I’ve anticipated this run for a while and this morning I made it out for my first postpartum run! Well it wasn’t pretty but it wasn’t ugly and that’s really the most I could ask for.
I spent a lot of time thinking about how I was going to make my come back and worrying about everything from jello legs to whether I would fit into my workout clothes to making sure someone was able to watch the baby in my short 30 minute endeavor out of the house. I even purchased a new pair of running shoes for motivation. Everything fell into place this morning once I received the clear from my doctor to start exercising.
Josh was on baby duty before he started work for the day and I was up at 6am to pump and eat a small breakfast in preparation. Granted this was going to be a really short run, I’ve been ravenous (like marathon training season) and extremely thirsty. I’ve also been emailing my friend, Libby for advice and hearing how she tackled her first runs back was really reassuring and comforting.
Then it was time! And I went outside, turned on my Garmin Forerunner 220 for distance tracking and not pace, and stretched a bit. After speaking with Libby, I decided I wanted to go no further than 2 miles and shorter depending on how I felt. I had no expectations and was prepared to stop and walk if needed.
Now for the run. My legs remembered how to move. My stride was not long. My gait felt off and shorter than previously. And my pace was slow. However, I was able to run and run consistently for a little over a mile. I didn’t feel out of breath and my legs didn’t feel like jello. I finished up after less than 15 minutes covered in sweat (I guess 85% humidity will do that to you) and my endorphins were sky high.
I realize this post may seem a bit dramatic for a mile but hear me out. Running has been a big part of my life for the last four years. It has essentially been a part-time job, maybe even more on most weeks of the year. While pregnant that all changed – not for the better or worst – it just changed and being able to come back now after 11+ months to find a way to resume a new kind of normalcy is a big deal (to me at least). Running is me and I’m glad to enjoy this part of me.
I read a lot about when to return to exercise and running postpartum and I opted to follow my doctor’s orders (not that you shouldn’t) especially given my specific recovery and labor. However, I was probably ready to return sooner, maybe 3-4 weeks in. Again, this is not what my doctor’s recommended and I caution everyone to follow what makes sense for them.
Over the next couple of weeks, I will share more about my running/exercise routine (well, hopefully I can find a routine) and my “training” plan to attempt some of the upcoming races I am signed up for.
Well, this post felt a bit like a ramble but thanks for reading this far and sharing in my excitement of one mile!