THE BLOG

If I Can Keep My Running Resolutions, So Can You

08/01/2016 15:58 GMT | Updated 08/01/2017 10:12 GMT

Already tempted to tuck away your trainers in time for 2017's resolution attempts?

Then spare a thought for the thousands of people braving those dark January mornings - and even darker nights - as they prepare themselves for what is, for many, the ultimate running challenge: the London Marathon.

I never thought I'd be one of them.

It's fair to say that I wasn't exactly born to run. On paper, I belong in a pub not a park. I have a left hip full of metal from pelvic reconstruction surgery in my twenties, my right hip is on the suspect list and I come attached to a series of asthma inhalers. Oh, and I have a superglued stomach and right breast stuffed full of tummy fat from breast cancer treatment in 2014.

So why, you ask, have I opted for a sport where I congratulate myself every time I come back in one piece?

Well, having crossed the starting line of London's GB10K in July 2014 just days before my last chemo (complete with no hair, no stamina, a tube in my arm and an emergency hospital card in my back pocket), I know that running makes me feel alive.

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Throw in amazing crowds, supportive competitors - all running for their own causes - and selfless volunteers and you can't help but see all that is beautiful in the world.

That day, my body was broken, but I still crossed the line. At the time, I said it was my marathon. It would seem wrong now not to have a crack at the real thing.

I am not fast (it's more steady jogging than something resembling running). People laugh when I run (I am certainly no poster girl for the sport because of my hips). My body protests a lot (probably mourning the days when I thought running for the bus was a workout). And I know the next four months will test me in ways I cannot possibly imagine. But, come rain or shine, I will be out there just trying to make every step count.

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So, before you pack away those trainers, why not take them for another spin? Feel the wind (sun, snow, hail etc) on your face. Enjoy life's little details - that really are all around if you know where to look (as long as you're not in a gym on a treadmill). And, feel a little bit smug when you manage to push yourself a little bit harder than you ever thought possible.

Oh, and if you survive that, and think you could do it again, sign up for a race. Train in the morning before your lack of willpower takes over. Sleep with your running clothes by your bed (I refuse to sleep in my kit even if it has been recommended to me). And, most importantly, find a cause that puts a spring in your step. For me, it's Breast Cancer Care and just knowing my pain can help others face their pain keeps me moving.

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And, if you start to waver, think about this 34-year-old plodder with fluffy post-chemo hair and a bionic body who will be running for her life this April.

Why not check back soon, to find out whether I make that starting line...