Saturday, January 25, 2020

Postpartum running: How it’s going

Our little Teddy is 11 weeks old today. Here’s a quick update on how it’s going trying to be a runner again after taking about 6 months totally off (plus 4 months of preggo-paced jogging).

I started jogging/walking again when Teddy was 4 weeks old, and was happy with how quickly I progressed to jogging 5k without walking. Then I started bleeding again at 5.5 weeks, so I stopped running and only walked, thinking maybe I was doing too much too soon after my c-section. (My midwife definitely felt like I was.) 

Eight weeks or so postpartum I started jogging again, and I’ve settled into a nice 4.5-mile route from the house. I usually take one or two 2-minute walk breaks, and my pace is somewhere in the 11-minute per mile range. It’s a good day when I take no walk breaks.  

It feels great to get out of the house for an hour each day. Joe is great about encouraging me to leave for a run and telling me kind affirmations about my progress. I generally feel so tired and slow on my runs that it doesn’t feel like I’m getting anywhere, and I’m definitely rethinking my dream of doing an ultra distance at Brazos Bend in April. But the consistency of getting out there every day for a run and doing my strength/mobility exercises is helping me feel stronger and more like an athlete again, anyways. 

The big challenge for me going for a run every day is that, since the little guy is too young to take him in the jogging stroller, I have to wait until Joe is home (after late meetings, picking up the girls, attending basketball games, etc.) before I can leave for a run. This means most of my runs come at night, after a long day of taking care of a fussy baby. I find it really hard to get myself out the door, although I’m always happy that I did it once I’m out there. 

Another challenge is that Teddy is so fussy, and won’t take a bottle or pacifier. So poor Joe has few tools to keep him happy when he decides he’s hungry while I’m on a run. I usually come home to a crying/screaming baby, which makes me feel super guilty about leaving. As Teddy approaches the 3-month mark, I’m hoping this gets easier and easier. 

It’s been years since I’ve been at the top of my game worth ultrarunning. I really believe I can get back to where I was in, say, 2017, but I feel like I’m probably years away from getting back there. Once Teddy is older and I can get away for longer stretches, and I have had time to rebuild a strong base, I believe I can get back. At least that’s what I’m telling  myself!

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