Friday, August 29, 2014

Postpartum Running: The First Two Months

Two months out from Baby #3's birth, and so much to report!  I have resumed 3-4 weekly runs after barely running at all the first month.  The runs are shorter and slower than before, but it feels so good to be running again!  How to fit it in?  Any way I can!!!  I sometimes go for between 10-20 minutes while Rick showers after his run.  Running in the mornings is hard right now, since I am nursing and pumping each morning and the baby is not on a scheduled wake up time yet.  I am aiming to get her sleeping through the night and waking at 7 a.m.  Then I will be able to run at 5 a.m. again.

I sometimes run during the day when my kids are home (they homeschool two days a week and go to school the other days).  I run a route that takes me within site of our house at all times, so they can see me from our windows.  It's basically a cul-de-sac, and then I turn and run the street in front of our house a bit, then turn around and run the entrance to our neighborhood.  It's very monotonous but it works!  And now I can take the baby out for short runs during the day in our single jogger.  She loves it and has never cried in the stroller!  I wonder if she "remembers" our runs when she was inside me?  

The 2 5Ks I did turned out well.  At the Twilight 5K on July 19, my son and I ran 25:04 (him) and 25:07 minutes, a 5 minute PR for him!  I shot off for the first mile but then we slowed down and ran the rest at a slower pace.  We both placed in our age groups!  He was the only one in his, and I got 3rd in mine!  Then two weeks later I ran the Race for Hope 5K with a comp entry.  I improved my 5K time to around 23:30 (can't find results) and placed 2nd overall female.  I was happy with that time and with my first 7 minute mile postpartum!  I have a long way to go and feel a little like Nicholas Cage's character in The Family Man when he bowls and knocks over a couple of pins and shouts "YES!!!!" while his teammates groan in the background.  I am celebrating my return to running and will celebrate each small step in that process even though they may appear insignificant to others!  

That reminds me of a favorite quote of mine about our "ultimate race."  See my previous entry about it here.  Last year when I was easily running a 20 minute 5K did I give it the "importance of something I may never do again?"  Running for me is now about fitness.  I want to get back into shape and stay in shape.  I have no other goals for the moment.  A 20 minute 5K sounds so unreachable for the moment.  The Rocket City Marathon was my goal before the baby came.  And now?  It just doesn't feel so important.  I HOPE to get there, but when I do it won't be with quite the drive I had before.  My focus is on this new little baby.  My energy is spent on taking care of her.  I look to the past and see my races as my "ultimate races," at least for now.  This is especially true of the marathon.  None of us know when our ultimate race will be.  Here's the quote:

"Take time to enjoy your accomplishments. They will have a lot more meaning later in life if you do. You ran a PR, or won a race, or won your age group and you had that feeling of accomplishment that you trained so hard for. Did you give it the importance of something you may never do again? Probably not. Everyone expects the next race, or one soon to follow, will be a new and better accomplishment. And early in your running that may very well happen, even frequently, but one day you will have run your ultimate race. Not until later will you realize that." (emphasis added)

Here I am 6 weeks postpartum in the Race for Hope 5K.