On Sunday 21st April 2013 it will be TEN YEARS to the day that I did something silly and ran the London Marathon. Since then I’m older, uglier, have given birth twice, gone back to work full-time and life is ‘stressy’ shall we say. BUT during those ten years two more things happened that changed my life forever even more so.. 1) I lost my wonderful Brother Stephen to Bowel Cancer …2) My Brother John SURVIVED Bowel Cancer…and this is why next year I shall be running for Beating Bowel Cancer!
So, with just a mere matter of weeks to go now to the ‘BIG DAY’ itself I thought I’d share my thoughts on the last few months, the highs, the lows and the just plain down the road middles which are equally important!
When I found out I would be categorically running the Marathon this year you may recall I had an ankle injury I was nursing (along with a hangover too). I was incredibly nervous about my training but little did I appreciate the full-on stress that results in ‘trying NOT to get injured’. The fact is I started training in a state of panic and then remained that way. I’d like to say nothing happened to cement that feeling, however that trip to the Osteopath last year wasn’t going to be my last! No folks, I spread the injury somehow to my other ankle and knee joint too. I have learnt that my body is clearly not a temple but a full on battlefield were I’ve never been quite sure if I’m winning.
Ice has become my new Best Friend (sorry to all my other ‘Best Friends’ for forsaking you lately) but when you’ve spent as much time as I have with a packet of frozen peas attached to your leg by an elastic band at work then you’d understand!
Ice baths replaced hot showers to give Jamie his best ‘instagram’ on Facebook yet – I worry it may not be his last though.
Thank you to everyone who laughed, I heard you all from my bath of torture!
It’s also been ridiculously hard to find time to squeeze everything in. I do know one thing about myself though and that is I thrive under pressure. I don’t actually want the pressure but for some reason I seem to be unable to do anything but rise to it. If I have a million things to do I’ll get them done with icing on top. If you give me some ‘free time’ I walk around useless - sad fact.
Oh, and what is it with those stupid exercise induced endorphins? They’ve had me non-stop cleaning my house for months now…so why is it that it continues to looks a wreck?
I realised that I am actually quite a committed person when I want to be and that the reason I’ve joined (and dropped out of) a gym now at least 10 times over the years is not because I like losing the cost of an annual direct debit …but because it lacked a real goal for me. Plus I have issues with training ‘with people’…I think it goes back to school and communal showers etc.. but I just hate getting into physical exercise unless nobody is watching me and I can clean in private afterwards!
I’ve been asked how it can be that I hate ‘running with people to train’ yet am happy to take part on Marathon day alongside thousands of others? You see this is fine…as ages ago I read you should treat the Marathon just like one big Street Party….and anyone who knows me well knows what to expect from me on a street party day: karaoke, drinking and table dancing – easy!
I’ve also learnt some strange things about running too – but not one of these was that I actually enjoyed it I might add! I’ve discovered that depending on how I’ve ‘fuelled up’ and how much distance I am covering at any given point I tend to smell like metal! ‘Disgusting metal’ was how Jamie described it (thanks honey) and nobody can be around me after I come in from a run smelling like this. It’s the weirdest thing ever and I’ve had to be extra careful as my mileage stepped up to pay attention to this ‘sign’ that perhaps I am not fuelling adequately. If you are planning on being around me after I complete the Marathon you may wish to equip yourself with a bottle of Fabreeze and just periodically squirt it at me.
Fact is - I’m really quite looking forward to Marathon Day itself. I really am getting excited now about the buzz of the day and it really is a massive buzz. To reach the start line and know without a shadow of a doubt that I deserve to be there is a feeling gaining momentum. I’m not a runner, I know that. I am though surprisingly good at seeing things through…especially if I treat it like a project. I can’t wait to get that medal around my neck (although in fairness it’s the last few months of training that I truly deserved a medal for).
I’ve been stupefied to discover that people with the most ‘tenuous links’ to me have been giving to my cause and this has stunned me each and every time. On a few occasions I’ve actually had to ask ‘who on earth is that person that just donated?’…that’s amazing, really it is.
I have also discovered that my Brother John missed his vocation in life as a PR Agent………he has been going around all of the local restaurants trying to raise money on my behalf…I’m not sure how convincing he was as I reckon he gave THEM more money whilst he ate and drank his way through the spiel. Likewise, I discovered that my Sister Veronica hates Facebook yet will get over that irritation and join forces with my ‘inherited Sister Scooby’ to design and sell t-shirts to support me on the day – especially if it means raising more dosh for me!
Rather bizarrely, I have reached the conclusion (gasp) that waking up without a hangover of any varying sort is really rather nice and more conducive to a good weekend. The makers of Cava are no doubt disappointed in their profits margin lately since I’ve been on the barrel but my pocket has seen a surprising turn for the better! I might put that surprising turn into a rather nice weekend away now – where I will no doubt consume lots of Cava!
Then there is of course one of the major things I am looking forward to and that is seeing everyone I know and love along the course on the day. Everyone has been so supportive of me (apart from laughing at pictures of me running in the snow) and I know that the realisation I have such support on the day will be ‘enough’ to get me around the course.
Lastly, my beautiful children. I know that they don’t understand fully what the Marathon entails and don’t understand why I laugh when they ask if I will come first… they just see me training and just think ‘Mummy will win’ bless them. Then again they don’t entirely understand why Mo Farrah wont be stopping to collect sweets from them at the road-side – but hey…maybe he will! I do hope to make them proud though and look forward to telling them that Mummy’s not going out running ANYMORE!
(I should point out that Jamie has made me sign a contract to this extent as apparently he will divorce me if I mention running again in 10 years’ time)