Round up of 2020
I’ve not written a blog post in such a long time! I started this blog initially as a personal training / exercise blog, particularly for my long-distance events. Since having Rupert my priorities have changed but I am still exercising just not in the same way. Plus 2020 has been a curve ball of a year for everyone! I thought I would write a summary of my year covering exercise and life events that have happened and currently happening.
At the beginning of the year, I had gotten back into running regularly, particularly over the Christmas period when I had family keeping an eye on Rupert when I could go out. The Symphysis Pubis dysfunction (SPD) pain was much more manageable. I found when I stopped breastfeeding in January/February the pain stopped completely (which my physiotherapist predicted due to hormone regulation).
I was getting back into pre-pregnancy shape and fitness again; my running and turbo cycling times had improved, and I was being consistent with training regularly on all three triathlon disciplines. I started cycling outdoors again, I don’t know why I left it over a year after having Rupert? I think it was a little fear and also time management as I’m usually out for at least 2 hours plus. I definitely missed it! Turbo sessions are not the same as cycling on the road; the wind in your hair, pushing yourself and exploring the Scottish Borders!
Feeling more myself I signed up to my first triathlon since having Rupert, Galashiels sprint in April. This was actually the first ever triathlon I completed back in 2014. I was excited as it is a local race to me, to be back racing again and have a goal. As with everything this year sadly the triathlon never happened… Coronavirus has a lot to answer for!
As my SPD pain in my hips had stopped at the start of the year, I got back into buggy running with Rupert again. I stopped in October because it was sore during and after runs so I decided to just run solo at the time. He really enjoys being in the running buggy, smiling and waving at everyone. It also worked wonders when he was fighting a nap! I would usually do 1-2 short runs a week with the buggy and Rue and the other sessions myself. In the first lockdown this was a life saver!
I didn’t sign up to any other triathlons due to lockdown but also because I’m pregnant again! I am currently 37 weeks and due at Christmas.
Early pregnancy, the tiredness felt a million times worst this time round. I think it was because I had a toddler to look after and I couldn’t just nap when I wanted. A little nausea and sickness but the tiredness was overwhelming! I just exercised when I felt like it. This was during lockdown, so I ran and did cycling turbo sessions. I tried not to be so hard on myself when I wasn’t feeling like exercising. I did feel better after exercising but at 7.30pm when you’ve had a toddler all day, dinner and Netflix was definitely more appealing!
At 14 weeks SPD pain reared its ugly head again when I was running. I decided straight away to stop running. It’s just not worth pushing through the pain and I know I will eventually get back into running again post baby. Pregnancy and running just doesn’t work for me, it’s frustrating but I can do other forms of exercise in the meantime.
In May when some of the lockdown restrictions started to ease in Scotland, one of the first things you could do was open water (OW) swim. I started swimming again from the end of May. I really did find my love for open water swimming this year. I’ve also become a skins (no wetsuit) swimmer. After about 20 weeks pregnant I struggled to fit into my wetsuit. There isn’t maternity wetsuits and I didn’t want to pay for a larger wetsuit that I would only use for a few weeks and that wouldn’t fit properly. Luckily, this summer has been great the water temperature was 12-21 degrees. I swam at least once or twice a week. Meeting up with friends and local OW swimmers, socially distanced of course! OW swimming world is very friendly; I would post on a Facebook group and ask others if they were free to come along. When I explain to other people I sometimes swim with strangers, they think I’m mad, but everyone is lovely and usually you end up befriending them too! I have OW swam by myself before but being pregnant I felt safer knowing someone else is in the water and can call for help. I would not advise OW swimming alone, even if you are an experienced swimmer.
It wasn’t until September that the pools re-opened in Scotland. I was about 26 weeks pregnant. I continued to OW swim when I could and topped up with pool swims. I did my last OW swim the end of October. The water was 7 degrees and I managed 1Km and in the water for 17mins. OW swimming is relatively safe (as long as your sensible, follow precautions and your with someone else) but even as a midwife I’m unsure how the cold water / exposing the fetus to low temperatures would or could be dangerous?
I do enjoy cold water swimming but in exercise terms going to the pool in winter is more time efficient and I get more of a workout as I can swim longer and it doesn’t take me two hours to warm up afterwards! I don’t mind taking the risk personally, but I would never forgive myself if anything happened to my baby as a consequence of going for a short cold or ice water swim.
As with my last pregnancy my swim times are slowing down (surprise, surprise)! When I started showing a bump, I found it hard to sprint, so I just basically swim at the same pace throughout the swim. It can get a bit tedious and frustrating especially in the pool! When I plan sessions, I do long sets and work on technique. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, swim sessions are only an hour, so I average around 2-2.7Km in total.
In August Edinburgh Triathletes recommenced swimming training sessions, I attended one each week. It was lovely to see friends again and get a good session in. I always push harder with others around and find it much more enjoyable. Sadly, due to new restrictions group swim sessions had to stop three weeks later! Since then I’ve been averaging around two swims a week. I’m definitely slowing down but even with my bump I’m still tumble turning and passing other (non-pregnant) swimmers.
One thing I’ve done differently this pregnancy is to continue cycling. Not out on the road but on my turbo trainer and using Zwift a virtual training app this has been a life saver! They even have programmes designed for pregnant cyclists. Being on the bike is relatively comfortable. My hips are in a good stable position so no SPD pain. As I’ve grown, I’ve needed to change my handlebar height and be in a more upright position for cycling to accommodate for my bump. More recently I’ve been getting saddle sore but that’s due to the weight and pressure of my bump on my ‘lady bits’. Again, I’ve gone for the little and often approach. I’ve been cycling 2-3 times a week but just for 30-45 minutes in total of each session. Now at 37 weeks pregnant this is more than enough. I’m feeling more breathless and tired during and after each session. I’m not even looking at what my training statistics afterwards, I know I’m slower, it’s about being active. It’s actually quite refreshing just exercising and not critiquing myself afterwards about my speed, distance, heart rate and power wattage.
Our biggest news (apart from baby Bedford number two) is that after nearly a decade in Scotland we have now moved back to England. Rather unexpectedly we were able to buy some land from Sam’s grandparents (24 acres) over the summer, and after much reflection we’ve decided to go and live on it!
It’s been a tough decision, as we loved living in the Lothian’s and Scottish Borders of Scotland. The land is in North Devon, so it is quite a shift. We have sold our house and for my maternity leave we will be living at my parents in the Midlands for nine months. Then into a caravan on the fields whilst the house is being built. A true ‘grand designs experience’.
Sadly, due to Coronavirus we have been unable to say goodbye to our wonderful friends and my extended family. We have been truly blessed with wonderful friends and hope you’ll keep in touch and come visit us when ‘Rona’ is under control.
Lots of change and exciting times ahead for team Bedford! A rollercoaster of a year with the pandemic, pregnancy, and move back to England (Also forgot to say I got a new job back in May as well). Busy year, and likely 2021 will be even more crazier in a positive way!
Sam has set up an Instagram and YouTube channel for our move, build and new outdoor living. If you fancy following our journey, links are below;
Have a merry Christmas and happy New year. I hope to be delivering arrival news soon..