I have been going to watch the marathon every year for the eight years that I have lived in London and initially it seemed like something that I would never ever do but after my epiphany on our first snowboarding holiday and gradually getting healthier, fitter and stronger and building up my running distances from 1 mile, to 5k, 10k and eventually half marathons (which always make me cry), this year I thought I was probably ready to give it a go.
I didn’t get a ballot place for London so I signed up for the first Milton Keynes half marathon and duly started a training plan. I also decided that 2012 was going to be the year of the squat which were a big weakness and unfortunately injured myself doing these (I knew there was a reason my body didn’t like them) which meant 3 weeks of total rest and that I now forever have a knee that crinkles every time it moves. That said I also put the wrong date into my training plan so I realised on the 17 mile long run that actually we weren’t 3 weeks behind after all we were on target.
I wanted to run for a small charity that didn’t get a lot of press and wasn’t able to ‘buy’ a London marathon place, one that was either local to where we lived or where we’re originally from and which meant something to me. I wasn’t sure how I would go about finding this until I read an article in the Evening Standard about a little girl called Mia.
Mia was born at 27 weeks and given only 3 weeks to live but she is the very definition of a fighter: she has constantly surpassed all medical expectations and, after a heart operation at 6 weeks old, she went home when she was 8 MONTHS old!!
She is now five. She has Cerebral Palsy, is profoundly deaf and can’t walk unaided but an operation which is available in Missouri could change the latter.
I am so thankful to be able to experience the joy (and pain) of running, training, completing assault courses, climbing mountains and snowboarding down them and I do often wonder how I would cope if I wasn’t able to walk so it breaks my heart to think that this courageous little girl is not able to do these things and not being able to fully join her friends at play. So I wanted to help her family to raise the £50,000 they need to send her to America for the op that could make this possible and which will improve her quality of life immeasurably.
Every step of the 26.2 miles (around 41,280 steps) I will be thinking of Mia and hoping to help her to take her first.