Thursday 31 July 2014

10 Things Nobody Told Me About Being A Parent

So I know that this is a running blog, but I've been dealing with an injury from the GUCR for the last few months and haven't really done enough running to bang on about. So, if you'll forgive me, I'm going to use this forum to bang on about something else in my life which is incredibly important to me - parenthood. Feel free to switch over to something more running related now. I hear James Adams has a book out. I've been in the illustrious club of mini-human wranglers for 18 months now, and think I have a pretty good handle on things. Don't get me wrong, I'm no expert (who is?!), but I know which end to put food in (and know very well which end it comes out again). But some things about being a parent really took my surprise, largely because I watch far too much television - and it ain't nothing like you see in the movies! So here are 10 things that have surprised me about being a parent:

1: They'll let any idiot do it

Seriously. I can't believe that you're just allowed to create a human being with no real interjection whatsoever. There should at least be a test or something, right? I wouldn't let me have children if I were in charge, never mind some of the other mouth breathers out there procreating as we speak.

2: Giving birth is nothing like you see in the movies

Don't worry, I'm not going to go into the details (for everybody's benefit, not least my wife's), but suffice to say that giving birth is not a case of: 1) Your waters break; 2) You are desperately rushed to hospital before you have to pop it out in the car park; 3) "Breathe! Breathe! Breathe! Now push! Wow, it's a boy!". It's funny, because when I was younger I knew the concept of "waters breaking", but because of the way that TV and film is, I never really got that it was a potentially messy affair. I think the Friends episode where Phoebe gives birth was the first time it really clicked. We went to test a new car on our due date, and I made Jen sit on a bin bag the whole time. You break it cover it in mucus, you've bought it!

It was a very different experience than I expected, I have to say. I was woken up at a very reasonable time in the morning by Jen who had started having contractions a few hours earlier, but had let me sleep in so that I was in a position to help out later. We then spent 12 hours watching Criminal Minds on Netflix, intermittently pausing for a few minutes when Jen was having trouble paying attention. We finally went to hospital in the late evening, and it was a lot longer before Lottie was actually born. You want to talk about an ultra... There's no way I can ever pussy out of a piddly little run ever again; "Oh boo hoo. Your knee hurts? I pushed a human being out of me for 28 hours - man the fuck up!"

It's also a lot messier than I originally would have expected (although I was well prepared for this fact by the time of the actual event). It helps to have somebody willing to give you the warts and all description of what to expect, and our friends are nothing if not disturbingly honest.

Plus Aliens is my favourite film.

Saturday 19 July 2014

Ultra Raffle Results

Thank you so much to everybody that entered into the UltraRaffle. Thanks to your fantastic donations, we have raised £788.25 for the Epilepsy Society. The draw was conducted at my birthday barbecue, in between stuffing our faces with burgers and eating lava hot marshmallow s'mores (#paleo). Good times!

So without further ado, here are the results. I will contact winners directly over the next few days to arrange getting your prizes to you. Congratulations to everybody that won, and thank you again to everybody that entered:

Julie Freeman - Ultimate Direction SJ Ultra vest signed by Scott Jurek
Gary Dalton - Signed running gear from Mike Wardian
David Barker - Signed Mountain Hardwear race vest from Ellie Greenwood
Jacqui Byrne - Signed vest and swag from Mike Morton
Nicky Wall - Signed Inov8 X-Talon 212 trail shoes and 1 month free coaching with Robbie Britton
Steve Monaghan - Julbo sunglasses
Spencer Lane and Paul Ali - Signed copy of Relentless Forward Motion from Bryon Powell
Louise Ayling and Gary Dalton - Signed copy of Running and Stuff from James Adams
Stuart Bennet and Nick Thompson - Signed copy of Everything Will Work Out In The Long Run by Dave Urwin
Andrew Jordan, James Adams and Matt Poulson - Copy of the next edition of Like The Wind
Stuart Bennet - Entry to the South Downs Way 50 or North Downs Way 50
Ira Rainey and Matt Bevan - Entry to the Stort 30
Emily Schmidt - Entry to the Inov8 Plague 100 Km Roseland August Trail series race
Amanda Crozier - Entry to the Likeys Brecon Beacons Ultra
Steve Monaghan - Ultrarunning half day with Andy Mouncey
Julie Freeman - 1 hour heat chamber session at Kingston University
Andrew Cummings and Matt Poulson - Signed copy of Fat Man To Green Man: From Unifit to Ultramarathon by Ira Rainey
Gary Dalton - Hour long sports portrait photography session with Stuart March