I made it through the rest of my somewhat brutal pregnancy (plus 8 days overdue) and survived a natural childbirth (after 3 failed epidurals). Now, I reside in the excruciating limbo of recovery, those 6 weeks post birth when you can do nothing but breastfeed and wait for your organs to settle back into some semblance of their normal location.
I would be lying if I said I was not chomping at the bit and climbing the walls to start running again. I have been waiting and biding my time until my son decided to emerge just be able to return to fully torturing and abusing my body. And with the months I had to sit unhappily on the sidelines, my return to the trail will be brutal indeed.
Yet I’m not there yet. I’m still in that limbo.
Since this recovery has not been as painful or slow as after my last child, cabin fever and excitement to return to activity blaze in me. I feel perfectly fine as I sit on the couch (with a child perpetually attached to or on top of me), yet when I foolishly attempt to sprint back to normal activity, I am reminded that I just birthed a child and my body does actually need to rest.
A little over a week after having my son, I tried what I thought was gentle yoga, just to loosen up and relax, just to do something that might feel active. Unfortunately, I stretched my tight and aching abdomen muscles. That simple action then destroyed them for several days.
After this painful lesson, I begrudgingly took it more easy, even though every cell in my body just wanted to be active. Between my excitement to return to activity and my desire to whip my soft, deflated body back into shape, patience has been excruciating. I’m sure I have been irritable between the denial and continued lack of endorphins.
I waited until my son was three weeks before attempting again. I returned first to yoga, doing only the prenatal yoga I did during my pregnancy that completely avoids stretching the belly. Then I took a slow two mile hike through a nearby park with a friend (while wearing my baby). And I survived without pain.
On Saturday, I return to races. I am walking a 5K. Again, I am returning before I can run and settling to walk because it is for Wounded Warriors. I also have a delightful walking buddy and will really take any activity I can get at this point. I plan to take the boy with me. I only hope I don’t have to nurse him on the course.
Then I am walking another 5K the first weekend of October. I hope to attempt the elliptical before the 6 week mark then wait for my first run until after my doctor’s blessing at my check. I can make it another 3 weeks. Then I can run myself into the ground to make up for the months.
I imagine my first few runs will be horrendous. I imagine I will be starting back at the very beginning, if not farther back. I need to make my peace with that now so when I get back on the trail I don’t get too discouraged.
I just want to run.