The Pregnant Athlete

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


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We’re pregnant…again!

Week 5 | +2 lbs

Shhh. If you know my husband Ray or myself personally, please do not share this news with anyone. We will when we’re ready. But you can celebrate quietly with us in the meantime!

After placing this blog on hiatus for over a year and a half, I’m finally back, which only means one thing–we’re pregnant again! As with my first pregnancy, this one was not a surprise either, and far from it, in fact. Whereas we conceived our daughter Keira in less than two months, we had been trying for half a year when I finally received a positive pregnancy test 10 days ago!

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Positive Test, 3/29/16

Aside from the amount of time that it took to conceive this time around, there are already a number of differences between this pregnancy and my last:

  1. I know way more than I ever thought I would about my Body Basil Temperature (BBT), cervical mucus and luteal phase. After the first few months of trying the good ol’ fashion way, as I had during my first pregnancy, I started charting religiously to determine my ovulation date every month. What does charting entail? I logged my BBT every morning as soon as I woke up, noted my cervical mucus, and understood whether that meant I was fertile at that time or not, and knew that if I had a short luteal phase during any particular month that my chances of getting pregnant were lower.

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    Positive Chart, 3/29/16

  2. Whereas I distinctly recall how uncomfortably tender and sore my breasts were early on in my first pregnancy, I have not had any soreness at all this time around. I wonder if this is due to the fact that I breast fed Keira until she was 15.5 months old? I ultimately weaned her because my OB/GYN confirmed that I was not ovulating due to high prolactin levels.  In fact, I did not ovulate until our third month of trying to conceive this time around, less than a month after I weaned Keira.
  3. The feelings of exhaustion are 10 times worse this time around. I am delirious midday, nearly fall asleep immediately after work, and pass out immediately after dinner. There’s no surprise why–we now have a toddler at home! Not only can I not rest after work, and take naps on weekends, but I now have to run after an active 20-month-old. My mother-in-law claims that Keira is the most active of all her grandchildren, and I can certainly imagine this, especially as there was a recent New York Times article that stated that exercise during pregnancy leads to exercise-loving offspring.
  4. I not nearly as fit now as I was before my first pregnancy. Although I did run three marathons last year while breastfeeding Keira, I still have not yet ridden my road bike, and only rode my commuter bike once, since before Keira was born. Additionally, at the suggestion of my OB/GYN before implantation takes place, I had cut down my weekly mileage by more than half while trying to conceive this time, and didn’t run a marathon this season. I’m excited to start running a bit more, albeit much more slowly, again now.

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    First race with Baby Bean, NYRR’s Scotland Run 10K, 4/3/16

  5. I’m starting to show already?! I didn’t have anyone offer me a seat on the Subway or make any comments until I was 4.5 months pregnant during my last pregnancy? A man I’ve only met twice in my life blatantly asked me if I was pregnant yesterday! The idea that I may be showing didn’t even cross my mind, but now I’m nervous, and extremely annoyed that that man too. Now, I’ll have to figure out ways to hide my belly for the next eight weeks, despite the fact that I am in a yoga studio daily, and run home to work, so wearing bulky clothes doesn’t really make sense.

Despite the differences between this pregnancy and my last, I’m just as excited as I was with my first!

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First ultrasound, 4/4/16

Week 4 (3/28-4/3) training: 23 miles 

Monday: 4 miles; yoga
Tuesday: 4.21 miles; yoga
Wednesday: 3.67 miles
Thursday: 4.9 miles
Friday: Rest
Saturday: NYRR’s Scotland Run 10K
Sunday: Rest


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Comparing the first and second trimesters.

Week 17  | +10 lbs

It’s amazing that what people often say about the second trimester rings true–your energy level does return! As I detailed in my entry at Week 13, I found the fatigue I struggled with during the first few months of the pregnancy to be crippling.  The fog finally dissipated last week, and it has made a whirlwind of a difference in my abilities to handle work, training and even hanging out with friends.

Court Side Seats & All-You-Can-Eat at the Brooklyn Nets Game at the Barclays Center, 2/19/14

Court Side Seats & All-You-Can-Eat at the Brooklyn Nets Game at the Barclays Center, 2/19/14

To celebrate the changes in my body that have come with the fourth month of my pregnancy, I have compared the differences in my training during my first trimester and the present one below:

  • Biking. Although I stopped biking outside as soon as I found out I was pregnant, I continued to spin weekly with my favorite spin instructor, Holly Rilinger, at Flywheel Sports.   Just before getting pregnant, the Total Power, or measure of my speed and resistance, during my spin classes averaged 310, placing me near the top percentile for the region. During the first trimester, the reading dropped down to 260, but has since bounced back to 300.   I am still listening to my body–I simply have more energy to expend. I was especially excited this past Monday as I convinced my mom to come to class after her doctor suggested that she start participating in cardiovascular activity! It was her first spin class, and, in fact, the first class she’d taken where she “actually sweat,” as she informed me afterward.  She enjoyed it so much that she plans to join me every week, and I was excited by the notion that we had three generations of women in my family in class that day: Grandma, baby and me!
  • Running. I’ve be able to stick to my training schedule for the Delaware Marathon on May 11th. However, up until a week ago, I suffered from debilitating migraines after my weekend long runs.  I had never had migraines prior to becoming pregnant, and needed to nap for at least two hours after each long run, which helped a bit, but never made the headaches go away.  Though I did monitor my fluid and fuel intake a bit better, drinking water every 20 minutes and eating every 50 minutes, I didn’t get a migraine after this Sunday’s 14 mile run, a first in months! I can only chalk it up to the hormonal changes my body underwent during the first trimester, but the true test will be whether or not the migraines return this weekend.
  • Swimming.  Swimming was always my least favorite of the triathlon disciplines only because I dislike indoor swimming, and despise the smell of chlorine.  Considering the freezing temperatures we’ve been dealing with in New York City, the last I wanted to do was to go swimming and freeze afterward.  I’ll likely pick up swimming again when the weather warms, and my husband have ability to swim in the open water somewhere again.
  • Yoga. I was able to continue to take regular yoga classes during my first trimester and modify certain poses for myself, although I likely often confused other students when they noticed I was twisting in the opposite direction than they were or taking bridge pose instead of following the core sequence our teacher was teaching us. Since Week 14, I’ve transitioned from regular classes to prenatal yoga entirely. I love that I am able to learn techniques from my teacher Caprice Abowitt that I’ll be able to apply during child birth, connect with other moms-to-be and practice yoga in a safe and nurturing environment suited to our baby and me.
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Spin Class with Mom & Instructor Holly Rilinger at Flywheel Sports, 2/17/14

Week 16 (2/9-15) training: 15 miles

Sunday: Rest
Monday: Spin
Tuesday: Yoga
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday: 5 miles
Friday: 5 miles
Saturday: 5 miles