I'd always looked at people running marathons before I attempted mine and thought; "it can't be that hard can it". Although I'd done a few half marathons and thought the prospect of running it twice seemed the most ridiculous concept ever, I still didn't think it would be quite as hard mentally and physically as it was...
So after a week, a lot of sleepless nights, and watching the same Natwest advert over and over again (the one with a little girl so adorable she makes me want to claw out my own heart just to stop myself from crying - seriously I can't cope), I am finally up to speed with the Game Of Thrones bandwagon.
The Virgin London Marathon is nearly upon us, and all the hard work, early mornings and sore legs will soon be worth it. Crossing the finish line of your first marathon is an incredible feeling, and the pain and hurt of the previous 26 miles is momentarily forgotten while the glorious medal is placed around your neck.
Ten years ago, we had the great fortune to meet a lovely English woman, Tracey Morris, an optician from Leeds, who had a passion for running. A recreational runner, she entered the London Marathon in 2004 for the first time at the age of 36. To everyone's astonishment, not least her own, she finished tenth with a time of 2:33:52.
Even though I work for a charity, I am rubbish at asking for money. Sometimes I feel more apprehensive about the fundraising than the actual training. Like most Brits, I have a deeply ingrained irrational fear of 'bothering' anyone. Yes it is a challenge and yes it can be hard work but I have to keep reminding myself that it's so worth it in the end.
I cannot emphasise enough just how far removed I am from those annoying people who are seemingly born with a 6-pack and effortlessly cruise through runs without breaking a sweat. It's all about hard graft for me. Like many 'growing lads', I was a victim of chronic puppy fat/grow baggage at school and running was the last thing I wanted to do.