This is me, with Jude, at 2am, not sleeping. Weee!

This is me, with Jude, at 2am, not sleeping. Weee!

Jude was born four Monday’s ago, but honestly it has felt like 28 Mondays have passed since he popped out. Every day I wake up to the sound of grunting and I’m like “Holy shit, I’m a mom. That grunting baby noise is MY baby. Time to kick it into gear!” I wonder when it will start to feel like I’m catching some momentum, some hint of a rhythm, when the morning feels like a Tuesday, or even a (gasp) Wednesday.

For now, I honestly have no freaking clue what I’m doing. Most of the time biology takes over and things just seem to happen, and Jesse and I just react. Every once in a while we try to solve him like a puzzle and then realize that the puzzle is made of only sky, or more accurately, solid white pieces of the matrix.

People try to prepare you for having a kid, but even they will tell you, there is no way to really explain what it’s like. It’s like trying to truly comprehend how far away the sun is from Earth, or describe God. Words fail. But one thing everyone says is that it is incredible, better than you can possibly imagine…and it’s fucking hard. Check. Check.

Jude is a pretty awesome baby. He is very advanced. For example, even though his body weight is a mere 5% that of his dad, his farts are already of equal volume. It’s quite remarkable. He’s a night owl like his mom, AND a morning person like his dad. Who DOES that?! It’s super human really.

The hardest part for me is the sleep. I have never been a good napper and Jude gets up every 1-2.5 hours. But 4-6 hours a day of interrupted sleep is not sustainable. It is, on the other hand, perfect preparation for a method actor who wants to star in “The Exorcist,” which I unfortunately don’t have time for at the moment. Eventually, one gets exhausted enough to sleep anywhere, anytime, and I just reached that point yesterday. It’s all gravy from here.

The Body Transformation

So how about training? What’s going on for Lauren-the-athlete? Well, take a seat. Actually, get up and dispose of any weapons or sharp objects and then sit back down because based on the stink eye I’ve received from a few women around town, you may want to kill me after you read this. I’ve bounced back pretty quick. I’m one of those women. I didn’t mean to I swear. Many of you have already been giving me shit on the twitters, (the mock hate tweets are hilarious) so thanks for that. I still have a lot of work to do to become a world class athlete again, but I’m pretty amazed with how things have gone so far.

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40 weeks pregnant…a few days before Jude arrived. 162 pounds.

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1 week post delivery: 145 pounds

2 weeks post delivery

2 weeks post delivery: 142 pounds

Above: Me at 3 weeks post delivery, 139 pounds, starting my rehab program on the UltraSlide. The pelvis is the highest risk area after childbirth.

4 weeks post delivery: 137 pounds.

4 weeks post delivery: 137 pounds.

The body is an amazing thing

When you sit down, it's more obvious you have some extra skin hanging around, and it looks especially hilarious when you do a front plank. Imagine a pregnant cat.

When you sit down, it’s more obvious you have some extra skin hanging around, and it looks especially hilarious when you do a front plank. Imagine a pregnant cat.

I didn’t mean to bounce back so fast, I swear. I had the best of intentions of turning into a tangled mess of atrophied muscles coated in crisco applying for next season of the biggest loser to inspire millions with my comeback, but it just didn’t pan out. It’s not that I don’t have any work to do, but the first 90% happened pretty quick. These are the reasons I think things have gone pretty smoothly so far:

  1. Luck
  2. I was in really good shape before I got pregnant
  3. I stayed super active through pregnancy aerobically (ElliptiGo, running about 4 days a week til 32 weeks, hiking)
  4. I lifted weights throughout…like REAL weights (thanks John Ball).
  5. I had body work every few weeks (massage, fixing scar tissue, etc).
  6. I didn’t have food cravings other than OJ. If I wanted ice cream as much as OJ, this would be a different story (again see #1).
  7. Most of my weight gain ended up being water weight, so that comes off really fast.

I’m about 7 pounds over my normal training weight, and 10-12 pounds over racing weight. But here’s the deal, weight isn’t everything. If skinny were the most important thing to running fast, runway models would be our Olympians. When it comes to real athleticism and performance…I have a LONG way to go, so it’s time to do the work!

Getting Started

I’m beginning what I’m calling #flyerbootcamp, which is a training regimen to build my body from the ground up, and I want to invite you to join me. Through twitter, this ALF blog, and my column “The Fast Life” on Runner’s World, I’ll post videos and photos to share what I’m up to. I’ll still post about other stuff too of course, but I’ll label appropriate things with the hashtag above. Join the Fleshman Flyers to be sure to stay up to date.

Some initial pics to show phase one:

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Balancing on one strong foot with good upper body posture to help recalibrate my body now that there isn’t a massive lump on the front of me. More advanced or non new moms can just do this with their eyes closed to develop proprioception.

Using CorrectToes to help keep my big toes aligned properly so they don't dive medially on push off. This should help me get more power and be less injury prone.

Using CorrectToes to help keep my big toes aligned properly so they don’t dive medially on push off. This should help me get more power and be less injury prone. You don’t have to run with them, but walking is good, doing gym work, etc.

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Keeping my lower leg muscles loose and the fibers building in the right direction as I get back into training and pounding. Dr. Lesko hooked me up with this little roller set. Find a knot and stay there while rotating your foot/ankle in circles. Oy.

My PT in Bend wrote this book. Apparently he's kind of a big deal so I'm going to read it to get started on the right foot.

My PT in Bend wrote this book. He’s kind of a big deal so I’m going to read it to get started on the right foot (and left foot, evenly).

Doing a variety of TRX exercises that challenge my core and help me build functional strength.

Doing a variety of TRX exercises that challenge my core and help me build functional strength. Photo from Rebound PT. This one builds my butt and core simultaneously. You put your feet in the hooks and then lift your butt so you are in a plank. Then you pull your legs open and closed without losing the plank. Butt burner big time.

 

I'm doing a lot of work that makes me want to arch my lower back, but I use strength and focus to keep my pelvis level. These are really hard for me, always have been, even before the baby, but better posture will make me more powerful and reduce asthma.

I’m doing a lot of work that makes me want to cheat by arching my lower back, like this arm extending exercise, but I use strength and focus to keep my pelvis level and ribs tucked down. These are really hard for me, always have been, even before the baby, but better posture will make me more powerful, more efficient, and reduce cramping and asthma.

Watching pro track on Universal Sports so I can get pumped up by amazing performances.

Watching pro track on Universal Sports so I can get pumped up by amazing performances, learn race tactics from the best in the world, and be influenced by dreamers and chance takers. Make sure to follow the Diamond League circuit this summer!

Recoverin' recoverin' recoverin'. Not that its URGENT for a 20 minute run, but it's not too early to start good habits.

Recoverin’ recoverin’ recoverin’ with gradient compression. Not that its URGENT for a 20 minute run, but it’s not too early to start good habits.

Being grateful for every moment I can exercise. Gratitude is a powerful tool for good health and happiness.

Being grateful for every moment I can exercise. Gratitude is a powerful tool for good health and happiness.

Hanging out with my family and staying balanced.

Hanging out with my dudes and getting Usain Bolt inspiration from Jude.

If you have any tips to add for a healthy post-partum recovery, please add them in the comments! Much appreciated. Special thanks to the birds at Oiselle (including all three grandmas) for seeing me through this journey, and going out of your way to help me out and teach me your mom tricks. And if you are up for #flyerbootcamp, also let me know below! Peace out.  -Fleshman.