If I worked, I’d probably be freaking out about my maternity leave ending today. I remember going back after my first and how conflicted I felt. On one hand, I was excited to get to put on big girl clothes, hang out with grown-ups and challenging my brain with grown-up stuff. On the other hand, I didn’t feel ready to be away from my son for such long periods each day and it seemed to me that he wasn’t either. Of course, whether a new parent should or should not go back to work after his or her leave is one of those completely subjective decisions – there is no one size fits all answer. For me, quitting the professional grind for a while was definitely the right decision. As I’ve reached the 12 week mark, which is the end of most women’s maternity leaves, I feel unusually at peace about hanging in running clothes 24/7 and feel incredibly lucky that I am in a position to be able to continue staying at home with my wee ones.
As for running, at 12 weeks I feel like I’m starting to see glimpses of my in-shape self.
Being a stay-at-home mom with a newborn means the only time I can semi-reliably get a run in is nap time on the basement treadmill. For weeks after my daughter’s birth, many of those treadmill runs were tedious and often I’d stare at the console waiting for my 6 miles or whatever to be up. But last week and this week I’ve run at least an hour on the treadmill every time and it’s gone so fast. I often have been feeling like I could keep going or go faster, but think better of it and hold myself back a little bit.
I am definitely very conservative with my postpartum comebacks. Maybe it’s because I gain a lot of weight, or perhaps it’s because I’m on the older side of new motherhood (fastly approaching 38), but it takes me a while to feel strong enough to start training-training. I know some people who have jumped right back in and scheduled a marathon for a few months after birth, but that’s not my style. I have my eye on a few races, but nothing concrete set. I don’t like to race until I feel ready to race, so I don’t make any plans until that time comes. It’s definitely not here yet!
My theory is to slowly build my mileage and strength back up and start training about 3-4 months after birth. In my mind, even if I started to do speed workouts a month ago, I don’t think the risk of hurting myself would be worth any extra gains in fitness. No matter what I do, I’m not going to be race ready for at least 6 months, so what’s the rush? Plus, the demands of a new baby are real. The interrupted sleep, the physical and time demands of breast feeding, and the recovery process in general take a lot out of a new mom. It’s much harder to find the time, let alone the motivation to push myself beyond what comes naturally. And soon, I will naturally feel the inclination to start training, which will hopefully coincide with my heart doctor giving me the green light to go for it after my follow-up appointment next week! Wish me luck!
As for the body. No more weight loss. Holding steady again at 145. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t really over it, but what can I do? These things take time. Lots and lots and lots … and lots of time.
Here’s what I did last week.
Tue: 7 on the treadmill during nap time (avg 8:42)
Wed: 7.75 at the Y while the baby slept in her car seat (avg 8:38)
Thu: 7.25 on the treadmill during nap time (back to the tm in my basement) (avg 8:56)
Fri: 7 miles on the treadmill during nap time (avg 8:49)
Sat: 12 super hilly with my friend Barb as she preps for Boston (avg 8:30)
Sun: 7 with no watch from my house alone.
Total: 48 miles
If you want to see what the rest of the Salty Bloggers have been up to, check out their training logs!
- Salty’s Postpartum Running Update – Week 11
- Salty’s Postpartum Running Update – Week 10
- Salty’s Postpartum Update – 8 Weeks
- Salty’s Postpartum Running Update – Week 7