I know I talk about running on here a lot. Well, let's be perfectly honest: now that I'm marathon training, I think it's fair to say that I talk about running a lot. In fact, I talk about little else but running. Well, I guess I'm not going to apologise for that.
One thing that I don't do all that often is to trumpet our sponsorship site. We're running London again this year to raise money for the MS Trust, but although all financial support is most welcome, one of the things I was keen not to do too much this year was to rely on my friends to raise the money we need to hit our target. There are so many good charities, and I know that everybody gets asked for donations all the time. It's hard.
We raised £7,200 last year, and the vast majority of that came from people we know putting their hands in their pockets and making a donation. It was a truly humbling experience to have all those people show us how much they supported us by donating to our charity. This year, I wanted to do things a little bit differently, and to try and give people something for their money. I was thinking cake sales, raffles and perhaps a silent auction or something. Luckily for us, our friends at Virtual Runner gave us a couple of runs that meant that we were basically up to £4,000 before I'd even started training. (Incidentally, there are still a few places left on the Revenge of the Sixth run. Who doesn't want a glow-in-the-dark Darth Maul medal? Enter HERE!)
But we are still asking for donations. I wasn't going to keep going on about it, but this morning, I woke up early: it was the morning after my injection and it was dark and cold and I didn't feel especially great. But I got up, pulled on my running gear and went out into the freezing morning to run the 3.6 miles to work in the sleet. This evening, after a full day at work, I pulled on my slightly soggy running gear and ran the 3.6 miles home in the dark - nearly being mowed down along the way by the idiot rowing coaches who cycle along the riverside looking at their boats whilst riding on bicycles with no lights. I'm not asking for your sympathy because I got into this out of choice.... but I'm getting to the part of my training where the miles really start to rack up and it can feel like a bit of a slog.
I'm doing this marathon partly to prove to myself that I can run 26.2 miles on my own. I've got multiple sclerosis and it is slowly taking its toll on my ability to run, mainly by wasting the muscles on my left side and reducing the flexibility in my ankle. Running 500 training miles in four months in order to complete a marathon is the best way that I know to stick two fingers up at this horrible bloody condition. But I'm also doing it to raise money for a brilliant charity that provides a critical support to people with MS, their families and the medical professionals who care for them. And you know what, I am going to need your help and support... financial or otherwise.
I'll just leave this here.
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