Nearly 4 years ago now my first child was born which was fantastic, what was not so fantastic was the sleepless nights and the hard work in those first few months. This coupled with being a few weeks before Christmas and having a house full of chocolates and indulgent food was not a great combination. I eventually ballooned to the heaviest (and unfittest) I have ever been.
As my daughter approached one year old I started a new job, a remote job which meant working from home for the majority of the time. This had some great advantages such as being able to do the nursery pick up/drop off without having to worry about a long commute. The downside was that between looking after my daughter and working I was barely leaving the house most days.
Things got easier with my daughter, my wife and I agreed that we should each have our own night once a week to do whatever we wanted. She chose to do yoga. I chose running.
I have always been interested in running, it was the only sport at school that even remotely interested me but I was never very good and that interest eventually waned. I made several attempts in my younger days to get back that motivation - I completed a couple of 10kms around 2011 but it never seemed to stick.
This time I decided it would be different, I was going to do something which was alien to me - I would join a club. In 2016 I joined Northwich Running Club and it worked! Pretty soon I was running most days and my PBs were being smashed.
Over 2 years on from that, I have completed 2 half marathons, lots of 10kms and too many 5kms to count and I have hit over 1000 miles for the year. More importantly I have made some good friends and have renewed motivation.
This year has not gone completely to plan, I was due to run the Manchester marathon in April (my first ever marathon) but got injured in January and could not run for nearly 2 months. I reluctantly pulled out - I could have run it but would have been disappointed with my time. I decided to focus my efforts for this year on the shorter distances and have since smashed my 10k and 5k PBs.
After all that I still have that yearning to do a marathon, I remember being young and watching the London marathon on the television and thinking "one day". Well at 37 years old that day has come. I entered the ballot for the London marathon as soon as it opened, knowing full well that is was only a matter of time before that rejection magazine came through my door. I didn't want to wait for that so I went looking for a charity place and found VICTA who specialise in supporting children and young people who are blind or partially sighted - they happily accepted me to run on their behalf.
And so in April 2019 I will be running the London marathon - I have a training plan, I have a target time (although I'm not telling you that) and I have the motivation. I'm ready!
(If you can spare even the smallest amount to sponsor me I would be very grateful)
Of course that is not the end of the story, bravely perhaps even stupidly I have also signed up to my first ultra marathon - the 40 or so mile run to the castle in Wales. I think that is probably enough for 2019 for now!