For everyone who signed up to a race in the spirit of 'New Year, New Start', you'll know how much training is involved - whether you're aiming for the 5k or 26.2mile mark! Two of our London Marathon runners share their running diaries with us - the highs, the lows...the carbs! Meet: Catherine and Aimie...
My name is Catherine and I am running the London Marathon." Things I never thought I would say!
A year ago I was reading Running Like a Girl by Alexandra Heminsley. By the end of the prologue I was crying, by the end of the book I had decided to run a marathon. In the pages in between I laughed (a lot!) and when I set out on my first run and didn't even last five minutes I didn't worry because I knew that with perseverance I'd double that distance within a couple of weeks. Now my long weekend runs are up to eight miles and last Sunday I made it to five miles before needing a walking break.
I have never been particularly sporty; at school I was the last one to be picked for sports teams and until recently exercise was best enjoyed punctuated with a pub lunch. But the London Marathon has some glitter dust doesn't it? I've been going along for a few years now, cheering on various friends and the interest in taking part myself has been growing. This year is the year. I am going to be 40 at Christmas. Call it a mid-life crisis if you want.
Why run for Pancreatic Cancer UK:
The decision to run for Pancreatic Cancer UK was an easy one. Two of my oldest friends have both lost their mothers to pancreatic cancer this year. When I got the call to say I had my place I was momentarily silenced, then I cried, then I laughed, then I cried some more. Then I probably swore. But it's true what they say; running for a cause that is close to your heart makes the world of difference. When you're halfway up a hill that has almost beaten you, remembering what your friends have recently coped with makes your tired legs feel much less of a problem.
I'll be blogging here every couple of weeks so you can follow the highs, lows and blisters of my journey. To read more about why I am running visit www.justgiving.com/catherineraynor
Our second runner is running her first ever marathon! Not only that, she's fitting in training around being a mum of four: meet Aimie...
My name is Aimie, I am a 39 (in Feb) year old mum of 4 from Hertfordshire. I work full time so training tends to be squeezed in around lots of other things from kids' drum lessons to looking after our pony share!
The Virgin London Marathon 2014 will be my first ever Marathon and I shall be running for Pancreatic Cancer UK in memory of my father who passed away from this disease - aged just 68 - late in November last year. Keeping my dad in mind is my biggest motivator as is raising funds for research and support. My dad wanted very much to 'give something back' so I'm doing that in his place to the best of my ability. Pancreatic Cancer UK really helped our family come to terms with things when dad was ill.
Getting into a routine:
I'm a bit of a manic eater usually, going from no food all day to eating a slice of emergency cake at odd times. So, I'm trying to be more sensible and having porridge at work for breakfast, soup for lunch and a very light evening meal. I've also sought the help of a Biomechanics expert so that I focus on my running form right from the start. I've done lots of reading on the subject and am trying to work on my core strength with lunges, a gym ball and horse riding. So far I'm feeling pain free but am planning to up my run distance substantially so this will be a test of all that preparatory work!
As an avid reader (promise I'm running as much as reading!) I've also read up lots on the pros and cons of running in a more natural shoe. I'm not a total barefoot devotee so have started with some innov8 running shoes and so far so beautifully comfortable and springy footed!
Training so far:
This last week I've done a 5K park run and local road training sessions of between 4 and 5k mixed up with some cycling, hill reps and intervals on the treadmill.
My current App addiction is 'zombiesrun' - a realistic zombie game played through my headphones which incorporates my itunes music library between zombie attacks. I LOVE it for the adrenaline rush, which, frankly, I need after a day in the office followed by putting 4 children to bed before I run!
If you're lacing up your trainers for a race and want to run wearing a Pancreatic Cancer UK vest, let us know where and when you're running using this form! And if Aimie and Catherine have inspired you, we have a list of races for you to get involved in!