10 Tips for Running after Baby

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Baby and Mommy’s first run! Look at those running shoes

I had baby Mackenzie about 9 months ago and have had a few people ask me how I got back into running and have seen some posts on Facebook in running groups I’m in asking the same thing! I figured I could write what worked for me and maybe help out some ladies after having their babies!

First of all – I didn’t have any crazy difficulties with labor and delivery and was cleared to resume running by my doctor at my 6 week appointment. Definitely consult your own doctor on when you should begin running again. I also ran until 32 or 33 weeks (can’t remember the exact date of my last run).

My tips for starting to run after having a baby!

  1. Start EASY – my first few runs were run 1 minute, walk 3 minutes for 24-32 minutes.
  2. SLEEP IS KING. If I had the choice between sleeping and running, I picked sleep. My baby was a terrible sleeper in the first few months and I was barely getting more that 4-6 hours of sleep (not all at one time) per night. Don’t beat yourself up because you missed a run – your body is still recovering and you are taking care of a baby!
  3. For the baby – nurse or feed the baby right before running. This will ensure that the baby won’t get hungry while out running and will make sure mom is more comfortable! Also dress the baby appropriately for the weather – since I started running again in the Texas summer, the baby would wear a onesie and nothing else. We also would put one of our phones in the stroller with her favorite noise playing to encourage her to sleep while we were running.

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    Dressed and ready to get in some miles in the hot Texas sun!

  4. When doing those first few runs at a pace so slow you think you may be able to walk faster relish in them! I clearly remember my first few runs because I told myself I would be able to look back on those runs in a couple months and see how far I had come.
  5. Set small goals and get excited when you achieve them! The first time I ran a mile without stopping you would have thought I just finished a 10 mile run I was so excited.
  6. Invest in new sports bras if needed! This was definitely something I needed! While I love all my Oiselle running gear the bras definitely weren’t supportive enough for me.
  7. Find buddies that will go slow with you! Both my mom and my husband were willing to take it slow with me which made my runs more fun!
  8. Sign up for races! I signed up for a 10K 3.5 months after having the baby and another 10K about 6 weeks later – it was fun to see the progression in speed! I took almost 2 minutes off per mile in 6 weeks :-). I also signed up for a half marathon 6.5 months after the baby was born which was the perfect amount of time for me to build back up to running 13 miles.

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    Baby and Mommy’s first run! Look at those running shoes

  9. Join a training group! After running my first half marathon after having the baby, I joined the Lukes Locker Half Marathon training program. It was just what I needed to work on getting my speed back! It has been fun running with a group again and getting my legs moving at a faster pace again. I definitely still have work to do but I am definitely feeling like my old self again.
  10. Finally my last tip is to BE KIND TO YOURSELF! Don’t beat yourself up for missing a run or running slow or being a few pounds heavier than you used to be. You are still a runner and if you want you will get back to where you used to be with some hard work! Just enjoy the miles and the process. Enjoy sharing your love of fitness with your little one and maybe you will pass the running bug onto the next generation

What other tips do you mamas have to share?

Feel free to comment with any questions you have! By taking it easy and slowly ramping up I have been running (fingers crossed) injury free for almost 8 months now and am really enjoying the process! I actually get excited for most of my runs and just feel blessed to get to go out there and run. Today I did intervals in the wind while pushing the stroller and loved almost every minute of it. I already have a post ready to go on must haves for running with baby!

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Love my new little running buddy!

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2015 – What a Year

2015 was definitely one of the most memorable years of my lie due to the birth of my daughter! In the haze of being pregnant and in school and then with the birth of my little one, I completely stopped blogging. I am definitely hoping to start up on this again and can hopefully start blogging once or twice a week consistently (maybe more!). I thought I would follow what I have seen other’s blog about and do a year in review of 2015!

January – Ran the Houston Half Marathon 20 weeks pregnant with my husband! We had so much fun and were on such a high after a race. Running a race with no time pressure and not allowed to really push yourself is a blast!

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After the Houston Half Marathon

February – Traveled to San Diego where my in-laws through me a wonderful baby shower! It was fun catching up with family friends and celebrating the fact that Baby KJ was coming! We also had SNOW in Dallas!

March – Ran the last half marathon of my pregnancy – it also happened to be my first trail race! I will need to do a separate blog post on this (and trail running in general) – it was slow but fun and my mom ran the whole way with me. I believe I was 29 weeks pregnant at this race! My husband and I also went to Spring Training in Phoenix, AZ on our last vacation before the baby arrived!

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Meeting my favorite baseball player at spring training! Kyle Seager!

April – Ran the last race of my pregnancy – a 5K (under 30 minutes!) with my mom. I also had another baby shower thrown by my best friends and mom and sister!

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5K in 26:52 around 31 weeks pregnant!

May – Finished the semester of school with a week to spare before the birth of my little girl! Mackenzie entered the world on May 27! I also was thrown another baby shower a couple weeks before Mackenzie was born. Mackenzie was one lucky little one even before she was born.

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Sweet Mackenzie

June – The haze of having a newborn! I don’t really remember anything about this month besides being extremely sleep deprived and taking in what being a new mommy.

July – July looked a lot like June! However, I was able to start working out again which made it a little better. We also had our first holiday as a family of three!

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July Fourth with one of our favorite families!

August – Celebrated 3 years of marriage with my husband and started school again! Towards the end of August was when my husband and I started to emerge from the haze of having a newborn and slowly get into a new routine of what our new normal is.

September – Ran my first race (a 10K under an hour woot woot) since having the baby and began the Whole Life Challenge to lose the rest of the baby weight and work on getting back into shape! I will do another post on this challenge as well! This month is when the baby started sleeping – it was pretty life changing when that occurred.

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We love family running!

October – Nothing too exciting occurred this month – just continued on with the Whole Life Challenge and participated in another 10K – this time maintaining a pace under 8 minute miles!

November – Went on our first vacation as a family of three – we traveled to Mexico and had the best time!

December – Had our first holiday season with the little one! It was so fun taking the little one to get her first Christmas Tree, visit Santa and help her open presents. I know Christmas will only continue to get more fun as she gets older.

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I am definitely looking forward to what 2016 will bring!

What were your favorite parts of 2015?

19 Weeks Wrap Up!

Greetings from the air! I am currently on my way back to Dallas after spending the weekend in Charlotte with my husband visiting one of my high school BFFs and her husband. It was a wonderful weekend that just makes your heart feel full. Reconnecting with an old friend right where you left off is the sign of a true friendship in my opinion. We had a great time eating our way through Charlotte and watching playoff football. So bummed about the Cowboys losing.

Spending time with one of my best friends!

Spending time with one of my best friends!

During this pregnancy I am hoping to maintain my fitness and complete a couple half marathons. I figured I can keep my blog updated with what I have been doing in case anyone is interested in “pregnant running/fitness.” I am currently 19 weeks pregnant (will be halfway this week – CRAZY!) and have been feeling pretty good the past few weeks! The first trimester definitely was a bit rough with just having no energy and a little nausea but overall I am a lucky woman and didn’t deal with too many issues. I was able to continue to run and crossfit. I think its so fun “running with my baby.”

My fitness goals are:
* Complete the Houston Half Marathon on Sunday!
* Complete my first trail half marathon at 29 weeks pregnant — if for some reason my body doesn’t allow this, that will be fine but I am excited to train and attempt to complete this even if it means some walking. My mom and I are both planning on doing this — Grasslands Half Marathon.
* Continue to run 3-4 times a week and go to Crossfit 3 times a week.

19 Weeks Workouts:

Monday — CrossFit and ran a mile afterwards
Tuesday — 6 miles of hills! This run was a little rough but with a little walking I made it through!
Wednesday — CrossFit in the morning and then a WINDY 4 mile run with my mom — we were hoping to do trails but since they were muddy that was not an option for us.
Thursday — CrossFit — tons of rowing!
Friday — Almost 5 miles
Saturday — Day Off
Sunday — Elliptical

I was planning on getting in a longer run on Saturday but I ended up sleeping in and not having time for it. At this point I am just going to enjoy sleeping in while I can — my husband and I definitely know those days are numbered!

Since I failed to take any workout photos this week - I'll end this with a pic of my pup :-) Thanks Robyn!

Since I failed to take any workout photos this week – I’ll end this with a pic of my pup πŸ™‚ Thanks Robyn!

Are you still friends with anyone from high school?
What was the last weekend trip you took?

The Portland Marathon

As mentioned, I am hoping to continue with my blog! Here is an overdue race report about the Portland Marathon! It was the first weekend of October.

Portland, Oregon has been one city on my list of “I really need to go there” cities. Luckily, my husband is awesome and agreed to do a marathon he had already completed before and we, along with a some of our favorite running friends, all decided to make the trip to Portland for the marathon. Unfortunately, since I had decided to go back to school, our original plan of making it a vacation and visiting wine country near Portland and having a few days to do touristy things was not able to happen. We landed in Portland Friday night and left early Monday so that I could make it home for class.

As mentioned in my previous blog post, I had found out I was pregnant about a week and a half before the marathon and checked with my doctor before deciding to run in the marathon. Since I was only 5.5 weeks pregnant at the time of the marathon my doctor said it was completely fine since I had been running and just to take it easy, monitor how I was feeling and to not run if it was over 80 degrees. I already hadn’t really properly trained for the race besides getting in my long runs so it pretty much just reinforced my “running for fun” race plan.

Our first night in Portland Jim and I were the last to arrive and had already missed dinner with our group so we decided to venture out and try to make it to Pok Pok, this Thai place our group had just dined at that we had heard great things about. When we arrived at Pok Pok the hostess basically laughed at us for thinking we could get in SO we decided to walk across the street to Appetizing – http://www.yelp.com/biz/appethaizing-portland” . What a “happy accident” as well like to call it. The food was AMAZING and inexpensive. We then headed to Salt and Straw — http://saltandstraw.com for dessert. We waited in a pretty long line for ice cream and I would do it again in a heartbeat. It was SO delicious. I tried olive oil which sounds so gross but was extremely delicious. We were also pumped to discover that Portland has Car2Gos. My husband and his father love these little cars and they were an easy way to get around Portland without having to take the bus or get a cab.

Delicious Salt & Straw

Delicious Salt & Straw

My husband loves these Car2Gos, it definitely came in handy after running the race.

My husband loves these Car2Gos, it definitely came in handy after running the race.

The second day in Portland was spent relaxing, going to the expo and getting our number, drinking some coffee and fueling! OH and some jeans shopping at Imogene & Willy. The next morning was race day!

Jim & Myself with our race bibs

Jim & Myself with our race bibs

All of us at Imogene & Willy after getting some jeans!

All of us at Imogene & Willy after getting some jeans!

Race morning I woke up feeling AWFUL, I think I had just come down with a cold and I hadn’t really slept a ton the night before because of congestion (and you can’t take anything when you are pregnant). My husband basically forced me out of bed and promised me we could stop at the halfway point (or wherever I wanted) if I was feeling awful. I got ready and we walked over to the starting line. I absolutely loved the ease of getting to this race, no need to get there super early, plenty of bathrooms in our corral and it was surprisingly warm out so no sitting outside in the cold. We were not pumped about the heat as we had come to the Northwest to escape the heat but that was not the case for Marathon Morning, it was a sunny, warm and humid day in Portland! We definitely were not expecting to be in the sun the entire race! I ended up not wearing my normal Oiselle Team jersey as sometimes I get too hot wearing it and opted to wear a thinner Oiselle Tank (cross top mesh) and the distance shorts (loveeee all the pockets in the distance shorts). (hint hint, the distance shorts are on sale online right now at http://www.oiselle.com/shop/sale)

Jim and I had decided to run together and he was even running with his phone! The first few miles were pretty rough and I wasn’t sure if I was even going to make it to the halfway point but after we hit about 5 or 6 miles I started getting in a good groove and actually thinking I would make it to the finish. I basically started to feel stronger and stronger with each passing mile, granted I was running at what felt like a pretty easy pace and was basically able to maintain it the entire race. Unfortunately for my husband, he wasn’t feeling better with each step and we ended up separating around the halfway point.

Running selfie! This is in the first couple of miles. Fake it til 'ya make it!

Running selfie! This is in the first couple of miles. Fake it til ‘ya make it!

Me at mile 13 - Jim said this was symbolic of what happened over the next mile....I just got further and further away from him

Me at mile 13 – Jim said this was symbolic of what happened over the next mile….I just got further and further away from him

I wasn’t a huge fan of the first part of the course — beware if you do the half (unless the course changes) that the course is not that scenic, it pretty much runs through an industrial part of town. The second half of this race is really pretty, I really loved running over the bridge and just enjoyed the entire race. I didn’t start to get that marathon cranky feeling until mile 23-24 and it was just a mental battle to not stop and just keep running, the more I kept running, the closer I was to the finish.

I made it to the finish line of my 11th Marathon!

I made it to the finish line of my 11th Marathon!

After the finish, I made it through the finish area — one major complaint about the finish area was the total lack of water!! With the sun beating on me for 26.2 miles all I wanted was a giant bottle of ice cold water and they only had ones to purchase in the beer tent where you also had to purchase beer! We thought it as a little strange that runners didn’t even get one free beer (not that I would have had one). Once my husband and I found each other we started the slow walk back to the hotel and he had brought some cash with him so he bought me a water :-).

Overall this is probably one of the most evenly paced marathons I have ever run and I definitely had fun running, it was nice to go into a race not really caring about my time. I ended up running one of my slowest marathons at a 3:53:11 which, considering the training I put into the race, I was pleased with.

Running Marathons together is something I'll always love about our relationship!

Running Marathons together is something I’ll always love about our relationship!

This was marathon number 11 for me and I would definitely recommend it! It was the perfect size for me, I had people to run with the entire time but never felt claustrophobic, I definitely just wish we had ended up with better marathon weather. The course isn’t super easy but it isn’t the most difficult one I have run, I actually credit crossfit with getting me through all the hills without much of a problem! It isn’t my favorite course ever but Portland is a wonderful place to visit so run the marathon and make a trip out of it. I really like the finisher shirts (just as a warning they are NOT Nike). The expo was really small and most of us hardly bought anything — maybe a shirt or two.

Marathon finishers! I love running marathons with my husband!

Marathon finishers! I love running marathons with my husband!

Celebrating our marathon finishes at dinner!

Celebrating our marathon finishes at dinner!

Have you ever run the Portland Marathon? Please let me know if you have any questions about it if you are interested in running it in 2015!
What cities are on your “must visit” list? I really want to visit Nashville!
Do you and your friends do destination races?