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January 2017 

February 1, 2017

The beginning of 2017 gave me 20 weeks until the Stirling marathon, my A race for the first half of 2017. I had great hopes of a really solid month of training to start me off on my plan. Neal and I had worked out how we were each going to get our runs in and I was going to be using the running buggy much more and building that up. I was also very hopeful of losing most of the last of my pregnancy weight. 

Due to Neal’s shifts I am no longer making our Giffnock North club nights or Sheila’s training group which I am really disappointed about but it can’t be helped. The plan is roughly that I will do:
Monday – group session with the runbetweners from Run4it or Turban group

Tuesday – buggy run or rest

Wednesday – buggy run

Thursday – medium long run before Neal goes to work

Friday – rest or buggy run

Saturday – parkrun as a tempo run

Sunday – long run 
It does not leave me much scope for ‘sessions’ but you can’t run from where we are without hills and with the buggy that is definitely making me stronger! 

This has all not exactly gone to plan, but nor has it been a dead loss of a month! 

Highlights:

– Double parkrun on New Years Day of Pollok and Tollcross

– Getting a few sessions in in the first week in January, including completing the club Merries session

– Post baby PB at Victoria parkrun of 26.41, 8.37m/m

– Getting faster with the running buggy, fastest pace so far, 10.24m/m for 5 miles for the tolls route

– Going longer with the buggy, 6.2 miles so far

– Post baby 10km PB at the Nigel Barge 10km of 54.14, 8.50m/m on a very tough course. 

Waving to my boy at the Nigel Barge 10km, who was giving me a big smile!

And sitting on the pavement at the finish feeding him as he decided he was desperate!


– One visit to Sheila’s group when Neal took a couple of days off and I got it done as part of a medium long run. 

– Getting a long run of 15 miles done, starting at 7.15am and finishing with Pollok parkrun and my strongest few miles. 

– Finished the month with my highest weekly mileage for a long, long time of 36.10 miles.

Difficulties/things to work on:

– Harrison was pretty ill the second week in January and I barely trained that week as he was stuck to me like glue, or more specifically my chest! I was totally drained so even when I did get out I was too exhausted to do much. That is going to happen though and I accept that.

– On a similar thread Harrison is not a great sleeper, and in particular is up very early. (Before 5am this morning for example, although that is a little extreme!) For this reason I have really struggled with the long runs. It’s a constant mental battle between going out right away exhausted or waiting till he naps, trying to get a bit more sleep myself and then going out. And most of the month I failed to do either option! After doing two 13 milers around Xmas it took me to the end of the month to get up to 15miles. Must do better with this!

– Mileage for the month was 95.6. Less than planned but this was mainly due to missing long runs. 

– Had a meltdown the one time I managed to go to track as I felt so slow and that it was all hopeless. Thanks to lovely clubmates for picking me up and forcing me on!
I’m pleased to see the highlights vastly outweigh the negatives and it’s mainly just the long runs I need to work on. I will definitely do others incorporating parkrun as it forces me out early and means I get company for the last hard miles. I like to run hard too though sometimes!
In February I want to work on:

– Long runs

– Pace and distance of buggy runs

– Weight loss, as that ended badly after a good start in January! 
I found out yesterday that I have a place in the Devil of the Highlands 42 mile race on 5th August. This will be my first ultra since the WHW race in 2012 and one that I have been entered into a few times but have never been able to do. I am really looking forward to it, but a bit scared too! 

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It’s been quite a year! 

December 31, 2016

My running in 2016 took a hit but Harrison was worth it! 
Stats for 2016:

Miles run – 520

Parkruns completed – 35

Other races – 3 

Marcothon miles – 114
I had a look at 2015’s stats which I finished at 20 weeks pregnant. I ran 1430 miles, did 40 parkruns, ran 23 other races and ran 163 miles for Marcothon. Bit of a difference! 
This year I ran until the end of April, gave birth by Caesarean section on 20th May, took 10 weeks off running because of the section and have very slowly got back into running since. 
I looked at the goals I set myself for getting back to running and I didn’t do very well with them but I’m actually quite happy now with how it has all gone and don’t think I could have done much better.
Goal 1 – to be back running by mid July. I made it out on 1st August and think this was soon enough.
Goal 2 – to run the southside 6. I had to pull out of this, it wasn’t enough time to get the long runs or the hill training done. This would maybe have been more achievable if I had had a natural birth.
Goal 3 – to do the cross country season or at least the latter races. I vastly underestimated this one. I felt ready to start the last race of this year but only got a mile in. I just did not have the leg or core strength for the mud and hills combined. 
Goal 4 – to be using the running buggy by the end of the year. We started using this in mid November and it’s been great. I’m looking forward to building this up further in 2017. 
I’m going into 2017 exactly the same weight I was going into 2016 and have losing the rest of my pregnancy weight in my sights! My parkrun and 10km times have been coming down now and my running is much more consistent again. 
And I have Harrison, a new house and I’m still on maternity leave for a while yet! 
Too tired to write about goals for 2017 tonight, story of my life now! 

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From despair to hope! 

December 21, 2016

Just 5 weeks ago I was despairing of ever running well or even slightly better again! I was almost at the point of messaging the amazing running mums I know like Debbie and Vicky and asking how on earth they did it as it felt like I was going nowhere! 
I had had a hard time at a few club sessions, like thinking I could do 2 mile reps sessions just a few weeks back in, was doing slower and slower parkruns mainly due to tiredness, struggled with longer runs, pulled out of the southside 6 and took 1hr 6 mins to run the Great Scottish run 10km (although I did love that race despite the slow time!). 


Then I ran the Jimmy Irvine 10km on 13th November, thanks to another Debi getting me a place. And this race turned things around! I completely surprised myself by running 9 mins faster than the Great Scottish 10km in 57.48. I absolutely loved it and really enjoyed pushing myself the whole way, running the second half quite a bit faster than the first half. While running it felt an easier course than Glasgow but on Strava the overall and max elevation were higher at the Jimmy Irvine 10km. While not particularly fast and still over 10mins slower than my pb it was a massive boost. (And the support from an excited Neal and other Giffnock runners was great.) 



This gave me the confidence to start pushing myself in training runs. A couple of other things have helped too. I’ve been going to Sheila’s running network group on a Wednesday evening where I have really enjoyed being more in a group and able to push against others and it’s helped my hills training! I’ve been able to go to most Thursday night sessions as well and have started to be able to work with others again, including one memorable session with Douglas! 
I also did a lot more walking once Neal went back to work at the beginning of October as Harrison hates the car and am now buggy running too, slowly building up the distance, (still only 4 miles so far) and these things have helped build my endurance back up and lose weight which I have also noticed has made a massive difference. I still have a stone to go but think I will worry about that after Christmas. 
I then got post baby parkrun pb’s two weeks in a row at the hilly Pollok parkrun, going from over 30mins to 29.09 and then 27.54.  


I am also up to 13 miles for my long runs, having entered Stirling marathon which will be the day after Harrison’s 1st birthday. I’m so motivated for this right now and hope I can keep this up! 

Marcothon is tiring my legs but I am really enjoying us all getting out and doing it. It’s not as challenging doing it with a baby that can go in the running buggy as it is when working full time but I think next year may be a challenge! Although I’m pretty tired this week actually!


On Sunday I ran our club handicap race, 4.6 miles ’round the tolls’. I had no idea what time to put and ran 4.5 mins faster than I predicted (no watches allowed) and was absolutely delighted with 8.47m/m pace. This is by far the fastest paced run I’ve done post Harrison and I hope to build on this.

From January due to Neal’s work shifts I will be unable to go to Sheila’s group or the Thursday club sessions which I am really disappointed about. I will be doing a lot more buggy running and hope this will continue to build my endurance and make non-buggy running feel a lot easier! If anyone is free during the day for helping with speed/hills sessions with a buggy let me know! 

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Coming back, very slowly! 

September 8, 2016

I started running again on 1st August, 10 weeks after the c-section, although the second week I ended up not running at all and last week I had a cold and didn’t run. I had felt fine to run for a while before that but knew that internally I would still be healing from the c-section and I didn’t want to do any unnecessary damage.
I can’t believe how slow I am although this is improving, especially when I run with other people. It’s so hilly round here too and the hills definitely slow me down, initially to walking, now just to an ultra shuffle! It’s not been much fun going out by myself as it is such hard graft getting it back again. In a way running while pregnant was easier as there was a very obvious reason why you were going slowly and there was no pressure. Now I just look slow for no reason, other than being overweight! 
Neal and I have been tag teaming it quite a lot with me either running to a park, having a play/walk with Harrison and then Neal running back or one of us running to a club session and the other doing the session. Two weeks ago I made it back to the club for the track session on Tuesday (400m reps X 8 for me) and Thursday’s park session (2mins on, 1 min recovery X 10). I really enjoyed being back, particularly on Thursday even though both nights I was hanging off the back. Got the cold the next day though, after taking Harrison swimming! 
I have done 3 parkruns so far and am using these to measure my progress.
6th August – Victoria, 33.41

20th August – Springburn, (hillier) 32.06

3rd Sept – Linwood (flat, but after a week of nothing and without my Garmin) 31.25
This now the fastest I have run since the middle of February when I was about 28 weeks pregnant. I am hoping to continue to see these post baby pb’s come down fairly rapidly.
However I also need to get my distance up fairly rapidly as I have the southside six 16 mile race at the beginning of Nov. I have a plan for this. 6 miles on Monday has been my longest run so far (very slow) but the plan takes that into account. I really need to do a weekly hills session too as it is a hilly course! I ran this 11 weeks pregnant last year and would like to get a better time this year!
One thing that is not helping is my weight. I actually weigh more than I did last time I blogged as we continued to eat a lot of treats for quite a while but I have been back on track as of Monday. I got a bit of a fright when I realised I had at least double the current weight of Harrison to lose! That also made me realise one of the reasons running is so hard! 

Finishing Linwood parkrun, with the weight I need to lose very obvious!


I am also finding it quite hard to time my runs to suit both Harrison and I. As I am exclusively breast feeding the windows of opportunity are already quite small and then making sure I’ve eaten enough at the right time narrows it down even more. Then there are other factors like today he wasn’t very well as he had had jags yesterday and was quite clingy so I didn’t want to or get the chance to leave him. 

It’s still early days though! 

***update: back on my fitness pal and eating clean and I’ve lost 6 pounds in 3 days! I know that will slow up but it’s encouraging to start off with!

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Life Will Never Be The Same Again…

July 9, 2016

…I’m happy to say!

This post won’t be about running so I won’t be offended if you close down now!
In my last post I was 37 weeks pregnant, having just stopped running and having had the shock at 36 weeks of finding out the baby had gone head down and I would have a normal delivery. However that was short lived! 
I had my suspicions by the start of week 39 that he had moved again and when I went to my last midwife appointment she thought so too, although she didn’t send me to get checked out.
My mat leave started with 8 days to go as I wanted to work as long as possible to get more time at the other end. It was a terrible struggle but that was mainly because of the driving, which I hated! I became rather lazy then and didn’t do much exercise, although I had had great plans of doing loads of walking! I wasn’t exactly just sitting about though! 
I was due on Tues 17th and was going in to see my consultant for a sweep on the Wednesday. I got sent for a scan then and sure enough my contrary boy (although I didn’t know he was a boy at the time) had moved back to being transverse. I thought due to this I had missed having to have the sweep but the consultant still did an internal much to my horror! If I had been at all ready he would have suggested trying to turn the baby and then inducing me, but since I was in no way ready to start labour he didn’t think it was worth it. It sounded like a very drawn out process that still might not have worked so I was happy to just go for a section and got booked in for Friday 20th.
Friday morning we had to be at the RAH at 7.30am and the first person was taken in about 9am, by which time nearly 10 different staff had come to tell you things or ask questions. Unfortunately I was taken last at about 12 o’clock and had worked myself up to a pitch as the first lady came out screaming in pain as the spinal had not worked and she had to have a general anaesthetic and hers and the next ladies babies were taken straight to ICU. 


I was most worried about getting the spinal injection in my back and Neal could not come in for that bit. When I walked into the room and saw it was a full blown clinical operating theatre I promptly burst into tears! Don’t know why I didn’t expect it to look like that! The three anaesthetists were lovely and were supportive and I calmed down once it was done although the sensation was very weird!


From when they began it was about 10 minutes until Harrison was born at 12.30. I couldn’t feel the cutting but I could feel the pushing and pulling, that was weird, uncomfortable and very disconcerting! It was amazing hearing and seeing him when he was held up though!
I was really disappointed not to be able to be able to hold him and do skin to skin right away, Neal had him for about 20 mins until I was stitched up and then he was given to me, and I don’t think I gave him back to Neal for quite a while! Again the pushing things back into place before they stitched me up I could feel very strongly and it was very weird! I was just desperate to hold my boy too!
He appeared to breast feed very easily not long after I first held him – that lulled me into a very wrong false sense of security that it was going to be straightforward! 
I stayed in the recovery ward until about 6.30pm and was then transferred up to the ward and enjoyed having some visitors! 
At about 3am my catheter was removed (lovely!) and I was asked to move about a bit. It felt strange and at that point it kind of felt like I wouldn’t walk normally again! However by 2pm the next day I was chasing an visiting (almost) 2 year old around the corridors! I had to stay in until the Sunday and by then I was desperate to get out of such a hot and noisy ward! 
The first thing I wanted to do when I got home about 4pm on the Sunday was go out for a walk with my boy in my lovely pram! It was probably a bit over a mile and I thought it was so slow but it won’t even have been as slow as my slowest miles in the whw race I don’t think! 
Unfortunately by the next day Harrison and I ended up back in hospital as he had a tongue tie and was struggling to get enough milk from me. He ended up losing more than 10% of his body weight, was dehydrated and jaundiced. Needless to say I felt awful about it! Once the tongue tie was snipped though, and he had relearned how to feed, he was eating furiously and making up for lost time. He is under the 25th percentile for weight and is on the 9th for length even though we all think he is long! It Is just long limbs!
So much though for breastfeeding making you lose weight easily! I lost 1/2 of the weight in the first three weeks but have lost nothing since! I’m far more sedentary than before he was born as he is feeding so much, and likes to be near/on me when he is sleeping and Neal has been an extremely bad influence in wanting to eat crisps and chocolate. I’ve been back on the wagon as of Monday though as it’s ‘operation fit back into my old clothes’ time! Now that the pregnancy is over I’m very tired of still only being able to fit in a few things!
I was at the doctor for Harrison last week and asked when I could run/do high impact exercise again. She said I could now as long as my stomach muscle hadn’t split during pregnancy, which it hadn’t. I’m not entirely sure she heard me say I’d had a section though as all other advice is for longer than 6 weeks. I feel fine but I know there will still be a lot of healing going on internally so I don’t think I’ll start just yet.
Unfortunately though I have a baby who doesn’t like his Pram and screams every time he is in it almost. I find it too stressful and upsetting to do the amount of walking I had planned. Time to go out more with the sling I think! 


Hope he grows out of it though as my Pram is too lovely not to use and the running buggy is ordered! 

And hopefully I’ll have lost some weight and have run by the time I next blog!

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Spinning Around 

May 1, 2016

During April the mileage continued to go down, and is probably finished now, having made it to a couple of days short of 37 weeks still running.
April: 18.60 miles
2016: 201 miles
Miles while pregnant: 740
This week has been the first week I have run no miles in a week since July of 2014 and it feels very odd!
I would have been stubborn enough to try parkrun yesterday, even with the increased risk of doing serious damage to my shins, but we had a wedding yesterday and Neal, rightly, talked me out of it as he knew I would be too knackered to enjoy the wedding if I did it. Just as well as by 11am I was feeling really rough anyway and didn’t know at one point if I was even going to make it to the wedding. Neal thought he was going to be going to the hospital instead! However we made it, although we didn’t even last as long as the children that were there!
Until this week I basically ran twice a week in April, going to the Thursday night session at the club and then parkrun on a Saturday. I had my slowest parkrun on 2nd April, running with my niece but from then on ran 35.39 and then 35.09, but slowing down to 36.33 last week. Apart from the time with my niece I’ve yet to be last, which is when I said I would stop. I never imagined I would still be doing one at almost 37 weeks and right up to that last one there were definitely people (meaning guys) who didn’t want to be beaten by me…but they were!

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I’ve been to the gym a bit more in the second part of this this month too, using the cross trainer and stepper, but that is my membership at David Lloyd finished as of yesterday, as it’s too far away now that we have moved. I have a stepper in the house and will try and use that and get out walking.  The first two weeks of April were also our spring holiday, and I went back to work afterwards for a rest! It was manic with packing and then unpacking and decorating 3 of the bedrooms before new carpets were fitted. I may not have got to the gym much during those 2 weeks but I certainly got plenty of exercise!
However I am now done in! Travelling the extra distance to and from work is taking its toll, as is the fact I’m barely sleeping so work was a real struggle last week, with one more week to go!
And the baby has been spinning around, hence my return to a due date rather than a C-section date! I am still getting over the shock of my last scan when, much to even the consultant’s surprise, the baby had managed, even with the smaller than usual space, to move to head down and I will be a normal delivery. Although I’m still to be in the labour ward and consultant led rather than in the community midwife unit. Rationally I know this is the better option and that in particular my recovery, and return to running, will be much quicker.  However when you’ve spent pretty much the whole pregnancy and particularly the last 10 weeks or so before this last scan knowing it’s most likely going to be a c-section its a lot to get your head round to changing to a normal birth! The consultant could see my initial horror and did lots of measurements trying to reassure me it wasn’t a big baby! (Estimated weight at 36 weeks was 4lbs,10oz ish which is only about the 20th percentile.)

So not only has the baby spun around but my head is certainly spinning!

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March Miles…

April 4, 2016

There hasn’t been an awful lot of them! 
Week 1 – 8.7 miles with 3 runs 

Week 2 – 4.3 miles with 2 runs 

Week 3 – 10.5 miles with 4 runs 

Week 4 – 5.8 miles with 2 runs 

Week 5 – 3.9 miles with 2 runs (plus parkrun on 2nd April)
This gives me a total of 33.2 miles for the month. 

I saw today that the British Heart Foundation are trying to get people to run a marathon a month so I’m still above total at least! 
I got 3 parkruns done in March going from 32.52 to 33.41 to 36.26. I’ve been really struggling with shin splints when running, well they are actually worse once I start walking during a run and that last parkrun in March they were particularly bad which was the main cause of such a significant slow down. 
I’ve not been at the gym much either and so I really haven’t done as much exercise as I would have liked this month. That’s because it’s been a bit of a crazy month and definitely busier and more tiring than I would have liked at 30-34 weeks pregnant! 
We had an authority inspection during week 4 of this month and so that week, and the preceding couple of weeks were super busy preparing for and being part of that. It didn’t help that I had a couple of weeks during this time of having really bad sciatic pain in my left hip. This made sitting at work painful and sleep nearly non-existent including during the inspection week. I had the team worried a couple of times! However all went well but it was tough going by that point in my pregnancy. I know I’ve still continued to be lucky as that is the only major issue I’ve had so far.
The hip pain has stopped now and I’m sleeping better again (fingers crossed) but we are now moving house – tomorrow actually – and so I have been knackered with packing our stuff and cleaning the new house! We have about 60 packed boxes in the house and I think I’ve done about 45 of them! I’m not lifting any of them but the constant moving about and bending over is exhausting! Although the running has dropped (and there is also quite a bit of walking in those runs) and I’ve not been to the gym as much as I would have liked I feel this last week or so I’ve still been getting plenty of exercise with the packing, it’s certainly felt like it!
I don’t really feel I’ve had the chance to just enjoy being pregnant and get ready for what’s coming with everything that has gone on through this pregnancy (although maybe I would never have felt like that anyway). There’s been the busyness and stressful nature of my job, Neal’s job hunting for much of the pregnancy and various house buying and selling issues, of which the selling is still an ongoing trauma! We are moving much later than we should have been doing due to an issue on the other side and so at 34 weeks tomorrow I have still barely bought a thing for the baby, nor do I have a hospital bag or anything for myself ready! Given the fact that I’m still likely to be a c-section at 39 weeks and that I am still in a risk category for an early birth I really need to get that ready as soon as we move!