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Finishing The London Marathon 2017

April 30, 2017

It’s exactly a week after the marathon and my life has been on sprint mode. I’m currently at the airport waiting to fly to Mallorca for my first holiday of the year and much deserved after hitting my sub-4 marathon goal of 3:52:37!
Many people will have seen the Heads Together campaign and charity, which was the leading charity for the 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon and the day before I ran, I sat down to watch the first episode of Mind of Matter and, for the first time in a long time, I cried.
I’m going to open up a little bit here, which is always easier on paper. Running the marathon was obviously challenging, but it wasn’t the moment I got my medal and nearly burst into tears, nor was it the moment my family and strangers screamed my name to keep going, but the two year journey that started in March 2015.
People who know me will know how much I exercise. Monday, netball, Tuesday, run, Wednesday, cycle, you get the idea. I explain to people how I hated running growing up. Cross country was a struggle, even the 1500m sports day race I got tricked into running was a gruelling task. I remember completing a 5km in secondary school for cancer research and my goal was,

“Don’t stop.”

That was it. I could walk, but I wasn’t allowed to stop! But what running has helped me achieve now is something that goes beyond fitness.
I think people that know me see me as strong and independent, but that’s not always been the case. Between the ages of 15 and 17 I had a very personal struggle that resulted in counselling and then again at Uni when I was 19/20. I had some real downs that I should be more open to talking about, but I don’t because they aren’t who I am anymore.
In March 2015 I wanted to give running a go. I knew it would get me fitter and help keep me lean, so I got my first pair of running shoes. 3 miles was my big weekend run, with one set of 5.5 miles that I was over the moon for achieving. Then, and I don’t remember how or when, I wanted to give myself a goal, a target, something to work towards. So I went a bit extreme and started looking at running a marathon.
Following advice of a friend, I found a charity and went for it, and here I am. I didn’t stop.
But where the Mind over Marathon series has really struck a chord with me is all those years ago. Running has given me an outlet to ‘get back to me’ you might say. Mentally I have had to strengthen myself in so many ways. Motivate, be determined, push through the barriers. 
It’s not just running through, cycling is a passion of mine and it gives me time to unwind. I call it active meditation for those who can’t sit still for too long! The structure of training, setting a goal and achieving it has made me feel like I have more purpose and now I enjoy life so much more.
There’s nothing more rewarding than running through the sunny countryside and getting a view overlooking a valley. I’ve got legs, so I’ll use them. 
The marathon was an incredible achievement, but already I now don’t know what I’m working towards, so Ive booked onto the Amsterdam marathon this year in order to fulfil my goal of seeing Amsterdam this year.     
Not everyone has to find happiness in running, but hobbies, exercise, living life as much as you can is something anyone can do. Remember that your brain is a muscle and it needs to be exercised, strengthened and kept healthy as much as any other part of your body. If you tell yourself you can’t, you won’t. Your mind is more powerful than you think.

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From → For Thought

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