Well, it has been an interesting one that’s for sure.
It is only 2 weeks now until my 10 in 10 challenge and things are starting to feel rather real. To be honest, I have absolutely no idea where the time has gone.
My game plan went completely pear shaped virtually from day 1.
Whilst I hadn’t made a formal plan like some of my team mates, I did have certain targets and goals in mind.
Run back to back marathons
Buy and test out new kit
Trial various fuelling methods
Fundraise, fundraise, fundraise
Sadly, I picked up an injury. Luckily it was not acute but it has been a complete pain and an absolute bugger to shift. I’ve had numerous sessions of physio, sports massage and osteopathy. I have been doing strengthening exercises, yoga and loads of stretching – I’ve often found myself doing these on the train, at the station, even at work or in the queue at the supermarket. It has been a really frustrating and testing few months.
I have managed to return to training but I have not got as many miles under my belt as I had wanted, I’ve not practiced fuelling either so what will be will be. I have steadily increased my weekly mileage and finally managed to knock out an 18 mile run last week – without stopping I might add (well, I did stop for a wee and then my daughter called me 4 times to ask when I would be home to make her pancakes but I didn’t stop and walk because of pain, injury or because my legs didn’t work which is rather comforting).
As I was struggling with my training, I started to comfort eat (a very bad habit, I know). I’d award myself a treat when I was feeling low and then promise myself that I would be healthy from Monday (there's plenty of time before May to burn of the treats!!). Well, the time has gone on and that Monday hasn’t really arrived but May will be with us next week! Eek! So, as well as heading to the challenge under trained, I will be carrying a few extra pounds too! You’d have thought that with all my extra mileage recently that these extra pounds would soon drop off but they are stubborn little buggers to shift and once they attach themselves to your hips and tum, they cling on for dear life and are hard to budge. I’ve been told it’s an age thing so there’s not really a lot of hope for me now!
My fundraising has not got to plan. When I wasn’t training and even when I started to increase my miles, there was a little bit of doubt as to whether I would actually make the start line, never mind finish the challenge. I kept trying to push this niggly thought to the back of my head but it kept on resurfacing with each bad run and with every set back. I even had the dreaded conversation with my husband about whether to quit and defer my place. But stubborn as I am and with my husband’s support and encouragement, I decided to battle on through and just go for it. This may be the only time I can take part in such a challenge with my dad. I persuaded my dad to sign up for this crazy event so I couldn’t let him down by dropping out.
It felt very wrong of me to ask for sponsorship when I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it to the start line and so my fundraising efforts dwindled.
The 18 mile run has given me the boost that I needed though and I’m back on the fundraising game.
This week saw the tragic passing of Matt Campbell. He was running the London Marathon in memory of his dad, Martin and he was also raising money for the Brathay Trust. Martin was the photographer for the Brathay 10 in 10 event and sadly passed away just 18 months ago. Now, I didn’t know either Matt or Martin, however, my family and running family did and it has left everyone simply heartbroken. Matt was only 29 and had a promising future ahead as an amazing chef. I am lucky enough to have been welcomed into the Brathay family and the way they have rallied around each other and supported each other this last week has been incredible, despite the enormous grief and heartbreak they are all experiencing.
Such a tragedy certainly puts things into perspective. I am unlikely to get an opportunity to take on such a challenge again so I am just going to go for it. Yes, I will be exhausted. I will be grumpy. I will be emotional. I will ache. I will hurt. I will have pains in places I didn’t know existed but at least I will be running. I will be running for those who no longer can. I will be running to help the kids in need of Brathay’s support. I will be running for my family and I will be running for myself. If I finish, I will be absolutely over the moon. If I don’t, well I will have given it my best shot and I sure as hell won’t be going down without a fight.
So this is for you Matt, for you Martin, for Brathay and for my family.
Bring it on.