Out with a Bang!

This weeks training has finished with a bang. . .

Today I ran my first race since Little A was born 8 weeks ago and it couldn’t have gone better.

I didn’t anticipate that I would be able to run the whole 10km after only 3 weeks of training and was planning to run as much of the course as I could and walk what I needed to. All I can say is you can take the girl out the race but not the racer out of the girl. Even after 10 months off from running my race face came on like the flick of a switch. Heres my race wrap up:

Conditions were perfect with a cool 19 degree day, no rain and no wind. As always I took the first km easy and found my place in the pack (towards the back!) Initially I just hoped to finish sub 1 hour 10 minutes but by the 2km mark it was clear that everything was going my way and I was going to give this race everything I had so I revised my expected finishing time to 1 hour 5 minutes. The first 5km flew by and I had comfortably built up to a 6 minute pace. The last 5km however were much more of an effort and by the 7km mark I was really working for it.

At 55minutes I reached the 9km mark and realised if I could just pull out a 5 minute km I could achieve a sub 1 hour time. I dug deep . . . but I didn’t have it. I hadn’t run this far in 11 months and it took everything I had to get out the final km let alone achieve a pace that I save for my speed sessions. In the end I finished up at 1 hour and 42 seconds. Big smiles. Not only did I exceed my every expectation but I was feeling good too.

As I crossed the finish line I was met with an unusual amount of cheers and applause. I smiled and lapped it up but little did I realise all the fuss was not for me. Just meters behind me was the first finisher for the 1/2 marathon. Oh well, it was nice for a moment.

I am still buzzing from my first race back and I just can’t wait for the next one. As the day has gone on though my body is feeling that it raced today and raced hard at that. I have decided to make tomorrow a rest day and will just enjoy a nice long (recovery) walk with Little A followed by a long date with the foam roller.

Big thanks to Little A who slept from 7pm – 7am last night waking only once for a 15minute feed. It was such a bonus to line up at the start line so fresh and well rested!

Here I am all sweaty and worn out post race with my little supporter…

7 Weeks

If last week was wonder week, this week has been “wonderful” week.

We have enjoyed lots and lots of these:

How can something so small make you feel so good???

On one of our walks this week we came across this guy scurring across the track and up a tree. . .

Little A wasn’t too impressed that there was something else that mummy considered cute…

Hey what about me over here. Aren’t I the cutest?

So he plotted

And he stepped up the cuteness

Check out my muscles

and my “fighter” stance

This week also saw our 6 week check ups. We both passed with flying colours and have been sent on our merry way. Little A weighed in at 4.78 kilograms (exactly 1.6kg up on his birth weight). So NO, our child is not starving by any means but you can see for yourself – check out these cheeks!!!

Little A is also experimenting with forms of communication other than screaming. . . very cute and very much appreciated. Thats not to say he isn’t still the loudest baby in Adelaide. . . he just saves his screams now for carefully selected moments (mostly when we are out and about!!!)

Our little night angel is also starting to do bigger blocks of sleep at night now and we have enjoyed stretches anywhere between 7.5 – 9.5 hours!

Little A has been very accomodating of my running so far. He seems to be soothed by the sound of the treadmill and dozes off before I finish my warm up and wakes up the minute I turn it off. Its a pity I can’t sustain 3 hour runs yet. . . there are some days I would be willing to do that for a “good” daytime sleep!

A mixed bag

This weeks training has been a mixed bag. I have had easy runs, tough runs, inspired runs and runs that are just downright challenging. Read more about the challenging one by clicking here and below is the “run down” on my two favourite runs this week:

Easy Run
Finally an easy run! Not much has been “easy” about running in the last 2 weeks so it sure was nice to get this extra run in and remember what it feels like to find your groove and just cruise.

Long Run
This weeks long run was 50 minutes and I was hoping to get close to 8km out in that time. I was quite nervous about this run for two reasons. Firstly all my other runs this week had been on the treadmill and I wasn’t convinced my “treadmill fitness” would correlate to the pavement. But it did and I triumphed. Secondly it was my first run leaving Big A and Little A at home. This was harder on me than it was on them!!! I ran a couple minutes over time to hit my desired 8km and I was stoked to make this distance after only 2 weeks back into it. I wont lie the last 2kms SUCKED! It was uphill and damn hard but I was running home to my two favourite boys. . . what more incentive could there be? Ok, maybe a hot shower too!

So what did I learn from this weeks training?

1. A good sports bra is always in order! Three bras however is an overkill and actually makes breathing a little difficult! (yes I tried three)
2. Hills are NASTY!
3. Big A and Little A can do just fine without me. So I don’t need to check my phone every km. . . maybe every second km next time 😉

That kind of run

On Wednesday I endured one of those runs where nothing goes your way and you wonder why you bothered trying! In a wee 40 minutes I had to contend with all of the following:

Mosquitos
A mosquito or two wouldn’t usually bother me but I wasn’t about to let the nasty things near Little A and his precious skin. I was pretty sure dowsing him in aeroguard wasn’t a good idea so I raced inside looking for a solution. . . a “food throw”! It worked a treat at mosquito-proofing his little rocker. . . I thought it was a genius idea!

YAWN. . . Too tired to care that mum has decorated me in kitchen linen

Hair Problems
I finally got my warm up out and was re-tying my hair ready for the business end of the run and my hair tie snapped. There was no way I was getting off the belt again so I made do.

Lack of support
Once I was up to pace I discovered that I hadn’t managed to put a proper sports bra on in my rush and was uh well. . . bouncing around. Again, I was not getting of this treadmill so I stuffed my shirt up the bottom of my bra hoping the extra padding would “lock” them in. (sort of helped. . .not really!)

Pit stop
Moments later I realised that I hadn’t made a pit stop before I started. Pre-baby this wouldn’t have been a big deal but a 40 minute run on a full bladder these days. . . not so good. But I decided to endure as long as I could. . . I really didn’t want to get off again!

Chaffing
By the 20 minute mark I started to feel that horrible rubbing and stinging feeling that can only be chafing. Getting off the treadmill for vaseline or to change shorts wasn’t an option so I tucked my shorts up into my knickers (yes I was quite the sight at this stage!) I was finishing this damn run and I didn’t care if my inner thighs were red raw at the end of it!

So with Little A taking refuge under a food throw, my shirt tucked up my bra, my shorts stuffed up my knickers, my wild hair flying every where and a full bladder I pounded out my 40 mins.

Oh how my life has changed. There is no time to be a “princess” and get things in order for my run anymore. . . if Little A is asleep I start running and don’t stop for anything. My running time is precious and not a minute of it will get wasted.

Training week wrap up

A week of running – YAY! I am anticipating the first 2 weeks to be the hardest so I am celebrating being half way through the real hard stuff now!

First week back saw 4 sensible and “intensity appropriate” build back runs. 2 on the pavement and 2 on the treadmill. 2 of my runs were cut short by Little A but only by a smidge. I will get better at planning my running around his sleeps I am sure (or even better, in a few months we’ll be running together!!)

Yesterday I did a 1km warm up and 3 x 1km intervals at 5min pace with 500m recoveries and then a 1km cool down. It was a great session to end my running week on. The first 2 intervals were manageable but the last one was a struggle. I was thinking how tough it is coming back to running after such a long break and then I realised…

Intervals are meant to be tough! If you aren’t giving your all in your speed work and pushing your limits then how will you improve? So I stopped feeling sorry for myself and told myself that eventually this pace wouldn’t be so hard and when that happens I will up the speed again until it IS hard again.

I love speed work. I am in my element in a speed session but it did take me yesterdays run to get my mental game on again for this higher intensity stuff. . .but I am back baby!

At the moment while I am trying for quality and not quantity I have 4 “hard” sessions and a run dedicated to each of the following:

Aerobic Conditioning (Long runs. . .not that long yet!)
Aerobic Capacity (fartlek)
Anaerobic Conditioning (tempo runs)
Anaerobic Capcity (speed work)

“Junk Miles” will be a luxury that will only happen when I can fit in an extra run. So my long runs will be my switch off time because the other 3 sessions are mentally demanding!

Little “monster” is waking…. must go!

6 Weeks

What can I say we’ve just been lazin around on the couch…

NOT!!!

This week it has been a lot more like this….

Since Little A was born I have had a few nights after he has gone to bed when I have thought if I wasn’t breastfeeding it would have been nice to sit down with a glass of wine. Not this week. This week I have thought it would be nice to sit down with a bottle…. of vodka!

He has certainly put us through our paces this week. It seems we have survived (I hope past tense is appropriate here!) our first Wonder Week. Oh Wonder weeks! We had been warned and we were even bracing for it. But nothing prepared us for just how testing some moments got. It was like “Turd Time” on steroids!

They say babies make massive mental developmental leaps in these wonder weeks. Seeing these developments are a nice and much needed reward. Today we were rewarded for all our patience and troubles with a very smiley and interactive little boy! He has been engaging with us more and more each day but today was very special.

This week we have also been busy working through our Easter Chocolate Stash. Little A didn’t seem too impressed with his chocolate bunny

so I did what any responsible mother would do and ate that thing from ear to toe…problem solved!

Hoping this week is filled with lots of this…

Aren’t they so perfect when they are asleep?

All in all it was definitely a good week to return to running…

Training update to follow!

Surviving Newborns

We’re just days away from the 6 week milestone and depending on who you ask the first 6 weeks are either the easiest or the hardest.

They are the easiest in the sense that all baby does is sleep, eat and poop. But they are challenging in that this routine repeats itself at such small intervals and baby needs a lot of your love and attention while they adapt to this new world.

Just before it aparently gets easier (after 6 weeks) they make sure you go out with a bang at about 5 weeks when you get to experience your first wonder week. I’ll let you know just how wonderful this was in Little A’s weekly update on Monday. But for now back to my topic…

In some cultures all the female family and friends take on the new mum’s domestic duties and mum’s only responsibility is to feed and bond with baby for the first six weeks. And while this is not practical for most of us this approach ensures you are realistic about what you are going to achive in the first few weeks of your babies life. Yeah, you still need to eat and wash clothes but as for the rest of the house work – who cares?!?

The last 6 weeks has taught me that anything goes in those first weeks. Letting your house go for a while doesn’t mean you are going to live in chaos for the rest of your life. Each week Little A develops more and I see things getting less and less demanding on me physically and mentally. Now I am not saying this mum gig is ever going to be a walk in the park…but finding time to shower and eat might just get easier!!!

Afternoon Martini anyone?

Here are my top 5 tips for making those 6 weeks easier, keeping you feeling “human” and freeing you up to enjoy bonding time with your little one… but remember these worked for me and this guy. Every baby and every mother is different so there are no magic answers (see tip 5!!!)

Get dressed
When little A first stirs in the morning before I tend to him I throw on my clothes that I have laid out the night before. I have discovered that if I don’t take this opportunity to get dressed I can often still be found in my dressing gown at lunchtime!

Washing
I give myself a head start but loading the machine and setting the delay start each night so when I wake up I already have one load done. Even if my day falls completely apart at least I have one load of washing to show for it.

Get your affairs in order
I paid all my bills in advance and scheduled anything and everything I could on internet banking. Lucky I did because I didn’t step foot in the study till Little A was at least 3 weeks.

Online Shopping
Not just groceries but ANYTHING… photo printing and baby products etc. If I can get it online and delivered then thats one less time I have to juggle a trip out around feeding times. However I am not suggesting you never leave the house. I still pop out each week to the butcher and green grocer. Ventures into the real world are essential for your sanity…but if you have less things to do when you are out then getting out becomes a lot more manageable.

Advice
Listen to all the “Suburban Experts” and then do whatever the hell you want/need to in order to get through each day. Everyone will offer you advice and tell you what you should and shouldn’t be doing. At the end of the day, do whatever you need to do. There is no right and wrong and no baby, mother or household is the same. Listen to advice, take it on board but then follow your instincts… MUMMIES KNOW BEST. Don’t tire yourself out trying to adhere to other peoples advice.

Well its 8pm on a Saturday night and after a big Indian feast Big A and I are about ready to call it a night. Party animals aren’t we?! Stay tuned to hear about our eventful week with Little A…