How do I run?

More often than not, what I do on a day to day basis is defined by my children. The things we do, where they are, what plans and appointments we make. Toddlers with both – or one at nursery and one with me , or play dates and play parks and what we’re doing that weekend.

So I guess it’s not surprising that I’ve been asked, more than once, how I ‘run’ with two toddlers. My partner works full time, and I don’t drive, so it’s not a simple ‘drop them off and go’ kind of thing. So how do I do it?

  

The answer is simple – I miss things. 

For starters, I miss them; on a weekend long run, I’ll sacrifice sleepy toddler cuddles and Thomas the Tank for wet leaves, hill climbs, and hoping my knee doesn’t give out. Sometimes I miss a ‘normal’ morning routine; getting up before everyone else to climb out of bed, get my run in, and shower while the house is still stirring. Or I’ll miss a quiet evening meal; lacing up my trainers the second the boys are in bed and getting out before the chill really sets in. I miss my family, I miss my sleep. I miss my book!

There’s things I don’t miss, though. I don’t miss the feeling of struggling to breathe climbing the stairs. I don’t miss my legs chafing on long walks. I don’t miss wearing maternity jeans long past the ‘acceptable’ stage because nothing else fits. I don’t miss sweating for no reason, I don’t miss dreading long walks, I don’t miss feeling self conscious.

And there’s things that I, quite literally, don’t miss. I don’t miss buses anymore; I run for them all. I don’t miss sunrises; I’m right there with them. I don’t miss the rain because I feel it on my skin (because I also don’t miss a run just because it’s wet out!).

So I miss my babies sometimes – but no more than any mum who does ‘something else’. And yes, I miss my bed – but so what? I gain my health, I gain my freedom, I gain a few more years at the end to spend with my family because I’m looking after myself. The things I lose are not really a loss, not when counted against the whole. 

And when my eldest son, with his beautiful grin full of mischief, sees me lacing up my trainers and asks “You runnin’ Mummy? Shall I run too?” – that’s worth it. That’s how I run. And, I suppose, that’s why.
  

Run Gear

So I get asked sometimes for my ‘Trail Running Checklist’ – what gear I like to use, or just what I like the look of the most! I’ve blogged before about how much I love my Salomon Wings, but just thought I would pop a quick post up with my favourite Run Stuff (at the moment!)

What’re your favourites? Any recommendations? Leave me a comment below or tweet me! I’m always looking for Winter running kit suggestions, Cornwall did not get quite so cold as it does up here (I am already shivering).

shock absorber active shaped support

Share your Stories – ‘Closer’ Feature

So!

Today, my Post Natal Depression story has been featured in Closer Magazine. If you haven’t got a copy, you can read some of my story on Closer Online. It’s also been featured on their Facebook Page, on MY Facebook Page, on my Twitter… I’m sharing it a lot, basically!

closer FB

It’s super weird to see my face sometimes! (I hope Roman’s cheeky grin distracts from it a little?) In any case, it was lovely to do. I was very nervous last night hoping it didn’t get a negative reaction, but so far so good?

I won’t go into my story again – it’s not unique, I’m not the first, and I sadly won’t be the last. What I will say is this. If you’re unhappy, or anxious, or feeling scared, and you know deep down it isn’t ‘right’ – talk to someone. Whether you’re a parent or not, whatever your personal struggle or Mental Health issue you feel you’re dealing with – It can’t get better unless you ask for help. And I know I don’t speak for everyone – but I got better. Much better. I am happy, healthy, and loved.

If you’re going through with Perinatal Mental Illness- that means Pre or Postnatal Depression, Anxiety, Post Natal PTSD/Birth Trauma, Perinatal OCD, Psychosis… Whatever you’re dealing with, you need to know that you are not alone, even it it feels like it. And if you’re a survivor – tell people! If people are too frightened to talk about the battles they’ve won, how can they give strength to the people still fighting?

Talk. Fight the Stigma. Share your stories.

AmyRoman

Visit www.pandasfoundation.org.uk for more information on Perinatal Mental Illness. If you need to talk, their Helpline is 0843 28 98 401.

How to be a Good Runner – Looking Back

So a year ago today, I was running the Eden Project Half Marathon. A wonderful, hilly, gorgeous, hilly, inspiring, hilly, 13.1 mile race through the gorgeous Cornish countryside. Did I mention the hills?

It was an odd one. I’d trained so much, I’d literally sweated my backside off, but things still went wrong. What did I expect? I was new, I wasn’t quite comfortable in my own skin, and I certainly wasn’t prepared. I got blisters from my thick cotton socks (I know). My joggers (yes, joggers!) chaffed, and made me uncomfortable. My fringe was probably sticking upright the entire time. I even slowed down at the finish line instead of going for a sprint! I was not prepared.

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Mum-Tum Shaming

I went to a walk in centre over the weekend, with stomach pain. (I’m fine)

During the exam, the Doctor who I was seeing told me she needed to check my abdomen. So I lay down, lifted my top slightly – and saw her eyebrows visibly raise. She asked me if I had lost a lot of weight because, as she put it , I have ‘A lot of loose skin’.
I was a bit shocked, but I managed to say (making my irritation fairly clear) – ‘I’ve had two babies!’

She continued her examination, saying again ‘There’s just a lot of skin though…’.

To which I replied, now feeling very awkward ‘Well I’ve lost over 100lb…’

Now she didn’t say ‘congratulations’ – which might have begun to make up for a completely unnecessary comment on my physical appearance. She didn’t move on, or say anything nice, or reassuring. At one point she mentioned that it was difficult to tell if there were any issues because there was ‘so much skin’ in the way. It was awful. It was embarrassing. It was upsetting.

Now here’s the thing. I have lost over 100lb. I have had two babies. I have stretch marks, and tiny scars. My body has been through a lot. But now I’m better. My skin doesn’t hang down, it doesn’t get in the way, it doesn’t cause me discomfort or any real problems. It isn’t a medical issue. I just have a stretch marked, soft, slightly wobbly ‘Mum Tum’.

Underneath that, my stomach is strong. I have worked very hard to make it strong. I eat well, I exercise a lot. The outside physical appearance is not disgusting or unpleasant. It’s just a little wrinkly. 

I don’t want to excuse your behaviour at all, Doctor, but I can understand a momentary surprise – I’m fairly slim now, and because my stomach is firm there’s no outward sign that I have a mum-tum. So I can forgive a momentary eyebrow raise, in surprise. But there is no need – no excuse, no reason – to comment. There’s no need to stare. You are a doctor, I am sure you’ve seen far more interesting and unique bodies and shapes and sizes than my normal, wobbly skin. 

So I want to end by saying that I am upset. Not because of my appearance, but because I allowed you to make me feel embarrassed by it. I wanted to apologise, almost, for how difficult my slightly loose skin made it for you to check my abdomen. That’s wrong, and it was wrong for you to make me feel like that. I am not apologising to anyone.

  
This is my stomach. If you don’t like it, I don’t care. This has carried two babies – it helps me sit and stand and run and laugh. This is a perfectly fine, functional, female stomach. This is my Mum-Tum. And I love it.
Thanks for reading!
Feel free to like my Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/AmyRuns100

Racing To The King!

Apologies for the silence of the last few days/week.. I’ve been quite poorly, as have my boys. A lot of bugs going around! I’m also still struggling with my knee so feeling a bit sorry for myself.

However, and somewhat impulsively, I have some news! As well as running Race To The Stones next year, the full 100k – I am also going to be running Day 2 of Race To The King! The full Race is an Ultra-Marathon through the South Downs, a brilliant event running to the burial place of the first Kings (Winchester Cathedral). I’ll be running the last 26.2miles to the Cathedral on the 26th of June, in preperation for running the Ridgeway on July 16th. So so excited to be a part of two amazing races!!

I will be doing the 26.2 for charity – raising money for Save The Childrenday four of the trip to (1)Save the Children helped 17.4 million children in 2014. They are a fantastic charity giving aid for disasters, funding education, working to tackle child poverty and make big changes in the way our world supports its most vulnerable. They work in the UK (where 1 in 3 children live in poverty) and abroad, in over 170 different countries. They really are an amazing charity.

My boys have been lucky enough to win the lottery of life – they will grow up in a situation where they don’t have to struggle the way millions of other children do. But together we can do something, even something small, to help stop the suffering.

If you want to donate via Virgin Money Giving please click HERE

I am so so excited!

Reasons not to Run – The Good, The Bad, and the Hangovers…

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You might know the wonderful running Community known as Run Mummy Run®, and I’ve previously shared their campaign for fundraising and linked to them. As a member of their Facebook page I love sharing and chatting to other women and Mums about their running stories, experiences, and goals.

I recently had to take a week off running due to an injured knee (the curse of every runner with weak hips!). I founjd myself putting off the day I would get back into it – I didn’t have time, I would rather carry on cross training, I wanted to watch a film… the reasons not to run kind of started to stack up on me. So I thought it would be interesting to find out other reasons that people like me have given for not running.

So (after very kindly getting permission), I posed the question on the Facebook Page – Why didn’t you run?

The reasons I got were hilarious, varied, and sometimes quite sad. Far too many women (although one is too many!) said they felt embarrassed, or lacked confidence. Some felt guilty – guilty for having ‘me’ time, or not being with their families. Some even felt afraid.

Here’s a selection of reasons given, and a nice infographic I put together of the numbers. Unsurprisingly it was Childcare, Illness and Injury that came top!

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RMR’s Steps For Humanity

This weekend, I’ll be converting each mile I run into a £1 donation to Steps For Humanity, a new fundraising event organised by the awesome Run Mummy Run group. If you want to join in – run, walk, skip, treadmill – just follow the link and once you’ve gone the distance, donate to the GoFundMe page! 

Money will be going to CalAid and MOAS (other grassroots charities may be added but will be detailed on the page as and when).

http://www.gofundme.com/stepsforhumanity

  

 

Fitness Day with 2 Toddlers? Yes she can!

Next week, on the 9th of September, we celebrate National Fitness Day – a day of getting out there, getting active, and having fun! (nationalfitnessday.com)

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National Fitness Day, 9th of September 2015, is the biggest and most visible annual celebration of physical activity of the year. It is the day to celebrate the role that physical activity plays across the UK. This year, our aim is to make National Fitness Day the most active day of the year. Thousands of clubs, parks and leisure centres are opening their doors to welcome you for free. We all know the benefits regular exercise deliver including a healthier heart and a better quality of life. But many of us find getting fit a challenge and it shouldn’t be.

— From The National Fitness Day Website


The reason personally I think this day is so important, is because of what Sport and Fitness teaches our children.

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