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Getting Back Into Running Shape Postpartum

My baby turned exactly 4 months old on Fourth of July, and I wanted to get back into running. I took it easy for a while because of my 2-finger abdominal separation after giving birth to my third, a 9 pound 2 oz baby at birth, but I really missed it. For a while my breasts felt too weird to me and that alone was enough to put me off even trying.

This long weekend was almost a wash when it comes to fitness. We put our social activities as well as general laziness above working out and didn’t work out at all Friday or Saturday as intended. The kids also had a birthday party to attend on Sunday 11am so I almost thought this weekend would be a complete wash. Luckily. our new club has child care 8:30am to 4:30pm so we were able to pack up our gym bags and head to the gym after the birthday party.

While we usually take a class, since there are no classes in the afternoon, we did our own thing on the gym floor. I decided to try to get back to running. I speed-walked/ran a 5K (3.11 miles) in 40 minutes and completed 3.45 miles in 45 minutes (cooldown after 3.11 miles. I did 10 minutes of rowing, a bit of weights, then stretched a good amount before heading to a shower with a quick steam.

At first, I started with speedwalking and it was pretty comfortable. Then once I picked up the pace to 5.0 my boobs started to hurt a little from the bounce. I thought that I was wearing a supportive enough bra, but it was only supportive before baby. Postpartum boobs is heavier or more sensitive, so I think I will need to get new bras for sure. I have always had a lot of admiration for my well-endowed friends who run but now I appreciate their effort in a new way.

I have decided to set a goal running a “race” with the stroller if I can August 1st. I have not yet decided if I can go back to a 10K by that time, but I think a 5K (with stroller and 22lb+ baby) should be doable.

Hot Yoga

I recently joined a gym that is more like a spa that also gave me 3 hours of babysitting and the place offered hot yoga class. I get to try it for free for 2 weeks, so today I decided to take advantage. Most of the time bikram yoga is done at a specialty yoga studio because it requires 105 degree heat and 40% humidity, so it tends to be more expensive. The last time I tried Bikram yoga was definitely before I got married, and before I had my babies. It was about 10 years ago while I still lived in the city. I remembered it being an intense experience, but I didn’t go because there were too many guys in speedos in that class.

The class is 90 minutes long, which can be a bit intimidating. I was lucky because the teacher was super nice and welcoming. She also gave me a few tips about how to get the most out of my yoga session:

1. No water for the first 30 minutes.

2. Use the towels.

3. Breath through your nose. I had a surprisingly hard time with this as I kept exhaling out of my mouth as I have been previously taught to do.

The first 30 minutes was the toughest. Once the blood gets flowing and I was able to hydrate in between poses, I felt more comfortable even in difficult poses that I would lose balance or unable to hold onto. I very much enjoyed my session and was very comfortable as the class was very small and had only females.

After 90 minutes, I felt very good and didn’t feel a need to go to the steam room.

My husband complimented my skin after he got home for dinner.

Trying PiYo class

While I am still sore I went back again today to get Ryan a second time at child care and to try something new. I gave myself two time slots, but I ended up taking my little to get a haircut so I missed the 10am sessions. It was either the 11:15am boot camp class or the noon PiYo or Group Power class. I love strength training but thought I should try out something new instead.

 My impression of PiYo is best described as choreographed yoga and Pilates poses that switches in quick tempo. The instructor was also learning the choreography so sometimes she ended up just telling us to keep moving. I had a hard time following and the other newbie next to me gave up and walked after 15 minutes. I stuck it out but when I couldn’t follow I simply just held some poses because I am pretty sure the instructor really couldn’t see what her students were doing anyway.
I have heard of Chalene Johnson and know that she has home DVDs for her exercise programs. I think this might be a good one to try out at home, because it simply takes a while to get used to. I am not ready to give up on it yet, but will probably refamiliarize myself with yoga again first. 

I liked how I was sweating but it felt awkward since I felt that I was not really able to stretch or meditate like in yoga. After the class, I ended up spending time on the regular gym floor stretching my still achy muscles and then spending 15 minutes after my shower in the steam room with my eyes closed. 

Ryan was in child care for two hours, and once we got home we took a sweet nap together before I had to o and pick up the other kids from school. A good day!