Sunday, August 31, 2008

Cross Training to Recover

4 weeks post-partum: my brain is ready to run again, my stroller is ready to roll, but my body is not.

My first inclination was to throw caution to the wind and jog anyway. I've done this recovery thing 2 times before and I ran up until just couple weeks before delivery so I was feeling a little cocky until I got the rebuke. My wonderfully level-headed midwife had a very compelling argument about internal organs and connective tissues. So, since there is no strength training I know about for internal organs of the abdominal region, that seemed like advice I should heed.

Plan B: Low-impact cardio and strength training to prevent injury when I can eventually resume running. While it is obvious that my abdominal muscles are weaker post-pregnancy, my hips have been also stretched and my quads have been rested, so everything needs to get a little stronger. This is especially important since when I do start running, as I will be just a little heavier than at my athletic peak ;)

It is still probably unwise for one to begin a brand new sport at this point, but I resumed Step aerobics to target leg strength and low impact cardio. I also resumed moderate weights for upper body and core conditioning. All core exercises are approached with caution at this point since the goal is basically just to get the two side of my abs back together and to support my back.

Finally, I've been walking, of course. I'm happy to report that I'm faster than I was three weeks ago when the man with the cane passed right by me. This is also good practice for the baby to work up to running in the jogging stroller.

So, perhaps this is old-hat to me, but there is some consolation in remembering that it is new for little Francesca, so for her sake, we'll take it slow.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Athlete. Mom.

I've found this summer's Olympics to be very encouraging. Though the gymnasts are mere babes, there are many other highly competitive athletes at these games that are still older than me AND they have a child!

Photos of Olympic Moms

Now add to that list yesterday's winner - by a lot! - of the women's marathon, Constantina Tomescu. In addition to having a kid, at 38, she was the oldest competitor to ever win this event.

I find this all especially helpful for morale at this juncture as I begin my recovery from baby #3. Jogging short intervals this morning was highly successful with Turkey #2 in the single jogger. Turkey #3 passed my "Floppy Head Test*" so she's ridden in the stroller for walks, but jogging is right around the corner - on very smooth paths. Despite her tender age, she is not a small baby.

* Somewhat arbitrarily created when our new-parent friends called us inquiring if we thought it was OK for them to take their 1-month old out for a jog: if you pick up the baby under his arms and he is able to hold up his head (i.e. it does not flop over), I think it is probably fine to put them in a reclined, 5-point harness jogging stroller for a smooth route. Remember, however, I do not actually possess any authority or expertise to make this call.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Lucky 13

Francesca's first stroller ride on day 13 (not per manufacturer's instructions) - though we are still just walking for now. She fell asleep immediately so I guess she likes it.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Baby Steps

Today I got passed by a man with a cane. Seriously.

Stroller Maintenance

So, we are careful to maintain our cars as per manufacturers recommendations to change the oil, rotate tires, etc. And my husband is particularly neurotic about taking care of his many bicycles. Yet, the jogging stroller receives very little attention until things really start to fall apart.In anticipation of putting an infant in our loyal double jogger, I replaced all 3 tires (yes, you can see the wires underneath the worn-away rubber) and the brake caliper (rusted open), brake pads (large chunks were worn away) and brake cable.

I suppose that occasionally washing off the mud, lubricating moving parts and rotating the tires wouldn't hurt...