My name is Mary and I am a marathon runner – well I achieved my goal of running the London Marathon in April 17.
Not sure if I would say I am a marathon runner but I got there after a lot of hard work and encouragement from family and friends and of course Kerry who planned an 18 month programme leading up to it.
Why did I decide to do it – I wanted to do something in my 55th year, something outside of my comfort zone. I lost two and a half stone before I started running then half a stone running. It was very slow to start with, at first I would run for a minute, walk for a minute. I couldn’t even run a bath without getting out of breath but then I started,slowly but surely increasing more running than walking until I could run a mile then 2, 5,10, 20 and then 26.2. I never thought I could achieve it but the more miles I did the more I wanted to do. I never experienced the endorphins that one experiences when running but the competitiveness in me wanted to do more.
Kerry planned a schedule for me which I kept to and made myself do because I knew that if I didn’t I would not achieve my goal. Most of my training was done alone which I enjoyed although running with people does help improve your stamina running at different speeds. My long runs were on a Sunday running by 7am and I would get up at 6 am in the week to run before work although I did join Avon Valley Runners which were supportive and I made some good friends in running buddies.
My first run was a 10k then Bristol half marathon. After Bristol I increased the miles and the most I ran before the marathon was 20.
About 6 months prior to the marathon all I could think of when I got up was I have to run a marathon and when I went to bed, I have to say it was on my mind all the time then friends would remind me so it was all quite daunting in the run up to it. However when the day came I was not as nervous as I thought I would be. The race day itself went smoothly. I ran for a charity and they looked after me very well. I did have a goal in mind to what time I wanted to run it in of 5 hours but not too disappointed when I did it in 5 hours 7 minutes.
The day was a wonderful experience but if I was honest the finish was a little disappointing as when I crossed the line no-one was there to greet me, it was about 20 minutes before you get to meet family and friends, I understand why they could not be there but having just achieved the hardest challenge of my life I wanted someone to share it with.
Would I do another one? Well never say never! but I am still running.
I am no expert but I would say keep to a schedule and if one run is not going to plan and you are struggling turn round and go home as there is always tomorrow.
Thanks again Kerry for you support, advice,encouragement in getting me through the training for the marathon.