You know you have a problem when you’re hanging out of your kitchen cupboard, teaspoon in one hand, jar of Nutella in the other, licking the silverware like it’s a lollypop dipped in chocolate. You don’t even have the decency to sit down to pretend you’re having a civilised snack! You’re just scooping. It’s a ritual. Like a gravedigger shovelling dirt you do it without thinking.

That is what this Thanksgiving weekend has reduced me to. After four days of overindulgence I can now scribble two deadly sins off my list – sloth and gluttony.But, as tempting as it was to hide under the duvet, I forced myself to get out of my bed on Saturday morning to run 7 miles. As some of you may know I’m training for the LA Marathon, which takes place in March 2008.

Every Saturday, at 8am, I meet my training group at Santa Monica High School and we do our weekly long runs. This weekend ran 7 miles. It is called a ‘recovery run’ because the week before we ran 14 miles so the shorter distance is supposed to give your body a rest. That’s how far I’ve come. Three months ago I would have cried at the thought of running 7 miles, now I look forward to it because it seems less daunting than 14 – or 17 miles, which is next week’s goal.

I’m proud of myself. Running 14 miles sounds impressive but sometimes it’s the smaller achievements that mean the most. Every time I force myself to go to the gym or do a maintenance run when I’m dog-tired is a miracle. I’m naturally lazy. I can list 10 ‘I can’t go to the gym’ excuses in 30 seconds but I ignore them and grab my sneakers.

Part of the reason I do so is because of the money that I have raised thus far. That proves to me my family and friends believe I can run 26.2 miles. And now that I have reached – and surpassed – my fundraising target of $1,500 I have 1521.2 reasons to train and no excuses not to.

Thank you all for your support. To express my gratitude I will donate a separate $150 to The Dominic Pardey Trust. [See my Facebook page for details of the Trust.]

Lots of love, M x

Cateyes, 31, Venice, CA, USA