Guest Post: Running my first Marathon

Occasionally people contact me and ask me to publish a guest post on my blog.  This one is from a woman who has been following my blog for sometime, and she wanted to share with you her experience of her first marathon…she raised money through Just Giving, just like I did

Entering an event and raising money can be a great motivator to keep training and achieve your I thought I’d share her story with you. I hope you enjoy.

Long-RunDeciding to take part in a charity fitness event is daunting, not only do you have to get yourself physically fit; you also need to raise the money for the cause and usually you need to do both these things at the same time.

I ran my first marathon five years ago. When my place was confirmed by my chosen charity, The Anthony Nolan Trust, I had never run more than three miles, plus the only fundraising I had done was through sponsoring others. Suddenly I was facing 26.2 (the .2 is very important) and a challenge of raising £1500.

I was determined to succeed yet also a little terrified of failing.

long distance running

First things first, I set up my fundraising page online where I completed a brief blurb on why I was running an immense 26.2 miles. Then I looked into a training plan. The world wide web is rife with plans on how to run your first marathon but I found Garmin offered the most concise and simple schedules. I decided to plan to finish in a specific time zone and reasoned that 4.5 hours could be doable. Then I dug out my trainers and went out on a five mile run, returning home a beaten woman.  My legs ached like I had been walking for hours, my shins were shivering with funny little pains and my motivation had all but disappeared. The terror of failing became a stark reality.

However, I carried on. Five agonising miles turned into five miles of fun. Ten miles hurt but eventually fifteen became my pain barrier. As the weeks flew by before the race I went from couch potato to road runner.

dont ask me why i run ask yourself why you dontTraining for a marathon is all encompassing. I trained five days a week come rain or shine and went from being a size fourteen at the start of my training to a size ten when I gathered with thousands of others in Greenwich. Many times I felt like throwing in the towel, but the fact that I was fundraising for a charity I am incredibly passionate about kept me going. Everytime I asked on Facebook for sponsorship someone responded with a pledge, and that felt fantastic.

Finally race day came around and I felt ready in my bones. I stood at the start of the race feeling like I was about to do something amazing. I was fit, energised and raring to go.

runI ran, I smiled, I whooped at the crowds, I sobbed when I saw my parents and cried buckets when my two year old twins screamed “run mummy run” as I skipped past them handing out high fives whilst grabbing at the sweets they held outstretched in their palms.

I raised over two thousand pounds and I ran a marathon.

My time?

I managed a respectable 4.14 – not too bad for a first timer.

Author:  Jane Blackmore is a writer, blogger, editor and marathon runner.  She lives in Oxfordshire with her three children and hamster.

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