Running – eleven weeks post baby

I’m currently sat upstairs in my office, plate of party food on the desk next to me and with half a glass of wine in my hand.

This year, Dan and I decided to play host to the Pearson clan for a Christmas buffet.  This involved filling our house with Oscar’s grandparents, Great-Grandma, Great-Aunt, Aunt, Uncle, and three of his five cousins who are all under the age of 6.

…I think I just found cake behind the radiator, there is definitely chocolate on the sofa and I have a post-it note stuck to my sock.Christmas dinner table

Me being me I decided to make all the food.  Therefore yesterday was a frenzy of baking cheese straws, chocolate shortbread and sausage rolls in between the standard parents-are-coming cleaning and tidying of the house.  It was very lovely seeing everyone but I’m exhausted now.  My nieces and nephew have so much energy!  I’m glad we just have the one baby!
It’s OK though – Isla tells us that she’ll “look after Baby Oscar”.

Isla and Oscar

On Tuesday Oscar turned eleven weeks old.  He’s still pretty tiny and has only just started wearing size 0-3 clothes, but I still find it amazing to think he ever fitted inside my belly just a few short months ago.

This is the first week where I’ve begun to start feeling ‘strong’ again when it comes to running.  I admit, I was so nervous following my rubbish six week check-up by the doctor, (where she didn’t even check my scar or examine any part of my body) that despite having been ‘cleared to run’ at that check, I didn’t venture out until week seven and then it was with lots of apprehension.

People are quick to say “Don’t come back too soon”, “Wait six months following a caesarean”, “Be sure to stock up with supplies because your pelvic floor won’t be what it once was”, “Start back run-walking”, “Take things easy”…Everybody had a different rule to announce, with lots of them being date-related.  I’d been advised to wait everything from two weeks to six months before gentle jogging could commence, when really, what I should be doing was listening to my body and letting it tell me when I could start running again.

The facts:

  • I had run regularly up until 39 weeks of my pregnancy without any problems
  • Following my operation I had challenged myself to walk a little further each day
  • My scar had healed well and I was no longer in any discomfort

There is a mile loop by my house which I often use to test out a new pair of trainers, and it was round this mile loop that I made my comeback run four weeks ago.  I wasn’t sure what to expect on that first run, but it wasn’t as horrific as I had feared – having been in so much pain a month earlier that I was unable to turn the bathroom light on!  My insides felt rather loose, but that was to be expected.  I guess they were still sliding back to their original positions after having housed Oscar for the best part of the year.

I’ve remained sensible and started off fairly slowly with my runs – just two or three runs a week, and nothing further than a 10k until this Thursday.  No speedwork or hard sessions planned until after Christmas, although I did push slightly harder than initially planned at the Magic Mile last weekend.

Just recently Oscar has begun sleeping through the night.  For the past fortnight he has been having his last feed at around 10-10:30pm and then not waking until Dan gets up for work at 6am the following morning.
Winning!  :)

I’m not sure how or why, or even how long it will last, but I fully intend on making the most of that solid block of his sleep by getting some runs in before it becomes too icy and Wintery in the mornings.
On Monday night I headed to bed when Oscar went down, with an alarm set for 4:45am.  It seems rather wrong that as a parent of a not even three month old baby I’m setting an alarm to get up so early in the morning!  Unfortunately, choosing to breastfeed means I have to get up 20 minutes earlier so that I am able to express before leaving for my run.

Once out there though, it was wonderful!  It felt fantastic to slot my run in before anybody else in the house was up, and then knowing all day that it didn’t matter what else I did, I had already gotten my workout in that morning.  This was the first run I really felt like I was back as a runner and almost forgot that I had a child back at home.  For the first time I wasn’t aware that my insides were slightly jiggly or weak and I was able to run strong.  I’d aimed for three miles but leaving slightly later than planned at 5:35am, I cut the run short at 2.33 miles instead.  Still, better some miles than none.
Oscar, Dan and Bella were all none the wiser when I snuck back in through the bedroom door and climbed back into bed to feed Oscar 25 minutes later.

The following day I headed for my first trail run with the club since Oscar was born.  I had been nominated to lead on the 7 mile route starting out from the village next to me.  Although I got a few comments and even surprised myself when I managed to set off at an 8:xx minute mile pace.  I did feel incredibly strong on Wednesday night.

7.2 miles and 14 people.  Not bad for my first trail run back!

Despite being closer to the front for the first half of the run I could feel my body beginning to tire by mile 6 – the furthest I’d run since having Oscar.  I allowed myself a couple of walk breaks at the back during the final mile, and my legs felt rather heavy the following day.  I decided to follow the trail run up with a rest day.  Sensible = strong.  I’ve decided that will be my motto this year!

Stupidly, I hadn’t cleaned my trail shoes beforehand, so was running in an old pair of road shoes along the rather muddy in places track.  I’m hoping to head over for the fourth cross-country of the season tomorrow, so that’s just reminded me that I need to pull out my trail shoes for cleaning.  They never had a thorough hose down after my last muddy run before I was pregnant, and I’m hoping they haven’t stiffened up too much…  :S

On that note I’d better shoot off and clean my shoes before bed!

How often do you clean your trail shoes?
Have you ‘hosted’ a Christmas before?