Wednesday, August 28, 2013

A Return to Running After Baby

I've been running!  Yippee!  This is a running blog, isn't it?  Good thing I worked that SOMETIMES into Ricole Runs, Sometimes!

Can you believe it's been 8 weeks already???

Running is glorious and I've missed it so much.  It's been hard coming back though, don't get me wrong.  I am constantly reminded of all the fitness I've lost, how little arm strength I have, and how my abs are non-existent and disconnected and a MESS.

I can also see I'm going to have to learn to love (or at least like?  or at least tolerate?) the dreaded dreadmill again, since baby plus winter coming might make running outside a bit more difficult.  So far it's been working out well to go running in the evening once JMan gets home from work, plus it's usually a bit cooler out by then, but I know that can't last forever.  I ran on the treadmill for the first time today since WHO KNOWS WHEN, and it was not easy, plus RIDICULOUSLY sweaty.

My main focus has been on getting this little guy to smile, instead of on running!

I ran off and on for most of my pregnancy, so I felt pretty comfortable diving back into it once I was feeling up to it.  I won't lie, I did try running a bit in my 4th week post-partum.  I know the general recommendation is 6 weeks off, but I had a pretty easy pregnancy and an uncomplicated labor (besides some tearing) so it seemed okay.  I didn't feel great though so I did wait a bit longer to really start, and all of the first runs were more of run / walks than runs.

I'm happy to report though that the last two weeks (weeks 7 & 8 post-partum) I have felt FULLY recovered, have run 4 times each week, have logged 14 miles each week, and ran a "long run" of 5 miles each week.  Yeah yeah all of you running ultra relays and marathon training, 5 miles isn't much to you, but I have no idea the last time I ran 5 miles without walk breaks!  It's been A LONG TIME.  And it feels GLORIOUS.

As you can see, August isn't even all the way over yet and I've already ran more miles in the month than I have the ENTIRE TIME I was pregnant, though I am awfully close to early first trimester (November & December) and peak of feeling good during second trimester (March) levels.  
Man May, June, and July are awfully sad.

 I won't lie though, it has  been SOOOO INCREDIBLY DEPRESSING to watch my two relay teams compete without me the past two weekends.  First, the Spokane to Sandpoint Ultra Relay team I put together last year, a few short weeks before finding out I was pregnant, DOMINATED and even won their division two weeks ago.  So sad to not be there!  It was even harder to miss running Hood to Coast with my team last weekend though.  I almost ran it, and am certain I could have, but finally decided the logistics were just too difficult, and if I was going to be away from Baby J for a night I CERTAINLY wanted to spend that night sleeping - not NOT sleeping the entire time! 

So who wants to run an ultra relay and Hood to Coast with me next summer to make up for this?!?!

So I hope to keep this up, running 4-5 times per week.  With time being limited I'm anticipating most runs will be the 3 milers I've been logging a lot, but I'd like to get in at least one "longer" run each week.  I won't lie, I've got my eyes on some races.

First up: 
Um, the half.  Duh. 

I did the Leavenworth Half Marathon in 2011 and LOVED IT, and we all know I LOVE Leavenworth, so this seemed like the perfect comeback race.   Obviously I'll just hope to finish it and not die, I don't even have dreams of running the whole thing!  I just want to have a blast of a weekend.  This is a little over 5 weeks away so not a ton of training time left.

Then I've got:
with Team Nuun!

Becky still thinks I'm not going to do this race but I'm dead set on proving her wrong, despite the logistical nightmare I'm predicting with pumping and such.  The idea of throwing that liquid gold away makes me shudder even now.  

And finally, I'm registered for:

Amica Insurance Seattle Marathon
Again, the half.  Don't get too excited.

This was my very first half marathon, and I did it again while 8-ish weeks pregnant last year, so it seems fitting I run it again a year later!  Plus Zozi finally had a deal I couldn't refuse.  This race I'd like to finish with a bit more dignity (i.e., at least run the whole time, if not run hard!) than Leavenworth. 

Who wants to run these races with me???