In her own words, Coach Chany shares her experience with the ups and downs of pregnancy, returning to running post-birth, and highlights how everyone’s experience is unique and special.
I was proud of myself today! I didn’t run particularly fast or far but I did my first 10km since I was 4 months pregnant with Olive. I haven’t shared much about my pregnancy or post-delivery “comeback” to running. Not because I’m necessarily a private person but because I have wanted running to be something I do for me whether it’s going well or not.
I would classify the last 1.5 years into 4 stages:
Stage 1 (Pregnancy): I found out that I was not the elusive pregnant lady who could run until she went into labour – very much a waddling through the north shore trails lady. Learned to embrace my changing body and trust that one day running would be possible again.
Stage 2 (“What just happened?”): Truthfully my labour and delivery were traumatic, emergency c-section wasn’t how I pictured it going. I had to learn to first stand, then walk 5ft, then leave the hospital questioning how on earth I’m supposed to function in this much pain and immobility. The idea of anything more than a very slow and hunched shuffle made me want to puke. Night sweats, boobs feeling like they are going to fall off, sleepless nights, more pain than I’ve ever had to experience just trying to shuffle around doing the most simple tasks and finally managing to walk around the block. Oh and irrationally crying about EVERYTHING!
Stage 3 (New Mom): body feeling better, still can’t even fathom running, how does anyone even remember how to eat lunch let alone exercise? Nights are still a blur, showering is the only time I get to myself, and walking aimlessly around the house and block trying to keep Olive distracted is my all day every day. Trying to fit in base strength in hopes of working towards running in the not-so-far future. Pelvic floor physio and osteo are a huge help!
Stage 4 (Rediscovery): Olive starts napping independently and sleeping through the night. Exercise routine becomes a possibility, start a learn to run program despite being a runner and coach my whole life. Some days I sprint out the door, others I drag myself and some I get out there and wish I hadn’t. There is progress and then set back on repeat, the path is not linear back to figuring out how to move my body like I once did.
I have a long way to go but my point in writing this is that no one told me about how hard it can be. I see posts that make it seem so seamless and effortless, the reality for me is that it’s been tough, messy, AND beautiful.
Olive and Aaron were waiting at my personal finish line today cheering me on and it was the best feeling in the world, knowing these two have been with me every step of this journey so far and will continue to be for the rest of this bumpy road.
New moms I see you, I am you, and I’m here if you ever want to relate to how challenging getting back into things is after babies.
Chany is an M2M Coach and will be returning from maternity leave to coach athletes again soon.
– For more information on Chany, you can read her bio here.