Up and… walking

Baby M born in 2016.

It’s been a while since I posted, and for good reason. Unfortunately, things didn’t go quite to plan, so my baby was born nearly two weeks late via emergency caesarean. She’s thriving, but I’ve had some ups and downs and was readmitted to the hospital. Hopefully, that’s behind us now and we can start moving forward.

Planning for when I can exercise again

ParkLives logo.

I’m not allowed to run, swim, cycle or drive until 6 weeks after M’s birth, so no sports until 10th December 🙁 However, this does mean that I have time to do some planning. I’ve signed up for ParkLives which offers free outdoor fitness classes in a number of parks across the UK. I’ve chosen to sign up for ‘Buggy Mums’ which takes place at 11:30am on Tuesdays on Southampton Common and 11:30am on Wednesdays at Weston Shore. I’m not sure whether the classes are exactly what I want to do, but they are free and are somewhere that I can meet other mums:

“Buggyfit fitness classes for mums and children are an hour long, and usually involve a 3-mile route in total. Classes start with a moderate warm-up walk, moving into a power walk or run to raise our heart rates. Each session includes group exercises specifically for the individual selected to strengthen particular muscle groups and enable us to cope with the demands of motherhood. We finish off with a cool down and stretch.”

My first walking parkrun after giving birth

A week after M was born, we went to our first parkrun, but we didn’t take part, we just watched and cheered others on. The following weekend, we missed out on parkrun as everyone in our house needed a lie in, so last Saturday, we finally got to take part in our first parkrun together.

When choosing a buggy, Stuart and I opted for an Out N About Nipper Sport. It is primarily a running buggy, and although it is not possible to run with a baby under 6 months old (or before they have enough strength to support their own head), this buggy can be used to transport babies from birth.

Out N About Nipper Sport.

It is quite a large pushchair, but it is light and surprisingly manoeuvrable. Possibly the only downside is that it is forward facing, so I can’t easily see my baby whilst exercising.

My view when walking with my buggy.

I agreed that Stuart would complete parkrun at his own pace and I would walk it. I knew that this would mean that he would complete the run and be able to join me for my second loop.

What to wear?

It was difficult to know what to wear for this parkrun. I usually run in shorts all year around, so I thought I would be OK wearing leggings, however, it was really cold, so I ended up layering up with tracksuit trousers, a hoodie and a running jacket. I also added a beanie and gloves for good measure… this turned out to be too much, so I had to remove several items of clothing whilst walking.

This was also the first chance that I had to try out my new trainers. Millet Sports sent me a pair of Hoka One One Bondi 4 to try out. Although I can’t run, I thought I could at least find out how comfortable they were by wearing them for walking in. So far, I’m very pleased with them – I’ll post a full review later when I’ve been able to run in them.

Hoka One One Bondi 4 running shoes.

How did my parkrun go?

For much of the parkrun, I was with the tail runner, who was surprised by how quickly I could walk. However, there were times when I managed to pass other people, who were able to overtake me on the downhills (as they were able to run and I’m not allowed to).

Stuart ran past me on his second loop and I saw him in the finish funnel as I passed it. He was then able to join us for the second loop. In the last 20m of the event, I was passed by some other participants, so I was the final finisher, however, my time wasn’t too bad. My aim is to do the next event in 45 minutes, if possible.

Tamsyn's result from M's first parkrun. 46:04.
M’s first parkrun

Decathlon Running Series 5k

My Decathlon 5k race number.

The following day, I took part in the Decathlon Running Series 5k on Southampton Common. Stuart was able to run it, and I persuaded my mum to walk it with me. My mum doesn’t usually walk a lot, so I thought it would be a good challenge for her.

Decathlon 5k route.
Decathlon 5k route
The start of the Decathlon 5k.
The start of the Decathlon 5k

My mum and I were comfortably ahead of another family with a baby when the tail cyclist joined us. Apparently, the other family had decided to take a shortcut. We pressed on and thought the marshals were really good and supportive. As we got within 500m of the finish, the other family had rejoined the route, so I urged my mum to walk a bit faster so that we would not finish last… we just about managed it!

Sandra after Decathlon 5k.

The Decathlon Running Series 5k is a good free event. Each participant received a free t-shirt (yellow for men and pink for women). The sizing was a little skimpy, but they were OK. Also, after the event, we were able to claim free drawstring goodie bags containing a bottle of water, a pineapple drink, a chocolate cereal bar, a sticker, a catalogue and a lanyard.

Decathlon Running Series 5k goodie bag.

Planning ahead

I had thought that it would be fun to do some parkruns at Christmas and New Year in Cornwall with my family, but the nearest parkrun (Penrose) is not doing any additional festive events. Hopefully, we’ll get to run on Christmas Eve and/or New Year’s Eve. I’m hoping I’ll be able to persuade my mum to join us for a walk.

I had hoped to sign up M for baby swimming classes, but I’m not allowed in the water until December. The times that are available are not convenient for Stuart, so I guess we’ll have to wait until 2017. I’m confident that even if M doesn’t get to the classes, she’ll learn to swim before adulthood!

I’ve also started planning my cycling adventures for 2017. Stu and I have paid another visit to Vankru as I’ll need another road bike. The colour scheme of the Tifosi bike that I admired at the Cycle Show isn’t available on the website, so I’m considering a Canyon.

What have you been up to whilst I’ve been off-line? Do you have any tips for exercising with a new baby?

8 Responses

  1. Congratulations! Until my daughter got too big (at around 4-5 years of age) I used to walk everywhere, including long hikes with her in forests, with her in a wrap. Very secure, great way to bond and to take the baby where buggies can’t go. Maybe something for you until you can run again?

    • Thank you. I’ve got a sling, but have only used it once because M was a bit small. I’m going to try again next week, so that should give us more options for exploration.

  2. Congratulations! What a beautiful baby? Your fitness is paying off already, given that you are back exercising! Your walking parktun is only 10 minutes behind my PB! The best thing is that your girl will grow up thinking that exercise is normal? Enjoy!

    • Thank you. I was so desperate to get out and do something… I’m hoping that Stu and I can take turns running at parkrun when I’m allowed to run again.

  3. AW beautiful baby! Congrats!!

    It’s tough when you can’t work out – I was out last year for a few months and had to start from scratch and came back stronger than ever! December 10th will be here soon

  4. Congrats to you both. And enjoy the time when they’re little. It doesn’t last. You will get plenty of exercise chasing her once she starts crawling and walking. Then you’ll be one of those parents that fly past me on a parkrun, with their buggy 😉

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