The Pregnant Athlete

Learning To Embrace My Changing Pregnant Body While Swimming, Biking, Running & Practicing Yoga

We’re pregnant!


Week: 7 | Weight: +4 lbs 

16 days ago, my husband and I discovered that we are expecting. The pregnancy was not entirely a surprise.  He and I had been actively trying for two months, and my period was already three weeks overdue.  Additionally, I had been feeling “odd” lately–my breasts were tender and sore, my entire body felt swollen, and I had become so tired that I would sometimes fall asleep immediately after dinner.  I had taken two pregnancy tests the week prior that had read negative.  My OB/GYN suggested that we wait a few more days, as pregnancy tests don’t show results until 10-14 days after conception–that certainly made the difference!  Our minds were immediately overwhelmed with a variety of questions, but there was one I knew many moms-to-be would not consider: Will I be able to continue to train?

Positive, 11/25/13

Only three-and-a-half months ago, I had completed my first Ironman.  I had trained for eight months, six days a week, and sometimes twice a day to swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles and run 26.2 miles at the 2013 Ironman Mont Tremblant. It may have been my first Ironman, but it was certainly not my first endurance event–I had completed 13 marathons, one 50-mile ultramarathon and one century ride prior to the Ironman, and I was hooked! To counterbalance my endurance pursuits as well as find mental clarity, I also practiced yoga at the yoga studio I own in New York City, Sacred Sounds Yoga.

Ironman Mont Tremblant, 8/18/13

Four days ago, my husband and I went for our first ultrasound, and laid our eyes on our baby his or her beating heart. Our baby was 6 weeks and 4 days old.  The fact that he and I created this being, currently the size of a blueberry and a week ago the size of a sesame seed, is profound.   In an effort to honor my changing pregnant body and celebrate my husband and my baby’s life, I realized it was time to make some changes to my active lifestyle.  Initial changes include:

  •  Biking.  As someone who, until now, commuted by bike to and from work, opting to bike only indoors during my pregnancy was still an easy decision to make.  Although bike accidents a few and far between, I was nearly hit by a car going the wrong direction in my lane while training for the Ironman this past summer, so I knew first-hand how traumatic accidents can be.  My road rash scars and tattered clothes serve as proof of the experience. In addition to cycling on my indoor trainer, I decided to take myself off the Flywheel Torque Board, which displays riders’ power during the class, when I spin, so that I don’t feel compelled to compete with other riders, something that I naturally feel inclined to do.
  • Running.  After checking with two different doctors, I will continue to run long distances, and will be training for the Delaware Marathon on May 11th, 2014.  My doctor noted that pregnant women can continue to do low-impact activities, such as running, but advised against anything high-impact.  She discouraged pregnant women from running marathons if they had never before, but asserted that I could if I wanted to because of my fitness level.  Gone are the days when pregnant women were told NOT to exercise!
  • Swimming.  I can continue to swim throughout my pregnancy.  However, I seriously dislike indoor swimming–I hate the ritual of having to commute to the pool, undress, shower and commute again as well as the lingering smell of chlorine on my skin.  I’ve also read that swimming become quite uncomfortable and awkward as the belly grows.
  • Yoga. I will be able to continue practicing yoga until my due date, provided I modify my practice.  I will continue to take regular yoga classes until I’m ready to let people know at Sacred Sounds Yoga, but our prenatal yoga teacher Caprice Abowitt has informed me that I should not twist or invert.  After week 13, I’ll be able to join our Prenatal Yoga classes!

Author: pregnantathlete

My name is Stephanie, and I was born and still live in New York City. I'm an avid distance runner, cyclist, snowboarder, swimmer and yogini (though I'm taking a break from some of these activities right now). It just so happens my active interests feed my love of food and traveling too! Oh! And did I mention that I'm pregnant...again? I also own a yoga studio, Sacred Sounds Yoga, in lower Manhattan. We offer classes in array of styles, including vinyasa, yin, Mysore ashtanga and Unnata Aerial Yoga. We also have prenatal, postnatal and kids yoga classes too!

5 thoughts on “We’re pregnant!

  1. Congratulations! It sounds as though you have everything firmly in hand but I just listened to a podcast by ‘Another Mother Runner’ that dealt in length with pregnancy and running that you might enjoy.
    Thoughts with you and your husband as you begin this new chapter!

  2. I stumbled upon your blog today and I really hope you continue to document your journey! You and I are very similar: I’ve run 24 marathons (my 25th is on Saturday!) and I’ve done countless races of other distances, and several shorter distance triathlons. I’m training for my first half ironman in June and I am also an avid ashtanga yoga practitioner. My husband and I have not yet decided to have kids, but I often wonder what training would be like when the time comes. So, congrats on your new journey – keep on writing! So interesting!!!!

    • Thanks so much for the thoughtful comment, allisonfiorini! While I found there was a plethora of information on pregnancy, I realized there was not much on how to handle endurance and other active pursuits during pregnancy. I do plan to continue to document this journey, and hope it’ll help other women in the future!

  3. Pingback: The third trimester is finally here! | The Pregnant Athlete

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