How to run a 5k 8 weeks after baby

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Dudes! I am officially back! It hasn’t been a perfectly smooth return, but I’ll take it. I’ve never had a back injury before, but my body isn’t quite back to normal and so I had to rest for an entire week to get healthy. In the two weeks following my injury I was able to gradually increase my distance up to 6 miles and felt good enough to run my first race last Saturday. So how did it go?

Saturday October 26, 2013
3:45 am Emmaline wakes up with a roar, so I feed her
4:45 am Hand Emma off so I can take a shower and get ready
5:15 am Pete gets ready while I make coffee and Emma naps
5:45 am Start packing the car, load the BOB stroller, etc.
6:00 am Last-minute diaper change, get Emma into the car seat, feed Bella
6:15 am Off to North Carolina
6:20 am Damn, forgot the gas tank was empty
7:30 am Arrive in Windsor, NC
7:35 am Packet pick-up
7:45 am Diaper change
7:50 am Feed Emmaline
8:20 am Family warm-up

bertie 3

8:35 am Finish warm-up, stretch
8:45 am Change into race jersey, pin on number, get to starting line

bertie 2

9:00 am Race is off!
9:21 am Finish time 21:38


Since this was my first time managing all of the above, I didn’t have any set time goals. All of my runs have been so slow (I tried running faster but that’s what contributed to my back injury), and I didn’t know if I would be able to even run 8 minute pace. I wasn’t very focused during the race itself which is something I hope to change by my next race. Immediately after the race my back tightened up, but during the race I was trying to keep good form since that’s another thing that I think contributed to my injury. I’m happy my back is feeling good now, and I’m finally feeling strong enough to run every day which means my mileage is creeping upward.

My next race is the Troy Turkey Trot, a race I have a long history with. If you’re super bored and want to read my Turkey Trot history, here it is: A Short History, A Short History Part Two, A Short History Part Three, How To Fake It

My goals for that race are to break 20 minutes and to win the sister/sister category with my sister and Oiselle teammate Steph.

After the Turkey Trot last year with Steph!

After the Turkey Trot last year with Steph!

Last year we did the husband/wife teams and did okay, but we realized we would do better as sister/sister and brother/brother because we wouldn’t be competing against ourselves. After that race I hope to be up to at least 50 miles per week injury free and then I can start adding in some tempos and speed work. It’s hard for me to be patient, but I’m working on it.

How do you stay positive during a comeback? What are some exercises I can do to strengthen my back? How should I spend my prize money?

11 thoughts on “How to run a 5k 8 weeks after baby

  1. I just read all your Turkey Trot Recaps and wow, I feel like I learned 10 fold more about your life (in a noncreepy way of course).

    I cannot even imagine being up that much and then racing you are awesome. I’m glad you are getting back and able to run again and I know you are going to do great things. I’d say spend your check on more dates with me…ha…ha. I don’t know what I would spend it on. Probably clothes, I’d force myself not to spend it on groceries…

    • Creeping is totally allowed, that’s why I provided creeping links! And I’m used to getting up at weird hours now so it wasn’t as bad as it seems šŸ™‚

  2. So inspiring, Mollie. I’m hoping to be as calm, collected, and go-with-the-flow post-baby myself (whenever that day may come). I hope you are feeling good and enjoying the days with little Emmaline.

    • Thanks Amanda! Hope your wedding plans are coming along… honestly I feel like wedding plans were more stressful than having a baby! Anyway yes, I’m happy to be back training and looking forward to those 4am treadmill runs again!

  3. Running, it really is just a roller coaster ride. Sometimes were in control and sometimes not.
    The Turkey trot history brings back allot of memories! Keep up the running and healthy attitude and I’ll see you on the roads.

  4. That’s such a great time getting back into things! Definitely different race morning routine than you are used to I’m sure now that you have the little one! Good luck at the Turkey trot too! Loved reading the previous recaps.

    I have found general Pilates really helps me strengthen my back (I have lower back issues), and doing weighted back extensions a few times a week really helps too!

    • Thank you! Yes, it is a change… I’ll have to be a little more laid back about my warm ups than I used to be. Thanks for the advice on back strengthening, I’ll try those out!

  5. Pingback: Double Race Recap | piece of cake running

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