Thursday, 1 March 2012

Nine – Motivate Mummy Some More

My motivations are: the weather, my favourite trails, my favourite sessions, my favourite music, ‘24’ and seeing Jack Bouer and Tony Almeida, chocolate and, oh, the motivation to wear my skinny jeans again! 

Above all, like most parents, I am motivated by my daughter. I want her to have a healthy, active mummy – I want her to learn to love sport through me.

These are my main motivations.

However, day-in and day-out on the turbo or the same roads and trails and routes and sessions ... can deplete the motivation a bit. Only a bit. But, I think that depletion can be addressed with a challenge. I ran (well ...) the London Marathon when I was 21 because I was told I wouldn’t cope – I thrive on pushing my body. And, I love the social aspect that sport brings to my life. I need to commit to something that motivates me some more.

Challenge One ...

My birthday is the end of March and Nick and I have always gone away for that. And, yes, we have usually gone away cycling. Obviously, we haven’t been away together for what seems like years and this is unusual for us because we spent many a weekend touring the UK’s hotel rooms when we were racing our mountain-bikes. 

I miss this.

I even miss being stuck on the M25 for hours.

At the time, I hated it. But now, I remember it as time we had together. Just me and him. And, I miss that most.

Nick and my mother have forcefully suggested we go away for the weekend of my birthday. Without Willow. She has suggested she looks after Willow; I have suggested that I am not ready to do that. Would I be a bad mother if I did? That’s a whole other blog. That’s a whole other challenge.

So, provisionally, we have suggested going to Wales – mountain-biking. I haven’t confirmed it but the idea of the trip has motivated me a bit more to train.

In my racing life, I liked to think I was a climber. I would ride a hill all day – sometimes not through choice! I used to love the Welsh trails because the climbs were great – steep but enough to ride quickly. And, as for the descents ... I liken the trails to Alton Towers but you don’t have to queue and you come away with a bigger grin. But these hills can be challenging and I don’t know if I am up to them yet.

I have a month and a bit to make sure I am fit enough to ride these hills. There is a bit more motivation for me ... 

Challenge Two ...

I am Facebook friends with a lot of racers and the race season is underway. Reading their reports, I remember the days and I loved them, in hindsight (wasn’t too keen at the time!) Another huge motivator would be an event.

I need to enter an event.

Entering an event is similar to training with a friend. You can’t not do it because you have made a commitment and you can’t let them down. You have to be ready for them. Last Autumn, I entered a 10k running race; I entered it on a whim. It was madness but I had two weeks to prepare myself for it and I hadn’t been so focussed in exercising for a long time until then.

But I did it – and, I felt great because of it.

But what do I choose now?

I retired from racing having done my first mountain-bike marathon. It was ironic because it was as though I had just found my dream event. I’d love to get back into endurance events but definitely do not have the time to train my endurance for those. Though, can a 30-something mother's endurance be improved? I endured 7 hours of labour. I endured months of sleeplessness. Willow has unknowingly made me a natural competitor for 24-hour racing. Can an enduro be that challenging?

With an enduro, it would have to be the right event, where spectators can see competitors regularly. In laps. Short-ish laps. You see, Willow has to see me doing this! When I did my 10k, it made my day seeing Willow in the carrier, with my husband cheering me on. I doubt she even knew what was happening and was too interested in the event atmosphere and popularity than in me. But seeing her (and him!) inspired me. I need to enter something that she can watch. I know, she's only just one ... but ...

If I can pinpoint a specific event, I can focus on being fit for it. I'll need to be.

I know now why many winning parents share their podiums with their children: to inspire the children? Well, kind of. I want Willow to see me racing; to experience the racing environment and to enjoy it. Most of all, I want her to see what mummy’s doing and to want to be part of it too. I want her to experience seeing me when I have completed something that has challenged me: she won't ever be aware of her birth ... 

Willow’s excitement at seeing me finish? Or, just seeing my daughter seeing me race ... the biggest motivator of all.

Now, which event(s)?

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