This weekend was the big Chester marathon. Remember the marathon I signed up to earlier in the year, to take my mind off Operation Threadbare and concentrate on training? Until something way bigger happened that would change everything completely? Yes, that marathon.

Struggling with running was one of the first things that alerted me to my pregnancy, and my pace and distance decreased quite dramatically over the following weeks until I decided it would be sensible not to hold onto my marathon dream (this year at least!) and transfer my place to a friend. I was still very much a part of our team’s training runs however, but they involved me on a mountain bike, laden down with water supplies for them, a bit like a camel. The most I did with them on my bike was 21 miles, and we were training 3, sometimes 4 times a week, so when the big day arrived on Sunday 7th October, I felt as much a part of it as I had hoped. I had also volunteered to help on the day as a marshall, since I knew I would still be going to support my team, but couldn’t run it.

My Chester Race Crew shirt

Me enjoying a break from marshalling in my Chester Race Crew shirt

Imagine my delight when I turned up for my marshall briefing in Chester at 8.30 on the morning of the marathon, to be handed not only the obligatory hi-vis vest (which we had to return), but a Race Crew technical running t-shirt that I could take home with me and keep forever and ever! Operation Threadbare rejoiced that morning!

I had a great time at the marathon, feeling part of something big (one of over 600 volunteer marshalls) and was really touched at the number of runners who took the time to say thank you to me as they ran past. Then I got to wait at the finish line and clap my team as they ran (hobbled) over the line, emotions running high and energy at an all time low. (I’d still have volunteered even if I didn’t get a free t-shirt.)

Me with our runners showing off their marathon medals

Me with our runners showing off their marathon medals

But that’s not the only victory for Operation Threadbare. Rewind to three days prior to the Chester Marathon, and through my letterbox came notification from the Virgin London Marathon about my ballot entry which I had submitted back in April. It was a rejection, but with every cloud comes with a silver lining. This rejection had two: first, I wouldn’t be able to run the 2013 London Marathon anyway, as my baby is due in March; second, the VLM had included a very nice tracksuit top for my trouble, and to say thank you for my election to donate my entry fee to charity if I didn’t get a place.

So that’s two new tops in a week, albeit sports ones. I never change.

I’m also in a lot of trouble over the London Marathon, as my husband entered the ballot at the same time as me, to support me, as he had entered Chester. While he ended up running Chester, and I didn’t, it also turns out he got a place in London. Oops. After Sunday’s physical exertion, he’s currently saying never again, but I say never say never.