Saturday, 31 December 2011

Learning to dance in the rain

Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain. So it said on one of the Christmas cards I received recently.

Right now I'd settle for learning to run in the rain. Dancing will have to wait. Because I’m training for the London Marathon in 2012, and waiting for a dry day to pound pavements just isn’t going to cut it.

I’ve been waiting a while for that perfect moment to ramp up my training, and this quote on a Christmas card was an opportune reminder that the elusive “perfect moment” never comes unless we each seize the one we have and make it so.

So this morning I ran in the rain by the Thames, pulled by my dog on his lead. I ran on and off, for an hour listening to my power song, Pulp’s Common People four times. Why? It reminds me of being a medical student. It makes me remember the mixture of being daunted and excited about becoming a doctor, and I feel a similar mix of daunted and excited about running the London marathon for Merlin. 

And while I ran I decided to write a commentary about training. Every day I run, I’ll write. Short run, short post; longer run, longer post. One word for every ten metres. Today, 750 words. 

My plan is to share a little about different running routes, training and fund raising progress, and some stories of what happens to money that is donated to my charity, Merlin. 

What I’m hoping to get from you is a little cheerleading, tips on great training routes in the capital and for you to dig deep into your plastic cards and click on my fundraising links.

I’ll make that bit really easy. 
You can sponsor me at Just Giving here and at Virgin Money Giving here

And why am I running for Merlin?

I first became aware of Merlin a few years ago when I was working as an editor at the British Medical Journal. Through doctors who had volunteered on various frontlines, I knew Merlin as an organisation specialising in disaster relief. But they also do much more than that.

Undaunted and determined, Merlin saves lives. They deliver medical expertise to some of the toughest places on earth. And then they stay to help build lasting health care.

Merlin is the UK's leading charity specialising in international health, sending medical experts to the frontline of global emergencies. When disaster strikes, it is their doctors and nurses work around the clock to save lives fast. Working together with tireless health workers on the ground, they take countries shattered by war, earthquake or floods from emergency to recovery – staying for as long as it takes. If you want to read more about their work, have a look on their website.

So why a marathon in 2012?

Ten years ago I lived close to Tower Bridge and used to love watching the marathon runners as they came over the bridge. It became a dream of mine to run the London marathon one day.

I’ve lived in New Zealand for several years, and fell in love with Auckland while running along the waterfront. Now that I’m home again, I’m ready to explore this city with new eyes. Being part of the London marathon in the year the Olympic games are in my home city, together with the opportunity to raise money for Merlin seemed too good an opportunity to pass up.

If you’re reading this when I’m posting it, which is New Year’s Eve 2011, chances are you’re making a few New Year’s resolutions. Maybe your resolving to get fit, shift some excess weight, start your own business or maybe run a marathon yourself. I don’t know about you, but I have often made resolutions at midnight, champagne glass glass in hand, fireworks lighting up the sky, only to ditch them like shoes that pinch at the toe, before the January sales have finished. To be honest, my goal of running the marathon has gone that way in the past, but this year I was prompted to sign up for it while taking part in the MAGIC Hundred programme

This is a goal achievement programme developed by one of the UK's leading personal trainers. What I have loved about Dax Moy’s MAGIC Hundred programme is that it is all about getting resolutions and goals achieved and I can’t recommend it highly enough. If you download it using the links in this blog, Dax will give me money (yay, thanks Dax) which will go straight into my Merlin marathon fund. So you get to make your New Year’s resolutions amount to something you can be truly proud of, support me in the marathon and save lives by supporting Merlin. What could be a better start to 2012?

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