Even as I wrote the title of this blog post it seemed too surreal to be true. A half marathon? Who on earth would do something so crazy?! But on Sunday 18th September, I’ll be dragging myself kicking and streaming around the Richmond Half Marathon for the NSPCC along with 3 of my colleagues who will almost certainly be floating effortlessly round without even breaking sweat. It’s 4 months away which probably sounds much longer than it is. I’m excited, nervous, determined and happy.
I’ve only run a half-marathon once before, in September 2013 when again a team of us from work ran the Bacchus one in Surrey. It was such an incredible experience and I really did think it would be the catalyst to get me hooked on running for life but it just didn’t work. Bit by bit, the “running just because” tailed off and now I’m back to sporadically going once every few weeks for a quick lap of the park which is about a mile. There is much to be done.
Of course if someone had told me in my early 20’s that I’d ever even run for a bus I’d have dissolved into a fit of giggles. Nearly 4 stone heavier than I am now and a size 16 versus my now size 10, I hated even walking to the end of the street I lived on let alone thinking about running. Being fit felt impossible and it was a very long journey over many years to get me to a place where I finally felt comfortable in my own skin and thankfully that’s been maintained ever since. No fad diets or quick fixes but patiently and painstakingly taking my time to lose weight has meant I’ve kept it off for the last 8 years or so and will never go back.
So what will be different this time around? Well, a different course for starters, plus our little team of 4 runners consists of another colleague who ran previously but also two of our newer colleagues so it will be fun to keep each other motivated and inspired along the way. I’m 3 years older but arguably slightly fitter and there’s the psychological advantage of knowing that it can be done. You’d also think that needing to take Maddie out regularly would help but she needs to be off the lead whereas I’ll be mainly road-running to notch up the miles so it will mean spending a lot of time outdoors in the evenings after work as she’ll still need her walks, probably separately to training runs. Plus this time we’re running for charity whereas before we ran for ourselves, that little bit of extra pressure to raise money will hopefully keep us on the straight and narrow.
For the next 4 months, Fridays on the blog will now be given over to fitness posts as I talk about the training I’ve done that week plus developing a more healthy lifestyle which can only help to continue my recovery from gluten intolerance. Last year mostly passed in a lot of discomfort and worry that I was seriously ill, and after months of tests and finally some surgery earlier this year, a gluten-free lifestyle is proving the catalyst to a brighter future. I’m armed with a stack of clean-eating cookbooks that are crying out for use, as well as my trusty Nutribullet, #EauGood water infusion bottle from Black & Blum and my weekly Pilates. Plus, any excuse to invest in some new running clothes right??
I’ll try not to turn into a fitness bore but to be honest the existence of chocolate will probably ensure that doesn’t happen. I can’t wait to get going and am really determined to look after myself and keep in tip-top condition. I’d be so grateful if you could spare £1 to get our sponsorship going, we have £1,000 to raise so if you would like to help, please click here. And any training strategy tips gratefully received!
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