Lifestyle

Every long journey begins with one step

Baby Body to Biking Body

In 2011 I did one of the most physically challenging things of my life, a double century, the Seattle to Portland (STP) road ride, 206 miles in one day. Despite the 11 long hours in the saddle, during and after I felt pretty great. This was all due to a successful training program that had me prepared and ready to rock.

A big part of this training program was a blog I wrote to aid in motivation. I think 2 members of my family read the blog just to be supportive. Even though I knew no one was really paying attention, the writing, and knowing it was out there to the world, held me accountable.

The hope is, what worked once, will work again. I am going to write about my fitness journey from overweight pregnancy #2 to mean, lean, Enduro racing machine. Along the way, I hope to share some helpful resources and my personal experiences that may or may not be motivating to others. 

Let's get started:

 

 My last ride at 8 months pregnant. Thanks to my mom for struggling along with me.

My last ride at 8 months pregnant. Thanks to my mom for struggling along with me.

The simple facts - My starting point:

I have gained a little over 50lbs with this pregnancy. With social and personal pressures to stay fit and in shape, this is hard to say to the world (or whoever may happen upon this post). For those who don't know, the doctors say you should gain between 25-30lbs during pregnancy. At the end of my pregnancy, I was the heaviest I have ever been (213lbs!). Only about 12lbs of that left with the baby. 

As with all goals, there are challenges to be aware of and positive resources to help.

My challenges include a strong willed 3-year-old boy and a beautiful newborn to love and raise while getting back in shape. I plan to breastfeed, which could be a road block when scheduling work outs. My husband works odd hours as an ER doctor, nothing consistent and 24 hour shifts to work around.

I struggle with motivation; I would venture to say most of us do. I struggle with eating too much, I love to eat and have a love/hate relationship with dark chocolate and mountain dew (let's be honest, more love then hate).

Resources in my favor include, a great community gym that is very affordable with spin classes and a pool. I have an indoor bike trainer at home and access to skiing and snowshoeing 15 minutes from my door step. My husband is behind my efforts and is willing to help me get to the gym and get out when needed. I also have great friends who will do babysitter trade days and help me get out. 

 

 I was pregnant here, you can see the belly if you look hard. About 7 months along. 

I was pregnant here, you can see the belly if you look hard. About 7 months along. 

The plan of action:

Nutrition - There will be much more to follow about nutrition with specific information, but the idea now is to just eat healthy, not diet. I do plan to count carbs to help me regulate my sugar intake. This has worked for me in the past. I will be eating many small meals a day including plenty of greens and avoiding sugar with a cheat day once a week so I don't lose my mind. 

Exercise - Also, more details on this to come. My general plan is to schedule workouts at the beginning of each week around my hubby's work, he will have to play mommy for at least a few hours a week. The workouts will start with light cardio and stretching so I don't injure myself as my muscles work their way back to the right places after pregnancy. When my body is ready, (no way to know how long this will take - hopefully only a few months) I will begin weight lifting along with the cardio. 

Mental motivation - Most importantly, I plan to blog about my progress, my failures and the information I find. I am not a trainer, a doctor or a physical therapist, I cannot recommend anything for you, but maybe you can learn from my experience. I hope to share what I liked, what worked and didn’t work for me.

My end goal is to complete at least 2 Enduro races this summer and podium in my category. It would be great to be back to my pre-baby weight of 160lbs, but I am not going to obsess over my weight. Feeling good and being strong on the bike are what is really important. 

Please share right along with me. If you have a great story and want to post to the blog, please let me know. I would love to hear more stories from all of you and how you got back to your biking self.

Every long journey begins with one step.


What are your biking or fitness goals for 2017? What first steps are you taking to accomplish those goals?

Pregnant and Still Riding

30 weeks into this adventure. This is my second baby and I'm thrilled to say, she's a girl. Despite my OB's recommendation, I want to ride until my legs no longer fit around my belly. I keep saying it's a month away, but the month comes and I feel great.

Some people have given me concerned, what does your doctor think, looks that show their judgement about my "reckless" behavior. The questions are, "but what if you fall?", "isn't that selfish to put your baby in harms way?" And "wow, you better be careful".

I don't want to harm my baby, I don't want to take unnecessary risks. What I do want is to stay healthy, exercise and ride my bike to the best of my current abilities.

What people don't realize is that I have been riding my bike for so long that it feels like an extension of my body. Falls still happen when I am pushing myself, but my experience has also taught me where my comfort zone begins and ends. 

Staying within my comfort zone, while pregnant, has allowed me to keep riding. There are people I run into that cheer me on. They say, "ride the whole time", "you are so amazing for still riding your bike". These are the voices I choose to hear.

I choose to listen to the small voice inside my head that helps me continue by telling me to slow down, take a break, don't hit that jump and don't accept that invitation to your favorite ride. I choose to keep riding and try to get exercise where I can. I choose to listen to those voices that cheer me on, not those that might fill my head with doubt.

So far, these choices have worked in my favor and the favor of the little life I carry inside. We are both a little healthier and I am much happier because I am still riding my bike. Now if I could just find a chamois and jersey that fit my belly.  

 27 weeks - Coyote Trail, Heber

27 weeks - Coyote Trail, Heber

 My mom will actually ride with me when I'm pregnant. 30 weeks along. Temple Quarry Trail, Sandy.

My mom will actually ride with me when I'm pregnant. 30 weeks along. Temple Quarry Trail, Sandy.