30 minutes, not kilometers!
It is 6:45am. Like most mornings, Little Pete rose nice and early and is playing on the mat after his breakfast. He is trying his hardest to crawl toward his toys, which are just out of reach. The determined expression on his face reminds me of myself! I know exactly where he is getting that determination from. He has two very determined parents!
Lac is home from his very early run with our good friend Campbell and is getting ready for work. I’m thinking about all the things I want to achieve today, including when I might fit in a run, a few loads of washing, cooking lasagna for dinner, salmon patties for the freezer and packing for work tomorrow. Life is all about prioritisation, planning and flexibility these days. Not dissimilar to life before Little Pete!
I’m just over two weeks into my second start to return to running! It is amazing to think that since my last blog in February I managed to injure myself, take time off and get back to jogging again. Injury recovery flies by when you have a little cutie pie to look after.
After my first 16 days of walk jogging I continued with a few more days of run a mile, walk a minute. The intensity in my final run was too much for my adapting body and I developed a sore spot the next day. My right heel, something new, pulled up a little sore and an MRI resulted in 4 weeks rest! I continued with my strength work and I rested. That is if you can classify looking after a newborn as resting!
The medical advice for when my heel repaired was to run alternate days to give the bones a chance to remodel, especially with my history of bone stress. Clearly I cannot be trusted (what runner can!?) to guide my own intensity, so coach Telford intervened and is being very specific on the level of intensity I am allowed to deploy each run. I can now jog slowly for 30 minutes without walking in between. This is a big achievement and one I am enjoying every minute of.
On my Sunday long run, while the boys napped I conquered 32! 32 used to be followed by “kms” in my training diary, but for now it is followed by “mins”. This coming Sunday, if I do exactly as prescribed I graduate to 45, which means the 10km barrier is just around the corner! Before too long I’ll be able to run quickly again, but I’m in no hurry. I am happy getting out in the park and doing what I love, when I can. I then get to come home to my family and enjoy the best time of my adult life.
Getting out for a run now is certainly more challenging than it used to be, but we wouldn’t have it any other way. When it was just Lac and I we’d kick each other out of bed before work and off we’d go together. At the moment Lac is too quick for me, so we run separately. When I can handle the intensity, we will train together again with the support of our family. For now we are just enjoying getting moving again.
A few snippets…
Your medical team
Your medical team becomes part of your family at elite level sport with weekly massages, Pilates classes, the occasional MRI scan and regular iron and vitamin D checks. I am fortunate to have the support of the team at the VIS, Adam at Olympic Park and Rohan at Back In Motion Northcote to look after my medical needs.
My coach and physiologist Dick Telford manages my nutritional requirements in the lead up to the marathon. He sets out my drinks plan and carbo-loading plan, which location dependent usually involves at least one slice of lemon meringue pie!
My day-to-day nutritional plan came about through advice I received from dietician Lisa Middleton. More recently VIS dietician Kylie Andrews has given me wonderful advice about managing my nutritional needs to cover breast feeding and training. If Little Pete’s growth rate is anything to go by, application of the advice is certainly positive!
Lastly, throughout my pregnancy, my vitamin D was quite low. I’ve been taking a supplement throughout to ensure Little Pete’s development was not hindered. I’ve kept that going while I am feeding given my bone stress history.
Any parent knows that “baby” and “rest” don’t appear in the same sentence for a while, unless “rest” is prefixed by “lack of”! Despite the fact that Pete slept a 5 hr block at night very soon after returning from hospital, in my first 7 weeks I was too tired to think about running long distances. .
If you are about to have a bub, or are in the early stages of their arrival, my suggestion is don’t set yourself any goals for a return to training. Just let it happen. The first couple of months just zoom by – why rush as running lasts a long time if you look after yourself!
I had a goal in mind and that was to wait longer than the minimum 6 weeks before trying to introduce running again. I waited until I had the all clear medically, but in hindsight even 7 weeks was too early for me. I had lost so much strength and wasn’t ready for the intensity.
I walked the minute I was able to do so. I walked 400m and then had to turn around! I remember laughing to Lac about my big walk! I love the freedom of walking with Little Pete in the Mountain Buggy and still walk with him all the time.
Being on time
One thing that Lac and I laugh about is how we tend to be 15 minutes late to everything we plan! This makes meeting a group for a run challenging in the early stages of parenthood. Especially those groups with a policy of one minute late and the runners leave! You cannot set an alarm for your baby, they wake when they are ready and who would ever want to mess with that! Sleeping babies are the cutest!
Life is all about prioritisation, planning and flexibility if you want to maximise what you get out of life. It has always been this way for me with the need to juggle a full time professional career with IBM and my elite running career. The difference now is that our new member of the home is our number one priority, our needs are not so important and therefore, our priorities have shifted, at least until he can get his own breakfast! …just kidding!!
Enjoy Autumn! It’s marathon season!