When I walked downstairs and saw the magazine lying there on the doormat, with those two words "You're in", my initial reaction was "oh b*g*er, I got in!" After all, the marathon ballot is an urban myth isn't it? It doesn't actually exist. No one gets in via this route. I apply every year (for some crazy reason) but always assumed that it was only the elite few and the club runners that got in this way - but apparently not!
I had always thought somewhere deep down that I would do the marathon again (yes I know - again!) but not until 2017, the year of my 40th birthday and 10 years since the last time. However, I have got in slightly earlier than planned, 7 years since last time. Perhaps you could call it a 7 year itch!
So that's it then, here we go...
I am expecting it to be a completely different experience this time round. Since 2007, I've had two children, I weigh less and have become a personal trainer. I have done it before so I know what to expect, surely? Or maybe it's like childbirth where people instantly forget the trauma!
I have to take inspiration from my dear old Uncle Brian, who, at 76, is planning to run yet another marathon next year. An amazing runner and truly an inspiration to us all.
So now what...
I've done it before so there's no reason why I can't do it again, and better than I did it before. Physically it will be a challenge, but if you stay injury free any healthy person can run a marathon. What I found tricky last time was the mental challenge. I'm seriously considering working with a psychologist because when it comes to running my head is always filled with I can't.
There is a whole list of things I need to do before Sunday 26th April, such as confirming my place, booking hotels, deciding on a charity, working on a training plan, oh yes, and practicing running 26.2 miles but I have three immediate goals to get me started:
1. To lose a few pounds
2. To establish a regular running routine
3. To stock up on sleep, epsom salts and motivation
There will be tears, there will be moaning, there will be testing times and there will be blisters. It's going to be a roller coaster ride so watch this space...