As I mentioned in my previous post, I was able to run my first time postpartum on Christmas Eve. That was a little over 3 weeks postpartum. I didn’t elaborate much on it because it wasn’t anything too exciting, but now that I’ve had a time to run a couple more times I thought I’d talk about my decision to return to running postpartum and my plans going forward.
My Return to Running 3 Weeks Postpartum
After delivery I took it very easy, at times I wondered when I would ever feel ready to run again. I had no official plan in place because I was letting my body decide when it felt ready. After the end of week 2 I felt so much better. I had quit bleeding and I knew things were at least progressing positively.
I am thankful that my husband works often with my OB and so I have pretty easy access to her. While visiting my husband one day I talked to her about what she thought in regards to returning to running. She was super supportive and said she’d suggest starting to walk around 2 weeks and then at 3 weeks assuming my bleeding had stopped she didn’t see any reason I couldn’t start back slowly and carefully. She said that the stitches shouldn’t be a problem but I may feel weak in my pelvic floor and to focus on building that back as well.
I was honestly surprised she was so supportive of it, but it gave me peace of mind. I didn’t start right away but waited until I really felt ready. The first chance I had was on Christmas Eve since we were staying with my in laws. Due to rain and the fact that I wanted to be able to control myself I opted to use their treadmill.
The run itself wasn’t easy but it wasn’t awful either. My body is de-conditioned so it’s going to take some time to really feel like “me” again and that’s okay. I did 2 miles, slow and easy and just focused on enjoying the run. Oh, did I enjoy it! It truly was the perfect way to start out Christmas Eve!
I didn’t hurt at all which I had told myself if I did I would stop immediately. In fact, in terms of the stitches I didn’t feel anything. The hardest part was just getting a body that hasn’t run in a while back in the swing of things. My pelvic floor did feel weak so that will be one of my biggest focuses going forward along with my core. However; I consider it a WIN that I didn’t pee myself as well. I wasn’t quite sure how my bladder would feel, but thankfully all seemed okay.
I took Christmas Day off and didn’t run again until Monday morning. Wes was heading out to the track near my parents house and my parents offered to watch Easton if I wanted to join him. It seems like it has been forever since we’ve been able to run together or even in the same area, so I jumped at the opportunity!
I ran another slow 3 miles mostly on grass in the middle of the track. I also threw in a few small hills (4-5) just to get my heart rate up a bit. It was nice to be outside and with my husband during a run again. It was also nice to run almost entirely on grass which was easier on my legs.
I ran again on Wednesday, another 3 miles, just outside the house. It was probably the best of the 3 runs I have done so far. Still a far reach from what I felt like before getting pregnant but even in those three small runs I felt improvement. One of the most difficult parts of the run was having to get outside at 5:00 PM when I’ve always been a morning runner. This will take some getting used to, but hopefully I’ll have opportunities to run on the treadmill at home during his longer naps in the near future.
I never really knew what to expected when coming back to running postpartum. It’s been a process already just 3 days in but I look forward to the challenge in the long run. Running is much more than just simply running a few miles here and there – to me it’s sanity. Staying with a newborn all the time during the day has been very challenging for me at times because it’s very outside of my normal routine, so getting out even for 2 miles helps me clear my head and feel a bit more like “me” again. That is so important.
So, what’s my postpartum running plan going forward?
To be honest, I don’t have a set plan yet. Yes, I know going into Boston training eventually without a plan wouldn’t be smart and I plan on getting one together, but for now I am just trying to allow my body time to feel good running again. Running feels great because I love to run, but I can tell my body is not in the shape to jump into marathon training.
Starting Monday I will have a full core and pelvic floor plan in place for strengthening (still working on it but will share once I have it complete). This will actually take a higher importance over running especially for the next 3-4 weeks. There will still be running, but if I can’t strengthen my week areas I have no chance and truly running Boston or getting to the start line healthy.
Running right now is an every other day (sometimes every 2 day) thing and I am taking it slow and easy. I will continue this until my body feels stronger and I can feel things getting a bit easier. Unfortunately I will end up doing more of it on the treadmill due to my sweet boy, but that’s completely okay with me! Running is running in the end wether I can get outside or on the treadmill. When he is big enough to fit in the running stroller I’ll be able to get out more.
So, that’s my current plan. I look forward to sharing the plan details as I create them but for now I’m going with a more “laid back” focus because you never really know what you’ll get with a newborn at home.
I look forward to seeing what this crazy journey brings!