Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Returning to Running Post Baby

Getting back into running post pregnancy has been difficult.  I wish that I could say that I was running throughout my entire pregnancy, even on the day I gave birth, and then the day after I gave birth to my daughter I was back out running the streets.  My journey has been completely different.

As previously mentioned, I had all day and all night morning sickness, followed by a virus and then cracked ribs.  Thanks to this run of bad luck I was unable to exercise properly until I was 16 weeks pregnant and, consequently, I had lost a lot of cardio fitness.  When you are pregnant you are not allowed to get your heart rate above a certain level as it can cause the baby distress.  As I was so unfit it was so easy for me to reach that level, so most cardio became frustrating.  Instead, I decided to do weights at the gym 3-4 days a week.

Once I had given birth to Katelyn I was desperate to get back out there.  Since I had had a cesarean I had to take my time.  I started with some gentle walking around my neighbourhood and on the treadmill and I slowly increased my distance.

At my 6 week check up my obstetrician gave me the all clear to resume exercise.  I remember driving home, putting Katelyn straight to bed and jumping on the treadmill.  I ran 1km and I have to say that it was bloody hard!  My cardio fitness was pretty much at zero.  My body had changed whilst pregnant and running just felt different.  It was like my hips were wider and my feet were landing on the ground all different.  And finally, I could feel where my abdominal muscles had been cut open and stitched together.  I had to remember that I had had serious abdominal surgery and it was really going to take some time to get back to normal.

I wanted to get moving but I knew that I had to take it easy, so I decided to walk.  And boy did I walk!  I would get on my treadmill and walk.  I would go outside and walk.  Every now and then I would throw in a run.  It wasn't too serious but I was moving.  I did this for months, until Melbourne's summer disappeared and winter started to appear.  It got cold, darker in the evenings and all I wanted to do was stay inside.

Then, a couple of months ago, I had this desire to run again.  I really started to miss it.  I craved that runner's high!  But the thought of running on the treadmill every day was so unappealing.  I knew what I had to do.  I needed a running pram.  At that time I started part-time work again, so with my first pay cheque I went to Baby Bunting and put a Baby Jogger Summit X3 on layby.

A month later I picked up my running pram.  I was really nervous using my pram at first.  I had read of other running bloggers who had injured themselves with a running pram.  My body was feeling good and the last thing I wanted was another back injury.  I read numerous articles on the internet about pram running form.  I joined a pram running Facebook group and read every single question and answer that was posted.

My first run with the pram was hard and the next day my body was sore as I had used so many muscles I didn't know existed, even in my upper body.  But I keep persisting, the sore muscles went away and thankfully there were no injuries.  My osteopath also advised me that running with a pram was probably the best thing I could do for my glutes, which have a tendancy to be lazy and switch off when I run, which then causes problems with my back.

As time has gone on I have increased my amount of running throughout the week.  My love for running had really returned. I couldn't stop thinking about running.  It made me happy again.  I also signed up for a fun run, which has really motivated me to continue running.

But of course this journey is not over.  My goal is to get myself back to running my previous times and distances.

I will keep you posted!

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