For some months I have been harbouring a secret. I’ve been scared to utter it out loud because I know it will cause no end of pain, anguish and tears. (Mine). To quote that great 21st century philosopher Mel C: ‘Things will never be the same again.’ Or at least not for a few months.
But I can’t live a lie anymore. So here it is. My secret. In 292 days I will be running the London Marathon.
I know what you’re thinking, ‘Geez what an anti-climax. EVERYONE has run a marathon.’ You’re right, OAPs, Tony The Fridge, my mate Rhodri, even Mo Farah has given it a crack. And by all accounts (a.k.a the naysaying BBC commentators) he was an idiot for trying.
But you know what I say? Screw them. Because they’re not me. And just because a gazillion people have hauled themselves through 26 miles before it doesn’t mean I’m not petrified about the fact that I’m going to too. And, FYI, it doesn’t make it any easier either.
So, why bother? I honestly don’t know. It’s probably got something to do with being a school PE reject who, during rounders, was sent out as far away as possible to
field make daisy chains. PE rejects are a mixed bunch – we either succumb to a life of gluttony and sloth (as our hearts so want us to) or we rage around with a chip on our shoulder, signing up to 10ks left, right and centre with a look of wild vitriol in our eyes.
So am I trying to prove a point to the sporty kids at school who never picked me for their team? Facebook suggests they’ve all moved on and had 5 kids. I very much doubt they’d care. And, honestly, I don’t either. (Although I wouldn’t mind surprising my actual friends who still wouldn’t pick me for their team. Even if it was a friendly. With beer).
Am I trying to prove a point to myself? That’s probably closer to the mark. I’d like to see if I can surpass all the wildest dreams I didn’t have about what my body could do back then. Could these same legs and lungs really carry me that far?
Other factors (of varying importance):
- Because of morbid curiosity. The same thing that makes you look when you pass a car crash – a need “Just to see…”
- Because I’m a glory-hunter. Like everyone else.
- Because watching the marathon last year made me cry. I don’t know why.
- Because I live in London and it’s a “London” thing to do.
- Because it’s a good goal to keep me running. Even though it hurts.
- Because, very importantly, I’m raising money for Shelter, the incredible charity that puts roofs over heads. Sleeping a night on the streets – now that’s a marathon.
I’ve been scared to utter my secret because once I admit it’s happening, it’s happening. There’s no living in denial anymore. But for all the reasons above I’m finally saying it loud (read: quiet) and proud (read: tentative). My name is Jessica and I’m going to try to…maybe…have a crack at….you know…running a marathon.
VITALS: My fundraising page can be found at justgiving.com/jessicaruns. Every £1 you can spare will be another reason I can’t chicken out. Abuse that power.