You know you are a mummy runner when. . .

A few weeks ago I took Little A to the family clinic for his immunisations. Before we left the house Little A had a nap and I had a window of opportunity to either:

A. Have a shower and make myself look respectable

OR

B. Go for a run

I decided to go for a run. So when I arrived at the clinic and there were 20 other mums before me looking preened and cleaned I was feeling a little bit out of place all sweaty in my running attire. This was the day I realised I was going to be THAT mum that is always in her sports clothes. Little A’s mummy is a runner. . .

Here are some other signs you are a mummy runner:

1. You ask for a new pair of sneakers for mothers day

2. Your feet look like something from a horror movie. They look this way because you are a runner but they’ve looked this way for 2 months because you are a mummy. Who has time for pedicures?

3. Your husband responds to your snapping with “do you need to go for a run?”

4. You put on training clothes EVERY morning just in case you get an opportunity to go for a run. If only your child would tell you how long they are going to sleep for before they went to sleep!!!

5. Your water bottle follows you everywhere. . . even to the dinner table at night. Yep, I am all class!!

6. You happily run WITHOUT music because you just love the peace! Before Little A I would never have dreamt of running without my ipod and would struggle to finish a run if it went flat. These days I prefer just to enjoy the peace and quiet.

Happy Mummy Running!

Big Gains

This week it has been about intervals, intervals and more intervals. I also managed to squeeze in a tempo run, an easy run and a long run. By Saturday I felt like this. . .

The reason for so many interval sessions being that I started the week doing the interval session that I missed from last week due to Little A being unwell. After a trip to the doc and some medicine the little guy was back to his lively self the next day and so was my training.

This week I have seen some awesome gains in my fitness as I have hit new speeds in all of my sessions. Generally I have felt a lot stronger and a lot more like the pre-baby runner I once knew. Is it because I am finding my groove in my easy runs and getting better quality speed sessions or is it all my speed work paying off? A bit of both I think.

Unfortunately as my running has increased I have let my core training slip a little. I was very consistent and commited to my core training in the early days of my return to running knowing that Post baby this would be the most important step in returning to running. But now I am well and truly back and as I have built up my sessions I have just struggled to find another block in the day for more training.

I thought that by doing lower mileage I could take a more relaxed approach to my pre and post run regime. But with high intensity sessions I am discovering that the actual running is STILL only 1/4 of the picture. Strength training, Recovery and Nutrition still play equally important roles.

I simply can’t dedicate the time that I have previously to these areas though. Here are my time effective solutions that I am trying (or about to try) at the moment:

Strength Training
My body has given me a warning this week as I really felt my lower back getting tired in the last few kms of my long run. So starting from this week I am going to try and do 5 minutes each day. This may be a couple of hovers in the lounge room, some pelvic floor exercises before going to bed or some leg raises at the play ground on my walk with Little A. Whatever it is, it will be better than nothing. I just need to pull my finger out before I get side lined with an injury

Recovery
I will start “Foam Rolling” on the floor when Little A has his tummy time. I am usually lying on the mat with him so I might as well be rolling while I am down there. He will also be a good distraction from the pain. . . oh foam rolling I dread you! At night I am turning my electric blanket up to max for the first 5-10 minutes to warm my muscles and trying to use the wheat bags on anything that is tight after a hard session. If I am really sore or tight I will also wear my compression pants under my trackies.

Nutrition
Since all my long runs are sub 2 hours I am not having to worry about Carb loading for my runs. As for post-workout I have been having a Sustagen Sport shake after my run in addition to my normal meals and snacks. This is also to help replace any energy I have burnt on the run so I am not getting too much of an energy deficit while I am breast feeding. Because YES exercising while breast feeding is fine (with adequate energy intake!). . . I’ll save this rant for another day but for now, lets just say you wouldn’t want to be the next person to ask me if running is a good idea while feeding?!?! And I don’t mean literally during a feed!

Hopefully all these little bits and pieces that I CAN fit in to my day will keep me injury free and running strong. . . we will see.

Anyhow back to the washing for me. Amongst the mountain of Little A washing I have some awesome new 2XU pieces that I scored for Mothers Day. Can’t wait to break in the new clothes with some more awesome sweaty sessions this week.

May all your miles be Merry!

A Celebration of Mums

I wasn’t going to do this but being a new mum still in the (overwhelming) adjustment stage combined with post-pregnancy hormones & wanting to honour the spirit of Mothers Day I just couldn’t help myself!

The cover – a controversial picture.
The story – the great debate on attachment parenting.

Now I am neither for or against attachment parenting. How Big A and I raise our children will be a little bit from column A and a little bit from column B. We will do what works best for each of our children and us at the time. We do seek advice and reassurance from our friends and family whom are all parents we admire but we are also balancing this advice with the fact that our child (and hopefully children) are different and so is our family life.

Being a mum is a tough gig at times. Having experienced it now I would have thought mothers would be the most empathetic to other mothers as they truely appreciate the demands and just how different each child can be. Unfortunately I think that instead of empathetic we are quite a judgemental bunch. Truth is we all do it hard at times and sadly you can fall into the trap of judging others to make yourself feel better.

For all the joy, wonder and amazement Little A brings to my life I still have moments when I feel inadequate. . .and when he is incessantly screaming I think he is tending to think that way too! At those times I cling to the beautiful words of praise I have received from friends and family. Amongst all the negativity, pressure and judgement thank goodness for the encouragement and support of friends and family.

Here is a beautiful quote from birth.com.au

Babies are born, mothers are not.
Mothering is learnt

And learning every day I am! I will never know if I did everything “right” and I am positive I will look back and see things I could have done differently. But I will always know I gave it my best shot and did what I thought was right. That combined with the copious amount of love I will drown my children in is enough for me!

Any woman that brings a child into the world commited to doing the best they can by them is a hero in my eyes. I believe it is up to each individual to decide what is best for their child. Part of that is looking after the mother… as this blogger’s story tells, what good is any approach if the demands, expectations and pressures of it take a mother away from a child?

So back off everyone!!! And Mums don’t buy into this tripe!

Do not compare your children but cherish them for who they are. Stand up for yourselves and your choices but keep a soft heart of tolerance because everyone has the same right to be as individual in their mothering as you!

Tomorrow is Mothers Day so to every mum whether you breast feed or bottle feed, co-sleep or not, whether you returned to work or stayed at home . . .

HAPPY MOTHERS DAY!!!