I should point out that the picture with this post is not of my stomach, not in real life anyway. It belongs to someone who doesn't like wine and cake as much as I do.
Instead of working myself up into a frenzy, my friend Wild Owl suggested I come with her to her running group. Now the very notion of a 'running group' scares the bejesus out of me, however I was brave and went along. The group was small and very welcoming, and its not like I never go for a run, so I knew quickly that it was going to be alright.
The lady that runs it (not Wild Owl), is fit, not bikini tops and cut off shorts fit, I talking hanging by her fingertips off a mountain ledge for half a day fit. Let's call her Lady Grylls. She got us to take off our trainers (it was a sunny dry day) and run bare foot so we would be aware of where our feet landed, so that we'd step lightly. She made us think about our posture, about the position of our head, back, knees and arms, immediately running felt easier.
I have never been taught how to run, I don't suppose many people have, its just something we do as toddlers and carry on with it from there, its worked pretty well, if you don't take into account my sore ankles, knees and back. Going back to basics was far harder than it sounds.
Under Lady Grylls instruction I ran around the cricket pitch about five times, not all in one go and surprised myself by how much I enjoyed it. I looked an awful lot like Penelope Pitstop, a slow moving Penelope Pitstop at that. I don't have the kind of brain that can pat my head while rubbing my tummy, I have the kind that does one thing at a time, and on this occasion it was running like Penelope Pitstop. I'd also had a large coffee just before, so my stomach was sloshing. If I closed my eyes I sounded like a Cornish fishing village where the sea gently laps the sea wall and small boats bob about in the harbour, hark was that a seagull I heard? It was almost beautiful.
From the tranquility of Cornwall to the harsh reality of the next morning when the newly revived muscles, that have previously only been used for stiletto wearing (thats seldom then) had to jump out of bed. My calves were as tight as the strings on a fiddle and I twanged myself to the top of the stairs.
"You can do it,"I encouraged myself and then with the first of many funky foot flips hopped and hobbled down the stairs.
"Has someone dropped a bowling ball down the stairs?" laughed Mr.
I arrived in the kitchen to butter Blue's toast several minutes later.
"What have you done?" he asked.
"I..." I said inflating myself, "have started training for the London Marathon."
Blue bit into his toast acting like he hadn't heard me, but I could detect an aura of pride about him. I didn't like to embellish the story of my mere five laps, I left him thinking I was just like Paula Radcliffe (minus her latrine habits).
"So will you really do it?" asked Pinkie.
"Yes," I said, and do you know I meant it in that moment.
Now that I have met Lady Grylls who has offered to help me, to formulate a training plan, who herself could run across a frozen continent while fighting off hungry polar bears with nothing but her bare hands, perhaps a long run around London isn't impossible. Don't get me wrong, I'm still very much hoping for the thanks but no thanks email, but should I get a number I think I might actually be alright.