Relight your Fire!


It’s fair to say the last 16 months have been a challenging time for us all, some more than others, but never the less, a challenge. And it’s probably also fair to say for some of us, these challenging times may have eroded our enthusiasm and passion to achieve our goals.

But, as life is finally returning to normal (she writes with fingers and toes crossed), it is time to take charge again and relight our fire to get this job done.  It’s time to take back control of our lives and start achieving the goals we set ourselves, again.

Our lives have almost been on standby since March 2020, but with a fair wind if things go to plan over these next few weeks, we really can now start to plan again, and have things to aim for. The prospect of holidays, weddings, events, days out, meals in restaurants and nights out with friends all give us something to look forward to, to dress up for and to want to feel at our best when we go.

For some, we may have sadly experienced the very negative aspects of Covid on our own personal health or that of our families and loved ones, and so the realisation has hit that it is time to take charge of our health and wellbeing to give us the best quality of life possible.

For me, it is the prospect of actually being able to take part in this years London Marathon that has sparked a fire that I haven’t felt, in a good long while.


Covid cancellations

I had a place to run in last years London Marathon which was due to take place on Sunday 26th April 2020.  Training was on and it was going well, after a shaky start with an injury.  I had a gang of running buddies to train with and we got to 14 miles in training. Then on March 13th the announcement came that the event was to be postponed. I remember the night of the announcement, and actually cried about it – I was gutted.

The event meant so much to me, for so many reasons. I was running for The Anaphylaxis Campaign, a charity that I had worked with during my career in Trading Standards, and in memory of Megan Lee, a local young lady who had passed away due to anaphylactic shock.  I had the privilege of getting to know her family during the investigation that followed her death – they were remarkable people and I wanted to do my bit for the charity that supported them following Megan’s death, but also worked to prevent further fatalities from anaphylaxis.

Then there was my Dad. He ran the very first London marathon in 1981 and my mum and I were there to support him on the sidelines. My dad was an amazing runner, completing the marathon in under 3 hours – something that I could only dream of.  But, my Dad can no longer run – years of hard graft in the building trade means that he needs two new knees and two new hips – so I wanted to go to London and make him proud, and to follow in his footsteps.

And finally, I wanted to show my kids that if you put your mind to something, no matter how difficult it is, you can achieve it. They are the most important things in the world to me, and I want them to achieve everything they dream of, with hard work and dedication.

Then, came the news that the event was to be rearranged for 4th October 2020, and training was back on.  I got up to that magic number of 14 miles again and everything just went pear shaped. We were left in limbo for weeks throughout June and July.  Would there be a race, or wouldn’t there? We kept getting email updates to tell us to keep waiting, meanwhile my passion and enthusiasm for training was dwindling.

Eventually, in mid August, a decision was made to run the elite race only, with the rest of the participants completing the marathon virtually, in their home towns, if they chose. I was in two minds about the whole thing for days, then after a chat with my family, I decided I was going to give it a go, and came up with what Rick has termed the craziest plan ever.  Running 10 laps of a route in my local area.  It meant I could always be near home, have support from my friends and family and not worry about toilet stops and refuelling on a long end to end or circular route.

But I had to get back on with training. So I did, and it was going well, until 3 weeks before the event.  The day after my longest ever run of 20 miles, my bestest running buddy, Willow the Be Strong Dog, got hit by a car and partially severed the tendons in her front leg. I was distraught.  It was touch and go for a day or so as to whether we would have to have her put to sleep. I was a mess! Fortunately Willow lived to fight another day, but she wouldn’t be running with me for a few months at least. Willow had accompanied me on every mile of training, and now she would be out for the main event. It just didn’t feel right. I was beyond upset with the whole situation.

Then 2 weeks before the event, my friends organised a surprise belated 40th birthday day and evening out. In a moment of enthusiastic, inebriated giddiness, one of the lads picked me up, spun me around and then stumbled meaning he dropped me onto a table right on my hip. I got up and felt fine. The following day the entire right side of my bum and thigh was black and blue. What should I do? Do I continue with my taper runs and risk making any injury worse, or do I rest and hope for the best. I decided to rest.

Then finally to add insult to injury (literally), the week before the event, I came down with a kidney infection and was so poorly. I really was in two minds as to whether I would make it to my start line, even contacting the charity to put them on warning. But luckily the antibiotics kicked in and I was well enough to run on the day.

I completed my virtual marathon with small groups of 4 or 5 friends running each of the 10 laps with me, and so much support on the route and in the park where I finished, I was overwhelmed.  I have to say that I had the best experience that it could have been, short of actually running it on the streets of London.  But, when I got my official time through I was disappointed.  I know I can do a lot better, and it left me feeling a little anti-climatic and like I had unfinished business. And I hate the feeling of unfinished business.

Light the touch paper

A month later, the Anaphylaxis Campaign contacted me. I had raised the most money out of all of their virtual marathon runners and received some press interest, which they were grateful for highlighting the charity.  So they offered me first refusal on a place for London 2021 – how could I say no?!

So here I am 10 months on, and in the fourth week of marathon training again.  A few weeks ago when I knew that I had to sit down to write my training plan I have to say I was not feeling enthused…. at all!!  I put it off until the very last day that I could.  The prospect of the arduous 16 week training program really wasn’t appealing to me, and actually made me feel a little bit sick.

But… I sat back and reflected on how I  had got to this point, and what I really wanted to achieve.  I reflected on the work that I have put in these last few months, improving my flexibility and core strength with almost daily yoga sessions.  I reflected that this is only actually 16 weeks out of my life, and that I might never get the opportunity to run London Marathon again.   I acknowledged that I really do want this to be my last marathon and I definitely don’t want to have more unfinished business with this distance – because if I do, I know I will want to do another – and that isn’t fair on my family, because the training takes me away from them.

I want to turn up on 3rd October 2021, in Greenwich, London, and I want to know that I have done absolutely everything in my power to ensure that I give my best possible performance. I want to make my Mum, Dad, husband and my kids proud of me, when I cross that finish line.

I want to finish strong. I want to enjoy every step that I take and soak up the atmosphere of this incredible event, that I am so fortunate to have been granted a place in. I want to feel proud that I did my best and wear my finishers medal with pride!

Putting in the graft

To do all of those things, I am going to have to put in some graft, and that graft has started. I need to stick to my training plan. I need to say ‘no’ to nights out (something I am not good at, at all!!), so they don’t impact on my performance in training. I need to complete my cross training and strength training sessions. I need to eat and drink to fuel and nourish my body – not just for comfort or enjoyment.  I need to be accountable to myself. I need to accept that this is my training, and my training alone, and not be distracted by friends who might be doing things differently. I need to become an athlete, for just 16 weeks.

So this is my pledge, it’s public and I want to be pulled up and held accountable if I am not behaving like an athlete.

I have discussed my training plan with my husband, so he knows where I am at.  I have planned running routes for whilst we are on our family holiday in August. I have so far, covered all eventualities.  I have bought myself a training journal, and I am keeping a diary over these 16 weeks, to ensure my mind is focused on what it needs to be.  And to be truly honest, this prospect really excites me.  I am excited that I am going to give it my all, to see what I am really capable of, when I put my mind to it.

Where are you right now?

So over to you!! Where are you right now? What have you missed out on this last 16 months? What do you really want to achieve? Where do you want to be in 2,4 or 6 months time? What event do you want to show up at, knowing that you have done all you can to put in your best performance – this could be a social event, not just a physical activity or challenge.  It could be that actually you want to show up for the rest of your life being the healthiest, fittest version of yourself.

What have you got unfinished business with, that you want to achieve once and for all?

Reflect on where you are, where you have been, where you want to go, and how you can get there. Write it down – in detail – it helps – I promise!  Then let that fire rekindle inside until it is roaring like a furnace.  Fuel that furnace until you your job is done – until you see exactly what it is that you are capable of!

This week!

Tell us your goals and plans, and what you are aiming for?

How are you relighting your fire and motivation?

Tell us how excited you are for a future of being the best version of you!

3 replies on “Relight your Fire!”

What a great read, I didn’t realise you had all that going on before your virtual marathon – even more impressive that you completed it & I’m sure you’ll ace the real thing! Taking my time & having a good long think about a goal to really push me outside my comfort zone, had an idea but will see how things pan out.

If you want to run anything past me or rick, just give me a shout.

Yes the few weeks before the virtual marathon were just a catalogue of disasters… fingers crossed it’s an easier ride this year!!

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