In May I decided to register to compete in the 2011 Run to the Beat half marathon. That’s 13.1 miles! Although relatively fit, I am certainly NOT a runner, so as you can imagine, this decision came as a surprise even to me! The next challenge was to find a charity to raise money on behalf of. I wanted to find one that I felt a real passion for and that meant something, on a personal level.
Lo and behold, SA-YES immediately stood out on the list of charities involved in the event. Their ethos and projects really made me feel that any donations made would be used effectively and would actually make a difference. Born and raised in Southern Africa, I spent my childhood enjoying the joys of Swaziland and South Africa. Both countries are incredible, the scenery is glorious, the people are fantastic and I, like SA-YES, feel that each amazing individual deserves the best possible chances in life.
So, decision made, I set about on a rigid training schedule that lasted, oooo, perhaps a week. As a non-runner, it was hard work just finding the motivation, but with SA-YES behind me, I dug deep, found that motivation, and it kept me going, albeit not according to my original schedule. With race-day fast approaching, I was then hindered by a 6 day tension headache taking me ‘out of the running’ (d’ya see what I did there?) for a good 10 days, so not a great start to the lead up to the event. Not to worry. I knuckled down and focused on the carbo-loading, tried to relax (not easy) while fitting in another two, gentle, runs. I was, for want of a better phrase, ‘bricking it’!
In hindsight, the event itself went incredibly quickly. I may have been in a blur of disbelief that I was actually doing something quite so ridiculous, and terror that I would embarrass myself by running a mile, collapsing and calling for my mummy. I wasn’t far off. Although I didn’t actually collapse, I certainly wanted to thanks to a stitch lasting 12 miles. I pulled through, tears and all, right to the end. I had desperately wanted to sack the whole thing off after the first mile, but once again SA-YES and all of my generous sponsors came to mind, and I made the decision to fight on through to the finish line.
And now I’m planning for the next one … I think I may be have been dropped on my head as a child?
Just over a month ago on Sunday 25th September 2011, I donned my trainers, running vest and ran my first 1/2 marathon. I’ve never done a lot of running and was getting bored with going to the gym, so I decided to set myself a challenge. I researched what run and where to do it. Run to the Beat immediately stood out for me, what better way then to run then to run to some top tunes mixed by the latest DJ’s.
So I’d chosen the race, now to choose who to run for? I wanted to run for a charity that meant something to me. I racked my brains and remembered a few years ago watching a TV programme about South Africa and the football world cup. I remember being quite moved by the programme as i didn’t know a lot about what was going on there. That was it I knew I’d run for off the streets or SA-YES as it’s now called.
The race was not as bad as I thought. The longest I’d run was 5 miles! So,my training had some room for improvement, however adrenaline kicked in, the cheers from the crowds and my own determination helped me complete it. My knees were killing me, but I knew I’d achieved something.
Here’s to my next challenge!!!!!!!!