Hoka 10k 2018

Hoka 10k 2018

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

My Postpartum Journey: What Now?!

After a short blogging break, I think I'm ready to return to documenting my progress and experiences. When I look at my pregnancy as a whole, my initial thought is "WOW! What a journey I had!" In a nutshell (I can't say "nutshell" without thinking of Austin Powers):
  • The first 14-ish weeks were SO TOUGH! So much nausea ALL DAY LONG. Life (let's not even go there with running) was harder to deal with on a daily basis.
    First trimester fun with my boy.
  • Somehow, I managed to run 40-42 miles per week with my long runs averaging 12-14 miles. I did this through 20 weeks.
    That time I won a 5k at 18 weeks pregnant. LOL.
  • Week 20, my nightmare happened (when I was run over while on a training run and fractured three metatarsals in my left foot). I was non weight bearing for 5 weeks and partial weight bearing for 2 weeks. I was then able to begin a walking program and cycling as tolerated but wasn't allowed to run until 3 months post accident. I  worked my rear off to rehab and get strong until I could attempt running again.
    My life for several weeks. Dark times.
  • Week 33, I could finally run again...sort of. It was a painful transition full of many tears. Tears of joy, tears of pain, tears of frustration, and tears of thankfulness. Eventually, as my ankle strengthened and my pain subsided. I was able to work up to running 4 miles (no walking) at a 10:30 pace. It was beyond any expectation I had for myself that late in my pregnancy.
    That glorious run that gave me hope.
  • Week 38 + 3 days, I ran my last mile on the indoor track at The Y. I delivered Ruthie 3 days later. After I ran my last pregnant mile, I was pretty confident I didn't want to run anymore until my baby was born. I'm sure God was telling me to rest and soak in my last days of what might be my last pregnancy. Sigh.
    My last belly shot.
I am beyond thankful for the miles I was allowed to do (walking or running) during this pregnancy. It wasn't the superstar running pregnancy I had envisioned when I got pregnant, but I believe this story was more powerful and had more impact than the one I had in my mind. I can only hope that my story inspired at least one person. If it did, mission accomplished!
So, what now?
I'm just listening to my body and doing activities as tolerated. I've been amazed at how my body responded to this delivery. I've had no pain, just occasional pelvic soreness after extended activity. I'm starting to get my energy back and Ruthie is allowing me to get a decent amount of sleep. Don't get me wrong...I'm not ready to conquer the world. I just know that I feel a lot better the second time around than I did with James.
  • Postpartum week 1: Complete rest. I did nothing except what I had to do to take care of Ruthie. There were a few days that I did a little more housework and errand running than I probably should have, but, I did not do intentional exercise.
    Selfie fun with two of my loves.
  • Postpartum week 2: I did my first walk last Monday (Ruthie was 6 days old). I took the dogs for a walk on their regular 1.5 mile route. Have I mentioned that I hate walking our dogs?! UGH. They are wild. Anyway...I did daily walks, gradually increasing my distance and pace. I improved from walking 2 stroller miles at 16:15 pace to 4 stroller miles at 14:34 pace.
    It's like she knows what to do for a selfie. This was the only pic I took!
  • I know some people may want to scold me, but I had the opportunity on Sunday evening to go on a non stroller walk. I decided that, since walking felt so good, I might try some walk/run intervals. Of course, I listened to my body to guide me on pace or tell me if I should just stick to walking. I tolerated things well. I did a total of 3.15 miles. I started with a half mile walking warm up, then began quarter mile intervals which I did for the remainder of the run. During my running intervals, I just stayed at a pace that felt comfortable and easy. These sections started around approx. 10 min/mile, and, as my body warmed up, improved to 9 min/mile (this was just based on me looking at the pace on my Garmin occasionally). My walking intervals were anywhere from 13:30 to 15:30 min/mile. When I finished, I felt the same as I do when I finish my stroller walks. I am not planning to do intervals everyday, but will slowly get back into running as I feel it is safe for me to do so. All of you that have had babies know that there are things going on in our female system that I have to keep an eye on as I return to activity.
    I love this boy. When daddy isn't dominating his life, this is the kind of fun we have.
I'm looking forward to reporting my return to running and (hopefully) my return to training for a marathon! I'm sure I will have a lot of struggles to share in the next few months. Love you all and can't wait to get back on the road with you again!

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