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So I’m sitting here 20,000 feet up in the air somewhere over the skies of Spain and I’ve just remembered the thing I knew I would forget, well I didn’t know exactly what it would be that I would forget but I knew it would be something, it always is.

Despite the fact I have been planning this trip for weeks, arranging childcare, negotiating complex foreign race logistics, figuring out my route to the airport and making lists, always good to write a list..I forgot to pack Juice.

Race details, Garmin, ibuprofen, running shirt, normal clothes etc in one bag, passport, boarding pass, notebook, ipad and phone charger in another, and finally cuddly toy, change of clothes, bottles, milk, baby wipes, nappies in the last bag…with all that to consider it was inevitable that something would be left behind. My thinking was that I would make up fresh juice in the morning for Rose, but everything was such a rush, especially upon discovering the flat tyre…no not for the car that I needed to drive me to the airport, no for the pushchair, the pushchair that the carseat conveniently attaches to.


I must have looked quite a sight making my way to the carpark in the rain at 8.15am, the spare pushchair, the car seat, my suit case and of course my daughter, I didn’t forget her don’t worry. I phoned my sister briefly to explain the problem with the pushchair, she’s having Rose tomorrow for me while her Dad is at work, she said “don’t worry I will manage…as long as I have the car seat that’s the main thing”, my sister in Law was equally as laid back about it all when I arrived at hers to drop my daughter, “she’ll be fine, don’t worry…go on go” but at this point she didn’t know about the missing Juice. I’m sure it will all work itself out though, if anything her Dad will have to fix the puncture this evening when he gets home…he also has the mammoth task of packing the changing bag for tomorrow too. But I’m sure he will cope.

So why all the palaver? Well, I am off to Lisbon to take part in a half marathon.

It seemed like a good idea at the time of booking. I would be staying with one of my fattymustrunmarathonchallenge ladies Mary, an irish girl I met at a bootcamp over 7 years ago who currently lives there. I’d only be gone two nights. No biggie right?

“But she’s only 8 months old…how can you leave her.”

That’s the little guilt voice playing out in my head…and possibly the voice of a few other people I know too, people who clearly don’t understand just how important my running is to me. Important and necessary in fact.

“you are a mum now, you can’t keep jetting off like this”

Well for a start I don’t keep jetting off, unless you call popping out to Wanstead Flats parkrun on a Saturday morning, and Greenwich or Richmond for my two recent races “jetting off”. I don’t keep tabs on how often you leave the house, or how late you come in do I?. Why is it so different cos I am a mum?

Anyway, I raised this subject on Facebook yesterday on a running forum for mums and it was incredible just how common place this issue is for mums that want to run. Partners that don’t want to play ball, disapproving mother in laws, having to organise everything at home so you can just get out for a training run, oh and of course having to justify the expense. And on that point, I’m travelling by easy jet, I’m staying with a friend and I am being extremely thrifty whilst I am away. I don’t drink that often anymore, I don’t smoke, read glossy magazines, sit in coffee shops, buy new clothes…the list goes on. This is my treat to myself.

Why am I a mum on the run? Because if I wasn’t I’d be a mum on my bum. And that don’t bode well for my daughter or for me. I run because its my thing, the thing that’s all about me, the thing that makes me free and allows me to breath. Its the thing that is helping me to get my body and my fitness back, the thing that will help me live long enough to see my daughter bringing up her own children, the thing that stops me from having a nervous breakdown over my other halfs ten pairs of shoes in the front room. Running keeps me sane, give me focus and allows me to be the best me I can be. The me that my daughter deserves.

Yes I am a mum on the run, but don’t worry come Sunday night I will be back home doing the waking up to put the dummy back in, cleaning bottles, matching socks, wiping noses, sweeping up crumbs.

No harm done!!!


  1. October 7, 2013

    I ran before I had my daughter and even more after I had her like you say it enables us to be the best Mums we can be and after our daughters diagnosis of autism it became my therapy too somewhere I could think .Most importantly I want to be around forever to care for my daughter and raise awareness and vital funds for research .I’m not justifying my time to anyone -its simply who I am .So glad you had a bit of time to yourself and recharge the batteries.You are a wonderful role model to so many people -so you need to stay running now ha ha !!!

  2. October 5, 2013

    Very well put Marie…I can’t wait to tell Rose about all my running adventures!!

  3. October 5, 2013

    One of the best things we can do for our children is be happy and have a life outside of the nappy bag. Mothers who devote every waking moment to their offspring, sacrifice their own lives, breed children full of guilt, with no ability to amuse themselves and end up being a burden to those same children when they have grown up. Kids want happy mums with interesting lives so they know its ok to be happy and have an interesting life themselves 🙂

  4. You forgot … the thing that will inspire my daughter and make her proud of her mum 🙂

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