Throughout my pregnancy I thought about postpartum running but often just assumed it would be the same as it is now. Of course, I knew motherhood would mean revolving around someone else’s schedule but that was about it. I didn’t know any different so there was really no way I could prepare.
Then my sweet boy came into this world and everything changed. Yes, sometimes it is more complicated but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Now that I’ve been training for 7 weeks and running a few before that I can sit back at look at really how things have changed for me postpartum.
Quality of Quantity
Over the years I have definietly been guilty of adding a mile or two here and there, or pushing to make my Garmin and even number (tell me I am not the only one who has done this?!) Once I had Easton I realized that I only have a limited amount of time to fit most runs in. During that time it’s more important that I get in a quality run over simply trying to fit in the most miles I can.
It’s also important that I use any extra time I have to do strength and core work, so pushing it an extra mile or two just isn’t in the cards. When you focus on running like this way it really helps you to make the most out of each run you have.
Running No Longer is First
As most of you know both my husband and I are runners. That comes with its own challenges but one thing it did make easy is that we were always very understanding of each other when we needed to fit in runs. Aside from our marriage, running was always one of the first priorities each day.
My first priority now is being a Mom. If my son is upset or isn’t going to be able to handle a run then it doesn’t happen or it gets postponed. Being a Mom and my son’s well being is always my first priority. Sometimes we can get a run done early and sometimes it requires waiting until later in the day.
I’ve Learned to Ask for Help
Before I had E I tried to do everything myself. I didn’t like asking for help and even in the beginning right after he was here I still felt bad having to ask for help. I then realized that it’s not a bad thing. I’m thankful for right now to be close enough to family that has the ability to help. My parents have helped me several times when I need to fit in a long run or just need help getting some things done. I’ve also had some great friends offer to help if I ever need it and I know that should I need it they will be there.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it! People are often more willing then you think.
I’ve Become More Lenient with Training
A training schedule used to be the end all be all to me. I wanted to hit every run, every working, exactly as I had planned. This time around I realize that it might not always be possible and I have to be more “go with the flow.” Earlier this week I was supposed to get in an 800 repeat workout on the treadmill. E was simply not having it that day so we ended up heading out to the trail and running a timed interval run.
You often have to do what is possible, and especially when running postpartum you have to be able to adjust when your body needs to. Learning to be more lenient with my training has helped me not only have more peace with my training but also helps to reduce my risk of injury.
Learning to Adapt
Before I had E I was on a very tight schedule. All my runs HAD to happen first thing in the morning or they simply weren’t going to happen. Nowadays I have a plan on when I want to run but it doesn’t always happen that way. Some days I have to my run to later in the day. On Saturday’s that I need to help my husband with his workout I often don’t run until around 12:00 PM since someone always has to be there with E.
It’s not always easy but learning to adapt and keeping an open mind about different areas of running is so important to staying sane as a Mom. You want you running to be a form of relaxation – not something that adds stress to your day!
Running after becoming a Mom has been more difficult in some ways but in others it has taught me some very valuable lessons.It is by far the most rewarding and fun experience in the world!