Making My Postpartum PlansEmily Malone
Throughout the course of my pregnancy, I didn’t really talk much about my plans for getting back into shape afterwards. This is mostly because, similar to my no-plan birth plan, I didn’t really have a plan.
I wanted my first days and weeks with Cullen to be about nothing but motherhood, recovery, and soaking up every minute of his precious face.
I didn’t want to be staring at training schedules, taking measurements, or setting myself up for disappointment with unrealistic expectations. Not knowing what my labor and delivery would bring, I knew that my return to fitness would be very dependent on how things went in the hospital.
I’m not going to go into gory details about the specifics of my recovery here, but my understanding (from childbirth classes) is that most moms end up with 2 to 3 stitches on average. I left the hospital with fifteen. Ouch.
I am feeling better and better each day, and just starting to feel back to normal this week. I’m taking my recovery seriously and listening to my midwives’ advice. I don’t want to jump back into activity too quickly and end up causing a prolonged recovery, and I certainly don’t want to do anything that will inhibit me from taking care of Cullen as best as possible.
Now with all the said, what about when I AM ready to get moving again? In the back of my mind, I have had one far-reaching goal to run the Flying Pig Marathon in May 2012.
I have run this marathon three times before (2008, 2009, and 2010) and it’s my favorite race of all time. In order to train properly, I know I will need to have rebuilt a running base of at least six comfortable miles by January. Now that my recovery is taking a bit longer than expected, I’m not sure if that’s realistic or not. I still have the goal in mind, but I’m also considering taking my time and training for a half-marathon this spring or summer instead.
It’s not only a matter of what I’m capable of physically, but also how much time I want to spend dedicating to distance training. Marathon training is no joke, and if I’m going to do it, I’m going to do it right. Cullen is only five weeks old right now, but already I can’t imagine spending three and four hour stretches of time away from him for long runs every weekend.
I’m hoping that our BOB jogging stroller will help out in that arena. He’s too young to run with right now (while his neck is still so floppy), but we should be able to take him running once he’s a bit bigger and stronger.
Even though I’m going to take my time and ease back into running, I’m definitely feeling the itch to get back into my running shoes as soon as it feels right. I’m excited to see how this new body responds once I get started again!
Outside of running, I’m also really excited to get back into the weight room. I did a lot of weightlifting during my pregnancy, and I think it made a huge difference in how good I felt, and how quickly my body is bouncing back.
Pregnant weightlifting was entirely different than what I’ve done before, and required that I only push myself to the point that my muscles felt fatigued. The exercises I could do were very limited due to my giant belly and inability to twist or stretch in certain ways. I’m really looking forward to getting back to my old lifting routine, and working my muscles til I feel like I’m going to drop.
One of the reasons I joined the gym that I belong to here is that they have childcare service available for Cullen starting when he’s three months old. I hope to get back into the gym before that, so hopefully he and Casey can do some boy bonding while mom hits the gym in the next few weeks.
For now, I’m working back up to taking longer and longer walks. Here’s hoping that with each passing week, I’ll be moving faster and farther.