I’ve just picked up my Cervelo P5 from Jason Losey (Jason has looked after my bikes the past 4 years – he’s amazing.). I commented to Jason, “Things must be getting serious!”. My P5 is looking as good as new and ready for the road and, where it leads, I must follow! For the first time in almost ten months my P5 and I will be out on the road this weekend. To me it’s a statement of intent. Training for 2017 has commenced.
But, let’s back up a month or three. In my last blog I was twenty-nine weeks pregnant and promising to write about my exercise routine during pregnancy. I’m a “just in time” kind of gal so I figured I’d knock this out in the last couple of weeks of my pregnancy when I thought I’d be slowing down a bit. Well, Archie came a couple of weeks early and so that plan went out the window.
Since Archie joined us on the 7th September life has changed in many wonderful ways. Next week Archie will turn three months old and time has flown. However, when I think back to the day we brought him back from the hospital it does seem a long way from where we are now. Archie has doubled his weight since then – I find it hard to imagine now that he was so tiny.
During my pregnancy I always said I wouldn’t pressure myself to get back to training by date X. I knew getting back into training would have to feel right and it would have to fit around Archie. My little family comes first and during pregnancy I just didn’t know how and whether I would be able to balance my changed priorities with training at an elite level. I did know that the last thing I wanted to be stressing about in Archie’s early days was training and a comeback. Going with the flow isn’t always easy for A types but I think consciously making this decision made it easier to handle not making an immediate decision on race schedules etc. Already being a mum to Archie is the most fulfilling, challenging and rewarding role I have experienced. It’s hard to explain but I feel like it has given me a knew lease of energy. Getting back to race shape will be a huge challenge but it is exactly that challenge excites me.
Before I start boring you all with my delight at being a mum, back to that P5 in my garage looking ready to rumble. I will be back racing in 2017. My realization that a return to racing was what I wanted didn’t happen overnight though. To be honest, the first six weeks after giving birth I really wasn’t that “comfortable”. It makes me laugh when I read that a woman has “recovered” six weeks post partum. If by recovered you mean I no longer felt like my bits could fall out if I so much as ran for the bus then yes, I was recovered. Ha!! And, that’s from someone who had a very straightforward birth. Giving birth is amazing. It is also a major trauma to ones body and for me personally it was laughable to say everything was back to normal after six weeks.
Exercise is something I do so I did what I could when I could. In the first weeks this meant building up my walks. At about four weeks I sat on my trainer for thirty minutes. It wasn’t all that comfortable. I stopped and went back to walking. The doctors are right. (Go figure!). After six weeks I felt a marked difference in my body. Not “recovered” but healed I’d say. I returned to the pool. I got back on the trainer and I jogged. Everything felt weird. Laboured. Loose. Slow. But it also felt wonderful. Six weeks is the longest I have gone without getting a sweat up through exercising in a very long time! Exercise has become my time and I felt a new appreciation for this time I had to exercise….even if that meant just 30 minutes. I also have a new respect for what my body has done this last few months and I think I am finally actually listening to it. So, yes I am back into training and planning my 2017 season with excitement. My body is different. My training will be different. I don’t think different will mean slower though and I’m excited to get out there and see.
I can’t finish this blog without saying thank you to my sponsors. They have stuck by me and supported me in 2016 knowing that how my comeback will look is uncertain. So, thank you Cervelo, Team Bravo, Endura, ENVE, ROKA, Power Bar, Oakley, ISM, On Running.