Post-partum fitness experiment: Last week

Day 22: Sunday April 22nd
Something is wrong with me. I started this post last week, and I came back to it today and saw that I had written it as “August 22.” I think I would have had a hard time getting out of the ninth grade if we still used typewriters. Last Sunday, I had not planned for a workout and therefore very nearly missed my chance. I love the expression, “A failure to plan is a plan to fail.” I didn’t make it up but I wish I did. Side note; conversely, you can sometimes win without trying… As in, TODAY I AM WEARING PRE-PREGNANCY JEANS.

Anyway, about last Sunday, I slept in, Dan did his workout, and by the time he got back, Sweet Pea was up. We had my brother and sister in law visiting and I didn’t want to bail on them to work out.

We had asked  our babysitter, Maddie to come over for 5:30 so we could go out for the evening. At 4:45 I realized I had time to run for 20 minutes, and a 20 minute run was certainly better than no run. Since it was so short, I made the middle ten minutes hard. I got home and started pumping so I could leave with a fresh bottle ready. I didn’t get a whole bottle, but I did get a few ounces. Dan and I went to the rock gym and then out for Ethiopian.  When we returned we found Sweet Pea on Maddie’s lap, totally enthralled. It was our first time leaving her with a non-family sitter, and Maddie’s first time caring for an infant, and it was a success!

Day 23: Monday April 23
I thought I would go to the 6am Masters, but when Sweet Pea was up from 3:30 to 4:30, I bagged it. For most newborns, this would be par for the course, but she usually sleeps from about 10pm to 5 or 6am, uninterrupted, so this was not what I expected. Also, we had her first appointment with the pediatrician Monday morning, and Monday nights Dan has a meeting. The prospect of caring for a fussy baby who had just had her first vaccinations, solo until 10pm on very limited sleep made it extremely easy to bail on the early morning workout.

At her doctor’s appointment, Sweet Pea was smiling as the doctor pressed his stethoscope all over her little body, she was calm and smiley as could be as she got weighed and measure, and then she screamed bloody murder when she got her shots. I don’t know how to explain how I felt while this was going on, or while she cried for over 15 minutes straight at home (this never happens), but I was reminded of the time I was a teenager, sitting on a plane and I overheard these two strangers talking in the row in front of me about having kids. One mom said to the other mom, “Having a child is like wearing your heart outside your body.”

Day 24: Tuesday April 24
I ran 39 minutes, and for the first time in months, I felt pretty good!

Wednesday April 24
I meant to run early Wednesday morning but I didn’t, because I am a tired, lazy, slob. Actually, when I was training for my first marathon in 2001, it was not unusual for me to get up at 5:50 am so I could be at the gym by 6:10. When my alarm would go off, I would say to myself, “Get out of bed, you lazy slob!” Not what you would call Positive Self Talk, but you know what? It worked. I did not skip a single workout, and I didn’t have a coach, either. All I had was a beginner program I had copied out of Runners World and fear in my heart. I taped the program on my wall and I x’ed out each workout as I completed it. I also had the benefit of attempting my very first long distance event, and I was terrified that I wouldn’t be able to do it, unless I did the work, and even then I wasn’t positive I could do it until I crossed that finish line. Mostly I think fear is limiting, but in that case, fear was the best training partner I ever had.

So, after Dan left for work on Wednesday, I ran with the BOB stroller for the first time. They say you shouldn’t run with it until your baby is eight months old, but at this point, Sweet Pea is still in her carseat in it. The car seat has a padded head support, and I thought and thought and I couldn’t figure out how hitting a crack or a bump in the sidewalk would matter whether I was walking or running. Dan was fully on board for me trying to run with the stroller, although I have to say there was a conflict of interest there, because me running with the baby means he doesn’t have to miss any of his beauty rest to get up with her if I get up early to workout alone. (In all fairness, Dan does get up for any middle of the night diaper changes and brings me the baby so I can nurse in bed).

We were out for about 45 minutes, mostly jogging, and a little walking. I let myself walk for a minute or two up the hills because running with a stroller and a baby is hard! I wouldn’t have minded it being hard so much if it weren’t so awkward. I think the stroller is made for a (much) taller person. To hold onto the handle, I have to flex my elbows much more than I normally would. I experimented with holding onto the handle with one arm and letting my other arm move back and forth, I tried giving it a push ahead of me and just running, and I tried just resting both hands on it, and no matter what, it felt funny. I think it might get easier if I keep practicing, but I also don’t want it to interfere too much with my form and result in an injury.

Off topic: Sweet Pea is sitting in her bouncy seat doing this thing right now where she sticks out her tongue, and then you do it back and then she does it back and then sometimes she gives you a big smile while her tongue is sticking out, and then she shuts her eyes for a second, like a blink, but longer than a blink and it is cuter than an international conference of puppies, kittens, and baby seals. This is making it very hard to blog. I usually blog when she’s sleeping (although not just because she’s cute).

Anyway, about the BOB, it is great to have as an option but I don’t see myself wanting to run with it on a regular basis.

Day 25: Thursday, April 25th:
I taught a 45 minute spin class in the evening and then I ran on the treadmill for 5 minutes after. This was my first brick since 2010, and it was hard but not too hard. I only had one person show up for my spin class, until the last 10 minutes. At that point, this woman waltzed in and said something I totally could not understand. I thought I heard “yoga” so I pointed her toward the yoga room. She continued to talk. I lowered the music and discovered she was just killing time until her yoga class started and wanted to know if it was too late to join my class. Um… of course not. She’d missed the first 35 minutes of a 45 minute class, so she was right on time for the cool down of a workout she did not do, but what the heck. She also had never used a spin bike before. I showed her the basics, as far as bike fit and the emergency brake, and then asked her if she had any questions. She asked me how to make the resistance harder or easier. This was a reminder to me not to assume anything.

Day 26: Friday, April 26th:
I bailed on 6am Masters because Sweet Pea got up in the middle of the night. I know, I am the most spoiled newborn mama on the planet, because, I’ll just say it, Sweet Pea pretty much sleeps through the night on a regular basis and has been doing this for at least a week or two. Even before that, the most she would get up would be once during the night, maybe twice, but only the couple of times when she was going through a growth spurt (at 6 days and 6 weeks, which I am told is normal). So her getting up at 3:30 threw me off.

Friday afternoon, I mowed the lawn using our crappy old push mower, with Sweet Pea in the ergo carrier. I spent more time futzing with the mower when a twig would get caught in it than I did actually mowing. When Dan came home, I told him how much the lawnmower sucks. Then he said he thought perhaps the problem was a “user error.” I maintained that our lawnmower is a piece of crap. He started to speak and then stopped himself. I told him to go ahead and say it and I promised there was a 100% chance I wouldn’t get mad. He remained silent. I begged him to just say it. As he took a few steps away from me, said, “You said you mowed the lawn, but it doesn’t look like the lawn has been mowed. What did you do, exactly?” For the record, I did not get mad. At the very least, I got a great total body workout. At best, I did so awful a job, I will never have to mow the lawn again.

4 thoughts on “Post-partum fitness experiment: Last week

  1. Anonymous says:

    Not true, you can mow the lawn anytime you want! I’ll show you how to remove twigs easily and quickly.Love the dedication, congrats on the JEANS!Dan

  2. Anonymous says:

    I love getting to read your blog, Pam! It’s my chance to get a little bit of Pam time and hear what life is like with your new baby. Yep, running with a BOB doesn’t feel normal. I’ve got the Ironman which has a fixed front wheel. It has such low resistance to push that it’s great if you’re running in a straight line. It’s a bear every time you need to turn it, though. So happy to hear of all your adventures.Love,Nancy in Durham

  3. smacedo says:

    It took a while for me to get used to running with the Bob. I found it to feel best holding on with my right hand and leaving my left arm free. Also, play around with the front wheel. I leave mine to swivel (I know not the way you are supposed to run with it) but having it fixed just irritated me. Keep it up!

  4. Anonymous says:

    We advocate a more gradual approach to weight loss. “The number one thing new mothers have to have is a certain amount of patience with their body,” she says. “It took nine months to get there. It should take at least that long to get back to their fighting weight.

Leave a Reply