I did it! I completed a leg of the Pittsburgh Marathon Relay just 8 months postpartum from my third kiddo. Last time I did a physical challenge like this, I was exactly one year postpartum from my second son. I ran a half-marathon that time, but this time around training for a half
marathon did not feel possible.
Running 6 miles sure did, though!
I tried not to think about my pace (which was about 15 minutes per mile while I was training) and just focused on moving my body and finishing my leg of the race. I had run 5 miles 2 weeks prior to the race, and it was hard. It was just so hard for me! I had chaffing afterwards and it took me about an hour and a half.
I’m glad I slogged through it, because it gave me an idea of what to expect the day of the race.
My mom had come into town to help with the boys, so she stayed home with them the day of the race (my husband is employed by the marathon, so he was working, working, working). I nursed my baby and then a friend gave me a ride to my relay exchange location. Since the race goes right by my house, we had to do some creative driving and I knew I’d have a nice warm-up walk to my start area.
And then I was off running! I walked through each of the fluid stations (and I took Gatorade or water at each station since it was sunny and over 75 degrees) and then I ended up walking a bit in the really sunny uphill sections.
Otherwise, I just chugged along. I was so motivated by all the cheering squads in the different neighborhoods. I really got to see a lot of the city on that 6-mile stretch. When I got to the section that went through my neighborhood, I barely noticed the gradual uphill because I saw so many friendly faces on the sidewalks giving me a high-5.
By the time I got to my relay exchange, it’d been 3.5 hours since I’d last nursed my baby, and boy was I ready to feed him. Luckily, my mom had found a shady patch of sidewalk, and so I just plunked right down and nursed him. Relief! He was so funny when I picked him up–he kept licking my salty, sweaty face.
When I checked my time later, I saw that I had run 13-minute miles during the race! So much faster than when I was practicing. Now, if only my neighbors would just line the streets every day with noisemakers and give me high five during training runs…
Have you completed a physical challenge while nursing? Leave us a comment to share your experience!