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In the trenches with a new running dad

My life changed dramatically in May when I became a dad and a new, small family member entered my house in the arms of my wife.

This is an update from a new running dad on how I’m surviving and still managing to lace up amongst the pampers, bottles and burping. Hopefully those who have already experienced this will laugh and rub old parenting wounds. Those preparing can ready to keep running.

When it all started.
When it all started.

Baby-filled training
• Baby dictates when I can run
• Sleep does not always come in one chunk or when I want it
• I dream of naps
• I stretch, hydrate or run when there is an open window of time
• Most of my clothes smell like formula
• Mom and baby come before me and my running
• I think I appreciate running more now

Diaper-proof running

The first week included no running. Now in the eighth week, I’m slowly adjusting to working in runs while not home so this new daddy can be totally committed to dad duties at home.

This means arriving at work early and coordinating a longer lunch-hour and running. I also run home from work but morning runs are out as I stay at home as long as I can to help with mom and baby.

I am running but now struggling to find time for stretching, hydrating and other things as often – when I arrive home I am pinned to the couch, bottle in hand, or scurrying around to keep the house in order. Things have changed but I am adapting. I am finding that, all of a sudden, I have to think about the best use of my time and prioritize.

Life is not running but running enriches my life.

When I interviewed US Olympian Alan Culpepper for advice he told me “Congrats again on the new little one. All my most significant achievements in running came after I became a father. The joy of fatherhood lifted the weight and burden of wanting to achieve my best and reminded me of the simple satisfaction that comes through just getting out and running. My one piece of advice is to nurture your sleep patterns and make certain you are getting enough rest.”

Life and running bring ups and downs. Roll with them and keep running.

You can also catch me on Twitter @NoelPaine or on my personal blog.