One more sleep!

Until I don this ensemble and strut my stuff on the streets of London.

vest

The letters are ironed on, the champion chip is in place (though I’m always uncertain about wether it’s the right way up or not, panic, panic), my kit is laid out, gels in belt, Bodyglide to hand…I think I’m ready now. It’s been a funny week, feeling nervous, excited, aprehensive, impatient, worried and also having this weird feeling that I don’t want it to be over because I know I will miss it all! I am, of course, nervous about getting there tomorrow, worried that it will be hard to leave the house – this is going to be the longest stretch of time I have been away from Hector – and concerned that I will end up rushing at the other end. I am aslo hoping/wishing/doing some sort of shamanic dance in the hope that I might get a good night’s sleep. For me that would mean not being woken every couple of hours for a feed and then being woken at 5.30am for the start of the day. I know that once I am woken up I will be too excited to get back to sleep…I’ll be the one on the start line with the rather large bags under my eyes and the vacant expression of the ‘mother of a toddler’.

I am at the blue start. This is particularly exciting because that’s where all the fancy pants elites go from – I must point out, this does not reflect my projected finish time! I am also in ‘pen’ number 8, which puts me alongside all the other people who will be aiming to peg it down The Mall 4.30 hours after the start. We’ll see, maybe I will reach that goal, or maybe I will stroll along high-fiving everyone. Apparently the crowds carry you along, so I’m counting on anyone who is supporting to shout out my name and help me along a bit. Please!

Signing out now, with some stats from a little leg-loosening three miler done this week with my ever-dedicated running buddy, Hector.

Time: 30.20

Distance: 2.87 miles (that’s odd, I could have sworn I did three!)

Average Pace: 10.35

Best Pace: 8.31

Calories: 346

And don’t forget, you can still sponsor me for the NSPCC and Childline here.

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Sluggish

That’s how I felt when I set off this morning, but I’m happy to say the running did the trick and I battled on through to run four and a bit miles 🙂

I can definitely put my state of mind and physical lack of oomph down to my periods having returned after a two year break. I hadn’t realised – because people don’t talk about it – that you can continue to miss periods whilst breastfeeding and (if you’re really lucky) this break will last for as long as you continue to feed (I guess Hector must have gradually cut down on his feeds without me noticing). Something else I didn’t realise is just how horrible they are when they do return: I spent Sunday feeling like I’d been kicked and have been super grumpy to go with it (sorry Edward!). Anyway, I am one of the lucky ones, so I should stop whinging and thank my lucky stars I have been able to breastfeed for such a long time without any problems.

It was pretty nippy when we set off, but I won’t be donning my tights and long sleeved tops for a while – I’m hardcore and only bring those out in the thick of winter or at the point where my arms are about to drop off through frostbite. Hector on the other hand was wrapped up in various layers and – at last – got to wear the woolly hat his uncle knitted for him when he was born! We had the company of the shiny red tractor again, I wonder why they keep cutting the grass so often, maybe a build up to the winter grass-cutting break. We also saw lots of lovely dogs and got a comment from the lady with the elegant greyhounds: ‘that was a fast loop!’, which gave me a little boost as I felt like I was going  r e a l l y   s l o w l y.

Time: 47.13

Distance: 4.61 miles

Average Pace: 10.14

Best Pace: 8.25

Calories: 536

Appropriate attire

We were out and about at around eight o’clock this morning and already the sun was blazing down in the twenties…so why were two young chaps running around the park wearing woolly hats?! Some of the outfits I see on my runs are really rather daft: big coats, heavy sweat pants, jeans, plastic bags, yes plastic bags. While we’re on the subject of appropriate attire, I must say it’s a challenge finding the right sports bra when you are breastfeeding – just when you think you’ve found the one, you change/grow/shrink again. Oh well.

My first run in a few weeks and my first run since having a chesty cough. Oh, it was hard work! I felt like I had a blockage in my chest and needed a plunger to shift it – cough – cough – cough all the way round. But I battled on and did my three miles as planned. It’s a beautiful day and there were a few people plodding around and plenty of dogs to keep Hector amused.

After our run we popped over to the paddling pool to take a refreshing dip and it certainly was ‘refreshing’! Poor Hector gasped for air as I dipped his little legs in the bluey water. We were joined by Flick and Aruna and we all sat around coughing – there’s a lot of it about.

Time: 31.39

Distance: 3.00 miles

Average Pace: 10.33

Best Pace: 9.12

Calories: 375

Back in action…sort of

Hector is six weeks old today – where have those weeks gone?! Yesterday we went to the post-natal yoga class. I was pretty chuffed to get there after trying last week but failing at the first hurdle: getting out of the door! The class is very chilled, with mums and babies doing their thing: you are free to stop and feed your baby or walk around if they are crying and so on. At first, Hector was fast asleep in his sling, but soon woke up wanting a feed. After a ‘top up’, he was quite awake and we did a move where you lay your baby on their tummy over your knee. He seemed to like this, so much so that he threw up all over my trousers, himself and the yoga mat. Oh dear.

We will try and go again next week and will hopefully have a less messy trip.

So, six weeks on from his birth, my life has really changed, nobody can prepare you for just how different things are with a little guy in tow. He is truly gorgeous and a real delight to be around, but we have had a difficult couple of weeks where he has been suffering from a gurgly, painful tummy after feeding. This could be called colic, but he doesn’t scream inconsolably, as with ‘colic’, and you can see it’s definitely relieved by wind or filling a nappy. It’s heartbreaking to see him crying though, his little eyes looking up and his voice sounding like a plea of ‘owwww’. 😦 Our midwife suggested trying cranial osteopathy, so we have an appointment, but not for another couple of weeks.

The past six weeks have been a time of ‘firsts’ for our little boy: his first trip out (to Hampstead Heath), his first Tube ride, first gallery visit (to see Anthony Gormley at the Hayward), first smile/laugh (these were very early, around the second week)…and this has been a time of firsts and unexpected experiences for me too.

Things I would not have imagined six weeks ago 

– Being able to manage on just a few hours sleep – I am normally so grumpy without sleep, but Hector doesn’t cry in      the night, just wants lots of feeds then goes straight back to sleep. People say you should catch up by ‘sleeping when baby sleeps’. Yeah, right! That’s when I put the washing on, cook food, tidy up, check my mail…

– Talking to so many complete strangers: people stop us on the street, on the Tube and so on, so they can ask how old  he is, what his name is and say how gorgeous he is 🙂

–  Breastfeeding in unusual public settings. When we are out and about and Hector wakes up, he generally wants feeding straight away, and there’s no way you can carry on. This has resulted in a whole new approach from me: ‘he needs feeding, so I will stop right here, right now, whatever’. We have fed in many crazy spots: on the bus, on the train, at the check-out at Sainsburys, in a furniture display at Ikea, in the park, at the bus stop…I’m quite proud of myself for getting over my nervousness about this.

– Looking into the eyes of my little chap and crying with joy. It can’t be described, but it’s the most overwhelming feeling I have ever had.