Sunday, October 10, 2010


At my six week appointment after the girls were born, I had what I thought was a simple question for my doctor. When will I not look pregnant? You see, at that point, I looked about 40 weeks pregnant with a singleton and the only reason why no one had dared asked me, "When's the baby due?" was the fact that I always had at least one infant with me when I left the house.

Well, without surgery you may always look pregnant.

I'm sorry. What was that?

And so the verdict was in.

(I should note that I did appreciate my doctor for always telling me the truth. I don't like fluff.)

Months passed and my mid-section slowly decreased.

8 months pregnant with a singleton.

7 months pregnant with a singleton.

6 months pregnant with a singleton.

I had gained approximately 55 pounds while pregnant with the girls. Their combined weight was 3 ounces shy of 15 pounds and I was told that their placenta was quite large. Taking all that into account including amniotic fluid and other stuff, I left the hospital about 35 pounds lighter.

Now my problem, if you can call it a problem, is that I don't diet. Ever. I like my ice cream and pizza from the North End and potatoes whether they be baked, mashed, roasted or french fried. I do believe in portion control though. And running.

5 months pregnant with a singleton.

Near the end of my pregnancy with the girls, Rich and I were having a conversation with my nurse about running. Her son was an athlete and she knew that Rich and I were runners. During that discussion she said, "Well maybe in the fall, you'll get out there for that first run." Um....that's six months from now!

Carrying triplets to 35 weeks and 6 days is physically exhausting and demanding. My abdominal muscles, which had separated during my pregnancy with Abbey, were severely stretched and pulled apart. My rib cage was pushed out. The muscles in my legs were not active for months and months. My knees strained to support an abnormal amount of weight.

I attempted to make a come back with respect to running at the beginning of 2009. I finished a 5K in 32:30 that May and then twisted my ankle. I struggled with that for weeks along with the normal sleep issues of my children. And then I pulled a muscle in back. I gave up after that and didn't lace up my shoes again until February 2010.

Most of the extra baby weight went away on its own but it wasn't until I started running again this year did I drop the last 5 pounds to end up at what I would consider my pre-baby weight. Or close enough.

Shortly after the girls were born, I packed up all my clothes that no longer fit, which was most of what I owned. (We are talking about clothes I hadn't worn since 2005.) When we moved, those storage containers were shoved into a corner in the basement. I periodically go shopping there. There are some items, such as my size 00 Abercrombie jeans, that I gave up on fairly early and other items, such as that little black dress, that I'm afraid to try on again. Last month, I pulled a few sweaters out and found that they fit.

And then I came across a pair of smart black pants from Banana Republic in size 0P. (I just read Confessions of a Shopaholic which should explain my use of the word "smart.") Would they fit? I anxiously pulled them on and was delighted beyond words to find that they were a perfect fit. Along with a pair of wool pants in size 1A from the Gap.

I am not writing this post to be obnoxious or say, "Look at me. I'm so thin." No, I write this because I wish I could have read something like this three years ago. After the girls were born, family and friends told me that I should give myself a year. And then after a year, they said, "Well, maybe you should give yourself two years. You DID have triplets, you know?" Yes, I know.

I am also writing this for all of you who are new to running. Don't be afraid to just get out there and do it. I told Rich that with every run, I say to myself, "It will be easier the next time around."

I have a little bit about the training I did for the last 5K I ran that I haven't posted yet so I'll throw it in here. I do believe that my "training" in July and August helped me improve my time. (And I was happy with my time. Just not happy that I wanted to puke at the end.) Now, I'm admitting that I made up my own training program. From the beginning of July until we went away on vacation mid August, I ran three times a week.

At least every other week, I ran my long run of 4.5 miles at a 10 minute mile pace (at least - sometimes a little faster.) My other runs were 3.1 miles or the same distance as a 5K. Once a week, I ran an easy run (about 10 minute miles) and a speed run. For the speed run, I would start off running as fast as I could for one mile and then I would finish the remainder of the run trying to stay under 10 minute miles. I would usually be able to do that first mile in about 8:30. I didn't sprint because I wanted to be able to complete my run without stopping.

I know that this technically isn't a way to train to increase speed but for me, right now, I know that once I have a set pace going, it is hard for me to speed up.

Not only did I improve my time but with each run, it did get easier. Rich and I ran 4.5 miles today and it was a lot easier than it was two months ago. Get out there and do it! If I can spend half of my night sleeping in a toddler bed and still run, you have no excuse.

(I want to end this by acknowledging all those women out there who delivered their babies early. I know that they would give up their flat tummies in a heartbeat if it meant that their babies would have been born later. If I had to do it over again, I wouldn't change anything.)


Wendy said...

<3 I'm thinking about signing up for my second 5k. It's Oct 23rd!! Think I can shave two minutes in two weeks? haha

Julia said...

It feels great to recover old favorites! I am glad for you.

I got huge too, my girls were almost 15lb. and I gained 55lb. The belly, ouch, it's been two years and I still have a pouch unless I contract it. Everything fit, but I cannot relax otherwise the ugly twin skin shows.

Did running solve that for you? I was never into that kind of sports - my thing was martial arts but I have not gone back to practicing (or doing anything else except for pushing their stroller - which is quite a sport now that they are past 28lb each).

And with the breastfeeding, I just lost dozens of tops forever because I used to be more on the flat side and now I could do Hollywood with no implants, hehe!

Kris said...

Corrie was 18 before I lost that last five pounds .... lol
You go girl!

Ashlee said...

I've been reading your blog for awhile, but this is my first time to comment!

Anyway, I just wanted to say I just started running earlier this year (I'm very very slow) I took sometime off (because it got so hot and my schedule changed) and I'm struggling to start back up again this "If I can spend half of my night sleeping in a toddler bed and still run, you have no excuse" is exactly what I needed to hear! It's gonna be my new mantra :)

So, thank you for that!!

Good job on that last 5lbs I say brag away!!!

And your girls are soo stinking cute!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for posting this and for acknowledging those of us who delivered early ... I would have loved to have been pregnant longer and not have had the preemie issues with our twins. Congrats on fitting in those smaller clothes - you worked hard and deserve it!


The Cooper's said...

I have had my OB and a plastic surgeon tell me that exercise will not fix or help my stomach. It's so discouraging! My twins were 13 lbs together and I've had 2 singleton's as well, one 8 lbs 10 oz and the other 9 lbs 1 oz., all within 4 years. Thank you for this post! It's motivating and gave me hope!

Allan F. said...

My wife just delivered our triplets 24 days ago and she gets asked every day when she is due. I think it's starting to get her.I will have to let her know that it might be months or even a year before the pooch will go down. I really have enjoyed reading your stories since our triplet journey is just getting started.

JoAnna said...

AHHHH... I needed to read this, thank you! My twins are 14 months old and I did the Couch-to-5k training over the summer and ran a 5k the first week of August. Afterwards, I lost my motivation. I still walk daily but my husband runs and I'd like to get back out there so we can do it together. Congrats on getting back into those clothes!!! :)

Lisa said...

Hi Sarah...
I've found you via the bump photo board...(I'm Datagirl).
I want to say thank you for this post. I'm not a runner, but my DH and I wanted to get out and get some exercise. Your post inspired me to do it. (As well as the huge pile of clothes I have outgrown, that I would love to wear again.)

Because of your post, DH and I started the couch to 5K program. We are 2 days into week one, and I believe I can do it. Its hard to get started, but once I'm done I feel so good.

Thanks for sharing your story.