Welcome To My Blog
Hello, good evening & welcome to my blog documenting my training for the London Marathon 2020. Thanks for dropping by and thanks for taking the time to read. Always appreciated and never taken for granted.
So, let's start with a long ramble stating the who, whens, whys and whats. That way, subsequent blog posts can be about the training and my thoughts about it. I'll be charting the highs and lows of training but hopefully we'll have some laughs along the way....and maybe, just maybe, on April 26th 2020 I'll be rewarded with a London Marathon medal in exchange for my blood, sweat and tears.
Let's start at the beginning then (always a good place to start)....
My name is Andy and I'm a hapilly married, 46 year old tubster from a small town near Warrington. I'm a freelance Graphic Designer by day and a father to two girls by night. Two girls with verbal diarrhoea as it goes.
So (in the words of Talking Heads) 'how did I get here'? Well, like many people I'd spent many years watching the London Marathon on the telly box. As I sat there (eating crisps in my underpants) watching the throng pass over Tower Bridge I'd get all misty eyed and say to myself, 'one day, that'll be me'. Of course, at that stage I had no intention of dedicating myself to getting there. I was much happier eating crisps.
Here I am back then...I did tell you I liked crisps! However, in 2005 the tide turned. My cousin started training for the 2006 event. That in itself is impressive enough to a mere mortal, but the fact that she did it whilst recovering from breast cancer made it all the more inspriring. And not only did she complete the 2006 Marathon, she came back...and back...and back. Now fully recovered I'll be proudly joining her on the start line in 2020 for her 15th consecutive(!) London Marathon.
In short, she took away any excuse I might have had left not to run the London Marathon. That didn't stop me making the excuses though! In 2007, my first daughter was born and with a new baby in the house I decided that was reason enough to put the London Marathon dream on hold....it wasn't reason enough but I used that excuse anyway.
Fast forward to 2009 and my daughter was now a toddler & I was fast running out of excuses! Priorities change when you're a parent and I decided that I was long overdue getting in shape for my new daughter's sake. I started to slowly but surely build up my ability. First a mile, then two miles and so on and so on, until I was confident enough to sign up for a 10km race. The Blackpool 10km race was a huge turning point for me. I started to ask, 'What if....what if I can run further'?
It was now or never so I signed up to a charity place for the 2010 London Marathon and began to train in earnest. From the training to the day itself, I've never experienced anything like it; the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. It was the best of times....and it was the worst of times but in April 2010 the hard work paid off & a lifelong dream was realised:
What a rush! I was ecstatic, ecstatic and teary! I cried when I saw my family at mile 12, I cried when I saw Tower Bridge, I cried when I crossed the line and I cried when I was reunited with my daughter at the finish line. A weekend I'll never forget and one I can't suitably put into words without boring you for far longer than I already have so I'll let the following pics do the talking:
So rarely in life can you pat yourself on the back and say that you've done something of which you're truly proud but on that day in April 2010, I truly felt I had.
So there you have it, if you're not asleep, you're up to speed....sort of. So what happened next? Well, I found the euphoric feeling upon crossing the finish line so addictive that I did it again....and again....and again....and again. 4 more times to be specific!
Sadly since an injury, picked up at mile 19 during my last marathon in 2015, I have barely ran a step. Subsequently I put on weight, got diabetes....then lost 6 stones & reversed the diabetes before letting myself go again. I now sit (weight wise) somewhere in the middle, fortunately still minus the diabetes.
Having restricted myself to my cousin’s Pimm’s drinking, London Marathon cheer squad every year since 2016, I made a decision last year to apply for the London Marathon 2020. (A decision more than a little fuelled by the aforementioned Pimm’s).
Fast forward to October 2019 and I was denied my ballot place. I was a little disappointed but decided I would resume my position with Team Pimm’s. BUT....life is what happens to you when you’re making other plans and soon after the rejection I was contacted (independently) by two friends. Friends who, knowing my history with the race, asked if I’d run in 2020. Stand up Scott & Ian. You pair of utter B'stards!
It was decision time and I had some thinking to do. Did I want to poke the hornet’s nest again? Well, it turns out that I must like getting stung because a couple of days later I decided I’d go for it.
However, the first (of many) problems was this; I wanted to run but had no place. The VLM is an invite only party and right now I was stood outside the door trying to convince the bouncer to let me in because I wasn’t drunk.
Step forward my friend Scott. Scott has been hugely supportive of my tubby running over the years and after his son’s diagnosis with Becker muscular dystrophy has been on his own mission, completing challenges to raise money for (and awareness of) Muscular Dystrophy. It turns out, he’s now quite the triathlete and is never far from a swim, run or bike ride. Long story short, Scott put me in touch with MDUK's Team Orange through whom I got the coveted Marathon Place.
With Scott (and his son Alex) as my inspiration I am now hugely proud to be part of #teamorange raising money for Muscular Dystrophy UK in 2020's London Marathon.
Now the hard work begins, because right now my marathon ability has left the building. Only hard work will get me there and that hard work has already started. Yesterday was my longest run since 2015, but at a mere 5km I have a looooong winter ahead to get marathon ready. Will I do it? **** knows....but I’ve done it before, so I can do it again.
London Marathon medal number 6....I’m coming for you. You can follow me here and @tubbyrunster on Instagram to see how it all pans out.
If you’re still awake & reading this, I’d like to thank MDUK for their support so far and not least of all my wife, who’ll be left entertaining the kids whilst I’m out pounding the pavements....in the dark.
Peace & love,
The Tubby Runster
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