I am now seven months postpartum. It is hard to believe that little Jack is not so little anymore, I have to admit the time is flying by so much more quickly than it did with my first. And just as he is progressing in his growth and development, my running has also been progressing. Quite well actually. To give you a little perspective: my track interval times and tempo sessions have me at the same speed I was at two years ago at the peak of my season. Which makes me think, If I’m here now, seven months postpartum, what kind of times are possible? So here’s a little update on where I’m at.
Training Schedule: At the beginning of April I started adding in several easy days to my three-runs per week schedule. My weeks have looked like this:
Monday: 30-40 minutes @ Tempo Pace (7:23-7:39) with one mile warm up and 1/2 mile to 1mi cool down. These tempo runs have been hard. Really hard. I really have to push to maintain the pace past the 20 min mark. Those last 10-20 minutes I’m dying. TOTAL: 6-7 miles
Tuesday: Cross Train (Usually Pilates DVD or a quick AMRAP workout with lots of core and arms.)
Wednesday: Track (Usually 1 mi warm up and cool down with 3 miles of intervals on the track) TOTAL: 4-5 miles
Thursday: Easy 2-3 at easy pace (8:12-9:13)
Saturday: Long Run (I aim to start slow and finish fast. Usually start at the high end of my long run pace (9:35), hold a steady pace (around 8:40s in the middle) and try to finish with the last two miles at 8min pace. The fast finish has really been kicking me in the butt. I’m having a hard time keeping that pace, but I know pushing through the discomfort will pay off. TOTAL: 10-13 miles
Sunday: Shakeout 2-3 at 9:20-10min pace.
My weekly mileage has been hovering in the 26-30 range for the past few weeks. At the suggestions of my running club’s track coach I will start to add a long-ish run on Tuesday (8-10 miles) so that I come into track on Wednesday with tired legs. (Yipee). I am trying to decided if I want to keep Friday as a rest day or switch my rest day to Sunday. I like having the shakeout run on Sunday, I’ve noticed that running the day after a hard effort seems to help me stay loose. In the past I’ve always rested after hard days, but I’ve always been stiff and tight. On the other hand it might be a good idea to rest Sunday to get my body ready for three hard days of effort.
Track: I’ve been on the track with my running club for the past three weeks and my efforts have been really solid. I LOVE THE TRACK. I really do. The coach usually tells us the workout after we warm up and we go at it. I like that all day Wednesday I don’t have to think about what I’m going to run that night at track. I just have to show up and run hard. Love it.
Dynamic Warmup: I’ve been doing a dynamic warm up recommended by before every run and I really believe it is helping prevent tightness and injury. You can watch the warm up HERE.
Foot drills: As part of my cross training day I usually spend 10 minutes or so doing the six foot drills that I talked about HERE.
Stretching/Foam Rolling: I’ve been stretching at the end of my runs before I walk in the door. Because once I’m in the door I either have to sit right down and nurse Jack or get caught up doing something that needs immediate doing…whatever that might be. I’ve found that staying outside and stretching on our porch for a few minutes before “re-entry” makes a world of difference. I’m not nearly as tight as I’ve been before. I’ve also been foam rolling and using the stick at night briefly before going to bed
Cross Training: About once a week I’m able to get in a quality cross training session. I usually do a 30 min Pilates DVD or 30 minutes of core and arm strengthening exercises. I’d really like to get to a barre class one of these days.
Pelvic Floor: So I leaked. For the first time postpartum I leaked while running. It was at track last week. We were running 600’s and I toed the line and then when the track coach yelled “go” I busted off the line and voila…I leaked. Not good. Glad I wore black shorts. It hasn’t happened since then. Not even at track last night and we were running 300’s hard and that was the fifth day in a row of running (which I haven’t done in a long time). I think there was something about the downward force when I came off the line last week that was more than the normal force of just running or running hard. It hasn’t happened since then, but it’s just a reminder that I need to keep up with the Kegels and Pelvic floor rehab exercises. I’ve been doing these consistently once a week, but
I think I know I need to do it more often. If you are a pregnant runner or postpartum-runner-mommy I cannot stress enough how essential pelvic floor strength is to your running! I’ve explored this thoroughly in past posts and you can find them all on my Running & Pregnancy Page.
Sleep: I know I haven’t been getting enough sleep, even though I’m in bed most nights by 9:30. Jack has been up A LOT. He has become increasingly uncomfortable as his tissue expanders grow. If he rolls on his back at night he often gets stuck and starts crying. One night last week he was up four or five times. It’s brutal. My husband and I try to take turns, but my husband has to go to work in the morning and doesn’t have the option of trying to take a nap when the kids nap (which I don’t do but probably should). Jack did sleep through the night on Monday, I woke up Tuesday at 5:30 before my alarm went off raring to go. I had a good run. And a good day. Amazing what enough sleep does for you outlook on life.
Jack (or “Jack Attack” as he is fondly known by those who love him): For those of you who are new to my blog my little son Jack was born with a giant congenital nevus. I shared his story on here and have chronicled our journey through surgery one and expansion. In sharing my story we have received so much love and support and I’ve been able to connect with several families who have had a similar experience. I’m so grateful for that.
Three weeks ago we had a routine appointment at Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth and they set our final surgery date for May 8th. It was a relief to have a date set and be in the final stretch. But on Monday we filled Jack’s expanders and noticed that the bottom one was leaking, small droplets of saline through the needle hole. I could go into all the technicality of it but the bottom line is that it was bad: the leak was undoing the expansion we had been doing every other day for the past three months. Our surgeon was in procedures all Monday so they squeezed us in on Tuesday. It was stressful all day Monday mostly because I kept thinking back to when we did the first expansion in the surgeons office, in an effort to stress the importance of using the proper sized needle he told us a story of an expansion that had leaked and emptied…they had to do the first surgery all over again. This was in the back of my mind all day Monday. We’ve been vigilant about the needles but the port started leaking anyway. Thankfully the leak was fixable without surgery, although the medical rep had to drive a special part up from Boston the morning of our appointment. Needless to say it was stressful, but Jack is doing OK and has no idea what happened. He’s just drooling and smiling and being a total champ.
Do you a dynamic warm up before you run? When do you stretch: right after your run or later in the day or both?
Daily Mile: dailymile.com/people/scanney