Thursday, February 5, 2015

Return to Running

Well, here I am over 11 weeks postpartum. How have 11 weeks gone by already!? But yet, it feels like we've had James forever, like I can't even remember life without him.

But I'm RUNNING AGAIN!!! If you read any of my blog posts from the last few months of pregnancy, you might remember that I had back pain. A LOT of back pain. SI joint pain, to be exact. (God bless you for listening to me complain about that stupid back pain over and over again each week.) One of my big fears was that the pain wouldn't go away after delivery... I had read online where it took some women up to 4 months to get rid of that particular type of pain! So I assumed it would be like that.

But, less than 12 hours after giving birth, I can say the back pain was GONE! Amazing. It was the best day of my life... not only did I get to meet my sweet boy, but my back pain went away! Haha. (It was really that bad.)

I was a little nervous to start running again, because it had been a good solid 4 months of no running. I hadn't had that much time off since the beginning of high school, 10+ years ago. Ugh, how was high school that long ago? I fully planned on needing to do some sort of Couch to 5km program since it had been so long.

My happy boy with the cutest belly.

I attempted my first 'run' about 4 weeks after James was born... a mix of running & jogging on my treadmill in the basement. It hurt but felt so good at the same time! I could definitely tell things were different. However, I had no back pain so that was a good sign! After about a week, I was pretty easily running 3 miles at a time, at a very slow pace. I had my follow-up appointment the next week at my doctor, and she gave me the green light to continue to run as long as I felt comfortable.

Throughout the last two weeks of December, I pretty much ran when I could, usually 3 or 4 miles at a time. It was crazy busy with cupcakes, too, so I was grateful for whatever chance I got to hit the roads! (Or the treadmill.)

At the beginning of January, I began to have more free time to run. Plus, I had finally gotten into more of a routine/rhythm with James, so runs became easier. However, I will say that getting back into shape is difficult! My whole core felt like a big blob of jelly, and I could definitely feel it when running. You don't realize how much those muscles help support you to keep you upright!

I've slowly worked my way up to about 30-35 miles a week right now, and I've even been able to get out a few mornings a week with my running buds! Starting to feel like myself again, and it feels SO SO good. We even ran 10 miles last Thursday! Double digits, woah.

I will have to admit though, running is a complete and total PROCESS now. Where I used to just lace up my shoes and frolic out the door, it takes planning now. 

For example, if I want to go early in the morning... I have to hope that James wakes up for his night feeding at the right time. (If he's too early, it puts me in an awkward situation of 'do I have time to go back to sleep or not?' A couple of days, this has meant I'm pretty much up for the day at 4am.) I have to make sure he's fed and back to sleep, and then pump before I can head out. (It's pretty insane to even think about running without pumping first.) I guess it's not that much, but when you're trying to meet people at a certain time, it seems like a ton of work!

If I wait and run once we're both up, I have to time it so I feed him, pump, and then get him down for a nap. RUSH down to the treadmill and start ASAP because who knows how long his nap will be. If he sleeps the whole time, then run up to the shower to rinse off before he wakes up. It's just not as easy as it used to be! Lol. Nothing is with a baby. ;)

So, what are my running plans this spring? I want to run a marathon... but I realize that might be a little out there, so I'm keeping my options open. I have my eyes on the Kalamazoo Marathon up in our favorite area of Michigan on May 3. Ideally, I hope that I can run a BQ so I can sign up for Boston in the fall. However, I am taking it one week at a time. They don't charge any extra money to drop down to the half, so that is my back-up plan. :)

And another random tidbit. Breastfeeding + running = INSANE HUNGER. All the time. I feel like I'm in a constant state of of hunger... there are two levels, 'ravenously hungry' or just 'a little bit hungry'. I guess I'll take it. Nothing quite like having the metabolism of a teenage boy?!


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