My First Postpartum Race This Weekend

May 31, 2017

How we think we’ll feel in a certain situation and how we actually feel when it becomes a reality is an interesting phenomenon. Returning to running has been a teachable moment for me between expectations and reality.

I’ve been extremely conservative and slow in my approach to returning to running after pregnancy and child birth. This Saturday, I’m running my first 5K since my baby was born in January. At nearly five months postpartum, I admittedly thought I’d be a little further along than I am. I know, I know, you told me so *wink.* I’ve been running three days per week for a total of about 12 miles per week for quite some time, with strength training or cross-training mixed in on the days in between. All of my runs are easy and my pace has remained consistent. I haven’t created a plan for myself {yet} to start building toward my comeback half marathon in November. Somehow, I’ve been content where I am even though I’m mentally (and physically) ready to progress.

Goals and Expectations

My only goal for this Saturday’s race is to assess my current fitness. I will use this 5K to determine where my current fitness level is after three months of slow base-building and to set my training paces for my fall half training. My current 5K PR is 20:33. Saturday will be a far cry from that, obviously. Part of me wants to see if I can keep up with my dad who typically runs in the 25-minute range (both my parents are running the race). I’m not sure that is realistic. Another part of me simply wants to beat my last 5K time (about 28 minutes) from when I was five months pregnant. In my head, I have a vision of feeling fast and fierce and strong along the course. In reality, it is going to be extremely hot and humid and will likely feel like a sufferfest. I’m not that 6:30/mile 5K runner right now even though I still think I am in my head. Ha!

I consider Saturday’s 5K as an interesting chance to see where my body is at and to help me navigate where I can safely take it next.

Follow My Live Updates This Saturday on @BrooksWomen

You can follow the play-by-play of my race this weekend on Instagram as I’ll be taking over the Instagram Stories on @BrooksWomen on Saturday, June 3. It’s a new Instagram channel from Brooks Running that is all about empowering women to own their run. I love any opportunity to lift other strong women up and support runners on their journey, wherever they may be on that path.

More than Running

Running aside, I’m proud to have my body almost back to normal after five months postpartum. I’m about 5-6 pounds from my normal, pre-pregnancy weight, and I’m back to doing all the activities I could do before I was pregnant. I can already feel my strength returning during weight workouts. Nevertheless, I haven’t run more than 4 to 6 miles at a time and haven’t tried to push the pace. In all honesty, I’d recommend to anyone who has had a baby to consider doing what I have done: wait 8-10 weeks to run continuously, don’t schedule any long distance races for a long time, don’t push or pressure yourself into running too far too fast. It has been a welcome return. A slow little simmer that I know will start to boil when the time is right.

As for Baby rUnladylike, I’ll be toeing the start line before her wake-up time this Saturday, which means she and Mr. rUnladylike will meet me after the race for a post-race celebratory brunch. I can’t wait to see her little face after the race as a reminder of one of the important reasons why I run.

What is your next race you have coming up? Are you following the new @BrooksWomen Instagram account yet? If so, what do you think? Do you use Instagram Stories … thumbs up or thumbs down?

Comments

Pam
Reply

I have to know where you got the outfit for your little girl. That would be a perfect gift (boy model though) for my daughter after she gives birth in August.

rUnladylike
Reply

Hi Pam! A good running friend of mine had it made for me! Such a thoughtful gift!

Allie
Reply

The cuteness!!!! OMG I cannot stand it!!!
Oh and yes, you’re running a 5k – good for you 🙂 LOL!! It’s so funny how priorities shift when you have a child. And I couldn’t agree more about how you “think” you will feel out there vs reality…especially in Florida!
Sounds like you have your head on right when it comes to running and this race. GOOD LUCK and the best part will certainly be the finish when you see your daughter!

Sandra D Laflamme
Reply

First of all, She is just the sweetest! What a smiley girl. She will be the best prize at the finish line! You will have a great run. I remember my first 5K back after having Piper and it was hard but so worth it! Have a blast!

Laura @ This Runner's Recipes
Reply

She is the cutest – that smile!!!! Good luck this weekend and enjoy both the race and your post-race brunch!!

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