Salty’s Post-Partum Running Update – 3 Weeks

When baby’s not doing this, she’s eating. I’d post a photo of that too, but unless you stumbled on this post through a google search I’m guessing you don’t want to see my boobs.

Baby #3 is 3 weeks old today! She just started giggling and smiling yesterday and seems to be a little bigger every time I look at her. She’s nursing like a champ and sleeping really well. I regularly have several 3-4 hour stretches of continuous sleep, which is great. She is way easier than my first and a little easier than my second.

As easy as she is, getting in a workout is no easy task!

At three weeks post-partum, the main impediments to running are:

1. Time. With a newborn, the day goes by so fast. It has to be a high priority for the day. If not, it won’t happen. If I plan the night before to get on the treadmill the next day, I can get it done. I just have to have my outfit and ipod ready. I cannot be intimidated by kid stuff either. Sometimes I will have to jump off and address one of the kids’ needs, but that’s no excuse not to attempt a workout!

2. Energy. I sleep well for having a newborn, but that’s not sleeping particularly well. Every little shake and stir wakes me up. It’s just a fact of motherhood that sleep is lighter than normal. That’s fine, but when I can’t pry myself out of bed before 9:00 a.m. and even then feel like a slug, it’s hard to get motivated to overcome all the time impediments in the way of working out.

3. Boobs. Engorgement is no joke. It hurts. I am a B on a good day when not nursing, so having DD+ boobs is really weird and I can’t say I have the sports bras to handle them. I have to nurse close to working out, or running is not going to happen!

4. Bladder. Pregnancy and delivery do a number on your pelvic floor muscles. These are the muscles that help you hold your pee. The first week or two after baby, I can’t even think about running or I’ll wet my pants. By three weeks I’m ok as long as I do a good job of emptying my bladder before heading out and not drinking anything within 45 minutes or so of taking off.

So once I can overcome all this stuff, I can hit the mill. Or not. Just as I was getting into the swing of brisk walks last week, the avalanche of illness buried me.ย  By last Wednesday, I had a cold and then on Thursday I came down with a stomach virus and was knocked on my butt for several days. I became dehydrated from all the puking, which depleted my milk supply for a little bit. I was able to get it back, but then had a plugged duct which I was worried was going to turn into mastitis. Luckily, I got that unplugged, but then the next day my heart condition made a reappearance. I had SVT episodes on and off all day. I called my electrophysiologist (heart specialist) and he was pretty confident they were due to an electrolyte imbalance from the dehydration, so I went nutso on potassium rich foods (bananas, oj, potatoes, beans, etc.) and drank like a (tee-totaling) fish and they thankfully went away. It was a crazy 4 days!

While I’m mentioning the heart condition, I suppose I should update you on that. The really weird thing was that I experienced these SVT episodes just 2 days after my post-partum cardiology follow-up. I met with the electrophysiologist last Friday. Because I had had no episodes since the big one that sent me to the ER back on September 1, he agreed I could wait a year to have the procedure to fix my heart problem (called an ablation). ย And then there I was on Sunday laying on the floor with the baby every half hour or so trying to get the SVT episodes to stop. While these latest episodes were all short – none lasting longer than 2:00 or so – they were sometimes intense causing me to feel hot, sweat and feel faint. Not ideal when trying to take care of a baby! Or ever, really. I am now rethinking the plan to wait. I’m feeling really conflicted!

Definitely a lot of improvement in 2 weeks! But don’t be too fooled. I am still 20 lbs. over my happy weight.

As for my body, the stomach bug definitely aided in the weight loss. I dropped three pounds in 12 hours. I thought I would have bounced back to about where I last left you , 152, but surprisingly, when I weighed myself yesterday, I was down to 147. I might bounce back up, before really starting to drop the weight. It took about 3-4 months after both of my other pregnancies for the weight to really start coming off. ย For me, while nursing an infant, my body seems to cling to the excess weight. I’m surprised I’ve lost as much as I have already, but am not expecting it to continue to come off like that. If it does. woohoo! If not, that’s ok too.

As for exercise, this is what I’ve managed the last two weeks:

Dec. 10 – Dec. 16

Mon: 2.75 miles walking (16:21 pace)

Tue: off

Wed: 3.37 miles walking (14:50 pace)

Thu: off – sick

Fri: off-sick

Sat: off – sick

Sun: 1.75 mile easy walk with the family. It was 60 degrees!

Dec. 17 – Dec. 23

Mon: 2.5 mile easy walk pushing my daughters at the park!

Tue: off

Wed: 4 miles (12:30 pace average). Walked 3:00/ran 2:00. Walks were mostly 3.8 – 4.0 mph and running was 5.8 – 6.0 mph. Also made it to the Y and did some basic core exercises, lunges, clams and push-ups.

Thu: off

Fri: 4.5 miles (11:25 average). Started with the 3:00 walk/2:00 run, but felt good so switched it to 2:00 walk/3:00 run. Walks were all 4.0 after the first five minutes and runs were between 6.0 and 6.5. Feeling stronger!

Sat: TBD

Merry Merry Christmas!


Salty Running boss and mother of 3 little ones with PRs of 3:10:15 (26.2), 1:25:59 (13.1) and 18:15 (5k). I love to write about running culture, mental training, and fitting in a serious running habit with the rest of a busy life.

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1 comment

  1. I’m in awe of your dedication. When I had my baby, I didn’t get off the sofa for about a month!! I guess with two others you can’t do that.
    Be kind to yourself – I look back on the demands I made on myself in those first few weeks and wish so much I’d been a little kinder to myself and on myself!!
    Have a wonderful Christmas!!! Enjoy that gorgeous little girl and your lovely family.