Fitness Update: 10 Weeks Postpartum

Hey friends!  It has taken me so long to get on the computer and motivated to blog again.  When I have the time during Nathan’s naps, I’m usually either working out, cleaning around the house, or prepping dinner, which leaves little time for blogging.  So don’t be surprised if I’m not blogging as frequently going forward.  I’ll keep writing, but I’m going to gear it back towards being a record for my training, racing, and travel.

To catch you up on life: I’ll be completely honest that month two of parenthood was hard for me.  Hard both emotionally and physically.   I’m happy that I’m past that; we’re having less fussy nights and I came to terms with the difficulties of breastfeeding, and I’m now doing a combo of pumping/nursing plus some supplementation.  It’s working for us now, and I’ll be happy to have provided breastmilk for at least the first three months, then we’ll see if I wean sometime between months three and six – I haven’t decided.  Anyway, Nathan is doing great; he’s eleven weeks old now, and though sleeping through the night is pretty far away from what I can judge, we’re at least getting lots more smiles and figuring out his needs much better than in earlier weeks.

As for me, I finally started feeling good to do “real” workouts around week eight.  Recovery in the first six weeks took me longer than I expected (I had a fairly fit and healthy pregnancy so this surprised me), and getting back into it is a little emotional at times, but I’m just enjoying what I can do and what I “get” to do.  Thanks to all you fellow athletes and bloggers for so much inspiration and positivity, I’m really bringing it to my workouts!  I think building up my fitness will only be more rewarding after so many months off (given I worked out in pregnancy, but it’s really not the same).    Here’s a rundown of everything:

Running: I’m holding off on running for now.  I ran a few times around week six and realized I was still having groin soreness and felt weak in my pelvic area.  I decided there was no need to push anything at this point and it would be best to focus on strength before logging any more miles.  So I’ve been really working on pelvic floor exercises, core work (planks, etc.) and lots of body weight and functional strength exercises (squats, lunges, etc.).  In just a week or two I saw a lot of improvement and am really optimistic that I’ll start running again by three months post partum.  I found ab muscles I didn’t even know I had!  I’m signed up (with David) for a 5-mile Turkey Trot at Thanksgiving and the Houston Half Marathon in January, so I have some running goals to look forward to, even though it will feel like starting from scratch.  I don’t want to focus on my times so much, but rather on feeling strong while running.  David is actually doing really well running with the Bob stroller and says he is enjoying passing people on the trail while running with it 😉  We both agree that having some form of exercise most days really uplifts our moods, even when we are tired, so we do our best to make it happen for each other.

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Nathan has his Garmin 910xt on for his run, but doesn’t seem amused.

Swimming: My first swim back was a few days after my six week follow-up appointment and I was cleared to be in the pool.  While I was ecstatic to be back in the water, fhe first swim back felt pretty terrible, and my body felt out of place and clunky.  But just a few swims later I was feeling much more like my usual self.  Since then I’ve done a lot of interval swims and am just loving being out of breath again!  My paces are still not what they used to be (fast 100 yds are in the low 1:30’s, and I think I timed a 200 at 3:27).  But I’m loving that swimming is helping both my aerobic capacity and upper body.  I think my form is still there, but I just need to build strength again, and I’ll only do that by swimming lots.  David has also gotten in to swimming now that he is faster after switching to bilateral breathing and evening things out.  We sometimes go to the pool and hang out with Nathan outside while each other swims, or we’ll swim when the grandparents are kind enough to watch Nathan.  We’ve also hauled him to the lake while we did open water swims and he seems to love being outdoors.

image7 Glorious late morning swims

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My parents (Grandma & Grandpa Nene) watching Nathan while in town for a weekend.  The Nene is the Hawaiian state bird (Nay-nay), and it’s my dad’s favorite word, for those wondering.

Cycling: I’ve been riding the bayou trail near our house lately for 1-1:15 hrs on the weekends, and not paying too much attention to my gadgets.  Just riding to ride, because I love being on two wheels.  My power is embarrassingly low, so I do want to build up my leg strength again this winter.  Oh, I also got the rare treat of riding with my dad while my parents were in town and it was so fun to be on someone’s wheel once again (and chasing it up hills!).  It really makes me happy to get outside and ride though, I just love biking.  I’m looking forward to riding on the IMTX course again soon at some point.  Fall and winter riding in Texas is pretty great.

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Post-ride baby snuggles!  Loving getting to wear my BettyDesigns again.  This picture really means #badassisbeautiful to me!

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So fun to ride with Dad in The Woodlands.  He’s always a strong cyclist!

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Nathan is working on his aero position

Where am I finding time for the workouts?  I try to do core work for thirty minutes before Nathan wakes, which can be REALLY hard on nights where he doesn’t sleep well.  Plus it’s still a guessing game when he will wake up.  I also try to go on stroller walks with Nathan the days I’m alone with him, if nothing else to get some fresh air and stretch the legs. My mother in law is wonderful enough to come in for a few hours a couple of days during the week, or sometimes we drive up to their house on the weekends and can get to the gym for an hour.  Family nearby has been great!  Plus David is taking a day of vacation every other week and is very supportive of my workouts, especially on the weekends.  We trade off; sometimes he wants to go kiting, so the next day I might get to bike.  David also sometimes goes running with Nathan in the Bob stroller while I do my own workout.   I feel really lucky for all the support I’m getting.

Race plans for 2016?  I still don’t know at this point.  I think I’ll wait until I go back to work (likely January) so I can understand what fits in my schedule.  I would just love to do some triathlons and hug my baby at the finish!

What are your 2016 race plans? 

Did any of you fellow moms get back into triathlon post-baby, and do you have any advice?

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6 thoughts on “Fitness Update: 10 Weeks Postpartum

  1. You are looking good! Congrats on getting back into fitness 🙂

    I will be doing IM Wisconsin in 2016, but haven’t decided on the rest of my 2016 race calendar yet.

    1. Thanks Kecia! I saw you signed up for IMWI- so excited for you! It looks like such a great race. Not sure if I will do an im again anytime soon, but if I did IMWI would definitely be on the list!

  2. You look absolutely fantastic and this was really encouraging to read. I have my 6-week follow-up appointment on Tuesday and am really looking forward to hearing what the doctor has to say. While I feel pretty good, I have no idea how I have healed “down there.” Part of me is afraid to look. Haha! I imagine that cycling will be the first thing I ease into, followed by swimming and running. I am already planning on setting up my trainer next week so that I can ride here and there with Axel next to me. Unfortunately, we do not have the nice weather you have this time of year. I’m a little afraid to swim, just because I’m not even sure I can fit into my bathing suit right now (ugh), and running is completely unknown. Hopefully I can start running, but if it feels “off “ I might wait a bit. Did you doctor actually give you the OK to run? Do you have any other follow-up appointments with your doctor?

    I’m really hoping I can be in a very similar place as you when I am 10 weeks postpartum. I NEED exercise in my life. ☺

    1. Hey lady! I can so relate- I wasn’t sure if I’d healed down there at that time either (I looked and couldn’t tell, ha! I was so afraid to mess up the stitches by exercising too early though). My doc was so nonchalant she was just like Yep you’re fine (for whatever exercise). I didn’t have any further follow up with her. I wore a two piece for swimming which helped, and biking felt great! Te trainer is nice to have but I’ve only managed to get on it while David is there to watch nathan in the evening. I bet you will be running sooner than later with how long you ran in pregnancy, you’re strong! I know what you mean by needing exercise!

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