First things first: I had a phenomenal number of donations totaling £313 [including gift aid] from these lovely people:
- Chelthan & Swedish Mike
- JD and His Lupine Associates
- Mark Cockshoot
- Peter Cooper
- Wei Joo
They are all incredibly awesome and I can’t believe how much faith they put in me. And then I hurt my knee.
The following months were painful. They involved a lot of hobbling and, whilst it initially seemed like I could do Shine, my doctor ultimately convinced me it was a bad idea, especially as I’d not been training for it. I felt guilty for letting everyone down. Yes, I realise it’s for charity and therefore a Good Thing™, but people donated money for something I was planning to do, something that was going to take me out of my comfort zone and then I didn’t deliver.
I did what I do best – withdraw. Didn’t mention Shine at all, as, obviously, not mentioning something makes it go away. Only it didn’t and it kept nagging at me, even though my knee still hurt at the beginning of 2012 – more than four months after the initial injury.
Once my knee was healed I decided to try again only this time I would not publicise it and instead do it for everyone that has donated to me already. Basically I wanted to be true to my word. I finally signed up for it in June and had all the intentions of training for it. I planned walks that didn’t happen due to the weather or due to other commitments, such as work, and then it was time for Shine 2012 and I had done precisely no training.
On Saturday evening I ventured to London, got there fashionably late, and completed 6.6 miles out of the 13.1 miles before giving up for various reasons, as I tweeted at the time. The reasons were:
- I couldn’t do it. 13.1 miles with no training and no walking in my daily life asides from walking very short journeys from the bus stop wasn’t doable.
- It was cold. Really cold.
- Trains weren’t in my favour. With the walk starting at 7.30pm – though I didn’t actually cross the start line until gone 8pm – and being the world’s slowest walker, I knew it wasn’t feasible for me to finish in time to catch the last train across London at 1am and the next one wasn’t until 7.30am. Plus it was cold.
- Walking through London wasn’t great.
- My backpack was too heavy; I really didn’t need that 1.5l bottle of water with stops around the course.
- The organisation wasn’t great. I’ve volunteered at many Race for Life events and it was good to see it from the other side. I have a lot of ideas on how to improve future events I’ll be volunteering at.
So I still haven’t lived up to my word and in essence have still let everyone down. I won’t be attempting Shine 2013 as the journey is too far and it costs me too much money – taking part this year has set me back £65 for entry and travel – and it’s too inconvenient to go to London and back.
I will, however, be attempting to do a 13.1 miles stretch at some point. Probably not in the next few months, but perhaps in spring.
Thank you to everyone for putting so much faith in me. I struggled a lot on Saturday and could barely walk on Sunday, but, with some training, I am sure I can achieve it. Thank you for all your amazing donations.