Illegal Running

I’ve written a lot about how I’ve surprised myself by not having a strong desire to get back to running right away since Henry was born a month ago. Well, I guess I spoke too soon because I’ve since completed two highly illegal runs.

Illegal because I really shouldn’t be running yet. But I wanted to! [Whine, whine, insert two year old voice here.]

About to head out for my first post-baby run!

My first run was on Tuesday when the SNOWpocalypse hit New York. It was too snowy to go for my normal daily walk so I was restless. I figured I would take advantage of the fact that my mom was visiting (she had some time off work) since who knows how long it will be before I can get runs in between the hours of 7 am and 7 pm for a long, long time. I rushed to the gym after nursing and pumping and trying to time Henry’s nap perfectly (this took way more time than the actual run, of course).  I ran one mile on the treadmill.

The Good: My boobs didn’t hurt! This was my first run while breastfeeding so I didn’t know what to expect. I used Soothies gel pads and a regular sports bra.

The Bad: It was a bit harder than I imagined in my return to running dreams. It makes sense, since I haven’t regularly run since July but I was hoping keeping up aerobic fitness through Spin class and the elliptical machine up to my delivery would have helped. It was somewhat hard to run a 9 minute mile. I guess I’ll have a lot of work to do to get back to where I was, but that’s okay.

The Ugly: I ran until I started feeling some weakness in my pelvic floor. I promised myself I wouldn’t run past that point.

My second run was Friday. Again my mom was over so I thought, why not…I had slept somewhat okay the night before and I just wanted to be outside in the November night with headphones. I ran two miles, not sure how slow, but probably pretty slow. Felt good.

Both times Henry was already fussing by the time I got home. Although running in the evenings is better for my boobs it’s worse for Henry…he is very fussy then and liable to be up and wanting to nurse at any given second. I couldn’t even get away for literally twenty minutes without knowing he might be crying for me, even though he was full and sleeping when I left. I think it’s because of whatever is going on with his reflux/gas/milk intolerance problems that I’ve yet to diagnose.

Since the second run, I’ve felt my pelvic floor problems feel a bit worse again. So no more running until I feel symptom free for a couple of weeks at least. And until I check in for my six week postpartum visit.

This is the cutiepie who can't live without my boobs for more than ten seconds.

Too bad. I feel that itch returning…but I know it’s not going to be as simple as waking up early and heading out into the dark, or packing up a toddler for the gym day care and hitting the treadmill for a long time. I have to worry about sleeping at night, nursing, how to leave the baby, and my body’s long-term health for the foreseeable future. I’m trying to be patient.

If you returned to running or exercise soon after a baby, how did you do it? I’m really interested in hearing the logistics of how other women make it work: how do you time nursing, naps, pumping, time of day, child care, bottles, sleeping and being tired from night wakings with your workouts?

3 Comments

Filed under Pregnancy and Post Partum Fitness, Running and Racing

3 Responses to Illegal Running

  1. Well, you know my whole pelvic floor story and my return to running…. The killer is that the last week or so Jack has totally settled into a schedule and I have time and energy to run! I’ve worked pretty hard to get Jack on a three hour schedule of eating, waking, sleeping per “The Baby Whisperer” method. It worked really well with Sophia, but I didn’t start with her until 8 weeks or so. With Jack we started right from the get go and it has paid off. He’s now going down at 7 or 8pm, feeds at 10 right before I go to bed and then wakes between 1-2am and then 5am. He’s been doing this for a week now. Just this week I tried an early morning workout after the 5am feed. It was brutal at first, but so nice to have it done and out of the way , but I was wiped out by 3pm. Once I can run, I’ll probably do the early morning run a few times a week or run during Sophia and Jack’s afternoon nap on the treadmill that my husband recently bought for me:-) The tough part will be longer runs, when I get to that point. With Sophia I would feed her, pump so I was completely empty, leave a bottle for my husband to give her and head out the door. Hopefully I’ll be doing the same with Jack soon.

    • admin

      That’s awesome that Jack is on a schedule. But if you feel energized on that little sleep, think how amazing you’ll feel with a solid five, six, seven hours!
      I’ve never had luck getting my babies on schedules, at least not until they are four or five months old. It’d be nice in so many ways, but they never conform to the “rules” so I ended up getting more stressed out than if I just go with the flow. Plus, Henry is sleeping great for his age at night, so I’m happy to deal with catnaps and constant nursing in the day if it means stretches of 9 p.m. to 3 a.m.!
      Have you tried letting Jack nurse like crazy from 5 p.m. onwards? Henry cluster feeds for hours before his long night sleep…like literally 5 to 8 or 9 straight! It’s worth a try, if you haven’t already. It just makes cooking dinner hard!!

  2. With my first, I went back to running on the day of my 6 week check up, as soon as I got home :) I ran and nursed for 3 months and I remember it sucking a lot. I’m hoping it’s better this time. No reason to hope that, I guess I just like to lie to myself haha.

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