Still plodding



I’m pretty chuffed that I’m on Week Six of eight weeks of Couch25k training!

I started with the NHS podcasts but reasonably soon, the music started to drive me insane. Not even in a ‘run faster to get it over with’ way. It was borderline demoralising. Plus I had issues with them telling me, whoever, that I should run through pain. Discomfort yes, but running through pain is stupid and that’s how people get injured. Yes, I ditched them over semantics.

On a friend’s recommendation I downloaded the Active Network app and I can use Spotify alongside it. Plus I’ve just found out that that one of the coaching voices is a zombie. Massive win!

The only way to make it work, practically, for me to keep up with something like this, is for me to get out of bed, put on exercise gear and go straight out the door in the morning. That’s because my motivation evaporates during the day, and also because howbloodyfrickingtiredIam hits badly in the evenings. Poor Sproggett gets night terrors, frequently. Not fun for anyone. Those following mornings are tough ones to persuade myself to put on the shoes and go.

Still though. On alternate days, because I’m trying to keep up momentum on the programme, it’s up, dressed, out, by 7:00 latest. Mr D attempts to get breakfast into the boychild and we swap like a pro tag-team when I get back, with me dressing the wee man and getting him ready for nursery, or “Adventure Days”*. I’m really lucky – most of the time my schedule is flexible or going out on weekday mornings to run would be tough to manage.  I’m sorely aware that I need to be fitter to keep up with the kid, that’s mostly what keeps me going.

Living right beside a park helps. It’s my makeshift running track at the moment. I try to log which point I reach around the perimeter on my running bursts, see if I can better it (and then I use the apps to tell me if I did afterwards.) I watch the dog walkers who meet up on the green before taking their joint pack to the Marshes. Smile at the other huffing joggers, occasionally eliciting one in return, an acknowledgement of solidarity. Nod at the quiet Asian lady who runs a few paces behind her husband, but only when they think that they’re hidden in the trees, slowing to a walk again when they meet other park users on the path. On weekends I keep an eye out for the homeless guy who sleeps on the bench in the furthest corner, not wanting to rouse him abruptly from hard-won sleep as I lumber past.

It’s getting easier to go, in that it’s more of a habit, even if the activity itself seems still rather difficult somedays. Oddly the intervals have been harder than the longer jogs, which may be because of muscles warming up, getting a second wind etc. I’m most definitely still a work in progress. But I’m loving it.

Next workout is ‘jog for 22 minutes’. I may need to be scraped off the pavement at 7:45am on Sunday.

*we tend to go out on I’m looking after him before we both go mad at home.

In Praise of the Humble Nap

I optimistically read a bit about sleep training before we had Sproggett but then he actually arrived, and a sleep routine went the way of cloth nappies, frankly.

Only recently I’ve become better at reading the cues and naps are getting to be more of a fixture in our day. I know they’re good for him, to help him get towards his daily quota of sleep and all that. I just never realised how fantastic they’d be for me.

I’m not talking about that parenting myth of “sleep while he sleeps” (because that’s when the laundry fairies and the house elves come in, when everyone is gently snoring, right?) Rather, that his daytime nap is when I get to do stuff.

I dictate emails while sterilising bottles.

I prepare client proposals at light speed, turns out I can type about 150wpm if I think I’m about to have to rescue a squally baby.

I can unload a dishwasher, load a washing machine and fold a load of tumbled laundry in the time it used to take me to have a shower.

And then, miraculously, he is still asleep. Yesterday he slept for two hours in the day. That’s fairly rare for us but is just about the best present I could wish for.

I barely knew what to do with myself.

I made myself a cup of proper coffee and drank it while it was still hot. I tidied up blogging stuff, actually read a little for pleasure. My non-parent brain switched itself back on, because I wasn’t in Mama Bear mode any more, with one eye and more than half my attention on a bub who’s not yet crawling, but spins like a top on the floor and is never where you left him for long. I could take more of an interest in the world outside for a bit (via the interflubs) and come back recharged and refreshed.

I’m far from a domestic goddess. But chaos takes over far too quickly around here. Retaining a small amount of freelance work makes me feel like I’m still contributing, without impinging on being able to spend almost all of my time with Sproggett. It also pays for the cleaner, to be honest.

After lunch I got to spend the afternoon playing with a giggling, cheery, energetic bub. Everyone was happier. Praise be to the nap.

Can you sleep when your baby sleeps?