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Getting My Groove Back

By Naomi Odes |

running feetReading Emily Malone’s post on Being Pregnant “Accepting That I Am Not A Pregnant Runner.” really resonated with me. Not that I am anything close to a marathon runner, but it was nice to read that even marathon runners can’t always run when pregnant.

Let me back up. As a youth, I was not so athletic. Memories of being last picked in gym class are abundant, as well as nightmares of being pelted with a ball during Bombardment, a hideous game no one could pronounce, that surely is not allowed in schools today.

I’m proud to admit that as an adult, while I am certainly not good at any ‘sport’ per se, I am far more physically active and interested in fitness. I’ve been doing yoga for almost twenty years, and I have done a large amount of cardiovascular activity, including running at several different times in my life.

The last time I was seriously running (I mean serious for me, no marathon training or anything, just regular jogs several times a week), was when I was in between pregnancies. I started slowly with the couch to 5K plan and finally got my time up to the fastest I’ve ever run a 5K. (Still not fast enough to admit in a public forum). Regardless, I was really enjoying my running up until the time I got pregnant with Fuzz. It became a sort of meditation for me, and also, my only alone time all day. It was empowering.

I had some delusions that I would still be able to run through my pregnancy, or at least for part of it, if I slowed down a bit.

Well, that halted when at about six weeks pregnant I got so physically tired and ill that I was unable to make it 5 minutes without stopping. So, I curbed the running for the duration of my pregnancy, I was bummed, but I couldn’t WAIT to get started again afterwards.

Of course, I wanted to be physically well enough to start without injuring myself, and I had a c-section, so I waited until about 2 or 3 months post partum to begin.

I have to admit, even with the waiting, it’s been a lot rougher this time around. I’ve had a lot of false starts, and sometimes a week or two goes by without a run. I just can’t seem to go as fast or as long as I was going before.  Also, I don’t always get to run alone anymore. I now use the jogging stroller for most runs and only once a week do I get a solo run.

However, I think I just started getting into a groove and I finally finally got to 5K this week.
Am I depressed because my time is a whole lot slower than my fastest time only 20 months ago? Very much so.

But guess what? I’m confident I will improve by that time and it will get easier. Things could be worse. I think about the fact that I didn’t start running after my first pregnancy until Shnook was 10 months-old. Now Fuzz is almost 10 months and I did run 5K (even if a whole lot slower than before). So I’m going to keep plugging away, because the whole point of this running thing is that I like doing it. It’s not about weight loss (although this is a benefit), but more about feeling good about attaining a goal, and there is something to be said for that runner’s high. I’ve only experienced it a few times, but I hope it becomes a regular thing for me.

Did you run during your pregnancy? Have you been able to resume your exercise regimen post baby?

Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jordanfischer/

Why I Hated My Pregnant Body (and how I came to love it!)

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About Naomi Odes

naomi

Naomi Odes

Naomi Odes Aytur is a blogger who's contributed on the parenting channel of Babble. She chronicles her experiences of being a new mom on her personal website, I Am Still Awake. Read bio and latest posts → Read Naomi's latest posts →

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9 thoughts on “Getting My Groove Back

  1. Katy E says:

    There’s a couch to 10K bridge app for iphone, if you want a challenge!

  2. EmilyBMalone says:

    I started with the Couch to the 5K too! Getting back into running after pregnancy is one of my worries as well, but you give me hope that while it may be difficult, it is most definitely possible!

    1. Naomi says:

      @Katy E- Thanks! I’m more than challenged as it is, but will keep that in mind for when I reach the next level!

      @Emily- Thanks so much for reading and it’s good to know you also started with C25K! Yes, possible, but very very slow! (for me)

      @Jacqueline – I definitely think it has been much harder after the second one for all the reasons you mention, but yes, it has to be a priority, which is why I’m running with the stroller- if I can’t run alone, at least I still get to run! Will check out your blog, too!

  3. Jacqueline says:

    I did run through both of my pregnancies — and got much, much faster after my first pregnancy. Pregnancy = blood doping, baby!

    Cut yourself some slack, though. Those first few post-partum runs were so slow that my friend WALKED next to me. ;-)

    And I definitely gave myself some leeway after my second baby was born, and came back to running more carefully. Finding the time has been the biggest challenge, but I think it’s important to make it a priority — as part of my own sanity — but also be flexible enough to know when I just need a day off after a night with a restless baby.

    Jacqueline
    http://jackandviv.wordpress.com/

  4. Finney says:

    Great job getting back into it! I was a life-long runner until I got pregnant, and due to some things that happened during the birth I’m no longer able to run. I can do the elliptical machine at the gym, but that’s about it. I SO miss running. Go do a mile for me, and have fun! :)

  5. Meagan says:

    I managed to do some working out during the second trimester, and a little of the first trimester. This is probably because I defined “working out” as sitting on a recumbant bike, watching x-files, and moving my legs just enough to get my heart rate up to a hundred. Sometimes I’d watch the office or scrubs for variety… this is known as “cross training.”

  6. Naomi says:

    @Meagan-Ha!!

  7. Lauren says:

    Getting back into running can be so hard! Just keep telling yourself: I did this before, I can do it again. Before you were just experimenting, trying to push and see how far you could go… now you know you can do it, and once you get back to your old form again, you get all the fun of experimenting and pushing again. Keep trucking!

    1. Naomi says:

      Thanks @Lauren!

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