Earlier in the week, I did a pre-work run. For me, training before work means an 05:15 alarm clock and leaving the house at 05:30. It was only just above freezing, it was dark and it was raining, all of which contributed to it being a pretty miserable experience. By 06:15, I was back in my flat hugging a radiator in an attempt to warm myself up and wondering what had possessed me to agree to train for a marathon.
Two things have happened in the last fortnight that have made it abundantly clear to me that however tough training for and eventually running the marathon is going to be, it’s worth every ounce of energy I put in to it.
Firstly, last Thursday my beautiful niece was born. It’s the first time in my life that my behaviour will have a direct impact on that of another person. Obviously, bringing a five month old to London in the cold isn’t a good idea, so she won’t be there when I cross the finish line. However, the idea of her sitting down when she’s older, seeing a photo of me on race day and realising that anything is possible if you work hard enough for it definitely inspires me to run the race. Hopefully her Auntie Amy will one day inspire her in the same way that she’s inspiring me right now.
Secondly, this week I paid a visit to the Headway Oxfordshire activity and rehabilitation centre. I’m incredibly lucky that my brain injury doesn’t mean I need high levels of support. Others aren’t so lucky. Visiting the centre and seeing the high levels of support that survivors less lucky than myself need really hit home how important my fundraising for Headway is. Their centre offers everything from gym equipment for physical rehabilitation, through to art classes so that survivors can spend time with each other and feel less isolated.
So, next time I’m running before the sun comes up, I’ll be thinking of all the Headway service users that I’m raising money to help and the gorgeous Isobel Rose Gordon. Two very worthy inspirations, I’m sure you’ll agree.
I’d love it if you could support my journey by donating or sharing my story on social media, and don’t forget, you can listen to me talking about my journey so far on BBC Radio Oxford at 10am on Tuesday!