Here we are, nearly one month into the new year, and I’m finally committing some goals to paper. That makes it sound like I haven’t thought about them. I have in fact, thought long and hard about my goals for 2020. I’ve probably thought more about these goals than any other year of my life because this year is going to be a little different…
That’s because Baby Markham is set to make his arrival in early June 2020!
We’re of course, very excited about this new adventure, but it also means that my usual running and fitness goals need to be adjusted somewhat. That marathon I was planning for the Spring? Yeah… that’s now a 2021 goal. As determined as I am, I don’t think I can run a marathon when I’m 30+ weeks pregnant!
So here they are. The adjusted, preggo-friendly running and fitness goals.
Keep running for as long as possible, and if I can’t run, volunteer
Pretty early into this pregnancy journey, I found running uncomfortable. It broke my heart. I had visions of running right into labour, perhaps literally, but the strain on my body is pretty impressive. I know some women carry on running without issue and I thought my 10-years of running practice would put me in good stead. As it turns out, a few miles now feel like a monumental effort and my recovery after a simple 5km is significant. I was originally quite ambitious about my running goals during pregnancy. I did, after all, run the Royal Parks Half Marathon in October (with the approval of my GP!) when I was 6 weeks pregnant. If you were paying close attention, you might have wondered why I chose such a slow pace for a race I’d been training for all summer. Now you know.
I can still run these days, just slower and shorter distances. My overall goal is to keep going to Parkrun for as long as possible, and if that becomes too difficult, I’ll volunteer instead so I can stay involved and connected with my favourite past time.
While some people may use pregnancy as an excuse to sit around and “eat for two,” I’m determined not to go soft. My goal is stay strong through modified, safe exercise throughout my pregnancy. This, as it turns out, is harder to do than I thought. Aside from prenatal yoga, there aren’t that many options. Even when I was trying to do my own workouts, I was always cautious, and constantly worrying if what I was doing was safe. The internet is full of contradictory and sometimes ridiculous advice on pregnancy and exercise and I was confused. So confused in fact, that I often didn’t even enjoy my workouts because I felt afraid or guilty that I was doing something potentially dangerous.
So, I decided to hire a prenatal personal trainer. This is the first time I have ever worked with a trainer and so far, I love it. It is such a relief to know that I can still work up a good sweat, but that I am doing it safely – both for me and Baby Markham. It’s also allowed me to continue going to my favourite Orangetheory classes and make my own exercise modifications based on what I’m learning. While the trainers do try to help, I know they aren’t qualified in prenatal fitness so I’m much more confident in my own knowledge about what I can and can’t do.
Do one come-back race before the end of 2020
Maybe this is too ambitious, but I want it here anyway. This race doesn’t need to be anything too grand. I’m thinking a 10km would be a decent goal. To buy myself as much time as possible, I have my sights set on the Red Run 2020. This is the race that I have been helping out at and running for the last two years, and it takes place the beginning of December. I won’t have any sort of time goal of course. It will just be nice to have a race on the calendar, and have a six-month old cheerleader on the side-lines this time! (I realise he won’t care and will probably cry the whole time, but just indulge my fantasy for now, k?)
Be kind to myself
This is a big one. My negative self-talk is pretty evolved, but it’s a bad habit. I’m struggling with a body that feels totally foreign. My clothes don’t fit. My heart rate spikes weirdly quickly. Things hurt for no reason. It’s strange and I don’t like it and I worry that I’ll never get back to where I was. I worry about starting all over again and it feels hugely disappointing. I continually refer to myself as a “potato with legs,” which is not helping with my current body confidence issues.
But I continue to work on this personal battle and remind myself that the human body is pretty damn amazing. I’m growing a human and I’m doing all I can. I’m being sensible and making healthy choices. I’ll come back, hopefully stronger and better than ever and until then, I will try hard to take care of myself, both physically and mentally.
Have a baby
It’s not really a running goal, but it sounds like birth is a pretty athletic event, so I think it can fall into the fitness category of 2020 goals. In lieu of any goal races on the calendar this year, I have a goal event, taking place sometime around June 6th. It’s unclear how long it will take, and the training is a bit different than what I’m used to, but I’m following the plan and trusting the process. And on the big day, I’m sure there will be hard moments. Just like any race, there will be times where I want to stop, and probably question why I’m doing this in the first place. But I’m determined. I’ll get it done, like I always do. And I’m pretty sure this finish line is going to be pretty memorable.
There they are: the 2020 goals. It’s going to be an interesting year.
Who’s going to the National Running Show on the 25th and 26th of January? I’ll be there both days. DM me on Instagram: @MirandaIsRunning Hope to see you there!