Guest blog from the very lovely, and uber talented Christie Walsh, who shares her feelings surrounding that ‘first run’ after having a baby. Hope you enjoy.
Running has always played a big part in my life, a time for me to gather perspective, disconnect, whilst also a chance to come up with some fairly creative ideas (which for me is saying something as creativity in all honesty has never been my strong point).
Running while pregnant
I’m now the proud mummy of my two little girls. With my first pregnancy, I have to admit, I was anxious to run, at risk of causing any possible harm to bump.
But with my second pregnancy, I was more relaxed I’d done more research and managed to carry on running up until around 35 weeks (by which time it was admittedly more of a waddle than a run…and a waddle which required many a loo stop).
Ready to go?
Consequently, having exercised more during my second pregnancy, I felt much more physically and mentally ‘ready’ to get back into my running. Having said that I knew I couldn’t rush it and with numerous hormones still making their way around my body I didn’t want to risk any possible injuries.
I waited until the GP had signed me off at the 6-week check and it was that same evening I attempted my first run. Here are 3 things that stick with me when I think back to that first run:
Choosing which sports bra to wear was definitely a tricky one! When I was a teenager I definitely missed the ‘Boob Queue’ and so I’ve never had to deal with an ample chest, but oh-boy how breastfeeding changes that! So in the end, I decided on wearing two…better to be safe than sorry. However, it did make me realise I needed to invest in a new sports bra…
There I was, sports bras on, trainers all set at the door, and suddenly I had this wave of guilt that I was leaving my youngest for the first time! Would she be okay without me? Was I leaving her too soon? I was saying goodbye to the gang as though I was about to embark on a weeklong trip somewhere far away. But after some reassurance from my other half that I just needed to suck it up and head out, off I went, secretly hoping they’d all be waving me off at the window… don’t be silly mummy…
I decided against doing one of my usual 5km routes as I knew I’d end up comparing my time to before, so I chose a route which a) I’d never done before and b) one which I knew if I was struggling, it was easy to get back home!
I set myself the goal of running for at least 20 minutes, and the distance didn’t matter….so guess what, I did it and even managed to stretch it to 30 minutes!
Looking back, my technique was definitely a little out, I had heavy feet, my shoulders were tense and I didn’t quite have my breathing right. But…I’d done it and I was so chuffed with myself! Also, the gang had survived without me, in fact they were in the exact same positions I had left them in and I even had time to squeeze in a few squats and then stretch. Yey!
I felt on cloud nine and although I knew I was a bit ploddy, and that I had a fair amount to do to get back to my pre pregnancy running pace, I was absolutely fine with that. Giving birth to these wonderful human beings really does knock our bodies for six, so it’s about being realistic and setting yourself small and achievable goals.
Next goal…sign-up for a race! x
Are you a returning to running after a hiatus? Are you a new mum struggling with guilt? Do you worry about comparing your current performance to your previous pre-baby ability? Please share and show some love for our guest blogger.