Well as usual, I’ve excelled myself with how long it’s taken to update this blog. I’ve had such a busy few months leading up to my double marathon (Paris & London) with lots of fundraising and training taking place, and every time something of note happens, I take pictures and plan to write a blog about it. However, it has yet to happen, which is so frustrating! Thankfully I’m filling my time with lots of work towards the third Storey album.
Onto The London Marathon
Having completed the Paris marathon 9 days ago, I’m now looking to do exactly the same in London in only 5 days time. Only faster! I was thrilled with my time in Paris – 03:21:43 was a good 9 minutes faster than I’d anticipated, and it was the icing on not only a great weekend with my family (my brother and sister-in-law surprised me by accompanying my parents out there to support me) but also a wonderful couple of weeks leading up to Paris, on the road with my dear and beautiful friend Haley.
Spending two weeks in the car and staying in hotels, couches (and one night in the car itself!) is challenging, as maintaining my fitness and a healthy diet was crucial leading up to my first marathon. Thankfully Haley was the perfect training and travel partner as she too wanted to eat and sleep well. The fact she wanted to run in every country we visited meant I kept in tip-top shape – Surrey, Dublin, north Wales, Edinburgh, Bruges, Reims and Paris proved inspirational training ground. Perfect!
My preparation for the London marathon has been quite different. I’m back in Berkshire now, so eating fresh food is far easier. However, my joints were understandably very tired after running 42km around Paris. Therefore when I ran last Wednesday I soon felt quite sore, and cut my run short to rest. I’ve not run since, but have done a lot of stretching, and have to trust my body will hold out. I plan to do a light run Thursday, and a gentle 5km on Saturday morning. And then it’s show time.
Before I mention the charities which have been the inspiration for this double maraton madness, I’d like to talk about the Boston marathon bombing yesterday. Aside from the obvious disappointment at such an atrocity taking place and feeling desperately sorry for those people injured or killed – my heart goes out to their families – I’d also like to spare a quick thought for the runners.
Having experienced the jubilation of completing a marathon only a matter of days ago, and the sense of achievement I felt when crossing the finish line, I really feel for the participants who have probably trained so hard over the last few months – reducing their alcohol intake, cutting junk food out of their diet, and getting up early several days a week to run in all weather conditions – only to have their run terminated prematurely, and not be allowed to finish. They’ve probably put themselves through all of this to raise money for a charity or cause which is particularly close to their hearts. And no doubt although their thoughts will be on other things at the minute, they may be left with a sense of unfinished business. Although many will run other marathons (I know I want to – what a great reason to travel and see other parts of the world!) there may be others who practically put their lives on hold to achieve a level of fitness suitable for running a marathon, and may not be able to sustain that for another few months.
The implications of this bombing are huge. Sporting events as vast as the Boston marathon create extensive areas where people congregate to support their friends and families. The last thing we need are security checkpoints at every stage of a marathon (or indeed any other sporting event) because it will detract from the fun and sense of occasion. I really hope that we do not end up changing the way we as a society approach such events. Londoners have a chance to make a statement to the people behind the Boston bomb, and indeed the world by turning out in force this Sunday to give the amazing level of encouragement I’ve seen as a spectator of the marathon in previous years. I hope they do, and not just for selfish reasons. Obviously if I’m feeling pretty tired after 20 miles Sunday, I know how much I’ll appreciate my name being called out, and how I’ll feed off the buzz of a large crowd. But also
terrorists need to be aware that their actions will not result in wholesale change of our society. People will not stay away, but continue the fantastic tradition which has resulted in London being widely regarded as the best marathon in the world. Something I can’t wait to tap into myself for the first time in only a matter of days!
As for the charities I’m running for. I’ve written about both ‘Raise the Roof’ and ‘Start Small’ in previous blog entries. They are run by fantastic people who genuinely care and make a difference to so many lives out in a very poor area of the world. They were so welcoming to me when I went to Kenya, and I know it will be the same when I go back. Therefore, please support them.
Find them on Facebook and ‘like’ their page. But most importantly, please consider donating a few pounds to my justgiving page before or after Sunday. Hopefully I do not need to emphasise how much work my best friend Ryan and I have put into running the London marathon this weekend. Two marathons in two weeks for me, so perhaps even more so! But I can assure you that however much I’ve enjoyed the many physical and psychological benefits that have come out of feeling so fit and healthy, I wouldn’t have even considered putting myself through the last few months were it not for seeing the work of both Start Small and Raise the Roof. Therefore anything you can give will be much appreciated, and make the whole experience even more worthwhile for me and them.
I’m already well on the way to £1000 worth of donations, but I want to raise £2000 for each charity, so I still have a long way to go! If you need convincing, have a read of some of my African blogs on this site, to try and get an idea for how people live out in Kenya and other parts of Africa. A recession is the least of their worries.
Thanks for your help.
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Take it easy…