As you can see, there is more to Suffolk than driving around on our tractors (I don't have a tractor) and sleeping with our sisters (I don't have a sister)..
It has been another hectic week! The interview I did for Runner's World was published on Monday evening and you can read it here. By Tuesday morning the Facebook post had been liked over 500 times! On top of that, The Guardian article (here) has been shared over 450 times. Now I can honestly say that I don't know that many people, and they definitely weren't all from my Mum because she doesn't know how to use the internet.. Ever since my social media has been in meltdown - I now have over 1,000 followers on Twitter, which is 400 more than I had a month ago, and 200 more than I had a week ago. Utter madness!
It does not stop there either - my interview with Marathon Talk is tomorrow (Monday 18th Jan) which I am so excited for! I regularly listen to Tom & Martin on the podcast so it will be cool to actually be the guest. The interview will be around 30-40 minutes long so hopefully you'll enjoy listening to me. It should be available on iTunes at some point in the next couple of weeks!
I watched two brilliant films this week - The Danish Girl was incredible, and so was the Amy Winehouse documentary. It was quite disturbing watching her demise and I have had her music pretty much on repeat ever since! I came across an old photo of me this week - I know some people can find these upsetting and quite shocking, so I apologise in advance. This one was taken when I was in Goa in 2013 when I was really struggling with my eating disorder, and the other was taken recently this Christmas.
I can still remember comments I would receive from people (usually in the pub) who would say things like "How's the chemo going?" or "How long have you had aids?" - There is the old saying about walking a mile in someone else's shoes, which is certainly true. This is why I never pass judgement on someone else's appearance, because you can never really know exactly what challenges that person may be dealing with.
I actually like looking at these photos now because it shows me what I have achieved in the last 13 months - I am a far happier, stronger, more confident person and I have certainly put it behind me now. But I'm glad that the growing publicity around my experience and my recovery has got people talking about eating disorders, especially in adults and in men - hopefully it will continue to encourage others to confront theirs and eventually share their stories too.
This week marked 100 days until the London Marathon (DON'T PANIC!). I've run marathons in Boston, New York, Munich, Amsterdam and Berlin which are all great in their own ways, but nothing beats the support of all your friends, family, club-mates and the huge crowds in London. I've run it once before in 2014 and the whole experience was a nightmare..
I found out on the morning of the race that my hotel didn't have a kitchen or a restaurant (I know right!) and all the coffee shops were closed, so my friend Matt had to steal me some toast from his, which was stone cold by the time I ate it sitting on the steps of London Bridge station! I then completely bombed in the race once I got to Tower Bridge and can still remember Captain America and Batman overtaking me at Big Ben! I cannot wait for another crack at it and I am aiming to get near 2:30 - assuming I survive the six marathons I have to run between now and then..
I posted it on Twitter the other day, but I genuinely am happy to pace anyone running the Manchester Marathon in April as I will be using it as my final pre-London long run. Please just message me if you would like a tall, handsome country boy to keep you company for 26.2 miles - I am great at carrying drinks and gels, and I can also provide moderately entertaining banter..
Finally on to my ten marathon challenge! After a week off with a groin injury, I am now back up and running, my fundraising is now up to over £1,200 and marathon number two is next Saturday! The route is described as "five ups and downs" which is worryingly vague, and it takes place along the sea wall, which I am sure will be lovely and warm in mid-January! I'm driving down to Kent from Suffolk on the day so it will be an early start, and I plan to take it easier than marathon number one, so I'm looking for 2:55-2:59. After a week off I feel fresh and strong, my lucky sweatshirt has been washed and ironed, so I am confident I will do well. And then only eight more marathons to go!
I am running ten marathons to raise money for Beat, the UK's leading eating disorder charity. You can follow me on Twitter here, on Instagram here, or on Facebook here. You can also sponsor me via my Justgiving page here.