This is the third post in a weekly series chronicling my journey from being completely out of shape post-partum to running my first 50km ultramarathon. For week 1, click here. Follow my journey on Twitter and Instagram with hashtag #zeroto50k
4 weeks in already! That’s actually kind of terrifying. I can’t say I’m where I wanted to be at this point. My body has put up more resistance than I expected. I spent too long not moving, and I’m still fighting against the wrong kind of inertia. I miss the times that running was a pleasure and not a chore. Shortly before my most recent pregnancy, I ran a half marathon that was the happiest, most fun race of my life. Now just a couple of kilometers around my neighborhood feels next to impossible. To be honest, I’m starting to worry something is actually physically amiss to make this so impossible. Hoping to get in to see my doctor this week and get some labs done to see if there’s something causing the exhaustion and stiffness and all-over body aches beyond just being a tired new mom.
Anyway, whining aside, this week I decided to change my approach.
I have never been one to run every day. While I trained for past races, I would do taekwondo at least twice a week, do frequent yoga, and lift weights, while running twice or even only once a week. Trying to prepare for my longest race to date (the upcoming 50km Grizzly Canmore Ultra), and starting from being so out of shape after my pregnancy, I was extremely nervous about falling short and immediately tried to follow a set training plan that had me running 5-6 times a week. As you’ve noticed if you’ve been following along, that hasn’t been working out so well. There is literally no time, unless I want to go running close to midnight every night, which…I do not. I have a 5-month-old baby, a demanding 2-year-old, freelancing work, a new business, and a pile of laundry you’d have to see to believe (and no, I’m not going to show you, because I’m very embarrassed). Maybe now is not the time to try a completely different regimen than what has worked relatively well in the past.
Which is not to say I won’t do that at some point. I will likely follow a 16-week 50k training plan next year, closer to the big race. By then my baby will be in childcare at least part time and the days will be longer so I’ll be more inclined to do evening runs. But for now, I’m putting the emphasis back where I like it: on cross training.
With my new goal of “move every day” instead of “run every day”, I felt less defeated and frustrated and just embraced any workout I felt like, which was much nicer. I started doing yoga again which has been feeling wonderful. One night Olive (my toddler) joined me for yoga and it was the most adorable, fun workout I’ve ever been a part of. I did a little strength training, but not as much as I wanted to due to feeling unreasonably sore and weak. I also did some cardio kickboxing, just for fun. On Saturday I ran, which went somewhat poorly again. I’m really struggling with steady state cardio for some reason. I might try to do more sprinting and maybe some HIIT this week to push my cardio fitness and try to bring that to my runs. And hopefully my doctor will have some advice on breaking through this plateau I seem to be stuck on, both in terms of fitness and weight.
^this shirt really sums up my life these days
Here’s the recap of week 4 of my 10k training plan:
Longest Run: 3.7 km
Biggest Challenge: Exhaustion and muscle soreness.
Biggest Win: After taking Sunday and Monday off to recover mentally from a challenging week, worked out every day!