Monday, November 17, 2014

Training for two: What's working in the second trimester

"So what do you do?"

The question from the personal trainer and wellness coach sitting across from me at the table caught me off guard. I was there to talk to him about what he did and what others could do for a work assignment. I wasn't there to talk about me.

But then I looked down at my belly, and I realized at this point in the pregnancy it's not 100 percent clear that I'm training for two. The midsection, covered in layers of sweaters, looked thick — not fit.

Feeling put on the spot, I started scrambling.

"I run."

"I like long distances!"

"I strength train, too. Two times a week!"

And then there was a sigh of relief. I felt as if I had proven myself to the trainer, given myself credibility to be working on the piece that I was.

There might have been a part of me, too, that was convincing myself. I'm definitely running — and working out, in general — less than I did 8 weeks ago. It's in large part because I'm no longer training, another part because of a changed teaching schedule. And, to be honest, there is a tiny part that doesn't want to stress about doing much more.

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Here's how my weeks look:

Monday: Rip (45 minutes)
Tuesday: Run, 5-6 miles
Wednesday: Rip (45 minutes)
Thursday: Run, 5-6 miles; lead boot camp
Friday: Rest
Saturday: Run, 8-9 miles
Sunday: Run, 6 miles

Last week, I logged 26.66 miles (creepy!), and I felt good with it. Each run felt long enough but not exhausting and overall strong. My pace has yet to drop significantly, which might be the most surprising thing. I ranged from an 8:59 pace over 6 miles on Sunday (by myself) to a 9:47 pace for my long run, which included about 3 miles on trails. Most outings are in the 9:15 range.

I have seen more of a change when I'm resistance training. I haven't taught Rip two times a week since the spring, and my weight selections are definitely lower than what they were. I have seen some slight improvements over the past couple weeks, and I attribute that to the mind-muscle connection. Basically, my body is remembering what the hell it feels like to do Rip twice a week. I do have a harder time with core and I can feel myself struggle with planks and push-ups. The extra weight in the belly has me selecting modifications in tracks/workouts when I otherwise wouldn't.

I would like to add some light cardio on the days I teach/do Rip. I've been far too addicted to "America's Next Top Model" on Prime, and I'm contemplating only watching it if I'm walking on the treadmill. I'm also hoping to have my bike on the trainer soon so I can just spin the legs for 30 minutes. It's not so much about fitness or calorie burn but keeping up my energy. I feel as if I'm more tired at night than I was with Miles, and it's too easy to fall asleep at 8:30.

I'm 19 weeks today, and I'm fully aware that I am in the honeymoon period of pregnancy. I'm not large and in charge but I'm not sick and napping all of the time either. I'm just soaking up all that I can now and hopeful that it does a body good later. My goal is — and has been — to do what I can for as long as I can until it doesn't feel good. If it stops being enjoyable or rewarding, it will be time to step back and reassess.


  1. You look GREAT!! I agree, do what feels good.

  2. You are kicking butt and taking naes. I have a four month old, so I remember all too well the ups and downs of teaching and working out while pregnant. I can tell you that working out as much as I did while pregnant made my recovery and going back to teaching afterwards so much easier!!

  3. LOVE that picture! You look so great! I'll admit there's a small part of me that is kind of glad I didn't become a runner until after I'd finished growing and birthing children. I think to do as much as is comfortable for as long as it's comfortable is a REALLY good approach. I could never get up in front of a group of people and teach so my hat is off to you! Will you continue to teach your classes?

    1. Thank you! I do plan to teach for as long as possible. With my boot camp classes, I should be able to go until the end. I lead the warm up and usually keep time, correct form and encourage. Mark is in there, too, so I can make him demonstrate the exercises if need be. As far as Rip, I've heard of people going until 9 months. I am hoping to but I have no idea.

  4. I think you're smart (as always) to just do what feels good and focus on being active. With pregnancy every day or week can feel different.

  5. Looking great and kicking butt in your workouts! I also feel like I have to explain the thickness around my middle that looks like I just had too much chips and ice-cream and haven't been running. Well maybe I have had too much chips but there's also a baby in there.