Anne-Marie and I have become Mainely Running pen pals in a sense. Sharing struggles and triumphs. Offering encouragement and perspective. This is the story of how Anne-Marie is getting her groove on ~ after the birth of baby #3!
Sam was born in the fall which is just not the best time of year as far as postpartum exercise goes-- by the time I was ready to start a little gentle exercise, the snow was flying. So I decided to start running again when the snow was gone. In the dead of winter I signed up to do a 10K at the end of June at the urging of friends. When Sam hit 6 months and had good neck control, I got out with my new secondhand jogging stroller and was prepared to get right back into the swing of things. Before this pregnancy, I was running three miles, 3-5 times a week, at a reasonable pace. I had run a 5K. This would be easy, I thought!
Except that it wasn't. I found myself out of breath easily. I didn't increase my running intervals the way I had when I had taken breaks from running before. My shoulders ached and I had trouble imagining myself actually finishing the 10K.
I emailed back and forth with the Mainely Running ladies trying to diagnose my running ailment. Was it my sleep deprivation? Was I doing something wrong with the jogging stroller? I found there were a few problems that actually turned out to be quite fixable:
- I wasn't running with good posture when using the jogger. Christine's suggestion to push one-armed made me realize this. Alternating arms basically eliminated the shoulder pain. Running with good posture when I pushed with both arms enabled me to breathe better. This improved my endurance and I started increasing my intervals.
- I was being both too easy and too hard on myself. I wasn't setting specific goals, but I was also berating myself for not achieving improvement as quickly as I had in the past. I set my sights on finishing the 10K, developed a plan for combining walk and run intervals for that, and stopped beating myself up. My new mantra was "I just had a baby and it's okay!" I did give myself a break when I was exceptionally tired (#3, while an otherwise fabulous baby, is not noted for achievement in the sleep arena), but I started paying more attention to distance and specific goals.
There's no doubt in my mind that Anne-Marie will cross the finish line of a half marathon by next fall ~ no doubts at all.
What are your short term and long term fitness goals and how do you plan to meet them? We'd love to help you get there!