You may want to sit down for this, or if you are scrolling on your phone prepare for some RSI... this is a long one.  The 12 in 12 began for me in 2015, following the death of a family member.  Here is my story of why it began.    

Who I am, why 12 in 12?

First of all I should say I am not some one who specifically finds therapy in running, nor do I think I am always necessarily "one run away from a better mood". Often I am not, often I get in from a run in a bad mood when I left happy because I have had too much time to think, or because something that has been bothering me just wont leave my mind, or I am sad for the same reason. That said, I do love running. Less so in the last few miles of a marathon, but still, I do love it. I love big miles. I love runs that go into the teens, runs that have you out for hours, that I love. Pushing my endurance and seeing what I can do, how far I can go. Marathon was always my goal, I never started out wanting to do 5ks. They happen, as they do, but the first race I ever signed up for was Brighton Marathon 2010, the second was a 30 mile cross country Ultra (which happened to fall before the marathon. I refer you back to my "I love big miles" statement above. NB: Its not advisable to do as I did, but hey). The reason that I decided I wanted to do marathons is because I come from a family of marathoners, my reason for trying to do one was just to see if I could. And as it turns out, I can. 

While many people enter into marathons raising funds for charity as they get a sought after chairty place (where a minimun sponsorship amount is required). My hat goes off to those who manage to fundraise, train and deal with day to day life! While my life has been touched by some of the work that some of the charities represent, the disease with greatest impact on my family has been Motor Neurone Disease, MND, so this is why now I fund-raise for MND Scotland.

I had 3 marathons already under my belt when we found out about my uncle's diagnosis, and I thought about it often. I distinctly remember a sunny evening bathing my sons, thinking about my next marathon, Loch Ness Marathon 2013, coming up the following month, I should put some effort into fundraising and this would go a little way towards helping beat MND. The following Spring I ran Edinburgh Marathon and after having a brief hiatus following the birth of my 3rd son I ran Loch Ness Marathon 2015. Over the course of these 3 marathons I raised approximately £1500. My long term fundraising plan had been to do 3 marathons in 6 months (Loch Ness 2015, Paris 2016 and Brigthon 2016). I spoke to local press, I got it in the paper and lots of lovely publicity, and vitally money for the charity.

In October 2015, three weeks after Loch Ness, we lost Domo. I think most of us know the feeling when you wake to and early morning message saying "please call the house". You just know its not good news. My mum delivered the news, and of all the feelings I felt the worst was that I hadn't made a trip back to Ireland for 2 years, I have no other excuse that I was scared and sad. And I probably wont forgive myself for that, ever. The next few days were crappy. With timescales being as theur were, 3 children under 5 (1 of which an 8 month old who just wouldn't sleep) my husband offshore I didnt manage to get over for the funeral. Regret is shit. Around the time of the funeral, the Dublin marathon 2016 date qas annoucned. And I thought, "wouldnt this be a great way to keep fundraising going". So I signed up. My "3 Marathons in 6 Months" kinda morphed to 4 in a year... then another genius (TBC) idea struck me, an idea that I have been toying with but never committed to outside of chat with my husband and best friend, both of whom said, "well, if you want to" why not run 12 marathons in 12 months...WHY NOT RUN A MARATHON A MONTH UNTIL DUBLIN 2016".

So that's what I am going to do. November and December are now done, I only ("only", ha!) have 10 to go. So, are you with me? Do you want to do a 12 in 12? You don't need to run marathons, you don't need to raise funds. Its a challenge, its a goal. What can you achieve? Any one of of us could one day be given the news that our bodies aren't going to work how they should. And the way I see it, while my body works I will use it, and if somehow I can help others at the same time, I will.First of all I should say I am not some one who specifically finds therapy in running, nor do I think I am always necessarily "one run away from a better mood". Often I am not, often I get in from a run in a bad mood when I left happy because I have had too much time to think, or because something that has been bothering me just wont leave my mind, or I am sad for the same reason. That said, I do love running. Less so in the last few miles of a marathon, but still, I do love it. I love big miles. I love runs that go into the teens, runs that have you out for hours, that I love. Pushing my endurance and seeing what I can do, how far I can go. Marathon was always my goal, I never started out wanting to do 5ks. They happen, as they do, but the first race I ever signed up for was Brighton Marathon 2010, the second was a 30 mile cross country Ultra (which happened to fall before the marathon. I refer you back to my "I love big miles" statement above. NB: Its not advisable to do as I did, but hey). The reason that I decided I wanted to do marathons is because I come from a family of marathoners, my reason for trying to do one was just to see if I could. And as it turns out, I can.While many people enter into marathons raising funds for charity as they get a sought after charity place (where a minimun sponsorship amount is required). My hat goes off to those who manage to fund-raise, train and deal with day to day life! While my life has been touched by some of the work that some of the charities represent, the disease with greatest impact on my family has been Motor Neurone Disease, MND, so this is why now I fund-raise for MND Scotland.I had 3 marathons already under my belt when we found out about my uncle's diagnosis, and I thought about it often. I distinctly remember a sunny evening bathing my sons, thinking about my next marathon, Loch Ness Marathon 2013, coming up the following month, I should put some effort into fundraising and this would go a little way towards helping beat MND. The following Spring I ran Edinburgh Marathon and after having a brief hiatus following the birth of my 3rd son I ran Loch Ness Marathon 2015. Over the course of these 3 marathons I raised approximately £1500. My long term fundraising plan had been to do 3 marathons in 6 months (Loch Ness 2015, Paris 2016 and Brighton 2016). I spoke to local press, I got it in the paper and lots of lovely publicity, and vitally money for the charity.In October 2015, three weeks after Loch Ness, we lost Domo. I think most of us know the feeling when you wake to and early morning message saying "please call the house". You just know its not good news. My mum delivered the news, and of all the feelings I felt the worst was that I hadn't made a trip back to Ireland for 2 years, I have no other excuse that I was scared and sad. And I probably wont forgive myself for that, ever. The next few days were crappy. With timescales being as theur were, 3 children under 5 (1 of which an 8 month old who just wouldn't sleep) my husband offshore I didnt manage to get over for the funeral. Regret is shit. Around the time of the funeral, the Dublin marathon 2016 date qas annoucned. And I thought, "wouldnt this be a great way to keep fundraising going". So I signed up. My "3 Marathons in 6 Months" kinda morphed to 4 in a year... then another genius (TBC) idea struck me, an idea that I have been toying with but never committed to outside of chat with my husband and best friend, both of whom said, "well, if you want to" why not run 12 marathons in 12 months...WHY NOT RUN A MARATHON A MONTH UNTIL DUBLIN 2016".

I completed the original 12 in 12 challenge in Dublin on the 30th October 2016.  The answer to "what next"? is 12 in 1.

For updates as they happen and details of the marathons that have been and gone please visit our facebook page.

The 12 in 1

On July 1st I will starting a month of marathoning raising funds for MND Scotland.  This challenge follows a year of marathoning from November 2015 to October 2016, a marathon a month.  This year however I wanted (sticking with the 12 theme) to run 12 marathons in 1 month.  Why? Because I can.

In October 2015 I lost an uncle to Motor Neurone Disease – this is a rapidly progressing disease that attacks the nervous system.  Those living with this illness gradually lose the ability to use their bodies, it is incurable and there is (currently) no known cause.  So, you see, while I can use my body and push it, I will.  Because I could just as easily be the 1 in 300 people in Scotland diagnosed with MND every year.

So, the challenge for July is 12 full marathons throughout the month; some solo, most self-set, 26.2mile routes that will push me harder than any challenge I have set myself before; physically and mentally.

I will run a total of 314.4 miles in marathons alone, and potentially further as I will need to keep moving in between.   This is no small challenge and although I have over twenty marathons under my belt already, I know that this distance will certainly take a toll on my body, and mind. 

I am often asked how you train for something like this, and to be honest, I don’t know if what I have done will be enough. What I do know is that now the month is nearly upon us, I need to do my best to make sure that I stay in as good a shape as possible.  I have trained on tired legs since the end of last year.  I took a month “off” with reduced miles last November at the end of the 12 in 12 and in December began a run streak (running every day), initially just for that month to see if I could do it.  I could, and realised that this would be a great way to make sure my body can run on tired (pardon the pun).  With a minimum of 3 miles covered every day I have integrated this into a marathon training plan, that I hope will see me through July.  have time for injury either so making time is key.​

 

The support that I have had while I have been doing this has been overwhelming, from friends and strangers and strangers that have become friends I have been touched on so many occasions by people that have been willing to share their own stories of how their lives have been affected by MND.  While of course I wanted to raise as much money as I can for the charity, raising awareness  and getting conversations started has been incredible too.