Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Marathon Training- 10 things

This week marks the half way point of my 500 mile running challenge to raise money and awareness for the victims of the Rana Plaza disaster in Bangladesh. My fellow dressmakers.

You can read more about it here:

Today I wrote a list of 10 things I've experienced and observed during marathon training. 
Here it is:

Marathon Training- 10 things

1. Be grateful

Last year I ran for cancer research. When I was heading out for a 3 hour run on a Sunday when my mates were in the pub I wrote the names of friends who’d died from cancer on my hand in biro. When I felt pissed off or questioned why I was doing this I just glanced at my hand and instantly thought how dare I not cherish every step, every breath, every heartbeat. This is my choice and my privilege.
This year I am running for War on want, specifically for the victims of the Rana Plaza disaster.
When I finish a long day at work and have to go back out in the cold to run, I think of the people who lost limbs, or family members when the factory collapsed. I think of people still working in horrific conditions, sleeping under sewing machines, surviving poverty and malnutrition everyday and I think how dare I not cherish my choice and my privilege every single moment of it. 
Some people would give anything to be able to go out in the rain and run.

2. Race no one but your self.

Everyone is different in ability, experience and physiology.

Jay and Theodore know.....

“When I do the best I can with what I have, then I have won my race”- Jay Foonberg. 72 year old runner

“Comparison is the thief of joy”- Theodore Roosevelt.

3. Anyone can complete a marathon if they want to.

Anyone can. Seriously, I truly believe that with out exception. Anyone. Can.

4. There are moments of pure joy in long runs.

Like being in that perfect stage of gleeful drunkenness with your very best mates or that gorgeous comfy best lie-in in the world feeling you get (usually only just before you have to get up and go to work).  Like being in love, when you physically can’t get the smile off your face.
Proper euphoria!
That exact feeling sometimes washes over you when you run, and every fibre of your being buzzes with contentment.…Honestly!

5. You are capable of more than you think.

I thought it would be the hardest thing I’d ever done. I thought it would be my most difficult mental fight. It was no walk in the park, but in reality it wasn’t that hard. I’ve run harder half marathons. The training was the key.
You can train for anything in life you just need patience, determination, flexibility, desire and a good work ethic.

6. It can make your life easier.

Marathon training makes you fitter, stronger, more capable, more organised, more focused and more accepting of things outside of your control. 
All that stuff makes life easier.

7. People either massively under estimate or over estimate the distance and your ability.

People who have never run a marathon (me previously included) commonly think either; it’s an impossible distance, which you need to be super human to run or that it’s not really that far…neither of these is true.

8. There are probably more efficient ways to raise money for charity…

But, challenging yourself physically and mentally over a period of time helps you relate to the struggles of others on some level, it develops empathy. It also builds self-esteem, inspires people and can have a domino effect. It is worthwhile.

9. Exercising outdoors in winter stops you getting sick.

I’ve had 2 colds in 3 years.  I used to get loads more! It’s really very good for your immune system…Honestly!

10. Running will not necessarily make you loose weight. 

I weigh the same, perhaps I’m a little leaner, but I weigh exactly the same.

Many of life’s lessons are in that training.

It’s a rollercoaster…
Triumphs, disappointments, setbacks, achievements, overcoming adversity, learning when to stop and when to push through, joy, sorrow, elation, devastation, strength, weakness, empathy, introversion, horror, happiness, pain, euphoria, transcendence, humility and pride. You will likely feel it all.

There will be many times when your body and mind will tell you that you can’t run a marathon but there will be a lifetime knowing that you have. 

Photo taken at mile 25 Brighton Marathon 2014