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I am still running, honest

9 October 2013

Every week!

Three times a week! Really, I am.

On Sunday I’ll be running my first post-baby race – the Great Eastern Run. I’m running it with my sister, to give her some moral support in getting around her first half marathon, and I’m really looking forward to that. I’m also dreading it. The furthest I’ve run in the past five months has been 9.5 miles, which was supposed to be 10 miles, but I just couldn’t do that last 0.5.

Oh dear.

The last time I ran the Great Eastern Run I’m pretty sure it was just called the Peterborough Half Marathon, but I was the Great Notajogger, busting out a personal best time of 1 hour 34 minutes. On Sunday we are aiming for 2 hours 30 minutes.

I’m taking flapjacks.

When I last wrote I said that “naps have finally arrived”. Can you hear the sound of hollow laughter? The one thing I have learned since having a baby is that you SHOULD NEVER SAY ANYTHING GOOD OUT LOUD because that thing will then immediately go wrong, forever. So, naps are out of the window, along with me, walking with the buggy. This means I am getting a lot more exercise, but also drinking a lot more coffee, and not writing any blogs.

The good news is that running has finally got easier. About three weeks ago I noticed that my joints were feeling stronger – when I turn back to look for oncoming traffic at a crossroads I no longer feel like my hips were going to slip out of place.  As soon as this happened I knew: it was time to see if I could run fast again.

I am not a slow runner. I realise that these things are relative and that I am no Usain Bolt, but what I mean is that I do not enjoy running slowly. I do not believe in jogging. It has therefore been somewhat challenging to my self esteem to get back to running after pregnancy.

From 8 weeks to 4 months there was no change in my pace. It varied between 9 minute miles to 11 minute miles during a run but it never, never got faster from run to run. There is a good, if slightly depressing article here which talks about why it’s probably not a good idea to try to run quickly post-partum, but this was not a choice on my part, I just wasn’t able to run at any other speed.

Three weeks ago (so at about 4.5 months post-baby) I ran fast for the first time. It was just a very short pyramid interval session, but I loved it. It felt amazing to be running at (relative) speed again and my painful ankle tendons were miraculously fine throughout the whole thing because I was concentrating on pushing with my thighs. A couple of these sessions and two tempo runs have improved my normal pace to about 8 minute 40 second miles. At this rate of improvement, I’ll be challenging Usain come Rio.

The “session”

Warm-up
1 minute fast 1 minute slow
2 minutes fast 2 minutes slow
3 minutes fast 3 minutes slow
2 minutes fast 2 minutes slow
1 minute fast 1 minute slow
Cool down

2 Comments leave one →
  1. 9 October 2013 1:33 pm

    Welcome back! You have been missed!

    Glad to hear you have been able to turn that corner in your post-pregnancy life! I know with my wife it was not easy. I think you have your priorities right though..baby.. family..running and if there is a chance – blog.

    We will be here waiting when you have the time to blog more consistently!

  2. 10 October 2013 8:06 am

    Thanks Robinson! I’m quite surprised how easy it’s been to stay motivated. I think running has become my treat, so I never want to miss one of those!

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