Sunday, September 11, 2011

Starting again

When Sophia was born via c-section, my doctors told me I had to wait six weeks to begin running again. Torture! For me, running = mental health, and when I finally started up again those raging postpartum hormones didn't bother me so much.

This time around I was looking forward to starting back up whenever I felt up to it . . . the benefit of a natural birth, right?

Except that I traded abdominal stitches for stitches . . . *ahem* . . . elsewhere. And was banned by my midwives from running for six weeks.


But now I'm back! I cheated a little bit and started running last Saturday, when Jude was five and a half weeks old.

My first run was great.

Well, let me ammend that . . . the first few steps felt amazing and the rest of it felt like my lungs had never actually had to breathe before. I got thru two miles, but shudder to think of what I looked like. I kept trying to correct my posture, because I could feel my shoulders creeping up, up, up . . . John and I have been joking about my shoulders being what I am wearing for earrings these days from holding Jude so much. I was also crawling along at tortoise pace, and it was not a pace that would've had a chance of beating Aesop's hare. To top it all off, my shorts fit me in a whole new way (which is to say that they didn't fit at all), and insisted on creeping up for the whole run. I finally gave up on trying to keep them down. My only brag is that I didn't walk at all.

First run = gasping hunched tortoise with bunchy creeping shorts.

Second run . . . infinitely improved by the fact that I wore workout capris that I had bought when in my third trimester with Sophia. I also had my two nephews with me, who at eight and ten years old are both currently faster than I am. I made them run behind me, obviously for safety reasons. And when I say safety, I mean so that I could set the tempo and not die running at their faster pace.

Because R & G were running with me, I had no choice but to run the entire distance, and even threw a bit of conversation their way to pretend I was not DYING the whole time. And then on the way back I had them do a bit of a speed workout, so that helped distract me from the pain. The problem was still not my legs but my lungs. No more creeping shorts, but gasping hunched tortoise was still present.

Third run . . . felt great! Legitimately great. I could breathe . . . never realized how important that was before. My nephew R was running with me, but I didn't have to keep up such a good front as I really did feel good. That is, until I looked at my watch at the turnaround point.

You see, one thing I did right on runs #1 and #2 was to take my watch off so that I wouldn't know just how slowly I was running. Run #3 I forgot, so was still wearing it and happened to glance at it when we left my sister's house. I thought briefly of leaving it there, but then decided it wouldn't hurt to see what my pace was.

Um, bad idea.

My pace was slow. Slower than slow. More like sludging thru mud three feet deep slow. I am not going to say what it was, for multiple reasons. Mainly, it's embarrassing. I ran three miles in 26 minutes while six months pregnant with Jude. I have slowed considerably. Some people would think my pace slow, some would think it decent, and some might even think it was fast. But what really matters? What I think, and what I think is . . . I need to kick it into gear before my first race back on October 29th!

Onto yesterday's run, run #4. This time I was running by myself, and definitely remembered to take my watch off. I headed out the door determined to enjoy myself. And I did. It was a beautiful day, about 60 degrees with the sun shining . . . ideal for running. Plus, I knew I looked cute in my running skirt and red tank. That always helps my mental game. Silly, I know.

The thing is, I really am a social runner. I so rarely have anyone to run with, but after just two runs with my nephews, I had gotten used to having someone else with me. Having someone else along means one thing for sure . . . no walking.

Now I had to get back into self-motivating. Tough to do when the only sounds you hear are the thud of your feet on pavement and your very raspy breathing.

By the time I was headed back to the house, I REALLY wanted to walk. I was tired.

So I decided to have R come with me for the rest of my run. (Still not sure if I was being creative or delusional . . .) As I turned onto Dennison Street, I could hear his feet pounding along behind me. And when I made my next turn onto Gamage, every breath he made said "Don't quit, don't walk, don't stop!"

Didn't want to lose face in front of the "nephew," so I kept running all the way home. For the rest of that run, Phantom R kept me going. Of course, the reason R wasn't actually running with me was that he was busy running a race, the final 5K of the Triple Crown here in Auburn. And winning his age group in 24 minutes and 20 seconds! (Yes, much faster than me right now.)

I may joke about being a gasping hunched tortoise with bunchy creeping shorts, but in reality I am so excited to be running again that I can put up with looking/feeling slow and ridiculous in the short term . . . I have plans for the long term, and they include kicking my previous personal record in the butt next summer. So this tortoise is going to keep on crawling along, because there is really nowhere to go from here but up!


Earlybirdmom said...

That was an amazingly funny post! You are a riot, Laurel! As long as you can keep laughing you're doing AOK.

Beth said...

I like the term "bunchy creepy shorts" or whatever you said. Awesome.

Kudos to you for getting back out there. And a 26 minute, 3 mile run, at 6 months pregnant? Sheesh! I ran 3.1 on the treadmill in about 26 minutes the other day and I felt like it was my best effort. And I've been back into running since March! You will get back there, I promise. Lock in that determination, keep running withOUT that watch, and get out there every chance you get. Allow yourself to walk if you need to, or stop before you intended to, for a few weeks. It's not just "mind over matter" anymore - sometimes you need to ease back in. But you WILL get there, I promise!!

Hugs to you! We need to talk soon. :)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...