It looks like we almost definitely will be running the London Marathon next April. It's nine months away still, but is suddenly looming very large on the horizon indeed. I've never run further than 13.1 miles before, and suddenly a full marathon feels like a very, very long way.
I set myself a fairly arbitrary (but challenging) target of 600 miles for this calendar year, and I'm already 76% of the way though on 456 miles and well set for 700 for the year. If I begin to factor in marathon training through winter, then I'm likely to have quite a few more miles on the clock before the end of the year.
Bring it on, I say. Feeble body permitting, obviously.
I was browsing the website of one of the UK's national MS charities this afternoon, reading reports from some of their charity runners, trying to get a feel for . One comment in particular caught my eye:
"The main reason for writing this dribble is to say to anybody, you can do it, any goal is achievable - a 5km walk, swimming 20 lengths, running a marathon or simply getting enough energy to get out of bed is achievable as long as you have the self belief and determination.
Don't let anybody say you can't!
That, in a nutshell, is my philosophy. I hate those people who say that you can achieve anything you put your mind to. It seems to most often be said by successful people who look at less successful people and think that we're just people who haven't tried hard enough or haven't wanted it badly enough. That's just offensive and insulting.
My experience of MS so far - and I'm the first to admit that I've been lucky up to now - is that you are as beaten back as you allow yourself to be. I often feel fatigued; I've lost muscle strength in my left side and I've developed a tendency to drag that foot when I get tired. I don't think anyone would blame me if I started doing less. It's not going to happen. I'm only beaten if I allow myself to be. The day I start making excuses to myself is the day it's all over.
I may have to scale back my goals. I'm not going to be able to run a full marathon flat out and it's just not realistic to think that I can train to run 26 miles in four hours without doing myself some serious damage. That doesn't mean I can't run a marathon, it just means I need to adjust my goals and look to get round without setting myself a goal that might break me. I'm going to run round with my wife, taking as long as it takes and trying to enjoy the atmosphere of a remarkable day.
I won't let anyone say I can't do it, least of all myself.
Tea Advent Day 4
10 hours ago