As another year draws to a close, I sit here, bursting out of my jeans, surrounded by leftovers after I made the mistake of not only assuming I’d have both my children for Christmas day (to assume is to make an ass ….. and so on and so on.. ) but also assuming that my Christmas day would be akin to the Waltons, all happy and harmonious, the kids opening their presents to squeals of delight, and shouts of “thanks mum, you’re the best”, arms thrown around my neck out of gratitude and love and then the kids spending a few hours laughing and playing together with said new purchases while mother-dearest (that’s me by the way!) gets happily merry (otherwise known as pissed) in the kitchen and lovingly cooks up a gastronomical delight of mouth-watering succulent turkey, perfectly cooked roast potatoes roasted in goose fat, a turkey gravy to die for, the obligatory Brussel sprouts made delicious with bacon and cream and all the pigs in blankets the kids could eat. Fast forward to 10am on Christmas Day morning and there was no rude awakening from an excitable 4 yr old “believer” and I had to force the 13-year-old “non-believer” out of bed at 10am with the promise of a bacon butty. By the time Christmas dinner had been cooked (sober I might add!!) and slapped onto serving plates the 13 year old had decided that the virtual world held within her shiny new laptop was far better conversation / entertainment / company than any kind of food that dared to take 3 hours to cook, that she took herself off up to her bedroom to stuff her face with junk food before skulking back down to the dinner table, only to proclaim she wasn’t hungry.
Anyhoo … back to the recap of the year and by Christ what a year it’s been! All that whinging from the very first blog I wrote back on the 27 March 2017 leading up to some of the most amazing experiences of my life .. the start of the Redway Runners Zero2Hero course and all the training that went into it that led up to some serious training runs, which included taking my trainers on holiday, running a 15 mile solo run and onto the organised events such as the MK Winter Half Marathon 2017 the London Vitality Half and the MK Festival of Running where I finally found the mental strength to get through a half without whinging and all of this …. just to run a marathon or 2. But not just any old marathon, oh no! for my first ever marathon I picked the London Marathon, or rather, it picked me! and then 2 weeks later in the searing heat I finally managed to run the awesomely amazing MK Marathon. I still maintain that absolutely nothing beats running on your home turf, although Racing a Train in Bury does come a pretty close 2nd! My year of running came to a close a couple of weeks ago with the final organised event in MK – the renowned MK Winter Half 2018.
But as is always the case during this strange void period between Christmas & New year where no one bats an eyelid at eating an entire tub of Cadburys Hero’s washed down with a bottle of Prosecco for breakfast and both lunch and dinner consists of leftovers which have been magically transformed into a picnic to entice the little darlings to eat cold turkey along with cold vegetables mashed together and given the really cool name of “bubble & squeak” (why?? – You could call it SIMS 4 or Ken and Barbie and they still wouldn’t eat their sodding veggies!)…. anyway I digress again! as is always the case during this time of year, we can look back and smile at our achievements, congratulate ourselves on a job well done and perhaps look at some of the things we may have learned this year. I for one, have learned 2 very valuable lessons.
Lesson One – Be Consistent
Consistency is key, everyone has consistently told me this since day dot and it’s a piece of advice I implore you to seriously take on board. I have highlighted some of the key evidence below:
- By remaining consistent with my wine intake, I am now in the enviable position to be able to go on a night out and drink anyone under the table up to, and including, either 8 glasses of wine, or 14 bottles of Budweiser, or 2/3 of a litre of Gin or 1/2 a litre of JD – it’s all in the training my friends.
- By remaining consistent in dishing up edible portion sizes akin to Jesus feeding his 12 disciples a 3 course meal every day for a year, I have managed to consistently pile on the pounds from May to date.
- By remaining consistent in my “no shouting at the dear darlings” approach, I now have 2 stubborn AF girls with no boundaries, very few manners and a Veruca Salt esk attitude.
- By remaining consistent in my training from May 2017 to April 2018 I managed to knock 3 mins off my 5k PB, 7 mins off my Half Marathon PB, Half Marathons became easier and I achieved my goal of running 2 marathons in 2 weeks
Lesson Two – Lycra Stretches (within reason)
I’ve always been under the illusion that Lycra stretches and I’d like to point out that yes, whilst it does genuinely stretch … sometimes there’s just not enough stretch, nevertheless, I wasn’t about to go out and buy new leggings for the end of year MK Winter Half, no siree, I was going to get those damn leggings to stretch just enough to hold me in but not so much that it went on a “free the blubber” mission by mile 4 and after 5 minutes of writhing, wriggling, swearing, puffing and panting – success! whilst the leggings made a valiant attempt at squeezing me all in, my 2nd and 3rd bellies dutifully positioned themselves above and below the waistband and I was now safe in the knowledge that these buggers wouldn’t fall down mid plod.
Unfortunately, the official race photo’s only showed the extra poundage I have gained and not the valiant struggle I had both putting them on and running in them and THAT is the reason my MK Marathon 2018 photo’s only show me from the waist up! #TradeSecret 😉
And so that is the year that came in like a lion and went out like a lamb wearing mint sauce perfume but with a supersized portion of gratitude and thanks to everyone who has been following my blog.
Thank you from the heart of my wobbly, cellulite infused bottom for all of your support and encouragement throughout the year. Each and every one of you, from the UK, to the US, Australia, Canada, South Africa and parts of Europe (with a special hello and thank you to the more recent followers from Hong Kong and China), each of you have helped me turn this blog into a little oasis for people new to running, you may just be reading it for some light entertainment, you may be reading it out of pity, or perhaps you’re allowing yourself 5 minutes to laugh at this “wrong side of 40, tubby bird who pretends she can run” but it matters not. There are people out there who want to give this god-awful sport a try but think they can’t. … well I think some people have now discovered they can, so if this blog has managed to convince even one person to give it a try, then its all been worth while and you’ve helped me spread the message that anyone can, far and wide.
And of course, I extend my thanks and gratitude to all of the guest bloggers who took the time to write a post for me this year – I know how long these buggers take to write and without you guys putting pen to paper, the rest of the world wouldn’t have got to see what extraordinary people you really are – I already knew this of course, but now 3,000 other people do as well!!.
But what of next year? I hear you all shout with trepidation and wonder … well, next year, I’m heading into an adventurous 2019 with a Marathon Tour of GB & Ireland, a little climb up a big hill to light up a lake and many more adventures, laughs, whinges and profanities scheduled in on the way. So why don’t you help me in closing this chapter and starting a new one because the 1st Jan 2019 is the first blank page of a 365 page book – lets write a good one!
Wishing you all 12 months of success, 52 weeks of laughter, 365 days of fun, 8760 hours of joy, 525600 minutes of good luck and 31536000 seconds of happiness.
Until next time ….