It’s no secret that having a training plan really helped me grow as a runner last year. First I trained for a 10k, and after that, I set my sights on 10 miles. So for much of the second half of 2010 and the first half of 2011, I had a training schedule printed out and affixed to my fridge, where I crossed off my workouts day by day as I drew closer to my goals. Having a plan in front of me was a huge help — not just for accountability, but also for motivation. Knowing the big event was approaching kept me focused and disciplined, and seeing my progress kept me engaged and excited.

I may not have a big race coming up, or any new distances to tackle, but I think I can safely say that I’m still in training.

My training plan looks a little different now, of course. My “workouts” consist not only of yoga, but doctor’s appointments and naps.

My eating plan is made up of not only vegetables and oats, but extra protein, (lots of) cereal and random meals of Chinese takeout (which, by the way, I never liked pre-pregnancy!).

As I train, my body isn’t getting leaner and more toned; instead it’s expanding and expanding and expanding.

My ultimate goal isn’t a new longest distance on the horizon; instead it’s what I hear is the toughest endurance event I’ll ever face: labor and delivery. Today I signed up for childbirth classes and a hospital tour — it’s becoming so real! (I guess I’m a procrastinator here, too; the six-week series was already full during the time frame we need to take the class! But any training plan has flexibility, right?) Seeing my pregnancy in this light is just as helpful as crossing off my workouts was last fall. It gives purpose to my priorities and reminds me that my body, even when I’m sacked out on the couch with an aching back, is working really hard at doing just what it needs to do. By listening to my body and maintaining as healthy a pregnancy as possible, I’m preparing myself as best I can so that when the big day arrives, I’ll be as ready as I’ll ever be.

And now if you’ll excuse me, my training plan calls for another bowl of cereal.