Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Hotpotato: Running

Last night I ran 5km without walking.  The first time since finding out I was pregnant.  I've "run" before, with varying degrees of success, but with a heart rate that sky rockets if I so much as think about running-running, tiredness that starts poking its head out after about 5 minutes, and the odd weird ache or pain (nothing worrying, just uncomfortable), I haven't done a whole lot.

So I was stoked last night when I headed out and after 5 minutes of plodding, my heart rate was still steady.  And at 10 minutes (a bit higher, but still steady, and still in my comfortable zone).  So I just kept plodding on (apart from a fountain stop) until I made it home.  And I was SUPER stoked when I mapped my run and it came out as 5km.  I know mapmyrun overestimates a bit, but it was still better than expected.

I know this won't necessarily stay the norm, but getting a bit of that RUNNING feeling again reminded me that I will be myself again, and that the fact that I've been tired for the past few weeks (and gained a small person in weight) doesn't mean I'm a fit-pregnancy failure.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

On not being superwoman

I definitely imagined myself as one of those awesome hardcore pregnant women.  Like Pharmie, who ran a MARATHON on the day she found out she was with-Henry, an to 40 weeks, and is back to running 9-milers at 9 weeks post-partum.  My Mum had fairly easy pregnancies, so I hoped morning sickness would pass me by,  I'd eat plenty of fruit and veges the whole time, and I'd keep up with something somewhat resembling my normal exercise schedule.

Yeah, ummm, no.

It started with the fear.  It set in as soon as I saw the second line, and basically got worse and worse until about 11 weeks in.  The morning after the positive test I was out on a slow, slow morning run.  Rationally, I knew that running was not going to shake the tiny blob of cells loose, but the scared pregnant woman in me was having none of that.  I think I ended up with about 25 minutes on the clock.  I was able to quell the fear enough to keep active-ish, and even to do some "running", but I couldn't bring myself to let my HR drift above 140, even though I knew that rule had been debunked several years ago.  It didn't help that every book had a different answer!

Next came work.  The day after I found out I was pregnant, a client got sued with urgent proceedings, and from then on it was go go go.  It wasn't like my Wellington/Auckland hours, but there were lateish nights and weekends, and it was a shock to the system.   Now, normally I'm not too bad at fitting it in anyway- sneaking out for 6pm runs, getting up in the morning, etc but...

There was also the fatigue.  I'd read that pregnancy makes you tired.  And, hey, it makes sense.  Embryos and foetuses, they grow pretty quickly.  But I kind of read "you'll be tired" as "you might need to get to bed a bit earlier, and some weekends you might want a nap", and thought "hey, I'm used to being tired.  I've worked crazy hours while training for marathons and half ironmans.  Tired is my middle name".  Turns out I was wrong.  And I apologise in restrospect to every pregnant woman I have ever known.  Because fatigue does not even come close to describing it.  I felt like I had been hit by a bus (not seriously... cos that would suck a whole lot more than being really freaking tired).  I'd be worn out by lunchtime if I spent a weekend day "doing stuff".  At about 6 weeks, my sister and brother in law visited, and we went for a wander into the Farmers' Market, and a potter around town.  During our 2ish hour expedition, I needed a rest and a snack, and by the time we were heading home, I had to ask the others to slow down, because I could no longer walk fast enough.  I managed to help with lunch, but it was a couple of hours before I could face getting up afterwards.  And that was before things got hard.  Basically, on a good day, I could get through an hourish long run/walk as long as I had something to drink, but I couldn't guarantee that I'd get through the rest of the day.  Add work to the mix, and it was a mess.

And lastly, the nausea.  I had it pretty easy, it seems.  I only threw up twice, and one of those times hardly counted. But I felt sick pretty much all day every day from about weeks 8-12.  Well, all day EXCEPT when I was eating carbs.  Preferably salty.  A bit fatty, even better.

And so instead of getting to 13 weeks sporting a pert wee bump and a pair of cute running shorts, I'm sporting 5kg of bonus chub, and I'm out of clothes.

But I have kept things up a bit.  There have been bad weeks, but I have done between 2 and 7 sessions per week (1-5 hours), of swimming, walk/running, spinning and weights.  And although I've eaten 5kg worth of carbs, that's been on top of a balanced diet, with plenty of calcium, protein and leafy greens, not instead of it. 

And now, I'm moving into the second trimester full of grand plans and best intentions- but also a bit more reality.

PS This sounds like a whiny post.  Correction; this IS a whiny post.  But please, please know how happy I am to have been feeling so bad.  I would not change this for all the tea in China.  I just want to tell the truth about what goes on, because it seems to me that we too often downplay the ghastliness of early pregnancy, leading to an unfortunate "harden up"/superwoman culture.  Some women are superwomen,  but in pregnancy it seems it may be more about luck than anything else.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Race plans

On April 29, I posted that I'd be back with plans and news soon. I didn't know then that it would be months before I'd have a race plan, or any news. I think the news I was referring to was a house, but I honestly don't remember.

On June 7, I told you all that I was tired because of my low ferritin. I didn't know then that there was also another reason (but only just).

On June 10, I failed to tell you about our new house. But we have one, and it's great! It has a backyard, and a TRAINER room and a massive garage for all our bikes. All the important stuff.

On June 26, I posted about an outside ride. I didn't tell you that it was one of the most terrifying rides of my life, or that I rode slow and easy for a reason.

And on August 9, I told you that things had been quiet on the training front, and active on the carb eating and waist thickening front. I omitted to mention that all of things were not just about winter.

It's August 24 now, and I finally have a race plan to announce. I'll be participating in the Tauranga City to Surf 12km on 25 September 2011. I'll be racing with another wonderful tri-tweeter, and although we'll look like a team of two from behind, you'll be able to tell we're a team of four from the side.

Yep, you read that right.  This Hotpotato's making a Hotpotato-chip.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Coming back

I'm coming back soon... with a race plan!

Tuesday, August 09, 2011


Winter's been wintery, work's been busy, and I've been exhausted.  Which means that things have been all quiet on the training front.  And a little too active on the carb-eating, waist-thickening front.

I'm hoping I'll perk up soon and that I'll be motivated to get out into the Waikato spring sunshine (or, as is more likely, Waikato spring wind and showers).  I'm looking forward to feeling like myself again!

Happy training everyone!