Run, Always Run

Life after a marathon is a weird one. My alarm doesn’t drag me out of bed at 6am every weekday. Saturday afternoon is no longer spent exhausted on the sofa after a gargantuan long run. Given the London Marathon was my life for six months, adjusting is a bit strange.
To be honest, I spent the past couple of weeks doing feck all apart from a little bit of yoga every now and again. But now my calf feels better and I’m getting antsy. It’s been lovely just to enjoy running again without the pressure of getting huge miles in.Tonight I had the choice of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo on Sky+ or a late night run.

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While it was tempting to watch Honeys’ antics on Gogo Juice, I was reminded of Ben Davies of the Do Life Movement. His mantra is Run, Always Run. It’s been said that the hardest part of your run is getting out the door and I can certainly attest to that. I can honestly say that once I’m out, I’ve never regretted a run. So tonight I took myself out for four balmy miles along the Thames. Absolutely beautiful.
People have asked what I’m going to do with this blog now the marathon is over. If it’s agreeable with y’all (my God, I just wrote y’all!) I’ll share my Ramblings every now and again. I’ve lined up the York 10k in August and Run To The Beat – a half marathon in September. Should be good – just don’t let me turn into a Keeno

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The Post I Never Wanted To Write

So, this is where I explain the week-long absence from my blogging challenge.

Last Friday morning, my wonderful grandmother passed away. She died peacefully, holding the hand of her husband to whom she was married for 63 years and in a room filled with her closest family members who she loved completely.

My grandmother was the inspiration behind my initial half marathon challenge in February 2012 to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society – a condition Granny endured with dignity and grace. I am pleased that her suffering is over and she is at peace, however, her passing has left an aching hole in our family and my poor grandfather says he feels like one of his limbs is missing.

Literally hundreds of people have visited the family home to pay their last respects and talk about how she had impacted upon their lives. We estimate over 500 people attended her thanksgiving service which was the most uplifting, positive Church experience of my life. I overheard the same phrase again and again – she was just a real lady.

In amongst all the tears we’ve shared, there have been many laughs and many opportunities to grow. I’ve talked to my cousins and extended family with a vulnerability and honesty which we’ve never experienced before, I’ve seen a body in a coffin for the first time, I’ve spoken at a funeral for the first time, I’ve seen ashes placed in a crypt. I sat on the bed beside Granny’s coffin and shared a glass of wine with my uncle and cousin, all three of us laughing and crying as we shared stories and memories of this remarkable woman who has left us with so much.
This week has made me even more determined to conquer the London Marathon in April. Again, this is raising money for the Alzheimer’s Society to fund research and support into this awful condition that currently has less randomised control trials into it than hayfever.
Disgraceful.
If you would like to support this challenge – feel free to click on the link. It’s ambitious, but I’d love to match the £2000 we raised last February. What’s ultimately a better thing to do if you don’t want to give money, and if you’re lucky enough to have your Granny still with you, tell her you love her this weekend.
Normal daily blogging adventures will now resume until The Big Day.
Hope I do you proud Granny

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One Year On

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One year ago today was one of the best days of my life. On 19th February 2012, I ran the Brighton Half Marathon. This was my first ever running race – 6 months previously I could barely run for one minute. Crossing that finish line was an emotional experience (euphemism for cried like a baby). It also made my feet look like this. It was the culmination of an incredible journey – What started as a random challenge I set for myself one night when I was in a bad mood, turned into something which (at the risk of sounding a tad dramatic) radically changed my life.
Two more half marathons and a half dozen 10ks later, here I am on my way to running a full marathon. I recently watched a skit on TV about an insufferable health convert, which made me chuckle knowingly. I own three yoga mats and a foam roller BUT let’s be clear, I still eat cake. I still eat far too much cake than is good for me. And red wine is my favourite.
It makes me sad to think how I was never enthused by sport as a kid – what a waste. This all came about by accident when I stumbled across a Couch to 5K podcast and got hooked. I’ve written before how this has really made me realise how many experiences I’ve talked myself out of – so many opportunities I’ve denied myself because I’ve said I can’t do it. Which is really rubbish. So I challenge you – do Couch to 5k, book yourself into a race – even if the sight of a pair of trainers makes you want to vom. It could change your life.
I’m running the marathon to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society – a fantastic charity. More later on why it has a special place in my heart. If you want to support this challenge and make all those blisters and 6am starts worth it, feel free to stop by here – cheers guys.
Now enough of the pep talk – let’s get me some cake ….
Peace Out
Xo