As I approach the final few days before the London Marathon, my mind has been busy[insert montage music fade in]. A lot of my thoughts have involved complex toilet calculations, last minute spray tan appointments and a crippling fear of looking fat in photographs and not being able to untag them on Facebook before everyone on my friend list has seen them. And some thoughts have been looking back at my running journey. And it’s been eventful!
Learning to Run, London 2012
I started running during the London Olympics because I was inspired by the amazing athletes and really, really wanted a six pack like Jessica Ennis. I was joined on those early morning runs in Victoria Park in Hackney by the Kenyan Olympics running team. Admittedly I saw them for half a second before they disappeared and I was left screaming at my iPhone trying to get the camera to work. But that brief glimpse was enough inspiration for me to carry on running.
Secret Tuesday Running Club, 2012
I started a running club at work with two friends, B and H. We all agreed it would be a secret as we didn’t want to be seen in our running kit. The secret lasted about four seconds but we kept the name, going out shouting STRC around the streets of London every Tuesday and Thursday lunchtime. Long live STRC.
Hadleigh Olympic Mountain Bike Course, 10km run, 2013
Okay, so I learnt a few valuable lessons here – when booking a race always read the terrain details, never run down a muddy hill with an iPhone in your hand and if you say you want Jaffa Cakes enough, they will appear.
Where’s Wally 10k run, 2013
Another triumph of my race planning for STRC. This was the first time this event was staged and who was to know it would be snowing and minus temperatures in March, but having no bag drop meant we all had to turn up in running kit, no coat, wait around in the cold for an hour till our core body temperature was lower than that of someone stranded at sea for three days and then run six miles, all whilst dressed as Where’s Wally. Where’s Wally? I couldn’t give a f*** where Wally is. Where’s my god damned fleece?
Croydon Half Marathon, 2013
So I decided the best way to train for a half marathon was to run a half marathon. Genius. It nearly killed me. At one point I was crying and hyperventilating whilst continuing to run. This is my version of a triathlon – cry, hyperventilate and run.
Great North Run, 2013
Crossing the finish line of the Great North Run whilst my family watched on was a scene I carried in my head during all of those early runs. When I was struggling to run for ten minutes, I kept reminding myself how amazing it would be to run the Great North Run with my family cheering me over the finish line. At no point did I imagine I would be involved in a collision with Bagpuss as I ran to the finish banner. I somehow managed to hurdle the poor sod and didn’t look back. No way was I adding seconds onto my time to help him up. I had a PB to get!