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.]
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.
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?