Throughout my entire life, fitness always played an important role as I was an athlete in high school and fell in love with the gym early on. Before I got pregnant with my 2nd child, Jenna, I was training twice a day; lifting in the morning and learning jujitsu at night. I was in the best shape of my life.
Once I became pregnant, I thought I could continue to stay fit. Unfortunately, morning sickness was just not in the morning for me as I was sick all day, every day until 30 weeks! It was a very difficult time. I knew after Jenna was born I would have to set a goal to get back to where I was, mentally and physically. I then was approached by a good friend of mine who told me she was going to run the half marathon and asked if I wanted to train for it too. I knew I would only have 10 weeks to train and as someone who never ran over a mile and a half in their life, I knew that if I was going to do it, it wasn’t going to be easy!!
So Jenna was born, I was 2 week postpartum and it clicked. I WILL be running the half marathon in October. I found a training program and began to run. The first couple of runs were mentally exhausting. I was used to excelling in anything fitness and now I was struggling. I couldn’t run my first mile without stopping, numerous times. Mentally I was ready to get back to the old Jess, but physically my body was telling me to take it slow. I had to remind myself that I just had my daughter 2 weeks ago, via c-section and that pushing my body too quickly would just result in injury. So I followed my training plan, increased my nutrition and included protein shakes and BCAAs for my recovery. I am now 3 weeks out from my first half marathon and running 10 miles for my long runs. I have two children (my son Blake is almost 5 and my daughter Jenna is 2 months), work part time from home, and a wife. It sure as hell is not easy, but I am determined and motivated to cross that finish line in October!
How I train:
To get myself back in action after pregnancy, I started slow. Building up my run/walk pace into a consistent run pace as I felt stronger and my wind came back to me!
During the week, I do three shorter runs, between 3-6 miles. They have built up over the past 6 weeks and will stay between 4-5 miles for my last two weeks.
On Saturdays or Sunday's (depending on my schedule) I go for my long runs. I've added a mile every week leading up to the race, it hasn’t been easy but these days motivate me to keep pushing hard! Since I only had 8 weeks to prepare post C-section I started my first week with 6 miles, and most recently had 12.
Here's an example of my first week, and most recent week (week 6)!
Friday- 3 Miles
Sunday- 6 Miles
Sunday- 12 Miles
For my nutrition I follow a basic template I've used in the past. I realized I needed to add more calories and variety to keep up with breastfeeding so I increased it a bit (about 500cal). I also have a free meal if I feel I need it since I've never run like this before!
I add in my basic supplements to make sure my recovery is as best as it can be. I get all my Favorite Redcon1 goodies from my husbands store American Nutrition Center Avon.
Pre Run: 1 scoop Total War Blue Raspberry
During run: 1 scoop Breach Sour Apple
Post run: I scoop Vanilla Isotope (I also absolutely LOVE this with oatmeal for a quick breakfast before running my 4 year old to pre school!"
On days after my long runs I might add extras scoops of my Breach to help me reduce that soreness from extra miles!
- Jessica Blank