Motherhood Changed my Relationship with Running
During pregnancy I spent a lot of time preparing for my daughter's arrival. I got her nursery ready, stocked the freezer full of food, purchased all the baby essentials, and spent far too much time on Google. In all of those hours spent preparing, I never really gave much thought to my postpartum recovery and my plan for return to sport. I knew that a new baby would bring insomnia and limited “me” time—or otherwise a complete lack thereof—but I never quite understood the level to which motherhood would change me and my relationship with sport.
Starting my glorious and transformative journey into Motherhood.
A year or two before pregnancy, I started to get back into running. I wasn’t in it for the competition and I was by no means an elite runner but instead, running was a way for me to stay fit and build endurance. At that time in my life, running unlocked confidence. When I was running, I felt like I was accomplishing something; I felt strong. I was proud of myself for continually pushing to reach faster tempos week after week. In September 2018 I ran my first 10k and crushed my goal time; so much so that I was waiting at the finish line for nearly 30 minutes before my husband showed up to congratulate me. Fast forward 9 months and I was in for a real change of pace… my journey into motherhood.
Feeling all the confidence in the world after completing my first 10km race.
Postpartum recovery didn’t happen overnight; pelvic floor trauma, complete loss of core strength and a general lack of guidance from medical professionals led to my body needing a shocking level of rehabilitation. Besides the physical aspects of recovery, there were also mental challenges. Baby blues, mom guilt, lack of sleep, and navigating new motherhood during COVID to name a few. In that first year, I tried getting back into running many times but I just kept falling flat. When I ran, I felt totally exhausted, slow, hormonal, and most of all I felt frustrated that I wasn’t the runner I once was. I tried all sorts of training programs but nothing seemed to help. It wasn’t until roughly 4 months ago, when I put on my new pair of K1s, that I started to get a glimpse of the old me.
"My new supportive tights gave me the added confidence I needed to keep pushing because I felt a level of support that I’d never felt before."
The first time I wore my K1s, a pair of K1 Breathes to be more precise, was also the first time (post-baby) that I completed 5km at a consistent pace. Better yet, I felt ready for another run the next day, and the next day after that. I found it incredible how little recovery time I needed when I wore my K1s. My new supportive tights gave me the added confidence I needed to keep pushing because I felt a level of support that I’d never felt before. My legs somehow felt stronger; bionic even. The runner's knee I previously suffered from had somehow disappeared. Bottom line, it felt great to run again and I had the K1s to thank. It only took a few runs in them before I’d signed up for my next 10km.
There is no sweeter reward than the support and love of my daughter at the finish line.
With each run, I started to notice a shift in my mood. But not only that, I noticed something unexpected: that my relationship to running had changed. Sure I felt some of the same confidence I did before but something else was more prevalent now; a sense of self-identity. Motherhood is all-consuming. It can be wonderful and rewarding but it can also be draining and overwhelming. Somewhere along the journey, I’d lost my identity. Luckily for me, Stoko helped me unlock it again. Now, running is a way for me to make time for myself and reconnect with the old me. Leading into this summer, I look forward to many more brain-clearing runs and one thing is for sure: I’ll be wearing my new K1 Tempos!