Saturday, December 14, 2019

Return to running!

I haven't run since June, when I was four and a half months pregnant and gave it up, as it was no longer comfortable and walking felt better.  I've been so excited to try to pick it up again.  This week, just over 4 weeks after giving birth to Teddy, I began jogging/walking, which makes me very happy. 

What's been surprising to me is that it feels like my legs no longer remember how to run!  My limiting factor seems to be my legs, rather than my aerobic capacity.  What I am doing is more of a shuffle, it feels -- it's hard to propel myself forward in a running motion.  But it's been so nice getting out there -- both to be running again, and to have a brief break in the day from taking care of the baby.  Of course, getting out the door takes some timing and luck -- Joe has to be home and free to watch Teddy, and Teddy has to be fed before I get out the door.  (He refuses to take a bottle.) But we've managed to find 30-60 minutes for me to get out each day this week.

Yesterday I was able to jog 5k without walking, which I'm proud of.  My pace, however, is so shockingly slow that it's hard to see that number and not believe I walked a step.  Joe is so encouraging and reassuring, and gave me the advice to not even worry about my pace at this point, but just keep doing what feels good to my body.

I'm already realizing that doing the 50-miler at Brazos Bend in April will likely not be in the cards.  I'm hoping I could do the 50k, but even that might be too aggressive.  I'm not writing out a training plan, but will just continue to do what feels good, and hope that I will make steady progress.

I haven't felt in great running shape since September of 2017, really -- ever since the one-two punch of the Tahoe 200 and J&J 100k, both in that month.  Since then, I've been an on/off runner, and have only done a handful of races.  I don't have any delusions of getting back into great shape in these next few months, or even this year, but I do hope that I can get back to being able to run ultras and feel strong doing so.

Today I also resumed doing some hip mobility/strengthening and core exercises.  I realize these will be important as I start running again.  I've already noticed some weaknesses in my legs during my runs, so I am making a commitment to myself to keep up these exercises to regain strength and prevent injury.  I'm hoping that wearing Teddy in a baby carrier for 2-mile walks each day is also helping strengthen my core!

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