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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Running the Numbers

In the spring, when I was still running while preggo, I decided to ditch the Garmin because I was just getting slower and slower out there and I didn't want to look at the digits. So, I have no idea how slow I was running there at the end before I decided to take a hiatus, but my technical guess is "slow as molasses."

So, here I am 3 months later, and I decided it's time to face the numbers and see what the damage is, so on Sunday night's soaker-run, I brought along the Garmin. I told myself before setting out that I wasn't going to judge myself based on my (probably) slow pace; I was just going to accept it and use it as a starting point for my return to running.

Yeah...easier said than done.

In the first mile, when it was telling me I was running at a 12 min/mile pace, I honestly thought something must be wrong with the Garmin. Don't laugh. I seriously thought it had to be a Garmin-error. It wasn't. I was that slow. In the end, I ran 3.23 miles on Sunday evening, and I ran them in 39:07, with an average pace of 12:08/mile.

Ouch.

That hurts my ego to post. Now, I know I really shouldn't be hard on myself; I had a baby 5 weeks ago. I didn't run for 3 months. I can't expect to return to running (with a few preggo pounds still lingering) and bust out the 9 min miles. Blah, blah, blah. I know all this, yet I can't help but be hard on myself: 12 min miles? Can't I walk faster than that? (Answer: no. I am a very slow walker.)

And, I'll be honest here, my pride was hurt so much by those numbers that I honestly thought about keeping them a secret from you guys. But then reality set in, and I figured: Why would I hide it? I'm slow right now, but at least I'm out there. I'll get faster, with time. I'll lose those last 5 lbs, with time. I will return to being the runner I was a year ago, with time.

It's just a bit hard to adjust to. Returning to running last week felt like I was returning to an essential part of me, but finding out I'm not quite the running-me I was pre-preggo is a bit of an identity adjustment. But like all the identity adjusting that I have been experiencing since I got pregnant, I can roll with this.

I just wish the Garmin would do me a favor and lie every once in awhile.

38 comments:

Eliza said...

It's just going to take a minute for your muscles to remember how fast they are.

You'll see ... you'll be flying in no time!

K13 said...

This should make you feel better..I'm an 11:40ish minute per mile pace...18 months post partum AND can't seem to lose 18 lbs no matter how little I eat or how much I run. To say I'm frustrated would be an understatement. And now I'm having left calf and foot pain which is affecting how long & how much I can run.

At 5 wks post baby you are doing WAY more than 99% of new moms. Heck, um, most don't even go back to work 'til 6 wks post partum.

Caitlin at Healthy Tipping Point said...

i am delurker to say you are doing a great job! i didnt have a baby, but i did take time off due to injury and it was so hard to come back and see my pace was much slower. im still trying to get it back up, but i try to look at it like a fun challenge and not a failture. its been really fun to try to get my speed back, and although i know i'd be faster if i hadnt take that break.... well, injuries and babies happen!! you are doing GREAT. keep it up.

Wes said...

This post just tells me that you will work hard to get back into shape. Why do I find that not the least bit surprising? You will be bangin out 9 minute miles in no time. Of that, I AM SURE :-)

JojaJogger said...

Hey, I'm faster than Jess! Don't worry in a few months, or probably weeks, you will be back to your speedy ways. When I was recovering from girl part surgery I started out at 100 year old pace (barely shuffling) and reduced my pace by a decade every week or two. I'd estimate you at 60 year old pace now, so you should be back in 4-8 weeks ;)

Marlene said...

Just think how awesome it is going to be when you see those numbers dropping - which they will!

TNTcoach Ken said...

You have to adjust that time with being short and running in Florida. So with those adjustments, you're running an 8:32/mile pace.

Jess said...

You'll get your speed back. But you're right, you did just have a baby and had to take off running for almost three months! It's awesome that you're out there already and getting back to it! The speed will come with time!

Manderz said...

I run 12 min/miles and I am quite pleased with my time LOL.

All joking aside I understand the frustration since you were faster. Like everyone said, keep at it and I know you will rock out 9 min/miles soon enough!

Carolina John said...

speed and endurance have to be earned. you'll be back where you want to be in no time. remember pregnancy and birth screwed up your body for 9 months, it will take 9 months for it to get back to normal. stick with it Jess, and know that everything will come back around in time. everyone who's fast will become slow again, and the slow folks like me can occaisionally get fast.

X-Country2 said...

You'll get there! This will be a great post to read in a month or so when you're back to your speedy self.

kristen said...

Own it girl. Your at where your at right now, and you wont get where you want to be any faster by lying about it.

Katie A. said...

Don't beat yourself up too much! I am sooo impressed you're out there pounding the pavent already! Most women in your situ milk the fact they just had a baby, and you're out there kickin' ass! You look awesome! And your fast legs will be back before you know it! At least you can only get better from here! :)

N.D. said...

5 weeks out and you are doing GREAT. You're fine! Ditch the garmin until you're back in the groove

Fair Weather Runner said...

ohhh, well i think it's natural to feel that way, i know i would! and if it helps, one of my best running buddies took a few months to get back into the groove of running her regular pace after her baby. and now she is faster than ever! so there you go, in a few months, you'll be faster than ever!

Jama said...

You are doing great for just having a baby 5 weeks ago. Just remember that you have a sweet baby at home when you start to feel down about your time :)

Erin said...

That's how fast I run a 5K as a non runner. Don't beat yourself up. Those digits will decrease once you get back into it.

Heather said...

It will come back, I promise. My first 5K 3 weeks post baby was 35-ish. Just keep pounding the pavement! :)

aron said...

you are doing awesome!! your speed will come back VERY soon... i think you are amazing for being out there already :) i know so many moms who take a year+ to get their bodies back and look how close you are already!

LSH said...

Hi, I'm hoping to get pregnant and also hoping to keep my time away from running as short as possible. You are giving me lots of hope that this is going to be possible. Your 12 min/miles are music to my ears :)

Amanda said...

I know that's tough to not be where you were or where you want to be, but just remember how many people out there are still striving to hit a 12:00 mile. You'll be back up to speed in no time I'm sure, don't get discouraged!

Stephanie said...

Oh this makes me sad. My pace right now (at only 11 weeks prego) is about 12:30/mile if I run over 10 miles.

I blame the heat . . .

Pinknoelle said...

I quit running at 32 weeks and I'm at 37 now. I still used my Nike+Ipod the whole way. I was running a 13 min mile at the end. I know I walk an 18 min mile. When I walk around the track I see these ladies on their cel phones talking and I say "I would've lapped you 5 times by now." I understand your frustration but I think you're doing great!

runner26 said...

you're awesome for being out there! don't let the numbers get to you ~ it'll all come back to you in no time!

Lisa Slow-n-Steady said...

You are going to be fine. And some of us - er at least one of us, er me - post numbers like that fairly often. what's most important is getting out there. keep at it!

Marci said...

Don't be hard on yourself, you will be back and likely running faster than ever soon!

Mary Gee said...

I wish you knew how great you are doing for a new mom. You will be back to your old self in no time at all - like within a few months.

I haven't been around for a while. Congrats on your new little baby.

teacherwoman said...

Oh hun, you will be back to your speedy self in no time!

Mrs. K said...

can't you do something to the garmin like we do to clocks and set them a few mins fast or something? you're doing great girl...uhm- where are the baby pics?

Rio Runs said...

Well, I wasn't running 5 weeks after having my kids. Heck, I wasn't even running during my pregnancies, so kudos to you! Try to *ignore* the Garmin pace display for now and let your body tell you how you're doing. Strong work for being out there! Woowho!

Carly said...

Damn Garmin! You will be back to your normal pace soon. Most people aren't even thinking about running 5 weeks after having a baby.

Kate said...

I have run sub-4 marathons, and have recently run a 23:00 5k, and I do plenty of my training between 10:00 and 12:00/mile. You will be speeding along faster than ever before before you even know it!

Stuart said...

The clue's in the title of you blo, well you need to add a bit more time but all that was lost can be relcaimed and more! Pushing that BOB stroller will see to that!

Rachel O'Donnell said...

You can do it! Let that 12 minutes fuel your comeback - use it as motivation to get faster, and just think of how great you will feel as you watch that time go down!

Melissa said...

I'm 30 weeks pregnant runner and have just started following your blog. Thank you for sharing your times and for your struggles with giving up running as the end of your pregnancy neared. Since I am going through a lot of the same things right now, it's nice to read that someone else has been there and is already back to running 5 weeks postpartum. I think your times are great most people wouldn't even be back to running yet.

Running 365 said...

Shoot, I'm that slow sometimes and I've never even popped out a baby. As much as I love running-gear, I have no desire for a Garmin. Too much data!

d.a.r. said...

Hahah I am probably that slow right now and I didn't just give birth! You'll get there!

Kevin said...

Be patient and your speed will return in no time