{confession} i’m not running

I have a confession to make: I haven’t started running postpartum.  Gasp!  I know, I know.  I’m just as shocked as you are – but for some reason, it just feels right.

I ran (slowly) for 41 weeks.  12 weeks ago, I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy.  6 weeks ago I was cleared for exercise.  But I have no desire to run.

If you would’ve asked me about running postpartum, I’d likely tell you that I’d run home from the hospital once cleared.  While I was still pregnant, I had dreams of running as soon as medically possible.  I even told a friend that I was hoping to run a fast spring marathon.  Yea, that means I would’ve started training in late December.

Maybe it’s because this is the first time, in a really long time, that I’ve taken a break from running (I’ve been running since middle school and haven’t stopped- middle school, high school, college track & field, post-college running/racing).  Maybe it’s because I want to spend every single second with the little guy that I’m blessed to call my son.  Maybe it’s because I’m still (yes, 12 weeks later) exhausted.  Maybe it’s because my body is still recovering.  Or maybe it’s because I know running will be hard (like really, really hard).  Whatever it is, I just don’t feel like running.

And I’m okay with that.

For now.

Don’t get me wrong, even though I’m not running, I still make it a point to move everyday.  LJ and I walk 3-4 miles at least 5 times per week.  And I’ve even introduced some ab/arm exercises back into the mix.  Last week I told BJ that I thought I was ready to try running again… and it’s true, I think I am ready.   I know I’ll come around but for now, I’m enjoying this little break.

photo (35)

When did you return to working out postpartum?

Share your motivation tips with me!

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  1. I think that it is wonderful that you are taking the time that you need to welcome your little one into your life. There is often so much pressure to get back to “the norm” even though the norm is completely new and sometimes different. I very slowly started back walking and then running about 4 months after my little one was born. Enjoy the time while you have it! Best, Lisa

  2. I really love this. I ran until the end of my pregnancies and then rushed to get right back out there. I don’t think my body loved this, on numerous levels. There really is no hurry and it is SO refreshing to see someone really, truly, tuning into her body. Well done!

  3. Congrats! I really love this post – I just had a baby 8 weeks ago, and I am in the same boat. I am staying active with barre classes but I’ve only run twice and I can honestly say that I am not craving it as much as I thought I would!

  4. This is something I can relate to all too much! I had NO desire to start running postpartum with my first (Abby) – because, just like you, it was my first BREAK since 5th grade. The only reason I started the painstaking process 2 months postpartum was because I was in the Army, a platoon leader, and I needed to set the example. And it WAS painful (on my breasts while still huge from breast feeding) and just more difficult (with the way my body changed). It took about another 4 months of running to get back up to my pace and mileage. The best thing you can do is set NO expectation on yourself. You will be slow. REALLY slow. Embaressingly slow. Take it one run at a time and know that each time you are getting faster and stronger. With all the cold weather, start on a treadmill and run for 1 minute, walk for 1 minute. I started running 3 weeks after my second baby (Annie) and that is how I started- on the treadmill- run for a minute, walk a minute- and worked my way up to running the entire time. And after my 3rd baby (Connor), I couldn’t run. The pain in my lower back was intense – my hips shifted and changed after 3rd baby and my lower abs were much weaker, and didn’t provide the support to my lower back that I needed to run and it took 10 months post partum to start running again. Instead I became a champ at spinning and HIIT.The important thing is to stay active, in a way that feels comfortable to you and do-able! Enjoy this time off Melody! You deserve it!!!

  5. Good job listening to your body and taking the time to recover fully. I ran all the way through my first pregnancy, including the day I delivered. I was back to walking at 4 days post, and running at 10 days post. I had a goal to run my 5th marathon around my son’s first birthday.
    I found that my pelvis just wasn’t happy with the long runs, and I would ache and hobble around the next day after running anything longer than 8-9 miles. I scrapped my marathon goal, and instead focused on more core work to strengthen my hips, and building back with consistent mileage. I ran a half-marathon when he was 15 months, and my 5th full when he was 21 months, both pain-free and feeling strong. I actually was first female in both races!
    So for now- do what feels good- walking, ab work, etc. Running will still be there, and you will be so grateful for it once you come back.
    Congrats on the baby 🙂

    • Thanks, Heather. Great advice – I’m trying to build core/hip strength too. Congrats on your little guy and for running (and winning) some speedy races!

  6. Take all the time you need! Running will always be there and our babies grow so quickly! Do it when it feels right! I didn’t run for almost 4 years after I had my babies!!

  7. I think you are doing the right thing. You spend time with your handsome son! How can you feel guilty about that 🙂 Sometimes your body knows best and you will know when it is time to run. I think your body needs the rest after all those years of running and being pregnant. Once you are back running, you will be faster and stronger than before!!

  8. It is crazy when we fall in love with something so much other than running (it is swimming for me). It will come back I promise! and then it will go away again with the phases in your life and your sons life. It sure is hard to miss a second huh 🙂

  9. I guess we are in the same boat! i was going to e-mail you and ask for tips on how to get motivated again. =) Of course, I haven’t had kids so my story is way different. I think you’ll get there in your own time and that’s ok!

    One of the main reasons I got to crossfit right now is because I’m not motivated to run like I was. However, I have committed to doing another 1/2 marathon in April so hopefully that will get me training.

  10. I love reading this and hearing some affirmation that not getting back on the wagon immediately is okay. I am an active runner now, just finished my first marathon in November, and am currently 16 weeks pregnant with my first baby. I plan to continue running for as long as I can during the pregnancy, and have high hopes about training for a half marathon that I’d be running 3ish months post-partum, but this post really made me realize that if I’m not ready to race by the time I think I *should* be ready… it’s okay. There are bigger priorities to take care of, first. Thanks for the reminder!

  11. Great post! My dilemma is that I am due March 23 and I got into the the NYC marathon for November! This is an opportunity that I don’t want to miss….

    I know I can delay it one year only, but by then we would like to be pregnant again…..

    I plan to take it easy and go off of how I feel. If I just enjoy NY and run a 5 hour marathon that’s OK…(kind of 🙂


  12. Ashley Hoyt says

    Take all the time you want to be totally absorbed with LJ. It goes by all too fast. One day you will wake up and feel that you just really want to “accomplish” something and you really want that to be about you and for you. Listen to that intuition too. Once that day came for me, I started running hard and I am now at my fastest.

  13. Jackie (Magee) says

    First off, major congrats! He is awesome! Having a child is such an incredible blessing. I say props to you for embracing this change and just doing what feels right. Your base from years of running and strong, I believe you once you start up again, it will be just fine. One of the benefits of running after having kids is, its like you get to hit a reset button on your PRs. So although I know my PRs from college I got to hit reset and think of them as pre and post baby PRs. So a 24 minute 5k was awesome, b/c it was post baby! 🙂 My second child is now 14 months and for the last year I have been slowly prepping to tackle some old PR’s. I started with walking, then walk/jog/walk, I did alot of cross training with bootcamp, spinning and yoga for a few months. Now I am back to running with a training plan and LOVE it. I try to not compare times to pre baby race training, but it happens and I just have to remind myself to be patient with it. I am excited too, b/c I think being a mom makes me mentally tougher, so when it all comes together, I am hopeful for some new PRs.
    Also, as a mom, running gives me something for ME! It reminds me of the things I love
    about God, life, myself and it makes me feel good.Thats motivates me to get moving.

    Much congrats again! You are one stunning mother, look forward to hearing how your re-entry goes.

    Also – running with a stroller is great. It forces you to go a little slower and keeps you from focusing on pace, it gets your son outside for fresh air.

  14. I love your honesty with this post. It is true- as an athlete how often do we give our bodies a break? I had Finley, my 3rd daughter, 5 weeks ago. Loving the time to be with her and soaking in every moment Have only run twice because I wanted to, but didn’t push it. No reason and unsafe to push a recovery or to scramble for racing calendars. It flies by so very fast and the notion to push ourselves back to racing/pre-baby bodies seems to be everywhere…but the only thing we can’t do again is get this time back to be with our babies! When you do start running, I bet you will be more focused, stronger and faster than before and you have the best running partner in LJ! Congrats!! Keep enjoying!

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