Good afternoon everyone,
Firstly just wanted to send out my congratulations again to all the amazing buzzers who took part in the Manchester & Brighton marathons over the past couple of weeks. Just fabulous achievements from you all & the 'cheering supporters' had great fun via messenger tracking you all, a few worrying moments when the tracker went off line but thankfully we saw all the buzzers back home safely - we really do need to get those into print though as a memento of it all!!
So what's next? Well the weekend I have been waiting for for almost 8 months is almost upon us. As most of you know I contacted the British Heart Foundation last May after my son Kieran's father (Rory) died suddenly of heart failure in the April. It was such an awful time for our family and especially for Kieran & Rory's parents that I knew I had to do something in his memory & raise funds for such a worthwhile cause. It was so wonderful to receive a call from them in August to inform me that I had secured a charity place for the VLM with them. Mr B had also applied & offered one but he was also successful in the ballot - which was great for 2 reasons....someone else could then have his charity place and it took the stress off us raising so much money as fundraising not always the easiest thing to do when most of your running events involve fundraising!!
We were both thrilled that we would have another chance to run London and started to put a training plan in progress, but life had given us yet another harsh blow for us as my Mother had suffered a stroke in May (the day before Rory's funeral), at first we had hopes that she would recover, we knew not to full health but that she at least could be back at home with some sort of independence & help from us, but sadly this was not meant to be, as the stroke proved to be more severe than we or the doctors initially thought which resulted her spending the next 6 months in a community hospital where she sadly deteriorated and passed away in November. Although it was awful seeing her this way in the hospital it did give her family time to spend with her until her death (which we wouldn't have if she had died immediately after the stroke) - it's amazing how much we don't know about our parents & sometimes forget they were once young with aspirations, full lives and wonderful memories and it was lovely to learn of all this.
So although I knew I had a marathon in April to train for due to everything that had happened my running mojo had just disappeared, I had no interest, energy or enthusiasm to get out there and train. I did pop on here now and again and hate saying it but I could hardly be bothered to blog or comment on others. I just wanted to hide away cry and cope with all the heartbreak. I was just so down and depressed & couldn't understand why all this was happening to us.
But as the saying goes, time is a great healer and though the losses of last year are still so very raw and difficult to cope with I knew I had a big task ahead of me and didnt want to let anyone down. London is such a difficult marathon to get into so there was no way I was wasting that chance - plus I was running it in memory of Rory, my dad Bill and stepdad Alan, who had also both died due to heart disease.
So after Christmas the trainers were laced back on and the training plan back on track. A few injuries and illnesses along the way for both me & Mr B but we are finally here.
I am going up to the Expo tomorrow to pick our running numbers, I will have a little look around but then back home again early afternoon & Kieran coming home from Uni so want to spend some time with him and also packing etc to do. We will then head back up Saturday morning to the hotel. We are staying in the same Holiday Inn offering the marathon package as last time, which includes coach to the start line so no hassle. If you recall at the last VLM me & Mr B managed to both get into the Blue start together even though he was Red. It is the opposite way round this time but doubt we will be so lucky again but still going to ask - you never know. But this time as we are a bit more familiar with the course we have a meet place around mile four just after the runners merge.
Do I feel I have trained enough, if I'm honest...physically no! The last time I ran London & Brighton I was home from work a lot earlier in the evenings & ran 4 times a week, but this time with a different job it has been harder as working days have been longer & have been more tired therefore and only running 3 times a week, so feel I could/should have done more. But we have planned to go with the run/walk strategy so only time will tell if this works for us!!
But mentally I am more than ready, I know I have a huge task ahead of me, I am not a natural runner, I don't find it easy, I am not quick, I know there will be times during the VLM I will want to stop as it will be hurting, but stop I won't. I will push, groan and moan and grit my teeth but I will get to that bloody finish line. I know it is going to be hard but when the going gets tough I will think of my Dad, My Stepdad and Rory......it will be a year on 28th April since Rory died so its going to be such an emotional day with many a tear flowing and I'm sure I will be blubbering like a baby going across that finish line.
And last but so very not least I will have every single one of you wonderful buzzers in my thoughts when the going gets tough. I know you will be there tracking us all on the day and those messages pinging back & forth & even though I will have my phone turned off at that time I will hear them in my head willing me on as I am so going to need it!!
I know there are a few buzzers who are going to be there cheering us on in person, Jim, Hobs, Kathy, Gaelle (sorry if I have forgotten anyone so please let me know if you are there!) so I will be looking out for you all to get great big buzzer hugs.
Some very dear friends, my oldest and forever supportive school friend Mandie and her beautiful daughters Harriet & Lucy (and maybe Lucys husband Rich?) are also coming to cheer us on again so will be looking out for them for yet more hugs. They have booked us into a fab pub on the Sunday evening where they apparently do scrummy roast dinners so shall be looking forward to that plus it's only 4 mins walk away from our hotel so I'm sure we can manage that! I'm sure a few glasses of Proesecco will be enjoyed as well.
So London here I come, and although I am nervous and a little bit scared I can't wait to be running your streets again soaking up the cheers from the crowds, the wonderful sights and atmosphere.........nothing can beat it!!!
As I said previously I am not the quickest of runners but I have a finish time in mind and so determined to try and get it but if I don't I am not going to beat myself up over it, the run is not for me this time, it is for my dad, my stepdad and Kierans dad Rory. I want to do them proud and let them know they will always be in my thoughts and heart so I hope they will all be beside me on the day willing me along when it gets tough.
And to everyone else running - have a brilliant day. It is going to be bloody fantastic!!
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