Returning to exercise post C Section - the First Run...
I went for my first run over the weekend since Chiara was born by c section 8 weeks ago.
Running is something I have dipped in and out of for years. I am not a consistent runner, but I do enjoy it - especially when I am fit to it!
I didn't run at all after 4 months pregnant - not because I didn't feel up to it - but because it was winter and I did not feel inspired by the dark nights, howling with wind and rain. I joined a gym, but the treadmill was no more inspiring than the weather.
So when I set out on Saturday, I had low expectations. Even if I had not been pregnant and given birth, after 7 months off, I would struggle. Running, like so many things, is not very forgiving to those who have neglected it for so long.
However, I was excited...and nervous - it was the first time I was leaving Chiara in a different location since she was born. I am naturally an independent person, so it surprised me how much of a big deal it felt to be separate from her. But I also know that the longer I left it, the more of a big deal it would become. So, spontaneously taking a rare opportunity when she was well fed and in my husband's arms, I put on my running shoes and went out the front door with a leap.
I almost knocked myself out!
Anyone who has breastfed knows that boobs swell to unbelievable proportions. This has, for me at least, resulted in a bit of a make shift selection of bras and subsequently a rather inelegant start to my first run.
I immediately had to slow down, which probably turned out to be a good thing - as I didn't make it quite as far as I'd planned anyway!
I have been building up the walking distances over the past few weeks, from absolutely nothing in those initial days, to 10km last week and tried to approach running in the same way - starting small and gradually pushing myself a little further.
I had planned to run about 3km round a small lake close by. It was all going pretty well, but when I got to the lake I started to feel a few uncomfortable twinges along my scar line. I debated with myself for a few hundred metres whether to push on or turn around early and in the end the sensible bit of my brain won and I headed back home early. I know from previous injury that restraint pays off in the long run - and essentially - being cut open along your midline is equivalent to an injury.
I concentrated on keeping good form using deep, diaphragmatic breathing throughout to help me engage my deep core in a functional way.
I returned home after a mere 16minutes and 2km of running (jogging might actually be a better word here). It was short and slow, but I felt good when I stepped through the door.
I had set off worrying that I might return home to a very unhappy baby who was desperate for milk. Instead I returned home to both baby and husband asleep on the sofa. Turns out I wasn't missed at all! :-) At least that means I can go again!