-natal personal training at week 6!

So here's my last week of my 45 minutes/day challenge. I'm glad I did this- I'm sure it helped to keep my exercise routine intact for longer than if I hadn't set these (slightly unattainable) goals!

Day 1: ran 1 mile, swam 0.5 miles (35 minutes)
Day 2: ran 1 mile, weights (35 minutes)
Day 3: ran 1.5 miles, weights (45 minutes)
Day 4: ran 1 mile (10 minutes)
Day 5: ran 1 mile (10 minutes)
Day 6: ran 3.5 mile, prenatal training class (85 minutes)
Day 7: ran 1 mile, 13 miles spinning (55 minutes)

This week: 275 out of 310 minutes = 35 minute deficit

30 weeks!


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