Every single year since for the past twenty or so years I have made a new year’s resolution to ‘get fit’ and, along with many other people, I have ended each of those years not particularly fit and stuffing my face with mince pies and cheese. This year, though, something changed (although I did still end up eating copious amounts of mince pies and cheese).
In the spring of this year I attended the funeral of a friend I had known since school. She had cystic fibrosis and knew that her lifespan was likely to be limited but she lived a fuller life than most people do in double the years she had. She travelled, ate the most exotic foods, explored, found love and followed her passion to be a ceramic artist (and she was a brilliant artist). She did not waste a second of the time she had. After the awfulness of having to say goodbye to her had sunk in, I resolved to take opportunities rather than let them pass me by and to create my own adventures. My excuses for why I couldn’t do things suddenly seemed pathetic and, while my excuse-shunning father in law was winning his age bracket in the brutally mountainous Keswick half marathon on his 70th birthday, my husband bought the couch to 5k app for me and I did my first run later that day.
That first run was on 30th April 2017… on 29th April 2018 I will run my first marathon.
I have also been lucky enough to have been chosen as one of four first time marathon runners in the Stirling marathon to be coached by long distance running legend, Liz McColgan! Truthfully I am very nervous about this, but very excited… my current aim is to avoid looking like a bit of a tit in front of her when we do a training run together next month and to run whole of the Winter Run 5k in Edinburgh (which involves quite a big hill, I’m told).
I have decided to raise money while I run the marathon for the charity COPS (Care Of Police Survivors). I have close connections to the policing family and I was a Special Constable for over seven years so I really appreciate the support they offer to the families of police officers who have died on duty while protecting us. I have a JustGiving page if anyone would like to donate (every donation will help to kick me up the rear end and keep me on track towards that finish line): https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/erica-gilchrist1
I will write blog posts here to update my progress as I try my best to train for my first marathon whilst also doing two jobs and being mum. Wish me luck!