{More Mother, Less Runner}

Lately I’ve definitely been more mother and less runner.  It wasn’t what I had planned or hoped for.  I thought maintaining a healthy, active pregnancy would have me back at it sooner than later.  And I was initially, but it turns out that wouldn’t even be close to the plan.

On a 2.5 mile run at 35 weeks pregnant followed by a 3 mile walk and feeling great! 

Since about a month postpartum I knew my body didn’t feel “right.”  I felt amazing those first few weeks.  I was back in my skinny jeans with seven pounds to lose.  I felt eager to get back to exercising.  Baby girl was sleeping pretty well.  Life was just crazy enough I felt like I needed some time to take care of me.  It was the perfect post-baby storm to get back to running.  I walked when I could, did my pelvic tilts and kegels, and started easing into running very cautiously.

At my six week postpartum appointment I learned I had a significant abdominal separation (diastasis recti).  I was super disappointed, but kind of knew it was probably the case.  My back had been hurting.  My core felt off and not just the I just had a baby weak.  Still I kept running.  I wasn’t peeing myself running or having those types of issues.  I wasn’t having pain per say while running.  Everything I read along with my midwife said it was ok to keep running since I wasn’t having those issues.


I bought and read Katy Bowman’s book about DR.  Everything she said made so much sense.  I’ve never been a quick fix person.  I’ve always believed to get to the true root of the problem is key or else everything else is just a bandaid.  I’ve always had a huge issue with the number of prescriptions people are given for things without first trying to make lifestyle changes.  To have abdominal surgery or do PT for a set number of weeks would only fix the problem temporarily.  Once I returned to my old ways I would potentially be back in the same spot I am in now.

So I focused on my alignment and active sitting and standing.  Wearing flat shoes as not to throw my alignment off.  Core engagement as much as possible even when lifting kids and things and when sitting. I focused on reconnecting my body.  After a month of this, my gap closed by almost a finger (to just over 3 fingers), but it was still deep.  I still was feeling so much weakness and my hip had started to hurt on every run and after.

I knew and know that it will take much more than a month to undo a lifetime of poor alignment, pelvic tilting and ribs out.  It will take more than a month to undo over a decade of heel wearing, a lifetime of not dropping my ribs and walking, running and everything else in a non-neutral body.  I love Katy Bowman’s exercises, but it was hard to create a consistent program to go along with the lifestyle changes while taking care of two young kids.

After much research and consideration to my current life situation (two kids under two), I also purchased the MuTu System.  MuTu focuses heavily on alignment while also giving you set exercises to do in a 12 week program.  I don’t have time or money for PT appointments.  Any time I take off from work is unpaid.  With young kids and sickness, I can’t justify taking time off for PT, and outside of work hours are not an option either with daycare pickup and other demands of children.

I needed a program that told me what to do and could be done at home when I had time.  I started following the exercises and life was good.  I felt stronger and better after just the first week.  Then I went back to work and things kind of fell apart.  The exercises have to be done every single day.  Every. Single. Day.  With young kids and  going back to work it is just so, so, so hard.

The week I went back to work I ran my longest run.  Maybe it was all the emotions of going back to work and not feeling ready.  Maybe it had been a hard day at home.  Maybe it was all the nerves of being away from my baby girl for the first time. It might have been the discontent of not being where I’d hoped to be physically.  Perhaps it was the stress I knew I’d soon be under as a full time working and breastfeeding mama (i.e. prep and lunches pumping and scrambling) responsible for getting kids ready and daycare drop off and pick up every day on my own.  I honestly don’t remember.

What I do remember is my longest postpartum with baby #2 run was also my fastest postpartum with baby #2 run.  I pushed the pace and just wanted to run fast.  Feet turning over with quickness, pounding the stress and emotions into the ground with each step.  My body let me know for the first time it didn’t agree with this as I leaked urine for the first time.  

As embarrassing as that is to say, I’ve heard from many ladies who’ve messaged me and talked with me about similar issues.  This is a common issue post-baby, but it is not normal…meaning you’re body is trying to tell you something.  It likely won’t improve without specific work either.  Most women choose to live with it.  I will not.

Then my hip started to hurt.  It wasn’t just a little hurt either.  It was an I’m walking funny two days later hurt.  Two months later and no running and it still hurts anytime I’ve been sitting for a bit and stand up.  I feel it when I walk on occasion still.  Clearly my core was not ready for running like that or perhaps running at all.

I’m anxious to get back to running, but have not been successful at all in making time to do my MuTu exercises while being a full time working and breastfeeding mommy to my kids.  Some weeks I manage a few days and think ok, I’m finally going to make this happen only to be met with a setback (sickness, kids waking early, life demands, etc.) soon after that stops me for days or even a couple weeks.

I won’t try running again until I’ve seen improvement with my ab separation and my hip is no longer causing me issues.  I know to get to running I need to regain my core strength, improve my body alignment and connections, and work on strength and  flexibility in various places (like my hip).

A lifetime of poor alignment and only running (very little cross training and core work) along with two pregnancies close together and a two finger ab separation after baby number one that I did nothing to fix and here I am.  Right where I should be I guess.

Lately I’ve been focusing on that idea.  That no matter how crazy stressful and hard life is right now, I’m trusting that I’m right where I should be.  As fate would have it, I began to finish this post yesterday morning while my daughter napped in the car.  I took an Instagram “break” and came across a fitness blogger I follow had posted this to her account:


I just have to believe there is a lesson for me to learn from all this and that the struggle will teach me something I may not even be considering right now.

Had I even known what diastasis recti was before maybe I’d have done things differently.  Maybe someone can learn from  my experiences.  Cross train.  Stretch.  Strengthen.  Save heels for special occasions not daily wear.  Work to have neutral body alignment and core engagement.  Fix your small ab separation after you have a baby instead of ignoring it and then having another (and much bigger) baby.

I hope and plan to begin MuTu again later this spring or at the latest in June when the end of the school year will allow me some time to refocus, reconnect and rebuild my body.  I continue to work on alignment and core engagement as I want to change my body for the better for good.  Walking is what I do when I can.

After two months of mourning, misery and wallowing in the fact that I don’t know when my next run will be, I finally felt ready to share what’s kept me silent for so long.

Some might wonder why is this so hard to deal with?  It’s complicated, but running is so intertwined with who I see myself as a person and an essential to my well being way I cope with everything and maintain my mental health, it’s no wonder I felt so many negative emotions over it for a while.


If you’re struggling with any of these post-baby issues, hang in there mama!!  With time we will be ourselves again.  Our bodies will feel like our own again.  They have to.  I refuse to believe I’m stuck this way forever.  No matter how often I feel like maybe I should just quit this whole goal and blog, I just can’t.  I keep returning to it.  I still hold hope in my heart.


And that’s where I am now.  Broken.  Grateful.  Struggling. Surviving on coffee, the smiles of my babes and that glimmer of hope.  Right where I’m supposed to be even if I’m not sure for how long.

Sarah

 

 

 

 

{Post-Partum Fitness Plans for Baby #2}

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Today being my due date with baby number two has me thinking about returning to regular running and losing those extra pounds.  Of course baby snuggles and soaking up the moments is most important, but this post isn’t about that.

Last time around losing the weight was important to me for several reasons.  Those reasons remain the same this time around.  While I do believe there are far more important things in life than worrying about weight and working out post-baby, the reality is sometimes these small things are the big things.

For obvious reasons, I can’t afford to buy a new wardrobe.  I like having options to wear and it feels good to put on those skinny jeans again and have them actually fit.   This is only part of the reason though.  If I’m being honest, I’m just much happier and more confident when I like the way I look.  Feeling like yourself gives you a confidence and positivity to your life and attitude that is hard to get from another source.

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Turkey Trot with my little guy at 7 months old.

Beyond fitting into my old clothes, returning to working out is essential to my well-being and mental health.  I become very anxious and irrational if I go very long without moving my body.  For the sake of my family and those around me, everyone involved wants me to exercise as soon as possible.  Being outdoors and running through all four seasons does something for my soul and peace of mind that I’ve never found anywhere else.  The satisfaction and sense of accomplishment I get from my running is unique and necessary for me to feel like a good version of myself.

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Finally, since becoming a mom I struggle to find or make time for myself.  As a mom someone always needs you.  Something always needs to be done.  Mom guilt is overwhelming.  I have extreme mom guilt if I ever leave my son even if it is to get groceries or run an errand that is benefitting him or our family.  I need to make time for myself a priority here or there for my own sanity and to be sure I’m not dividing my attention when I’m with him (and soon baby girl, too).  Exercise gives me that break and time to myself.

As for when my next big race is exactly, I’ve decided to leave that a bit unknown or undecided. However unlike me as this sounds, I’ve got some ideas about when and where I might like to cross off my next state, but I learned the hard way last time around that if there is one guarantee post-baby it is that your best intentions and plans can go out the window in a hurry.

Balancing motherhood with work responsibilities and training was so, so much more complex and challenging than I could have anticipated.  Rather than shell out hundreds of dollars in advance to up the ante so-to-speak in helping me remain committed to my goal, I’ve decided to save some cash up front and be real.  This might mean paying a higher registration price to wait a bit longer to register for a race to be sure I can actually commit to the race and travel.  Despite not committing financially to any races as of yet, that doesn’t mean I don’t have post-baby workout /fitness plans.  I do!   If that sort of thing interests you, keep reading.  If not, maybe skip this post.

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Running with baby #1!

During my last pregnancy I had no real post-baby workout plans established.  I had no idea how weak my abs and pelvic muscles would be.  Seriously no idea.  I had done no kegels or pelvic work during my pregnancy, but I thought I had maintained a moderately active lifestyle running a few days a week until 27 weeks and then walking and hiking up to my due date.  When I look back at my workouts though, I really didn’t maintain my fitness like I had planned or hoped to.  Life got busy, and I made some excuses, too.

Post-partum after baby #1 I felt amazing.  I couldn’t believe that I had just had a baby and felt so good.  I had felt worse after some of the marathons I’d ran.  Walking was a breeze.   The first couple of runs felt great.  Once the initial excitement of I’m-running-and-I-haven’t-done-this-in-months wore off though, I realized how weak I was and what a work in progress I was.  My determination was there, but my abs just were not.  I remember sitting in my living room, laying flat on my back (that felt weird), and trying to do something as simple as lift my feet and legs off the floor a few inches.  I could not do this.  No matter how hard I tried, it was just not possible.

My actual running felt great aside from this lower ab and pelvic issue/pain I had after most runs.  I was able to return to running pretty quick, but I was constantly worried about doing more damage than good.  You almost can’t stop a runner though.

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I spent a lot of time reading and researching about how to correct mild abductus rectis and regain ab and pelvic floor strength.  I was so frustrated and felt confused as to why no one told me about this.  Why are stabilizing and strengthening exercises not taught to post-partum moms right away?  Why are we not told to avoid certain ab exercises like crunches that can make it worse?  I spent so much time pre-labor and delivery worrying and researching how to cope with labor pains and the end status of my lady parts I hadn’t even known or thought to consider this.  What’s even more is I can’t imagine that many women actually walk away from delivery with strong abs and pelvic muscles.  All women could benefit from this being a part of post-natal care.

Some of the resources I used the last time are linked below.  Of course, I’m not a doctor so listen to your own body and talk to yours before trying any of these!  I will definitely be using these again this time around.  I also already asked my midwife about post-partum PT.  She said she will make the referral and that they refer people all of the time.  After having two children 18 months apart I know that my pelvic floor will be able to use some extra attention, and I want to make sure I’m prepared.

Six Exercises to Rebuild Your Core After Pregnancy

Pelvic Floor Safe Exercise App

You Don’t Know Squat

5 Alternatives to Kegel Exercises

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I also plan to do as much walking as I can immediately post-baby, but I know this will be really hard this time around since I live in Wisconsin and baby is due in October. I doubt we will be walking 100 miles together by the time she is five weeks old like I did with her big brother, but I guess I can hope for a warm, late fall.  I do have a treadmill that I didn’t have with big brother, so hopefully she can sleep next to me while I get some walk time in and enjoy some intelligent TV or Hallmark Christmas movies.  I’m such a sucker for these feel good movies.  Add in post-baby hormones and I will probably be a mess.

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After having my son, 21 Day Fix really helped me make healthy food choices and get in a great workout in 3o minutes last time around.  I plan to use this again after baby #2.  Going to yoga and barre classes once a week also helped me get out of the house and get stronger, too.  I’d love to include this in my post-partum return plan, but the reality is with my husband working full time (since it won’t be summer like last time) this may be difficult to impossible.

I also hope this time of year (late fall/winter) gives me a chance to put less pressure on myself to run long runs right away and really take the time to do the pelvic floor work that needs to be done.  I’d like to complete more strength training too, so I can build a strong foundation to really return to running in the spring with longer runs.  The pressure we put on ourselves though is hard to stop.

 After having my son, I also spent a lot of (unnecessary) time obsessing about how I would lose the weight.  Not so much during the first three months.  I was totally devoted to my little man and caught up in those new mom emotions and challenges.  After three months though I had expected breastfeeding and the running and walking I was doing to have taken care of those extra pounds.  I lost 22 pounds that first month and thought I was going to have no problem losing the rest.

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The reality was I had a long way to go.  The worst part was I was eating right (dairy-free for baby meant a pretty clean diet) and exercising along with breastfeeding, and I just was not seeing the results I’d expected.  These three things were I’m sure helpful in maintaining a steady weight loss, but the one thing that seemed to be required for my body to lose the weight was the one thing I didn’t have patience for-TIME!

Knowing all of these things from before will, I hope, better prepare me for the after the second time around and make other frustrated mommies realize they are not alone.  I wouldn’t say the after was a hard transition the first time, but I was caught off guard by the extent of my weakness and the time it took to lose the weight. Often we hear that breastfeeding is the key.  The reality is that it may not be the only thing necessary.

Every person is unique.  Everyone’s journey their own.  No comparison needed; just support and knowing that for most people a combination of healthy eating, exercise and time is what is needed to lose baby weight.  No luck.  No fancy gimmicks.  No easy tricks. Sorry!  Just hard work, commitment, determination and, again, TIME!

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Six months post-baby I was back at my pre-baby weight.  Nine months after I was down an extra couple of pounds and would very soon be pregnant again.

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After running a half marathon at 16 weeks.

This pregnancy I worked out a lot more as I really wanted a more fit pregnancy than the first time around.  I also ate better in part to limit the pounds I gained, but also largely due to my gestational diabetes diagnosis.  I’m very curious how running more and until 35 weeks will play into my overall fitness and return to running.  I know running more and longer into this pregnancy has played a big part in me gaining about ten pounds less this time around.  At my recent 39 week appointment I had gained 26 pounds.  I’m sure I have a bit to gain yet, but don’t think it’s possible to gain 11 pounds before she gets here.  Let’s hope not!


It should be added that this plan is all pending a delivery similar to the last one. I am very aware that if I have a more difficult delivery or a c-section for some reason that my plans will have to be adjusted.  A combination of eating healthy, exercising and taking care of myself will make my return to the fitness I love possible and the baby weight come off with time.  I hated hearing this last time around, but it really seemed to be true for me.

My biggest tip to new mama’s-to-be when it comes to returning to working out is to have a plan that includes a healthy diet and exercise you enjoy, but know that that plan might have to be adjusted.  So much of having a baby is out of your control. Be flexible with yourself.  Workout when you can and try not to stress when you can’t.  Think about what you put in your mouth.  Above all, enjoy those new little baby moments.  They grow sooo fast!

Now if I just follow my own advice.

What tips do you have for new moms?

Sarah

{IMM Training-Week #1}

After taking a hiatus from blogging during basically my entire pregnancy, I finally feel like blogging again. It was weird, but almost immediately after seeing the word positive on that pregnancy test I stopped feeling like blogging. Then the tiredness hit and blogging was basically done. I’m back to training and consistently running, so it seems like a good time to get back to it. Notice I didn’t say I’m not tired, but that is a given.

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Going for a walk with the Ergo carrier. We love it!

Since having the little man 12 weeks ago I have slowly started running again after doing a lot of walking first. I read a lot about pelvic floor health and how important it is during pregnancy and after if you want to return to running healthy, injury free and not peeing your pants. I’d like to say I did all the pelvic floor exercises they recommended, but then I’d be lying. Why I hate them so I’ll never know.

Hiking at 38 weeks pregnant.

Hiking at 38 weeks pregnant.

What I did follow though was listening to my body when I was pregnant. I didn’t push the miles. Some days I ran and some days I didn’t. After week 33 there wasn’t anymore running, just walking, hiking and some ellipticalling (yes, it should be a word.) After birth I again listened to my body and started slow. My first post-partum run at 4.5 weeks was less than a mile and was only because the baby wanted to eat NOW and we were not home from a walk yet. But, it felt good so a few days later I went again this time making it 2.25 miles. I never pushed too hard. If my pelvis or lower abs were sore (which they were in the beginning) then I gave myself rest days in between run days.

As for this marathon training cycle I have tried to safe guard it as much as possible. I gave myself 11 weeks to ease back in and run without following a training plan. I started walking at 8 days post-partum when it was nice enough to get outside. Remember it is Wisconsin where I live. Even though the kid was born in April it snowed (flurried) several days after he was born.


After walking for four weeks, trying to always be conscience to engage my core throughout every walk, I started adding in one run a week, then two, then three and so on. Despite having abs that were weaker than I could have ever imagined, I avoided ab work because of having mild diastasis recti (ab seperation) and ab work can make it worse. Instead I did some pelvic floor work and non-crunch ab work. This 12 week no crunch ab workout plan includes planks which some sources I read said to avoid, but I did them anyway. I did not do the plan everyday, but tried to a few days a week.


For the four weeks before I started officially training I consistently ran 3-4 days a week adding mileage slowly and continuing to walk 10-20 miles a week. I’ve done some HIIT workouts, SOME pelvic floor work, and have been going to yoga once a week for the past month. Yoga has really helped with my abs and pelvic floor muscles as I feel how often they are engaged. I’ve been alternating between a Yoga Sculpt class with weights and a more typical yoga class.


With all of this in mind I feel I am ready to start training again. It is so important to listen to your own body and do what is best for you. I’ve read blogs about people racing at 8 weeks and heard from women who weren’t interested in racing until their baby was 9 months or older. Listen to yourself.  My first “race” was at 11 weeks and was not a big distance.  Check out my Firecracker 4 mile race report for more details.

My training plan will be completely different then in the past. Often past training plans had my mileage around 40-50 miles per week by mid-cycle. One training cycle I peaked at running 70 miles in a week. While I’m still proud of that number, my life is different now. My number one goal is to get to the start line of the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon healthy and injury free and feeling excited about the race, not burnt out or resentful.

To keep balance in my life the plan includes only four days of running a week, one day of cross training a week, and one 20 mile run in the training cycle.  In the past I’ve always ran 5-6 days a week and often completed three 20 mile runs during my training. Not only do I not think my body is ready for that, but I don’t want to either.

With getting back into a routine of running I’ve really noticed how hard it is to push yourself when you are tired. Sometimes the hardest muscle to work isn’t even a muscle-it’s your brain. I don’t want to be attempting tempo runs, track workouts with specific splits, or crazy amounts of long runs right now. I don’t have the mental energy to hit those paces or the desire. I don’t want that stress in my life right now. Just leaving for a run can be stressful enough.


Some days when I look at my little man it is almost impossible for me to leave for a run. I just want to hold him or stare at him. I want to enjoy being a new mommy and not feel like running is taking anything away from these once in a lifetime moments. I also know I do need time away to recharge and be a good mom. When he sleeps is usually when I run. I don’t feel so guilty then or like I might miss something. Only a few weeks in and already mom guilt!

This plan is longer than some I’ve followed to give myself extra time to ease into training. You can see the marathon training plan I’m following made by Hal Higdon. It would be a great plan for a first time marathoner or someone, who like me, wants to ease into training and keep a balance between life and running. I cut off the first 6 weeks to fit my timeline and did those next first few weeks as unofficial training. The training plan certainly won’t get you a PR or make you feel like the marathon itself was easy, but it should prepare you for the race. Of course, I’m not an expert so take my thoughts as only suggestions based on my experience.

I’m hoping to post each week like I did for the Wisconsin Marathon. I like to document my training to refer back to and to hold myself accountable.  Lastly, losing the baby weight is important to me.  Posting each week will help me stay on track with all these goals.

So much of how I feel is based on how I feel about myself.  This might be stupid, but it is my reality.  So many people said breastfeeding is the way to lose weight after baby, however I have not really found that to be true.  I’ve never lost weight at a slower pace than in the past 10 weeks which is frustrating, but ok since losing weight is not the reason I chose this option for my baby.

Previously I have been lucky so far in life and usually could easily lose 1-2 pounds a week if needed by adjusting my calories based on intake and exercise.  I’ve tried increasing calories to make sure I’m eating enough with breastfeeding, taking the middle ground, and cutting calories and none of it seems to make a difference.  My diet has been pretty healthy considering I’ve had to cut out dairy for the little guy.  No pizza, ice cream or sometimes I swear anything and you’d think I’d lose the pounds a little faster.  I’m losing the weight, but VERY SLOWLY.  I still have 10 pounds to go after all my effort, but I remain determined.  Of course meeting my baby’s needs always comes first.

After a long-winded introduction here is what week 1 of my training looked like.

Week #1 Training-

Monday-5 mile run (last weeks long run got moved)

Tuesday-off, 5 mile walk

Wednesday-3 mile run, 3 mile walk, yoga sculpt class


Caught the poor kid mid-sneeze!

Thursday-3 mile run

Friday-off

Saturday-6 mile run, 2.5 mile walk


Sunday-3 mile run with jogger (Our 1st!)
Running with a jogging stroller is no joke!  This is going to take some getting used to, but will give me freedom to run when the husband is gone. I only plan to use the jogger for shorter runs as my abs are still weak, and I want to make sure I run with proper form for longer runs until I get stronger.

Most sources say to wait until your infant is 6 months or older to use the jogging stroller on a run.  After talking with P’s pediatrician and seeing he’s been holding his head up for a month and a half, I feel it is safe.  He is also in his infant seat and we bought a quality jogging stroller (Bob Revolution Flex-Amazon has best price by like $100).  The kid’s head doesn’t even move. Do what you feel is best for your child!

Week #1 Training Miles-20 miles

Stay tuned for I’m sure many ups and downs as I continue to adjust to being a new mother runner!

Sarah

{Firecracker 4 Mile Race Report}

  
Finally a post about running! It’s interesting how this blog was solely about running, then some of life sneaked in, and for the past nearly year it has been all about pregnancy and the arrival of baby. Having a baby does change your priorities, but back to the running.  

  
Saturday I ran my first post-pregnancy race. It was a 4 mile race which I loved because 5k’s just seem too short after running marathons, but anything longer I wasn’t sure I was ready for. I also have never ran a 4 mile race, so there wasn’t any previous times to compare my performance to. I could just run my race comfortably. I was not interested in racing or pushing my body too hard.  

  
During the race my goal was to run under 36:00 minutes and to stay comfortable since I’m still trying to make running feel consistently good. The race ended up being a first date away from the baby for my husband and I and our first run together since baby. Having a running partner was very motivating. There is also something about a race that gives you that extra go power. 

  
Since the race was short I don’t have a mile by mile report, but was able to accomplish all my goals. We finished in 35:36 running comfortable and confident the entire time. I’m most proud of our 4th mile where we picked up the pace some. We ran an 8:09 pace which tells me that while a lot of my runs don’t always have the ease and comfort of the past, I am making progress. I’m getting faster and feeling stronger even if I don’t see or feel it everyday. It felt awesome to race again!  

  
Returning to running has been both easier and harder than I thought it would after having a baby. I felt awesome physically the day after having a baby and that feeling continued after heading home. That was great, but also caused me to raise my own expectations of what I expected I could accomplish.  

While still pregnant I had no set agenda as to when I would walk and run and for how often or long after giving birth. This is the best approach in my opinion. Feeling so good after delivery though made me start to change that plan.

   

 Feeling so good made me think I’d be running earlier and with greater ease. Add to it that week 2 after baby I walked 20 miles with the little guy in the jogging stroller without too much effort. During the fourth week post-partum I went for my first (very short) run prompted by a screaming baby who wanted to eat during a walk stat! It felt good…too good. I wanted to run again. It had been a long time since I’d felt those endorphins! 

A week later I ran 2.25 miles and it felt AMAZING! I also kept walking and hit the 100 mile mark with Pierce that week. My confidence was soaring!  
  
My next run a few days later was the same distance, but went very differently. It brought me back to reality. My legs felt like I had anchors attached to them. My lower abs were sore after. Many of my runs since have felt tired legged. They’ve been slow. They’ve felt good after for the most part, but haven’t been easy. Maybe once a week I have a great run. Luckily, the lower ab soreness went away a week ago.  
  
All of my early successes made me think I’d be breezing through a 4 mile race much sooner than the 4th of July, but in truth my original time table was much more accurate. I ran 4 miles for the first time almost a month before the race and ran 5 miles more than a week before the race and again yesterday, but that distance is still not always easy.  

Everyday is different. Running sleep deprived is no joke. Sometimes the day gets away from you and you can’t run until 8:45 at night. Other days the only time to run is in the peak heat and sun of the day. Sometimes your husband calls when you are on mile 5 of your planned 6 mile run to say the baby is hungry, how close are you or should I heat up a bottle? Some days the answer might be warm up the bottle and other days, like yesterday, I swear the baby felt my misery and I came home. 

I’ve learned you just do what your body says you can do. It won’t always feel awesome, but there is a difference between discomfort and out of shape and pain. Ignore your watch for the most part. Be realistic! Even after being active during pregnancy you may not be able to jump right back to what you used to do. Learn as you go! Be proud of the small steps you do accomplish!  

  
I’m new to the whole juggling act of being a mother runner, but I’m loving it! A 4 mile race was the perfect distance for me to return to racing. Longer than a 5k without the stress and obligation of a longer race. Plus, there was time for the husband and I to get a quick coffee together before heading back to our handsome guy who turned 11 weeks on race morning!

  
11 weeks ago mommy was doing a different type of endurance event   

Now I’m looking for at least one fall half marathon to work up to as part of my training for a full marathon in November where I will finish state #17-Indiana. Any suggestions?!

Firecracker 4 Mile Race       
Time: 35:37
Pace: 8:55
Overall Place: 173/501
Gender: 79/312
Age Group: 10/49