I am now in my 12th week postpartum. The recovery and return to running has definitely taken longer than I expected, but I am still thankful I am able to run at least some these days.
To recap, I started run/walking 4 weeks postpartum. I can hardly call it running though as I did more walking than running, and I’m not even sure I ran a full mile that first week.
By week 6, I ran 3 miles with a couple of walk breaks, but wasn’t until week 7 that I ran 3 miles without stopping. By the end of December I was running 3 – 7 miles at a time and running 4 or 5 times each week. Here’s what my mileage has looked like each week.
5 weeks postpartum: 3 miles
6 weeks: 6 miles
7 weeks: 9 miles
8 weeks: 17 miles
9 weeks: 20 miles
10 weeks: 16 miles (including first postpartum race: Northern Lights Resolution Run)
11 weeks: 22 miles
I have been pretty consistent at increasing my mileage in small amounts each week and adding in a little bit of speed work here and there.
Overall, I have been feeling pretty good. My legs felt like they were lacking some strength at first, but I don’t feel that anymore. Of course I have lost speed and endurance, but I know I can get those things back. My biggest concern right now is that I can still feel my incision sometimes when I run. Overall it is getting better, and I don’t feel it as often or as early into the run. I used to feel it after a couple of miles, but now I usually don’t feel it until about mile 5 or 6. But the fact is I still feel it. I know I need to be careful because I want everything to heal properly.
For example, last week I ran 8 miles, but I was a little sore in my lower abdominal area. I took the next two days off to rest because I need the inner incision (on the uterus) to heal properly.
Thankfully I have several months until the summer racing season kicks off, but being the overachiever I am, I want to ‘get after it’ now. Even though I want to run like crazy, I also know if there is any time, this is the time to lay low and enjoy my cuddly baby.