Is this even...feasible?

AsellusReborn Posts: 1,112 Member
Okay. So some background:

1) I had a baby on 9/30 via c-section. I eased back into running around third week of November. (My first few postpartum runs were GRUELING but I'm happy to report they've gotten much easier and faster - my tempo run is back to almost pre-pregnancy pace and I feel like I'm actually going to end up faster than I was before.)

2) My goal had been to go back to running 3-4x a week. But with a small baby, I have been unable to do that. Weekday running just hasn't worked out - it's dark and icy when my husband gets home and when he leaves for work, and I do not have a jogging stroller (nor the funds for one - had been sort of hoping that would end up being my christmas present). I have only been able to run on weekdays, and have been using my elliptical during the week. I had initially planned to train for a come-back HM in April, but decided since I can't run as often as any reasonable training plan would suggest, I would stick to 5k/10ks and aim for a fall half since I will definitely be able to run more come spring when my son is older -and- the days are light longer.

3) My husband, in trying to be helpful, bought me a race pass for Christmas for a local company that includes 13 races in 2014. 5K in Jan, 5 miles in Feb, 5k March, and then a 20k in April. His reasoning was that this way I won't agonize over whether to spend the money on races - it's already spent. Which he's right, and that's great. But...well, see #2.

So with all the background, here's my question. I'm eyeing the 20k in April doubtfully and to be honest sort of eyeing them all doubtfully. My elliptical is great for not ditching all of my cardiovascular and running fitness entirely, but I know it's not a perfect substitute. Running 2x a week isn't...well, isn't much. Is it really even possible to train for that 20k to finish it, much less finish it well?

I guess worded another way - if I'm very careful to not skip any of my weekend runs, will adding the elliptical 3-4x a week help maintain my running enough that I can at least finish a long distance race? The money is spent and I hate to waste it now. If this is possible how do I go about this?


  • rduhlir
    rduhlir Posts: 3,550 Member
    Have you considered looking into a used jogging stroller? The local running club here has sort of a migrating club of new moms, so the strollers around here get swapped around.

    As far as the two days a week, I am going to say probably not. I have seen some articles and plans for busy lifestyles that drop training down to 3 days a week.

    The 20K is totally doable, even if you end up having to walk a little bit. Your goal shouldn't be to finish well, just to finish.
  • schmenge55
    schmenge55 Posts: 745 Member
    I see we are in the same neck of the woods. I riding now but will try and write more later. You csn totally do the 20k although you may need to shift expectations. Is getting outside on some weekdays when weather breaks an option? Any indoor tracks near you? I have 5 within 30 minutes or so so maybe the same in the northern burbs? While you are indoors and low mileage improve others things like flexibility, form and core strength
  • DavidMartinez2
    DavidMartinez2 Posts: 840 Member
    If you are very dilligent in getting your weekend runs and doing the elliptical during the week you should be able to maintain fitness. Once the weather starts to break in March you should look to get some extra running days in during the week.
  • AsellusReborn
    AsellusReborn Posts: 1,112 Member
    Rduhilr, I am not comfortable taking him out until he is closer to 6 months (particularly with the thick ice we have out right now - I'm not totally confident I can keep myself safe, haha) and by then I am pretty sure the weather will have broken enough to let me get extra runs in. Thank you for the suggestion though!

    Schmenge, it really depends on the baby. I go out every chance I get, but lately that has been weekends during his naps. Mornings has been the only time I've gotten more than an hour of sleep in a row (I will give up sleep to run - but I won't give up all my sleep, and with a young baby that kind of became my choice. I feel so whiny saying that, but I'm operating on bare minimum as it is, haha.) That said...I realize the solution for that is the same as waiting on the weather. It doesn't work right now but neither the weather nor his frequent night wakings will last forever. If I can just maintain enough through the early weeks of half training, he'll grow and the weather will get better - by the time runs get longer I should be able to get out a lot more. I suddenly feel a lot better!

    DavidMartinez that is definitely the plan. I just realized responding to an above poster that both the weather and the baby issues will break as time goes on - as long as I can maintain or so for the next month by the time the training schedule picks up I should be able to get out a lot more. The 20k doesn't sound quite so crazy any more.
  • schmenge55
    schmenge55 Posts: 745 Member
    No baby so tough to identify (my youngest is 20 next month). But the more I think about it the more I think you've got this. You should be able to get a good base started in January/Feb and then like you said pick up some more outside miles in March
  • AsellusReborn
    AsellusReborn Posts: 1,112 Member
    Thank you! April seems so soon but I know realistically about half of that will be in better weather which I wasn't thinking about when I made this post. It's not ideal, but I can definitely at least finish, even if it ain't pretty!
  • dorianaldyn
    dorianaldyn Posts: 611 Member
    From my personal experience - when I first started running, I went straight for the half marathon distance and I was very much a weekend warrior. I completed three half marathons training that way. It wasn't until I started training for a full marathon that I added in a lot of mid-week running. So, from my perspective, yes, I think you could manage to train for a 20k. Just try to get some sleep too! I know that's difficult with a little baby.
  • AsellusReborn
    AsellusReborn Posts: 1,112 Member
    What kind of training did you do with just weekend running? Now that I've decided this is feasible I'm trying to decide the best way to progress my mileage, haha.
  • laurasuzanne2006
    laurasuzanne2006 Posts: 103 Member
    Treadmill an option? I end up doing most of my runs after my daughter is asleep and my husband is home. So usually 8 pm at the earliest.
  • Heather its totally doable!! Even if it means you walk/run it. Don't worry about time yet, this year is your comeback year:) And for training have you ever tried yak trax? They are these neat little things you put on your shoes that making running in the winter much safer.
  • sjp_511
    sjp_511 Posts: 476 Member
    I think you can do it. It might not be pretty, but it is doable. For a half, as long as you get your long run in, one other run and at least 2 30+ minute sessions on the elliptical every week and you will be good to go. I have trained for halfs with only running 2-3 times/week and getting in a lot of cross training.

    As for a jogging stroller, I believe most have minimum weight requirements and are not recommended for babies under 6 months old, so you still have a few months before you can consider it.
  • AsellusReborn
    AsellusReborn Posts: 1,112 Member
    No treadmill, can't afford one :(

    Sjp I can definitely do that. It will be my first HM since I was 6 months pregnant so I am not expecting a pretty finish anyway. (Well almost half - I know it's about a mile different, but close enough for government purposes in my book, hah.)

    Yeah - some have infant adaptors but with the trails in my area I'm not comfortable with it until he's older and by then since he'll be older I anticipate this won't be as much as an issue.

    Heather no yak trax although we were talking about it. Definitely looking into it :)
  • Lyerin
    Lyerin Posts: 818 Member
    I don't know if this is at all helpful, but I bought a used jogging stroller from craigslist - you may want to check the one in your area. I got a pretty much new jogging stroller for $75 (it was almost $200 new). You could find more used ones for much less than that. I was mindful of safety and both checked for recalls on the stroller before I bought it and met the seller in a public place for the exchange (she was as nervous as me about meeting a stranger - LOL).
  • Jrunner
    Jrunner Posts: 18 Member
    I don't have a treadmill or anyother machine. I have two young boys and my husband's job may have him staying out of town or coming home late. So I am a weekend Warrior. 5 days a week I do workouts that include Pylo, high knees, sprints in place, and the best...burpees. I do a lot of 30 day challanges. I try to workout 7 days a week. I love to squeeze in fun cardio workouts like Hip Hop Abs. This is a knew workout routine for me and I am planning on a 1/2 in the fall and maybe a marathon next summer. Do you think my regime is feasible?
  • SillyC2
    SillyC2 Posts: 275 Member
    I'm in Massachusetts, and I think we have comparable weather. I almost never get out during the day! I do the bulk of my training in the dark on the ice, either before my family wakes up or after they go to bed, so if you can get yourself set up with that, problem solved.

    Someone else suggested Yaktrax, but I just use trail shoes. The teens (temperature) are the best because the ice is tacky and you won't slip. 30s are the worst in that regard.

    You'll also need a headlamp and a reflective vest.

    I use a ski mask when it dips into single digits, but don't need it when it's in the teens or 20s.

    Keep an eye out for the skin on your muffintop! Mine chafes easily. But some canadian ladies told me the secret to avoiding muffin top chafing. It's tuck your base layer into your pants!

    You'll figure out which routes in your area are cared for better than others, pretty quickly. When it's bad out near me, there's this residential block where I know I can run right down the center of the road without getting hit. Over and over again. I have different routes for winter than I do for summer.