It's funny how sometimes lots of things happen which appear to be completely independent, but then you stand back and look at them and realise that actually they fit together perfectly. So, where to start with this tale?
Let's start with Team Honk. If you've been online at all for the last few months then you can't have missed this amazing achievement by bloggers from all over the country. On Sunday the epic relay from Lands End to John O Groats ended and yesterday there was the amazing news that the combined Team Honk efforts have raised over £30,000 for Sport Relief. In early February I was proud to be part of the St Albans leg of the journey and it was wonderful to be joined by the Mayor of St Albans and hundreds of school children as we helped get the Team Honk baton from Hemel Hempstead to London. The money we've raised will make a difference and the trip that Tanya, Annie and Penny made to Tanzania really brought that home to us all.
That night I was a guest on Radio Verulam discussion local events with host Louisa Peacock and fellow guest Mayor of St Albans, Annie Brewster. Annie is a keen runner and was talking on air about the launch of this year's St Albans half marathon in June and she also mentioned the other (shorter) races that were taking place alongside the main event. Not something which really grabbed my attention at the time.
Just four days after all the Team Honk excitement I headed to London to the Save the Children blogger's conference. What I learnt that day about Save the Children, their campaigns and the children that they help across the world has stuck with me. Whilst there we had a sneak preview of a video that they were planning to launch to mark the anniversary of the conflict in Syria and the work that they are doing to help children there. Here in the UK it's so easy to feel totally detached from what is going on in Syria, but this film makes it hit home. It's haunted me ever since and made me more and more determined to do something to help in some way.
Just a couple of weeks later an email popped into my inbox from a PR working on behalf of Currys asking if I would take part in a blogger Juiced Up challenge to go and do a workout, then afterwards use a Philips Juicer that they sent me to make a recovery juice to help refuel and share our juice recipes with our readers. Now I'm not a big one for exercise, but something (and I have no idea what) made me stop and not just reply with a quick no. Instead I kept coming back to this email again and again and finally I responded with a yes.
In that way that things often continue to happen for a reason there were problems trying to organise an exercise class at a local gym, but rather than just dropping out I instead started to realise that all these things were coming together for a reason. That week's newsletter from my daughter's school also included a request for families to apply to take part in the family fun run part of the St Albans Half Marathon. Something saw me then logging on to their website and signing up for the 5km run that is taking place on the same day.
Now I'm no runner. I walk all over the place, for miles and miles ever week, but I don't run. I hate running. I find it dull and blinking hard work. But life isn't easy. If Team Honk's work for Sport Relief and the Save the Children conference have taught me anything it's that there are plenty of people around the world, especially women and children, far worse off than I am and I really need to take myself out of my comfort zone and put some effort in to help other people. If I can also get myself fit, lose my remaining baby weight and get back into all my old clothes then even better. So, here's what's going to happen.
I've started the Couch to 5k training programme and on Sunday 8th June I will run the 5km race at the St Albans Half Marathon and I'll be running this race to raise money for Save the Children. I'm currently two weeks into the 9 week training programme and I'm hoping to blog about all of it. I'm kind of hoping that somewhere in all this I'll find this "running bug" that people talk about and be able to do loads more running to help raise loads more for Save the Children, but let's just take this all one step at a time!