A couple weeks after giving birth, I started going for walks and doing an easy Pilates workout. The walks were solo at first- usually just a “clearing my head” after sitting on the couch with an insatiable baby that wouldn’t let me put her down to sleep from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. and needing a sanity break. I did a few stroller walks that were hit and miss, if I got her in when she was out cold we could get further, but if she was still awake we wouldn’t make it to the end of the driveway (she is great at stroller-ing now, it’s just one of those things that takes time). And the sling was/is a popular method if I want to go out longer- she is happier there and will often fall asleep. Plus, for me it just feels like being really pregnant still.
Anyway, it feels good to not be pregnant anymore and to sort of have the swing of new motherhood!
Sunday: 3.5 mile run (10:22 min/mile pace), walk around Bar Harbor with family
Monday: Cardio Fix and Abs
Tuesday: 4.2 mile run (10:07 min/mile), Upper Fix, Abs
Wednesday: 2.8 mile walk (with baby in carrier), Lower Fix, Abs
Thursday: 4.1 mile run (9:57 min/mile), Pilates, Abs
The Journey Back Into Running
Two weeks ago, I decided to start running again. It helped us get into a morning routine, and ended up being beneficial for everyone. It gives baby and dad a chance to bond for an hour every morning, and it gives me a chance to do a “selfish,” just-me thing.
The first run was HARD. My body felt like it was working hard, but it didn’t seem like I was moving anywhere.
Perhaps the biggest thing I’ve noticed was the mental improvement that came with a new sense of body autonomy- that some part of me was really mine again. Don’t get me wrong, I completely understand that when you get pregnant, and for some time after, your body/life needs to support another, which becomes the most important thing. Very drastic and also completely natural changes happen, but it’s okay to acknowledge that your loss of “self” can be pretty emotional at times (especially when you factor in the hormones).
Just getting out for an hour a day to run a few days a week boosted my mood, and my sense of body autonomy, to the point where I felt like I was being a better mother the other 23 hours of the day. After that first run I remember thinking “We could be stuck on the couch clusterfeeding for the rest of the day/night and I don’t even care!”
Every day gets a little bit easier. There’s no rush for me to drop my time or ramp up my mileage. I do have a goal of doing a close to 25 minute 5k on Thanksgiving (my PR is 21:07), and maybe a half marathon this spring. My form is still weird from not running for several months and still being 20 pounds heavier than usual, but I hear that gets better too (hopefully before it does anything weird to my muscles/knee/hips).
We’re also trying to decide what type of jogging stroller to buy so I can bring baby with me on the days that I have her with me (the days I am at the office we trade off so anything I do, she does do). So far people have strongly recommended BOB and Thule, but it’s kind of our style to wait awhile longer before committing to anything 🙂
Here’s to continuing the running journey, good, bad, and everything in between!