I did it! I mean… we did it! We ran our first half marathon together. Me – a 32 (and a bit) year old RUNNER, and a new MUM. Him – 8 month old baby boy!
This wasn’t my first half marathon, but it was my first race running with a pram, which made me as nervous as though it were my first half marathon.
Our race prep was spot on this time. By the time of the race Oliver was used to being in the pram for 2 hours, and so I wasn’t worried whether we will be able to complete the race. However, I was very nervous about how he would react to the crowds before and during the run, and how my competitive runner head would compete with my mum ‘hat’ and stopping for feeds, nappies, etc…. Every second counts in a race!
But let me start from beginning….
The night before
Ahhh I missed this feeling so much.. The feeling of nervousness and excitement you feel the night before the race, when you pack your bag, lay your kit on the floor to take a perfect instagram photo ha ha, and have some fueling carbs for dinner. Oliver did his bit and went to bed at 7pm and slept through the night.
My packing list for the run included:
- Hand sanitiser
- Nappies and nappy bags
- Rain cover – it rained obviously
- Two gels
- Mobile phone
- Spare change
- My race number and safety pins
- Running kit
The race day
I have run the Wilmslow Half a couple of times before and so it felt great to be back in this familiar location. We arrived a bit later than in the past; I just didn’t fancy standing around too much with Oliver. We needed to be there early enough to feed him and change and soak up a bit of the race atmosphere and excitement.
Arrival. And no, I didn’t run with the carrier.
There’s first time for everything
For the first time ever I started the race at the very end of the group to allow the runners to go through the narrow section of the road. There was just no point in trying to push through the crowds since this is a chipped race. I started the race with a very nice man, who was also running with a pram, but his little one was 18 months old, with a bunch runners in fancy dress and with a girl who ran the entire race backwards 🙂
Another new thing was that I didn’t listen to any music or audiobooks during the race. I was so worried about the baby that I wanted to stay alert throughout the race. I actually really enjoyed being able to fully experience the race atmosphere this way. I got to chat to many people, which was great. Everyone was super encouraging, the runners and the spectators kept shouting ‘Go on mum, well done’, which made me weep multiple times during the race. Many people joked and asked if they could have a ride, and many blokes shouted ‘are you having a laugh’ when I overtook them! As always the spectators were brilliant and encouraging shouting their hearts out – this was great, but I was praying inside that they wouldn’t wake up the baby. I loved the atmosphere and as always I am ever so grateful to everyone who comes out to cheer the runners, because this makes a massive difference. If you want to believe in humanity – participate in any sporting event, the people are just so kind and lovely!
I knew that this race is not about a PB, but about enjoying myself and listening to the baby’s needs – so if I needed to I’d stop to comfort him.
As for pacing, I only wanted to make sure that I won’t burn myself out at the beginning. After a while I went faster, but kept a comfortable speed. I felt strong, happy and very emotional. I couldn’t believe I’m racing again, only 8 months after giving birth, and i had my baby boy with me.
In the end Oliver slept through the race and I only needed to stop once to put the rain cover on. We loved every minute of the race and crossed finish line in 2:04!
10km – 56:39
15 km – 1:26:13
20 km – 1:56:07
Half marathon distance – 2:04:52
After the race we found Daddy to celebrate! We stayed around to have some food from the BBQ, and to feed Oliver as he had finally woken up, blissfully unaware that he just completed his first half marathon.
P.S. Our moment of fame in Wilmslow Guardian
So what’s next?
We are still running roads and trails. We are hoping to run soon in Ibiza, and later on this year we are planning to run either the Manchester Half or the Amsterdam Half. Maybe there will be time to beat our first ‘pram time’?
Thanks for reading x