Getting back on track.Friday, December 23, 2011
Yesterday I had my six-week postpartum doctor's appointment and finally got the go-ahead to resume all my normal activities, including working out. I've been looking forward to that for weeks. Since I was put on limited activity when we had our 32-week preterm labour frolic, all I've wanted to do is run, swim, ski, and generally jump up jump up and get down. But I've been a good girl and stuck to easy, low-impact exercise like walking, which is boring as hell and makes me feel like a senior citizen.
This morning I was awake before 6:00 (thanks Eli!) and for the first time since September 19 went through a familiar ritual. Throw on leggings and a t-shirt, lace up my sneakers, eat a banana, fill my water bottle. I gathered up my iPod and membership card, headed to the gym and hopped on a treadmill.
My "triumphant" return to the gym wasn't so much. I didn't speed through five miles without breaking a sweat as I'd envisioned. I ran at a pretty slow pace for three miles and completed it in just under 30 minutes, same as I was doing at 32 weeks pregnant. I felt stiff. I had a stitch in my side. I couldn't wait for it to be over. At the end of my run, though, I felt great and wanted to do more. I settled for a few sets of crunches and some stretching and headed home.
I don't have a plan for getting back on track with workouts. With a newborn at home it's impossible to say I'm going to get to the gym x-number of times per week, because that's just setting myself up for failure. I'm going to aim for three to four gym visits weekly in the beginning and increase that when he gets a little bigger and more predictable. Right now his feeding schedule is all over the place thanks to what I suspect is a growth spurt or just six-week-old baby douchebaggery (from what I've read, crying peaks at around six weeks...we'll see. It's impossible to plan anything these days. My plan for the rest of the day is to camp out on the couch with Eli, a burp cloth, a jug of water and the remote control and get our fill of cheesy daytime TV while I feed him what feels like every 30 seconds.)
I don't have much weight to lose. By some stroke of luck I lost my baby weight almost right away, at least in terms of the number on the scale. When I weighed myself three weeks after Eli was born, I was back to my normal weight. However, in my mind the number on the scale pretty much means zilch. In terms of the shape I'm in, it's pretty abysmal. I started getting winded after less than 10 minutes on the treadmill. Everything feels soft. My goal right now is just to tone things up and get my endurance back to normal.
A tentative weekly plan looks something like this: two longer cardio workouts (45-60 minutes) and two shorter runs, like today's, combined with strength workouts. On in-between days we'll just keep doing what we're doing, walking outside when the weather's nice enough. I would like to start doing a yoga video at home once a week too to get some flexibility back.
My longer-term goal is to run the Bluenose 10K in May and finish under 52 minutes. A lofty goal when you look at the shape I'm in today, but I have six months to get there. A half-marathon by the end of 2012 is also on my mind, maybe in the fall, but I'd like to wait and see how the 10K goes first.
The best thing about going to the gym this morning was that just by getting up and heading out the door, I felt like myself. No baby in tow, no strollers or car seats. Just 45 minutes to myself to listen to music, zone out, work up a sweat and not worry about Eli. It was like an early Christmas gift. Thank you Santa!