Week 1 of my 80 mile month

After all the excitement of getting a place in the London Marathon, it was time to start thinking about my training. Easier said than done! I kept putting it off, telling myself that I should take it easy while I can. My official training plan didn’t start until after Christmas, so I convinced myself that I should make the most of my time now and just relax.

However, that clearly wasn’t the right attitude! I needed to build up a foundation well before then and whilst I did get out and run on occasions, it wasn’t consistent and it felt really hard. My lack of motivation and enthusiasm was starting to worry me.

Then I came across the ’80 mile month’ challenge led by Bangs and a Bun. The idea was to run a total of 80 miles (or any other appropriate target depending on the individual) throughout December, a time when our focus is usually on fun and food. I could sign up for a package that would get me a virtual training buddy as well as daily guidance sent to me by email. As a runner who was lacking motivation, it was just the thing I was looking for!

I initially thought that 80 miles would be too much for me, and that I would need to decrease my target. But I’m pleased to say that after one week I have completed 26.7 miles! I feel a lot better about the marathon, and am already starting to see the benefits both mentally and physically. There is still just over three weeks to go, but the difference is that both the challenge and the marathon has started to feel achievable.

‘You’re in’!!

At the beginning of October I got the exciting news that I had received a place in the London Marathon next year through the ballot. I never thought I would ever get so excited about getting a place in a run as I did on that day. I couldn’t concentrate at work (don’t tell my boss!) and in my lunchtime yoga class I was completely distracted during the relaxation session (don’t tell my yoga teacher!). I was telling anyone and everyone about my news, whether they were interested or not!

For me, this could not have come at a better time. On my way to work that morning I had been thinking about my OCD and depression and was concerned that, after a period of some improvement, symptoms were starting to rear their ugly head again. Running in the London Marathon has given me a goal to work towards as well as an opportunity to raise awareness for OCD, which for me is so important. Although I have run half-marathons and even a marathon previously, running in London was my ultimate ‘bucket list’ run. Each year I would either watch it on TV or go down and cheer the runners on in person. And after two years of trying to get a place, I am finally going to run it!