Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Lady in White

Running is starting to take over more of my time on the weekend than the bike, and with Z-Girl loving getting out in the pram and seeing the world zip past, it certainly makes winter training easier. Hopefully getting out on frosty mornings means I will appreciate the summer days when they arrive.

But not this morning! It was a pretty standard night from the little girl, a couple of up and down moments. We didn't quite resort to watching Fox Sports News at 4am but we got pretty close, in the end bringing her into the 'Big Bed' for a cuddle, which generally results in me being kicked in the ribs for the next 4 hours until I wake up!

We were celebrating hills at parkrun this week, starting and finishing at the top of the course's big hill. It was a good change of scenery and the walk to get to the top of the start point certainly helped with the pre-run warm-up. Z-Girl didn't like the hill start, in fact Z wasn't interested in this morning's run at all. We had a little grizzle as we got to the start line and few more grumbles as we got going, and I just had this feeling in my gut we weren't going to be calling this one "quality time."

We started jogging alongside my running mate for the morning Matty, keeping a steady pace in preparation for the next day's 10km run, however it was becoming apparent that Z-Girl was having a rough time. I tried popping the pram's hood over as the sun might have been pestering her eyes, nope! Multiple attempts at replacing her dummy while jogging just resulted in her spitting it out over and over again.

Waving Matty on I pulled over to the side, no PB today but sometimes that's the variables that can come up when running with a kid. In fact these are the variables that can come up in life when you have a kid! The plan rarely works 100% of the time, but when it seems a little crazy you just have to give it a check.
Is she fed, check.
Is she comfy, check.
Is she too cold or too warm. Nope, check.
Is there a smell. Nope, check.

The last check is always a relief when out running, as nothing is less enjoyable than a path-side poopy pitstop!

I worked out that Z-Girl was just after a little cuddle, maybe a little tired, and had no interest in seeing the world zip past like most mornings. I had runner after runner from the club ask if everything's okay - with Race Director Rohan even offering to push the pram if I wanted to walk her the rest of the way. That's what you get in a family friendly running community! We all get it, we get the good days when the legs feel like steel and the PB is on, and we can empathize on the tough ones when the legs just aren't going to roll or your the kid decides to throw a wobbly.

Z-Girl has to go back in the pram, tears or no tears, and we had to catch-up to Mum who passed us with some words of encouragement. The tears started flowing again, and I upped the pace as the crying got a little more consistent. There was no sneaking up on anyone now as we could be heard quite clearly over the rolling wheels of the pram and the sound of runners pounding the pavement.

If she was going to grizzle, we were going to keep moving and get to the finish line ASAP! So I plowed on over the first hill and then downwards to towards the last, my legs staying true and all the while telling Z-Girl how much fun we were having, although I don't think she felt the same way.

Passing a few more club runners, I got the empathetic chuckle and lines of "Just not your morning, Dad" for which a shrug of the shoulders could be the only real reply.

I always try to give non-club park users a nice wide berth, and coming up behind a pair of morning walkers I veered to the right hand side of the path. It seemed the ladies had heard us coming and turned to see me jogging along. I smiled as I made my way past them, however when I got about ten meters in front I heard it....

"You think, you'd stop to take care of your child first wouldn't you" lady in white sniggered to her walking partner.

My ears heard it and my brain processed that line pretty quickly, so quickly in fact that I stopped in my tracks just long enough to turn and look at where the comment came from. It sure as hell wasn't the kangaroos that frequent the park. The line didn't warrant a response, although part of me wishes I had given her a piece of my mind!  I gave her a look of "I heard you," and that was enough to have her fumbling her words - "sorry, I was .." I didn't wait for the response I just let my feet do the talking and got them moving again.

I don't see my daughter all that much during the week. From my morning cuddle and nappy change to potentially being home in time for bath time and a feed I spend an hour with her each day. ONE HOUR, five hours over five days ain't much and is only improved if Super Wife brings her into the city for lunch so I can get an extra hour with her once a week.

Taking my little princess out for our Saturday morning run is a special time of my week as it's generally the longest amount of time we have together as a duo. Those moments are sometimes fantastic, giggle-filled rays of sunlight and other times they are grizzly moments of me trying to remind her the world ain't so big and scary.

I would never let Z-Girl be without anything she needs and that includes my comfort or attention. That small little statement was ill-placed, uninformed and in poor taste.

Kids grow up with different rules, different cultures and carers who have different thoughts on how we get from point A to B in life. In the most part society can function with all of these different ideas and still produce a variety of well mannered adults. So when I think my kid is going to be okay for the next 2kms so long as I run at a good pace, then I'm making the parental call that everything is A-OK!

We reached the top of that hill and the next, I gritted my teeth and she grizzled. As we started to climb the big hill towards the finish line I was pushing so hard that I hadn't noticed that the grizzles had subsided. Once we made our way over the line I checked on my little girl and sure enough the eyes were closed and she had drifted off  to sleep, maybe dreaming of gliding wheels and daddy pushing her up hills. Or maybe the excitement of being pushed around for 30 minutes was just all too much.

No comments:

Post a Comment