Those of you who have been reading my blog this past 8-12 months know that I went through some issues with overtraining, low iron and life issues that I blamed for feeling tired and not performing as I felt I should have been. I felt like I was climbing out of that place through the fall and into the early part of the winter. And then in January/February I started feeling a little tired again, had trouble doing more than two days of quality workouts in a row and finishing long workouts strong. I thought, maybe it’s my lifestyle now, the fact that I now drive a lot and commute into Toronto and back and therefore have much less time in a day. Maybe it’s the decrease in sleep that I’ve gotten since moving out to Burlington. Maybe it’s still the stress that I went through related to business that I haven’t recovered from yet. Maybe I’ve just been in this sport too long and it’s time to step down from racing at the elite level. Well folks… none of that was it!! I came home from training camp at the end of February feeling strong and motivated to stay that way and I looked at myself and thought “Hmm, I’m not as lean as I should be…” My stomach felt bloated all the time after camp and I said to my girlfriend, “I think I’m sensitive to wheat or something, Al and I have been eating a lot of bagels since we got back from Florida.” She says “Could you be pregnant?” I said No… and then I took a test. And it was positive.
We are having a baby! Parker will be getting a human brother or sister sometime in the middle of September 2016.
Wow. In a snap of the finger I went from professional triathlete heading into a new season and feeling positive to a pregnant person wondering how to stay motivated to exercise for general health and fitness.
I want to be clear here – I’m happy about this baby. It wasn’t planned and shouldn’t have been able to happen at all. It’s a small miracle really. We wanted it one day in the near future, it came a little early but that’s okay. I expected it to be hard to get pregnant, at my age, Al’s age, and with my sport background. So really we are lucky it happened as it did. But I don’t want to pretend that the physical and emotional changes that come with it aren’t difficult to deal with. I am a pretty calm person overall. And in general I feel I am pretty good and dealing with the punches and whatever challenges life delivers.
The first day after I found this out was a Saturday. Typically on Saturday’s I get up and get on a bicycle for a few to a lot of hours. Instead I opened my eyes and just laid there. What was I going to do? Getting up and sitting on my bike in the basement for the 4-5 hours that were in my training schedule wasn’t at the top of my list. There wasn’t a race goal anymore. There was no specific goal to focus on. So I stayed there for a while and then I got up and made pancakes. I can’t remember what the rest of that day looked like but I know I didn’t exercise. I didn’t exercise the day after either. The first little while was about dealing with the changes, thinking about life and making some very different new goals – short term and long term.
Since then, I’ve gotten myself together and am happily going to the gym most days of the week for an hour or so to strength train, elliptical or spin. If I’m tired, I don’t go or I cut it short. Often I will show up with big plans and once I get going I just want to sit down. I have to admit that a few times I have driven to the gym only to take a nap in my car before dragging myself in there, if I get in there at all. I sometimes think back to that time when I was training and racing as a pro ironman athlete… and then I laugh and realize that was only 6 weeks ago and I have no idea how I was doing it. Most of the time I have been feeling good and positive about what is happening and okay about the changes my body is going through, because I know it’s because a baby is growing inside me and the changes my body goes through are healthy for the baby. But for someone who is used to constantly trying to get lean, constantly training to the extreme to perform at ironman racing, and someone with a history of nutrition and body image issues, it is difficult sometimes. Aside from the physical changes it’s also hard emotionally. Pregnancy brings with it lots of changes in hormones which can mess with your emotional stability! Overall I feel that I have been fairly even keel, but there have definitely been times that I experience huge amounts of anxiety and a low mood and feel like I could start crying at any moment. The good news now is that I know why and can just breathe and realize that there is a reason I feel this way and it will eventually pass.
So what’s happening with training and racing? Well, I’m taking this year off of doing this for myself and putting it all into helping my own coached athletes at CL Performance Training (www.CLPerformanceTraining.com) train and perform at their best. I may not race elite again in the sport but I’m okay with that and excited to make myself into the best mom possible and put even more energy into my business and being the best Chiropractor, Run and Triathlon Coach I can be. This summer I will be around the races as a professional cheering squad! I look forward to seeing you out on the race courses.
Stay connected with this site as well as www.CLPerformanceTraining.com to get updates on events that we have planned. Coming soon is a training camp in Mt Tremblant, a big training weekend in Muskoka and a bike maintenance and swim clinic. There is a link to sign up for CLPT newsletter on the website if you are interested.
Until next time…