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Running Mummy no.4: Fitting Training Around My Life

As you’ll know if you read this blog with any regularity (hi Dad), I like to run.  I never used to. I used to loathe it. At school the cross country running option was essentially an excuse to skip off into the woods, have a fag and chat endlessly with friends about who we currently fancied and whether brush on mascara was better than pencil.  We were nothing if not stereotypes.  In fact come to think of it the security measures at my school must have been fairly lax to allow girls of 14 and 15 to do that. But that just goes to show how incredibly old I am.

Anyway.  I’m running a 1/2 marathon tomorrow. Not just any 1/2 marathon in fact but the Royal Parks one. This is apparently very special. It’s on Royal land. It means I’m bound to be running behind Kate Middleton or Prince Harry. Surely?  So naturally I’ve taken my training very seriously. Sort of. When I’m training I’m very serious about it, I wear the right trainers, I have all manner of devices and apps to measure my distance and elevation (get me) and speed and all that. I even have proper running socks (apparently my cotton m&s ones weren’t quite the thing).  All very serious. 
It’s just been a bit erratic.  I went through a phase of doing really well.  Two 7-10k runs on the treadmill during the week, a bit longer across the countryside at weekends (between 7 and 10 miles on average).  It was all going so well.  My fitness vastly improved, and a 10k run felt like a cop out. But it’s impossible to keep to a routine because life gets in the way. 
1. The kids don’t sleep well and I’m permanently tired. (“Go and run it will give you energy”, says the angel on my shoulder; “watch Homeland and fall asleep on the sofa” says the devil on the other one).
2. They don’t go down till gone 8pm by which time the thought of spending the rest of my evening sweating on a treadmill watching time-lag subtitled ‘One Born Every Minute’ whilst listening to Eminem tell me to ‘lose myself in the moment’ is deeply unappealing.
3. There’s a bottle of wine open on the kitchen counter and him indoors is cooking.
4. I work late.

5. I joined the PTA (I mean really? What the f*@k was I thinking?)

The usual stuff.  You know how it is. If you’re a mum and you work for a living then you’re lucky if you can fit anything even remotely classified as ‘me time’ into your life.  It’s the same old story. 
So I have decided to try and fit my training around my life.  This sounds like some horribly cliched PR campaign (one I’ve probably created in fact, God help me).  You know the type “walk up the escalators, get off the tube a stop early, cycle to the station”. All the usual predictable crap that makes  the reality of a ‘busy lifestyle’ seem like something aspirational rather than just plain stressful. 
So I do all that stuff, of course I do.  But I’ve worked out a few more. 
I was constructing bunk beds with my dad yesterday.  Him indoors has many talents but DIY isn’t one. But my Dad and I like a project like this. It’s probably because he had 3 girls, he had to enlist us to help him with jobs when we were children, hence we all had Swiss Army Knives by the age of 11 and a working knowledge of how to fix a puncture, light a fire and read a map.  It took 4 hours to build the beds and the aching in my limbs is testament to the hard work involved.  I equate that to about 5 miles.  See where I’m going with this? 
Today Eliza went for her first riding lesson (I know, I know, I’m such a middle class Surrey dwelling stereotype, but we do live in the middle of about 50 stable yards so it would be rude not to).  Anyway it being her first I went with them, I walked while she rode and was led.  She tried out trotting, so I ran to keep up. (She did really well, bless her).  That was about 1/2 mile I reckon.  Then later I had to go and pick up the dry-cleaning, but I had no cash. So I ran to the cashpoint and back in about 30 seconds.  That was speed training.  
Not to mention the fact that EVERY SINGLE DAY I am late for my train at the end of the day and I have to run the full length of Waterloo station to get to my platform. Over the course of a week that’s definitely a good few miles of high intensity training. 
So with all that, I reckon I’m good and ready. And frankly if I’m not then I’m sure Kate and Harry will graciously stop and help me hobble to the finish. They have very good manners after all. 


  1. Good luck!!! I did my first (and only) half marathon in April (I’m not naturally athletic at all) and it was hard (I may have shed a small tear when I saw the finish line…) – but I was SO proud of myself when I finished. Whatever you do, just keep going. You WILL finish. And you WILL feel amazing. x

  2. Ooh was that the paddock wood one? I did that. But was a long time ago! Thanks so much for your encouragement it really helps:)

  3. What a fantastic idea, although it’s a bit late now, we have had fun trying to think up a few more training sessions for you…
    Clearing the table – one item at a time (1/2 a mile?)
    Walking whilst on the phone ( 1-2 miles a day)
    walking to the front of the train at Waterloo (200 metres?)
    Stomach exercises when watching anything pregnancy related (1-2 hours per day)… :)
    Hope the 1/2 marathon went well!


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