In 3 days 23 Hours and 1 minute I will be standing in Greenwich Park having been to the loo I expect approximately 15 times (thank you 2 children and my poor pelvic floor) waiting to run 26.2 miles.
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Yup on Sunday this overweight Mum- of- two is running the London Marathon. Nope, I can’t believe it either but I hope by saying it enough times, it might actually become real in my head! I am running for The National Brain Appeal for my wonderful friend Penny who passed away from a Brain Tumour in 2014 leaving behind my wonderful Godson G (2 years old) and her incredible family.
With a reason like that to run I had the motivation, tick. I had the means, 2 legs and an alarming looking pair of trainers but what I didn’t realise was, that I really didn’t have the time!
It is not until you take on something like this as a parent, never mind a working parent, that you realise quite how little time you have to yourself! Between school runs, homework, cooking, cleaning, washing, ironing, play dates, sports fixtures, being a wife and trying to work, you realise that the amount of time you actually have to yourself in a week is non-existent.
You are so busy living it, that you don’t even notice!
Now, I suddenly had to fit in 4 runs a week as well as stretching and yoga and mindfulness and all the other healthy crap, that I suddenly became obsessed with doing, in the vane hope that it might actually help me drag my sorry lycra- clad-arse, round the streets of London on the 24th April!
My husband has done a number of marathons so I was only too aware of how, during training, the other half bares the brunt of it, in terms of childcare. As he would disappear off, out the door for 3 hours on a Saturday morning, I would be left alone with the kids, again, throughout the winter months when entertainment options for the kids were limited or expensive!
I’m not proud of it but I would regularly curse him under my breath as soon as the door closed behind him and now I would be the one leaving him to it.
I hate running. Let me say that again I HATE running. But even I could see the wealth of opportunity opening up to me in the form of “Me time”. Yes I would be sweating and in pain but I would be on my own! No nappy bag, no snacks, no whining and even no e mail pinging every 5 minutes. It would just be me and the great outdoors. As expected the runs were brutal but the “Me Time” was priceless and it made me realise, as parents we need to make more time for ourselves (preferably doing more sedate and enjoyable activities, than running 21 miles in the wind rain and even snow!) during our overflowing week.
We need that time out from being the parent, husband, wife, employee and to remember that we are people first and all those other things, second. So, through my marathon training, have I miraculously turned into some Zen mother who never raises her voice to her children and welcomes her husband home from work with open arms and a freshly waxed bikini line?
Good God, no! But I have become calmer and I think a bit nicer! Why? Because during those precious hours I could think about what I wanted, enjoy the peace, work through things in my head that I never have time or space to do, thanks to the permanent sound track of Peppa Pig and One Direction that filters through our house. It has also meant that the other half has some great one on one time with the kids and realises in this case, that he can do it!
So, I am asking you all, to see if there is any way you can fit some “Me time” into your week because I now think it is AS important as eating, drinking and sleeping!
I would also like to gratuitously take this opportunity to thank everyone for their support, especially my long suffering husband, who has seen our household expenditure dramatically increase, as I frantically buy everything I can possibly find in the vane hope that it will help on Sunday.
Thanks must also go to you, Sam, quite apart from listening to me bang on about this bloody marathon for months you have nourished my mind, body and spirit and even taken on an injury from running with me to help me get through the training, you are amazing, one in a million and i love you lots.
So bring on Sunday, all the pain, all the emotion, as it will be 5 hours of “Me Time” which I will be spending with my amazing support team, all the wonderful Londoners lining the streets on race day and Penny.
If you would like to dontate to The National Brain Appeal please click HERE