So just under 3 days to go until I make my way to Greenwich Park for the start of the London Marathon 2012. I am trained and ready and getting very excited about the day.
26.2 miles is a really long way and I'm going to be out on that course for at least 5 if not 6 hours. At times it's bound to feel very tough. I know I'm going to complete it - not doing so is just not an option but I want to make it as 'easy' as I can for myself.
One of the people that I've met through Twitter - the lovely @duns _is_running aka Hannah Dunnell suggested dedicating each mile to someone that I know, so that when things get tough you can think about that person and find the motivation to run, knowing that you are running that mile for them. I love the idea so here are my marathon mile dedications for people who have inspired, supported or helped me on my marathon journey
Mile 1 is mine all mine - the 345 training miles I have put in have been all about getting me to the start line ready to complete this thing. I will enjoy the first mile and not run it too fast, honest.
Mile 2 is for everyone else running with me today - all 35000 of you. I now know exactly what it takes to train for a marathon and it's not easy. You have my total respect and I hope you all enjoy the day.
Mile 3 is for Simon Broome. The man who helped me find the self belief and confidence to lace up my trainers and take the first step out of my front door. Thank you!
Mile 4 is for everyone at Good Vibes Fitness particularly the fabulous Nahid, the lovely Choi and the man with the constant smile Andrew. Thank you for the yoga and powerplates classes which have strengthened and lengthened me and been an excellent complement to my running.
Mile 5 is for the girls of Boutique Running Club who have helped me realise that I enjoy running with other people and that I can run faster than I thought for longer than I thought. Thank you for all your encouragement. I hope to see you all soon after I've recovered from this!
Mile 6 is for everyone that's sponsored me and helped me to smash my Golden Bond pledge. I have currently raised just under £1600 which is absolutely amazing and will help the charity to do great things in my local community. Thank you all!
Mile 7 is for all my friends and colleagues at FSS who have lost or will lose their jobs due to the closure of the company. What an 18 months it's been and I'm proud of the way we've all handled it. Thank you for all the support you've shown me during my training.
Mile 8 is for my 'cousin' in New York Andrew who ran the New York Marathon last year - maybe one day I'll come and run New York with you. Thank you for all your encouragement.
Mile 9 is for my sister in law Katrina in Denver who is an amazing athlete and marathon runner and one of my original running inspirations. Thank you for all your advice and support - I really appreciate it.
Mile 10 is for Lorraine Albon - Darin's diabetic consultant who ran by my side for the whole of the 10 mile Great South Run last October and helped me to achieve a brilliant time that I'm convinced I wouldn't have managed on my own. We will think of you today.
Mile 11 is for my sister Rachel and her boyfriend Shaun - thank you for coming up to support me today, I really appreciate it. I'm looking forward to meeting my new niece or nephew later this year
Mile 12 is for everyone at Thinking Slimmer especially Sandra and Trevor. I would not be doing this today if it weren't for finding you. Perhaps at some point in the race I won't be thinking 'thank you' for that, but I am so grateful for everything you've helped me to achieve over the last year. So 'thank you' while I mean it!
Mile 13 is for my Mother in Law, Jean who has travelled down from Stafford to support me today. Thank you so much and I'm looking forward to seeing you along the route.
Mile 14 is for my Mum and Dad who should be waiting at this point on the route. One or other or perhaps both of you has passed on some ridiculous 'determination' gene which means I know I won't give up today. Thank you, I think. And thanks for coming up to support me. Please don't cry when you see me Mum because you'll probably make me cry too. Actually, that goes for Dad too.
Mile 15 is for Glenn Sontag my bloody marvellous osteopath and sports masseur who has kept me in one piece through my training and should hopefully be out to give me a cheer somewhere near mile 15 on Narrow St.
Mile 16 is for my colleague and friend Rachael. Two times finisher of the London Marathon and runner of many other races. Rachael was the person who convinced me that I could run London this year if I wanted to. Thank you so much for listening to my endless, no doubt very boring tales of marathon training and for all the advice and support.
Mile 17 is for Christine aka @Dashinista and one of the Boutique Running Club ladies. She has been training for the Brighton marathon at the same time as I've been training for London and it's been great to swap tips, advice, woes and progress. She completed Brighton in style last weekend and I can't wait to see her at mile 17 cheering us on.
Mile 18 is for Hannah aka @Duns_is_Running. I've never actually met Hannah but she's been a source of support and much entertainment on Twitter for the last few months. Mile 18 will be new territory for her so I'm dedicating this one to her. You can do it! I'm waiting to see to photographic evidence of your finishing line 'gun' pose - complete with arm warmers of course!
Mile 19 is for Lisa aka @LBehrG who as she starts the race today will be 7 stone lighter than when I first met her many years ago. Your weight loss and running journey has been a source of inspiration to me. You will probably have crossed the finish line by the time I get to this point. I really hope you get the time you want, and most importantly beat your husband's time from a few years ago as I know that's what really matters to you!
Mile 20 is for the Twitter #LondonMarathon #vlmfamily crew - @PumpinPete @MadebyElves @Ruthismoore @KatieMarathon @Rob_Sterry29 @lozzatron12 @andythatcher1 @alisonhardisty @TomDingleyphoto @SarahJaneCass to name just a few. I haven't met any of you but you have all been brilliant company through the ups and downs of training. This mile is the threshold that many of us have not yet crossed - I wish you all the very best of runs and look forward to comparing notes afterwards.
Mile 21 is for my niece Sophie and nephew Johnathan who should be waiting to cheer me on at this point, as well as my nephew Alex who has to work so can't be there. I hope that seeing me do this today will make you realise that anything is possible. If you want something enough and you work really hard then you can achieve it - any don't listen to anyone who tells you otherwise!
Mile 22 is for the amazing woman running next to me Dawn aka @The_Moiderer. I don't think I have ever met anyone who is quite so resilient, determined and downright stubborn! The changes you have made to your life this year are remarkable and an inspiration. I'm very proud to be running this with you.
Mile 23 is for the equally amazing man also running with me Darin aka @unitedarinm. A genuinely lovely man who has changed his life for the better in so many ways this year. My running buddy from the Great South Run and Brighton Half Marathon, I'm so glad and proud that we get to cross this particular finish line together. I will make you slow down in the first half - it's for our own good and I'm counting on you to help keep me going in the second!
Mile 24 is for my Uncle Brian who sadly is no longer with us. I'm going to need every ounce of courage to get me through these last few miles and I will think of you and the way you bravely fought against your illness to help me at this point.
Mile 25 is for my husband and best friend Mr J. For the words of encouragement before my runs. For the hugs and 'well dones' afterwards. For standing in the cold and rain carrying my stuff at races. For accepting that our Saturday nights needed to be a bit more low key. For making approving noises as I've modelled endless new running gear. For cooking for me during each long run and not making a fuss when I abandoned you for hours on end at the weekend. For generally being a brilliant supportive husband. THANK YOU. I love you.
Mile 26 and the extra 0.2 belong to me. I have imagined for years how it would feel to run up Birdcage Walk, past Buckingham Palace and back down the Mall across the finish line and now I get to find out. Yep, this mile and a bit is mine. I think I will have earned it.