Ironman Training: Measurable Via Baby Gestation

Last night when I was at track, my coach Teresa, with a big grin on her face, blurted out two big announcements. The first was that one of my teammates had gotten engaged, which I knew about thanks to Facebook (nonetheless, congratulations once again, Karissa!). Maybe now that Karissa will be busy with wedding planning, I can finally catch up to her swim speed. (I say this with 100% sarcasm because she is insanely fast in the water and I am dumbfounded by how she does it–I’m convinced she stows some fins and a small motor underneath a dock or something before races.)

The second piece of news was that one of TN’s coaches, Bridget, is three months pregnant. That was more surprising to me, although not mind-blowingly so since her mom had been putting some not-so-subtle pressure on her to start popping out grandkids already and Bridget had mentioned that she wanted to start a family soon. I started having my Usual Suspects moment where I thought back to all of the workouts Bridget hadn’t participated in lately and how I hadn’t seen much of her in general before my brain went “Ohhhhhhhh, right, because of the whole ‘fetus’ thing.”

I was happy for her and her husband, but then it dawned on me. Despite being terrible at math (I’m a disgrace to my Asian heritage, I know), I was able to calculate that if she’s three months pregnant now, she’s likely due at the end of July or the beginning of August. I started my Ironman training program in September, having gotten more of a head start than when I trained for my first Ironman (which was about an eight-month regimen back in 2010). By the time Bridget squeezes out Bridget Jr., I’ll still be a few weeks away from racing Ironman Canada; thus, in the amount of time it will take me to train for and complete an Ironman this year, I could have conceived, gestated, and given birth to a baby and have been taking care of it for a couple months. Mind. Blown.

So basically, my baby is Ironman Canada. There isn’t that much of a difference between being pregnant and training for an Ironman, if you think about it:

  • You’re often sore and bloated
  • Your feet hurt
  • You’re hungry all the time
  • You’re tired all the time
  • Nausea (puke and rally!)
  • You get mood swings and can be crabby
  • Random, copious amounts of sweat
  • You’re spending tons of money on gear and supplies
  • You have mental breakdowns where you think you’re not ready and that you can’t do it, but you can
  • By the end of it you just want it to be done with it already
  • When the big day arrives, it feels like it goes by in an instant even if it did take you all day
  • You finish with a sense of accomplishment and a brand new “baby” (in my case, a medal and an upside-down printed hat, but whatever)…and a sore hoo-ha.

I’m a few years away from making the “should we start a family” decision, but for now Ironman training is giving me a taste of what it’s like to endure nine months (or, this time around, 11 months) of feeling uncomfortable, miserable, randomly sticky, and going through weird body changes. As for Coach Bridget, knowing how tough she is and what an outstanding athlete she is, this whole pregnancy thing should be a piece of cake for her. Just don’t eat too many ketchup chips, Coach B, or your baby may turn into a ginger. (And congratulations!)

5 Responses to “ “Ironman Training: Measurable Via Baby Gestation”

  1. teresa says:

    GREAT post 😉

  2. Liz says:

    It’s actually 40 weeks, 10 months, so you are closer than you think!!!!

  3. Sarah says:

    You better schedule that baby – I mean Ironman – shower soon. It’s all about the registry.

    • Rebecca says:

      I really need a new pair of cycling shoes. I’ll start to send out my “It’s an Ironman, baby!” notices and see if I can register at Speedy Reedy.

  4. Josh says:

    Does this mean, I, a male, knows what it’s like to be pregnant? I haven’t given birth yet, but am looking forward to the big day.

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