Hopefully everyone had a nice Christmas? There are now only four days left until I actually have to do some running to justify all this money i have raised.
On Monday I got asked via Facebook to be on the BBC Radio Suffolk Breakfast Show the next day. They also asked me to be on TV on Look East that evening, but I had to work sadly. I was interviewed live on air about my experience and my upcoming challenge. You can listen to it on the BBC iPlayer here.
For my first ever Radio appearance, it went quite well, although I kept forgetting what the question was! However, I think I just about managed to get away with it, didn't swear, and also name dropped my four best friends, which won me a pint. They are hoping to do a follow up interview on New Year's Eve just before the start of my first marathon. My fundraising got a little boost off the back of it, and I am now over £900 and over 50 donations! NINE HUNDRED POUNDS! You can sponsor me here if you like.
One of my oldest friends Zoe (who I went to Nursery School, Primary School and High School with!) especially has been brilliant, considering we have not seen each other for a number of years. She messaged me straight away, donated, and has liked and shared my posts. She messaged me this week and said she would give me a retweet on Twitter as she has "quite a few followers" - I subsequently realised she has 87,200!!!
Training wise, I've been having a mini-taper this week so it has been low key, except for a cross country race on Boxing Day, with a mixture of football, swimming and easy running. Christmas Eve was football for the first time in three years - it is an annual tradition among some old school mates to play on Christmas Eve or New Year's Eve. Needless to say I was terrible! I think the final score was 10-7, the standard was pretty woeful, but there was plenty of comedy and it was brilliant to catch up with everyone.
After too many gin & tonics on Christmas Eve, I was up early on Christmas Day to run a few miles before heading to Southwold for the annual Christmas Day Swim. The beach looked beautiful (photo above right), and there was a huge turnout of swimmers and spectators. I executed a textbook running dive into the North Sea and stayed in for a little swim - unsurprisingly it was freezing! My photo was in the East Anglian Daily Times newspaper on Boxing Day (photo above left) where I have the cheesiest grin on my face.
Christmas Day was a momentous occasion in our household as my brother Joe and his fiancée Kayleigh discovered the sex of their first baby (my mum's first grandchild). She is going to have a.... BOY! Wahoo! I am on the look out for his first pair of running shoes!
For me personally, it was also the first time I have had a proper Christmas Lunch in three years. Two years ago I was obviously suffering badly with my eating disorder, so it was not much fun. And then last year I forced myself to eat a bowl of vegetable soup as I was just a week or so into my recovery. I certainly made up for lost time and completely filled my boots!
I have a small family, so there were only five of us around the table, but I like to think we are all similar in that we are quite caring people. The day was rounded off by the news that two of my best friends, Brad and Donna, got engaged, which is awesome! Brad finally decided to put his hand in his pocket (which is a very a rare occurrence) and I am so pleased for them both. Bring on the wedding!
Boxing Day was the annual Groggy Doggy Cross Country in Bungay. It was my first time doing the race, and my first XC race in two years. It was a mud bath, that also involved running through a "pond" that was more like a lake (photo below)! I went off way too fast, eventually finishing 6th, which I was happy with against a decent field. Yes, I fell over in the mud on the second lap and cut my knee (photo below)!
Next time you hear from me I will have hopefully completed marathon number one in under three hours. My plan is to take it reasonably easy, aiming for around 2:55 ish. The long runs have all gone well, and there a few other decent runners in the race, so I'm confident I will do alright. Then I have to try to stay awake until midnight to welcome in 2016 celebrating at a Masquerade Party. Whatever you are doing, have a good one. Thanks again for reading and I'll see you next year!
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.