Well 2014 is going to be an exciting one with a new addition on its way to join our household. I hope he/she will be ready for the craziness that the Lewis/Manou house brings. With 2 Hungarian Vizlas and a short necked murray turtle already here, we will soon be full to the brim, especially if I get my way of a couple of green tree frogs before then too! More the merrier though!!
Let me take a step back thou to the shock, that I am sure a lot of Mums can relate to, when first finding out that I was pregnant.
It was November 2013 and after completing a full winter season of athletics training, yes retirement was short lived, I was looking forward to being an athlete again this season for my club Sandringham and setting myself some goals for the future. I had come to realize after 2012 that I had more to give in track and field, my results on the training track told me that I could still win national titles and compete for my country. Plus the old adage of ‘you are a long time retired’ kept ringing in my ears. As I try to live my life with minimum regrets; that coupled with the fact that I still love to run, I was happily training and getting ready for the season ahead. My first race for the year was a 52.83 400m that I ran from lane 8 against the boys at Knox athletics track. My fastest ever interclub 400, which told me age is often nothing but a number!
The week before Zatopek Track meet I was in Townsville with the girls I coach from Firbank who had done such an amazing effort to qualify for the teams Knockout at nationals. Training in the heat is something I usually love but I knew up there that something was a tiny bit off. Well that and without going into detail but I have always been one of the most female middle distance runners and everything for me works and has always worked like clock work. I am certainly not one of those under weight, malnutritioned, amenorrhoea athletes that are so often heard about in female track running. I am guessing that is also one of the reasons as to why I have acquired very few injuries in my aths career and am still healthy and happily running pain free just like I did when I was 20 even thou I am now 35.
Finding out you’re pregnant is, no matter what age you are, like hopping on the emotional roller coaster. First comes excitement, then freaking out, then the questions and then oh yeah hang on bathroom trip not feeling so great! That and having to deal with the fact that I had a relay coming up for Sandringham at the Zatopek athletics meet that I had made a commitment to and was desperate to help my team mates win. Problem was I couldn’t tell anyone that I was pregnant either as I was still in the first trimester, and felt excuse the language but the only polite way to put it is shithouse with morning sickness that apparently doesn’t only last in the morning! So after speaking with my husband Graham, we decided that we had to tell my coach and brother Justin so he knew why I wouldn’t be running as well and to help me modify training. I will never forget his response as we told him just before warm up that night of Zatopek. First response was the brother, huge grin with congrats. The second response was the coach, ‘well this is a new one from you to deal with just take it easy, don’t try too hard and just get around gently!’ I don’t think I have ever been so nervous before a club 4×400 in my life. Once I had the baton in my hand I remember thinking that this will be a story to tell my future child and I wanted to make the story have a winning ending. Yep you can think a lot while you run around a lap of the track in 51 seconds! I am thinking of asking Aths Victoria for a 5th medal thou as we ran a 5×400 that night and if I can get our child a medal from athletics this early I have one up on the cricket gene that my husband is providing! A link to the relay is below….
The first trimester of a first pregnancy is quite stressful. Well it was for me! I tried google and books but they all freaked me out with the cant dos and the risks that I had to stop reading any of it. I felt really sick most of the day. One time I had friends over and went to get menus for take away and came back 45 minutes later having fallen asleep whilst grabbing them! The sickness along with the extreme tiredness made it very difficult to keep up the charade of being healthy and fit. This included training like an elite athlete without doing anywhere near as much training, so as not to raise suspicion because it apparently has to be top secret till its past the safe first scan date to announce the pregnancy! I had absolutely no idea what the correct amount of exercise was to keep a baby healthy without doing too much. My doctor said the usual is to drop it by 30% but considering the training load of an 800 runner 30% less is still a lot of hard training! That along with the fact I developed a ‘pot belly’ not suited to lycra the secretive weeks of pregnancy were not easy ones for me.
Now I am out of my first trimester I am grateful to have my ‘pot belly’ out and proudly displayed! I still get the strange looks from those who don’t know that are clearly thinking that I have let myself go and enjoyed the pies a bit too much! However I don’t mind the looks as once I calmed down from the initial shock of seeing the two lines, I realized how fortunate Graham and I are to have fallen pregnant so easily at an older age. I am still training and will upload some of the sessions I am doing along this journey to show other fit mums to be what I have done to keep sane, fit and most importantly keep my baby healthy and developing. Not that my ways right, I am just like all pregnant mums trying to enjoy the pregnancy in my own way whilst keeping sane and not throwing up!
In regards to running again all I know is that I still love to run. I am hoping that there are some changes made in at Athletics Australia post Commonwealth Games. I made a decision post London 2012 that I wouldn’t put my life on hold for a regime of people who can scratch you from start lists or not select you because of their own agendas. I love running for my club Sandringham as it reminds me why I began athletics. The friendly attitudes and the support they give at training and competition is what makes an athlete reach their potential. Having people believe in you and show interest is often enough to inspire a person to greatness. Everyone’s level of greatness is different but just as important as the next person. That’s why I love my club because it creates that family environment that inspires people to achieve their best. Because of this I hope to be back out there next season in the green and black before deciding about having one last crack for Rio. I also have our club presidents Mum knitting our baby a little Sandy top because if our child gets into sport it is this model of friendly, positive, supportive people that I hope they will be surrounded by in their sporting life…I suppose even if it is in the cricket world!
All I know or care about at the moment though is having a healthy baby and enjoying the journey to motherhood and meeting our new addition to the Lewis/Manou household sometime later this year. Bring on the sleepless nights I can’t wait to change my priorities and be a mum.
Food Craving for February – Rice Bubbles