Janet talks about a different kind of challenge.
I’ll admit it, I’ve always been a bit rubbish at sport. I was in the Netball C team in Year 7, and I represented the school at discus once following a freakishly long throw during Sports Day, but in general I’m much better at the sorts of sports that require hanging around outdoors and looking at nature (skiing and scuba diving being personal favourites, and things that I am actually quite good at), rather than the sports that require Team Spirit or Positive Mental Attitude. I much prefer a nice vin chaud to a high-protein snack following any form of exertion.
So I am not entirely sure how it has come to the point that, in nine days’ time, I shall be running my first half marathon. I do know that I started running because I was annoyed that I couldn’t do it, and it seemed a good way to meet people whilst living overseas. Since that point I’ve (slowly) run a couple of official 10k races, and so in a moment of madness in August a colleague persuaded me that it would be possible to run 13.1 miles with just seven weeks of training. It’s certainly been an exercise in self-discipline – thanks to the short timescale involved, I have no choice but to run every other day, and build the distance. Living on the North Downs has helped increase my tolerance for hills, and I haven’t had a glass of wine in weeks.
If I were going to be intellectual about it, I could compare my progress in running to my progress along the scheme we’re on – constantly throwing up more challenges, sometimes a bit shaky (or even lost) but always improving a little and growing in confidence. However, I think it’s more interesting to just be glad that, thanks to my career over the last few years, I’ve had the opportunity to run in some really interesting places.
As for the Eden Project Half Marathon: it’s going to be a close-run thing (excuse the pun) but, fingers crossed, I should at least finish. And everyone has to start somewhere!