The First Run. Post Pregnancy.
(I know… a selfie, but I had to get a picture before my first time back in the gym!)
It was one of the best and worst runs I have ever had. The first run after giving birth.
I had been running throughout my whole pregnancy and had been feeling great. I definitely slowed down with each month that passed but I was okay with that. I got slower, took more walk breaks, and decreased my mileage but I was still running.
I called my doctor at 4 weeks to see if I could be cleared for exercise. I was told that typically you need to wait until 6 weeks but since I had been exercising and had no complications, she was okay with me exercising again this soon. I was so excited to hear this!
Although I have been exhausted, I was really excited to go for a run. It’s the way I relieve my stress so I couldn’t wait to get out there. Plus you actually get more energy from exercise.
I did my first run in the gym on the treadmill because I wasn’t sure how it was going to go. My plan is to start back running by going backwards. What I mean by this is starting where I left off when I was at the end of my pregnancy and working back to how I was doing at the beginning. I will do this in a shorter time frame though, not 9 months.
So this means I started back doing 2 miles and taking a break every ½ mile. I started at the same speed I did on my last run before labor. I wanted to do this to prevent injury and also take it slow to see how I felt. I did a 5 minute warm-up of just walking on the treadmill.
When I started running (more like a jog), it felt very… weird. I don’t have the belly anymore and it is a big change to my body. I also had not run in a month so that added to the difficulty. It almost felt like my torso was not there and it was very weak. (This is why those core exercises are so important.)
I felt defeated. I felt slow. I almost felt like just giving up.
I felt disappointment. I actually thought in my head “I’ve run 3 marathons before? How is that possible?! I’m terrible”.
I realized again at that point what pregnancy really does to your body. It’s a major process for your body to go through.
But then I realized I also felt so good and proud of myself. I was able to run and do something I love.
I know this will be a journey for me. I once injured my IT bands and it took about 2 ½ months for me to run again. This will be a similar process. It will take work and I will have to be patient (something my daughter is teaching me a lot about)! I will work on strengthening my core and running a little further and faster with each week.
I understand why there are so many new moms out there who don’t exercise or just give up on it. It’s hard and it takes work to get back to where you were. I get it.
The time will come when running feels back to normal though. So to any other new moms out there trying to get back into exercise, don’t get discouraged. Our bodies have to recover and it will get easier.
It will happen.
I look forward to when I run another race and get to greet my daughter and husband at the finish line. That is a moment I can’t wait for.
I want to encourage you to follow along in my health journey through what I learn and experience. I hope there is something you can take away from Fit Busy Female that inspires you to start taking control of your health and feeling better every day.