50 days. In 50 days time I will be running the London Marathon. Now there's a sentence my old PE teachers would never have believed. I'm 36 years old, and up until almost exactly a year ago, school PE lessons was the last kind of exercise I had (begrudgingly) taken part in.
Then I heard about Couch to 5K. I still wasn't remotely a fan of sport, but I am fairly stubborn and I do like a challenge. So I thought I would give it a go. Mainly for the 'no one would think I could do it, so I'm going to do it' reason. And much to my surprise I didn't find it completely hideous, and actually quite enjoyed it. Me! Enjoying running! I didn't really tell anyone I was doing it, and ran in a park which was set back from the road to minimise my chances of being seen by anyone I knew. Then, as I was starting to run for longer and longer, I got a bit bored of running round the same circuit, got brave, and actually ran on actual pavements, where people I actually knew might be able to see me.
And I kept running further and further. And I kept loving it. I entered myself for a 10K, which I enjoyed. And then, I found myself in the lucky position of running my first half marathon, the Great North Run, as Jo Whiley's running buddy. I can't quite explain how much fun that was, and how much I loved it.
A couple of weeks after that, I found out that I had got a ballot place in the 2014 London Marathon. I hadn't actually told anyone I'd even entered the ballot, not even my husband. I had heard about the people who have entered for years and years in a row and never got a place. And I got one on my first year of entering! I'm a big believer in things happening for a reason, and took this as a sign that someone somewhere thought I should keep running.
I also have an extra motivation to keep running, and that is raising money for Ambitious about Autism. They are the national charity for children and young people with autism, and the work they do is amazing. Their mission is to help children and young people with autism to learn, thrive and achieve. I ran the Great North Run for them, and knew as soon as I got my marathon place that I would run again for them too. As part of Team Ambitious I was lucky enough to visit Tree House School a couple of weeks ago, and see some of the ways they put this mission in to action. I left feeling inspired and even more dedicated to raising as much money as possible for this amazing charity. As a parent of a child on the autistic spectrum I am inspired by their positivity and outlook. I am thankful that they exist to help and support not only children with ASD, but also their families.
So, this time last year the longest I could run for was 3 minutes. Yesterday I ran for over 3 hours, and ran 18 miles. In 50 days I shall run the London Marathon. All 26.2 miles of it. I shall run it proudly as part of Team Ambitious, wearing my Ambitious about Autism vest, and knowing that I am raising as much money as I possibly can for the most amazing cause.
If you are able to sponsor me a £ or 2 you can do so here:
You can also sponsor me by text, by texting SSLM77 followed by either £1, £2, £3, £4, £5 or £10 to 70070. So to sponsor me £2 you can text SSLM77 £2 to 70070.