Welcome back to the second part of my exciting journey towards training for an Ironman while embracing the incredible experience of becoming a new father. In this blog post, we'll dive into the memorable moments of the birth and the first two weeks of parenthood. It's been a whirlwind of emotions, sleepless nights, and the realisation that balancing it all will require careful planning and flexibility.
The Birth and Early Days:
From Monday to Thursday, we found ourselves in the hospital, eagerly anticipating the arrival of our little one. Thankfully, both Mum and Baby emerged from a relatively straightforward birth in good health. Witnessing the strength and resilience of my partner, Sophie, throughout pregnancy and labor has been truly awe-inspiring.
As a new father, my primary focus has been on cherishing every precious moment with our newborn and supporting Sophie's recovery. The love and bond that instantly formed between us and our baby are indescribable. I'm constantly amazed by the profound journey of parenthood.
Training during the First Week:
During the first week, training understandably took a back seat. Being in the hospital and then transitioning to the chaos of home, any new parent can attest to the mental whirlwind that ensues. However, amidst the chaos, I managed a memorable feat—I ran back from the hospital to retrieve the car for our journey home. Picture Bambi on ice, stumbling and even falling over in the middle of the street. It was quite the sight!
Once the wee man reached one week old, I gradually resumed some exercise. I made it a priority to fit in short runs, mindful of the potential risk of long-term running hiatus. The exercise was invigorating, but I have to admit, I felt like a wreck while doing it. My heart rate soared, and my trusty Garmin had the audacity to inform me that my "performance condition" was -6, complete with a discouraging double down arrow. Seriously, Garmin, give a break! A load of expletives later and that feature was turned off and can stay off - it’s nonsense anyway.
Sleep Deprivation and Recovery:
Ah, the sleep deprivation—the very real struggle that all new parents face. As I write this, having barely managed 2.5 hours of sleep last night, the lines between wakefulness and dreaming are blurred. It's a constant challenge to balance recovery with the demands of training. Even a simple weights session with Rory peacefully sleeping in the pushchair next to me left me feeling the effects for days. I've been hobbling around like the Tin Man, desperately in need of oil. There was also the time I hit the wall of tiredness and I was convinced I was being interviewed by Jake Humphreys for BT Sport pitch side at a Champions League game about nappies!
As I reflect on the first couple of weeks, I've realised that recovery will be my greatest challenge. With such little sleep, it'll be crucial to approach training with caution. My loose aim is to start a structured plan from next week. By doing so, we can coordinate our family's schedule and find windows of opportunity for me to train without disrupting our daily routines.
Confidence and Expectations:
My confidence regarding achieving my physical goals while being the father I aspire to be has fluctuated wildly during these initial weeks. At the moment, I lean towards the less confident side, but I'm eager to see how I navigate a proper training block. Life as a new father is an adventure filled with uncertainties, but I'm determined to give it a good crack!
As I conclude this blog post, I'm humbled by the simultaneous challenges and joys of training for an Ironman ( and the training hasn’t even started) and embracing fatherhood. The birth and early weeks have been a rollercoaster ride of emotions, sleepless nights, but mainly precious moments and I am absolutely loving it.
You can see what I get up to on Stava https://www.strava.com/athletes/3115213 and hopefully by the time of writing the next blog I have some stuff to actually go into from a training perspective.