Janathon day seven: back to basics

Today was a bit action-packed, well as action-packed as we get at the moment. We managed to make it nearly on time for the mother and baby thing that we go to (by nearly on time, I mean that it was nearer to the start time than it was to the end time…), scooted home, walked up to the doctors’ surgery, had jabs done, came home for food and cuddles, went to Tesco (Mini-Ginge travelling in his sling, more to satisfy my need for trauma-related cuddles than anything), came home, had more food and cuddles and at 7.30ish, I hared out of the door to go to my first proper yoga class for nearly six months.


It was lovely to get back to yoga, if only because it is a tiny sliver of normality for me. I’ve learnt that when you stop doing your normal activities that define you (for me that includes work, knitting, running, sitting around the house with no greater plan than sitting) and take on one defining role (mum) it can be a bit, well, overwhelming. So getting back on the mat felt like an important step. I’m not sure what it’s a step towards, but it’s a step.

As it was the first class back and the opening session of a new course, our teacher took us back to basics and invited us to go into it with “a beginner’s mind”. She advised us that we should have no expectations about our bodies and their capabilities, and that having expectations often led to frustrations when things don’t go according to plan. It was as if she had written the introduction with me in mind. I keep comparing my relatively fit, strong, healthy pre-baby body with what I have now. If I look at it from my usual perspective, it’s not as good as it used to be. If I look at it with the eyes that my teacher wanted, I still have a relatively fit, strong, healthy body, I just have to rediscover what it can do if I ask it.

Physio exercises 6/7

Janathon day three: canal yomping

Call me old-fashioned, but I prefer walking along water (along, not on, I’ve not got that much of a complex) than say, a dual-carriageway. I had toyed with a new route, but twitter advised me that the area was on flood alert, so I decided to have a yomp on the canal where the tidal risk is somewhat lower.

With the Met Office threatening heavy rain all day, I realised that I’d have to time this well to avoid looking like a really irresponsible parent. It wouldn’t be so bad if I had been taking Mini-Ginge in his pushchair, but I had a feeling that the towpath might be a bit too puddled and I had opted for putting him in his sling. If there was a downpour, I would have a very soggy baby…

We opted for my usual stretch with the intention of just doing half an hour. However, the sun kept shining, the sky was blue and himself was sound asleep, so we kept on going and ended up doing 50 minutes. Now, I must be suffering from Garmin deprivation because I found myself thinking “I could just round it up, just five minutes extra on the end and then turn back round…”. As I started to set off on my just five minutes extra, the sky darkened and I made it back to the car just in time…

Oh, and I did my physio exercises as well. They are still hard.

Physio 3/3

Janathon day one: Plan? What plan?

My plan for Janathon was that Mini-Ginge and I would get out for a daily walk. Our good intentions didn’t even last the first day. The weather was terrible, himself was being a hungry boy and we both agreed that it was a much better idea to stay in and have a brew with his gran.

Hels had set a Janathon challenge of doing a pyjama plank and whilst I happily volunteered to do the PJ wearing, I’m still banned from some abdominal exercises so I can’t plank (because I would have been planking daily if I was allowed. Honest.). The ban (along with high impact exercise) was imposed by the lovely physio that I’m seeing regarding the after effects of Mini-Ginge’s arrival. With all of Dr Big Hands’ messing around, my pelvic floor is not quite as well laid as it was previously. The result of this is that I’m now a very loud cheerleader for pelvic floor exercises and was referred to a post-natal exercise group for core stability.

The first group was a few weeks ago and I have been practising my exercises religiously since then. Oh hang on, I haven’t actually done them since the last session. Ooops. So day one of Janathon has been a set of my physio exercises just so I can hold my head slightly higher when I go to the class tomorrow.

The exercises are very familiar to me as there’s some overlap with yoga and some overlap with the physio I did for my ITB a couple of years ago, I just need to actually do them to make them work…

Oh, and just to keep Hels happy, I donned my foxy pyjamas specially for the occasion.


Janathon day twenty-six: piers


My Janathon has relocated to the coast. Leaving behind the M6 snow chaos, we’re in Blackpool for our annual rugby dinner.


Tonight will be posh frock, shiny shoes and waiting for that moment where I utter the inevitable words “oh alright, just a little one…” and everything goes a bit wobbly. I’ll not bore you with the details of the night, if you want to know more, look back at the last weekends of the previous two janathons. The format of the night has been the same for over a decade and if it changes drastically tonight then I’ll bare my bum in the tower ballroom.

Despite indulging in both 90 minute happy hours and spending all my money on raffle tickets trying to win a giant stuffed Pingu, I was startlingly perky at 8 this morning. Ginge, bless him, didn’t smother me with a pillow when I announced we were off out and we braved the strange stares of other weekenders to hit the slushy, slippy pavements.

First up was North Pier.


Past the Tower and the big seedy leafy sculptures that wobble in the breeze.



And then down beneath Central Pier

And onward to South Pier…


…and the Big One.


Before having a listen to the Blackpool High Tide Organ.


And then slip sliding all the way back, too late for breakfast but with the smugness of an early 6 miles.

Janathon day three: asleep

Last night I asked twitter if I should run in the dark in the morning, or run in the dark in the evening. Turns out that I needn’t have bothered asking anyone because at half five this morning, I was physically incapable of opening my eyes let alone getting out of bed, getting dressed and getting out for a run.

After work, I had a cracking headache and it was one of those “if it wasn’t for Janathon, I would be at home on the couch with a brew” moments. I split the difference between a token one mile and a respectable three miles, notching up an acceptable two at a pace that I was quite happy with (I am chosing to ignore that the first half was downhill). It wasn’t an exciting run by anyone’s standards.

When I was home, I asked twitter if it was acceptable to blog about knitting during Janathon (I have days where I am incapable of making decisions without the aid of twitter – you people have no idea how much power you wield over me, do not abuse it). The answer was a resounding YES. Part of the reason that I asked is that I’ve been mulling over the idea of having two separate blogs for running and knitting, but fear that I would end up with two blogs that I neglect equally. And while there is such a vast overlap in the venn diagram of knitters and runners, I think I can get away with the odd woolly post.

The question that I struggle with the most is “what are you knitting at the moment?”. It should be simple. I should answer “sock” (well it’s been true for the last two years). I was asked the question last week and my answer was something like “well, I’m merging two patterns, one for a little woolly Woody Allen and one for a little woolly Holly Golightly and am turning them into a little woolly roller skating hot pant wearing granny with her arm in plaster”.

Roller derby granny

Roller derby granny

I am very proud of her bun

I am very proud of her bun

I should have said sock.

The basic pattern is for a Knit New Yorker from Lauren O’Farrell’s (aka @deadlyknitshade) latest amazing book Stitch New York. It is just as wonderful as Stitch London and I was very pleased to find it under the Christmas tree!

It was a good haul under the tree

It was a good haul under the tree