I NEED A FITNESS CHALLENGE

34 Weeks

This might sound nuts (no, I concede, I probably am nuts), but I feel like I need another fitness challenge. Ever since the Spartan Race finished, I’ve been jonesing for another competition — something fun and manageable that I can challenge myself to complete, but without any pressure to be truly competitive.

I’m 34 weeks today, and I feel great! I don’t feel clumsy, weighed-down or exhausted, and I don’t have “cankles.” My stomach doesn’t bounce when I run, and I’m not finding it difficult to breathe, even with my lungs all compressed by the growing baby. The only strange thing I notice is that I get Braxton-Hicks contractions when I walk or run uphill (this has been happening for weeks now), but they’re not painful in the least, so I never have to stop what I’m doing and wait for them to pass.

So what is a 34 weeks pregnant fitness nut to do? Although it’s summer and in theory there should be events a-plenty, my Internet search came up rather short. I could enter the Vancouver Half Marathon and 5K this Sunday (doing the five kilometres, not the half marathon) but J and I were planning to hike The Chief, which is my absolute favourite hike ever, and I don’t want to give that up for a relatively bland five kilometre run in the city.

After that, the next local event I could find was the Point Grey Triathlon, which has a sprint distance category (700 metre swim, 20 kilometre bike ride, 5 kilometre run). This would be totally manageable right now, but the event is more than three weeks away, and I’m not sure whether I’ll still feel quite so vigorous at that point. I know that I’d have no issues whatsoever with the swimming, but an hour of sitting on a bicycle followed by a half hour of running just might be beyond my capabilities at 37+ weeks, especially if my pelvic ligaments start to loosen more. I’ll have to file that one under “we’ll see…”

The same weekend as the triathlon, Grouse Mountain is holding its annual Seek the Peak Relay, a 16 kilometre race from West Vancouver to the peak of Grouse Mountain. Each leg of the relay varies from three to six kilometres in length, and there are two legs that I would classify as relatively easy (short distance with marginal elevation gain). This one might be do-able if I can find three very non-competitive people who want to form a relay team with me, but what are the odds of that happening?

For now, I guess am resigned to create my own fitness challenge. I suppose I could stick to the old Vancouver cliché and time myself going up the Grouse Grind (a steep 2.9 kilometre mountain trail with 853 metres of elevation gain), but I was really hoping to find a fun, organized event, as I truly enjoy the social aspect.

Any suggestions?

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