It is exactly three months until the start of the 2014 Virgin London Marathon and (un)fortunately I will be standing on the start line on that Sunday morning. Since getting the call in October* to say that I had been accepted on to the marathon I have had mixed feelings towards my challenge. Obviously I’m excited at the chance to compete in one of the greatest events in the world and it really does feel like an honour. But equally I’m having moments of crippling doubt, usually after a training run, where I start to wonder what I’ve signed up for. The fact that the registration form requires me to accept full responsibility in the event of my own death says it all really.
Sometimes while out running I can feel like the 26 miles and 365 yards (and don’t forget the 365 yards!) could be a doddle. I’ve run 8 miles and I feel fine… how hard can it be. But it’s going to be very hard, there are also days where after 3 miles I’m knackered and I wonder how I’m going to run 10 miles – let alone the whole thing. I’m not strictly following any particular training programme and maybe this is a mistake but for me personally I know how much I can push my body and as long as I’m ready to run 26 miles a few weeks before the race then I figure I’ll be as well prepared as I can be.
One glorious upshot of my training is that I can now eat whatever I want… and a lot of it. Regularly I will claim that I’m ‘carb-loading’ for training when all I’m really doing is having potatoes and bread with every meal.
Running the London Marathon has been one of my burning ambitions for the last 5 years, so getting this chance has been truly exciting. Once I thought I was serious about running, I started looking at the application process. Basically there were 3 ways to gain entry, one was by setting a good marathon time for your age (fat chance of that!), the other was via a charity and then finally there was a public ballot. I decided to try and gain a place via a charity spot and then if that didn’t work enter the public ballot in November. Luckily I was able to gain a running place with my first choice charity. Picking the charity to run for was a simple choice for me, I always think people should run for a charity that means something to them personally, this means that they are more committed to securing sponsorship and additionally gives a greater spread of charities that benefit. I chose to run for Arthritis Care primarily because my Mum has suffered from severe Rheumatoid Arthritis for the past 25 years. She has had numerous operations during my lifetime and has had her knuckles, knees, elbows and shoulder replaced due to the condition. Arthritis Care does great work in the UK in caring for and helping people suffering from Arthritis and their families. It is a condition that will affect 1 in 5 of us during our lifetime and that rises to 1 in 2 in over 85’s, and in a country where we have an ageing population, this condition which has no known cure is not going to go away.
If you can afford to spare any money, even just a few pounds would be great, then please sponsor me here. It would be greatly appreciated and would give me even more motivation to tackle the 26 miles.
*A call which I took while buying a cake in Greggs…. Not a good start!