September 2013

Back to school

Off to nursery-wait for me!

Back to school for me and my big boy last week. A new start for both of us and new routines to work around. I have had a ‘three year’ maternity leave with the luxury of being able to bring my babies up myself, letting the days go by, able to cater to their every whim, mood and need and now its time to head back to reality. We have struggled the last year to cover our outgoings, actually to be honest, we haven’t met our outgoings, each month getting a bit further and further into our overdraft. We have planned, budgeted, cut back as much as we can, but over the last 6 months we have had to face up that we need a little extra each month.

Youngest enjoying Farnham prizes as weapons

So, very luckily I got offered a job at the school next to us in the village and I have gone back to some very light part time teaching in the afternoons. When I last was a ‘working woman’ I had no kids, no other responsibility other than my job and my ironman training. Now, though I am still the same person, my whole outlook on life is so different. I am and always will be absolutely passionate about getting kids into sport and now I have kids myself I am even more convinced that starting them getting active early and instilling it as a habitual part of their life is big part of a parents responsibility. I read the nursery’s guide to what my just 3 year old should be able to do-stand on one leg and throw and kick a big ball. Come on, we can set more exciting physical guidelines than this and challenge our kids a bit more! I was amazed how unfit the senior school kids were, not even able to run 300m at a gentle jog, but frankly I don’t think they are to blame, who has let them sit on their butts all summer?

Anyway its so nice to be working with grown ups again and to have a few hours of teaching under my belt everyday. I remember someone in my old department who had two young children saying she loved coming into school as it was her break-pah I use to think, nothing it harder than this job, now I couldn’t agree more!

Having added another dimension into our already pretty hectic lives, I am struggling to really do anything properly, constantly forgetting things, not finishing tasks, fighting the battle of laundry,cleaning and cooking add into the mix a pretty tough running schedule and last Friday I just stood in the sitting room, chaos reigning around me and had a little weep. How do people do all this?

I hate not doing everything to the best I can be, but sometimes you just cant do everything perfectly all the time, which is a very hard lesson I am still learning. Funnily enough my husband couldn’t care less if the house is cleaned, meals are cooked, kids are clean, all he wants is us to be happy and healthy, he is the perfect balance to my constant need to be organised and in control!

I ran the Farnham marathon on Sunday as a little extra bonus training race after a disastrous 50 miler two weeks before. Lets just say about mile 33 I was hit by terrible cramps, D and V and was man down for the next 48hrs. Being sick in a nappy bag on the M25, with kids screeching in my ears demanding to see and then  at home sitting on the loo whilst at the same time puking in sons potty was up there with some momentous memories! I was disappointed as had had a good taper into the race and was feeling good and steady, but hey ho. So I decided to run Farnham two weeks later as a little extra present for myself. Once fit and healthy I got straight back into training and smashed out some good sessions. I had no real taper leading into the race and felt okish till mile 20 when after a v steep climb and then descent, my poor hamstrings which had been whining all race just gave up on me. I presumed I was well in the lead as hadn’t seen another woman all race and on one long stretch looked back and didn’t see a soul. So I eased down and jogged in at 8 min mile pace, only for a woman to come flying past me at mile 23! I went with her, but the minute we hit another incline the pain in my hammys was so much I just eased off. This wasn’t my race to fight, I wanted to back in training again by Weds or Thurs so I let her go. My inner competitive demon was screaming, but just like the week I had had, I knew that if I went after her I would be wiped out at the finish (as it was I could hardly walk anyway!). You cant win them all, I cant expect to be flying around every race and carry on my current  training load. Just like my work home balance, I have to be prepared to make the balance in order to make the long term goals.
I am trying to be realistic with what I can do right now in both life and running. Always, always my kids and husband come first, I am so lucky that my husband is so supportive with what I do and in return I have to lead by example to my kids, be an active, happy and well organised mum not a crying, exhausted wreck. I haven’t quite got the balance right yet, but I’m getting there! Next up Downslink ultra and I’m prepared to give it everything Ive got.