Last week I was cleared to start exercising again. I mentally and physically felt ready to exercise, also. Six week old babies are needy and fussy and I need that time for myself. On nights she sleeps well, it’s easy to fit in exercise. On days she fights sleep, it’s a bit trickier (especially since I don’t cope with sleep deprivation well), but worth it. I feel better when I move, whether it’s a walk or a run/walk.
I don’t know my weight, but I can feel my body snapping back to normal. I’m a jean size larger than my racing weight, but that’s better than I anticipated for six weeks postpartum. It does feel much easier to run without all of the extra pregnancy weight, even if I am only running short intervals!
Monday: ~3 miles walking
I was cleared to run and resume normal exercise! My incision healed up super well and I’m really, truly grateful for that. I took the dogs on a walk with Isla in the carrier, and then later in the day, Ryan and I took a walk with Isla.
Tuesday: 2 miles run/walk (30 minutes) & ReCore
I started off with a very conservative approach to my first run back. I walked for 5 minutes, then repeats 10 sets of 1 minute run, 1.5 minute walk, followed by a few minutes of walking to cool down. For the run intervals, I set the treadmill to 6.0-6.2 mph. Aerobically, I felt good – my breathing was light during the run intervals. However, I could feel the muscular strength that I need to rebuild.
After my run, I started the first week of the ReCore program, which is designed for postpartum rehabilitation after vaginal or C-section birth. The first week consists of 20 minutes of gentle exercises to activate the inner core and pelvic floor.
As I do on most days with decent weather, I walked the dogs separately while wearing Isla. Ollie got a one mile walk, while Charlie got a 2/3 mile walk.
Wednesday: ReCore & Hip Strength (~25 min)
Isla did not have a good night of sleep, which means I was tired the next day and slept in. Thankfully, she usually takes a decent length mid-morning nap, so I let my coffee kick in and did some rehab work during her nap. I completed the week one ReCore exercises and this band workout for hip strength from Trail Runner.
I’m approaching strength work gradually since I did less of that while pregnant than I did running (especially in the last month). I have a lot of strength to build up, especially in my core, but I’m not ready to lift weights just yet.
It was cold and rainy all day long. I don’t mind the cold and I have a rain cover for the Ergobaby carrier, but I also am not about to take a newborn out in 40-degree rain. Instead, I put her in the carrier and walked inclines on the treadmill. I like to walk with her because it provides her a stimulus and lets us share that time together before I can start stroller runs with her.
Thursday: 2 miles run/walk (25 min total)
I did not experience any pain or alarming symptoms after my first run, so I felt comfortable to try a second one. I progressed to 6 x 2 minute run at 6.4 mph, 1.5 min walk. Isla fussed mid-nap, so I quickly paused during one of the walk intervals to bring her down. She was fascinated by the treadmill as I finished my run!
Remarkably, even just a few core workouts and runs have improved how my incision feels. I experienced some tightness in the muscle fascia as it healed, yet I can feel it alleviating with movement.
Friday: ~3 miles walking & ReCore
It had snowed the day before, so I waited for the snow to melt before taking our walk. Isla and I took two walks: one with the dogs and one in the stroller when Ryan came home.
I got to run outside, which felt amazing even with windy conditions and temperatures in the 30s. I set my watch for 5 x 3 minutes run, 1.5 minutes walk and focused on effort. I was surprised to see that most of my run intervals were at a sub-9 pace! After my run, I quickly completed the same mini band routine as earlier in the week.
Later in the day, Ryan and I took her on a two mile stroller walk. Even when it’s chilly outside, the fresh air benefits all of us.
Sunday: Rest day
The six-week peak fussiness is a real thing. After sleeping so well for a couple weeks, Isla fought sleep again and then woke up early thanks to the time change. I was mentally and physically wiped. I did watch the New York City Marathon and tracked my athletes both there and at other races. Whenever the newborn phase is tiring, I remind myself that a year from now, I’ll be training for a marathon and dealing with a different, more welcome type of fatigue.
How was your week of running?