Two Miles

February 22, 2017

It doesn’t seem like anything worth writing about: Two miles. To an endurance runner whose regular weekend run rarely slips below eight to 10 miles, two miles doesn’t even seem like a complete workout. And yet, these two miles were special. Significant. Meaningful.

On Saturday, I ran two miles. They were the first miles I’ve run since October and since having a baby six weeks ago. Four months of no running.

In some ways, I didn’t miss it. I was focused on having a healthy baby and then recovering smart and strong after delivery. The time away from running gave me a chance to fall in love with lower impact workouts and focus on strength training. It gave me a lot of time to think about my fitness goals for the future and build a joyful (ok, burning hot) desire to set my sights on some big things moving forward.

In my head, I still feel like the same runner capable of the same paces and fitness. In reality, I’ve got a long way to go to find her again. This was the first step.

On Saturday, I set out on a familiar three-mile loop. I ran the first 1.5 miles without stopping. It was slow as you would imagine, about a minute slower than my traditional recovery pace. I hadn’t run 10 yards before realizing I’d chosen the wrong sports bra. Yeah, all you new moms out there know what I mean. Ouch. Second, I realized my pelvis is still a little weak and I could feel that difference while I ran.

At the 1.5-mile mark, I stopped and walked for a minute before continuing on. When my Garmin chirped to signal I’d reached 2 miles, I stopped to walk again. I still had about a mile to go. I contemplated starting again. I’ll run when I get to that next corner, I thought. But I decided to just keep walking. I walked that entire last mile home. No need to push it. My body and my heart said to just walk.

At my six-week postpartum follow-up appointment this week, my doctor cleared me for all exercise of any kind. She obviously agrees I need to start conservatively with running and need to be cautious with running too far too quickly, but I’m allowed to resume all my normal activity with no modifications. I was glad to hear that she thought barre was one of the best things I could be doing since I’ve already gone three times in the past two weeks and love it so much.

My plan is to run three days per week, starting with just two and three miles at a time while including time on the elliptical machine as I regain my fitness. I also plan to continue to go to barre and strength train. I’ll be simply focused on slow base-building for the next 12 weeks before I put any kind of structured plan together for my fall half marathon (I’ll be announcing my race in the next week so stay tuned!).

Two miles. It always means something. An acquaintance of mine who is an Ironman finisher, marathon runner and cancer survivor who has been battling the disease in great pain for years recently reminded me that any day we get to run is a good day, One mile. Two miles. 20 miles. You’re damn right. It never matters how far we go or how fast we go. The point is we get to run, and that my friends is always a good run.

Tell me about a great run you’ve had recently.


Matt @ TheRunnerDad

Go get ’em Jesica! You’re a rockin mother runner now!


Helen goes to barre
she likes it
stay happy and healthy


I love Barre Fitness on Manhattan. Tell her she should come join me sometime!!!


Love this post a lot ❤️

Amanda N

so happy for you that you had a good first run! Hope it continues that way! I remember being so happy even though it was so hard 🙂


Congratulations! Two miles on your first day back is fantastic, and I’m sure that more miles will come easily in the weeks to come.

Gabrielle from Austria

Welcome back to running, dear Jesica!
I love this post! I recently ran 2 kilometers only. It was after a long run, my legs were tired, but I wanted to run on my b-day.
And it felt so good! Aren’t we all deeply grateful for running?


Happy belated birthday!!! Grateful for running and grateful for your kindness and support. xo


So glad I found your blog and can follow along. I’m almost 8 weeks postpartum now and went for my first run with our dog last week. It was chilly, windy, and rainy here in Vermont but I was in heaven. Felt amazing to move. In a way it is fun to start small and build back up again-really makes you appreciate having the gift of running!


Hi Mary! I’m so glad you did too! Thank you for reading! Congrats on your sweet baby! I hope you both are doing well. It is such an amazing time! Congrats on your first run! We’ve got this! xoxo


thanks for the shout out. congrats on your first run!


You are such a huge inspiration to me and I think about you often. I always look forward to your updates and perspective. Cheering for Stabby to suck it! Hugs!

Lora @ Crazy Running Girl

Woo! Yes, I agree, just being able to run is a great thing and congrats on the two miles. 🙂

Laura @ This Runner's Recipes

Congrats on your first run back! Both getting out there and listening to your body are big accomplishments. And I agree – any day with a run is a good day. Simply being able to run is, as cliche as it sounds, an enormous gift. Happy running! xoxo

Lynsey @ Runlove

Awesome post! I’m glad you were able to get back out there, it’s inspiring to read. As a soon to be mommy my self, I keep wondering what it’s going to be like when I can really return to running. I can tell you, I will be ecstatic when I can run 2 miles without stopping again.


I hope your pregnancy is going well Lynsey. Thank you for your kind comment. I can tell you that it feels hard! I ran three miles this morning and my lung capacity was so much weaker than normal. It was very challenging, but it felt great to get back out there. I know it will come back before I know it for both of us. Best of luck to you for a smooth delivery and return to running. Enjoy every minute with your new baby to be. xo