Well, was my last post really August last year!? It’s been a busy time, admittedly, but so many months have passed. Admittedly cycling has been largely off the agenda owing to the imminent arrival of baby #2. Now I’m four weeks off the due date my thoughts are already turning to getting those pedals turning again. I love my daughter and will love this new baby when it arrives, but I miss riding my bike so much! I think this time around I will enjoy it all the more too as any fitness gains will take place from out of the shadow of any future giving-my-body-over-to-baby-making plans, which were always lurking at the back of my mind before.
With my first, I struggled during pregnancy because I had to pretty much rein in the riding as my body just wouldn’t let me ride all day and I had absolutely no power on the hills, which is really limiting when you live where I do and all your riding buddies are hill-munchers. The struggle was mental and emotional. It made me so crazy that I couldn’t get out on my bike for all day rides with my mates. And that feeling lasted through the first year after little one was born, as I’d hear all the ride stories on Facebook – the cafe stops, the laughs, the hills, the epic days in the saddle, along with shorter rides that came so close to my house it was almost cruel! – and wonder how it was that those many days riding counted for so little that none of my bike friends had time for me now I just couldn’t get out! Then I got over that. I found new cycling buddies with young kids (or in some cases, very needy puppies!) who also couldn’t just disappear for the day – unless they took their family along with them, and we’d do short rides as fast as we could on our own or leisurely all day rides with our families in tow. It was just what I needed, restoring my sanity and, little by little, my fitness. In this time I also discovered kettle bell workouts, as it seems have many other women I know. There’s definitely a trend towards strength training, but that’s hardly surprising since you can get so much from it in such as short time – as long as you eat right.
With this pregnancy, kettle bells have kept me sane. I’ve been able to stay strong while also leaving myself time to relax and hang out with my little one. I found a great pregnancy-safe workout DVD (Baby Bells by Lauren Brookes) and managed it at least twice a week until I reached 7 months, which I’d decided was a sensible cutoff so that I could focus instead on prenatal yoga for the last couple of months. Lauren’s DVD is great and I credit it with leaving me stronger at 7 months pregnant than I was going into it. I’m looking forward to picking it up again post-birth as a way of building strength and fitness, in preparation for returning to more regular workouts. For now though, this body has enough to do, growing a nearly full-grown baby and lugging the extra weight of that around!
Over the next few weeks I’m going to update the blog with links to fitness articles I’m finding that relate to post-pregnancy fitness. There’s a lot out there. The challenge for me this time is to make sure my recovery is diastis recti safe. Google it. I hadn’t heard about it until 18 months after my daughter was born, when we did the “check” for fun and found, to my horror, a gap. If I had known about it I wouldn’t have done nearly so many yoga twists (twists are some of my favourite postures!) making this condition I didn’t know I had worse every time. So everything I do after this baby will be done with this in mind. Since it’s something my yoga teacher never mentioned (during prenatal yoga, while encouraging all those twists!) I think it’s safe to assume that there is ignorance about the condition even those people you credit with having your post-pregnancy best interests at heart. You have been warned – and if you ever want a strong, stable core again, it’s pretty important for all active mamas to be aware of.
And then there’s Zwift. Have you heard of it? It looks awesome! I can’t wait to get onto the turbo to give it a go. I may even get the chance to ride with some of my old mates again – albeit virtually – which would be nice. Lots of new things to look forward to. Oh, and the new baby, of course 🙂