Training Log: 5th - 19th Feb (the birth edition)

Contains long explanation of the arrival of young Monty Bland. It's not graphic but it is potentially very boring if you're not bothered.

Monday 5th: Me - Easy 30 // Mr B - Physio Exercises  (not done)
Starting off my final week at work and looking forward to being able to potter around and go swimming in the next couple of weeks <edit: well, that worked out well>
Mr B's back spasmed as he was shaking out the car mats and is stiff and dodgy. He's having to stand at work.

Me - 3.20mi, 28:20, 8:51/mi, 151bpm

Tuesday 6th: Me - Should have been track, but Mr B not going so did 5miles easy // Mr B - rest
So, this was the evening when things changed plan a little. I had planned on going to track (900s), infact I nearly went without Mr B as I didn't want to miss another one. However, it was really cold out and I couldn't face getting back late. So, I went out for a potter on my own, which was pretty slow. When I got back my hands were so cold that when I got in the shower, the warm water made them hurt so much I felt nauseous. Well, that's what I thought had cause it.... now I wonder.

At 11.30pm that evening my waters broke. So, on instruction of the Midwife at the birthing centre, we went into the Royal Free Hospital to get everything checked out. It was snowing a little on the way. They monitored the baby's heart rate for 30mins and checked me over and all was fine, so we were sent home to wait for contractions to start with the instruction that if nothing had happened by 5pm the next day we had to go back for them to put me on an antibiotic drop, because there's a risk of infection once your waters have broken.

5.01mi, 46:05, 9:12/mi, 161bpm

Weds 7th - various activities // Mr B - looking after me

So apparently walking, bouncing on gym-balls and climbing up and down stairs is a good way to get things going contraction-wise. I did a lot of those things, including a 2hr walk. We also napped,  watched West Wing and ate a lot (hello, Greggs sausage roll and then Ice cream, peanut butter and jelly) - there was knowing when the next meal might be and I was essentially carb loading for labour. It was a thoroughly lovely day, but despite the occasional twinge, nothing was happening. So, at 5pm we arrived at the Royal Free Hospital, Hampstead. A cannula was inserted into my wrist and the 3 hourly antibiotics drips began, whilst also receiving the first of my hospital meals, a ready meal roast chicken dinner.


We were put in a noisy shared ward, but knowing that labour tends to be speedier and better the more relaxed you are, we went out to the quietest area we could find to chill out - the stair well! The Midwife had also said that I should carry on moving and climbing stairs etc so we spent as much of the evening as we could doing that. We saw lots of the staff coming and going up those stairs that evening and would see them again elsewhere the next day!

Thurs 8th - more waiting... and some action
After a relatively restless night in the shared ward with middle of the night antibiotic top-ups, I was woken at 5am to have the first stage of induced labour. I won't give you the full details, be suffice to say it's certainly wakes you up! Tea and hospital cereal followed and we waited some more while Steve nipped home to change and get a shower (for some reason partners aren't allowed to use the showers even though none of the women on the ward were really interested in using it!). By lunchtime I was getting pretty bored and we were waiting for the doctor to come and have a go re-trying that morning's process. I decided I needed to leave those four walls and would wander down to the newsagents on the ground floor. I'd just left the unit when Steve called me back to say they'd decided to send us through to the labour ward to go to the next step - a hormone drip. Ah, fun times! So... a hurried throwing of all our stuff into bags and through we went to the hallowed corridors of the labour ward. It's so funny - it's like there's these double doors that everyone desires to go through because then a) you get free parking (not to be sniffed at) and b) things get moving (even though you sort of dread it!). 

So, I started the Cardio Workout on my watch and off we went... it was time. I'd decided ages ago that I wanted to use myself as an experiment and track my HR for labour as I thought it would be fascinating. This workout was fuelled by 9bars and SciMX protein bars. Not kidding.

For those who care, the hormone drip basically forces contractions to start and makes them happen faster and harder than naturally, without the wave-type ramp up and down . Over the next few hours they turned up the amount to keep things progressing. The upside is that someon is in control, the down-side of this is that it's much more intense than natural labour. From 1-3 things were pretty chilled, I read, we chatted, we even listened to the Marathon Talk podcast on speaker (wonder what the midwife thought!). Then things got pretty hefty pretty quick. I'd thought my pain threshold would be good and indeed it was in the early stages - they were surprised how little I felt the contractions -but when it kicked in my marathon bran was no use. The problem is, you have no way of knowing how far the finish line is! A TENS machine and Gas and Air got be through for a while before it was time to 'tap out' and get an epidural. This is where they put a needle in your back and inject anaesthetic so that you're numb from the waist down. Aaaaaah sweet relief! From then on it was all pretty rosey, bar a bit of nausea from the drugs. I was hoping for an active labour with walking and chilling out and birth pools but this process and anaesthetic means you have to be lying down and constantly monitored. It isn't the perfect way to give birth but I wasn't about to refuse it at this point just because I had a way that *I* had hoped it would go.

There was a short period where I heard them mutter something about a Caesarean because Monty's heartrate was dropping at the same time as a contractions, but then we worked out that this only happened when I was lying in one particular way. So, at midnight they said I was pretty much ready to go and we should sleep for a couple of hours before it was time to push. 

Friday 9th - Monty arrives
At 1.30 the midwife informed me that she was going to start being a combination of "nice and really annoying and demanding" because it was time to get this done. With some great cheer-leading from Mr B, Monty Edmund Bland arrived at 2:20am, 6lb 10 oz and nearly three weeks early, without even letting me get so much as some maternity leave! Both sets of parents jetted down to see us later that day and I partook of mucho hospital food and snacks all day. MUNCHIES! 


Sat 10th - Released
What a beautiful morning. Tea and toast never tasted this good! After the all clear and passing his Paediatric tests with flying colours, we were released from hospital on Saturday morning.


Sun 11th - The cavalry arrives
Mum and Dad arrived, leaving mum to stay with us for the week. Hurrah!

Mon 12th - Me:a walk to the paper shop // Mr B: Easy run

A lovely cool crisp day, so to stop both of us going stir crazy Mr B went off on an easy run.
Stats:5.64mi, 41:45, 7:24/mi, 157bpm


Tues 13th - Me: A walk around ikea!   // Mr B : Track - 9x900s off 80s

It seems weird to go to Ikea I admit, but an indoor space with lots of sitting down opportunities and a cafe with cheap cake was perfect. I needed to move but I also needed to be able to stop.

Mr B's reps = 3: 17, 3:22, 3:23, 3:18,3:20, 3:19, 3:18, 3:17, 3 :14

Weds 15th - Me: A walk to the corner shop / MrB : Rest day

Thurs 16th - Mr B: 10WU, 10 minutes at Threshold, 10CD
Stats:4.09mi, 30:20, 7:25/mi, 164bpm

Fri 17th - Me:  5 mins core rehab // Mr B: Rest day
Taking it VERY easy and doing a few single leg slides and some pelvic tilts to start the road to recovery without putting myself under any pressure. 

Sat 18th - Me: 5mins core rehab // Mr B - Eton Dorney F3 Half Marathon
After initial thoughts that the half marathon might not be a go-er Mr B was feeling good and headed down to Dorney lake to see how it would go. I was very sad not to be able to go and cheer him on, but it was too cold and windy for a 1 week old and standing for a long time ain't good!

1:29:06 later and with me checking my phone every minute, he called in to say he'd not only run well, he'd smashed his pre-baby PB! YEY! And with some nice splits and a strong finish too (see below). After the hamstring, back and baby, this is great news. I'm so excited for London Marathon now.

Eton Dorney Half Marathon Chip time
Splits Avg Moving PaceAvg HRAvg Run Cadence

Sun 19th - Me: Light core rehab // Mr B: rest day.

Aaaaand relax. Now... what's normal???

Total Mileage for each week:
Me: 8.2 & 0
Mr B: 0 & 31.9