During the course of writing this blog I have published many a post, reviewing what has gone on in our lives. I enjoy doing this as it helps file it all away in my mind, in a organised and structured manner. It is also building up a portfolio of memories for the children, which, was the whole point of starting Lynsey The Mother Duck in the first place.
As it is my last day of being the grand old age of 32, it would be a good opportunity to review my 32nd year within this big old world. But I do not want to do that today. I want, instead, to look forward. I think it is a big step for me. In the past I could be blamed for burying my head in the sand about the future. It was too scary a thing to have to think about. I did not want to think about what I needed to achieve, especially as I did not know if I would be able to do it.
What has brought about this change? Well I do not have to face the future on my own anymore, I have a strong and rather optimistic husband to hold my hand through the maze of life. I have also brought two children into the world who I can see are both achieving huge things everyday, without the bat of an eyelid. Also I think in your 30's you are more inclined to accept that you are not invincible and that if you have a family relying on you, contingency plans must be in place, as much as you do not want to spend too much time maudling over the 'What If's'.
Along with the given things that I would like the next year to hold; health and happiness for all of my family and friends; not needing to move again; rekindling some old friendships that I miss dearly and maintaining the ones I am lucky enough to have; continuing to write this blog and work on my book... there is one big thing I would like to achieve next year. I would like to run the Virgin London Marathon.
I have participated in and completed the London Marathon before, in 2006. It requires a lot of time and effort to train; undertake practise races; stay injury free; raise the sponsorship money. I managed to achieve all of these things, but always maintained that if I did ever get the opportunity to do it again I would know all the things I needed to do better.
For example, my training could have been more varied (fear of going out of comfort zone). I should have participated in more races, particularly Half Marathons. I should have researched energy foods and drinks more thoroughly for a race of such duration. I should have worked out the most awesome playlist to also help me through the tougher stages of the race. The thing I believe that really would have helped me massively however, that I did nothing with, was 'Mental Stamina' training.
Whilst I was training in 2005 / 2006 a programme was being televised, presented by Sally Gunnell and Steve Cram, called Run For Glory. This program followed the two Olympic athletes mentoring a group of more 'unlikely' candidates to run the Marathon. It followed the trials and tribulations of preparing for the Marathon and tracked their progress (or in some cases lack of it). As well as helping with training schedules and motivation, the programme investigated other areas that I had not contemplated before.
One of these was the fact that, throughout a Marathon (and I would say here, this also applies to labour!) there are going to be some points at which your mind says 'That's it, I can not do this anymore I am also tired and bored'. Therefore your mind needs to be 'trained' as well as your body. I liked this idea, but it meant more work so, ignored it. How foolish I felt when I hit the wall and found out exactly what they meant. I needed my mind to be strong enough to get my body through it.
Obviously I did manage to finish - just - and it was not without tears and the fact that my phone had no signal, and I had no idea where I was so couldn't do anything but follow the route to the end! Therefore I swore if I ever did the 26.2 Challenge again, in order to enjoy it more I would live, learn and train smarter.
The way the programme approached building up mental stamina was to prove you could achieve things you would never think possible. They took the participates and encouraged them to undertake activities that normally they would have baulked at, or never thought of trying, or just generally would have said they would never have been able to do. They wanted to prove, that despite your mind / fear telling you that you can not do something, you can achieve it. The more practise you can get, the easier it will be at that tired and low point in the Marathon, to think, actually I can overcome things I think I can not.
So, on the eve of my 33rd birthday, I add this to my aims for the year - 'I will aim to face the fear'. I will try and undertake activities that I would normally hold back from doing in order to improve my (potential) Marathon experience. One thing I can think of, as a starting point for this is 'The High Ropes Experience' when we go on holiday. When we saw this last year I think the words 'You will never get me on THAT.' left my mouth. So what better place to begin. I know my Husband really wants to do it. For me being absolutely terrified of static heights (I am fine with flying) this really will be a test.
Wish me luck readers!