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…. Is the spice of life.


The other day, someone asked me how pregnancy has changed my workouts.  There were so many (mainly negative) ways that I could answer – “Pregnancy made me slower,” “I hardly ever run anymore,” “Pregnancy sapped my energy,” or “I haven’t been on a bike since September.”  But you know what I said?  I said, “Pregnancy has made my workouts much more varied,” and it’s true!


Since getting pregnant, I’ve stopped my old pattern of run-run-run-swim/yoga/bike and replaced it with a much more variable routine.  I work out depending on how I feel like exercising that day, given my mood, the weather, and what my buddy wants to do. Now, my workouts are usually a combination of running, walking, ellipticalling, yoga, or swimming.


Today, I went on a 2.0 mile walk with James.  I half-wish I was still running, but it just doesn’t feel right with my body anymore.  And walks are surprisingly hard.


I know I’ve sung the praises of my Blank Training Plan before, but I must do it again… This thing has really, really kept me on track.  The concept is simple:  Decide how many workouts you want to do a week (I aim for three but have been doing four lately) and fill them in as you go.  It hold me accountable – I can’t tell you how many Tuesdays I’ve thought, “Whoops, gotta get a workout in!” because my weeks roll over on Wednesdays.


I keep my plan on my fridge so it’s out there in the ‘public.’   Holds me accountable! 


I think I’ll continue my blank training plan after pregnancy. I really want to get back into triathlon shape as realistically as possible so I can do a race in October before the season ends… but I guess that really depends on how my labor goes and what the baby is like.  Fingers crossed.


Pre-walk lunch:


Have you tried grilled cheese with a sliced apple on the inside? So good.


And post-walk snack (times two on the juice and chips) – hummus, chips, and OJ.  And all my horse pills (AKA prenatal vitamins, Omega 3s, and Iron):


Do you get stuck in workout ruts or mix it up all the time?  As someone who has been on both sides of the fence, I have to say…. mixing it up is quite nice!



  • Christine @ BookishlyB January 31, 2012, 2:52 pm

    I get stuck in a rut with running, but yoga once or twice a week helps.

    This is super, super random, but seeing your pills reminded me of this. Are you planning on doing any posts on you and your husband’s take on the current infant vaccination schedule? I’d be interested to see how a more “natural” family feels.

    • Vanessa January 31, 2012, 2:53 pm

      Ditto to the infant vaccination posts. I’m not planning on having kids yet, but I wonder about this so much!

      • CaitlinHTP January 31, 2012, 3:20 pm

        We’re planning to vaccinate. I’m not going to do a post on it but would be happy to discuss it through email with you if you want!

        • Christine @ BookishlyB January 31, 2012, 7:40 pm

          Maybe when my time comes I’ll hit you up. I think vaccination is crucial, I just get a little freaked out when I see the current schedule versus the one that was used when we were kids.

          • CaitlinHTP February 1, 2012, 3:22 pm

            Yeah – that’s pretty much my issue, is the schedule.

  • Vanessa January 31, 2012, 2:52 pm

    I tend to get stuck in workout ruts from time to time, but don’t we all? 😉 In fact, I’m in one right now. This post helps, and I’m planning on printing out a blank training plan of my own to put on the fridge. More motivation appreciated in the form of comment replies…haha.

  • Rachel January 31, 2012, 2:58 pm

    As an admitted pill freak, the idea of having to choke down 6 pills of that size each day is giving me hot flashes. Yikes!

    Glad your training plan is still working out for you. I don’t like to keep mine that visible, because any weeks that I didn’t meat “goals” it is staring at me constantly and I let myself feel guilty.

  • Grace @ What Grace Cooked January 31, 2012, 3:01 pm

    We had the SAME lunch today – no joke! I put some oven dried apples on grilled cheese (made with pumpkin focaccia)…and had some crispy kale on the side. Weeeeeird…

    I try to keep variety in my workouts – if I don’t, I’ll either get injured or burnt out.

  • kathleen @ the daily crumb January 31, 2012, 3:05 pm

    cheese and apples were meant to be together. honestly one of my favorite combos!

    you just inspired me to make myself a blank training plan!

  • Jamie @ Don't Forget the Cinnamon January 31, 2012, 3:09 pm

    Have you tried grilled cheese with cheddar, apple, onion, spinach, and honey mustard? It’s winning 🙂
    Or grilled apple, jam, and cheese for a sweeter sammie!

  • becca @ blueberry smiles January 31, 2012, 3:09 pm

    I get stuck in work outs ruts all the time (ummmm, right now!). And when I get bored, I end up not working out as much. A blank training plan is a perfect idea for motivation– I’m finally going to make one today. Thanks Caitlin 🙂

  • Catherine January 31, 2012, 3:13 pm

    This is why I like the Wii Fit. I do sometimes find myself picking the same activities over and over but I don’t feel as though I HAVE to. It’s good variety.

  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat January 31, 2012, 3:17 pm

    Isn’t it great what variety can do for motivation!? I get pretty comfy in my routine sometimes, but all it takes is a single class or one activity that I don’t normally do to get me super excited again (provided that activity is actually fun – NOT like the time my co-workers and I went curling as a team building activity and I fell smack on my hands and knees. That wasn’t motivating at all!!) 😉

  • Anna January 31, 2012, 3:18 pm

    I don’t think I’ve met a pregnant woman who said pregnancy made their workouts way better! I know I went from spinning 5x a week to only walking during most of my pregnancy and some there after!

  • Kristen@Change of Pace January 31, 2012, 3:24 pm

    This post is so true! Varying it even just a little bit makes my work out that much more enjoyable. Apple+cheddar=delicious! Try cheddar+hummus in your grilled cheese… Out of this world!

  • Gina @ Running to the Kitchen January 31, 2012, 3:34 pm

    grilled cheese with apples (and particularly cheddar) is my favorite combo. I eat that at least 2 times a week for lunch.

  • Lindsey January 31, 2012, 3:42 pm

    I like routine, and can easily get comfortable doing the same workouts each week. Recently I have been at the least, trying to switch up my weight workouts every other week but the cardio and general routine is the same.
    I am hoping to start swimming once a week which will mix up the routine a bit!

  • Laura @ She Eats Well January 31, 2012, 3:43 pm

    I am totally stuck in my running workout right now. I want to make time for yoga more and am hoping to jump into the early 6am classes to vary my workouts. I worry about over training and injury. It’s great that your workouts are varied!

  • Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife January 31, 2012, 3:44 pm

    I like mixing it up, for sure! As I teach fitness classes I don’t always have that choice, but luckily I LOVE what I teach!!

    Great idea on the blank plan–that is motivating!

  • Jess January 31, 2012, 3:45 pm

    hey caitlin! So i noticed running starting to feel reaaaally weird as well around the same time as you (I am 7.5+ months now) and i think ive mentioned this before (preggo brain cant rememebr sorry) but i started runnign in the pool instead shortly after becuase i DID miss running but it just felt soooo strange- kinda like i had a baby in my belly hahahah- so running int he pool allowed me to keep my form (good for you too if you are doing tri after) and good for my sanity 😉 i wrote about it on my blog before… anyway, anyone else do that? also is your pool conducive to that? mine is 4ft the whole way so it is…i usually run about an hour to an hour and 15. i loooove the ater- feel so light- i was doing laps but eventually that started feeling weird around my belly area too- i will mix in SOME laps of kickboard now my mainly stick to running in pool.

    • CaitlinHTP February 1, 2012, 3:22 pm

      Yes! I need to try some water running. I used to do it a lot when I had a knee injury… its fun.

  • Anna January 31, 2012, 3:56 pm

    I have to say at different times in my life I like both variety and a consistency. When school is hectic, like now, it’s nice to have a solid workout plan so I don’t have to think about it. But there are times when I switch it up and it is soo refreshing!

  • Michelle @ A Healthy Mrs January 31, 2012, 3:56 pm

    I’ve never tried apple slices in my grilled cheese, but now that I think about it, I bet it’s delicious! Can’t wait to try it!

  • Lissa January 31, 2012, 3:59 pm

    I started my blank training plan the 2nd week of the year…and I LOVE IT! I have been really unmotivated the last year but I know that I feel better (physically & mentally) when I’m working out. I really respond to filling in the plan and being able to SEE what I’ve been doing! I have it taped on my jewelry box so I see it multiple times a day. Might just be the best idea ever!

    • CaitlinHTP February 1, 2012, 3:21 pm

      Awesome! I am so glad it is working for you!

  • Brittnie (A Joy Renewed) January 31, 2012, 4:41 pm

    Grilled cheese and apple…. never tried it! So I am supposed to be limiting my dairy intake due to some digestive issues. I really have not found a cheese substitute that tastes good to me (something I can put on grilled cheese for example). Do you know of a tasty product?

    Pregnancy totally has me craving the hummus and tortilla chips! 🙂

  • Anne @strawberryjampackedlife January 31, 2012, 4:42 pm

    You just gave me an idea for a sandwich: grilled peanut butter with apple. I don’t like cheese (it’s growing on me, much to my waistline’s detriment), so growing up I always ate a grilled peanut butter in lieu of a grilled cheese. I love melty and gooey the peanut butter gets. I bet it’d be great with an apple in there, too! hmmm . . . . dinner . . .

  • Hillary January 31, 2012, 5:24 pm

    I’m doing a LOT of running right now, but only because I’m training for a half marathon in March. Usually I like to keep it as varied as possible so I don’t get bored—spin is my favorite!

  • Jack Sh*t January 31, 2012, 5:40 pm

    Grilled cheese with slice of apple inside? I don’t throw this term around lightly, but you, my dear, are a super-genius!

  • Molly @ RDexposed January 31, 2012, 6:12 pm

    Way to pair Fe with vitamin C! (and then exercise to help decrease the nasty side effect of Fe-ha!)

    • Tori @ Get a Word in Veg Wise January 31, 2012, 10:53 pm

      I totally thought the same thing! I’m also an RD…we all really do think alike 🙂 Dietitians represent!

  • Ashley January 31, 2012, 6:30 pm

    I’m making one of those blank training plans for my pregnancy right now – such a good idea!

  • Katie @ Peace Love & Oats January 31, 2012, 6:43 pm

    I’ve been pretty good about finding ways to switch it up before I hit a workout rut. I just started training for a half, and a new strength training program, so it’s been keeping me busy and entertained!

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin January 31, 2012, 6:53 pm

    I love apples in my grilled cheese! Especially with some honey mustard. And especially when the cheese is brie. 😀

  • Karlee January 31, 2012, 7:16 pm

    way to be optimistic!

  • Emily @LivingLongfellow January 31, 2012, 7:18 pm

    I don’t get in workout ruts so much as get out of workout mode. That’s the rut I’m currently in. Looks like a gorgeous day you’ve got 🙂

  • Dana @ the Big Fat Skinny January 31, 2012, 7:54 pm

    Such a good point you make in that pregnancy varies the workout! I kept to pretty much a run/cycle/run/cycle/etc schedule before getting pregnant, and now while I’m still running and cycling, I’m listening to my body, and sometimes it just doesnt feel right. So I incorproate walks or ellipticalling and it feels great! I enjoy the variety too 🙂

  • the dandelion girl January 31, 2012, 8:02 pm

    I am actually starting to learn to mix up my exercise routine – since sometimes I can wind up overdoing it otherwise…

    and I LOVE apples and grilled cheese… there’s a coffee shop near me that actually makes them like that (it’s where I first had it)

  • Maria (RealFitMama) January 31, 2012, 8:15 pm

    Grilled cheese with apple slices on the inside is oh so yummy! We’ve been eating them that way since Linsey was teeny tiny because that was one of the few ways I could get her to eat apples.

    I stole the idea from Rachael Ray while Jason was in culinary school. Good ideas travel fast!!

  • Ali January 31, 2012, 8:37 pm

    I had been stuck in MAJOR a walking rut since I started to train to walk for a half marathon. What got me out of it was injuring my foot and having to let it rest. It killed when walking but not when doing workout videos, elliptical, weight lifting, etc. It made me realize that I do not need to walk 30-40 miles in four days to train! I am so much more varied and on a much healthier training plan now and my foot feels great! 🙂

    I love the blank training plan idea! I have one going in my head all the time but writing it down might be a better idea for when life gets busy and I can’t remember what I ate two hours ago, much less how many times I had worked out that week!

  • Anna January 31, 2012, 8:41 pm

    So, reminder, I’m a college student who isn’t science-y, nor known much about pregnancy…ever. I thought prenatal vitamins were pre-having-a-child-inside-you. Like, I thought you were already natal.
    Natal means birth. The wonders of Google.

    • CaitlinHTP February 1, 2012, 3:20 pm

      I used to think the same thing LOL

  • Sneakers2sandals January 31, 2012, 10:24 pm

    How do you eat your kale?? I can’t figure out how I like it!! Yours looks food 🙂

  • Natalie @fitjamericangirl January 31, 2012, 11:16 pm

    I was actually stuck in a running rut this summer because I was convinced it was the only way to go. It did work for me for a while, but eventually I just got tired of only running and fell off completely because I didn’t know what else to do. Now I vary my workouts as much as possible and I find that it keeps me motivated because it’s fun to wake up and think, do I want to dance today or do I want to ride by bike? Variation is so much better although I miss the hardcore fast results that comes with running consistently.

  • Cm @ Lazy Healthy January 31, 2012, 11:20 pm

    Tasty lunch! I had a huge pile of kale today too.

  • Khushboo February 1, 2012, 12:37 am

    I just started Body For Life which is keeping my workouts varied- probably explains why I look forward to each session!

  • Mel February 1, 2012, 7:11 am

    Caitlin-I don’t see any strength training/lifting weights in your plan! Are you also trying to squeeze some of that in? I bought some weights for my house and I have to say, its so much easier to squeeze 20 mins in or so three to 4 days a week. Good job with the workouts though!!

    • CaitlinHTP February 1, 2012, 3:19 pm

      Meh. I’ve always been horrible about strength training. I did some last week though!

  • Leatitia @ The Sweetest Year February 1, 2012, 8:38 am

    When I got pregnant, I had JUST run my first half-marathon, coming out of over 6 months of intense training for it. I was in the best shape of my life and feeling amazing. I remember thinking, I’ll run my first race post baby in September! (3 months postpartum)

    Fast forward after birth, recovering from it, not being able to sleep, taking care of a newborn, running was very low on my list of priorities. The baby changed my mind set and running wasn’t as important in my life as it used to be. Running that race in September wasn’t even something I wanted to do that much. Still, I started running again when I could (2 times a week maybe) and actually ran a 5K 4 months postpartum, but after that race, winter came. And it’s much more complicated to go running in the winter when you have to bundle up a baby and try to keep him happy on the run.

    These days, I do yoga in my pyjamas in the morning and walk during the day. And for me, it’s as much of an accomplishment as training for my half pre-baby was. Crazy how perception changes once baby takes top priority.

    I’m sure you’ll be able to reevaluate your fitness plan once the baby comes if you feel like training for triathlon in October is a bit too much too soon. Like you did with your training plan and running while pregnant.

  • Tamara February 1, 2012, 10:54 am

    I love reading your blog. It is so positive and inspiring!

    • CaitlinHTP February 1, 2012, 3:19 pm

      Thanks Tamara!

  • Amber K February 1, 2012, 1:06 pm

    I totally get stuck in workout ruts. I like it sometimes, mostly because my gym doesn’t offer much variety. What I really can’t wait is to get a house so I can do more body weight stuff at home!

  • Caitlin @ Cake with Love February 1, 2012, 1:59 pm

    Hi Caitlin, I noticed that you take the same prenatal Vitamins as I do, I plan to get pregnant end of spring – summer time. I just have a question,on the package it says that 3 tablets should be taken daily, so I divide them (Breakfast:lunch:dinner) I see that you take all of them at once (from the picture) I was just wondering if this is fine? Thank you in advance!

    • CaitlinHTP February 1, 2012, 3:18 pm

      I called them and asked and they said while its better to space it out you can take it all at once. 🙂

  • Dee February 4, 2012, 10:17 am

    Pears are amazing in grilled cheese too!

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