So having watched the London Marathon 2011 and deciding that I wanted to run that marathon 'at some point in my life' I have a place to run the very next year. So what happened to make that dream become a reality in such a short space of time?
As I was training for the Great South Run I realised that it was a lot easier to add miles onto my long Sunday run than I thought it would be. My sister in law, who has run several marathons, once told me that the first 3 miles are the hardest and then it becomes relatively straightforward to add mileage after that. I started to understand what she meant.
Quite often when I was out running I found myself wondering what running 26.2 miles would be like. It's obviously a really long way, but plenty of people do it every year so at some point I can't really remember I adjusted my goal from being 'at some point in my life' to 'before I'm 40' or more specifically in 2013.
I had it all mapped out in my head, I'd do the Great South Run in October 2011, a couple of half marathons in 2012 and then London in 2013. I was quite happy with my little plan. It hadn't even crossed my mind to try and get a place for 2012, the ballot had closed a long time ago.
Then towards the end of September I saw a couple of my friends post on Facebook that they had got places for London 2012 through the ballot. I really surprised myself at how envious I was but again I didn't really think anything more about it as I had my intentions set on 2013.
A few weeks later a good friend at work mentioned that she'd seen that there were still charity places available for 2012 and asked if I'd thought about trying to get one. I talked her through my 2013 plan but she had clearly planted a seed in my mind as I went home that evening and stared searching the internet to see what places were still available.
I found a few but most charities wanted around £2000 in sponsorship and had quite a complicated application process. I decided that I'd stick with my 2013 plan and justified this to myself very logically, despite the fact that everytime I thought about running in 2012 I got a knot of excitement in my stomach that I was doing my very best to ignore.
Back at work the next day I told my friend that I'd looked for places but decided against it and gave her my long list of justifications. She listened and smiled but I could tell by the look on her face that she was thinking "what a load of old rubbish". All she actually said to me was "you could absolutely do it if you wanted to"
With her words ringing in my ears that evening I found myself back online and happened to come across a website for an organisation called CRunCH. They match up people who want to run the London Marathon with charities who have spaces available. I saw that a charity local to me had places available with a far more modest fundraising target than I'd previously come across and before I knew it I was filling in the application form.
The next day I had a phone call from someone at CRunCH who asked me a few questions about my motivation to run, my abilty to raise the money and my running experience. And at the end of the call he uttered the words which would change the next six months of my life - "I'm pleased to be able to offer you a place in the London Marathon 2012".
I was in!!