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Training with a Baby Bump!

by Sarah Storey
Sarah Storey
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on May 20 in General Blog
Over the past 8 months I have been gradually getting bigger and bigger, slower and slower, not exactly the words you would expect to hear from an elite athlete, except that of course I have an excuse, Baby Storey is hopefully going to make an appearance in the next month or so!

As we probably all know from personal experience, or having been told by family or friends, babies will arrive when they are good and ready, so this is one time in my life when I don’t have an exact date or schedule to adhere to!

My last training camp finished at the end of March when I was just over 6 months pregnant and since then I have been juggling training with time on the turbo during bad weather, time in the One Aldwych hotel gym when I have been in London and time traversing the Cheshire Lanes on the few days we have been able to enjoy some decent spells without rain. Training whilst pregnant creates additional considerations compared to normal circumstances and whilst no one ever wants to risk falling off their bike, during pregnancy extra precautions have to be taken to ensure that you don’t put yourself in danger of sliding off on a greasy corner especially as my bike position has had to change so much and the now more upright position means there is a lot less weight and therefore control over the front wheel.

Still my hours of pounding the black line of a swimming pool have set me up well for dealing with the monotony of the turbo trainer and on any given day I will generally do a session of about 90 mins on the turbo, sometimes split into two 45 minute blocks if Baby Storey has decided to lie in a less cycling friendly position! Of course when I can get out on the road I have been enjoying up to 3 hours or so of pedalling!

Out on the road my pace has obviously been reduced and as I have gained more and more weight, I am taking the old adage of “train heavy and race light” to new levels! Still, with the delivery of my new Bianchi race bike for the Breast Cancer Care Cycling team I have been able to make use of a handy compact groupset and give myself a few more gears to help haul myself back up to the top of the hill where we live! There are some days though, when it seems all that climbing is not going to be a great plan and so I will jump in the car and drive to the flatter lanes for a spin!

In between the training I have tried to keep doing as many appearances and speaking events as possible and have also had the incredible honour of being invited to Buckingham Palace to receive my Damehood! Friday 10th May, at 10am I was driven through the gates of Buckingham Palace accompanied by my Mum and Dad and of course, Barney. It was an incredible day and one that had taken some dressing up for given that I now have such a large bump!

Sarah and Barney1

Thankfully I was introduced to a shop in Knutsford called The Pudding Club and with their help was able to arrange the outfit that I wore for the ceremony. I am so glad we have pictures of the day where I didn’t just look like a blob in a maternity tent! We started the celebrations with an amazing afternoon tea at Fortnum and Mason the day before and then continued the celebrations on the actual day with the rest of the family at the fabulous Goring Hotel, where our lunch lasted until the very late afternoon! We couldn’t have asked for a more fitting way to honour such a special occasion. AfternoonTea1

Alongside this personal excitement the work of Team Storey Sport has been continuing and we have signed up to an agency partner, GSE Management to help us further create a strong brand and identity in the world of sport, public speaking and endorsements. Gab Stone and his team have been instrumental in helping us to engage with new clients and actively find ways of bringing in new projects to compliment our existing ones.

New projects have included an Ambassadorial Role with CycleScheme [picture below left], the UK’s leading provider of the Governments Cycle to Work Scheme. Launching our association with CycleScheme was a great day, especially as prior to becoming a full time cyclist, I used my bike to cycle to swim training! Over the next few years, our aim is to encourage more and more people to incorporate cycling into their journey to work, be it the whole distance if they live fairly close by, or perhaps to and from the station for those with a longer commute. Most journeys done by people cycling to work are of distances up to 5 miles and once people start to investigate the cycle provision in their area they can often find routes that take them away from the busiest routes they might use in their car, which again makes the journey more pleasurable.

Cyclescheme

Building on existing relationships has also been an important step since the London Games and none more important than with Sports Tours International and Club La Santa. My training has been supported by both Sports Tours and Club La Santa over many years, but now I am an official Ambassador for the company and resort there is the opportunity to bring sport to more and more people during their leisure time. There will also be a Sarah Storey training camp organised once Baby Storey arrives, so watch this space! Who knows the first camp could be for Mum’s getting back into training after the birth of their own baby!

Charitable work remains a large part of what I do too and the two main charities for which I am Patron continue to grow and support more and more people in need. The Children’s Adventure Farm Trust provides holidays to disadvantaged, terminally ill and severely disabled children from all over the North West. The young people and their families who attend the Farm may not have the opportunity to enjoy a holiday without this charity and for the terminally ill, this could be their last holiday. The stories of those who attend really pull at your heart strings and as a charity unable to apply for external funding, everything they need has to be achieved through hardworking fundraisers. 

BootOutBC Ball2013

The Boot Out Breast Cancer Annual Ball in March [left, with charity founder Debbie Dowie] and was held in memory of a friend of the charity’s Founder, Debbie Dowie, who tragically lost her life to breast cancer just a few months earlier. The aim of the charity is to fundraise to provide vital diagnostic equipment to NHS Hospitals who wouldn’t be able to afford the latest technology otherwise and in less than 3 years has raised in excess of £250,000. From the Nightingale Centre in Wythenshawe to the Christie in central Manchester and up to Wigan and Bolton, the charity has been able to supply much needed equipment where women need it most. Early diagnosis is known to lead to a greater survival rate and the charity has certainly helped save countless lives by buying the state of the art equipment. The next big jaunt for the charity will be at the Silverstone 24 ride in July, who knows, Baby Storey may well be attending their first charity event!

As well as my established charity work, I have been able to get involved with a few other additional charities since the Games and these have included the Brain and Spine Foundation, for whom I was none running captain at the London Marathon, Marie Curie Cancer Care [picture below left], with whom I have been supporting in my role as Ambassador for the Etape Series of closed road Cycle Sportives, the British Heart Foundation, for whom I endorsed their fundraising ride on the London to Brighton route [picture below right] and Breast Cancer Care, who are the charitable beneficiary from an association with the Women’s Cycling Team for whom I am riding for this year [and hopefully racing for, prior to the end of the year too!]  BHF London Brighton

Etape1

Team Storey Sport have also become the proud kit sponsor for the Breast Cancer Care Cycling Team and it has been a successful start to the racing season, with the team securing the current lead in the National Road Race Series and also winning the Bedford 3 Day Stage Race, as well as numerous jaunts into Europe with riders building towards the bigger stage races of the summer. Obviously my involvement with the team remains that of active training partner, but there will be opportunities for me to race before the end of the year should the rest of my pregnancy and the birth of Baby Storey allow it.

Last weekend, Barney and I attended the Baby Show in Birmingham which was both fascinating and overwhelming at the same time! Having not had the chance to make any preparations for the baby, other than buying the cot and assembling some furniture in the nursery, we took it as an opportunity to check out a buggy system I can operate with one hand, and also visit some of the suppliers who have contacted us with good wishes and messages of support. It was a fantastic day and we are definitely more practically prepared now than when we arrived there!

This week sees one final jaunt down to London for the honour of attending a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace with the team from London 2012 and then we will be heading out to Nottingham next weekend for an appearance at the Milk Race. This is the first time this event has been held since the early 1990’s when it was the longest running sponsored stage race in UK Cycling history and one that almost everyone remembers. Now being reborn thanks to Race Director Tony Doyle MBE and including a women’s race as well, it is another exciting addition to the UK racing calendar.

Once this has finished, I will be announcing I am on maternity leave I think and concentrating on resting and training over the final days and weeks before Baby Storey arrives!

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