Well, it’s done. The first post-partum run.
In what is quickly becoming a biennial rite of torture, this morning I managed to pant and grimace my way through a mile run (interspersed with about a mile of walking, in case you were too impressed). In the last nine months, here are some things I’ve forgotten about running.
1) It hurts.
2) When running while breastfeeding, one either needs to wear the cruellest of sports bras or have a few yards of strong duct tape handy.
3) It feels good to get out and sweat.
4) It feels even better to come home and collapse into a chair until you stop sweating.
Of course, the post-partum run wouldn’t be nearly as hard if I had actually continued aerobic exercise while pregnant, like I swore I would ten months ago. Here’s what actually happened:
Me: (ten months ago, in downward dog pose) Hmm…I’m awfully tired and weak feeling today. And I have heartburn on an empty stomach…that’s weird. Oh no. I’m pregnant. (gut-wrenching certainy followed by collapse out of downward dog pose and sprint to the bathroom for handy pregnancy test)
Me: (one week later, to the Ogre) “You know, this pregnancy I really want to stay in shape. I can continue running for about five months, and after that I can walk in the evenings and do yoga.” (one week after that, while putting on my running shoes) That couch looks really cozy. I’m pretty tired today. Maybe I’ll skip running and take a nap.
Me: (three months later, still on couch) I might have enough energy to get off the couch today. Maybe I should do yoga. Or I could make cupcakes…
Me: (four months later, eating a cupcake, to the Ogre) “I did yoga today.”
The Ogre: “Oh yeah? How was it?”
Me: “It was great until the end when the video instructor made me sit cross-legged and channel love to my uterus.”
The Ogre: “Hahahahaha.”
I did yoga a couple more times after that, but it really wasn’t my cup of tea. One of my Mexican brothers (foreign exchange students from Mexico who lived with us in high school, not a racial slur) used to say “Calah’s not fat, she just has skin with a lot of love underneath it!” I kind of agree with him, so when the yoga instructor repeatedly encouraged me to “surround my baby with love and channel loving thoughts through my chi” or some such jargon, I didn’t feel that compelled. After two previous children, this kid was definitely already surrounded with love…a whole lot of it. So this morning, when I laced up my shoes and optimistically hit the million-degree pavement, it was not only after giving birth, but also after being basically sedentary and on a sugar high for nine months. And let me tell you, relaxin, the best friend of the pregnant woman, is definitely the greatest enemy of the post-partum woman. At every step, I felt like my legs were going to fall out of my hips.
And after about a hundred steps, I kinda wished they would.
But I made it, and now I can look forward to hopefully only three more weeks of pathetic panting before running again becomes pleasant and relaxing.
Hahahaha. You thought I was serious, didn’t you? No, friends, the pathetic panting never ends. I just manage to do it for a few miles instead of one.