First Trimester

I didn’t know I was pregnant up until around 7 weeks. The first initial inkling I got was when I felt nauseas one morning for no real apparent reason and again the day after while sitting at Alistair’s office. The other was the fact that my boobs were super sore and sensitive, usually this was normal just before my monthly friend came to visit but it was way more pronounced! I also skipped a period the month before but didn’t think anything of it as it has happened before when training hard – which I was! I phoned my sister (as she was currently 4 months pregnant at the time) and I told her how I was feeling and she suggested we just check. She went with me to buy a home test kit; I was feeling pretty nervous but glad I had my sister at my side. Ane’ naturally wanted me to be pregnant too as it’s not often siblings are pregnant at the same time – it was a happy thought one I couldn’t help thinking about too.

I took the test first thing the next morning as instructed and it didn’t even take a second to show two little red stripes. Wow, what a moment, I was possibly pregnant – I did stare at the stick for a few seconds, a bit unsure of how to feel – surreal, happy, freaked out, over whelmed, a WTF moment! I called my sister immediately and she was over the moon. I did not tell Alistair immediately as it was just before a big work weekend for him so I kept it to myself that weekend till after his last event which was Birschwood Half Marathon the Sunday. I went to run the Birschwood 21km myself while Al was commentating, I placed 5th and ran a time of 1:35, still feeling pretty strong, fit, happy, nervous – again a WTF moment! That same afternoon I told Al. We were possibly pregnant (I say possibly as I needed to do a blood test to confirm) but I will never forget the feeling of finding out and being able to share it with Alistair.

Birschwood 21km - 5th place (around 7 weeks pregnant)

Birschwood 21km – 5th place lady
(around 7 weeks pregnant)

It was the week leading up to Ironman and Al and I were going down to support my athletes. I did an urgent blood test that my doctor took a week after I took the home test just to make sure I was indeed pregnant and it was confirmed. A baby was brewing! Al and I kept things between us for a few days before we told his parents and mine. They were ecstatic. Let’s pop some bubbly!! That’s non – alcoholic for me. The BEST moment though was seeing my little baby for the first time at 9 weeks when I went for my first scan. I could hear the heartbeat! The baby, boy or girl, won my heart there and then and it was from that moment that all doubt and fear just fell away and there was nothing I wanted more than this baby. What a feeling! It brought tears to my eyes!

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IMSA PE 2017

It’s funny, the moment I found out I was pregnant it’s like my body went through an immediate change. I had my first SERIOUS craving that weekend at Birschwood, a PIE! It was all I could think about and it was all I wanted. Of all things and the one thing I never ate but gosh, it tasted like heaven to me! I was lucky to not suffer to badly with morning sickness, I did not throw up in the first trimester, I had occasional nausea spells but managed to control this if I ate immediately upon waking up. I kept snacks close to my bed. Training also helped, I always felt good after training. I was more tired and had less energy, I was also more grouchy! I also had serious food aversions. I could not look at a piece of chicken, steak, salads or veggies, food that I usually loved! All that I wanted was bread or carbs – give me a burger and fries and I was the happiest women in the world. This went on for a few weeks. I couldn’t believe I was eating peanut butter sammies and burgers instead of the usual chicken salad. I didn’t feel super energized and my lower abdominal area had pains because of my body making space for the uterus, it felt like constant period pains, just a little more intense. I was also quite moody and I had a shorter fuse, poor Alistair!

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Bell of Hope race with Al – placed 2nd (10 weeks preggers)

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11 weeks preggers – training ride

I would say the biggest challenge in the first trimester was not knowing what I could and couldn’t do, training for instance, my focus had to change, my heart rate was higher than usual and breathing felt a bit more strained. I still managed to train in all 3 disciplines and my gynae said I could train up until when I feel I can’t especially as I am use to training a lot. She said not to worry about my heart rate, my body was used to training at high intensity as long as I didn’t push to the point of passing out so listening to my body was important. I would snack constantly as my blood sugar would drop. It is also good for the baby, so training stayed on the cards. I was just a bit more cautious. With my sudden diet change – carbs, I picked up 4kgs in the first trimester while still training quite a bit! I was not showing so my bump was still hiding so those 4kgs went elsewhere! Nobody knew I was pregnant for a few weeks except our close family and a few close friends. It was a special time, one we wanted to cherish amongst us, it was also a vulnerable time. Everything in my life shifted, baby became priority one. Buying baby books instead of triathlon magazines became my thing while browsing through Babies R Us wondering if it’s going to be pink or blue!!!! Find out in my next post…the second trimester!

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Boy?

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Girl?

 

 

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Its a New Year!

So the beginning of the year always starts with a bang after the holidays especially for  us coaches. We have to deal with what we call ‘panic training’ for 70.3 East London which is usually at the end of January. Athletes tend to fall off the wagon during the holidays and its our job as coaches to make sure those last few weeks leading up to the race are not spent catching up every session missed during December.

My 2c worth to any athlete wanting to do 70.3 EL especially if its your first one, is to not go away on holiday that December if you are unable to train properly. It makes for an interesting and stressful January and an even worse race. If you are a disciplined athlete able to train alone then plan your holiday in an area that has training facilities such as a swimming pool or your most challenging discipline being the cycle leg, choose an area where you able to get good rides in that are safe. Or better yet plan a holiday with other athletes doing 70.3 so you can train together.

70.3 East London 2014

My first pro race at East London 70.3 – 2014, placed 7th & first South African lady

Once East London is done, Ironman SA follows in April. This is also a good time of year with plenty of running races, usually the last marathon an Ironman athlete can do before Ironman is Pick ‘n Pay 42km which is in February. I usually plan an Ironman camp each year in March with Andre Bekker from 5th Dimension Coaching so we had a lot of finalizing to get done. I was also training 24hrs + a week, while coaching and studying and working on future prospects.

I lost a lot of running fitness after a bad cycling crash in May 2015 just before I left for the States for 3 months to give this new ‘Pro’ career of mine a shot overseas. I raced my first race as a professional at East London in 2014 coaching myself. I continued a year later with my 2nd pro race being East London 2015 under a new coach and then my 3rd pro race being Malaysia 70.3 in April 2015, I was probably in the best shape of my triathlon career at this point right before my cycling accident.

Malaysia 70.3

Malaysia 70.3 2015 – placed 9th lady

Two weeks before I left for the States I had x-rays done at Flora Clinic the day the accident happened. I was convinced something was definitely broken but the scans came back clear – WTF! I was very surprised but obviously happy. I was sent home with pain killers and anti – inflammatories and told to rest for 3 days as I could hardly walk. Little did I know that this was just the start of a long road ahead. One tough start to my ‘Pro’ career internationally.

The accident set me back tremendously physically, mentally and emotionally. It took about a year to diagnose the problem and then another 5 months to fix it. I went through months of trying to run with the pain thinking it would subside as it was probably muscle imbalances. Some days I could handle the pain, other days I would walk home crying. I did weeks of rehab and physiotherapy in the States and back home. I was able to run on an anti – gravity treadmill in the States thanks to my hosts who organized this for me. I managed to race two 70.3s in the US but I had to walk the run every time. I cancelled my last race in August 2015 as emotionally I couldn’t bear having to walk another pro race watching the other ladies pass me. 

Finally after cracking mentally and emotionally my house doctor, Dr van Wyk sent me for an MRI and X-ray as I was out of answers and hope and I was ready to hang up my shoes. I was diagnosed with a stress fracture in my pelvis. I was so relieved they actually found something as I was beginning to think it was all in my head. I was furious that Flora Clinic never picked it up months back which could have saved me a lot of time and money. You could see the fracture as clear as day on the X-ray done at Sandton. The MRI confirmed it. So, now I finally had a plan to get myself fixed up. I did strength training with my bio at Sandton Clinic and lots of aqua running which built strength and kept the running fitness up. My doctor also put me on medication to lay down new bone.

I was back running PAIN FREE 5 months after my diagnosis. By the time the Ironman camp came in March I was able to run comfortably under 5min a kilometer, still a way off as before the accident I was running sub 90min for a 21km, this is under 4:20 per/km but I was hopeful again and the year ahead I was planning on racing a few 70.3s again. I missed 2016 because of not being able to perform at a professional level. Little did I know I had a little baby brewing inside of me 🙂 this was just the start of my ‘First Trimester’.

IM Camp

Ironman Camp March 2017 – Unaware I was 5 weeks preggers already 🙂

 

 

 

 

Life Changing

So I finally started up my own blog after months of wanting to but just never getting around to it. But what better way to start now, I am not as busy these days as I was months ago before finding out that I was pregnant. Before that I didn’t have much time sitting down as most of my time was either spent riding my bike, running, swimming, coaching and studying.

Lately my days consist of a fair amount of training or I call it ‘exercise’ but nothing close to what it was before. I still coach and I try my best to keep my athletes on track and in the best possible shape especially with it being Winter here in South Africa. I also find myself reading through pregnancy and baby books while enjoying the experience of being pregnant and seeing the changes happen with my body while my baby grows.

Its all very exciting and at times over whelming and with each passing day I realize more and more that this is a life changing event! But one I wouldn’t want to change for anything in the world!

Thank you for going on this journey with me by reading my blog. Check my next post ‘Its a New Year’ to see how my year started or else my post that follows the ‘First Trimester’ to see how my pregnancy journey began.

 

Lyn cycle

Boulder 2015 – My fist visit to the States as a professional athlete