Tuesday, June 4, 2013

9 Months of Pent Up Motivation

Hi all. I'm back. Ready to talk about exercise and training goals once again. Hallelejah. I've missed myself, my exercising self. And I'm VERY excited to re-emerge from the pregnancy exercise intensity restrictions with plans to be a much stronger, faster athlete than ever before in the next year. First let's recap where I've been in the past year....

Last summer I completed my first and second triathlon, both while pregnant though I didn't know I was pregnant for the first one- the Chicago Triathlon in August 2012. I had just finished a very difficult, time consuming year of work so was starting to re-build my fitness and was excited to throw biking and swimming into the mix. I had my sights set on Ironman Wisconsin 2013 though since Adam and I were hoping to get pregnant I knew it was very possible that I would have to delay the Ironman. And sure enough, over Labor Day weekend, we noted I was a couple days "late" so decided to take a pregnancy test really more for fun than anything else. I thought the chances that I was pregnant after only 1-2 months of trying at my advanced maternal age was very unlikely. Luckily I found out I was pregnant about a week before registration for the Ironman so didn't lose the registration fee!

I have a handful of posts on exercising during pregnancy so I won't rehash here. Here are some of my previous exercising during pregnancy posts:

--Exercise During Pregnancy...In General
--Exercise During Pregnancy...What I've Done (so far)
--Pregnancy Fitness Goals
--The New Hardcore...Running at 30 Weeks
--The Ultimate Pregnancy Niggle
--Running Year in Review 2012

The bottom line is I stayed pretty darn active right until the day of delivery, keeping up my daily mile of running and also spinning, swimming and weight training until the end. My final pregnancy mileage is as follows:

549 miles run
24 miles swum
261 miles cycled (doesn't include the months of October, November, December as I didn't keep track of spinning mileage those months)

Because our Zooey was small and breech the decision was made to have a c-section at 36 weeks and 5 days. I knew a c-section was certainly possible since up to 1/3 of women end up delivering this way, and I certainly have no romantic notions of "labor" and am sorta glad I got to bypass that process. However, returning to exercise after pelvic surgery wasn't really part of my fitness plan for Spring and Summer 2013, and I have had to re-build much more gradually than I would like. But I've stayed as aggressive as I thought I safely could, kept up with my mile a day including the day after delivery, first with walking and then with intense hill walking as soon as my incision healed. At one month, I was really starting to feel the emotional and physical toll of not running. My knees and shoulders were starting to hurt. No amount of hill walking, even at 15% grade provided any endorphins. So after one false start (I ran 0.25 miles a few days before 1 month and felt it in the incision), at exactly one month after my c-section I went for a mile run.

For more detailed info on my early recovery:

--Turns Out I'm Just Like Everyone Else

I've worked up to 3 miles as my "long" run and hope to be up to 10 for my annual 4th of July "long" run. I still think a marathon in September is possible and I have my sights set on the Mill Race Marathon in Columbia, Indiana, a great suggestion made by my cousin Karin, also a runner. There is a half as well so Karin, Adam and maybe some other family members can run as well!

But my short term goal needs my undivided attention for the next few weeks- the Chicago triathlon in August. Last year I did the sprint, but this year I plan to do the International Distance. I've talked some great friends into participating as well, providing additional motivation ensuring that I can't back out! My plan is to continue my slow mileage build for running with occasional ad lib speed work. Running is also the core of any training plan for me. It is the activity I most enjoy, that provides the most mental benefits, and that I'm most comfortable with. But the sport that I'm weakest at really needs some attention- swimming. Ug. Once I'm back at work (read: have full time child care) I need one or two lessons to adjust my form but in the meantime I need to log some serious pool time. I'm in a post-natal strength training class that meets twice weekly (and allows the babies to come to class) and if I can muster a third session a week on my own that takes care of strength. I'm going to actually delay any focus on biking until I go back to work, partly because I definitely need child care for this activity and partly because I feel like I can ramp up to 22 miles biking without much problem. I may not be fast, but I can get it done, so time to focus on swimming and strength is probably most important for the next few weeks.

Well, there you have it. My rough plan to return to fitness glory. I don't have a day-by-day plan as I suspect it would be very constricting and bound to fail given Zooey duties. But as long as I get in one work-out most days and two work-outs one or two days, I should be good.

I hope.

Wish me luck.

This is going to be hard.


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