I found Runners Lounge a few weeks ago and, after reading several of the Take it and Run Thursday posts, I have decided to take it and run (thus the TIART in the title).

So, this week’s topic is cross training. For runners, obviously. Let me just say that I’m a lousy cross trainer. For me, it’s all about the time. I don’t have enough time to run as often as I’d like, never mind try to fit in some cross training. Plus, I love to run so when I exercise that’s what I want to do.

When I was pregnant, however, it was a much different story. I didn’t run. I don’t know — I just didn’t feel right running. I know that it is perfectly fine to run while pregnant, provided everything is going well, and I look at pregnant runners and I’m impressed and happy that they are still out there. For me, taking the time off was the right thing to do. And, it was the perfect opportunity to cross train. I walked, practiced yoga, did low-impact aerobics, stretched and strengthened all those muscles I needed for giving birth. It was wonderful.

The yoga and stretching helped me to regain some of the flexibility I had lost over the years. The walking made me appreciate my neighborhood and provided me with plenty of alone time to think about what I was getting into with the whole pregnancy thing. It also prepared me for the many walks to come after Conal was born. Which makes me think that I am doing some cross training: I walk with Conal several times a week. Huh!

Anyway, the pregnancy cross training. I worked out with light weights to tone up my arms and did enough plies to prepare me for Swan Lake. I followed along with the ExerciseTV stars through sun salutations, leg lifts and more grapevine steps than I care to admit to. All of the exercise that I did helped keep my pregnancy weight gain in check and made my eventual return to running much easier. In fact, I started running again 3 weeks after giving birth and felt terrific. My first post-baby 5K time was the same as pre-baby. And since I’m not getting any younger, that was quite an accomplishment!

I guess that, for me, cross training isn’t a regular priority but I do see its benefits. When I can’t run, sure, other exercise options seem worthwhile. But, when I can run, I run. It works for now and until that changes, I’ll just keep running.