I started my blog in December of 2014, when our youngest child was nine months old, so while I kept track of my running mileage on Daily Mile, I didn’t start sharing it publicly until I started my blog. I know that for me, each time I had a baby, I’d look online for any information I could find about returning to exercise during the postpartum period but I really didn’t find a whole lot. So, I thought I would share my postpartum running journey here!
Callum was born just after midnight on March 3rd, 2014, but I had been in “labour” since March 1st. I started bleeding, so Andrew and I headed to the hospital where they admitted me. I was already 3-4cm dilated, and my other deliveries had been swift, so we thought this one would be too. Not so. Despite being nearly 4 weeks early, Callum was nearly 8 lb. I was about to start pushing when his heart rate dropped dramatically so the doctor pushed the emergency red button on the wall, and said to me, “Susan, your baby’s struggling so you need to give the push of your life right now and get him out.” One push, and he was out.
For the first week, I did nothing. By the Wednesday of the second week (March 12th) I was able to run a slow 5 miles. I so clearly remember that run! It was tough, but euphoric. The fresh air felt unreal. I ran 7 miles on Thursday, 6 on Friday and 5 on Sunday. By my third postpartum week I ran a whopping 50 miles for the week (a long run of 12 miles on Sunday, March 23rd).
It looks like I consistently ran 50 miles for the next several weeks (with a 70 mile week in my 5th week postpartum) and by May 2nd, I ran my first 20 miler. By 6 months postpartum I was consistently running 70 mile weeks.
Now, obviously this isn’t for everyone. BUT. Most stuff out there is so incredibly conservative just because of the nature of the whole scene. I mean, you’ve got a brand new baby, a new body, major hormones, breastfeeding issues (needing to keep up the supply), that most people tend to err on the side of caution. WHICH IS GOOD. But caution looks different for each person and not just for each person but for each postpartum experience (there are so many variables!) so there is no right or wrong way to do it, and there really are no rules to follow (except obvious ones, made by your doctor or whatever, if you’ve got shit going on) so it’s up to you and me to listen to our bodies and go with it!
Did anyone new stumble upon this blog post while searching for postpartum exercise tips? Do you have any questions or comments for me? Did I freak you out?