But Really, Have You Been Running?

7.22.2015

Other than "how are you feeling?" the main question people keep asking me is if I've been running, and it honestly hasn’t gotten annoying. I’m glad that people know I love to run and want to ask me about it. 

That said, for the last 10+ weeks my answer has been no, I haven’t been running. Cue sad face.

I figured some of you might be interested in where I’m at with running, when and why I stopped, and if/when I plan to start up again, so here’s a quick update.

I found out I was pregnant at 6ish weeks and ran until about 24 weeks. I did two half marathons (10 weeks and 18 weeks), both of which I had signed up for before I knew I was pregnant. Up until 24 weeks, I was running 2-3 miles 2-3 times a week. My times were getting slower, but I was doing it!

Until one day, I stopped running and haven’t gone since.

Nothing happened to make me stop. I didn’t hurt myself or have my doctor caution me against it. But two things happened at the same time that basically ended it for me:

  1. It started to get hot
  2. We started packing to move
Those two things combined to equal me not having any extra energy to run. I was working on some freelance editing projects, so I was getting up early before work to edit. Then I was at work all day. Then when I got home, it was hot and we were in the throes of packing our apartment to move to our new house. 

Packing isn’t fun anyway, but packing while pregnant is no joke! I used up all my energy taping boxes and going through piles of crap and taking things out to my car to drive over to the house, and I didn’t have anything left for running. So that’s why I stopped, and I just never started again.

I always wanted to be one of those women who ran into their third trimester or did yoga or went to spin class through 35 weeks or whatever, but honestly, this whole pregnancy thing is hard, and right now my feet are propped up because they're swollen to twice their size. Working out just isn't a thing for me right now, and I'm okay with it.

I obviously have no idea how labor and delivery will go. Some people seem to rebound quickly while others have more traumatic experiences that take time to heal. I hope to be the former, but you just never know.

That said, my goal is to get back to running as soon as I can! I have a jogging stroller out of its box and ready to go, and I have really been missing running over these past weeks, especially when one of my running songs comes on the radio or it’s that perfect running temperature (which, okay rarely slash never happens because hello it’s summer in Oklahoma and as hot as the devil’s lair).

My plan for my triumphant comeback is this: I WILL be signing up for the Oklahoma City Memorial Race as half marathon #10. The race is at the end of April every year, which gives me 8 months to get ready. I realize 8 months is an insanely long amount of time for some people, but I’m just a regular person, not an Olympic athlete or anything. I feel like being in decent shape to run a half marathon 8 months postpartum is a realistic goal for an average person.

Ideally it would be fantastic to run it under 2 hours. My half marathon PR is 1:53, and I had just started training for a sub-1:50 half before I found out about Baby Bum, so I feel like sub-2 isn’t insane. However, I think honestly, just being out there and able to finish 13.1 miles will be a success all of its own, no matter what my time is.

I’m thankful that my family and friends are supportive of my love of running (even if they don’t understand it), and I am excited to be one of those runners I see sometimes who greet their husbands and children at the finish line.

What do you think? Does 8 months sound realistic to you?
Any tips for getting back into running post-baby? 
How about tips for running while pushing a jogging stroller?

30 comments:

  1. Sounds realistic to me but I cannot imagine pushing a baby stroller. Holy work out. That should require it's own training plan right there!

    PS I appreciate your honesty throughout your pregnancy. It helps people like me (who are scared to have kids).

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  2. Wow, I can barely run a mile in my present state (not pregnant), I can't imagine running two marathons while pregnant. Kudos!! I have always said I want to be active while pregnant, but I'm leaning more towards yoga...lol

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    1. Well I ran two half marathons, not full marathons :) I'm not that crazy!

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  3. I think eight months sounds realistic, but remember that you have to be cleared to exercise by your doctor before you can start training!
    I didn't love running with the jogger--it really slowed me down! I had a hand-me-down jogger that was bulky and hard to maneuver. Plus, by the time I started running, Leah was almost 2, and she was very much over the idea of riding in any type of stroller. My runs basically consisted of me stopping every few minutes to pick up whatever "entertainment" (toys, snacks, hats, mittens, etc.) she had thrown out of the thing. It didn't work the greatest.
    But great news! You are going to have a munchkin who will grow up going on runs with her mommy!

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  4. Having a goal race post-birth sounds like fantastic motivation! Baby Bum will have covered so many miles in that jogger by April :)

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  5. 8 months is totally realistic. I signed up for a 5k when I was pregnant, to be run in mid-September. I mean, my baby was due on August 25, and I would TOTALLY be fine to run/walk it! Only I ended up with an unplanned c-section, and didn't get released to walk until the week of the 5k. So...it didn't happen, and I was totally fine with it. :) Eight months, though, gives you plenty of time to get into a routine and head back out running/walking again.

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  6. Thanks for sharing. I have always wondered how this would look for me when I get pregnant too. I'd love to be an active pregnant lady, but my mom had such a tough pregnancy, I'm trying not to plan ahead haha. I'm glad you've been doing what's best for you and I look forward to more running posts after the little one is here :)

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  7. I think 8 months sounds doable. You won't be starting back at zero- your body will remember what it already knows. Just don't push yourself too hard too fast! Your dr will let you know when you're good to be running again. You can just stick to walking(or laying around) before then :)

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  8. I think you are one of the most practical runners I know. Signing up for a race is a great way to get back into it, but giving yourself plenty of time is smart, because you have no idea what your body will be doing after birth. I want to be a stroller race mom one day. What better way to get your exercise in AND set a good example for your kids?!

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  9. i think 8 months sounds very realistic, and honestly i think if it were any less it would be too soon. i am sorry you haven't been running, but i can't imagine how stressful and tiring packing and moving would be while pregnant! i hope labour / recovery / all that jazz goes as smoothly as possible for you. did you get the bob stroller? just curious :)

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  10. Omg are you kidding me. Amanda, please tell me it didn't eat my comment. Spam? Please!

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  11. As a non-runner, I'm blown away that you're aiming to do a half marathon less than a year after having a baby! You're a total rock star. That being said, and based on everyone I know that DOES run, I do think that's realistic and I can't wait to see the blog post where you meet your precious, little family after you cross the finish line!

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  12. I think 8 months is plenty of time for you, because I know that it's important to you. Once you're cleared by your doctor for exercise, then you'll just have to work out a schedule with Jordan on your time to run. Some days you'll be able to take the jogging stroller, but some days you're going to want to go by yourself too!

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  13. So glad you shared this! I stopped running right when I found out I was pregnant because I was sick all day, every day. Now that I'm feeling a bit better (at 24 weeks), it's gotten so hot that I don't last more than a mile or two. I'm excited to get back to it when I can, but just walking for now!

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  14. I obviously have no tips on this, but I'm sending you a big ole "HECK YES you can do it!" from over here. You will totally be able to do that half!

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  15. I'll be running the memorial too! I think you have realistic goals. estherdavison@gmail.com

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  16. you'll rock it 8 months post partum. I had to stop running @ around 24 weeks I think it was due to SPD. But I was able to complete a half marathon 8 weeks after giving birth - it wasn't my best time but just being out there felt great. So you can do it and you will ROCK it!! :) Only tips I have is to take it slow. I HATE running w/ the jogging stroller (Ok I've only done it once but I hear once you get used to it it's fine - apparently I'm just a big baby when it comes to this ha-ha)

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  17. 8 months sounds like a great amount of time. Of course, this is coming from the girl who has never experienced life 8 months post partum, haha! But just from seeing my friends who were determined to exercise after their babies were born, most of them were back to doing their favorite activities by 6 months. Maybe not at the level they did before, but like you said - just running 13.1 miles is a feat in of itself!

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  18. Seems realistic to me!! You'll be greeted at the finish line next April by your little girl. How cool is that??

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  19. You are awesome and I bet you'll make amazing time by April!

    My only tip for getting back into working out post-baby is this: take your time and wait the recommended 6 weeks. I pushed myself too hard too fast after my first baby and it took longer for me to heal. It's sooo hard to wait for that first run (for me, anyway), but the risks (i.e. pelvic organ prolapse) just aren't worth it. The second time around, I just walked a lot and that was better than nothing!

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  20. You can totally do it, you're amazing! Just give yourself plenty of grace as you train and race. :) I've run with a jogging stroller once and hadn't realized what an arm workout it was to keep equal pressure on both sides of the handle, but it wasn't that great of a jogging stroller, so that may have factored in. We haven't purchased a jogging stroller yet, but will once our "Little Smoot" (long story) is SLIGHTLY older. We've read it's wise to wait a certain number of months before running with one since the baby's cranial plates are still soft and can get jostled around. I was a little bummed by that info, but my husband's willing to watch the baby while I run, which made me feel better. I'm SO SO ready to start running again! What jogging stroller do you have? I think my husband's eying the Bob Revolution. Your baby's going to have such an amazing fitness role model and inspiration. :)

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  21. I'm sure you'll have no problem! Your in great shape and sounds like you have a lot of support for your running 'habit!' But....using a jogging stroller can be more difficult than you'd imagine. It's a little unwieldy to begin with, and babies respond differently. I'm assuming most kids enjoy the motion (thankfully my youngest does), but my oldest was a nightmare and screamed the majority of the time...making it much less enjoyable. I've seen now that there are joggers that infant car seats can attach to, otherwise I think you have to wait a little (4 months?) to even put them in the regular joggers. Weather is more of an issue...you might run in rain and cold, but you probably don't want to take an infant. So I'd say be prepared for baby care backup if you are training seriously. I know it doesn't take most people over a decade to get this parenting/working out thing down, but my experience was challenging. Just to shoot it straight from my experience...but I really do want to be encouraging! I'm sure you can accomplish anything you set your mind to!

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  22. I did a 5k at 3.5 mos postpartum, so I totally think your goal is realistic. Granted, I didn't do well. But I did it! Haha

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  23. I often see moms and dad running pushing a jogging stroller, it looks like a lot of fun (although it must be tough on the arms... but that's a good thing, right?). And yay to hal marathon #10!

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  24. I'm no baby mama, but I think you're goals are awesome! I hadn't actually wondered about your running, probably because I was just thinking about how you had been moving. But I'm excited for your come-back-tour!

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  25. I'm not a runner and had a more traumatic recovery, and I think 8 months sounds very realistic. I was out walking with the stroller a month after she was born, and I definitely could've started running a few weeks later. Except I don't run ;) You are a beast, woman.

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  26. dang girl RESPECT! 2-3 miles at 24 weeks is AMAZING! And it's ok that you stopped, enjoy this little break and you will have an amazing comeback :) 8 months does sound realistic and you can totally do it! You obviously already have amazing endurance!

    xo, Candace | Lovely Little Rants

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  27. The fact that you've run at all with another human being inside your body is amazing to me. Not that I have any experience with this whatsoever but 8 months sounds pretty realistic to get yourself ready for the half! And I'd imagine that running with the stroller will make you so much stronger.

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  28. I have no doubt in my mind that you can (and will) do the half. Don't worry about the time right now - the main thing is to get back to what you love! And being greeted by your hubby and baby daughter at the finish line is the best prize ever!

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