Wednesday 27 April 2016

The Adoption Marathon

Every morning on Chris Evans' on Radio 2 he has someone come in to give their two minute Pause for Thought.  Yesterday, the theme was a marathon, coming a couple of days after the London Marathon.

The speaker talked about how many aspects of life could also be seen as a marathon: teaching his daughter to ride her bike, his wife in labour, seeing his son through their teenage years.   Life with Missy is on my list.

I've trained for and completed four marathons so I speak from experience.  I was in awe of the runners on Sunday as we cheered them on down The Embankment, Missy shouting encouragement at the top of her voice, really enjoying herself.  Listening to the Pause for Thought also got me thinking how life with Missy is also a marathon for us.

Those long slow runs that need to be done each week, slowly increasing in mileage up to about 20 miles, are tough.  You run slow, much slower than race pace, in wind, snow, rain, sun.  Every plod gets you nearer to the start of the main race but every plod, for me, is flipping hard.  It hurts, it's draining, I have no energy left after several hours out there.   I'm feeling a bit like that now as Missy hurls yet another "you're not my proper mummy!" at me (reminds of Zoe & Kat in Eastenders).

When training for a marathon, the idea is to do two to three other runs during the week, each at a different pace.   One of these runs is called a tempo run, running faster at a pace you can keep up for 4-6 miles, faster than you would run a marathon. They are fairly comfortable runs (if you're feeling generally ok), but you are using up lactic acid as you get to a point where you can't sustain that pace.  I get to that point with Missy. We have a good run of positive behaviour (it may be days, but it may hours) but then something triggers Missy and, bam! off she goes and if I've used up all my energy then I find it harder to parent therapeutically.

Another type of training run which can help build speed in the legs is called a 'fartlek' (yes, really).  You run fast for, say, a minute or between two lamposts/roads whatever you want, then you slow it right down for a few minutes, then you go fast again.  Up and down, calm and angry, fast and slow, delightful and, well, not delightful.   It's hard to keep up, not knowing her next move.

Often we have days which are like a 'easy' run, sometimes known as a recovery run.  Easy, comfortable, not too far, slower than marathon pace.  Sometimes in Missyland we have several days together where it's easy, where we can get our breath back and recover.

Our whole life feels like we're in training but I'm not sure where the end is.  Sometimes we run uphill and sometimes we run downhill.  I do know that the experience of taking part in and the finish of a marathon is exhilarating and emotional and I'm glad I did all the training to get to the point.  I also know and am proud of the fact that I have never given up during a race, no matter how tough it is. I feel the same with Missy.


  1. I love your marathon analogy. I was agreeing with your descriptions throughout. The trouble is with the adoption marathon the finish line gets moved constantly so you never quite know how much further there is to go or how best to train. I suspect we're a bit like Forrest Gump. We'll run and run until one day we decide there are other things in life rather than running. These might just be a shift in focus rather than a giving up scenario. Katieland and Missyland seem to have very similar terrains. Happy to be a running buddy xxx

    1. Love to be a running buddy!! :-) This weekend we are having an easy(ish) run. xx

  2. Such a brilliant analogy for life in general too. A great read - thank you.

  3. Perhaps the day she runs a 'real' 26.2 with you is the end of this one? And the beginning of training for the next, of course ;-) xxx


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...