A bit about the charity:
I work for the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) in their Branch Development Team. Through policies devised at National level and the hard work of all of our staff and volunteers across each of England's county Branches, we work to champion the countryside. Whether this be promoting sustainable housing developments, brownfield land use over greenbelt land, bolstering the local food supply chain or making sure that a renewable energy source is sensitively located, CPRE works tirelessly to ensure that future generations have an England that is beautiful and alive.
Now a bit about me:
Running is a big part of my life: I loathe every second of the early morning rises, I despise the after work trudges in the dark. I expect to be ambushed by machete-wielding squirrels at every turn or to trip up on a paving stone (the latter being more likely, I'll admit). But when I'm actually running, I feel happy. And afterwards, of course, I can eat! (Food being the next big part of my life).
But a marathon is an extra level of commitment: it requires huge weekly mileage and the acceptance that most Sundays for 3 months will be consumed by running and then lying prone on the sofa, spooning whatever food you can be bothered to lift in to your mouth.
And after every half marathon I've completed, after the initial feelings of "oh my gawwwd, I want to die", my thoughts turn to running a marathon. After 13 miles, I ache. My back is practically like Quasimodo's and my hips feel like they are made of bricks. And yet... not wanting to point out the blatantly obvious... I'd have to turn around and run it all over again if I ever undertook a marathon. At that point, I smile smugly that I am not doing that and almost certainly never will.
So... umm... why are you doing it then?
Just before Christmas, I got wind of the fact that CPRE had been granted a charity place at the London Marathon. Overly optimistic about my physical prowess and knowing that places are like gold dust, I went marching up to George in our Fundraising Team demanding that the place be mine. "No" was the answer. I'll admit, there was a part of the me that was relieved - that was that challenge successfully avoided. So off I trotted, back to my desk, thinking no more about it over the festive season (and the consequent mince pie weight gain) and in the chilly January months.
But then a few days ago, George tells me the place is mine if I want it. Then begins an internal struggle in my head, which goes something like this:
Hopeful Me: "You COULD do it! You COULD! You have enough time!"
Logical Me: "You are already 5 weeks behind most marathon schedules, are you seriously thinking you'll be able to catch up?"
Hopeful Me: "But I'm already reasonably fit..."
Logical Me: "Er, remember how you vomited after the last half you did?"
Hopeful Me: "I'm sure that was dodgy pasta I ate the night before..."
Logical Me: "This is a foolish endeavour and you've ONLY just overcome a knee injury"
Hopeful Me: "Knee Injury, Schmee Injury... who cares?! I HAVE A PLACE!"
Logical Me: "Ok, fine, but I warn you: you'll die. And I want you to know that when you do, you have only yourself to blame."
So, suffice to say: Hopeful Me won.
And so here I am! So please give a little love and your hard-earned cash to support a great charitable cause: and by that I mean both CPRE and myself.
NEWSFLASH: due to a very, very generous donation, I am upping my target. I am so excited at the prospect of raising even more money than expected - so please do keep dipping in to your spare change.