I decided that this year would be the year. It's something everyone would love to say they've done and I thought finally I'd go for it. Everyone I've spoken to bar none have all had the same reaction to the news that I was going to run the marathon. The reaction being 'You're mad…but yeah, ooo, I'd love to do that one day'. BLOODY DO IT THEN was my response every time.
It makes it special too that it’s the Olympic year, not saying I'm an Olympian (yet) or that I'll be up the front with the Kenyans in my bare feet but I am very determined. If I set myself a challenge, I will always complete it and this is a huge challenge and although it's the unknown, I'm not daunted by it, just excited I know I'll do it. I kind of have to now I've said it on the bloody radio.
Training is tough for everyone with a busy schedule and because mine changes everyday, knowing when you have enough time to run has been a constant problem. I'm a procrastinator - my head goes at 200mph and being able to switch my brain off is very difficult. It takes me an AGE to actually get sorted and ready for a run. I have to locate all the gadgets including funky GPS watch (yeaaaah, the girls love a guy who analyses his running) anti-blister socks and useless ill-fitting iPod holder for my arm.
Once I'm actually on the streets, running definitely helps switch off but I've realised that it's not until about mile 5 or 6 that I actually get into the zone. The first 5 miles are my least favourite. I'm always thinking about stuff I could or should be doing, or people I haven't emailed back, or what I should have for dinner. Then, at around mile 5, my brain switches off and my legs just keep moving.
This will sound odd, but I try and smile every now and then as if to prove to myself that I'm OK, and happy with what's going on. I nod at fellow runners, sing loudly along to ALL the songs on my iPod and sometimes jump and skip at the good bits of songs. I have surely now painted the picture of a mad person but when I'm running, when I'm merrily jogging along, I actually don't give a crap about anything or anyone else.
The charity I've chosen to support and raise money for is a fantastic one. The Stroke Association is a cause very close to me. My granddad suffered with a stroke several years ago and sadly, despite everyone's best efforts, he just kind of gave up I think. He couldn't cope with it but many others survive and enjoy life after stroke thanks to the great work done by The Stroke Association.
It is an under estimated killer, a stroke. It can happen at any age and at any time. The brain is a horribly complex and vulnerable thing and the more we can know about it, the better. That's why the Stroke Association have my full support.
Right, enough time chatting - time for another run. After I've wrapped up my blistered feet, bandaged my dodgy knee and worked out what I'm going to have for dinner.
If you’d like to sponsor Greg in his Marathon efforts for The Stroke Association, please go to his Virgin Money Giving Page.
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