This year I celebrate 10 years of working for Julia’s House, and just when I’m about to hang up my running shoes, I get a place in the London Marathon. So - what better way to mark this auspicious occasion?
My 10 years have been truly inspirational - the families I have met, the nurses and carers I’ve worked alongside and the great Dorset (and now Wiltshire) community without whom Julia’s House wouldn’t exist.
I was catapulted into the running world when I first joined Julia’s House. As charity of the year for Poole Festival of Running, there was an expectation that a staff member would run the race. The finger was firmly pointed at me, despite having never run anything – apart from a sack race in the school sports day.
As a self-confessed fitness fanatic, I am found every morning at 6am in the gym (yes, really!) – pumping iron, doing circuits, boxing, spinning - all before my day in the Julia’s House office kicks off!
So now I have the ultimate special challenge – to complete the London Marathon in one piece and raise the target I have set myself. I’ve already overcome my first setback – a 3 month knee injury which, with the help of my personal trainer, Kris, I have recovered from.
Liz Yelling, UK marathon runner and Julia’s House Patron, agreed to mentor my running training (poor girl!). Over coffee at her house, Liz assured me I could actually run the Marathon tomorrow –really, I thought , probably badly! I wanted to do it to the best of my ability, so Liz created a weekly training log: 3 runs a week including one long run which would increase over the 14 week training period, interspersed with leg and core stability work, interval training and circuits. I’m now up to 4 hours, taking on all necessary ‘fuel’ en route, followed by half an hour of stretches and forcing carbs down within half an hour of finishing the run (mandatory!).
There’s so much about marathon training I didn’t know. How to run whilst consuming sickly energy blocks - essential to reach the finishing line! Fueling - that means eating! With the appetite of an ant, this is difficult - most people would be delighted to consume millions of pizzas and pasta. For me it’s a challenge! And learning to run in all weathers, including snow and ice - see photo below. Still, half marathon successfully completed, 19.4 miles training run successfully completed.
I am determined, committed and completely mad but the promise of a glass of fizz at the finish will propel me down the Mall!
If you’d like to sponsor Di, please visit her Just Giving Page