My journey to the completing the London Marathon!
On April 2018 I will be taking part in the London Marathon to raise money for Mind. Mind are one of the leading charities in providing advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. They consistently campaign to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding. I am extremely honoured to have been offered a place to run for this wonderful charity and hope you might consider sponsoring my efforts.
After much discussion we have chosen to work as a team to fund raise for the mental health charity MIND – who do incredible work, providing life saving advice and support to thousands of people each year.
There is no doubt that mental health issues have a devastating effect on sufferers and their families and we are proud that through your generous donation we can all make a positive difference to people’s lives. No donation is too small and we thank you so much for being part of our journey. Victoria Martin, Michael Bowers, Adam Green, Dave Perry & David Gaffin.
This week I have done some great strength training @burystrength and down @buryathletics track.This morning in Heaton Park we decided to push this a bit further. Warm up jog round the golf course, 8 hill sprints up the bell tower with 4 flat run sprints. Mixing up the sessions is definitely keeping it interesting and fun and should pay dividends on those long runs.
This year we collaborated with Bury and Whitefield Jewish Primary school to raise money for the ‘Glowday’ campaign in support of the Child Brain Injury Trust. The children were encouraged on the 04.11.2017 to wear bright colourful clothing for the day and talk about the importance of “being seen and not hurt”. Each child made a donation and Sheldon Davidson Solicitors agreed to match the sum raised by the school. We raised the sum of £278.00 between us and this morning (20.12.2017) Victoria Martin the head of our Serious Injury Department visited the school to be presented with their cheque and talk about why the CBIT is so important.
Feeling inspired by fellow runners also taking part in the London Marathon 2018 and their fantastic fundraising efforts I decided to give lunchtime running a go. Although real training doesn’t start officially till January 1st I have since the half marathon continued doing plenty of strength and cardio work as well as some weekly runs. This means I‘ve figured out early morning runs really are ‘yuk’ and evening runs are just ‘yuk yuk’.
For now lunchtime running is definitely my bag. Please don’t forget to donate. Your donations are what inspire me to keep going.
Sunday 21st September
I ran the longest I have ever run both in terms of distance and miles (2.5 hours and 14.2 miles). The weather was probably at its harshest with snow coming down heavy and the ground being slippy but it was my choice to run into Manchester and back again. I was caught in some pretty heavy snow blizzards but carried on in any event.
Running into Manchester felt great, running round the streets was a bit of novelty and certainly took some of the boredom factor out of it, however the number of homeless people on the streets was shocking. I am not oblivious to the homelessness situation in the city or in the outskirts but considering the severity of the weather, it appeared in my mind even more harrowing than perhaps it does at other times. Seeing how people were trying to keep warm in a sleeping bag or even less, having nowhere to get warm, get food and feel safe has to be one of the hardest challenges they must face every day. These people are all someone’s mother, father, brother, sister, son or daughter. It made me incredibly sad to think that could be me or anyone of my family given different circumstances, as that is all it takes, just sometimes a change in someone’s circumstances that causes them to end up living on the streets.
I chose to run in the snow that day the people on the streets didn’t choose to sit in it, they often don’t have the luxury of such choices.
Housing and mental health are often linked. Poor mental health can make it harder to cope with housing problems, while being homeless or having problems in your home can make your mental health worse.
The charity Mind can often help in such desperate situations and it is vital they continue to be supported in order to be able to continue their support for such people.
I have just completed the first 4 weeks of my marathon training which means there are a further 12 weeks to go!!! Right now that feels like a lot of weeks. However, this week is a very light week (still 13 miles split over 4 days!!!!) as you need to rest yourself to prepare for what is going to be 8 weeks of significant hard work not just physically but mentally.
Midweek runs turn into 50/60 minute runs with interval training and during those 8 weeks my long runs will increase gradually to a maximum of 22 miles.
I find myself asking “what the hell am I doing”. What on earth possessed me to even consider running a marathon. For those who know my well, my problem is often I don’t know how to say no. People will say lets do this, lets do that and I go, ooh yes always fancied that when actually I am not sure I really have but just think Ill give it a go.
That is how I got here. Last year I found I had no focus for my regular gym sessions. I love going to the gym but somehow I felt I needed something to train for which is why I signed up for the Manchester Half marathon and trained for that throughout the summer of 2017. It was during this time I met Adam Green who aspired to run the London marathon and popped the seed in my head.
People will ask how training is going. It is going okay but what is so hard is I am exhausted. There are days I am so tired I could cry. Most nights I go to bed between 9.00 and 10.00pm but wake early and the first thing that pops into my head is “what training do I have on today”, and then “how much do I need to eat” and then “I am soooooo tired”. After that it’s about getting the kids sorted and getting them off to school.
If it wasn’t for my husband I honestly don’t think I could continue with this. He has taken over pretty much all the household responsibilities and at times seems to be the sole carer for our children. He is also constantly on hand to listen to my woes of tiredness, to tell me when I should maybe take a night off (which I always ignore) and tries to make sure I am eating all the right foods. At times of frustration, I often want to yell at him “what the hell do you know, you have never run a marathon”, in my typical childlike fashion, but of course I fully appreciate he is doing his best to support and help me where he can.
Aside from work and my family, my life pretty much feels consumed by training and fundraising. The mental aptitude required for this seems at times beyond me but somehow I have kept going and despite being full of cold right now, I have every intention of carrying on.
Final update on the Marathon!
Yesterday I completed the London Marathon in 4 hours 47 minutes and 14 seconds. I would be lying if I said i was pleased with my time as I had hoped to be nearer the 4.30 mark but that’s the competitive side of me.
However, the conditions certainly meant this was going to be affected and ultimately considering the number who fell ill during the race and the death of Matt Campbell, finishing no matter what the time is something that should not be taken for granted. It was without doubt one of the hardest challenges I have taken part in. Sliding into a tank filled with ice or being electrocuted during Tough Mudder seemed a party in comparison. It was even harder than child birth without pain relief.
The people of London and the spectators are without doubt also winners in this event. Hearing your name being shouted over and over again particularly when your struggling and it pushes you on is enough to bring a smile to your face even when in the greatest of pain. Coming down into St James Park towards Buckingham Palace is truly as iconic as everyone says it is. Running towards that final clock at the end was enough to make me try and finish with a sprint and the emotion just floods over you. Seeing Katherine Spritzer just ahead of me was also pretty cool.
Just want to say a final one huge thanks to all of you who have supported me on this at times crazy but amazing journey. Your words of wisdom, encouragement and good wishes really have been phenomenal and I have only just finished reading your messages from yesterday. Your tremendous kindness and donations also meant our fundraising efforts brought us to over £16,000.00.
Many thanks to David Gaffin, Adam Green, Michael Bowers and David Perry.
Sheldon Davidson Solicitors, Manchester's Personal Injury experts, would like to say a big congratulations on your amazing efforts and the fabulous amount of money you raised for MIND.
You have done an outstanding job in dealing with my claim and treated both myself and my wife in a totally professional manner
I would like to thank you so much for all the hard work that you put into my case which was complex and challenging. You were always professional, polite, and efficient but also had that human touch which was most welcome, especially when having to discuss personal medical information.
David and I and all our family would like to thank you for your continued support, patience, and hard work. The past 5 years have been an extremely difficult time for us, and your advice and empathy has really helped us along the way. Many Thanks.