It’s been awhile since I’ve shared a running update, so I figured today would be a wonderful day to discuss my current relationship with the sport.
Here’s the lowdown on my running life in a bullet point list:
- I used to run a lot.
- I got pregnant, couldn’t comfortably run, and instead WROTE about running a lot.
- My daughter was born last February.
- From April 2015 until now I have worked really hard to return to my former running speed.
- Today: I feel like I have made a complete running comeback.
Challenges and setbacks
Challenge #1: I’m not going to lie, I gained 45 pounds when I was pregnant. Ok, if you really need to know, I gained exactly 47 pounds.
Luckily, I lost a lot of pregnancy weight relatively quickly. Not all of it, but enough that I thought I could return to running within a matter of weeks after delivering a baby. I had (wrongly) assured myself that being close to my pre-pregnancy weight meant that I could return to running far distances at my pre-pregnancy speed.
Challenge #2: I’m an idiot. My idiot confession: The first week that I returned to running I tried to run fast. Like, I may have done a 2 mile time trial just to see how fast I could go…maybe. I might have even done this more than once.
Cue setback #1…
Setback #1: So, did you know that losing nearly 45 pounds in a month and then running 2 miles as fast as you can for five days in a row is really bad for your knees? It is. Really bad. If I had to guess, I would say that doing something this idiotic would probably make your knees hurt worse than the pain of giving birth. I would predict that an injury like this might even hold you back from running for an entire extra month. Maybe. It’s hard to say.
Challenge #3: Figuring out how to run with a baby was tough. (I have always been a lone runner.) Thankfully, I think we have finally figured out how to run together. Three cheers for teamwork! Hip Hip Hooray!
Additional Challenges and Setbacks:
- Pushing a jogging stroller on a dirt road.
- Jogging strollers are heavy!
- Everything else about jogging strollers.
- I was in terrible shape after being inactive for 9+ months. (For me, physical activity and pregnancy didn’t mix).
- I was sleep deprived from February thru July
The good news
- I did it!!!
- Seriously, I’m pretty proud of myself.
Returning to running has been hard work!
Am I running 40 miles per week at a 7:45 minute per mile pace? Heck no.
Am I averaging 20-30 miles per week at paces ranging anywhere from seven minute miles to eleven minute and thirty second miles? Yep.
Am I happy? Definitely!
My knees feel good, I feel fit, and I (plus my baby) are hitting the roads (and treadmill) regularly for some good old-fashioned running!
So, that’s what I wanted to share today. The gist in one sentence: I was pregnant, I had a baby, and for 11 months I have been successfully conquering challenges to return to running!
I have plans to share more posts about running in the near future. Have a question about running or making a running comeback? Please ask!
Meanwhile, I want to know: Have you ever taken an extended leave from running? What challenges did you have to overcome and what helped you make a comeback?
Happy running and…