Monday, April 27, 2015

2015: Week 17

The annual photo of the amazing cherry blossom trees in Greenwich Park, which were at full bloom in week 17 of 2015.

Monday, April 20, 2015

2015: Week 16

Week 16 of 2015 was Easter break. We went to the London Zoo. We admired the penguins. The penguins admired us back. It was awesome.

Friday, April 17, 2015

My 10th Anniversary of the London Marathon

Ten years ago today, I ran and finished the London Marathon.

As it certainly ranks in the top five of my most memorable and happiest days of my life, it certainly wouldn't be right to let its 10th anniversary go by unmentioned on MarathonMum.

Ten years on, so much of it is still incredibly vivid. But when I reread my post on my race day other memories came flooding back to me too. I have so many memories of the day that I will never forget:
  • The electricity in the air, combined with the atmosphere of extreme nervousness, at the start; 
  • Seeing my family with their Mr. Incredible balloon at mile 6.5;
  • My great good friends, the Walker-Allen Family, cheering me on at mile 7, 19.5 and 24.5. They were (and are) amazing;
  • The utter misery followed by the utter joy of seeing Tower Bridge at mile 12.5;
  • Not wanting to look at my feet at mile 19 as I ran through Canary Wharf utterly convinced my feet would be bloody (my shoes were 1/2 a size too small);
  • Hearing Aretha Franklin on my iPod belt out "Respect"-- one of my favourite songs at mile 20;
  • Running along the Embankment at mile 25 just behind someone dressed as Tigger. When I told Thing Two later that both Tigger and I were both struggling at that point, he observed, "He must have been all bounced out." Indeed. 
  • Sobbing at the finish line because I couldn't believe I had finally accomplished my life-long goal.
There are many more memories because it was such an incredible day for me, but I don't want to bore you silly. It will be my only marathon, but that's enough for me. I've found over the years that when marathons come up in conversations, if you've said you've done it, they never ask if you've done any others. One seems to be enough of an accomplishment for many people. (And only hyper-competitive jerks ask you what your time was.)

The other thing I accomplished was raising more than £4,000 for CAMFED, a British charity dedicated to sending African girls to school. At the time, it was a small charity that not many people had heard of. In the 10 years since, it's gone on to be the Financial Times charity for December two times, won numerous awards and is far better known than it once was. I still feel a great amount of pride that I sent more than121 girls to school that year, due to my fundraising efforts. Given that I got my marathon spot through the lottery, which still amazes me now, I did the fundraising because I wanted to, not because I was required to do so. 

I learned so much by running the marathon that still helps me today, 10 years later. These include: 

I would like to say that I marked the anniversary by going on my favourite run-- a 6-mile jaunt through Greenwich Park, around the dome and along the Thames to home-- but alas, a sprained knee has kept me from doing any running at all. Before my injury, I was still running, but not with the fervour of 10 years ago. My longest race last year was a 10K/6.2 mile one, and that was enough for me. It's enough for me that I can go out and put one foot in front of the other, albeit slower than I was 10 years ago. 

My training for the marathon was actually the inspiration for establishing this blog in the first place. This was 2005, a time (hard to believe) before Facebook or Twitter or Skype or a million other ways to keep in touch. I started the blog so I could keep my family and friends informed about how the training was going.  Now, of course, I'd set up a Facebook page or a Twitter feed and be done with it, which would have been much easier than writing a blog in 2005, when knowing a bit of HTML went a long way. 

Ten years is a long time. Loads of other things have happened since then, both happy and sad. But I will never forget my marathon day. 

Monday, April 13, 2015

2015: Week 15

In the second week of Easter break, we made a massive effort in our continued refurbishment of the garden. While cleaning out the shed-- today's task-- we found the old car seat. When I went to clean out the cup holder, I found this surprise effort sticker. Well done to whichever son earned it.

Monday, April 06, 2015

2015: Week 14

Easter 2015 took place in Week 14. This year, we had a contest to hide the Easter eggs in the most creative place possible. This was my effort, of which I was very proud.