Bolt Round The Holt

A week ago, I woke up early on a Saturday morning and drove a considerable distance to support my lil’ sis’ in her first post-pregnancy race event.

What follows are her thoughts on the race…

Half-arsed runner: How did you feel about doing your first post-pregnancy event?

Lil’ Sis’: I felt anxious about whether I was really fit and ready to compete but also excited and eager to get back into races.

HAR: How did you train?

LS: I started training a few months ago after my six week post-natal check with the doctor. First of all, I just went out and ran to see what I could achieve. I managed a slightly slower pace than I did before Lucy was born and ran a mile. I started upping the runs to two a week and increased the distance by half a mile each week until I was running 5k. I managed three 5ks before the race started with some hill work.

HAR: It was a long way to go for a 5k. Why did you choose this particular event?

LS: I love this forest and have raced here on other occasions. One of them was a 5k whilst I was about five months pregnant and they were very supportive. The other was the same event last year. This was the last official race I did before finding out I was pregnant, and it seemed fitting to start my races again with it this year.

It was a challenging and rewarding course that I would recommend to others. AAT events are well organised too.

HAR: Were you happy with your time?

LS: At first, no. Upon reflection, yes.

I was two minutes slower than last year but this year had to walk/fight woodlands through the path for a good quarter of a mile because the track was so muddy that I was afraid of falling over! I know this cost me those valuable minutes that I would have needed to beat or equal my previous time. Having said that, I feel I am already back to my previous fitness levels and that feels amazing so soon after giving birth!

 

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Farnham Runners 5k and 10k

Saturday 23rd September:

My life lately has been both busy and stressful, with most of my stress coming from being on the wrong end of the UK housing rental market (the tenant’s end). But the less said about that, the better.

The point is that I haven’t been very well organised and have been putting off signing up for today’s Farnham Runner’s 10k all week.

So when a slightly pissed-up me still thought it would be okay to enter online at 23:30 last night (well, it was before midnight) I was shocked to see that entries had closed.

And so it was that I came to be sat here eating a slightly over-priced Cornish pasty and listening to a toddler screaming “I want cake” at her remarkably patient mother whilst the first 5k finishers just came in, all with times of less than twenty minutes.

Not that it’s an unpleasant place to be sipping a coffee. The races are held in the Alice Holt forest, three miles outside of Farnham. The course is all undulating trail ground.

There’s a 5k, 10k and a 1.5k fun run for kids. (If you do bring kids, depending on their ages, there’s a Go Ape facility at the same location.)

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I’m here to support my Running Buddy in the 10k and my lil’ sis’, who is running the 5k. (Oh yeah, and I should probably mention that she’s also 29 weeks pregnant.)

In fact, she should be coming in now so I’ll go and cheer her on.

Lil’ Sis’ came in last on the 5k event, with a marshal pacing her and offering encouragement.

Half: How was the race?

Lil’ Sis’: I beat my expected time from training runs. I ran the first kilometre but the marshal said that even my walking speed was fast. She kept telling me to take it easy and was surprised when I said I’m signed up to at least one more race before my due date in early December.

To be honest, I’m just glad that RB didn’t beat my time, since he was running twice as far as me!

Half: Did you consult with your GP, or do any research online, before deciding to enter races during your pregnancy? I know how seriously you take it as you have quit alcohol until the baby is born.

Lil’ Sis’: Yeah, I spoke to my midwife early on, once my morning sickness had stopped, and she said that since I had been a regular runner before, it should be okay if I take it easy. I then signed up to a 5k in Clapham Common, which was part of the Chase the Sun series.

I would also say to anyone who is considering this, it’s sometimes okay to walk part of the race, and the marshal today was really encouraging.

Half: Have you considered getting a running buggy?

Lil’ Sis’: Yes, that would be awesome and would help me to lose weight again quickly after labour, but they seem to start at £250!

Half: Fair point, I just think it’s cool when a parent is managing to supervise their child and get a run in at the same time. I think we can both agree that they’re over-priced.

(We then proceeded to search this on our phones and make fun of an advert in which a guy is stood on top of some mountain with a buggy, as if he would have taken his kid on the three peaks challenge or something. Advertising can really be absurd at times – oh shit, I’ve done it again – there goes another future affiliated marketing opportunity for the blog!)

As for my Running Buddy, he said early on that if I’m posting about the day, I should make a recommendation that the organisers have some scissors around to cut the ends off the tie-cables that go with the timing chips…

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Fortunately no-one tripped over, and Running Buddy has said that, other than that, this race was another win for the Farnham Runners!

(In case you haven’t worked this out, all names given have been cleverly devised pseudonyms, not real names. Lil’ Sis’ really is my lil’ sis’ though.)