Last week’s workouts featured an exciting variety of runs – trails, fartleks, and my longest run since my first trimester. I also recommitted myself to strength training at least twice a week, focusing on core strength.
I have repeated this multiple times over the past four months, but it amazes me how much strength I lost with a C-section. I completed weekly strength training and prenatal Pilates up until 39 weeks pregnant. I made a decent recovery from the C-section – I was walking around the hospital corridor, abdominals supported with a mesh binder, when my daughter was only 24 hours old. But there’s a difference between regaining functional strength and regaining strength to support running.
I did the postpartum ReCore program starting at six weeks postpartum. It helped significantly, but then I slacked off on strength a bit. My go-to exercises felt a bit too challenging over the past couple weeks, and that sensation was discouraging. Then, this week, I ran outside in the snow, and I felt the weaknesses still present in my core and pelvis. Not significant, but certainly not the strength I want to feel for returning to racing this year.
Monday: 3.5 mile trail run
Since Ryan was home for the holiday, I waited until daylight and then bundled up both Ollie and myself. We ran down to the nearby park for what turned out to be both an enjoyable and eventful cross-country run. First, we encountered construction to promote better water drainage – which meant the entry into the park was a wet and muddy mess. Once we passed that, I had to run with a shuffle-like gait (an 11:00/mile!) to avoid wiping out on patches of ice beneath the snow. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t fun; I let Ollie off-leash, and we both soaked in the freedom of running through the snowy grass.
Tuesday: 6 mile easy run & ReCore
I laced up my Saucony Peregrine Ices for a run on snowy roads. I originally contemplated the treadmill, but the appeal of sunshine and fresh air outweighed snowy sidewalks and an 11-degree windchill. After a slow mile over a slippery stretch of sidewalk, I settled into a comfortable stride. I enjoyed this run so much, although I was also sore afterward!
Later in the day, I restarted the sixth week of the first ReCore program for strength training. I did add a kettlebell to the lunges, but other than that, all of the exercises (push-ups, single leg lowers, single leg glute bridges, ab holds, side planks) were bodyweight.
Wednesday: Rest day
We had Isla’s four-month appointment on Tuesday and found out her weight gain was not on track. Despite leaving our pediatrician with a plan, I was stressed and anxious to the point of insomnia. I struggled to sleep throughout most of the night and ended up sleeping in (when I finally did fall asleep). I rested and took the entire day as a mental health day.
Thursday: 55 minute fartlek run
After a good night’s sleep, I felt physically and mentally refreshed. My workout of the week was 5 x 3 minutes hard with 2-minute recovery intervals. It’s one I often prescribe my athletes because it is simple yet challenging. I set the treadmill for 8.2 mph for the first few intervals and then bumped it up to 8.3 mph for the final ones.
Two years ago, I ran a half marathon at that pace. It feels like another life ago, in many ways. And now, that pace feels equivalent to around 5K pace. I’m not where I was, but I am happy with where I am at four months post-C-section – and eager to keep working.
We also visited the pediatrician and found that Isla had already gained a good amount of weight! I felt a huge wave of relief.
Friday: 4 mile run & ReCore/strength training
I perused the iFit on NordicTrack for something short and novel and was delighted when I found a Deschutes River Trail simulation. When Ryan and I visited Bend for skiing, we used to run on that exact trail!
After the run, I completed Recore plus some upper body strength training.
Saturday: 8 mile run
It looked slick and gross outside and I simply didn’t want to deal with thag, so I stuck to the treadmill. A longer run on the treadmill is better than cutting it short outside! I included some inclines and increased the pace every 10 minutes, which made 70 minutes on the treadmill more tolerable.
After a tiring week, I needed an extra day to rest and recover.
How was your week in running?
Do you prefer snowy runs or the treadmill?
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