Are you wondering what life is like after you have had a baby? And how on earth you manage to get back into exercising? Well then, keep reading Kate Slegrova’s New Mum on a Bike diary.
I was fortunate to give birth to my little princess, Mari, the natural way, as planned. The first two weeks most babies just sleep and drink milk. You think: “Awesome! I have an easy baby!” So I had my first training session, on a Wattbike in Concept Studio while baba slept in the pram, 10 days after she was born. But I felt less than half as fit as I’d felt when I was 9 months pregnant! So yes; giving birth, breast feeding and not sleeping takes it out of you!
After two weeks the babymoon was over though! She started crying and screaming, and I was just not sure why. I got tired and grumpy with my husband. I went riding when baba was two weeks old for 45 minutes and ended up soothing and breast feeding her while still in my cycling kit… even though I had fed her just before I left home. Somehow she worked out that Mum is out of the house…
After two months the crying got less as I worked out what she wanted and I was brave enough to go visit my family in Czech Republic. I thought I’m going to do lots of riding while grandma bonded with her granddaughter… well I did 90 minutes max, on most days. It’s just not easy to get away.
When Mari was 3 months old I was due back at work. I have a nanny – a lady that has been working for us for a while and Mari seemed fine with her. But suddenly, as if she realized more who is Mummy and who isn’t, she only wants her mum. She smiles all the time, when she is with her mum, but when I turn around the smile changes into a box face which quickly becomes a cry.
So I take her everywhere with me. (Luckily my job allows me to work flexible hours, but it is still a challenge.) Well, except for on the bike of course. I have been able to ride for 90 minutes at a time. Yes it’s not long. But when I get the chance I try to ride at close to race pace, and I really enjoy the scenery, so I usually head up to Deer Park or up Signal Hill to get a quick hill training session in and catch up on the beautiful Cape Town scenery. There’s no time to do long slow distances! Only quality, short, sharp sessions!
I wanted to do one of my favourite single day MTB races, Die Burger MTB Challenge, early in August but had to cancel as she still really needs me all the time. It’s a pity as I wanted to test the effectiveness of the Concept Studio high altitude training sessions. Hopefully by the time you read this you will have seen me on the start line of a MTB race…
Having a baby is not for the faint-hearted, but it’s very rewarding! Races and bikes will always be here.
And surely Mari and me will be riding bikes together soon.