There’s no question that training for a marathon after having a baby is rough. I’ve trained for and run a marathon at varying points postpartum and each time I find these things to be true:
1. You will be tired. So Tired. Between the late night feedings and the 20 milers you’ll wonder how you ever complained of being tired before.
2. Tummy time will double as post-run stretch time.
3. There will be no food left behind. You’ll be hungry but too tired to shop for food. And even if you do shop for food, you won’t have the energy to cook it and so you’ll eat anything that you can possibly get your hands on, including those baby food pouches with the peach and the squash and the yogurt. Yeah. Those are yummy.
4. Your laundry will quadruple. There’s the outfit you ran in and then baby’s outfit, the outfit after the blow-out, then the outfit after the spit-up and then the sweatpants you changed into at the end of the day to get out of your running clothes.
5. Showering will be a luxury you can seldom afford. Because to take a three minute shower really requires 33 minutes. Thirty minutes to set the baby up with toys, books and anything to keep them occupied for the three minutes you’re in the shower. And you’re just going to go for a run in another 18 hours, so why bother?
6. You will question why you’re doing it over and over again. Especially at 3:22am when you’re rocking your baby back to sleep thinking that in just a few hours you’ve got to get up and run.
7. You’ll have added resistance (in the form of a tiny tot) for your core work—which you’ll now realize is your #1 priority because pregnancy does an unfriendly number on your abs.
8. You’ll rank you sports bras according to how easily you can nurse in them.
9. You’ll want to quit not once, not twice, but what seems like a thousand times. Until you’re out on the road putting in the miles and you realize it is the only time when the only one putting demands on your body is you.
10. The finish line will be so much sweeter because there will be a little face to kiss and squish at the end. They have no idea what you just did, but they’ll be grinning because mommy is back!