The day has finally come! The day I’ve been waiting nearly 8 long weeks for.
I’ve been ready to test my legs out for a couple of weeks now. Last week would have been an ok time to start because I was past the so-called waiting period after my c-section where I could gradually start running again. But day after day, it just wasn’t happening. Part of it was my own apprehension-would I get discouraged? Would it hurt? Would I get injured? Would I even be able to do it? Part of it was realizing that getting out for a run when you have 3 kids isn’t as easy as it sounds. Next summer, it will be easier because I could take them with me (oldest on his bike, wee ones in the double jogger) if I needed to. Right now, that’s not an option, mainly because the baby can’t go for a jog yet. It’s getting too cold and she’s much too little for it to be safe.
My only real option right now is to either try and sneak out when hubby is home or to use the treadmill in the basement when the kids are settled into bed and hubby can manage the baby (who is often fussy by this time of the day) for a short while. The problem? By 9pm…I’m kinda ready for bed myself.
Well last night, I decided it was time. I was feeling stressed/anxious and I needed to get the running monkey off my back. I’d already decided on the type of plan I was going to follow (more in terms of the running intervals I’d tackle rather than the specific number of days per week I’d be running-5 days is not an option for me at the best of times, let alone in the season I’m currently in). I just needed to do it. I needed to prove to myself that the hardest part was taking the first steps and that it’s all uphill from here.
My run was very simple: 4 min of walking for every 2 min of running. Totally doable. Unlike my last postpartum return to running where I did 1 minute of running per 3 minutes of walking, I didn’t feel like I was going to die at the end of each running interval. The advantage of the treadmill was that it paced me and I kept the pace very conservative. It was really a very light jog which I think is the smartest thing to do. By the 5th interval, I was still feeling very good but I was starting to become aware of my scar. It wasn’t hurting and I wasn’t concerned but I knew it was time to stop for the day. I think I ended up going around 2 miles, maybe a bit more. I wore my Polar H7 Heart Rate Monitor and used the (free) Polar beat app to track my heart rate. It was seriously cool to see the different zones and how my heart rate compared to how I felt. I never felt out of breath, never struggled and yet my heart rate climbed and remained very steadily in zone 4 whenever I ran. I need to do a lot more reading up on this but it was cool to see.
And how did I feel after? AMAZING!!! It was so encouraging that I felt like I could have run longer intervals at a faster pace. I don’t plan to for a couple of weeks at least but boy was I happy after. And I was sweaty enough (the area in my basement where the treadmill is, has zero ventilation and even in the cooler weather, it gets warm down there) and smelly enough that hubby was more than happy to let me have an extra 20 minutes to myself to shower. Win-win-win!!
Now to unearth my trusty foam roller and start rolling the crap out of my legs to keep the tendonitis beast from re-emerging.