Gillian Clayton Will Not Defend Her Ironman Canada Title
Vancouver’s Gillian Clayton has a good reason not to defend her Ironman Canada title: she and her husband Shawn Trimble are expecting their first child right around the time that Ironman Canada will take place. We caught up with the expectant mother to get a revealing look at her journey through pregnancy. it was to step away from such a wonderful racing year, I knew there was something else I really wanted to do and that made my decision easier. TMC: How does one adjust to being in race shape, then quickly confronting the bodily changes of pregnancy. GC: At first I really felt like I was losing my fitness in a hard and fast way. But then I learned more about what was happening physiologically and I realized I wasn’t as out of shape as I thought. I discovered I was pregnant when I kept training and feeling less fit with each workout. I had nothing in the tank. I was seriously out of breath. I found out I was pregnant and kept training, I knew what my body needed to do. I also felt pretty sore from ligament loosening and muscle softening, but I’m convinced that I’ve adapted to these changes and have become stronger throughout pregnancy. TMC: What has been the toughest part of being pregnant? GC: For me the first few months were the toughest. I couldn’t understand before when some Olympians said they were just dead tired in the first trimester. How could Olympians get tired? Now I know. It really made Ironman training and racing seem much less tiring in retrospect. That, and your appetite is way off. As an athlete, I’ve learned to be very in tune with my body and controlling my internal environment, but then all of a sudden I didn’t feel like myself anymore. That wasn’t a very nice feeling. TMC: Do you plan on continuing your pro career after giving birth? How are you preparing now for that eventuality? GC: Absolutely. I can’t wait to come back. Being out of sport this long has been a huge motivator. You think you go crazy missing a couple of months due to illness or injury, try waiting for a year. I’m preparing for it by continuing to train through pregnancy for a start. I may not be fast, but I’m carrying around a lot of resistance in extra weight, and am running on what feels like half of my lung capacity. If I can still do two-a- day workouts in my third trimester, I figure I’m doing pretty well. Ironman training is long and committed, so I plan on being f lexible with what I’m able to do and finding a balanced and healthy path back to racing again.