Friday, 9 November 2012

The Power of Two

I haven't blogged in a long time... I have written quite a few, but none I felt were publishable as they were so unbelievably dull or so unbelievably morose. People didn't need to hear me moaning about my lack of sleep, crying children, lack of waist, fat ankles etc etc.

However life is beginning to slightly resemble normality again now..nearly 6 months after our second little boy was welcomed into the world. My labour was yet again a textbook example of how not to give birth. I read books, I went to classes, I met midwives, but still I had another disastrous time which left my body battered, scarred and both of us mentally traumatised. As I lay on the operating table loosing nearly all my blood, my beloved husband sitting beside me, holding my new baby who was just staring quietly at me with the biggest blue eyes. I stared right back, holding onto my life because nothing was going to stop me seeing this little man growing up.

So after a prolonged and rather painful stay in hospital I was eventually released by weeping at the nurses station whilst holding on to my husbands arm saying 'I am not letting him go, till I can go too!' The after care was really appalling and left me very tired and drained before I even got home.

Life with two under two has been hard hard work. Much harder than I had ever envisaged. Having an enormous baby who is off the scale in weight has been challenging to feed and into the mix the most active and high maintenance toddler in London has left me weeping some days as I try to do the best by both of them and fail miserably! However here we are, we have all survived, limbs intact (that's always my main aim of the day), smiles/grimaces on our faces and I have just started weaning baby. Toddler is now talking and slightly less fearful of every old granny we meet so life is getting easier every day.

First '8 miler' back-almost killed me!
My saving grace in all of this mayhem has been as ever my running. Split abdominals has meant hours of boring exercises and though my stomach still looks like my Granny's  at least the muscles are now working again and my back is supported. This meant very little running till a few months ago. This did my head in and I felt physically and mentally depressed when I couldn't get my exercise fix in everyday. I was aiming to do an ultra at the end of November, but am still feeding the baby round the clock, haven't got enough long runs in and to be really truthful don't feel able to commit to something which means leaving the baby for more than a couple of hours yet.

Someone else loves to run too
So I have slowly ramped up my mileage, man alive the first 4 weeks hurt. I couldn't even run round a corner without pain and 3 miles seemed like a lifetime. But having small children has taught me patience (well as much as I will ever have) and I have taken it really easy both on my body and on my mind. Desperate to hammer out the miles and feeling guilty if I miss a run because husband is late home or a baby is clingy, I now feel much more relaxed about my training and try to look at the overall week rather than every day individually. I set myself a mileage target to do each week and if I meet it good on me, if not I just try again next week. The great thing about ultra training is that the slower I run the better so early morning or evening plods are all good parts of the jigsaw.

I have my first 'race' middle of January, hopefully by then baby will be on solids and I will have got in a couple of 30 milers really more for my confidence than anything else. Its amazing how having children and all their unpredictability can totally knock your own self esteem and belief in your self. This is what running and training is slowly giving back to me over the past few months. A belief that my body can do amazing things again, a feeling of freedom and power as I move silently through the early morning mist and most of all the spring in my step again as I turn the corner to home, my boys and my life as an ultra mum.