First of the Marathon blogs…

So yesterday I filled out the form to make my place for the 2018 London Marathon official. That’s right, this year I’m getting organised. I’ve got my preparation half marathons booked in, the Brighton half in February, the Bath half marathon in March and (haven’t booked it in yet) hopefully the Merthyr half marathon along the taff trail towards the end of March just before I begin tapering. Me and the London Marathon have some unfinished business. My place has actually been rolled over from last year. Last year I freaked myself out-

  • Would I be too slow?
  • Would I make it round?
  • What if I was last?

That last one was the worst one, I freaked myself out so much, nightmares of reaching the Mall and there being no one there – “sorry you’re too late”. I allowed this nightmare to scare me out of training runs, so much so that I became so behind on my training that I wouldn’t be able to complete the marathon. I’m aware this will probably be my only chance to do the London Marathon, so if I’m going to do it, I want to do it right.

My first fear, ‘would I be too slow?’ well, as long as I finish within 8 hours I won’t be too slow because I’ll still finish. A wonderful woman, an inspiration of mine and fellow member of the Too Fat to Run? Clubhouse finished within the final 10 minutes of the 8 hour cut off. She’s still a marathon runner! She’s still in the 1%. One of my fellow Run Wales bloggers finished in around the 2:45 mark, he is also amazing and I am in awe of his constant race wins but is one of these more of a marathon runner than the other? To me? No, they both crossed the start and finish lines, just in different times. I think it has taken knowing these two athletes for me to see that I can do this marathon and whatever time I get, I’ll still be a marathon runner and a London Marathon finisher.

Of course, this time round I’ll still get these thoughts, I’ll still get scared and worry but this year I won’t let take over my dreams. I won’t let anxiety win and I won’t let myself use epilepsy as an excuse.

I’ll still get that voice at the back of my head “How dare you think you can do this? You’re so fat and disgusting, you’re not a runner!” but you know what i AM a runner, no matter my size, I tie up my laces just the same as every other runner and I run, sometimes with walking breaks but I AM still a runner.

I guess what I’m trying to say here is if you want to do something, do it! Don’t let your brain tell you that you can’t do something when your heart’s telling you “yes you bloody can!”. So listen to your heart, listen to the encouraging people around you. Look out for those around you that you might be inspiring, maybe to not do a run but to just to start, to go for a walk, to take that first step, which, let’s be honest, is the hardest.

Stay tuned for more on my journey.

Peace

JJ xx

What a difference a few weeks makes…

Towards the end of January I started in the January/February cohort of ‘Five Weeks To 5k’ run by the online running community The Fat Girls Guide To Running led by the vivacious plus sized runner Julie Creffield. To be honest, on the run down to starting the programme I wasn’t really looking forward to it. Not because I wasn’t looking forward to running because I’ve run in the past and loved it. No, this time I was scared of failing. Let’s just give you an idea of what I was starting with; 5ft3″, over 13 stone, out of breath at the end of a short walk. Needless to say I was far off running a 5k.

So I began, tentatively on the first steps towards a 5k. Running around my local streets with the occasional sneer from people walking past and even the occasional fellow runner. I really enjoyed the first week, like, really enjoyed it. By the second I was addicted, attending my local Parkrun each Saturday and entering runs left, right and centre. Even a half marathon in November! I’ve also joined The Fat Girl’s Guide To Running‘s online running club called The Clubhouse.

As this week ends, so does week four of the programme. As we enter the fifth and final week I look forward to it culminating in a Saint David’s Day 5k in Cardiff. I also look at how much I have changed myself. I’m more confident; not just in my running and the fact that just because I’m fat doesn’t mean I’m not allowed to be interested and actually in love with fitness but in life in general. I genuinely don’t care what other people think of me anymore and my stress levels have gone down immensely.

So what’s next? Well I guess I’m just going to keep running. One foot in front of the other. Not because I want to be skinny but because I’ve genuily found something that I love doing, that allows me to escape and for me to finally feel comfortable in my own skin. It also allows me to be, what I think anyway, is the best version of me.

So I’ll keep writing these blogs. Sometimes about me, sometimes about running or races and just because sometimes I like writing. So that’s me. Hopefully someone out there will read this and get something from it or maybe it’ll just lye out there in cyber space with the occasional mistaken hit.

JJ

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