Run your own race

Providing you don't have a serious heart condition, you all have the potential to 'do' a Marathon.
You may not run the entire 26.2 miles, but you can reach the finish line and celebrate this remarkable feat.
That's the great thing about 'doing' a marathon. Whether you finish in 1st or 33,242nd place - you each get a medal.

A medal that recognises the effort and determination that you have shown to reach that point. A medal that ultimately says; "I did it".

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Well, I can now proudly say; "I've done it".

I'd be lying if I said it was easy!

The euphoria of getting a place in November, quickly turned into the reality of getting out of bed in the cold of January and pounding the roads alone. Most of my training was done alone. This gave me plenty of time to get into the right 'mind space' and it also gave me lots of inspirational ideas as I ran around the streets and roads of Chester. I drew inspiration from the children (and families) I was running for (CLIC Sargent), from friends and family, and also from Eddie Izzard. When I put my one marathon up against his 40 plus marathons, it made mine seem a lot smaller in comparison!

The biggest challenge throughout my training was keeping my focus for 16 weeks. There were days when the legs didn't want to run!

The day itself approached far quicker than I expected. I picked up my race number from the Excel Centre on the Friday afternoon I waited for a train, wondering what to expect on race day. Remember this was my first marathon!

I called my good friend Miles Hilton-Barber (about 6pm) and interrupted him working-out in his gym at home. I thanked him for providing me with the inspiration to set a big goal and to take part in the London Marathon. He asked me how I was feeling and gave me lots of hints and tips for the race; including eating jelly babies along the way! Miles shared with me the importance of enjoying the journey on Sunday. He encouraged me to speak to lots of runners and to soak up the whole atmosphere, and finished by saying; remember "you're racing against yourself, not anybody else"

In a funny kind of way this settled some of my pre-race nerves.

Everybody I had spoken to in the time leading up the London Marathon had asked me 2 things;

1. What time are you aiming for?

2. What distance are you up to in your training?

Each time I answered these 2 questions I put more pressure on myself. Why? Because as people we all have different expectations. People were expecting me to run a time similar to what they might run. People were expecting me to have done the same amount of training they might have done.

The reality is, we all run our own race in life and on Sunday 25th April that's exactly what I did. The highs and lows (and there were plenty) of my race experience can be read in more detail by clicking the link...http://wp.me/pLHLC-4B You'll find lots of thank yous in there as well.

I ran my race and I received my medal. I achieved my dream and now I can say; "I've run a marathon".

The blisters will last a couple of weeks, but the memories a lifetime...

Whatever your dreams and goals are in your life, remember the importance of running your own race. Don't allow yourself to become distracted from your end goal. Most importantly, enjoy the journey along the way.

Have a great week

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