With A Little Help From My Friends

20130423-223808.jpgAs I posted yesterday, what really helped me through the London Marathon on Sunday was dedicating a mile to different people who hold a special place in my heart. Here goes ….

1) Matthew Robbins – my Godson who is going to be christened in a few weeks time. Beginning of a wonderful little life

2) Sebastian – My cousin who was also running that day

3) Lu Lingzi – One of the spectators killed at the Boston Marathon

4) Hannah my niece – A beautiful and talented young woman about to take her GCSEs – a bright future awaits her

5) My Brother David – The most genuine person I know

6) Grampa – All round legend and head of the best family you could ever hope for

7) My cousin Matthew – Just about to start University – Whatever he does, this lad will go very far indeed

8) Kristel Campbell – Another spectator at the Boston Marathon

9) Jodie – A fantastic friend living in Canada who I wish I could see more often

10) Ellie & Alan – For just being the best friends anyone could wish to have

11) My Cousin Rose – An immensely talented young lady just about to finish uni and get into life

12) My sister Caroline – Really got behind this whole project with such enthusiasm and fantastic mother to Hannah (no4)

13) Martin Richards – the eight year boy old killed while watching his Dad finish the Boston Marathon

14) My Dad – Because he’s my Dad and just fantastic

15) Amy & Geoff – Soon to be married – wishing them the very best in married life

16) My cousin Austin and his fiancé Laura. Also soon to be married and wishing them a very happy future

17) The Boston Marathon

18) My Mum – Who flew over from Northern Ireland to come and cheer me on and who couldn’t have done more to support me in this endeavour

19) Becky – this was my ‘cramp’ mile so who better to dedicate it to than someone who causes me pain and irritation ONLY JOKING! My own Ms motivator who I love dearly

20) For my legs – just praying they would start working again!

21)To Sarah – One of my oldest friends who is taking on the Belfast Marathon in a few weeks

22) My Auntie Anne – my fairy Godmother who masterminded a huge fundraising event

23) My nephew Callum – Who told me he’d got a medal running at school very far and very fast – future marathoner?

24) The Griffin family in London and N. Ireland – Who got behind this 100%

25) Granny – Hoping every step was doing her proud. I had her picture pinned to my back and her broach pinned to my front. Whenever it got tough I looked at it, put my head down and kept going

26) Everyone who sponsored me or sent messages of support. I ran out of miles to mention everyone individually, and at this stage, I’m not prepared to do an ultra marathon to fit everyone in!

Other good things about the day – beating Katherine Jenkins and Ed Balls 🙂

Click here to find out why I was doing this and to sponsor the shuffle

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Day One Hundred and Seventy Five – The One Where I Run A Marathon

On day 175 I ran a marathon for the first time. Tomorrow I’ll write a geekily detailed account, but for now I’ll say that’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Cramp at mile 17 meant I finished nowhere near my hoped for time but I couldn’t give a hoot. London, you were outstanding. Undeterred by Boston, people came out in their hundreds and thousands and bathed runners in love. For now, shower, dinner, bed!

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Day One Hundred and Seventy Four – You’ve Got To Go There To Come Back

This time tomorrow if all goes to plan, I will have finished my first marathon.

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This week has been by far and away the hardest week in my training. A colleague laughed in my face when I told him this ‘Not running and eating more is harder than getting up at ridiculous o’clock and knocking out a gazillion miles before work’. Yes, I’ll take the miles any day. Instead this week I’ve been left with my mind. I’ve been wide awake at 5am every day this week, thinking things through, wondering if I can do it. I had a good chat with Sarah of the Little Pink Kitchen and very much came to the conclusion that as well as boring everyone stupid with details of every twist and turn of the course, I’ve been over-thinking the race. What tomorrow comes down to is running. I’ll start running, I’ll keep running for 26 miles, and then I’ll stop. Take away the negative splits, the carbo-loading and energy gels. Tomorrow I’m going to go for a run. It’s the longest one I’ll have ever done, but I’ve never been fitter or more ready than this very moment.

Today, my new thing was to take myself to a café and just sit and think. No phones, no books, just me and my head. Thinking about my journey to get to this point. Three things have really helped me along the way

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1) The Couch to 5K podcast. Who would have known that stumbling across a random podcast would have such a dramatic impact upon my life. Non-patronising and massively motivational, I struggled in the first week to jog 60 seconds. Within nine weeks I was running five kilometres. I remember the first time I had to run 20 minutes non stop – it was such a huge deal I wondered if I could do it. Now that seems like a warm up. I just can’t put into words how good this podcast is. If you have any secret ambitions to run, I would strongly encourage you to give it a go.

2) Ben Does Life.

20130420-180301.jpgBen writes an amazing blog about how he’s transformed from a morbidly obese, depressed young man to a multiple marathoner and double Iron Man completer. He made a video which went viral on YouTube and has to be one of the most inspirational things you could ever hope to see. He went on to start the Do Life Movement which has got thousands of people engaged in sport. I sat down a while ago and read his blog from the very start. The way that he stuck his head down and just kept going has been incredible. I had the pleasure of going out to dinner with Ben and his family when they came to London last Spring and took part in one of his ‘Do Life 5Ks’ the next day. Very cool guy

3) Marathon Training Academy.

20130420-180624.jpgAgain, I stumbled upon this podcast on iTunes and fell in love with it. It’s hosted by husband and wife, Angie & Trevor – two normals who find a way to make an hour talking about running the most absorbing thing you could ever hear. Hearing their listeners talk about things like half marathons made me curious to see if I could maybe do one. A few weeks later on a wet and stormy September night, my cursor hovered over ‘Apply’ to the Brighton Half Marathon for a good half hour. Turns out to be probably the best decision I ever made!

So, now I’m trying to stay as calm as possible. I’ve got Rocky and Chariots of Fire lined up to watch tonight. I’ve said this before – I couldn’t be more excited if I tried – wish me luck!

Click here to see why I’m doing this and sponsor the shuffle

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Day One Hundred and Seventy Three – The One Where I Go To A Pasta Party

Today I went to the Excel centre to pick up my race number. Loads of stalls and free stuff. I experienced my first ‘pasta party’. Does this look like a party of pasta to you??

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I also have a confession to make. I AM SO SICK OF PASTA RIGHT NOW. I’ve never been a huge pasta fan and I’m very much looking forward to being able to eat a nice steak again. It was nice to soak up some of the pre race atmosphere – anything that plays the Rocky Theme Tune at you when you walk through the entrance gets a big thumbs up from me!
We did get the strangest official goodie bag though – a bag of rice and some toothpaste. Erm, thanks London Marathon.
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There’s still time to sponsor the shuffle by clicking here

Day One Hundred and Seventy Two

This week I have mostly been experimenting with carbohydrate based snacks and boring everyone around me rigid about the London Marathon. I’ve previously written how my body has been craving really weird things over the past few months – I think I’m starting to experience what it must be like for pregnant women! Today’s experiment was oatcakes, home-made peanutbutter and oranges. Surprisingly tasty!

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In a previous life, I’ve written about how important it is to have a theme tune to psych you up and give you a boost. This year, Harder Than You Think by Public Enemy has been my go to song. Over the past six months, this song has woken me up most mornings at 6am, beckoning to the park or the pool in wind, snow, hail and rain. Never, ever sun – This is England after all. I love this song. I love that it was the Ch4 theme song for the Paralympics. I love that one of the lyrics is Harder than you think is a beautiful thing. I love that it will be on my playlist on Sunday.

In other exciting news, my fundraising target has now been smashed! I tentatively thought I might be able to match last years efforts, but with four days to go, way over £2000 has been raised with the promise of much more to come. Phenomenal. If you’d like to sponsor the shuffle, click here and check out my previous post to see why this means so much to me.

FOUR DAYS PEOPLE! FOUR DAYS!!!

Day One Hundred and Seventy and Seventy One

Yesterday I got an actual sports massage for the first time. Yes it hurt like hell, but I felt super afterwards. Here’s a picture of my now massaged right leg

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As a result, on day 171 I really tried to get to grips with my foam roller. We’ve not been the bestest of buddies, but I really tried to do it properly a couple of times today. Damn, how can someone invent something that hurts so much!

I am so near my fundraising target. I got a £10 sponsorship today from my old netball teacher. I was CERTAINLY not an aspiring marathoner when she taught me. How things change… If you want to sponsor the shuffle and be the person who breaks the £2000 mark, click here

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