I Finally Ran For The First Time Since Giving Birth

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I finally did it. I hit the pavement for the first time in an entire year since giving birth and it was one emotional journey, let me tell you.

If you know me in real life or have followed along on social media, you know that I’ve been a pretty avid runner since high school. I struggled running all the way through finally having a breast reduction at age seventeen, have never quite worked up the courage to run a marathon, but have always made it a part of my life. Before Blake was born or I was even pregnant, I would drop Branden off at the bus stop and start my runs from there, three days a week. I would log anywhere from 9-12 miles per week and really improved my pace using the Runkeeper app (it’s addicting!).

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I ran and continued to do yoga throughout my entire pregnancy up until I was 30 weeks pregnant and then stopped. A lot of it was due to the hot summer heat but mostly I just didn’t have the energy to do it anymore. While I have shared how I started at 6 weeks postpartum working out, I just hadn’t been able to get back to running – something was always stopping me.

It’s no secret that I’m still struggling with accepting my postpartum body and I think that to some extent we always kind of are. Our bodies change so much after giving birth and it can take a long time for our organs to shift back to where they are supposed to be, let alone to drop that extra weight. I’ve been really hard on myself and am still determined to drop this last pant size. In all honesty, I just want to have my whole closet of size 6 clothes fit again, because I don’t want to have to part with my whole wardrobe.

So what have I been up to instead? I do yoga at home a few days a week, am out walking with the kids all the time and also squeeze in Barre and spinning classes here and there. I’m active and actively working on feeling strong again, I just haven’t been able to start running.

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Truth be told, a few Christmases ago, I was sitting with my husband and younger sister (who runs marathons on the reg) and they kinda got a good chuckle at my expense – saying that I run funny. That was a little hard for me to digest. I get that they were just having fun and I know I can be sensitive, but that little piece of criticism stung and stuck with me. I guess all I could think about was what would other people think when they see this woman who (apparently) runs funny, plus carrying all this extra baby weight, jogging down the street. I felt really self conscious to say the least.

So I continued working out, which is something that I’ve always loved, and pushed running out of my life – until this past weekend.

Chris and I got into a little bit on a spat Sunday morning because he tried to enforce his opinions about how I’m going about losing the baby weight. Having an army background, he tends to think that however they are taught about fitness is the way of the world and not really taking into consideration my specific needs. I was heated and in an attempt to not do my regular workout in our living room in front of him (where I felt he would then be judging me), I pushed myself to finally get out and do a run.

I ran 3.5 miles and felt amazing. But, it didn’t come without tears. I cried before I left our apartment, nervous that I would look silly, not find my stride and feel even more out of shape than I thought I was. But I realized that’s all really silly. Running is something that I truly love and makes me feel good, so why not let it be a part of my life again?

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So far this week, I’ve logged 5.5 miles and though I know I’m out of shape and running at a slower pace, I’m already starting to feel stronger. I love running these NYC streets and speeding up to make sure I get across the crosswalk before the light changes, its invigorating. I’m glad that I’ve pushed past my insecurities because there’s nothing that compares to my runner’s high and going to bed at night not only sleeping better, but laying on my mattress feeling the muscles that have been worked from head to toe. I really can’t believe that I let a year pass by without connecting with that part of me.

So I made promise with myself that I’m going to work on getting a jogging stroller so that I can run a few mornings a week with Blake and that I’m actually going to sit down with a nutritionist or health coach who can go over the diet and fitness routine I’ve set out for myself or guide me towards a new plan that’s right for me.

Have you ever felt heard back from doing something you love? How did you handle it?

Fashionably Yours,

Allison

Comments

  1. Congrats on getting back into running! Running is my first fitness love and after running my first marathon, that’s the only race I wanted to run. However, halfway through my 2nd attempt I suffered and injury than no amount of PT seemed to be able to shake. I felt like I was going through an identify crisis, because I stopped running any type of race. I decided it was better for my sanity to run as far as 10 miles and enjoy it, but it was hard. Earlier this year, on January 1st – hah!!-I signed up for the marathon and cautiously trained for it. Each week I added mileage, I felt strong, but still scared. I had run as far as 23 miles the year I got injured during the race. But…I did it! I only wanted to finish this time, but I beat my 1st time by 14 mins and almost qualified for Boston. The experience taught me to never give up on running. Always try again. And of course, to be kinder to my body. Adding in more yoga during this training cycle I know helped a lot.

    Can’t wait to see where your running shoes take you next!

    • Allison Cooper says:

      Thanks for the comment Catherine! I love hearing how you kept pushing forward to – you really have to do what you love at the end of the day or else something will feel like it’s missing from your life. I hope that someday I could run even a half marathon – we’ll see what the future has in store for me!

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