The Training Epiphany

To say that my brain isn't working at capacity is the truth. To say that I haven't been training to capacity is the truth too. Oh sure, I'm 16 weeks pregnant and busy growing life but was that your excuse to sit on the couch? No. And this go around as much as I've been mentally saying that I'm not going to do that either, well I have. I figure I have 16 weeks of good training left in me, before I really start to feel the weight and size of pregnancy and slow down. Then I can just chill a bit.

Today I had an epiphany as I made myself get on the bike. And then while on the bike I figured I better make good use of my half hour - so I focused on a strong circular pedal for the better part of the workout. And then poof - all that blood flow sparked an intelligent thought in my brain. I'm not getting workouts done because I don't have a plan. No calendar, no goals, nothing. But why not? Just because I'm pregnant it doesn't mean that I can't focus on getting better. Oh sure, I'm not going to be setting any land speed records but there are aspects of training I can focus on.

I've been regularly committed to yoga twice a week since the beginning of January. And I see progress despite the growing belly. I stand taller, reach further, bend deeper. So if I can 'train' doing yoga while pregnant why can't I get my head around focusing on some other training aspects of biking, swimming, or weights? Running is on the outs. I've tried but I'm just not comfortable. And to be truthful, other than aerobic endurance, training for form or speed while pregnant just doesn't make sense.

So, Step 1. Print off a calendar. My best successes have come when I have a calendar printed, separate to our family schedule, where I can write down the hubby's workout plans for the day, and mine. This is a good reference point for both of us so we equally ensure the other can have time for their needed workout. Yes, I am the one who will give up a workout if we are pressed for time right now, but for me, I need this. I need a schedule.

Step 2. Bust out the star stickers. Yes, I love stickers as a reward. It has been a great motivator in the past so why not now?

Step 3. Focus on the specifics. Ultimately the best thing I can train for is aerobic endurance right now, and some strength aspects. But beyond that - can I be a better cyclist, swimmer? My peddling can definitely use some fine tuning. So can my swim stroke. My endurance has suffered taking from approximately weeks 6-16 off. So I can work to build that up again.

With 16 weeks to train I am thinking of looking to do four, four week blocks. Each block focusing on specific skill sets in one aspect. So, for set one, I'd like to work on my pedalling technique with some aerobic endurance. When I swim, I will focus on drills and becoming more proficient at bilateral breathing. Weeks 5-8, I am going to look at building my aerobic endurance. Weeks 9-12 I would like to focus on some strength. Perhaps forgoing one aerobic workout for a second weight workout instead. Weeks 13-16, tbd. Any suggestions?

I have a weights day scheduled once a week. Here I'd like to focus on a few things specifically - mostly my glutes. I lost a lot of my glute strength carrying Coach M, and I think that led to a longer return to good running form. Yoga is giving me some good glute work most days so adding in once more would be nice. Also, upper body strength and back work. As my centre of gravity shifts, and my core naturally weakens, I am already finding lifting Coach M to be more challenging. Getting a good strong upper body and back to support good breast feeding posture are my two main goals besides my glutes.

Rest - being pregnant, I've decided to schedule a rest day once every five days instead of once a week. I think this will help me stick with the program. So, there it is. The plan. No excuse now.

After all, I'm the one to say Schedule Yourself Healthy.


Eating for Two - Cravings and Musings

Well, I'm officially now, for one of two weeks in my second trimester. Yipee the feel good times. Well mostly. I am definitely feeling better all around but still am presented with challenges (running, can no longer sleep on my stomach).

Reflection on the First Trimester

Early on while I wasn't horribly nauseous I did have bouts in the afternoon that were best cured by a healthy dose of food. Hello weight gain. But as my nausea subsided by desire for food only increased. Honestly, I couldn't get enough of it. I tried desperately to not eat everything in sight. I planned snacks, healthy meals, and occassionally digging into a craving or something less than my standard of  healthy. Of course, being pregnant over the Christmas season just meant lots of food many nights and shortbread cookies. I'm not a sweets girl but the butter sugar melt-in-your-mouth combo. Well, you know. My interesting craving during weeks 6-9, chips and salsa. The salt and carbs of the chips plus something about the spice and tomatoes of the salsa. It was my thing.

Now the Second Trimester

My cravings have been wacky. Ok, inconsistent might be a better word. No, wacky.

One week I wanted everything cold frozen. Frozen raspberries were a staple. Normally I can't stand water with ice in it but during this phase, the more ice the better. A fresh cold cucumber from the fridge. Yum. I didn't understand it, won't pretend to, and really, could care less.

Bowl of Frozen Raspberries

Then one day, french fries. Ok normally I'm a total sucker for these and they are my guilty pleasure but I don't crave them. But this day, I went through the drive through on my way to work and ordered the biggest size possible. Feeling guilty (I do after all work at a running store), I ate with pleasure in the back room while my coworker for certain thought I'd lost it some. I haven't craved fries since.

A few days ago my craving was fresh strawberries. Then just yesterday a veggie platter. These all seem like highly reasonable things to give into so I am. Why deny my body broccoli? So far today, no cravings. All in all my cravings are much more sporadic and wacky than my first pregnancy where I had very clear and defined needs for certain foods. First trimester - orange juice, Second Trimester - peanut butter, Third Trimester - dairy.

Otherwise I've been eating fairly normal and haven't had any food aversions per se. I'm less inclined towards meats (except red meat - bring on the beef!) so I find myself just eating smaller portions. I would say generally we eat much healthier now than I did when I was carrying Coach M and so I think with more balance I'm not tending towards or away from as many foods. I know 'they' say you should eat more during the second and third trimesters but I'm just not that hungry. Or not hungrier than usual. I suppose though I'm less active so my body is using the same number of calories to grow a human rather than making or maintaining muscle (now there's a whole other post).

It will be interesting to see what other whims pop up through out the next while.

A small impedence on the view down towards my toes.