My postpartum comeback plan

I probably shouldn't be writing this since I'm still about 2 1/2 weeks out from my due date and I don't have the slightest clue what to expect from recovery, but I'm still giving myself a few goals. I know getting back into running after a few months off (not to mention going through the whole labor, delivery, and life with a newborn thing) is going to be a big adjustment. I also know my speed will have taken a hit and I'll have to ramp that back up again. And I'm definitely concerned about the relaxin that will still be pulsing through my system for at least 6 months postpartum and the effect it may have on my joints. I don't want to go out too fast, push too hard and end up injured.

My running buddies - pic on the right taken in spring 2013

My running buddies - pic on the right taken in spring 2013

So as I'm slowly ramping back up, I thought it would be a great time to get my little beagle, Autumn, into running. Of our four dogs, she's the best one I've got as a potential running buddy candidate. Stella, our lab/pit mix has arthritis and Meadow (beagle) likes to go for waddles along the beach, but she is not interested in running (full disclosure: I have a dog stroller for her, which we only use once in while, like when we'll be walking her around crowds, but she likes it).

Meadow and Stella. Not runners.

Meadow and Stella. Not runners.

And Lucy (also a beagle), while she loves to run and has been out on short 1-milers, is nine and I don't want to push her too much despite her being very athletic and in great shape.

Lucy, my little sprinter

Lucy, my little sprinter

So Lucy will continue to get her short 1-milers, and that leaves Autumn, who is only around 3 or 4 and loves those short 1-milers, as my newest running buddy. She's in prime condition to start running longer with me. She will definitely be in run/walk mode (as will I, I think) when I start back at running, so it will be perfect for the two of us to get up to speed together.

My newest racing buddy, Autumn

My newest racing buddy, Autumn

I want to get her to run at least a 5K, with her crowning achievement being racing with me at this year's Reindeer Run in December. I ran it last year and there were so many people there with their dogs! It's such a fun race on an easy (and scenic) course through downtown Charleston. And hopefully, D will be there with the baby (and probably our other dogs) to cheer us on. Why not make it a holiday family affair?

And yes, I do have a running stroller (it was my first baby purchase!), but I know I won't be able to run with him until he can hold up his head up on his own, so it could be several months before he's out for a run with me. Ideally, I'd like to run with him and Autumn at the same time, but that might require super human feats of strength, which I'm not sure I'm up for!

Other things I plan to incorporate in my comeback plan once I'm feeling up to it (in addition to my usual running, barre, and paddleboarding): Orangetheory Fitness and MADabolic Conditioning. I went to MADabolic back in Charlotte and I'm so excited that one just opened in Mount Pleasant. It's high intensity circuit training using kettlebells, medicine balls, and boxing, among other things - sort of like Crossfit, but without the Olympic lifting (which I hate and is one of the reasons I don't do Crossfit).

I've never been to Orangetheory, but it looks like something I'd like and that will improve my running, so I think I'll give it a go. They use treadmills and rowing machines plus weights (not Olympic lifting) to do interval training. The only issue is that it's pretty far from home with its West Ashley location. They need to open one in Mount Pleasant!

And lastly, I'll likely work in other classes like Body Flow and Body Pump at my local East Shore Athletic Club since I have a membership and they have childcare, so I'll be able to get there on nights when D isn't available to watch the baby for an hour or two.

I do want to get a half marathon on my schedule, but I'm not pulling the trigger on registering until after the baby is born and I know how I'm feeling and how quickly I get back to running. Ideally, I'd like to do the Myrtle Beach Mini in October or Savannah Rock 'n Roll in November, but we'll have to wait and see on that.

Am I crazy to have a comeback plan? At the very least, this will give me a good laugh when I'm a sleep-deprived new mom, and at best, it gives me something to shoot for.

Posted on May 29, 2014 .