Track star: the next generation

October 18, 2006

Liz’s due date is October 29th. Time to start preparing for fatherhood, maybe?

Actually, I haven’t been completely irresponsible thus far…. I joined Liz at a one-day childbirth preparation class offered by our hospital, which was quite helpful. We then did the optional homework assignment of making a birth plan, which I had never heard of before. Basically, you write out your expectations for how the birthing process should go: whether to let labor begin spontaneously if possible, whether the mother wants to have an epidural, whether the father intends to pass out in the delivery room…. One of the other often-specified items is whether the father wants to cut the umbilical cord, which strikes me as a bizarre option. Is this something favored by corporate dads who enjoy cutting ribbons at grand openings of stores? I suppose the birth is an “opening” of sorts, but I see it as a medical event best handled by trained professionals, not a photo op for some scissors-wielding interloper.

I’ve also been doing a lot of thinking as to how to keep fatherhood from interfering with my training my training from interfering with fatherhood. My plan is to start commuting on foot more frequently, as opposed to my current practice of commuting by bicycle. On my easy days, I can run one way (6.5 miles) and bike the other way; on my harder days, I can run both ways. If this works out, I can stay in decent shape and avoid the baby jogger without spending too much extra time away from home.


  1. In my experience fatherhood makes running doubles much tougher, but other than that I think it's actually helped me by forcing me to adhere to more of a schedule. If I don't run early I can't run, period. Trying to sneak out for a quick 5 after being gone at work all day while my wife is at her wits end with two kids doesn't go over well at all.Oh, and I'd skip cutting the cord if I were you. They handed me the scissors, then the doc leaned too far over towards me with our second-born and snapped the cord! Holy Texas Chainsaw Massacre!

  2. Avoiding to indulge in fatherhood/training/husbandry optimization strategies (just one concept: be flexible) which I have done before, the issue of interest here is: the umbilical chord. Rather than thinking of it as a photo-op, or in Hollywood splatter terms, could it be the first whopper-symbolically act of bonding between father and offspring? Ceremonies do play a role in everyday life, and personal ones could possibly become more valuable than a lot of banale collective moments. As long as the medical staff doesn't transform it into ER vaudeville. Just a thought… Another is storing ones offspring's umbilical cords for possible staminal cell therapies… still a tad futuristic… i need to research more… Becoming a dad is a very beautiful aspect of life … 🙂

  3. There might be opportunities for speed work around the house.As to cord cutting, perhaps circumcision, if planned, would be more meaningful. With a house and family, you'll no doubt become more of a do-it-yourselfer, but that may be too ambitious as a beginning project.

  4. You can certainly try to avoid the baby jogger, but you will have to suck it up sometimes and use it. It might even be a babe magnet, especially around Green Lake. I hear that babies are even better than dogs in attracting the ladies….

  5. Greg I hope all is well. I haven't gotten a chance to congratulate you on your marathon. Another elite performance! The easiest solution for running sub222 for you would be to find a course about 500m short. For me, 5000m short would still not be enough. I hope to hear about the newest Crowther soon.

  6. Mazel tov!I imagine that once the bundle-of-joy appears, you won't be worrying about running a lot (at least for a little while). One running related suggestion I can make: I found that when our first kid started going to daycare, I started catching colds and that it really interfered with my effort to log uninterrupted weeks of serious training. So if you want to plan for a serious training period (to break 2:22 or whatever) perhaps either (1) you should do it before the kid starts bring home his playmate's germs, or (2) arrange to have your kid taken care of at home when you are training hard.Just my two cents,Balto

  7. You can always have yet another interloper in the delivery room at the ready to cut the cord. Your friend, Mary Hanna, cut the cords of my first two kids – while their father stood by. Perhaps there is room in her schedule on Oct 29?

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