Way back in April, with more than a month to go until my baby girl’s due date, I registered for the Esprit de She Maple Grove 5K on September 19 — I figured a little motivation to get moving post-baby wouldn’t hurt.
My daughter arrived a few days early on June 6; five weeks later, on July 9, my midwife cleared me to resume a regular workout routine. I’d been walking and doing gentle yoga since her arrival, but when I went for my first run the next day, I was shocked at how hard it was. I ached in places that had never ached before, and my breathing was super shallow. I pushed myself for about a mile, but it became very clear to me about half way through that I just wasn’t ready. Emotionally, yes — it was great to get out by myself for even 15 minutes! But physically, no: My body was still recovering from birth, and slowly returning to pre-baby alignment and strength.
I decided to give myself a few more weeks, and by early August, I felt ready to begin a 5K training regimen. What a difference it made. I ran two miles that second time out, and while I initially felt a bit creaky, the longer I ran, the stronger I felt. I kept at it, running about twice a week, and adding a couple Tabata strength workouts in between, on top of my usual walks and yoga practice.
Fast forward to today, race day, and I’m feeling pretty good about this 5K. My running routine hasn’t been as consistent as I’d like — I’m still figuring out how to balance work, family and self-care now that maternity leave is over — but I’m going to give it my best shot. I may not run it as fast as I might have a year ago, but it doesn’t matter. My body has been through a lot in the past year, and I’m so proud that I’ve come this far in a little over three months.
To keep myself moving, I put together this high-energy playlist; perhaps some of these tunes will inspire you to keep moving, too.
Run, Jamie, Run
- Hey, Hey, Hey – Michael Franti & Spearhead
- Suddenly I See – KT Tunstall
- Like a Prayer – Madonna
- Wild Ones – Flo Rida
- Clouds – Zach Sobiech
- Next to Me – Emelie Sande
- Not Ready to Make Nice – Dixie Chicks
- Before He Cheats – Carrie Underwood
- Living on a Prayer – Bon Jovi
- Sing Loud – Alpha Rev
- Girl on Fire – Alicia Keys
- Just Give Me a Reason – P!nk
- Rhythm of Love – Plain White T’s
- Hello, Hello – Nina Lee
What songs inspire you to move?
“Esprit de She” is a series of posts here on Unedited inspired by the Athleta Esprit de She — The Spirit of Her Race Series presented by Life Time Fitness. Several members of the Experience Life team are training for the various run, cycle, duathlon and triathlon events happening in the Twin Cities throughout the summer and fall, and will be tracking their progress, challenges and successes over the next several months.
Photo: Me and my little one the week of my first post-baby 5K.