One of the things my husband first noticed about me was the way I pronounced "Florida" and "orange" just like his sister Lyci [Flah-ri-da & ah-range). It wasn't until about a year later that I finally got to meet her, and we've been friends ever since! She always used to talk about triathlons and races, which at the time were a foreign concept to me, but after all this time (and a baby), she's still going strong. Lyci is a mother to the most adorable little girl (no, I'm not biased, okay maybe I am), but she hasn't let motherhood get in the way of taking care of herself and keeping up with her racing. Her first postpartum race was a half marathon just 5 months after giving birth! Below Lyci talks about how her fitness changed while pregnant and what she did to get back into racing shape.
What motivated you to start running and racing in triathlons?
How did getting pregnant change your relationship with working out and fitness?
Also, for the first trimester, in addition to allowing yourself a 7pm bedtime instead of a 7pm gym time - eating something "healthy" like broccoli salad does no one any good if you can't keep it down. Now, I'm not advocating eating snickers bars all day long, but again - you're going to have to find what works for you. "Bad" calories are still better than no calories. If you end up eating a BLT for lunch four times a week (guilty) just to get through that first trimester, so be it.
Describe your workouts while you were pregnant, and how did they compare to your workouts before you got pregnant?
Also, you'll probably have to be more open minded about fitness than you might anticipate. I love swimming, when I'm not pregnant. Everyone seems to rave about swimming and pregnancy; I hated it. And, as a "swimmer," that surprised me quite a bit. I just felt like I was trying to do laps with a little kid's swim bubble strapped on backwards. Not amazing.
The other not amazing thing during pregnancy, that I normally loved, was public transit. As I grew, so did my impatience and frustration with pretty much every single person I encountered on the crowded rush hour trains. My solution many times, weather permitting? Walking the 3 miles home instead. My mental state improved, and I counted that as my workout for the day.
How long did you wait to start exercising after giving birth? What did you do to ease back into the training?
I didn't start actually running again until about 10 weeks post partum, and I started with run/walk splits which were very heavy on the walk.
Side note: if you're a nursing mom, especially one who didn't previously have cups that runneth over, get a new sports bra! And, before you go for a run - pump. There was a car in my town growing up whose license plate spelled: PB4UGO. Great advice. In this case, the P stands for pump. (You should probably still pee too, though). Trust me on this one. You do not want cups that leaketh over, nor do you want to spend your whole run mentally curbing your urge to clutch at your aching chest. No one wants that kind of attention. The new sports bra will be well worth it.
How did training after having a baby compare to training before having a baby?
I will say that we were blessed beyond belief by having a pretty darn good sleeper that allowed both of us to ease into the life/parenthood balance much easier than most. If you're not blessed in the baby-sleep department (and I now have a new-found empathy for that; thanks a lot 8-month sleep regression that never ended), well, Godspeed. And drink all the coffee.
What do you think is a realistic goal as far as a timeline for getting back in shape postpartum?
And, again, this is one of those cheesy "remember to be kind to yourself" moments, because the number on the scale may also not be as compatible with how you think your body looks as you're accustomed to, either. Your body will certainly have changed, whether it's your hips, your boobs, or your belly (or all of the above) so you might need to adapt. You will probably have some rocking biceps in a couple months, though, so you've got that going for you!
How do you juggle fitting in you workouts with spending time with your baby, family and work?
That said, we've discussed what we might consider doing if I went back to work fulltime to ensure that I still get to workout at least a few times a week, without feeling like I'm sacrificing time with the family. The ideas we've had are: swimming laps for 30 min while my husband is with my daughter for her swimboree class and going for a family jog on Saturday mornings.
What advice do you have for a fit/active woman who is pregnant or just had a baby as far as keeping up with her fitness?
- Do air squats while brushing your teeth.
- If you've never heard people say that women after childbirth are stronger at endurance sports than they were prior to childbirth, let me be the first to tell you. By the end of my half marathon training, I was only running twice a week. Once during the week, (never more than 5 miles), and once on the weekend, which increased by about a mile each week. Somehow, this worked. I actually took a few minutes off of my previous course time on that half. Having been running and doing triathlons for many years prior, this result from that training was shocking.
- Your body is amazing: amazingly strong, amazingly resilient and amazingly capable. Just remember that.