Parsley’s 72 month post-partum training log

Follow the yellow brick road!

Or 10.29-11.4. Or M-2 (2 weeks to marathon).

No, that is not a typo in the title. I have spent the majority of almost the last 6 years either pregnant or breastfeeding. Last month my kids turned 5, 3 and 1. As much as I adore babies and am sad mine are growing up so quickly, I’m done. This is the end of an era for our family. I know my body will change now that it is no longer growing or sustaining another human being for the first time in almost 6 years, and will certainly have some kind of impact on my running. Hopefully this will mean extra energy now that it’s not being diverted to another person!

All the changes aren’t necessarily positive. Goodbye, pregnancy-induced (legal doping) increased red blood cells!  Goodbye, nursing-induced, mood enhancing Oxytocin! Goodbye, doctor-ordered extra 500 calories a day! Hello menstrual cycle, who I have only seen in the short periods between ending nursing and the next pregnancy.

And some are positive. Goodbye, worries that running will somehow harm or negatively affect the human I’m growing or feeding! Goodbye, wider hips and bigger, uncomfortable-for-running boobs! Welcome back, body of a 12-year-old boy! Goodbye, Prolactin that made me susceptible to injury!

Sunday 10/29: 1:15 Weymouth Woods. Felt pretty good but still ran easy after racing a hard 10 miler the day before.

Monday 10/30: 90 minutes w/ 4 long hill loops in the early morning; 30 minutes with the triple later morning.

Tuesday 10/31: 1:15 w/ 25 minute fartlek on the football field; 45 minutes later morning combo of triple/single stroller.

Wednesday 11/1: 3 miles combined single/double, then decided to stop. My knee started hurting increasingly throughout my runs, so I called it a day. Was planning on starting my taper today anyway, although not quite this much!

Thursday 11/2: My knee still felt off, so decided to play it safe. Set up my bike trainer and rode 45 mins hard- that’s all my sit bones could take.

Friday 11/3: Still felt a slight pulling in my knee, hoped one more day of no running could make it go away. 45 mins hard on the bike trainer- sit bones very sore as I haven’t been on my bike in years!  Also went to the chiropractor, who said my hips were out of alignment and did some adjustments.

Saturday 11/4: Switched out my oldest pair of shoes for new ones, then ran 61 mins in Weymouth Woods. Knee did not hurt like it did on Wednesday, but still felt a slight pulling. Followed up with 30 minutes on the bike since I planned on running 90 minutes today.

Why not cover yourself in cake for your first birthday?

My coach recommended I use extreme caution over the next week leading into Richmond. Even if that means no running until a shake out the day before the race. I’m taking his advice and hoping my knee feels 100% by marathon time, so am compensating with the bike trainer in place of what I would do running. More than anything I’m trying to keep my confidence up and reminding myself of all the good training I had during my buildup, and that an extreme taper hopefully won’t erase that.

I have fun trying to sprint, enjoy long runs in the mountains, and everything in between. Former competitive runner (3 x marathon OTQ & trail marathon national champion) currently working through a lingering injury. I write about trying to stay competitive while raising young kids and moving into a new post-competitive stage.

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