This year I took up running. One of our daughters is a swimmer, which requires 4.45am wake-ups three times a week. I figured while she's training, I might as well do something useful too, then after a few longer runs, I thought, 'Why not do a marathon?' There's so much involved in running a marathon and a lot of science behind it.
I've learned what the body needs to run 42km, all about my heart rate – and I've discovered compression tights! Some weeks are demanding, especially when you need to get a 30km run in on a weekend, but I've enjoyed pushing myself and becoming stronger for it.
People say a marathon is all about mental strength – and they're right. It's been so refreshing doing something just for me. It's been good for the kids too; they can think the world revolves around them!
This Christmas I'll be quietly proud to have set a challenging goal and achieved it. I'll still take it easy on Christmas Day; I'm pretty good at indulging and relaxing, so that won't be a problem. I'm most looking forward to having some downtime with my family.
The kids are at a good age; they're a bit older and easier to organise, and having a 14-year-old means a babysitter's on hand! We often have Christmas at our house and this year will be the same. My husband Ross is a great cook, so he's good on the ham. My mum prepares a roast lamb, I do potatoes, and the rest of the family bring delicious dishes too.
We try to keep it easy. For a while when the kids were growing up, we used to get KFC every year. Someone decided it wasn't the healthiest option – but it was popular. It's been a super-busy year with my running, an election to cover at work and the kids at new schools. But it's been great. I'm grateful and feel very lucky all round.
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