I like lists. I write a lot of them. With a pen and paper like the olden days. I have no time for digitalising the endless drivel that pours out my head. Pen and paper will do.
When I was 20, in the heady days of 5 hours of class a week and too much Passoa at the Union, I had little idea of the adventures my twenties would take me on.
I’ve never been one for uprooting myself. I was uprooted enough in my Navy-Brat youth. I knew if I traveled I’d never settle. So I stuck uni out and got a grown up job.
I started to slowly tick things off my list:
Become a buyer. Double tick.
Live with a boy. Tick.
Become crazy cat lady. Tick. Obviously.
Run the London Marathon. No fucking tick.
At the time, it was a flippant decision. A faint dream of thousands of spectators shouting at me. Beating Paula Radcliffe. Dousing myself with wet sponges.
I didn’t think about the endurance aspect. The training. It was just A Thing that people did to say they’d done it. It didn’t mean any more to me than that.
I didn’t dream of becoming a triathlete, or half-iron, or a marathon runner. Those things just happened. (Just happened! Pah!!! With MONTHS of blood, sweat and tears.) And as I’ve travelled on this long, long (fucking seriously long) road the London Dream began to have more significance.
I watched it year after year. All those many thousands of people achieving this awesome goal.
I applied. I didn’t get in. I ran Edinburgh. That sucked. (I loved it). I sort of filed London in the “maybe before I’m 40” pile with becoming an Ironman and having my own business where I test cake and pillows.
In May 2016 I turn 30. It’s not old. Not by a long way. I know LITERALLY HUNDREDS of people who are WAY older than 30. But it’s a big age. It’s grown up. Officially. My twenties have been cherished. Abused. Busy. I resigned myself to the fact that I wouldn’t tick this off.
I made other plans for 2016. Etape Caledonia. The Edinburgh Marathon (with my other half who has taken to running like the proverbial duck to water, the jammy git). Aberfeldy take 2. I decided on these. The case was closed.
Then I got a Facebook message from my mum.
Mum works for MLDUK and their funding charity is Lymfund.
I fundraised for Lymfund this year. And raised £1000. (Thank you x) and they had FINALLY got a London Charity Ballot spot. ONE SINGLE SPOT.
*mum dangles carrot*
“No. Nope. No. Ask Clare. Your other runner. She’ll do it! I’ll be too close to Edinburgh Marathon then. No”
Then mum came back and said Clare had a deferred entry from 2015.
Brian gave me his blessing. Agreeing that opportunities like London are rare as rocking horse shit. “Go for it!!! But I’m not coming to London. It’s full of Londoners”
Cue a very VERY excited mum and dad. “We’ll come!!!”
Ok. So. Mum was applying for the spot.
3 weeks felt like a million.
After LITERALLY 1000 YEARS I got an email from mum. VLM had forwarded the bond information. Did I want to complete or should she? I sped round after work and we filled out the stuff while I refreshed my hotmail frantically waiting for the confirmation.
I filled out the stuff and my bib number was confirmed.
It is yet to sink in that I will tick this off my list with an actual WEEK to spare.
Happy 30th Birthday to me!!!!
Being that a Boston qualifying time is highly unlikely, and a NYC marathon place would be amazing but also unlikely, London is THE marathon.
Having spent the last 3 weeks in a carb and triathlon-induced state of limbo, I suddenly seem to feel the urge to train again. I have regained focus, literally, after a rather Sloth-like bout of Conjuctivitis and tonsillitis and general despair.
So. Now the ground-work begins. Next year is about celebrating my 30th birthday in style. With some epic bling and the knowledge that I’ll (hopefully) be stronger and fitter than ever.
LONDON! I’M COMING TO GET YOU.