Well, I had my 6 week postpartum appointment on Tuesday, and the doctor has cleared me to resume all physical activity without any restrictions. Yay! Of course, I still have the restrictions of having a newborn baby to care for, so resuming physical activity is going to be easier said than done. My baby girl was cooperative enough though to allow me to have an hour long chiropractor appointment this week, which has made a huge difference in how I feel. I was actually able to run 2 miles at 12:15 pace without feeling like my pelvis was about to crumple at any moment.
So, now I need to come up with a game plan for how I am going to re-join the wonderful world of running. Clearly, I am going to have to take baby steps (he-he), and it will take some trial and error to figure out what works for my “new normal”. It is pretty clear to me that any type of organized training program is out of the question at this point since I am very much on my baby’s feeding and sleeping schedule. Plus, there are days when I am so exhausted that my only goal for the day is to get my 8 hours of sleep. However, I still need a fairly decent level of structure and some specific goals. Otherwise, it will be just way to easy to talk myself out of going for a run when I don’t necessarily feel like it. Taking all this into consideration (and accounting for my current fitness level), I think I am going to try and aim to complete the Must-Dash 5K on June 20. It’s a nice manageable distance; I will have 2 months to get ready for it; this particular race is small, fun, and very family friendly; and, finally, June 20 just happens to be my birthday, so it was too good to pass up :-) I am setting no time goal for myself. All I want is to run a 5K and feel good after I finish.
As for the training itself, I will try to run at least once a week, but ideally two or three times, if the baby allows it. She has been waking up around 6 or 7 am, so I am hoping that maybe we can work out a routine where I feed her, put her back to sleep, and go for a run while my husband is watching her. This way I can get my run in before it gets super hot (Texas summer is almost upon us), and since my running distance is still fairly short, I should be back home before baby girl wakes and demands to be fed again. I think this plan is genius, and I am very proud of it. I will let you know how screwed up it will get when reality interferes.
The main challenge will actually be getting out of bed at 7 am, considering how sleep deprived I am. The only way to remedy this is to go to bed as soon as the baby falls asleep in the evening, which can be as early as 9 or 10 pm. This way I would be able to take full advantage of the 4 hour stretch of sleep that she typically has. Of course, this sucks for me, since my usual bed time is around midnight, and falling asleep so early is not always realistic. But hey, this should get me ready for that fun time when I have to return to work. After all, I did manage to train myself to nap during the day while the baby is napping, which used to be impossible for me to do. So, this is what I am making my goal for the upcoming week – to adjust my evening routine and switch to a much earlier bedtime. Like I said, it’s all about baby steps at the moment.