I learnt some tough messages last year. The job I was working at that time was not going great, stress at home with juggling work and family commitments was putting a strain on my relationship, and this all combined to me eating and drinking way too much over the festival season. Whacking on around a stone in weight.
Tired, over weight and miserable I swore this year would be different. I made big changes to my life last year. I changed jobs. I had over three months off the booze and I hit the gym hard. I sorted out a few issues at home too, although I must keep an eye on that so I don’t get overly comfortable and stop trying.
I signed up to the London marathon because I knew I needed a goal. Going into December I was knocking out 18 miles runs on frosty Sunday mornings. I had a couple of weeks off over Christmas but Kept the gym up. I still ate and drank too much, cut adrift from the usual routine of work, but it was so much better than last year. I also made the public admission of no booze till London. Nearly three weeks in I feel good.
Running is back up to half marathon distance (13.1 miles), but I’m feeling it. It’s cold, it’s busy, I have 2 daughters with January birthdays plus we’re trying to sell our house, and I ache after every run (including my hips, makes me feel old) so it’s easier not to run than it is. But that’s not going to happen. I have people counting on me.
I have some friends on Facebook running races too, Silverstone half, MK half, London marathon, so I can be the wise old mentor to them now, with two marathons under my belt already, just like I was mentored through my first. It feels good.
Mental health continues to be a feature in my life, hitting close to home, as it has a way of doing. That’s why I’m raising money for MQ. Mental ill health can hit any one of us or our families without warning. If anything, I think it’s probably more likely due to the seismic shifts we are seeing across the world. Uncertain, scary times. Still at least I escape for a few hours, lost in my thoughts, enjoying my natural runners high, aching hips and all.
Thank you to all my friends and family that have already given so generously and thank you Terry and Daisy Bogg for giving me a new job, kick starting this marathon journey, helping me raise the cash, and for being generally good people.
If you would like to support MQ carry on the fantastic work that they are doing, just click on the link below.