Thursday, 27 October 2011

On the road again

So, in August 2010 I found out I was pregnant - I was due to run the Glasgow Half Marathon in a few weeks, and had just reached the 12 mile stage of my training. I decided it probably wasn't a good idea to run the race, and hung up my running shoes.... forward to August 2012. I have a wonderful 3 month old daughter, and I'm ready to start running again. I really want to take Izzy with me on my runs, so I scour eBay for a running buggy, and end up bidding more than I probably should have for a Baby Jogger Performance, now known as the Beast due to its fearsome aspect! Izzy's too wee at this point to go out in it, but I know it's there, waiting for when we're both ready.

I plod along, running a few miles here and there when I can, and then October arrives, and with it the London Marathon ballot results. I'd half forgotten that, in a moment of optimism back in April, I'd once again entered the lottery for a place. The long-awaited magazine drops onto my hall floor. I hesitate - will it be the 'Accepted' or the 'Rejected' magazine?

I pick up the chunky package. Thank God! That means I've been rejected and I've got a lovely red fleece as a consolation prize, for donating my entry free. I exhale in relief, suddenly realising I'd been holding my breath, knowing that I probably wouldn't have been ready to run the London Marathon in April.

However, there's a niggle in the back of my mind. My best friend Jennifer and I have had a pact for years.  Each year we enter the marathon on the understanding that if one of us got in, the other would get a charity place and run alongside them. 'She won't have got in' I think to myself. What's the chances?

Well as it turns out the chances are very, very good indeed. She's in, which means so am I. Next step - find a charity place. Our charity of choice is Barnardos, because Jennifer has been volunteering for them in Glasgow for years, so I contact Barnardo's for an application form, fill in the details about how we'll raise the necessary £1600 in order to take part, and send it back. All we can do is wait and see.

And a few days later the waiting is over. I'm wandering in Hamleys with the pram, about to go to baby yoga with Izzy, when the phone rings. It's a London number. Oh bum.

'Hello, is that Katie' asks the perky Scottish voice on the other end (we get everywhere we do!).  'Yes' I say, awaiting what I fear is coming.
'Hi, I'm calling from Barnardo's London Marathon team - we'd like to offer you a place!'

I say nothing, momentarily dumbstruck. 'Hello, Katie, are you there?'

I come back to myself. 'Yes, sorry, wow. That's amazing! I'm really happy'. And it's true. After all the worry, it turns out I'm really excited at the prospect of running one of the most iconic races in the world. The caller spells out various details, but I'm barely listening, I'm so excited! And scared, and nervous, and happy and terrified - a bit like when I found out I was expecting Izzy!

So here we are, a few weeks later. I'm on week two of my pre-training training plan, looking to get up to 10 miles by Christmas, then starting the long slog to 26 miles in the new year. I've broken the Beast out of its dungeon and taken Izzy for a spin a few times (she seems to enjoy it, when she's not sleeping) and been on a few runs with Jennifer. We've booked our flights (still got to find a hotel though!) and we've started our fundraising attempts - in fact, you can find our sponsorship page here lovely people! We're also tweeting from @kandjrunlondon and I'll be using this blog to motivate me along the way.

Oh god, what have I got myself into?

The Beast!

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