Sweating and Setbacks

March 7, 2017

After having my first baby, I knew there would be many new adjustments, experiences and challenges I would face that I’d never encountered before. The one I didn’t anticipate was my body rebelling against me.

I’d always counted on returning to running six weeks after giving birth (hello naive new mom!). Following a safe and conservative approach to reintroducing exercise, I looked forward to those 30 to 60 minutes of pavement under my feet and wind in my face. The first few miles back felt like running waist-deep through tar, but I knew it would be like riding a bike … it would come back before I’d know it.

But as quickly as I started, I found myself halted again.

The hormones in my body from pregnancy and breastfeeding have decided to linger in my body like a bad aftertaste. They’ve weakened some of my joints, namely under my knees and at the top of my tibia, and created enough pain to send me back on a running hiatus after only four runs. (I also have very bad pain in my left wrist which I had treated today.) I never anticipated this given how careful I’d been in my approach. I didn’t have a Plan B. But like any good mom, I’ve learned in the past 8 weeks that there always needs to be one, along with a Plan C and D.

This Friday, I’m going to see a knee specialist to find out what’s going on and to ensure the hormones from child birth don’t cause me to do anything that would create a serious injury. I stopped running immediately after the onset of pain, and I’ve been doing other exercises that don’t exacerbate the issues since.

I’ll take every ounce of the pain just to get to spend a lifetime with this sweet girl, but I’d like to regain my strength so I can be her best mom.

Here’s what my past week of training looked like amidst the setbacks:

Monday, 2/27: Strength training + walk: 45-minute Chisel Balance workout from Hammer & Chisel while the baby napped. This left me SO sore for several days! I also took Baby rUnladylike for a 2.5-mile evening walk in the stroller.

Tuesday, 2/28: AM: 2.5-mile walk with Baby rUnladylike in the stroller; PM: Ran 2.6 miles outside … this is the run where I knew something wasn’t right and had to call it quits.

Wednesday, 3/1: Spin class at 6 a.m.

Thursday, 3/2: REST

Friday, 3/3: 6:30 a.m. boot camp workout that alternated between five stations, including med balls, burpies, renegade rows, squats, shoulders, abs, step-ups and more … I modified all the moves that included plyometrics/jumping and substituted all the running with the rowing machine … this left me extraordinarily sore for several days!

Saturday, 3/4: 5 miles on the elliptical machine; Mr. rUnladylike and I attended a wedding that evening while my mom watched the baby!

Sunday, 3/5: REST (walked about 2.5 miles with Baby rUnladylike and Mr. rUnladylike at an outdoor festival and to dinner

Keep your fingers crossed for me that I’ll be back on the running horse sooner than later. I’ve talked to quite a few newer moms who have experienced similar joint weakness and pain from the relaxin hormone. They all told me by about four months postpartum they were able to run again and felt back to normal.

How did your training go last week? If you’re a mom, did you ever experience anything like this? What workout are you most looking forward to this week?

Comments

Sandra Laflamme
Reply

It may take a bit longer than you expect but you will be back at it soon enough! Find the exercises that make you feel good. Getting in the pool for some swimming may help. It definitely takes longer than expected for things to get back to normal again but that sweet girl is so worth it! xoxo

CT
Reply

I have two kids and had highly unrealistic expectations about returning to running . I had constant knee pain and tendinitis in my wrist. I found a wonderful physical therapist who helped me get back to running pain free. It took a few months longer than I originally expected, but I did it….. and so will you!! A few years after that I had a bilateral mastectomy and was able to return from that surgery as well. The one thing that both childbirth and breast-cancer have taught me is to be very patient and extraordinarily kind to your body. Hang in there, it will be getter and you will be back to running before you know it!! Xo

rUnladylike
Reply

Hi CT,
Thank you so much for your encouragement and for sharing your journey. I, too, had both the knee pain and tendinitis in my wrist. I have gone to the hand doc and will go to the knee doc tomorrow. I just want to make sure there isn’t anything concerning I could do to myself as I reintroduce exercise, even though I’m pretty sure it is just the hormones telling me to keep waiting a while longer. I’m so grateful to hear that you are surviving breast cancer and that nothing could stop you. It is very inspiring and motivating, and I thank you for being so determined and brave. Thank you again for your words of advice and encouragement!

Kimberly
Reply

Fingers crossed! I know you’ll still manage to stay in excellent shape and easily make the transition back to running when your body is ready!

Allie
Reply

Yep, this is what being a mom is all about – figuring it all out as you go! Just know, this too shall pass and sounds like you’re doing all the right things. Hang in there mama and…you look stunning in that dress!!!!

rUnladylike
Reply

Thank you so much my friend! I hope you have recovered from the Cuba adventure and your sinus infection. xoxo

Carolina John
Reply

yeah don’t rush your way back. It took 9 months to screw up the body that much, it will take about 9 months for everything to get back in place. Heck, my sister in law has a daughter who is turning 21 years old this summer and still claim she’s trying to lose her pregnancy weight, but i’m not buying it. Don’t rush your way back, you’ll be grateful in the long run.

Christy
Reply

I went to a PT after childbirth who has her Ph.D. in women’s health. I wanted a clear bill of health before causing long term damage to my body (pelvic floor especially). A runner herself, she totally got it when i broke down in tears when she said “don’t even think about running for 6 months after giving birth”. I know everyone is a believer that 6 weeks later you are good to go but that is not really the case in the inner workings of your body. Do i want a prolapsed bladder when I’m 60 or do I want to run shortly after birth? It was easy for me. Please don’t get down on yourself bc things aren’t going how “people” think they should be 6 weeks later. The experts know better. Do what you decide obviously but think about your body 30 years from now too.

rUnladylike
Reply

Hi Christy, Thanks so much for sharing this with me. It sounds like your PT was really amazing. It is so great to find someone that has such a focused specialty. I agree that the goal is to train for life, not for the moment. Thanks again. xo

NA
Reply

I’m an OB/GYN physician with 3 kids and had severe pubic bone pain through my entire 3rd pregnancy. Started running 4 weeks postpartum which hurt quite a bit.. ran through it off/on and it ultimately took 6 months to completely resolve. The little one is 3 yrs old and I’m back to my baseline, always trying to increase my speed!

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