When I rashly signed up to run next year’s London Marathon, I was expecting the training to be a little tough, but not life threatening.
In the three months I have been running and cycling on the roads around Stamford on two occasions I have very nearly come to a sticky end.
The first time was while I was running, on the correct side of the road, ie. facing the oncoming traffic.
As I rounded a bend, my head bent low, gasping for breath, a cyclist whizzed past me missing me by a whisker.
We were both taken completely by surprise – adrenalin flooded my body and I was livid that the cyclist had been so careless.
The second incident happened while on my bike. Again, powering along with my head down wearing dull colours, I cut a corner thinking the road was quiet and clear and hadn’t realised that there was a car right behind me about to overtake.
I was so lucky we didn’t collide.
With hindsight, regarding the running incident, it was completely my fault; the grass on the verge was very long which would have concealed me – I should have been more aware of this.
Also, I was wearing a dark blue top – not very visible - and I was so intent on running, I wasn’t really concentrating on the road ahead.
You need to have your wits about you every step of the way and be ready to jump into the verge if necessary.
Since starting to cycle on the roads, I hadn’t appreciated until recently that the wind noise when you are riding at speed cuts out a lot of engine noise and it can be difficult to hear if there is a vehicle behind you. Something all vehicle drivers should be aware of.
So in a bid to avoid the same thing happening again I have invested in a high-visibility jacket and am now much more cautious when I am training on the country roads.
I realise it is absolutely my responsibility to keep me safe, not only for myself, but for my family too.
I really do want to reach the finish line of the London 2014 Marathon and be featured in the Mercury for the amazing fundraising I have achieved and not end up in print on the obituaries page!