Now if I'd known that turning 60 was going to be such a long celebration, so much fun and such a great opportunity to catch up with friends and family then I'd have done it sooner. Really, I never imagined that so many people would be so determined to celebrate my big day in such generous, kind-hearted, heart-warming fashion; I have never had such a long, deep hug (both metaphorical and physical) as I have felt this last month; thank you my oldest friends, thank you my newest friends, thank you all the generations of my family and, most of all, thank you my gorgeous wife, who, doing her best impression of the most serene swan, paddled like mad below the surface to make sure each and every birthday event happened on the right day, in the right place and with the right people.
Now I have free prescriptions, I'm 'a concession' at almost any ticket office and I run as a VM60. What's not to like?! Win-win!
So, over January, I drank slightly more than is healthy, I ate way more than is good for me and many of my evenings were very late indeed. I was reminded on at least one Sunday morning of Andy's observation that "hills & hangovers are NOT your friends". But in between all the celebrations, my training programme never wavered. Well ... some of the runs were much slower than planned and one got put back by 24 hours, but over the whole month I plugged away, come rain, rain and ... more rain, and I got the job done:
Training target last month: 135.00 km
Training distance last month: 139.58 km (87 miles)
Training distance to date: 765.39 km (476 miles)
February already feels more serious, more intense. For a start, the training target goes up (140 km), but the number of days goes down (thankfully, only to 29). To hit my target in February, I have to average 4.83 km per day (January was, by contrast, a leisurely 4.36). Secondly, my intermittent Sunday morning long runs jump up to 25 km, which, even when I start at silly o'clock in the morning, still take a big chunk out of Sunday. Then lastly, I can really feel that countdown clock ticking: "3 months to go" has been and gone, as has "12 weeks to go". The London Marathon is no longer some distant event beyond the horizon; it's very real and it's increasingly imminent. I must keep up the training to be ready for the 26th April but I can't afford to injure myself now - there's no time to recover! And when are our evenings going to get lighter?!
Looking on the bright side, my fundraising is still going well. At the end of January, I broke through the half way mark (£1500); that is such a motivation! Not only that, but I have a cake sale and a quiz night planned. I'll let you know how they go in subsequent posts, but a big thank you to my family for their support in getting those events organised.
Keep safe out there on the roads everybody!
If you want to support me on the way to London 2020 and the amazing work that Macmillan do, then please visit my fundraising page and make a donation! And remember - Gift Aid your donation if you’re a UK taxpayer!
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