Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Running after pregnancy-my story **

For a while now I have been a runner who doesn't actually run much. My mind still thinks like a runner, but my body hasn't been moving like a runner. I've done a few races that were challenging and fun, but my training was remarkably lax. I have an assortment of reasons and a list of excuses.

Jim's work schedule is extremely unpredictable.
Baby's sleeping is extremely unpredictable-or predictably not great. (I love him so I'm being kind)
Four kids' schedules.
Winter from hell.
No treadmill.
Breastfeeding supply issues when I added too many miles.

Excuses-you will notice a sleep deprivation theme:
Too tired.
Not enough time.
Mama's boy will cry the whole time I'm gone. (I have a jogging stroller)
If I sweat I'll have to shower. (lazy, but sadly true)
I can't wake up earlier than the baby. (this is tricky, but I can make it happen.)
I'm too tired at the end of the day.

Asher is eleven months old today and I have been spending a fair share of time looking back over these past eleven months. Truthfully, most of it is a giant blur. I have no idea what we gave anyone for Christmas. I am pretty sure I missed some friend's and family member's birthdays. I was less of a friend than I should have been. It's been a wild, fantastic, exhausting ride that I'd do again a million times. But wow. Nutso. Running didn't exactly take a back seat because we weren't even in the same vehicle.

I remember a sensation of constant motion. Of too much going on around me and not enough of me. It was nothing specific I could put my finger on at the time, but looking back I feel a sense of blurred vision and wheels spinning in mud. Keep baby sleeping. Teach the big kids. Naptime. Feed people. Nurse baby. Teach. Snuggle. Plan. School. Feed. NurseBounceBabyPlayCatchDriveToDancePianoBasketballFeedPeople. Try to grab some sleep.

I have been frustrated with myself. I kept running and stayed very active throughout this pregnancy. I assumed I'd have the baby and get right back to it. Running. Strength training. Races. I'd be all in. I follow running sites on Facebook and read running blogs and it seemed that they delivered a baby and got back to serious running very quickly. I wanted that, too, and I figured if they could, I should be able to as well.
running with my baby bump-photo courtesy of Photography by Emily Marie

taking my little baby bump (around 22 weeks pregnant) to the mountains of SC

But I couldn't. In reality, it was much easier for me to recover from a torn ACL than get my running mojo back after pregnancy. I was physically exhausted. Emotionally drained. Time starved. I felt guilty for leaving all four kids with other people. I put running and fitness way down at the bottom of my long list of things to do, basically ensuring that they never happened.
back from a Moms on the Run workout on my due date

hiking with kids at around 37 weeks pregnant
Eventually I just decided to give myself the grace to trust I would get back to it when I was ready. I expect a lifetime of fitness so I figured that taking a hiatus from more strenuous activity wouldn't be the end of the world. It was not an overnight realization, but it was a healthy realization and relieved a lot of pressure I'd placed on myself.

I'm here to say I was right. I woke up a few days ago and I want to run more. (I am still nursing Asher so I will do it gently and wisely to keep both of us happy.) I need to carve a space out of my day for running and strength training. My body craves it. My mind desires it. I want time with my running shoes and my thoughts, time with my running friends and a long stretch of road.

Watch out, world. I'm ready to run again.


**This is not about weight loss. This is about feeling great and clearing my mind and feeling strong and having all of those positive feelings affect all other facets of my life.

What do you do for you that makes you a better person, mom, friend, spouse?


  1. Wow! The fact that you went running ON YOUR DUE DATE is just amazing to me!!

  2. Lovely post and I could relate to every word. I always felt an urgency to return to harder workouts/running and it never worked well. I love the idea of moms "giving themselves grace" to trust in where they are and be in the moment.