no need to pr

After my doctor’s appointment yesterday morning, I got the all clear to start being active again as long as I am listening to my body.  The doctor said that since I had been active during my pregnancy and am young + healthy that she sees no reason I can’t start exercising again but not too push it – and no abdominal exercises (which I am definitely NOT ready for).

Although I am feeling great 2.5 weeks after having major surgery, I definitely can tell what my limits are.  I actually started walking this week while pushing MacKenna in the stroller since it was so beautiful outside.  Right now, I am only walking around the block, which is about a half mile. 

It’s felt great to be outside + active, but 10 minutes is about all I have in me right now.  Which is just fine with me.  I would rather start out really slow and not push myself + delay my recovery.  My plan is to slowly increase how much time I am walking each week.  This week I have been walking about 10 minutes each day and will probably increase my time to 15 or 20 minutes next week. If I’m feeling any pain or discomfort, I’ll stick with 10 minutes for awhile longer.

Getting the “all clear” has me thinking about races come January.  [Ha, like I haven’t already been thinking about them since last January after I had to ditch my plans for the GO! St. Louis Half Marathon.]  However, after having a C-section, I was worried that I wouldn’t be ready to go to run the half in April.  How would I ever be able to PR when I won’t really be able to start running again until the beginning of December, if that early?

I was thisclose to scrapping my plans to run the half marathon in April until I read this wonderful post by Healthy Ashley.  Ashley was in a pretty horrific bike accident a few months ago,  breaking her pelvis in 3 different places.  She is very slowly recovering but her progress + story has been so inspiring.  Ashley just got the all clear to start walking on her own without a walker and is determined to run the Disney Marathon in January.  And there is no doubt in my mind that she can do it, no matter how long it might take her.

Her post really got me thinking.  She also had major surgery and her recovery is so much more difficult than mine and here she is planning on running a marathon in less than 3 months.  She’s not worried about time.  All she cares about is her legs (and pelvis) taking her those 26.2 miles to the finish line.  So, why do I think running a half in April isn’t possible?

My thoughts have completely done a 180.  I’m no longer concerned about achieving a PR because I am realizing that even if I didn’t have a C-section, a PR most likely wouldn’t be possible.  (I feel like I will be lucky if I can ever beat my current PR of 1:37 in the half – that’s going to be a tough one to beat.)  Instead, I just want to be out there, running those 13.1 miles on those 2 healthy legs that I have, no matter how long it takes me.  It might not be my best race, but who cares?  I’ll just be happy to be running again…

So, that’s my plan.  Start walking regularly until I feel I am read to run and then slowly increase my mileage so I can be at the starting line of the GO! St. Louis Half Marathon on April 15.  But, for now, I’m just so happy to be active again – and feel like myself again!

What holds you back from achieving your goals?

  • Heather

    I’m a new reader. Great post! This was on my mind yesterday because it was the first time I’ve run without a watch. I’m 28 weeks pregnant and I know that I’m supposed to be listening to my body, but I can’t help time myself and try to hold to 9:40 miles even though it’s been hurting. Here’s to taking it slow and being okay with it!

  • get a belly binder. your incision will feel so much better.
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  • Love the insight! Way to really see the glass half full. And I am sure you will end up surprising yourself! Not to mention, you will have you biggest fan at the finish line this time around 🙂

  • Great half time! Hope you can work up to getting it again. I would advise to listen to your own body and increase at your own pace. Dedication to returning isn’t based only on how much we want to mentally (or I think many of us would return the next day and run that marathon 4 months later). Its based on what our body will tolerate in the short and long term. Take care and good luck!
    Andrea recently posted..BLOG POST: Giving Birth is like Running a Marathon

    • Kristen

      Thanks Andrea! I am realizing my limits and not pushing past them!

  • Jen

    Such a great perspective, Kristen! I am happy to hear you got the OK to exercise again from your doctor.

    Your 1/2 PR is a 1:37?! Dang girl! My “goal” next year is to break 1:40. I plan on bugging you for speedy tips 🙂

    • Kristen

      My goal was to break 1:40 when I pulled the 1:37 out. I had been training with the Hubs’ cross country team in the fall, so I think a lot of the speed training carried over. I was also killing it with 2 speed training sessions a week. We’ll see if I ever do that again! 🙂

  • I’m really glad you had this realization. One of the things I have had to realize about myself is that I can’t keep pushing to PR every time. When I think I will and I don’t, I just get disappointed and end up beating myself up about it, thinking I didn’t train well (which is true sometimes I guess). But I finally got to the place where I run races without a goal in mind, other than to finish. I mean, how many times can you beat yourself before it’s enough? It’s been quite liberating and even though I haven’t been running much the past few months, I know I can pick it back up anytime and just enjoy the ride 🙂
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    • Kristen

      It’s hard to run a race + not achieve a PR. It feels like it defeats the purpose of racing. But, it’s the love of running that I continue to do it!

  • Girl! Just remember to be kind to your body and easy on yourself. You just carried a baby for 9 months (insane in itself) and then to have a csection on top of it. Just give your body time and try not to get to antsy. Easier said then done i know, but in time your body will let itself heal and you’ll be back in shape!
    Sarah recently posted..Its been like Christmas up in hurrr

    • Kristen

      Thanks! I am doing my best to take it easy – I don’t really have much of a choice though. My body screams at me if I do more than I should!

  • You can totally do a half in April!! I’m SOOOO jealous of your half PR. My half PR is 2:25 (and that was my first – I’ve done 5). I’m shooting for a PR in January at a 4 month postpartum half, but I’ll take finishing. April is forever away from now – you’ll be fine by then!!!
    Lani Yearicks (@armytbonegirl) recently posted..Race Shirt Quilt Giveaway

  • That is an awesome plan and great mind set – to be thankful for the ability to move!

    My sister and I are planning to run the Go! St. Louis Half-Marathon too! Both of us have done a half-marathon and a 25k, but have lost our endurance and will be using this race as a way to build up the miles.
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