Monday, September 28, 2015

6 Months Postpartum

This has been my breakthrough month. The month where everything has started to come together. All my postpartum training that has been blah and then so-so and okay and better is now picking up speed. I feel like the effort I'm putting into runs finally matches the pace I'm running, without the double stroller. With the double stroller I'm still working so much harder than what paces indicate but that will always be the case, that thing is a beast! My weight loss is also more in line with how I'm exercising and eating as the pounds are now falling off week by week. I'm now a mere 2 pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight! Sleep has been pretty awesome with Elise going at least a 7 hour stretch at night with a PR just shy of 12 hours!
My sweet, little running buddies!
With running I'm feeling great and cruising to some times and paces that make me so happy! My training is finally coming together and I'm recovering so much quicker from hard efforts. I'm now able to put just 2 days between hard efforts so I can easily get 2 hard workouts in per week. I've been doing speed work again and have had no bleeding so I'd say I'm finally healed from childbirth! One week I'll do speed work and a tempo, the next I'll do speed work and a long run. I've only been back to speed work for a week, but that's the plan at least. Up until I added speed work back in I was doing a tempo run and then a long run per week. But only doing long runs every other week. I think part of the reason for quicker recovery is that my body is healed and another part of the reason is that my Fitbit has encouraged me to be more active on recovery days. Now I walk more the day after a long run or other hard workout which allows my legs to stretch out and loosen up.
What runs look like these days.
I've built my long run up to 12 miles and have come to love the long run. It's typically either the only run or one of 2 runs during the week I do without the stroller. I find myself looking forward to that all week. I revel in the ease that is running without that beast. I enjoy the quiet and calm that comes with running along uninhibited by a fussing toddler or crying baby. It's just me, the pavement, and the sweet feeling of pushing my body. Don't get me wrong, I love running with the kids. It is so much fun to look down and see Carter holding Elise's foot or Elise playing with her toys. I get so excited when we see trains, construction equipment, or animals on our run. When I'm out by myself I catch myself wishing Carter was with me so he could see something cool I ran across. That being said, there's just something about running with no company other than your thoughts. It's freeing and meditative. I've had a string of really strong long runs that have gotten me excited to see what I can do in a half marathon. It started with my first 12 miler that I ran at 8:40 pace. Then I ran 8 miles at 7:53 pace. Then the day before Elise turned 6 months old I ran another 12 miler, this time at 8:01 pace! An awesome pace and a great mental boost as it was my last long run before our October 11th half marathon. After Carter was born my last 12 mile run before my 1:38 half was at 7:55 pace, so I'm not far off! To shed light on how much I've improved the last few months, the last 3 miles of that 12 mile run was at the pace I ran for a 5k just 2 months ago with my last mile split a 7:21!
Checking out a turtle we saw on our run. You can barely see it on the far left of the picture.
I ran a 5k this month and was pleasantly surprised to finish in an average of 7:10 pace which was a 22:15 finishing time. With some of my recent tempo run paces I'm really looking forward to our 5k next weekend to put my training to the test. I hit 7:13 pace for a 5 mile tempo so I'm looking to run an Elise postpartum PR at the race and am thinking a sub-22 may be a possibility. Overall I'm just loving running a lot this month. With harder workouts in my weekly training, my other days I take pretty easy. I talk to Carter as we run and we discuss anything from the life cycle of different animals and how they change as they grow older, to why bag worms aren't caterpillars, to how far we are from the playground. Conversational pace when you have a toddler to chat with is the best!
Carter always wants to get out and run at the end of my runs.
Then there are the days where Elise's schedule is off so I nurse her while pushing the stroller as Carter runs back to the car.

My sweet mom got me a Fitbit Flex when the zip I had stopped working properly. With it I am able to track my sleep and I've really enjoyed looking at my sleep each morning and seeing how much time I actually slept. It always surprises me when I was in bed for 8 hours but got less than 7 hours of sleep or when I was in bed for 7 and a half hours and managed just over 7 hours. I also enjoy seeing how long it took me to fall asleep. I fall to sleep insanely fast. I'm talking under 10 minutes as long as Ty and I don't chat for too long before going to sleep. I think up until this month it would have been slightly depressing to see how little I was sleeping but I'm getting enough sleep now that it is nice to see. It also verified for me that it's nicer for Elise to wake up once at night and then sleep until 7 in the morning rather than sleep for 11 hours and wake at 6 ready for the day. As the night she slept the longest I didn't get as much sleep as other nights. Interesting to say the least. I'm looking forward to another month of faster paces and more sleep!


  1. I agree, the stroller is a beast to run with. I sure can't do it very well. haha But Carter and Elise are fun to run with. Though Elise doesn't think I go fast enough, and Carter understands after I tell him. haha Your times are amazing! Dad is now thinking he'll run with Thomas in the half, because you'll be too fast.

    1. That sucker can be tough. Hills do me in for sure! Carter will cheer for me when we reach the top of the hill though, so it cancels out the extra difficulty! Thank you, it has been nice to feel back to my old self!