Running As A New Mum
Having had a little girl last April, I was itching to get back into running to the level I was at pre-pregnancy…doesn’t every new mum?! I started slowly and built up. It felt so hard to start with, I wanted to give up more than I’d expected. I felt tired from the birth, sleep deprivation and drained from breast feeding – literally!
My daughter is now 9 months old and we’ve fallen into a slower pace of life and gotten used to being a family who work, run and enjoy life. Lula has been taken to parkrun most weeks and as she’s grown bigger she has been run round in a BOB 3-wheeler buggy. This is a fantastic piece of kit – glides really nicely and has a fixed front wheel so it tracks straight.
Running with a buggy changed my posture and I worried about back problems – if anything I wanted the extra load to help me get stronger. I can happily say it has! I imagine running as tall as I can, swapping the pushing arm every few steps, relaxing my shoulders and tucking my bum under. Each time I swap hands gives me a chance to remind myself how it feels to run without the buggy so I can keep the same posture when pushing.
Both my husband and I are runners so we have a mutual understanding that running is really important. We tag team our runs, either in the evening, at the weekend in the park alternating doing a loop with the buggy while the other does a non-buggy loop or at park run. I also run her to nursery or meet up with a fellow running mum and tag team reps and rests.
I’m currently training for Manchester Marathon, 10th April and raising money for Mini Mermaid Running Club UK – a self confidence and physical activity programme for girls in schools.
Since having a daughter it has hit home that we women need to feel able to tell our own story, rather than doing things we think will help us feel accepted. TV, music videos, bill boards and bus adverts bombard us with of how we should look and behave. I hate seeing these images and was so glad to see the ‘This Girl Can’ campaign showing women in a positive and more realistic light. The women in these clips are doing something, rather than being someone-I like it and want that same feeling for my daughter.
Dani Penney, from Leeds Girl Can is working with South Leeds Sisters (my running group) to set up a Leeds Girl Can Running group. The group start with walking a mile and build up in pace and distance as the weeks go along. They will meet at 6pm, The Phoenix Bar, South Leeds Stadium, John Charles Centre for Sport – keep any eye out for more information coming soon!
Do you want to do something rather than be someone?
Come running and be a runner!
For more information about the organisations in this article:
South Leeds Sisters: http://runleeds.co.uk/running-group/south-leeds-sisters/
Mini Mermaid Running Club: firstname.lastname@example.org