Several months before giving birth I outlined a pretty detailed plan on how I was going to “comeback” after having baby Jack. That plan seems a little ambitious now, considering adjusting to two kids has been a huge task in and of itself. I realize now that it’s going to take more effort and focus to train and race in the way that I’d like to. I haven’t completely abandoned my comeback plan, but I’m realizing now that I will need to modify the plan and approach it with grace.
Originally my comeback plan focused on diet, strengthening and marathon training. And for the most part when I think about running and training (which isn’t very often compared with everything else that’s on my plate these days) these are still my focus: I want to eat healthy to lose the baby weight, strengthen areas that were weakened during delivery and begin to train for a spring marathon.
Diet: I really haven’t made any changes to my diet. I’ve been eating the same thing for breakfast and lunch and then enjoying the meals that friends and family have been bringing us. Most of the baby weight came of quickly within the first two weeks, but the last week or so I’ve noticed my weight plateau with about 10 lbs. to go before I get back to my pre-pregnancy weight. It took me almost a year to lose the baby weight with Sophia, but this time around it’s coming off quickly with no additional effort on my part other than keeping up with a toddler and a newborn. I’m pretty confident that once I start running those ten pounds will come off rather quickly. But there are a few things I think I need to focus on:
- Drink more water. In the few days after Jack’s birth I was so thirsty and was downing water and Gatorade left and right. But my thirst has dropped off, as has my water consumption. I need to get back to drinking 50-60 oz a day. The more hydrated I am, the less likely I will be to mistake hunger for thirst.
- Moderation with Desserts and Treats: We’ve had some delicious meals and desserts: chocolate chip pumpkin bread, apple pie and apple crisp. Having dessert after every dinner is yummy, but not necessarily helpful. I thought about cutting them out completely but I found that when I said that I looked at the desserts and thought: Well, this is my last dessert for a while so I may as well have a huge portion. So I’d have a huge portion. That’s what restriction will do sometimes: backfire. So, desserts aren’t off-limits they just need to be more moderate servings, not this-is-the-last-dessert-you-will-ever-eat sized desserts. Or I could opt for healthier “sweets” like greek yogurt with pumpkin butter and cinnamon (a favoritie of mine right now) or fresh fruit topped with a little cream.
Strengthening: Right now this is where my focus is (more so than diet or runnig), as I’ve mentioned before I feel like this delivery took a toll on my body more so that my first. Leading up to labor and delivery my hips and low-back felt “out-of-place” and were causing discomfort, and post delivery my pelvic floor felt, well…wrecked. Which means that I’m waiting a little longer to run and spending my time (what time I do have) doing strengthening exercises for the core and pelvic floor. I wrote more about that HERE.
Running: I’m looking forward to running again. I’ve been testing my legs a little, adding in a few 5 minute running intervals into my walks. So far things are feeling good, a bit sore, but good. Once I’m feeling stronger and get the OK from my midwife I’m hitting the road for a “real run.” My plan is to build mileage slowly with the goal of building a strong base for marathon training. I’d also like to run a few races to test out where my fitness is, so I can better draft a training plan. There’s a local 5K, The Tiger Trot, on November 17th, that I’m planning on running. It will be a chance to push myself and see how my body responds both during the race and in the days after.
In the last few days I’ve felt like I’ve gotten my “feet under me” when it comes to being a mom of two. We certainly aren’t out of the challenging period of parenting a newborn and a toddler, but I feel like letting go of some of my expectations has helped me feel less stressed. I feel better able to think about things I can do to take care of myself.
Are you running a spring marathon? How are you planning on approaching your training? How will you balance training and the demands of everyday life and family?