The marathon is just a few weeks away. For many, including fundraiser Ariane it will be their first time tackling the gruelling 26.2 mile distance.
Ariane tells us why she’s running and how her fundraising and training have been going:
When I signed up to run the Virgin London Marathon it seemed like a feat, but not an unachievable one. Over the years I’ve watched the marathon runners on TV, cheered them on from behind the barriers at Tower Bridge and celebrated with friends after they have completed it. And now, I’m the one taking part!
After getting my place confirmed, I knew straight away that I wanted fundraise for The Institute of Cancer Research. They do some fantastic work and I wanted to help raise money for this cause.
I know people fighting, affected by and who have sadly died from cancer – as I’m sure you also do. On a more positive note I also know people who’ve survived it, and all money that can go into researching scientific advances, treatments and potential cures cannot ever be a bad thing.
On to the running, to be honest, taking part in the Marathon was more of a challenge I agreed to before I really thought about what exactly it entailed. I saw it as covering a distance and not for what it actually is – hours of training come rain or shine, a change in diet and lifestyle and a real exercise in finding and sustaining motivation.
I have quite a full diary and finding time to exercise isn’t my strongest suit. My job requires long days, late nights and leaves little time for training. This has undoubtedly been the trickiest hurdle to overcome; the balance of work, play – and marathon. If I’m not running I’m thinking about running, dreaming about running, worrying that I’m not running enough, being asked about running…
As part of my training I wanted to do a couple of competitive races as I think they give you a good feel for how you will perform on the day surrounded by other runners. One of these was the Sport Relief mile. To increase the distance I ran to The Mall, completed the six-mile course and then ran home again. I would thoroughly recommend this approach to any other current or prospective marathon runner – especially as the buzz of the music and crowd energy, not to mention the glorious sunshine, really spurred me on.
I never expected the training to be easy however the fundraising has also been harder than I expected. However, thanks to generous and supportive family, friends and work colleagues I’m starting to make some real headway towards my £1,000 target. I’d definitely consider hosting a special fundraising event if I was to do it all over again.
As a previous non-runner, one thing I’ve found is that everyone likes to weigh in with their opinion – so be prepared! When involved in a running discussion, there are two distinct types of pleasure runner. There are those who constantly tell you you’re not running for long enough or running fast enough, and then there are the runners who genuinely applaud the energy and effort it takes, those who encourage you and who appreciate that perhaps you’re not at the level you can or would like to be, but are giving it a fair shot.
All this aside, I’m confident. A very good thing considering the heavy helping of pride I’ve levied against my ability to go the distance (literally) and complete the Virgin London Marathon on April 22. I was advised by a good friend that when you ‘hit the wall’ and feel like you want to stop, the fact that you’re doing it for a good cause will really kick in and help you get over the finish line.
To make all this training worthwhile, please sponsor me here.