Postpartum Running: It’s not as easy as I thought.

Hi everyone – Happy New Year! I’m sorry for such a long break – I don’t know where the last 8 weeks went. Though they did include Christmas and a whirlwind trip to Sydney, so maybe it’s not surprising after all.

 

Before the  unplanned break, I had all kinds of topics in my mind to write about. The longer the break went on, and the more I thought ‘I really want to get back to the blog soon’, the more I realised I just wanted to write about how I’m finding my training. I hope I’m not the kind of blog that paints rainbows when the reality is more cloudy, but I would like to be completely honest about how things are going.

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In November, I wrote that I wanted to run 10k regularly by Christmas. And…… that hasn’t happened! I came close – I could do 8k, but the reality is that training with a baby is much harder than I had anticipated. Before I could run whenever I had a spare hour, but that’s not possible now for a number of reasons, including feeding times, weather, nap times, whether it’s dark/light, and what else needs to be done for life in general. Where as previously running could be my only priority, suddenly it has to be 5th or 6th on the list.

 

At the end of last year, I was running a 6min kilometre with the running buggy, and a 5:20 kilometre at the gym. I aimed to get to the gym twice a week, and where I’d run 6k as well as doing light weights if I had time. I was pretty pleased with how this was going.

 

However, then the baby was sick, and things went off the rails. Then it was Christmas, then it was Sydney, where it poured with rain for a whole week. My Sydney running plans went out the window! The one run I did manage was at a pace of 6mins/km, which included some serious hills and humidity, so again I wasn’t discouraged.

Hills never look as steep in photos!

Hills never look as steep in photos!

SB and I went on a run with Baby B once we returned from Sydney, and our pace with the buggy was 7min/km. So… Christmas had been good! 😉 However, that was when I started to feel a little down about it all. I worked so hard to maintain throughout my pregnancy, and started off strong once I could postpartum. But now its 3 degrees outside, it gets dark at 4pm and light at 8am, and it’s not fair to take the baby out unless circumstances are just right. I’ve only done 2 runs in 2016 so far, and my gym membership is still on hold until the end of January from being in Sydney.

 

I know I should be patient, and I know that I’m still doing ok in the wider scheme of it all. But London is approaching quickly – there are 13 weeks to go – and my marathon training hasn’t even begun yet. I so desperately want to run it, but finding a chunk where I could run for 20 miles seems ridiculous now. Anyway, can I even run 20 miles anymore?!

 

I guess what I’m drawing from all of this is that I need to be a lot more patient than I’d thought, and to keep my head up when it feels like I’m going nowhere. The steps forward may be smaller, and slower, but I hope I’m still moving forwards.

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And so. That’s where we are today. Next post will have more sunshine in it, but today I wanted to strip back all the gloss. Tomorrow I’m hoping to start my marathon training – cutting straight to week 4 of a beginners program (just to be sure I can do it!), and hopefully I can report back with new stats that are more on track with the end of last year.

 

Ellie B

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