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Postpartum Running

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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Postpartum Running

Well, well, well. I used to blog about running. Did you know that? If you recently started following along, you would have never known it! Alas, this past Friday, I finally got back on the horse and went for my first run since birthing a baby. I was looking forward to start running again, even during those last weeks of pregnancy, was actually feeling physically up for it after a month of postpartum recovery, and motivated thanks to Lent.

Ahh, but you know, going shopping for "transition" jeans was also a big motivator.

My face says it all.
The size was in the double digits, but they have a real life zipper and they button and they make me feel human again, so . . . I took them home (and maybe I've been wearing them every single day since). It's funny because I feel so skinny and yet none of my pre-pregnancy clothes fit. I guess because I gained 40+ pounds and I've lost 30 of them in a month makes me feel pretty thin. My mind can't wrap around the fact that I have another 10 or 15 to go to be where I was long, long ago. It's all relative in postpartum land!

The following day, at 4 weeks, 2 days postpartum, I hit the running trail in our neighborhood while my dad looked after the bambino. I figured there was no better way to offer up a Lenten run then to go on my first run in months at 3pm on a Friday. Lenten mortification at it's best, ya feel me? On the other hand, it was a cool, sunny day with temps in the 50s. After four years of South Florida running, and all I could think was, "Wow, this is the life! I am not dying of heat stroke!" To top off the joyousness, I didn't even have to worry about getting hit by crazy Florida drivers!

Going into it, I was most worried about (a) my boobs hurting (double down on the sports bras), (b) my lady parts hurting (I haven't exactly been "cleared" for anything --- my discharge papers say "physical activity as tolerated" and I'm a lawyer, so I cling to those words), and (c) my ACL reconstructed knee stiffening up. Anyway, none of these were issues --- the real culprit of the pain was my lower abs! I suppose being stretched wayyyy the heck out by a tiny human will make one's abdomen sore during exercise for a little while, but I was kind of shocked at how quickly they felt sore. My legs felt just fine (relative) despite not running for months, perhaps because they'd been lugging around all that weight for a few months.

I went out with the intention of maybe running a mile, buuuut

ended up running 3! Because I was a super paranoid pregnant person it was the hardest I'd pushed myself during a workout since June. Even though the miles were slow, I was still feeling pretty proud of myself, until the Nike+ app shamed me with this:

I don't even know when I was frequently running 10 milers, I mean I rarely use this app anyway, but whatever. You know where you can stick it, Nike+ app. (If Joaquin Phoenix can fall in love with an operating system, I can hold a grudge against an iPhone app.) I will make my triumphant return to double-digit mile runs (and out of double-digit sized pants). 

Getting out of bed to tend to the baby was pretty tough that night on my knee, lower back, and abs, but once I was up and moving around the next day, I really felt fine. Sore, but in a good way. Even so, the next couple of days, I took it pretty easy, running a quick mile with the dogs (talk about pain to the abs---Daisy and Ace must sniff ALL THE THINGS) and then the following day going for a short mile and a half walk with the baby, dogs, and my dad.

Yesterday I was back at it. It was my first day running with the beloved BOB stroller! I'd been looking forward to this day, I don't know, ever since I found out I was pregnant. 

A selfie, mom, really?

Oh my gosh, was it hard. I locked the front wheel of the BOB (as per the safety instructions) and went on the ~2.75 mile running path in my neighborhood. Well, the path winds quite a bit, and I was having trouble steering. My solution: tense up my entire upper body to handle the curves of the trail. I had this to show for it . . . 

Almost a minute slower and a mile less than my first run without the baby. My chest, arms, wrists, and even my fingers are so sore today. After consulting my BOB-running connoisseurs (Sarah and Kallah) I decided that next time I probably won't need to lock the front wheel, only crazy people do that. 

I'm so looking forward to our next run together and possibly signing up for a race (???). Baby Will has his eye on a marathon.

Just one of them, though. 

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At March 12, 2014 at 6:21 PM , Blogger Anne B. said...

Will's adorable, unfocused eyes and all. By no means a fitness expert, but when trying to reclaim the shreds of my own lower abdominals, I found these exercises called Sahrman exercises. They're designed for c section recovery and start out super easy (as in, level one is breathing correctly) but they are specifically for lower abs and only take like 5 minutes a day. Pinky swear!

At March 12, 2014 at 7:18 PM , Blogger Janine Doyle said...

haha that last picture is hilarious… i remember laughing so hard at Maggie's cross-eyes. CONGRATS on running… you are supermom… it must feel so good!

At March 15, 2014 at 3:36 PM , Blogger Amy Salisbury said...

Seriously many many props to you for running so soon after little Wills arrival! He is adorable and I'm sure he will come to love love love running with his super mama! Thanks for introducing yourself on my blog as well, looking forward to hearing more!

At March 16, 2014 at 7:53 AM , Blogger Carrie said...

Wow, I am so impressed with your runs! And that last pic is so funny!!!


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