Tuesday, 4 February 2014

So it begins....

I’ve known for a while that I would be starting another blog, but have to admit I envisioned a more heroic beginning than typing it out while sitting in bed.  It is Tuesday and I should be working at St. Paul’s. But the tube strike threat has kept much of the team home, myself included. I had planned to watch both my boys run cross country today instead, but that has been cancelled as the council has banned all sports on the Common due to the swamp like conditions. And more rain is expected, I fear. I am hoping Katherine’s hockey tournament will still be on this afternoon, but rain clouds loom. It is only February and already 2014 isn’t quite unfolding the way I had imagined. 

2013 was a year of physical adventure for me: The London Marathon, third time in the MoonWalk, Kilimanjaro. So it was with confidence that I registered for the Barcelona Marathon, March 2014, to raise money to build a library in Mexico (much more about that later). It would just be a case of carrying on the training, so I thought. Ha ha ha...what is that old joke? “Want to make God laugh? Tell Him your plans.” 

I am NOT making excuses for myself, only mentioning that the work for the St. Paul’s advance guiding course has been more time-consuming than I predicted, the week with the Chinese was great, but exhausting and getting Joseph through the secondary school entrance exam process, yikes!!!! (May I take this moment to issue a blanket apology to all those London friends to whom I did not offer enough support and understanding through the day school/CE process, in years gone by. It is awful. I am sorry. I will be a model friend in June. I promise!) I was just about holding this all together, tossing in the usual excitement of 4 children and life in London, when Craig came home from his Phillies Spring Training Camp week in Florida with a broken knee. ACL torn in half, MCL damaged, something else I can’t remember damaged, totally immobile, two surgeries scheduled, hours and hours and hours of rehab booked....and I thought, “hmmm, I think I might need a new plan,” because I don’t want to run a marathon I’m not prepared for and end up hating it. I love my running too much. And I want the library to be a success.

After much thinking, this is what came to me. I am building a library, right? And things, including Rome, don’t get built in a day. I have spent almost 10 years in southwest London surrounded by building sites. If a neighbour isn’t digging out their basement (groan) or putting in a loft (slightly less groan), the school is adding an extension or putting in a brand new theatre or just refurbishing classrooms. Skips and timber and scaffolding have simply become part of the landscape. And none of this happens on one Sunday afternoon in March, but in fits and starts and day after day after day. So.....instead of putting all my fundraising into the one proverbial basket of Barcelona, I am going to do a series of challenges, ideally one a week, from 10ks and half marathons to some mountain hiking and anything else I can come up with, between now (first race coming Sunday) and...well let’s pick a good date, 5 May, Cinco de Mayo (celebrating the Mexican army’s victory over the French!!), though my guess is I will continue into the summer. Like all construction projects, this library will be built step by step by step with plenty of sweat.

I really hope people will get behind this plan. Maybe some of you will even join me on a challenge or two? And I would love to throw in some parties. I am pretty much up for anything, so all suggestions are welcome. I don’t mind the cold or the wet or the mud. Clearly rain doesn’t put me off. Would love the excuse to use some of my fab Kili gear again. I have a car and rail pass so happy to travel. So many beautiful places in this country to run/hike/race.....and maybe Ireland too??? 

So dear friends, send me your love and support and suggestions (don’t worry about money now, will hit you up later). And keep in touch. 

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