Its been 5 weeks since I was told I needed to stop running and 4 weeks since I was admitted to the hospital to be induced. I will admit, that one of my biggest concerns going into labour was “when would I be able to run again?” I know, that’s a bit selfish. But, running is part of my identity. I don’t plan on losing that piece of me now that I am a mom. I need it for my health, sanity and well-being. My husband if 100% behind me running and working out again as soon as possible post-partum, however, he was nervous because he didn’t want me to go out there too soon and do something detrimental to my body. Fair enough.
When we took Andy to his first doctor’s appointment on October 25th, Dan wanted to talk with him about when I would be able to start running again. Dr. Galbraith is not only Andy’s doctor but mine as well. He is also has a sports medicine clinic here in Lethbridge. He is well aware of my running background and what I did as far as exercise during my pregnancy. After talking with Dr. Galbraith, he informed us that it would be safe for me to go out and run after 2-3 weeks from the date of delivery. This obviously is not the same for everyone who just had a baby. He took into account my previous running experience before being pregnant, how active I was during the pregnancy, and any trauma my body may have went through during the actual labour and delivery. My labour was painful as hell due to being induced, but my delivery went very smooth. He made it key that I needed to listen to my body when I start running again, which was something I was doing all throughout the pregnancy. I was very happy to hear this from the doctor, and it was enough information for my husband to feel confident that I would not be doing harm to my body once I started working out.
On November 1st, I ran my first single mile since week 37. I felt great out there. I was cautious with my running, did not overdo myself, and was listening to the changes my body had taken. This was just the start of the next chapter in my life as a ‘mother runner.’
My plan for the rest of 2017 is simple: For November, I will be running 4 days a week. Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Saturday. The distances on those days are not set in stone. They will often be between 1-3 mile runs, working up to maybe a 4 miler by the end of the month. I will go to Runners Soul Run Club on the Wednesday nights it is offered and do their route. I also registered for my first post-pregnancy race on Saturday, November 18th—The Claus Cause 5km. I am also adding in other components to my exercise regime on the days I am not running. On Tuesday & Thursday, I will be attending Kinetic Fitness and taking the Baby Mama Boot Camp class, which I can take Andy to! It is a great way to meet other mom’s and get a great workout in. And on Fridays, I will attend the free Kinetic-On-The-Go HIGH Fitness class that they hold in the morning. I can also bring Andy to this one, as it is in the gym of an LDS church and kids are welcome.
Every day has some form of exercise scheduled in, with also room for walks (weather permitting). Having three fitness activities that I can bring Andy along with is key, as it gets us out of the house! And being able to run those 4 days a week helps get me back at building a base. In December, I will continue the classes at Kinetic but I also plan on participating in Runners Soul Run Streak, where you commit to run at least 1 mile a day each day for the whole month. There are prizes each day, so there is that extrinsic motivation. I also hoped to get on at least one 6 mile training run before the end of the year. Once 2018 rolls around, Half Marathon Club begins and training for local 10km, 10 miler and the RunDisney Star Wars Half begins!
I think it’s safe to say all new mom’s long to get their bodies back to where they were before being pregnant. Yes, I am one of those mom’s. But, more so than worrying about a number on the scale, I long to get myself back into the running shape I was in before. I know it will take some time, and I also know it’ll take some work. But it is important to me to get back to the level I was at pre-baby—I worked so hard to get to that point that I don’t want it to just be a distant memory. I hope in the near future to re-qualify for the Boston Marathon…that will be the true signifier that I’ve done it. But until then, I will put in the time and try not to get frustrated if it takes a bit longer than I hoped.