My last two years in racing have looked pretty different to how I expected, in 2016 a new job meant tons of foreign travel and little time to get out on a course, 2017 saw a bigger challenge; Pregnancy.
I managed to stay in ok shape during my pregnancy, but have found it difficult to “bounce back”. From postural problems and persistent split abs, to just not having the time and energy to exercise, I’m not quite at the stage I had hoped for by now.
I was massively over ambitious and took on the Spartan Beast at 8 weeks post partum, whilst I didn’t injure myself, I was in a lot of pain and I realised just how much my body has suffered and how much I need to work on. Put it this way, it took me 9 months to build a baby, it’ll take time to rebuild my body.
So I’ve set myself a goal: Winter Nuts, 7 months to the day post labour, can I get myself in shape to take on one of my favourite courses?
In 2015 I managed to take first place female at two laps of winter nuts, right now I struggle to walk at a fast pace for a few km. A lot has changed, but I’m determined to not let it continue, and to rebuild myself, into whatever new body will appear.
Currently I get hip pain when I walk too much, my back is weak and so is becoming sore from holding the baby the wrong way and sitting around too much, my cardio is shot, and when I have tried to run I get pain in my core.
My first port of call has been a physio. If I had relied on my GP I would've started exercising too soon and caused damage. I’m pretty shocked that this is our only support on the NHS as new mums, at the 6 week check the gp didn’t even look in my direction, let alone how me how I was feeling. I know other mums who have never heard of diastasis recti (when your abs separate) and have accepted the “mummy tummy” as a fact of life.
At 12 weeks PP I’ve finally got the go ahead to start gentle cardio, so I’m going to be starting with Couch to 5k, a guided running programme that will help me build up. Because I didn’t used to have problems with running (although I will never say I was good, I’ve always been a terrible runner) I know that if I try and run I will not know how to pace myself and will be frustrated and disappointed when I can’t go for more than a hundred metres, so I’m starting at the bottom.
I’m also going to be working with my boyfriend, who is a Personal Trainer (Tom Nash), and because I don’t want anyone to miss out, we’re going to be posting my workouts, so you can train alongside me, as I’m aware not everyone is fortunate enough to live with a PT!
I know I will struggle with finding the time to fit in exercising, but I will ask for help from those around me when I need it. c25k is 30 minutes three times a week, if I can’t get that to myself at this point, something is going wrong! I also know I will be tired afterwards, so I need to start gently so that I don’t wear myself out.
I’ve recently become Vegan, for the benefits for my baby and myself, I can already see the benefits coming through, so I will be sharing some of my favourite meals with you, so you can see how I eat, and how it is possible to eat well and cheaply, but also have treats sometimes…and hopefully build a good strong body!
I’m incredibly excited about this journey, and I’m really keen to get other women, in my position or not to join me, so stay tuned, drop me a line, and let’s do this together.