My friend P pointed out that I haven’t posted the article from the lovely and very entertaining MumsRock website on here. If you want to read it in all its glory, go here. But here it is for posterity:
I hate running. I look awful in lycra, and my body shape owes more to Dawn French than Paula Radcliffe. So running the Virgin London Marathon wasn’t really at the top of my things to do list. I have four children, I work from home, I have an allotment which recently earned a ‘must do better’ letter. So last April, when I discovered that my cholesterol levels were too high, I decided that I’d run the Virgin London Marathon in memory of my father. He’d have found that highly amusing, given that I was the girl who would run a mile to avoid any form of exercise.
Dad was only 55 when he died suddenly from a heart attack.
Every day in the UK, 700 people suffer a heart attack – that’s one every 2 minutes. I set up a blog and approached Heart Research UK, a charity which funds research into heart disease, as well as educating people in the ways to look after their hearts. My sister Zoe agreed to join in and for inspiration, we watched the Marathon on television. I’d like to say I was feeling proud of myself, but I was wondering how easy it would be to sneakily break my leg.
I set off on my first run at 5am. I managed a whole 20 seconds before collapsing on a handy bench and turning for home. My husband since confessed that he thought I’d forgotten something, but he was too polite to ask why I didn’t go back out. Since then, I’ve managed to master running for a whole five minutes without stopping – it’s harder than you’d think, you know. Recently I’ve discovered that my self-preservation method has a name. Calling it The Galloway Method sounds a lot better than ‘run a bit, walk a bit’.
My thinking was that with all four children at school or preschool, I’d have lots of time to run. It never seems to work out quite like that. Someone is invariably ill, the school is closed because of snow, and the whole summer holidays were a complete write off. I spent two months apologising on my blog for writing about sandcastles and how much washing the children generated, until my husband sneakily bought a treadmill on eBay. It turned out to be the size of a small transit van and takes up half the sitting room. It’s hard to find an excuse not to run when it trips me up every time I try and sneak into the kitchen for a biscuit.
26.2 miles is a long way, but it’s for a good cause, and I want my children to be proud of me. After all, not everyone can say they have a marathonmummy.