This Runner's Trials
11Nov/1122

My body after baby “plan”

Posted by runnerstrials

Baby update: Thankfully, he has not entered the world yet. At my appointment Wednesday, I was just a little more effaced, but dilation and station stayed the same. Hopefully things continue to move slowly. Just 9 more days until I'm full-term. Hang in there, baby!

Everyone's pregnancy experience is so different. But one thing most pregnant women have in common is their desire to get their pre-pregnancy body back soon after the baby is born.

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Advice from experienced moms is all over the place. I've been told:

  • The weight will just melt off of you without much effort.
  • You won't reach your pre-pregnancy size until you're done breast-feeding.
  • You'll never, ever get your pre-pregnancy body back.

I'm not sure which group I'll fall in, and I'm honestly not too concerned about it. I've put on close to 30 lbs. so far during pregnancy, yet I still love my body. Don't get me wrong, it would be nice- and economical- to get back into my pre-pregnancy jeans. But my actual weight? Ehh, it's not that important to me.

You guys know which numbers I care about the most. It's not the number on the scale or the size of my clothes. I care much more about PRs and my pace.

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That's what I'm going to focus on once I'm cleared to workout post-childbirth.

But I don't think jumping back into a training plan for a spring race would be the best idea. For one, I want my hip to be completely healed before I start running hard again. Secondly, I'll only be able to exercise in the early mornings before my husband heads to work. Running outside at 6 a.m. in January and February? Ha, not happening. I will run on the treadmill once or twice a week, but I refuse to run outside in the dark and cold. Plus, I don't really want to train only doing treadmill runs. As much as I love the treadmill, I know I'd eventually get bored.

I hope to run my favorite 1/2 marathon, the Clemson Easter Bunny Half Marathon, in the beginning of April (if my hip is OK). I have no plans to PR or even run the whole thing; I just want to enjoy the experience of running in one of my favorite locations.

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How am I going to "train" for a race without running much? I'm going to focus on cross-training. My main racing goals for 2012 include setting a Fall 1/2 marathon PR and completing a Fall 1/2 Ironman. Maybe there will be a marathon thrown in there but that's TBD. So my only goal for the Spring is to rebuild my base and get stronger by:

  • Practicing yoga. I got really into yoga last winter and cannot wait to resume my practice. Yoga makes me feel loose, strong, and downright happy. Even if I just do it sporadically at home, I know it will feel amazing.
  • Swimming. I may be the world's slowest swimmer. I was slow before I got pregnant, and now… well, the woman who shared a lane with me yesterday was close to three times my age and kept lapping me. I don't care how bad I am though. There's something so rewarding about watching yourself improve with practice. Swimming is an excellent complement to running, too; no impact!
  • Biking. Luckily, I can do this at home since we have a bike trainer. I used to love spinning, so I'm going to try to take some classes, too.

Of course, I know a lot, OK most, of this depends on how I adjust to motherhood and breast-feeding. Caring for my baby is my first priority so I expect to not exercise as much as I'd like. I've also heard intense exercise may diminish breast-milk supply, so I'll tone down the intensity if this happens.

There you have it, my body after baby plan. I don't know what this "plan" will do for the size of my body, but I do know it will make my body feel good. And that's what matters. :)