life, pregnancy

a new journey: announcing baby k

I’ve been keeping sort of a big secret for several weeks now…

I will be doing a different kind of “training” this year.

We’re having a baby!

Oh.My.God this is really happening!

The truth is, I had actually signed up for Ironman Lake Placid, but kept it on the DL. I bought the race insurance, hoping I wouldn’t have to race it because I’d be pregnant. I’d be lying if there wasn’t a bit of me that hoped I could still race.  Maybe I would get pregnant right after the Ironman? I thought. But then again, there is never going to be the “perfect time” to have a baby. I could continue to race for another year or two, try to get to Kona again, put the baby plans on hold… but then what? Someone once said to me, “You will not look back thinking, I wish I had raced more before baby.” Instead, you will probably think “I wish I’d started sooner.” The thing is, racing will always be there, but I can’t always have a baby. Plus, we had no idea how long it could take, because you never know until you start to try. Lucky for us, the trying part did not take very long.

To our surprise, by the third month of “trying” we got pregnant.  I consider us to be very lucky that it took such a short amount of time, since apparently there is so much that goes into actually getting pregnant. Geesh!  My entire adult life I had been trying to avoid getting pregnant and actually getting pregnant seemed so… complicated.  I was worried that my level of intense exercise would impact my fertility, but my OB reassured me that this should not play a role. However, I was training less than peak Ironman training and was in “off season” training when we got pregnant. I’m 33 years old and I’m sure age was also on my side too.

On a quiet weeknight in December, just a few days before Christmas, our lives forever changed us as a couple –  I took a test and it was positive! Since that day, I have been thinking about how I am growing a tiny human inside of me.  A teeny tiny human, who is now the size of a peach apparently.

When we found out,  I was 4 weeks and 3 days along. This was EARLY.  Brian and I didn’t want to get too excited about the pregnancy because it was so early and I know many women who had  miscarried before 12 weeks (end of first trimester).  So we kept it a secret, between just the two of us, for another 8 weeks.  Keeping such a big secret was hard! On the other hand, it was kind of fun to have this be “our little secret”for a little while. As of today, I am 15 weeks along and we have shared the news with all of our friends and family.  Thank you to those of you who have shown the love on Instagram and Facebook!

While I’m so very exited, there is also a lot of fear. By reading this,  it might seem like I’m not being super positive about being pregnant, but I’m just being honest. Everyone has different concerns when they are pregnant, and these are mine at the moment.

So here we go. 

I’m afraid of what will happen to my body.  

As someone who has struggled with body image issues, I am scared of what will happen to my body both during and post pregnancy. I love how athletic I am and how strong I look, and I’m afriad of losing this. I know to some this might seem irrational, but it’s not to me. Will I all of a sudden look like someone totally different? No. But it’s a fear.  I have been told I need to gain  around 35 pounds to have a healthy pregnancy, now THAT is scary to me. 

5 weeks!

For example, will I ever get my toned stomach back? It sounds so vain and maybe kind of sad? It almost makes me angry that I put so much self worth into my body’s appearance, but it matters to me. I basically have this overall fear of never getting back to how I “was.”

Ironman Vineman 2016

I don’t want to lose my identity as an athlete. 

Continuing with the above, I do not want to lose my identity as an athlete. So far I am ignoring all of the people who say “good luck doing what you used to do once you have a baby” and “good luck finding time for that.” I have faith that I WILL get back to being a competitive triathlete. This is who I am. This is part of me and I’m not going to lose it. Brian and I will work together as a team to make sure we both get to continue to train and race. Will things change? Sure, of course they will, I need to be realistic with myself. Will I be able to race an Ironman right away? Maybe not. But I want to race one as soon as I can after having a baby.. whatever that means, we will see! I do know the fire will be lit up inside me to get back into training and racing. The goal is to be a bad-ass athlete mom:)

14 weeks pregnant post run

I realized that when I found out I was pregnant, I was focusing on what I was giving up. Our baby is due late August and all I could think about was, I won’t be able to ride my bike outside all summer, I won’t get to do any triathlons, I don’t get to run long distance like I used to… but then I realized I needed to look what I am gaining. I am growing a miracle inside of me and this might happen only once in my lifetime. I need to enjoy this journey. This is amazing. All of that other stuff is taking a short break and I will be back to it. If I want it, I will get it back. And to be honest, the training and racing that’s “easy” to me, but this new challenge of pregnancy, definitely NOT easy. This new journey will be harder than any race I’ve ever trained for.

what is going to happen with my training?

Right now I am still doing what I love. I am swimming, biking and running just like I used to when training for a race. It’s amazing how different you feel physiologically, and how your body just tells you to slow down. I am moving slower than I used to in workouts, but I’m still training 1-2 hours a day. The plan for now is to race some half marathons this spring and MAYBE a full marathon if my body allows. I will be hanging up the triathlon race hat and will be playing sherpa for my hubby instead.

BTT Indoor Time Trial @ 12 weeks pregnant

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t afraid of having major FOMO this summer.  I will be very pregnant when all of my friends are training and racing. I worry what this will do to my psyche and how it will affect me. I think the key will be to stay super busy!

Is it wrong that I am not super excited and bouncing from the rooftops about the news?! I honestly don’t think so. I think it’s perfectly normal to have the fears that I do and I am guessing a lot of women out there can relate.  Quite honestly, Of course I am really happy that I’m pregnant, but I’m also terrified. I’m not going to sugar coat things, I plan to be very honest about my experience.

My blog is not all of a sudden going to turn into 100% baby stuff, but I do plan to do updates on a regular basis and share my journey along the way.

Thank you to Coeur Sports and E3 Triathlon Coaching for being so supportive during this journey!

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2 Comments

  • Reply Paige Schulz March 10, 2017 at 8:08 pm

    Hi Kristin- great post! I’m 18 weeks along and my husband is just starting to train for this first IM. (Baby is due 4 weeks from his race.. poor planning on our part.) I have all the fears you do. I ran my last marathon one month before getting pregnant. Each 26.2 until they point was a PR. And I am sooo close to an NYC qualifier. I’m quite nervous I won’t ever run they fast again, but yes, this baby growing in me is a miracle!

  • Reply Julie C March 12, 2017 at 6:48 pm

    Congrats Kristin! I loved your post. There’s so much in the way of shifting identities that many people don’t ever talk about. While I always considered myself a runner, my longest distance was a half marathon. I ran up until 32 weeks when my body basically told me i was done for the moment. Post baby I got back out there at 5 to 6 weeks and worked up to 8 miles in hopes of running a half 4 months post partum. While I didn’t reach that goal, I realized running those 8 was really something for me (but not at the time). I ran into some knee issues and decided to back off for a bit. I think if i had given myself a slower start, and realized my ligaments and joints weren’t back to normal yet, I would have appreciated what i was able to do. Every body is different, but for me i know that being determined was a huge part of it. Despite the lack of sleep, running was better than coffee. I felt like with every step i was picking up pieces of my former self. I know you’ll find your own path and all I guess I’m trying to say is to be kind to your body and yourself. Growing a human is kinda a big deal. I really have no doubt you’ll do amazing things both during and after pregnancy. It’s one thing to be an athlete, but to be a mom athlete is a completely different feat. Welcome the club!

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