This time two days from now I’ll have run the London Marathon! Eek!! This will be such an emotional day for me: fundraising for a charity close to my heart (Great Ormond Street), and the conclusion of 9 months where I have focused on trying to rebalance life as a freelancing parent of twins, where there is also a serious chronic illness to manage.
When you’re the parent of a child with additional needs, the needs of their health and care – even if that means big sacrifices within the family unit – have to always come first. Doesn’t mean to say you have to lose yourself, but more that if you’re not careful that could easily happen.
Subsequently, adding ‘self-care’ as a regular item to my task list has been a focus, and I feel great benefits from carving out a regular slice of time for the marathon training.
I’ve been officially training for 6 months (and spent 3 before that building up to a half-marathon), and even though it seemed like a mission to begin with and a big chunk of time to commit (and a lot of people did think I was quite mad taking this on, on top of everything!) it really has gone in a flash.
6 months on I’m fitter, healthier, stronger, happier. It would have been so easy – and tempting, to be honest! – to put it on the long finger, and say “I’m too busy; I’ll never be able to do that … I’ll start a bit down the line”. But here I am, about to run a marathon!
I still have a chunk of weight to lose, but I have lost quite a bit during the training, and most importantly I feel good, and I feel like I’ve found a bit of myself again that had been swallowed up by twins, 12 months of reflux, kidney failure, vats of meds, hundreds of blood tests, various unexpected life emergencies, managing work on top of all of that…
I feel I’ve rewired my brain a bit during the last few months, and now a run is often the answer to a stressful day with the kids – not that glass of wine/calorific treat!! (Nice as they are!) It’s important for the kids to have healthy role-models – especially my son who will really need to mind himself and his health – and I love that they now think it so normal that on Sunday mornings they have time with their dad while I run, and they seem so proud when I come back from a race with a medal. Sunday’s medal will most definitely be the best yet!!