don't call it a comeback

Actually no, please do. This is totally a comeback.

Sure, I've run up a few hills during an ambitious stroller walk. And yes, on Saturday after another long drive I did a loop or two of the Maple Leaf Park. But yesterday was my first official day off the bench after and 40 weeks of baby carrying and my surprise c-section (I've decided using the word surprise gives it more of a festive tone). 

I had my six week check up with the midwives. And no they didn't give me a dunce cap that said "Midwife Dropout" like I was (half way) expecting. They made sure I wasn't depressed, check. And then did a quick exam. Everything looking good except I have diastasis recti, about three fingers fit between my abs. Crud. My core has always been pretty weak sauce anyway and was on my to-do list. But it was pretty sad/gross to be able to fit half a fist between my ab muscles.
short hike with penelope - hurricane ridge
This is week one, ground 0. I don't have an end in sight. No goal race. What I want is to get as strong and as unbreakable as I can get. To build a solid foundation. Of course I also want to nail Olympic Trials marathon standard, sub 2:43, before the 2016 deadline. But to be honest it feels so big and so impossible, I just need to focus on each day for a good while until my foundation is built. Otherwise I'll be tempted to rush the process. 

Last year, leading up to Chicago and after, I dealt with a lot of imbalances and IT/knee pain. I was sort of hoping the issues would ease up after taking 9 months off. Turns out 'hope' isn't what mends imbalances. Nor does carting around an extra 40 pounds on relaxin loaded joints. Weird. 

The foundation work list is as follows:
Work on firing glutes and building strength.

Flipper leg
Yeah I have a wonky collapsible knee with a flippy foot. Get back to PT to address the imbalances causing this. 

Side stabber
The great mystery, but I'm sure working on strength and flexibility imbalances will help. Also working with my PT to unstick the muscles involved in side stabber.

Diastasis Recti
Bring those muscles back together. 

In the true sense. Sure abs, but also glutes and back. Kick the imbalances from the broken back to the curb once and for all.

Upper body
Hunchy weak shoulders gots to go. 

Yeah, that should cover it. I think the only thing missing is foot and achilles focus. I haven't had those injuries but I'll work in preventative there too. A little overwhelming. There's lot standing between me and running as hard as I want to. I'm not saying it will be perfect, but I've been scrapping training together on a weak base too long. Time to rebuild. 

I've proven to myself I'm not patient enough to comeback on my own, so I have enlisted expert help. The very person whose patient comeback I've been admiring, Steph Rothstein. I'm so excited to get started. I also am lucky enough to have access to an Eliptigo as I ramp my training up. Actually two, if anyone wants to join me!

+ Walk at least one hour every day. This could be one or two walks, have been doing this for a month.
+ Incorporate light running into evening walk every other day. Focus on form and uphills. No more than 20 minutes total each runday.
+ Strength glutes, arms, back (3 x week)
+ Stretch and roll (6 x week)
+ Diastasis Recti work (6 x week)
from RealSimple magazine, better illustrations than the midwife handout

Alright, it's go time!


  1. Thanks for posting this. As a mom of an almost 8-month old baby, I am still working on fully-recovering. It is taking a lot longer than I was prepared for! I had Diastasis Recti as well and I am still working on closing that gap.

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  3. You go girl! Congrats on your baby girl and congrats to having a plan for your running adventures. You've got this! #Inspired

  4. I have no doubt you will not only come back but come better! I can't wait to follow your journey!

  5. I'm glad to see you back and provided your witty LOLZ.

  6. Congrats on the first run back! I'm so excited to watch your comeback. I'm terrible about commenting (obviously) but I'll definitely be following along for the ride. I know it seems crazy and impossible now, but trust me - it will come back...though maybe not all at once or as quickly as you would like. In my experience, "training" has looked different than it did before and there have been many times that I'm left frustrated by what seems like a lack of progress. But slowly things have started to click. For me, it's been more of a stuttered process -- I plateau somewhere for awhile and then suddenly (and almost without explanation) I make a leap in strength/speed/etc...then I hang out there for a little while longer before jumping up again. It takes a lot of patience and readjusting goals, but sounds like you have a great plan and excellent guidance so I know you will get there.

    As far as diastasis recti - I was in the same place at my 6 week check. 9 months out, it has gone down a lot but still hasn't gone away. I'm sure I could've been better about rehabbing, but I'm just trying to be patient. Hopefully that doesn't discourage you...just know that if it takes awhile, you aren't alone!

  7. You are such an inspiration- love your transparency, authenticity, and wit! Thanks for sharing the specifics of your comeback training plan- this is a great resource for any of us getting back into the swing of things!

    I don't know if Spinning is something you'd consider adding to your routine, but I LOVE Mary Whipple's class at Flywheel. I've found its been a great supplement to my running, and has been my go-to in the last year to build & maintain fitness through a series of foot surgeries.

  8. Great to hear about your comeback plan! I look forward to following your journey and cheering you on!

  9. I like the plan, I might borrow some of it! I am also in the same place with the diastasis recti. From 6 weeks - 6 months I haven't seen much improvement but to be fair, I *just* got some exercises from a PT and am starting to work on it! It's weird right, going from laying down to sitting up and seeing your belly turn into a pyramid. LOL!

    I am about 6 1/2 mo postpartum and I am just starting to see traces of my pre-baby running self. It was harder than I had expected. I actually expected to "bounce back" immediately and faster than ever. Naive I guess. Running has not been easy, everything is out of whack, my stride is sloppy and I just feel heavy on the road.

    I know as more time goes on, it will get better and it will come back! I am looking forward to that! For now, I give myself baby goals (sometimes distance, sometimes speed, so far I haven't accomplished both at once!) and try to work towards that!

  10. this looks like a great plan, sarah. i'm very impressed with your levelheadedness, patience, and perspective. also you've got such amazing support and incredible role models, which is the best thing you can have as a new mom ("it takes a village"). you'll see that motherhood gives everything in your life a whole new spin, which often makes you realize all sorts of things you didn't "see" before. it's going to make you a better everything, including runner and i, for one, am excited for your comeback! ;)


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