London Marathon - what have I let myself in for?
For the past 5 years I've been entering the London Marathon ballot. It's something I've always wanted to do.
Having grown up not far from the start line in Greenwich, I've been to every race for as long as I can remember - and always come away inspired.
The marathon's notoriously difficult to get into. It never occurred to me I'd actually get a place.
I'm not sure if my first reaction was dread or excitement - but after almost a month I'm only just admitting it to myself and the world.
So the big question is can I do it?
Well in theory, yes. With a lot of hard work most people can complete the race - but that doesn't make it easy.
As a teenager I was into cross-country running, but that all stopped by 16. Since then I've run every now and again, but realistically I'm starting from scratch.
So a month down the line and I've got the kit: new trainers, some breathable running clothes. It doesn't take long to realise that good kit is vital - and fun to buy.
I've also made a start on the training. After some extensive googling I've found a training plan I'm happy with - this will become my bible. I'm determined to be strict with myself. It's easy to find an excuse, duck a training session or two - but that's not going to help me run 26 miles.
At the moment I'm hitting the pavement 3-4 times a week, doing between 2 and 4 miles a time. Initially I was more walking then running, but now it's predominantly running - so progress is being made.
I'm also learning to run up hills. North London is a very hilly place, which is great for building fitness, but absolutely exhausting.
Am I enjoying it? I'm not quite sure. Some training sessions are great - others are completely useless. It's going to be a long winter but I'm determined I'll get there. Running for Friends of the Earth will help - there's nothing like a brilliant cause to keep you motivated.
Interested in sponsoring me? Please visit my online fundraising page and keep an eye for my regular updates in the build-up to the race.
Thinking of taking up a challenge of your own? Visit Friends of the Earth fundraising pages for lots of events, challenges and ways to support us.
Louise Gebbett, Events fundraising team
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