Baby’s here and you’re ready to start running again. Maybe it is the only thing that makes you feel human, or you really just need some time away from diapers and another person’s bodily fluids, whatever your reasons, running is undoubtedly therapeutic. Well, it used to be before that tiny human arrived. Now, it might be a little different. Here’s five things I learned on my first runs after The Little arrived.
1. Your shoes won’t fit – those sausages aren’t going to fit into your favourite kicks any more. Between the swelling that hangs around after baby’s arrival and the extra weight you carried for nine months, your hotdogs aren’t the same size and shape they used to be. Good news, the swelling goes away. Bad news, the new shoe size might be here to stay. Depending on your genetics and how your feet reacted to the extra poundage, they might snap back, given time. Or they might not. Either way, sore feet do not a happy runner make. Get shoes that fit.
2. The girls now have their own agenda – Yep, those tatas have been liberated, they are working girls now and they don’t take the yoke of a sports bra lightly. They don’t stay where you put them and they get all rammy, trying to escape. With all that extra tissue you grew to feed the baby, it’s probably in your best interest to go find a Sports Bra. A Sports Bra that Means Business. One with wide, comfortable straps and cups that fit, no boob oozing permitted. Don’t try and just jam the ladies into their old bras. They will make you pay in creative ways you never dreamed of (see number 3). Even if you didn’t endure huge mammary changes that made your girls rival Pamela Anderson’s, go get fitted. That is precious tissue that is already taking a beating at the mouth of your barracuda baby. Don’t add to the punishment. Make sure your tatas are well tucked in and comfortable and your run will be more enjoyable.
3. Leaking ladies – Thanks to the miracle of birth, your body is now feeding another person. Your breasts will not let you forget it. Working girls, remember? I don’t know what causes this, but you might leak milk while out for a run. Thanks girls. The best way to handle this is to invest in some breastpads that have leak-proof backing, like the stuff on the outsides of cloth diapers. It goes without saying you have to keep these well cleaned, otherwise you risk a breast infection and those are no picnic. So, get those leak-proof breastpads or risk the girls announcing to the world that you’re lactating and forcing you to deal with a clammy wet shirt on the way home. Your call.
4. It might feel like your lady plumbing is going to fall out – Yeah. Birth is a bit traumatic for the lady bits. You did just push a grapefruit sized noggin through your lady cave and, unsurprisingly, it needs time to heal. Make sure you listen to your health care professional before resuming a fitness program. Beyond their okay, listen to your body. If it feels like your lady plumbing is going to fall out, it might be because it is. Seriously, it could happen. Take it easy. Unless you get your livelihood from running, there’s no need to push yourself that hard. Slow down and rock the back of the pack.
5. Pee sprinkles to show you the way home. Remember when I said “trauma,” “grapefruit,” and “lady cave”? Well, here’s a handy little reminder: a dribble of pee, running faster than you, down your leg. Trust me, you probably won’t even notice it until it gets to your leg because things feel a bit different in general. There’s all kinds of exercises you can do to help this problem, one of them is squats, so talk to your doctor/midwifery professional to get some guidance. In the meantime time, follow that breadcrumb trail of urine all the way home! Pfft, who needs a GPS?
Best of luck on your first runs ladies. You earned them.