It’s hard to believe I am nearly six months removed from giving birth to Lula and as you can see from the photo below, I was BIG when I delivered her.
She was about two weeks late and I still had to be induced!
Running has been my outlet for the last ten plus years. It keeps my Scottish temper at bay, it helps me work through issues I am having, it allows me to stay fit, and I always feel a sense of accomplishment at the end of a run. Unless we were running on the treadmill, pre-Lula, Pa and I always ran together- instead of dinner out, we went for a morning run.
Pre-pregnancy, I ran two early mornings a week on the treadmill (4 miles/run), an 8 miler on Saturday mornings and a 5 miler on Sunday mornings (both outdoors, both with Pa). By my math, that adds up to 21 miles a week.
I ran (slowly) for about 30 weeks of my pregnancy and between my doctor telling me that I could bring on pre-labor contractions if I continued and too much pain in my pelvic area, I was forced to stick to walking for the last few months of pregnancy. From mid-July through mid-October of 2011, the only calories I intentionally burned were through walking (I guess breastfeeding counts too).
I started running again three weeks after giving birth. I imagine this is frowned upon in the medical community but I had to give it a shot (I’m not a doctor, consult him/her about when you should resume exercise postpartum). In retrospect, I probably could have waited longer but Pa and I had the opportunity to go for a run together and we seized it. We ran about three miles in 36 minutes and it was hard and my body hurt. I didn’t really enjoy it beyond being able to run with Pa again but when we got back to the house, those old feelings of achievement returned. I didn’t run again for four or five days so I certainly wasn’t back into a regular schedule by any means.
Over the next month or two, as
Lula and I worked to figure out some kind of daily schedule, my runs were hit or miss. I would run a mile or two or three on the treadmill, depending on who was home, if I could get away from little miss hungry, if she would take a short nap, etc. Since I was often unable to run early on, she and I ended up taking a lot of walks. Walking helped keep my spirits up and it gave us something to do. Let’s face it, there are only so many things a person can do to keep a baby occupied!
Two months after giving birth, Lula and I found a routine that worked for us and my running has slowly ramped up. I have discovered that during the work week, when I am home alone with her from 7-6, I have to get my run and shower completed before she wakes up for the day. If I depend on her nap time as my running time and it doesn’t work out, I am a mess and it isn’t fair to her. On the weekends, I run during her morning nap because Pa is home with her.
The weekend runs have taken some adjusting as that was special time that Pa and I used to spend together. However, those 45-50 minutes each weekend are priceless and give me time to be on my own. I’m not missing anything since my little sidekick is snoozing (hopefully).
At six months postpartum I feel like my running is better than it was when I was teaching full-time, pre-Lula. I have more energy, I am more willing to crank up my speed and do some short sprinting sessions (usually near the end of the run), and now that I am a stay-at-home mom, I rely on running more than ever to feel a sense of accomplishment. Additionally, keeping healthy plays a huge role in why I run.
My weekly schedule looks like this:
Sunday: 5 miles outdoors (43 minutes last week)
Monday: 3 miles on the treadmill (26:40 last week)
Wednesday: 3 miles on the treadmill (26:40 last week)
Thursday or Friday: 6 miles with the BOB (1:06 last time I did it) or 5 miles on the treadmill (43 minutes last time I did it)
When the weather is good, Lula and I take walks but I don’t include those as exercise the way I do my runs.
I hope to set a good example for my daughter through exercise. If she doesn’t want to run, that’s okay with me, but imparting on her how much better a person feels after a hard workout is important indeed.