How Pregnancy Humbled My Exercise Routine

Hey y’all! I’m still getting adjusted to life over here as a new momma. I can’t believe our baby is 1 month old this week! I’ve got a few posts ready to go for the next few weeks before I can actually do some blogging again. Hope you enjoy them!

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In the last few weeks of pregnancy, I got to thinking and reminiscing about what I like to refer to as my hardcore training and racing days. Those days almost seemed like a different lifetime.

One of the biggest things I kept thinking about was the fact that I used to race in triathlons. Seriously, it was mind blowing to think about especially as I waddled across the padded gym floor to go use the 5 lb. dumbbells.

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{Pregnant without knowing it}

Being pregnant definitely humbled (and consequently, altered) my exercise routine. Whereas before, I could just throw on my running shoes and go for a run, hop on my road bike and cycle miles and miles, or go for a 1 mile swim, that all changed during my pregnancy.

Last summer, the day before I found out I was pregnant, my husband and I went for a 5 mile run. I distinctly remember the feeling of the hot sun (90+ degrees at mid-morning), making my face feel like it was on fire and remember emptying my water bottle over my head. A run like this one wasn’t out of the ordinary. In fact, I was excited to see just how many more miles I could start adding to my running routine and even think about trying longer distance races in a few months.

27.5weeks
{27 weeks}

Even though I didn’t race any triathlons last summer, I considered myself to be in pretty good shape. My running was getting stronger and I was also focusing more on strength training. Cycling was just starting to happen although it was difficult adjusting to all the hills here versus the flat cycling in Florida. Swimming hadn’t happened much, between the move and trying to get settled and deciding on finding a lap pool for workouts. Either way, on a scale from 1-10 (10 being “best shape of my life”) I would have rated myself at an 8.

Then I saw the 2 lines on the pregnancy test. Naively and probably because of the shape I was in, I immediately thought that I would be just another pregnant runner, who looked amazing and kept running miles a day, up until delivery time. Spoiler alert: that did not happen. At least, not exactly that way.

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I went from this non-pregnant exercise routine:

*Running approximately 12-15 miles a week, outdoors pounding on the pavement
*Strength training (machines + free weights) for 30 minutes to an hour, three times a week
*Daily abs, planks, push ups
*Cycling an average of 15 miles, once a week

to this pregnant exercise routine:

*Prenatal yoga
*Long walks and weekend hikes
*Elliptical cross trainer (2.25 miles daily, 5-6 times a week)
*Free weights for upper body
*Daily squats and side kicks
*Exercise ball (not for abs) to stretch hips and back

See? Quite humbling! Allow me to elaborate a bit more on how these changes happened to me over the course of the 9 (technically, 10) months of being pregnant.

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{One of our favorite hiking spots}

First and most importantly, I had morning all-day sickness from about a week after that infamous 5 mile run (I refer to it as “The Last Awesome Run”) until right before Thanksgiving. Side note: how amazing was that for perfect timing?! In other words, for about 10 straight weeks, I did nothing exercise related. Sure, there was the occasional short weekend hike when I was having a better day but in general, it’s safe to say that between nausea and being extremely exhausted all the time, I laid on the couch a lot.

Mentally, I wanted to exercise. I missed it! But physically, I just couldn’t do it. All that being said, when the fog of nausea and sheer exhaustion finally lifted, I attempted going on a run. You know, just like before. Haha! Even though the run itself (about 2 miles total) wasn’t bad and I was just a bit more winded than usual, the next day is when reality hit. I wasn’t going to be a pregnant pavement pounder.

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{My new BFF, the elliptical cross trainer}

I second guessed myself many times after I stopped pounding pavement, especially since I only tried running about a week straight before giving it up. I wondered if I should’ve just pushed through the normal aches and pains, as my “new” body adjusted to running. In the end, I found that my new routine helped me cope mentally and still kept me physically active.

Overall, my new routine was hard getting used to since it felt too easy compared to what I was doing before getting pregnant. Of course, as I progressed in my pregnancy and had more belly than I thought was ever possible, it didn’t feel as easy as before but I knew I was still working out hard enough.

 photo 32weeks_zps6fd74dfc.jpg
{32 weeks}

I remember one of the last times I went to the gym – it was a Thursday, the day before hitting the 38 week mark. There was a noticeable slow-down with my workouts the last 3 weeks of pregnancy. It would take me just a few minutes longer to get in my 2.25 miles on the elliptical and I would be more tired with each passing day. Strength training was fine and it didn’t really change, but my cardio was getting tougher to keep up at the same pace. So I did the smart thing and listened to my body.

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{38 weeks, 5 days}

Turns out my last workout ended up being 5 days before I went into labor. The only difference between this workout and the first one back at 15 weeks was the length and pace. I only clocked in 2 miles, half on the elliptical and half on the treadmill. At 15 weeks, I was doing yoga + cardio + strength training, sometimes 2 of those in one day! That’s a BIG difference but then again, my body was completely different at 38.5 weeks than at 15 weeks.

No matter how pregnancy humbled my exercise routine, I am so thankful and blessed that I was able to keep exercising throughout my most of my pregnancy, even if it did look a lot different than before. I didn’t take it for granted and the benefits of exercising certainly outweighed any of the not-so-fun aspects.

That’s pretty much it! Please feel free to ask me any questions you might have, either in the comments section or by sending me an email. I’d love to chat with you!

**By the way, I am not a fitness professional or a doctor. Please, check with your doctor before starting any exercise routine. This is just my personal experience with exercise during pregnancy.**

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4 thoughts on “How Pregnancy Humbled My Exercise Routine

  1. Alexa says:

    Ok, you are amazing. I'm 35 weeks with my second and am seriously in need of some good exercise. Definitely can't wait to get back into it once he arrives.

  2. Susie says:

    I think you're pretty much a rockstar- because once I was a minute pregnant, I pretty much dropped anything remotely close to working out! You are super inspiring!

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