New Year, Shaping our New Lives

I’m currently wrapped in fleece blankets, achy and feeling feverish chills, surrounded by teacups and used tissues watching a cold drizzle outside. Our new daughter, now 3 months old, is drowsing restlessly in her swing next to me, sniffling and snorting.

Last year finished strongly for me: two highlights included defending my PhD in early September, and even better, welcoming our second daughter in late September! (Happily, the two did not coincide.)

New Year's Day fun in Tucson!
New Year’s Day fun in Tucson!

How about running? Following the birth of our daughter, I took 6 full weeks off from running. After stopping running at 30 weeks pregnant, I transitioned to walking and it felt natural to return to increasingly long walks after giving birth. Despite lure of being slightly more fit at the US Olympic Marathon Trials in February, I don’t want to rush back into running. I try to take a ‘consistency over crazy’ approach, and want to be sure my running builds all through the year (and beyond), encompassing physical aspects of running, form and strength training as well as the mental aspects of returning to elite competition. The last thing I want is to be sidelined by an injury sustained by over-eager, too-soon return to running after childbirth.

Apart from the physical aspects of learning to run once more after a traumatic event like childbirth, one of the hardest aspects of returning to running is the pure logistics of managing two kids. My husband works, we have a 3 year old, and baby P is too young to be in the running stroller. Additionally, Penélope has resisted bottle feeding, and still nurses every 1-2 hours during the day, so my time away from her is limited. I try to time my running just after I nurse – both so that she can sleep, and so that I can be more comfortable running.

More on how training is going in the next blog!

Lovely winter weather.
Lovely winter weather.

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