I’ve just taken the plunge and crossed off something that’s been on my list of things to do for a couple of weeks now … I’ve entered the Royal Parks Half Marathon!
This was the first half marathon I ever did (which sounds as if I’ve done millions – in fact I’ve done two: this one in 2009 and Edinburgh in 2011). The course is absolutely magical; it goes all through Kensington Gardens, Hyde Park, St James’s Park, Green Park over the Thames and back. For 13.1 miles. While you’re creaking with every step and thinking you’re going to die and wondering why you ever decided to enter … but then the feeling, when you collapse at the finish line, makes it all worth it.
Part of me thinks I’ve been a bit mental to sign up for this because I’ve already got a busy summer ahead. I’ve got to do quite a major rewrite on Book 2 – not just tweaking scenes and characters, but rebuilding it from the ground up. It’s daunting, especially since I didn’t have to do anything like the same thing for Book 1 (not after my editor got it, anyway.) However, I’ve always found running and writing to be very complementary so I’m hoping the strength I get from all my training will keep me pushing forward to redeliver Book 2 … that’s the plan anyway. Running has definitely helped me write books, no question. When I almost gave up on Book 1, and thought it was the worst thing ever and I couldn’t bear to spend any more time on it, I remembered the coach in running club saying ‘You’ve got to learn to run when you’re tired’. And I did.
There are still some places left for the Royal Parks – they’re mainly charity places; you have to pay £50 registration and then raise about £300 for charity. I’m doing mine for Action Aid.
Is anyone out there planning on entering? I’d love to hear if so – we can compare training schedules and moan about our injuries. It’ll be fun …