Back to running, what else would you expect?
A few updates on C-section recovery, baby Jack, and my return to training!
C-section recovery: This was much rougher than with either of the girls. First, my hip still really hurt from the last run I did while pregnant. Second, my incision became infected and a first round of antibiotics didn’t clear it up. I took off the surgical glue one night and it drained yellow pus. Turns out it was a staphylococcus bacteria (resistant) so I was put on a specific antibiotic and within a day or so the incision began to heal. Poor Jack had green poop for 2.5 weeks while I was on antibiotics.
Just as that was clearing up I came down with mastitis. I’ve had it with the girls so knew almost immediately when my fever spikes. For me, my chest is tender but not super painful. It’s the fever that gets me. My fever will come on quick and then rise really fast to 102 or even higher. Luckily, a quick call to the clinic and I was on another round of antibiotics. Another week of green poop.
Except, 4 days later my fever came back. I was still taking the original mastitis antibiotic but still had a 101 degree temp one evening. The next morning I was at 102.6. I took tylenol and an hour later it was 103.4. I was pretty miserable. I was at the farm with my parents, so the Northfield clinic suggested I go in to the Marshall ER to see if there was an abscess or something else going on. The ER determined that it was just a bad infection so gave me two IV antibiotics and a 14 day antibiotic to take. Yikes.
The doctor told me one of them was an antibiotic they call “the drug of last resort”. Luckily, those drugs did the trick and a couple days later I was back to my normal self. No fever, no infections – just another 14 days of green poop for Jack. I took two days off from running but then could immediately jump back into things; here was me during that first run which was just going to be 2-4 miles but turned into 6. It was too beautiful not to continue! Gosh, I love those country roads.
I’m not a medical person by any means, but I wonder… could my C-section infection moved upwards to my chest, never fully resolving?
What would a postpartum blog be without some pictures of Jack?! He continues to be the happiest, easiest baby. It would be nice if he slept more than 3-4 hours at a time, but that will come, and I’ve actually cherished the night feedings a bit (dedicated snuggle time!). He loves to snuggle, nurse, watch his sisters, and has started smiling and trying to talk to me. He looks at Nate with the most puzzled look – which I find funny. I told Nate he just needs to be up at all hours of the night with him & he’ll be rewarded with smiles and coos. Nate said he is perfectly okay with Jack’s puzzled “who are you again?” looks.
I was so sure he was going to be our 50th percentile kid. He is much larger than Anna was, even though their birth weights were identical. At his 2 month appointment the nurse read me his statistics as she measured him. Head circumference: 50th percentile. Weight: 15th. Height… she pauses… rechecks her #s…1st.
My jaw dropped. No way! He was supposed to be a good mix of Nate and me, and obviously he was supposed to inherit more of Nate’s height! HAHAHAHA!
I can’t get enough of him! I’m so thankful to feel this strong bond with him, and I’ll soak up every last minute of maternity leave!
Return to running: I started running at 3 weeks, but only 1/3-1/2 mile at a time. At 4 weeks, when I had finished with all of the infection stuff, I was able to run longer without pain. The C-section scar felt really tight, but that was all. When Jack turned 4 weeks old I went out for a run and thought to myself… it would be really fun to do a count-up! Instead of pregnancy where I did a long run equal to the number of pregnancy weeks left (count-down), I would do a long run equal to how old (in weeks) Jack was. I extended my run to 4 miles. It gave me great joy to have this new weekly goal.
At 6 weeks postpartum, a running store posted a 1-mile challenge: a 1 mile effort mid July and another mid August. Perfect! On July 16th, Jack turned exactly 6 weeks, and we celebrated by stroller running over to the track. I was able to run a sub 7. I’ll take that! Later that day I went in for my C-section check and they “officially” cleared me for exercise. I say “officially” because the doctors here know me and trust me to know when running is a good idea and isn’t. With Greta I could run 4+ miles less than 2 weeks after my C-section without any pain (NOT normal). With Jack they advised that I do what felt right, both physically and mentally. Everyone heals differently, and it is recommended you wait until the 6 week mark to resume exercise.
Other training log entries:
Week 6 post-partum: 6 mile long run with Maria early in the week. She pushed Jack in the stroller for me to equalize our paces! How awesome is that? I felt myself overheating at about 5/5.5 so asked her to stop so I could catch my breath and just stand in the slight breeze. Uf. I can tell 1) these long runs really are long for me! and 2)I’m carrying more body fat (keeping me warmer) 2) Nursing has my metabolism on overdrive (also keeping me warm). #2 and 3 were a great combo with October babies. With a June baby, not so much.
Also week 6, late week: 6.5 miles at Captain’s CC practice. Ran .75 miles to practice, then 5 with the group, .75 miles home. 8:27 pace for the 5 miles with A.F. (8th grader). I had to stop to walk up the last hill (quads are so tired! And breathing so hard!). Then tried to pick it up to catch her again. Last 3 miles of the 5 were 8:15, 8:17, and 7:58 (for a period of time 7:00-7:15, but then I backed it off as I wasn’t even gaining on her!). HR got up to 197!
Week 7 post-partum: Track workout with a Cassie! 4x1k: 4:03, 4:03, 4:06, 4:20 (totally ran out of gas!) with 2 min recovery, 5x200m: 42, 42, 40, 40, 40 also with 2 min recovery. Happy with the effort, but of course I wish I was faster coming out of pregnancy!
Week 8 post-partum: 2x (2x200m, 3x800m) 42, 45, 3:11, 3:09, 3:11. 5 mins easy. 42, 42, 3:10, 3:11, 3:14 (left it all out there)
Also week 8: 4 mile progression run at the farm (9:00, 8:10, 7:20, 6:52), then 6×30 sec hill sprints. Nate blows by me on these – no pop or forward motion at all. Last mile was faster than my 1 mile time trial two weeks ago!
Week 9: 12x400m between 1:29-30 with Cassie again. Holy cow, this was hard. 200m jog recovery after each. My lungs burned for this! Bummed on the times, but this was all I had, I dug hard!
Week 10: 6x800m with 2 min rest. 3:09, 3:04, 3:06, 3:04, 3:05, 3:05. Wahoo, seeing progress!
Also week 10: Second 1 mile time trial on the track. 5:59!! 56 seconds faster than 4 weeks ago. Wouldn’t it be fun to improve at this rate all the time?!
I’ve been concentrating on increasing my mileage weekly, including the long run that increases by a mile each week, some hill work (look at G&A joining me for an evening hill session!), and track sessions. I haven’t defined my goals post partum, but do know that I want to get back to being the fastest this post-partum body will allow me to be. What fun would there be in accepting anything less? 🙂 I’ve also started rollerskiing again and have really enjoyed it – so I think I want to find a way to pursue both sports (with the main emphasis on running).
All for now. Looking forward to logging many miles and seeing gains the second half of 2020!
That picture of Jack sleeping is the cutest! So weird to see a picture of Maria on your blog. I never really knew her–only of her. You are doing amazing postpartum! I only wish I could have run that fast a few months after having a baby!
You’re too kind. I am in awe of your progress this year! Was Maria a few years younger than you? I know she joined the team her sophomore year. It is so fun to have her as a training partner. She ran a 19:25, outkicking me at the end of the 5k (I have no ability to increase speed or turnover when I’m fatigued – one of the many, many things to work on postpartum!).