As my regular blog readers will know, my husband and I have undergone quite the transformation over the past 20 months since our son Bert was born: both very overweight and unfit, we decided that enough was enough and it was time to sort our lives out! We wanted to be fit and healthy parents for our son, and so we embarked on a new healthy lifestyle: a diet of balance and moderation, plenty of exercise, and healthier choices wherever we could manage. 20 months on and we've lost 12 stone between us, and now my husband is a marathon runner!
How far we've come: this was back in September 2013, shortly after Bert's arrival, and when we both decided to become fitter, thinner and ultimately much healthier versions of ourselves.
At the start line: 5 months of hard training, 20 months of lifestyle change, calorie counting and exercise and here we are: 12 stone lost between us, and the happiest and healthiest we've ever been.
His training saw him firstly use the Couch to 5k phone app to get him from complete beginner/couch potato up to being able to complete a 5k run by Christmas - he aced that goal and did his first Parkrun just before the Christmas break in a really respectable 29 minutes.
Since the Couch to 5k app he has endured a gruelling training programme which he stuck to rigidly: he researched into the nutrition and hydration needed for a successful marathon, bought all the right gels, rehydration tablets, protein powders, and nipple stickers (yes, nipple stickers!) and it has been a dream to watch him transform - my not very fit, but newly slim husband has in 5 months changed from one of the least sporty people I knew into a proper runner!
Yesterday was incredible: the marathon route itself was based in and around Milton Keynes (a city not far from us in Bedford) and our families (my parents, his parents, my sister and Bert) all got together to cheer him on - we nicknamed ourselves #teambishop and sported a rather fancy banner!
All Peppa Pig fans will understand the Daddy Pig reference!
Ready, steady, go! Crossing the start line.
We were eager to support him as much around the route as possible - we watched him cross the start line, saw him at the 8 mile mark, then his brother and sister-in-law were at the half way mark to cheer him on. After a coffee, a picnic and a comfort stop we headed into the football stadium to wait for him to run in for the final part of the 26.2 mile run - a lap around the stadium to the finish line - how cool!
Waiting at the 8 mile mark to cheer on Daddy Pig: Liam's mum, my mum, Bert, my stepdad, my twin sister, and me - posing at the back!
Looking sharp at the 8 mile mark!
Having a picnic by the stadium: Me, my mum, my stepdad, Bert, my twin sister and my father in law.
My gorgeous Bert behaved so well all day despite the waiting around, buggy time, heat and lack of toys/Peppa Pig to watch - ha! He flaked out on my lap in the stadium when we were waiting for Daddy to finish - he got rudely awoken when I jumped up as soon as I spotted Liam heading into the stadium for the final lap!
Crossing the finish line: I was booing my eyes out at this point - pride overload!
A rather lovely medal: ooooh shiny!
So proud: my marathon man!
With a very impressive first marathon time of 4 hrs 42 mins and 34 seconds I watched my man cross that finish line and couldn't hold back the tears - all his hard work paid off, and it felt like such a momentous occasion: a poignant way to mark his achievements over the past 20 months.
I have never been prouder of him.