It’s Wednesday at 11:25am. Henry is already down for his nap so I’m writing this in between planning of an all-girls training camp this weekend. The thing is, for me, this training camp is all a ruse. I am going to go swim-bike-run, but “training” not so much. My season is now all laid out for me: get huge and not in the Arnold- “pump you up” sort of way. No, in the gain 35+ lbs from doing very little and eventually (very eventually) end up with a tiny person sort of way.
I’m only 10 weeks as I write this so probably won’t post for another 4 or so at least, but I figured the joys of pregnancy are fresh on my brain at this point so I should write them down. Joys such as waking up every day terrified to eat and terrified not to eat as either produce that throat full of saliva about to barf kinda feeling. Joys such as leaving the house for a 30 min run, getting 6 mins in and barely able to walk home. Joys such as begging your toddler to be quiet for 30 mins as your migraine takes hold and you crawl into a dark room for 12 hours.
It’s not all bad though. Oh wait, yes it is. Sorry, but at this point I’m just not the glowing, excited momma to be. In my experience, that will arrive with the arrival of tiny human and not before. I know I should be grateful and I am, but it’s hard and I’m not going to paint it like it isn’t. For all you women that don’t get sick and slow and cranky while pregnant or embrace it all as part of a “miracle”, here’s a slow clap for you.
Recap of things that make me tick (other than my family): training, wine, racing, beer and to some extent, looking fit. That’s 5 for 5 out. For most of 2016.
So here I sit, an Ironman athlete trapped in a slow, tired body that is getting softer with each passing day. I’m looking into cooking classes, and adult colouring books to try and find something to pass the time. You really do find a lot of free time without training 12+ hours a week.
Luckily, I have my athletes to keep me engaged in the triathlon community and I really can gain almost as much satisfaction from watching them race as racing myself. So there you go, something positive to say.
It’s now 12 weeks in and the glimmer of hope I felt last week of feeling human again quickly left with the reappearance of most of my breakfast this morning. I’ve managed a few workouts in the last few weeks that were legit, but all resulted in my sleeping it off for the better part of the next day. I long to awake one morning without my first thought being “how much did I have to drink last night.” (no, of course I haven’t been drinking.) Yesterday I walked up a set of stairs I usually take two at a time and had to put my hands on my knees to catch my breath at the top. I can hear screaming from my former fit self inside this body. Athletes, even recreational ones, spend most of their time controlling both what goes into their bodies and what they can get out of their bodies. Pregnancy forces you to relinquish that control at least part of the time.
Now I’m up to week 13. A few days ago I was feeling pretty good in the morning. I blow-dried my hair, put on jeans and left the house only to get as far as my car and have to scramble outside to expel a foamy, bitter substance that had the distinct flavor of canned salmon. I realized it was my prenatal vitamin complete with Omega-3 fish oil that was being rejected onto the neighbour’s rhododendron. This was a whole new low and somewhat of a turning point. I found humour in my situation for the first time. Progress.
And here we are at week 14. I’ve finally told my family, friends and athletes. Obviously, the most common reaction is “Congratulations!” But there are always those people that need to let you know “I knew it!” Wow, you sleuth you. You noticed I didn’t order my usual IPA, haven’t been running and my barely B-cups are a solid C? You should really consider being a PI. Here’s some advice: even if it was painfully obvious just stick to congratulatory responses. No one likes a know it all.
So there you go, three months in one post. I’ll apologize now for a summer of posts about pregnant athleticism or lack there of, but write what you know. OH, and a big shout out to the team at Coeur Sports for supporting (another) sidelined athlete. I’m sure they knew the risks of an all-female team of mostly child-bearing age. I’ll still be out there in Coeur colours at races, just not IN them.
I’m open to questions about being a pregnant athlete and I promise the most honest response possible. Hormones and fatigue have pretty much removed any last glimmer of a filter to my thoughts so be prepared for brutal honesty.