Cocoa’s C-section recovery log: Week 6

Week 6 started great—after all, it’s the last week until I meet the “official” clearance to run benchmark! Hooray! For some reason, I thought that once I hit the magical 6-week mark, I would be able to run like I used to because, hey…  if there are no restrictions anymore (at least not in regards to running), it must mean you feel like normal, right?

Wrong.

I overdid it mid-week and paid for it. I also realized on Wednesday (after my incision area appeared more swollen and was definitely more tender), that since we left home and hit the road for Oklahoma, I have neglected icing my incision area after workouts. This was a big wakeup call that my body is not healed yet.  It won’t be healed for several more weeks.  I resumed icing after that and it has made a WORLD of difference. I’m not sure how long I will have to dedicate 20 minutes after my run to putting frozen peas down my pants, but I suspect it will be for a while. Me and my bag of peas. I sure love that bag of peas, gives me so much relief!

Despite a rough start to the week, the latter half was definitely positive and the best I have felt for a long time. I capped the week on Saturday with a successful 65 minute run where I got to sub-8 minute pace. I felt pretty good about that! I have to wonder…. Where would I be in my recovery if I hadn’t pushed myself to an early return to [gentle] running? Would my first run back be better than my run on Saturday? Or would it be worse?

I am looking forward to continued improvement in the weeks to come! I learned a lot of things in the last 6 weeks… a sort of summary of what I learned will be in an upcoming post.  I probably won’t post any more training logs from here on out, just because life is busy, but will post occasional updates on the site when I am able to. I hope this is helpful to someone! Cheers!

Week 6 log:

Day 1: 45 minutes, I felt GREAT! Did not pace check, but was on a neighborhood trail and tried to take longer and faster strides. Felt some stinging in my abdomen/pelvic region but ignored it because it felt good to go a decent pace again. Ended at the gym and did a 20-minute stationary bike workout.  I threw in 6 x 1 min on/1min off repeats. Got my heartrate up to 180bpm during my intervals and it felt oh so good!

Day 2: I had such a great time getting a good workout in yesterday, why not do it again? Who needs a recovery day anyway? This time, ran 40 minutes but I could not help myself and I went to the track to pace-check. I was going 8:16 pace! So happy to be moving again. Oh, and there were some people training at the track so naturally I had to speed up. Ended up running a full mile on the track, with negative splits. My last lap was 1:52 and I ended the mile in 7:57. I was ecstatic! It felt so good. Ended at the gym like planned. I am feeling GREAT, why not push it a little more? 30 minutes on the bike with 10x 1 min on/1 min off repeats (same effort as yesterday, just more repeats).

Day 3: Humility check. Woke up sore and my lower abdomen/pelvic region was visibly more swollen. My whole stomach felt bruised. UUUGGGHHH. Felt like I did last week instead of better. Dedicated the day to icing my incision area and only went for a slow 3-mile walk that night.

Day 4: Told myself ok to run as long as I went slow, short-strides, and gentle steps and ICED afterwards. I shuffled for 25 minutes w 5-min walking warm-up and cool-down. Felt surprisingly good!

Day 5: Feeling great again. Headed out for early AM run. My favorite time of day to run is when the sun is coming up. I initially set out for a 30 minute shuffle. The stars were so bright! I ran on the golf course and it was beautiful. Then my 30 minutes were up (this is where I was supposed to stop running and walk home). But the pink tinge in the sky was so beautiful and made me want to keep running. I justified it by going slow. So I kept shuffling along watching the sun rise from the golf course. Then I ran along a road by the runway. The airplanes with the sun rising behind them were picturesque. Which meant naturally, I had to keep running…. 30 minutes later, the sun was up and I knew I had to end my run. So ran for 60 minutes total. But it was BEAUTIFUL and I kept my pace very slow, minimizing pounding on the pavement.  My incision swelling is way down again, even after my run, and I am feeling great J

Day 6: Just like yesterday, I set out for a 30 minute shuffle.  But… I ended with an amazing 65 minute run.  It was pouring rain and, in Oklahoma, storms can turn scary really fast.  I ran 3 miles of my run around the track, which was close to home, in case the weather turned crazy. I have a hard time controlling pace on the track—mile one was 7:52, mile two 7:40, mile three 7:28. I felt excellent. I had a little tightness in the incision area, but as long as I kept my strides relatively short, it did not bother me. After 3 miles, I could tell that: a) I needed to slow down so I didn’t overdo it, and b)  it was just going to rain. But I was still enjoying myself, so I slowed down but kept running. I left the track and ran around the neighborhoods.  And I had a glorious run. Have I mentioned I love running in the early AM, and I love running in the rain? Finished soaked but with a huge smile on my face.

Day 7: Feeling great again today and my swelling is actually down! Sundays are usually my rest day, though, so I walked a lovely 4 miles with husband, baby, and 2 Vizslas.  I cannot believe that 6 weeks ago today, we were in the operating room having baby girl pulled from my belly. What a crazy 6 weeks it has been!

I am a 30-something new mother (pet mother too), marathon and ultramarathon runner, healthcare professional, and outdoor enthusiast. I'm working on completing a marathon in all 50 states. I will be blogging about motherhood, running, and any random running-related rant I might come up with.

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