I had an unfortunate incident at my youngest son’s sports day during the parent’s race. It was about a 70-metre sprint for the dads and I managed to tear BOTH hamstrings at exactly the same time! I haven’t felt a searing pain like it in my life. I could barely move in any direction for a number of minutes.
Desperate to show my son that I wasn’t broken, I powered through the race (didn’t finish last – don’t know how!) and proceeded to move slowly for the rest of the afternoon, doing my very best to not show any sign of injury. I was determined to finish.
We went to Frankie and Benny’s that afternoon to celebrate that he had won a race. It was there we had a photo together (see below). I could barely move because of the pain in both legs, but we look happy together … we are happy together.
Looking back, I have no idea why I thought this would work as a training tool to help return the following year in the dad’s race but I simply said “I will come back next year and do much better. I will run the London marathon to train for it!!”
Almost forgetting about my bold claim to run the London Marathon the previous summer, CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably). I had raised well over £100,000 for across two events the previous two years, got in touch with the “good news” that they had a place for me in the London Marathon.
I’d never run anywhere in my life! The last run of note I did was aged 8 when a friend and I completed a 1KM fun run around London’s Hyde Park in 1985.
I couldn’t run and didn’t know how, where or when to, but it was an opportunity to raise awareness for a charity I’d worked so closely with in 2015 and 2016 and the incredibly important issue they cover. It was also the chance to complete a trilogy of endurance events and erase the memories of those torn hamstrings.
As I write this, I’m just hours away from taking part in the London Marathon. I’ve given everything I possibly could to this and have given myself the best chance possible in barely three and a half months.
I sourced a trainer (Bryce) who has been brilliant for me. He helped kit me out and started me from the very beginning to where I am now. I recall on a freezing cold night in January, I ran for 4 minutes and thought I’d throw up. I could barely breathe. But, I would not quit, despite not being sure where I’d find the time to train.
I’d run at 1 O’clock in the morning, in freezing rain and wind, and when the ‘Beast From The East’ arrived I had to go through snow, ice, slush and freezing fog, multiple times for miles at a time. I cycled, did park runs, finding time to make sure I stood a chance.
In barely two months I went from struggling to run for 4 minutes to training for between 10 and 16 miles at a time. I did 5km park runs and went from 37 minutes to less than 30 minutes in a couple of months. I’ve lost the grand total of 41lbs despite the constant references to my heavyweight status. It’s not an issue for me. I’m 16 stone and proud!!!
In what I can describe as a low-key charity drive versus the first two events, I’m really really pleased to have raised over £3,000 for CALM. It’s a wonderful charity that does so much for people and their mental health. Please do look them up. If you can sponsor me then that’s great. If you aren’t able to sponsor, then please spread the word of their work to try and reduce suicide rates.
If anyone wants to track me live during the marathon via the official London Marathon app – I’m runner number 22898.
Afterwards, I then have to get from London to Bristol as I’m playing in a band that same evening.! I’m a drummer so I’ll need a good sit down. I will be fine I’m sure
Come Monday morning I really think that will be it for me and endurance events. I always wanted to do a trilogy and the time and effort it takes on the body and mind is a lot. I don’t think there is much more I can do, certainly nothing that I can train say for an hour a week or so.
This will be an amazing way to go out of endurance eventing. Raising more funds and awareness for a great charity whilst proving to myself and others I could go from nothing to runner in weeks. If I can do the marathon in around 5 hours then brilliant. If not, I’ll still do some time or other. I definitely won’t stop and go home. Nothing will stop me and I’ll know I will have given everything I could on the way to a once in a lifetime achievement.
See you on the other side……