Training For My First Post-Baby Race

So. Training for the Zack’s Place Turkey Trot 5k has officially kicked off. As usual, I’m using a bastardized Hal Higdon plan. According to The Plan, I’m to run four days a week, maxing out with long runs of five miles.

I have a long and complicated history with training plans. Mostly, I don’t really follow them all that closely. Which is weird for someone as generally Type A as I am. But for whatever reason, I have a hard time sticking to a training plan. I generally do about 80% of the scheduled runs and then wing it race day. Training is already off to an inauspicious start; I only did two of four scheduled runs my first week.

I’m trying really hard to be smart this time. Stick to the plan. Stretch. Foam roll. Keep easy runs easy. I have absolutely zero illusions about hitting some kind of PR on race day, but it would be nice to actually race on race day. To push myself and see what this post-baby body is capable of. But I need to get to the starting line healthy first.

Now that I have a baby to care for, and as the days become darker and colder, it will be even more challenging to stick to a training plan. Thankfully, I have a few things working in my favor. One: Ben started his six week paternity leave on Monday. Because Vera was born over the summer, he didn’t take his leave. Now, we’ll have another six weeks together as a family, meaning I’ll hopefully be able to get more sleep and have more time for running. Two: I now have a treadmill. Hooray for Front Porch Forum! Weather and darkness will no longer be a limiting factor in my ability to get a run done. And I can even potentially sneak in runs while Vera naps.

I think my biggest challenge in sticking to a training plan will be lack of sleep. Vera is still not sleeping through the night. Nowhere even close, in fact. It’s rough. Most days I’m too exhausted to want to do much, let alone go out and run speed intervals. I’m hoping that over the next few weeks, sleep will improve. We’re planning to call our pediatrician this week to see if she can give us some tips, cause both Ben and I are reaching the ends of our tolerance.

So yeah. Long story short, being a mother runner is hard, but I think I can stick with it.

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