As you know from recent posts, most of my activity lately has been on the walking and hiking range of things. My son is now 4 and a half months old, and after doing pelvic PT for the past 3 months, I have been cleared to do short runs!
Nothing like a major run, but I am free to add in a handful (5-10) of 30 second jogs into my daily walks. This is exciting! It’s finally fall here in New Mexico, and the temperatures are finally low enough to make running enticing.
I haven’t been cleared to leave PT: I still go every other week to get my strength, posture, and balance checked on. So far, the major finds in my PT is that my ribs have been flared, I lack spinal mobility, and have serious imbalances in my hamstrings. Of course, my glutes need a lot of work, too! The hamstring imbalance stems from a hamstring injury I sustained in 2003 (17 years ago!): I tore my left hamstring on lap 10 of the 5,000 m at Indoor Track Nationals. My leg swelled up like a purple balloon (torn muscles bleed a lot) and I flew back to Oregon on crutches. Though the acute injury healed, I have dealt with the scar tissue and hamstring weakness since then; this has been exacerbated by pregnancy #3, and by the upheaval of my normal exercise routines that COVID-19 has wrought.
For the next few months, one of my main foci will be adding consistent strength training back into my exercise routine, guided by my PT. This strength work is important, but it also hinges on my continued pelvic floor work. Kegels, transverse abdominal awareness and engagement, glute activation (clamshells, side walks with a stretchy band, etc.), and upper spine mobility and opening are what my focus is now.
Just like in “normal” running training, there is no free lunch, and there’s no way for me to get back to that glorious feeling of speeding through a run without first doing all the little pre-hab exercises I know I need to do. So for now, I’m swapping some of my walking time for more strength work, and when I do go on my runs, I’m excited to be taking my 8 year old with me.
In reality, I look forward to the runs with my daughter as time that is just for the two of us. I love to share my love of running with her, and right now, she gets a kick out of speeding away from me on our mini-run intervals! Sharing the activity I love so much is very motivating for me to get back to being able to be a healthy, consistent runner, so I can keep up with my three kiddos for years to come.
Cheers to making another step back to running postpartum!