Full disclosure: I am insanely jealous of pregnant women who can work-out throughout their pregnancies. I continue to see women on my instagram log double-digit mile runs close to their due dates. That said, I am lucky to be able to do what I can — which is still a lot compared to most people. For the most part, I was able to run most of my second trimester and CrossFit 2-4x a week throughout the entirety of my pregnancy (including the horrible first trimester). Though I can tell I’ve lost a lot of aerobic fitness, I can also tell I am getting stronger even if I have not pushed myself to the max. The human body is a crazy, amazing, and beautiful thing. If you want to see my work-outs click here.
That said, as I mentioned the other week, I decided to take it back just a bit for the rest of the third trimester. I had been fairly consistent on going to CrossFit 3-4x a week and even took part in my first open. I was feeling great until I didn’t, so the new plan is to wod only twice a week and try to add a day of rowing. Yes, that means less work-out time, but I do think the best thing I can do for myself is relax a little bit more.
How did I come to that decision? Well — nothing dramatic happened thankfully. I think it was mainly based on how tired I would be after the wod (work-out of the day). I would feel absolutely fine in the during — well, as fine as you can possibly feel while working-out. Then, I would go home and be utterly shot for the rest of the day. I’m a nooner, so this means after one I was completely useless. Even with a nap, it was hard to recover the energy spent.
I think this problem was further exacerbated by how much my sleep quality has declined (I know, I know. Every time I mention this, someone has to say, “Just wait until the baby is here!”). Energy-wise I think I was running on empty. I would go into work-out already exhausted and then would completely deplete myself again. Not to mention, I’m also expending a lot of energy growing a human. I think it proved to be too much.
The other reason is that it was taking me so long to recover, like first starting CrossFit recovery time. I tried to make sure I was doing all the right things, eat right after the work-out, stretch, nap. But I would be sore for days after a single work-out that before I would be a little sore but fine. I would put my level of soreness combined with the lack of energy at comatose, quality time with the couch levels. Sometimes, I just could not move.
I can say with two times a week and a day of rowing things have been going well. I cherry-pick, which is not something I would do normally (for example I skipped a work-out that was basically all burpees and jump-rope last week). My energy levels are better and I feel like I can put more into the work-outs I actually do. I make sure to go to all the strength days, because I feel like I have more control over how difficult it will be. I had a great front squat work-out last week that I’m not sure I would have been able to do if I had did the crazy difficult wod the day before (as much as I really wanted to).
One unexpected benefit I’ve noticed about the new routine is less Braxton-Hicks contractions. This is not a small thing, because they would be extremely painful. After showering I would have to lay down for a bit to wait for them to pass. I tried to drink more water, change positions, walk around — whatever, but nothing seemed to make them any better. I just figured I would be stuck with them until the end. They are still around, but less severe. I do not think it is much of a coincidence.
I’m hoping that I can keep this up until the end. As I said above, it is hard not to feel jealous of other pregnant women who are able to do so much more. Part of me wonders am I just being lazy? I like being the type-A goal-oriented person and this step back is against my nature. At the same time, I am grateful to have energy and not have my breath taken away by Braxton-Hicks. Taking a step back can be the best of both worlds — allowing myself to move, but also allowing myself to recover so I have the energy to prepare for other things, like, you know, having a baby.
Were you able to work-out throughout your pregnancy? Did you have to take a step-back? How did you feel?