March 4, 2016
In 2012 I ran the 26.2 miles of the London Marathon unknowingly carrying a very precious package along with me, and no it wasn’t an energy gel or some anti chaffing cream.
Turns out I was pregnant, 6 or 7 weeks in fact.
It came as an almighty shock and in many ways I was frustrated that just as I had found my running mojo (and splashed out on a Garmin) I found myself not being able to run.
Those 8 months seemed like the longest of my life. Of course I was excited about becoming a mum for the first time, but equally I was worried that I would lose my favourite hobby or struggle to ever find the time to do it justice. I can remember watching other runners during my pregnancy as I got bigger and bigger, and more and more immobile and feeling like I might cry.
I needn’t have worried though, because literally as soon as Rose was born I realised that running would have to be a part of my life…it simply HAD to, for my own sanity.
But its not easy.
When she was little I would fit my runs around her sleeping, getting up before she had even woke up, or even taking her with me in the pushchair if needs be. But as children grow and life changes you constantly have to evolve your thinking.
With Mothers Day just a few days ago its got me thinking about just how tough it can be to prioritise your own health and wellbeing, sometimes over and above the responsibilities you have for your family. The guilt can be overwhelming, as can a sense of frustration when life gets in the way…there is never enough time.
To be able to make any headway with exercise you have to work first on your mindset and then get a bit of creativity going on, and also bring your kids with you on the journey as best you can.
In my book “How to Run with a Baby” I list 99 ways to fit exercise into busy family life, no matter how old your children are, and to celebrate Mothers Day you can now download it for just £2.99 between now and Monday. It is also available as a paperback if thats how you prefer to read.
I am desperate to get out for a run this weekend after being out of action for 2 weeks due to a chest infection, and as a single parent the ability to just nip out for a cheeky 5 miles after the little one has gone to bed is near on possible, but it won’t stop me.
My top 3 solutions to getting my runs in at moment are as follows
- School Run Run – My little one goes to Nursery about 15 minutes away. Some mornings I take the Car and do a few miles from the school gate and then get back in my car and drive home. Sometimes we walk or she cycles to school and I run home taking the longer more scenic route. Either way I am back home and showered and at my desk by 9.30am
- A to B runs – When marathon training I realised that I had no choice but to run during the week, and to find routes that were longer in distance than my normal routes. So sometimes midweek I actually run to any meetings I have. I warn the attendees of the meeting I will be arriving in running kit (and a little red faced), but hey I do this for a living now so what do they expect?
- Mini Personal Trainer – This is very hit and miss and depends on the mood your kids are in, but recently Rose has shown an interest in running, so she comes on short runs with me. I do lots of speed intervals and we play chasing games etc. The trick is to not expect too much
Here’s a recent video of a reasonably successful run with Rose, we covered about a mile in the end, very stop start and with no pressure. I think we are going to try junior parkrun soon
Anyway, I hope all you mums have a fabulous weekend, and if you can get out for a run do…make a request, who needs flowers and chocolates anyway? I’d love a day to myself to go for a long run and then the ability to lounge on the sofa and do nothing for the rest of the day…now thats the best Mothers Day present I can think of.