Getting back in shape after pregnancy is definitely a challenge. I have never been awesome about sticking to a workout routine, just kind of running when I got on an active kick. But I knew once I had a baby, things would need to change if I was ever going to lose my bump.
The one problem with me getting back in shape is shin splints. I want to run. It's the easiest, cheapest, most convenient way I can think of to exercise. Plus, few things can compare to that feeling of a great run, where you just want to go forever and you feel like you can. However, I have always been plagued by awful shin splints, probably because my legs can't keep up with the endurance of the rest of my body. I push myself too hard too fast, and then my legs pay for it until I stop running again. Shin splints are lame.
I took my pregnancy as a time to let my legs completely heal, no lingering pain. And then I have been forcing myself to take it easy once I started running again. It's been hard because I know the rest of my body can go longer and harder than my legs, but then I remind myself how much I hate shin splints, and I'm able to calm myself back down.
I found a running program on Pinterest that's been a big help to me. The creator called it "Running for Beginniners," and, though I hate thinking of myself as a running beginner, I knew I needed to start at the very bottom if I was going to conquer shin splints.
You can find the original source here.
I know - it's extremely basic and is definitely for beginners. But, so far, it's working for me. I have stuck to this like no other exercise plan before (I'm currently on week 7 - go me!). I go 4 times a week, sometimes pushing Norah in the jogging stroller, sometimes on my own (preferred - that jogging stroller is kind of a beast). I try to take a day off after two days in a row, or else I feel my shins start to complain. I also use Nike + iPod to make goals and record my runs, and this has helped me stay accountable. I don't want Nike+ telling me I failed. No way.
I'm still not even close to being "in shape," but this plan (and the calories I use up to nurse) are going to help me get there. I look forward to the day when I can run like I used to. That's going to feel really good.