I was feeling pretty proudi

I’d just recovered from the article about the ultra-runner who ran at 3 months post-partum while breastfeeding by reminding myself that ultra-runners are an amazing, slightly bonkers, breed of runners: go look at ahealthiermoo who is one, and amazing and who has just completed her first 100 mile race.

I’ve just completed week 5 run 3 of couch to 5k – walk 5 minutes, run 20 minutes, walk 5 minutes and I managed it, and it was still slow going (my pace is still 10mins/mile at best, I still have half a stone to lose), but I enjoyed myself and can see that parkrun will happen again soon enough.

And then I came across the woman who ran a 3:22 marathon at 6 months post partum while pushing a double buggy.

Not that I’d ever have a hope of achieving that type of time even without having had LK: remember, I’m aiming for a sub 4 hour marathon in 2020, having been 2 minutes off at Berlin 2015

All credit to these ladies. But I wish they’d stop doing it. It makes the rest of us feel utterly rotten. Bad enough feeling guilty that I’m even going for a run and leaving LK with Daddy for an hour or so. But to then have this sort of achievement in the news? It makes one feel wholly inadequate. That you’re not even trying: when some days it’s tricky enough to remember to clean your teeth in the morning and take your inhaler and use a hairbrush (I’ve taken to doing this after the 5am feed, so at least it’s done). Some days involve seven changes of clothes in the space of 24 hours, plus two clean trousers for Mummy, who quite often declares “It’s only wee, it’ll dry”. Some days are ridden with laundry and others seem to be entirely nap free: so there’s lots of tummy time and looking at things and talking and smiling and, frankly, enjoying the little human finding her hands, and learning to smile, and lifting her head, and producing Surprising Nappies.

I’m supposed to be baking gluten and dairy free banana bread for a Macmillan coffee morning tomorrow. The bananas in the freezer are totally past it. There is no Stork Hard Margarine and three of the eggs in the Ocado delivery were cracked. So, since we need more nappies (we are about to go back into cloth after Epic Thrush Nappy Rash but the new, next size up, cloth ones need re-elasticating and I’ve only done half), we’re going to head into town to rectify this by buying gf oats, hard marg, caster sugar and making flapjacks to Great Auntie Peg’s recipe, as being quick and easy. I may get fancy and drizzle dark chocolate over them.

Melt together 250g sugar and 250g hard marg in a pan.

Turn off the heat and stir in 250g oats. Mum thinks Quaker Oats are best. But any will do.

Cook in a greased 10″x6.5″ tray at gas mark 3 for 45 mins.

Cut up 10 mins after removing from oven and leave to cool in the tin.

You may thank me later.



Getting back to it….

It’s taken me about two weeks to fully process the First Run Back. It felt like a total disaster. I had downloaded the Get Running app, so I could follow the Couch to 5K programme. I had music and water. It was a lovely evening with a golden light.

So I spent half the “run” in floods of tears (it never was going to be helpful to start and end proceedings on a Strava segment on which, by some miracle, I am still QOM). I didn’t wear my Garmin, as the battery was flat. It was effortful. It was slow. It was dispiriting. My cheerful songs depressed me, and my pelvic floor kept letting me down, and my core was, frankly, non-existent. My bra was inadequate and walking involved frankly obscene levels of bounce (a natural result of going from 32B to 34C.). I weighed a stone more than my best running weight and the only good thing about the whole episode was that my running shorts weren’t too tight.

I spent the rest of the run trying to engage two sets of muscles that I’d never really bothered about, got home, and sulked a bit.

Three weeks on, and matters have improved somewhat. I’ve skipped week 2 of Couch to 5K and am on week 4. I have run every other day. I have usually covered 2 miles by the end of the session and my floor and core are beginning to play ball. I actually forgot about my floor today and there were no oops moments. All hail the NHS Squeezy app while feeding…. I still can’t muster more than a 10 min/mile at best (marathon pace was about 9 min/mile, half marathon about 8:30….). I am not yet ready for parkrun, and the general sleep deprivation is definitely having an impact.

On the other hand, it feels good to be out. I had not run in 7 months. I had grown the cutest small human in the world in the interim. I am able to sustain 5 minutes plod at a go, and most of my running gear accommodates me (I hesitate to say “fits me” because it’s kinda subjective). I am in the realms of pre-pregnancy weight, and acutely aware of how my weight slows me: and I am OK with this. It took stopping breastfeeding for Serena Williams to get back to her actual pre-pregnancy weight and it is fine if I get a bit stuck en route too, as I haven’t got her resources.

I’ll take that