I decided that today was the day to try my first run, 5 weeks 4 days postpartum. I am a rebel, I know, not waiting the full six weeks. Close enough. I will start by saying that I have been walking briskly with the stroller almost every single day since day nine, so it’s not like I have been doing nothing, but I was still a little nervous about my first run.
I had to look back at my logs to see that my last real run was on February 27th on the treadmill. By far the longest I have ever gone without running since 2003 when I started running marathons. While on our walk yesterday, I did throw in two 5 min jogs just because I felt like it. I know you are not supposed to run with babies in the stroller until they have head control, but I was on a smooth road and Kai was in his infant seat right in front of me so I could see that his head was not bouncing and he was just fine. Let’s just say those little 5 min jogs were a rude awakening. I think I MIGHT have approached an 11 min mile pace at one point. I also realized that my target sports bras were in no way going to cut it for actual running. Ouch.
I was excited to get out today sans stroller and with my new big girl sports bra to see how things felt. I charged up my Garmin and my iPod in preparation, and I was ready to hit the road. I had a goal of three miles in my head, but knew I would have to listen to my body and adjust plans accordingly. I took off down the road and within the first two minutes I got an amazing runners high. I was smiling ear to ear because I was just so happy to be running again. This feeling lasted approximately 24 seconds, and then my body realized what was happening. Oh man it was hard. I hit the first mile in 9:53 and was thrilled with a sub-10 min pace. Then things got rough. Mile 2 was 10:36. My legs were heavy, my lungs started to burn. See also: thigh chafing. Mental note: body glide. On the way back I thought I was going to have to walk up the small hill in mile 3, but I shuffled along and completed the final mile in 10:56. Nothing like running each mile slower than the last. My average pace was 10:29, so that shall be my starting point moving forward.
Four hours later I am already sore. Where am I sore you might wonder? A little in my legs maybe, yes, but I am mostly sore in my ribs (??). And my back. Hello no core strength. I am making sure to hydrate like a champ and am going to focus on eating like a champ as well. I read that when some women who are nursing start exercising more, their milk supply drops due to not consuming enough calories or not staying properly hydrated. Kai loves to eat (a lot), so I am going to try and make sure that doesn’t happen.
For now my goal will be to build back some consistency with running, which will not be easy while Steve is still training for Ironman (two more weeks!). I am probably going to have to resort to some treadmill time and hope that Kai doesn’t mind playing on his activity mat while mom runs, and I will get outside whenever I can when Steve is home. I know it is going to take some time before running feels good again and I can run under 10 minute pace, but I will think of it as a good challenge. As for my run today, three miles never felt so awful and so good all at the same time 🙂