The Pregnant Athlete

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

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How to deal with pre-baby anxiety!

35 Weeks | +27 lbs

I thought it was bad enough that I’ve been waking up two to three times each night to pee this entire pregnancy, but, starting this week, I’ve been finding it challenging to fall and stay asleep too with pre-baby anxiety looming over my head!  The massive kicks and movement, in general, at night certainly doesn’t help my inability to sleep either.  Two nights ago, I went to bed at 10:30pm, my usual bedtime, and had planned to go for a 5-mile run before work at 6:00am. However, I found myself wide awake an hour later, was unable to fall back asleep for another two hours, and awoke every hour until 6:00am! I ultimately opted out of that early morning run, cranky and feeling defeated for the rest of the day. Tomorrow marks exactly one month before my expected due date–July 27th (already?)!

The only way I think I’ll be able to get some rest for the remainder of this pregnancy is to jot down (or type) my issues, and how best to overcome them:

Issue #1: I don’t have a nursery set up yet, or anything for our baby at our apartment for that matter. My husband and I thought it was a brilliant idea to take on a roommate to save funds for our daughter last year, but, out of respect for our roommate, all of our baby-related items are neatly stacked so as not to clutter our apartment.  Additionally, our roommate is currently living in our future nursery, which means we can’t set anything up until he moves out.  As each day passes and my urge to nest grows stronger, I become more fearful of running out of time! Solution: Our roommate’s agreement ends this coming Monday, so we’ll be able to set up the nursery in only four days, thankfully.

Issue #2: I own my own small business, a yoga studio in New York City, for which I need to find coverage when I’m on “maternity leave.”  “Maternity leave” is in parentheses because I’ll actually be working from home for six weeks, so it’s not truly maternity leave.  However, I’m not as worried about working from home as I am about the fact that I usually work at the front desk at the studio on Mondays through Thursdays, and will need to find staff members to cover my hours.  Unfortunately, I’m currently short staffed, and my employees are unable to cover all my hours, as many of them work multiple jobs. Solution: I’ve been taking my time to interview potential employees over the last two weeks, and have, thankfully, met a few great applicants, two of whom I hired today! I’ll be training them both this Monday, and they’ll start working at the studio in July. A flexible schedule was a major factor in the hiring process.

Issue #3: I’m carpooling with my husband and two friends tomorrow to the Toughman Tupper Lake Tinman Triathlon, which is 5 hours up north. Will they stop for me when I need to pee (every hour)? What if I overheat while cheering during the race? What if I go into labor while we’re upstate? These were a few of the fears I stressed over earlier this week, to name a few!  Solution: We checked with our friends, and they promised to stop for me every hour, and I check with my doctor, who confirmed I was okay to go on the trip.  Instead of cheering for the entire race on the sidelines, I decided to run the half marathon portion of the half Ironman! Irregardless of what may potentially happen, I’ll be with my husband at least, which would be better than being at home by myself!

I should, hopefully, be able to overcome the bulk of my pre-baby anxiety over the next week, as I return from this weekend’s trip upstate, train my new employees and set up our nursery. More importantly, I have to remember to “let go.” Our daughter will arrive when she’s ready. And when she does, I’ll have my husband by my side, and we’ll be there for her.

for two fitness gift card.jpg

Giveaway Description: One lucky Instagrammer will win $100 gift card to For Two Fitness–the very best in maternity activewear! Simply post this image on your Instagram feed along with the tag #fortwofitnessgift and mention @fortwofitness. Include in your comment the item or items you love the most. A minimum of 50 reposts will be required to unlock the prize, so share with all of your pregnant friends, and good luck!

Week 33 (6/8-6/14) training: 26.7 miles 

Sunday: 10.5 miles
Monday: Spin
Tuesday: Yoga
Wednesday: 5 miles
Thursday: 5 miles
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 6.2 miles

Week 34 (6/15-6/21) training: 14.5 miles 

Sunday: 5 miles
Monday: Spin
Tuesday: Yoga
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday: Rest
Friday: 4.5 miles
Saturday: 5 miles

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Heartburn and knee pains and calf cramps. Oh my!

Week 25 | +18 lbs 

It is true what people say–my second trimester has been an wonderful time of my pregnancy so far! The fog of the fatigue from the first trimester dissipated in Week 16, I finally adjusted my fuel and water intake for my long runs so as to prevent the migraines I was suffering from early on in the pregnancy, and I’ve been really enjoying finally feeling our baby daughter kick in my belly throughout the day (as has my husband whose face lit up when she kicked his cheek after he laid his head gently on my belly one evening).

Suffocating my husband with my belly, 4/9/14

Seemingly suffocating my husband with my belly, 4/9/14

Although I have genuinely enjoyed the last few weeks of the pregnancy, I have had to deal with a few new pregnancy pains during the second trimester. I’ve noted them, and how I’ve tried to deal with them too.

  1. Heartburn. The first time I experienced heartburn was on an easy 5-mile run a month ago.   I had had a green juice comprised of kale, apples, lemon and ginger and a bit of cheese an hour prior to the run, as fuel for my run home from work.   Boy was I unpleasantly surprised when the cheese and acids from the juice immediately started coming back up after only less than a mile into my run!  My doula Caprice Abowitt explained to me that relaxin is a hormone that relaxes the muscles, joints and ligaments in the pregnant body to prepare the body for childbirth, but also softens the muscles of the esophagus and the valve at the top of the stomach, causing heartburn. I try not to eat solids or drink anything acidic up to two hours before a run, whether short or long, opting to drink coconut water for short runs and fueling with water and gels for long runs instead. However, my heartburn will likely only get worse over the coming months. Some pregnant women have suggested taking Tums to help with the heartburn, which I will try if my food avoidance tactic pre-runs doesn’t work.
  2. Knee pains. The pains in my left knee from an injury that had cut my marathon season short early last fall and forced me to cancel my entries to the New Hampshire and New York City Marathons started to bother me again a few weeks ago, sadly.  I presume that the pains had come back as I gained more weight. The increase in weight meant greater impact on my joints. I’ve been able to lessen the knee pain through daily stretching and foam rolling, however, exercises I learned from physical therapy sessions I had attended for three months last year with Finish Line Physical Therapy, whom I highly recommend.  The recurrence of knee pains served as a reminder not to stop stretching.
  3. Calf cramps. A non-running induced pain, calf cramps have shaken me from my slumber twice in the past three weeks followed by loud yelps, waking up my husband too, so far.  As BabyCenter notes: “No one really knows why pregnant women get more leg cramps. It’s possible that your leg muscles are tired from carrying around all of your extra weight. Or they may be aggravated by the pressure your expanding uterus puts on the blood vessels that return blood from your legs to your heart and the nerves that lead from your trunk to your legs.”  Apparently, it’s also an issue that may worsen over the course of the pregnancy. The only proven remedy seems to be to stretch your calf muscle when this occurs by straightening your leg, heel first, and gently flexing your toes.
Freshly made green juice, comprised of kale, apples, lemon and ginger, and red juice, comprised of beets, carrots, apples, lemon and ginger. No more juice pre-run!

Freshly made green juice, comprised of kale, apples, lemon and ginger, and red juice, comprised of beets, carrots, apples, lemon and ginger, both in our wedding souvenirs. No more juice pre-run!

On a positive note, my second trimester pregnancy pains haven’t affected my marathon training, thankfully.  This past Sunday, I ran the More Magazine / Fitness Magazine Women’s Half Marathon in Central Park. Although it’s always one of my favorite local races, this experience was my favorite half marathon one ever!! Not only was it amazing to see and run with so many female friends before, after and especially during the race, I was excited to run it for two with my favorite female in my life (other than my mom), my daughter.  How is it possible to love someone so much whom you’ve never even met yet? It just is.

More Magazine / Fitness Magazine Women's Half Marathon, 4/13/14

More Magazine / Fitness Magazine Women’s Half Marathon, 4/13/14

Week 24 (4/6-12) training: 19 miles 

Sunday: 6 miles
Monday: Spin
Tuesday: Yoga, 3 miles
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday: Rest
Friday: 5 miles
Saturday: 5 miles