Don’t let the smile fool you. Running as a new mom is a lot harder than I ever expected it to be. I don’t know why I ever thought I would just jump right back into it, like nothing changed. Time, feedings, cryings, heat, humidity, cardio depletion, muscle fatigue, daddy’s schedule, appointments, nutrition, cuddles, snuggles, daily chores, laundry, dishes. Did I mention crying? Yeah, these are all factors I never had to really worry about before Clayton’s arrival. When I wanted to run, I would run. If I wanted to hit the trails, I would venture into nature. Now, the only things I can think about are when the last time Clayton ate, did he poop yet today, how long was his nap, is he still breathing, and the list goes on and on.
TIME— Where does it even go now anyways? We’ve gotten ourselves on a pretty decent schedule, at least I think so for being a new born, a preemie, and a first time mom. BUT that doesn’t stop it from getting away from me. Some mornings, we can wake up, snuggle, eat, && then fall right back to sleep. Leaving me with a hopeful 1 hour at the least for myself, but typically about 30 minutes. If it’s a treadmill run, or a trainer ride, we are usually pretty golden. The sounds of each put little man to sleep && keep him asleep. But other mornings, I just want to chill after numerous wake ups through the night to feed the booger. And then before I know it, it’s time to feed him again. Sometimes feedings take 20 minutes, other times over an hour. Then we have doctors appointments for both of us, and those seem like an everyday occurrence sometimes. I also have to share my exercise time with Chris. When he gets home from work, he wants to go ride. Those days, I tend to hit the treadmill or nothing at all. On weekends, we have to share the cooler mornings, and more times than not, Chris takes them, and then I am either forced to try it in the summer heat, or again, nothing at all. Factor in daily Clayton laundry, constant dishes, and more spit up than I care to share, and the day seems to be done and over with.
NUTRITION— I have been making so many healthy choices when it comes to my postpartum nutrition. The problem lies in the time, AGAIN. There rarely seems to be the right time for me to sit down and eat, and with the list of other things on my mind constantly, I check them off first, before even thinking about stuffing my face. I am pretty good about getting breakfast in, but then most days, lunch does not happen until the evening, and then dinner tends to go by the wayside. This has been affecting my running like woah. If I eat to late into the day, when Chris gets home and says I can run, I can’t because I will literally upchuck my food. Basically what happened on today’s run. My salad was repeating on me. Factor in the heat and humidity and well yeah, that’s a recipe for disaster. This also affects me when I do get the chance to run. My energy levels are slim to none. It’s kind of scary that I don’t ever feel hungry either. I know I need to eat, for more reasons than I can count, but before I know it, it’s bed time and I’m just like, “Dang! I only had a piece of toast with PB and some carrots.” I know it is playing a part in my losing the rest of my baby weight too. I’m trying over here though, promise.
BP— So my postpartum hypertension seems to be pretty well controlled with the meds that I am on, but the medicine causes its own problems. I’ve never been on any kind of medication in my life. I had the healthiest pregnancy, no BP issues, no gestational diabetes, no extreme weight gain. As soon as they induced me, my BP shot through the roof. After six weeks, it seemed to level to the average, but I can still spike up sometimes. It frustrates me, it worries me, and it makes me feel helpless sometimes. I am slowly coming to terms with the fact that I might need to be on medicine for longer than expected, and maybe even forever. BUT the medicine affects my running too. When it is super hot and humid and I run outside, I break out in hives and a crazy heat rash all over my body. Never experienced that before. I also get really dizzy when I am done running. My average heart rate is ridiculous right now, but my resting heart rate is still that of when I was in killer shape. This is so obvious in my pace. BUT I am able to push it some days and get back down to where I was before pregnancy. My hope is that with my continued exercise, my cardio conditioning and BP will get better.
So where does this leave me? Well the old me would get super upset if I didn’t hit my desired mileage, or pace at that. I would slave away on the pavement, or at the gym. Late nights, early mornings, two a days. You name it and I went for it. BUT the newbie mommy in me could care less. When my body says its had enough. I listen. If I don’t get to run everyday, that’s okay. If my abs never come back, well so be it. I am still going to push as hard as I can, when I can, but my life is about the cutest little boy EVER. He will always come first. And I know with time, I will figure this all out. It will get easier. But mommy life is the best life. Running just plays a different part in my story now. Same story, new chapter. I will come back, just stronger, more appreciative, and on a new time frame. On Clayton’s time. He is my reason, my strength, my EVERYTHING! ❤
I’ve got races on the calendar. I still have goals. I will work each day towards achieving them. I am just no longer the runner worried about pace, distance, placing in age divisions, && being the best. I am a mother runner, and that in itself is medal worthy && my trophy is my sweet baby boy. I’m already a winner in my eyes! ❤