Parenthood – It’s a marathon not a sprint

November 4, 2011

As I battled the winds and rain along with 24,000 other brave and crazy souls in the Great South Run at the weekend I started thinking how running a long distance race is just like parenthood. Although with less nappies. Actually it’s not really like parenthood at all but there are a few similarities so bear with me.

1. At the start you won’t believe you can do it. You can.

2. Sometimes when everything is getting really hard and you feel like giving up, you go round the corner and realise you still have a hill to climb.

3. Sometimes when everything is getting really hard and you feel like giving up, someone will give you a pat on the back and a word of encouragement and it will help you to keep going.

4. Something will make you smile when you least expect it. Someone dressed as a runner bean or giant pumpkin, or a spectator wearing an I hate running t-shirt.

My daughter took this pic – hears to the giant pumpkins you cheered me up!

5. Don’t worry what everyone else is doing: go at your own pace and ignore what everyone else is doing. It doesn’t mater if you’re the fastest runner, as long as you do your best.

6. Your supporters may not always be there when you look for them but you can do it on your own.

7. It helps to have someone beside you going at the same pace.

8. The old old saying “it’s a marathon not a sprint” is true. Go too fast and you will wear yourself out. A slow steady pace is always best.

9. Don’t think of the whole race – take it as bite size chunks – one minute at a time.

10. You need to give yourself regular treats to perk you up. Jellybeans at 9 miles kept me going for that sprint finish (When I say sprint finish please read as slow crawl on hands and knees).

No I’m not the one in the funny hat!

Finally you get a medal. Well you don’t get a medal as a parent – but you do get big sloppy toddler kisses – mother’s day cards and the occasional, wonderful “I love you mummy’. Ok a medal is better. I want a medal.

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