Marathon… It’s not just what us old people call a Snickers bar!
If you have been following my blog this year there is a pretty good chance you would have seen my journey progressing. You won’t have known where my journey was headed, till recently anyway.
Ever since the TADtalks event back in April 2017 I have had a personal goal. At the TAD event there were many inspirational speakers, 2 however really stuck a chord with me. ➡ Gavin Griffiths and ➡ Roddy Riddle have both proved time and time again that diabetes is not a barrier to anything we put our minds too. Have a look at their sites, you will see why they inspired me. Both these guys gave a great talk on the day, and in some way have inspired me to push myself, and that brings me to this blog post.
My Personal Challenge
I have not said this publicly, until now. The challenge I have set myself is to go from zero running experience to a sub 4 hour London marathon in less than a year. Watching the London Marathon 2017 gave me the idea. If all those people can do a marathon, so can I and diabetes can come along for the ride. On Saturday 29th April, just after London Marathon 2017, I took part in my first ever timed event. ➡ Parkrun is now a staple part of my life, and indeed my training towards my goal.
The main reason I want to do this is to raise some awareness around exercise and diabetes. All too often I see on social media people really struggling to make the two things work together. Both Gav and Roddy have inspired me to stop letting diabetes be an excuse for not exercising, I want to try to do the same for others. If my challenge inspires just one person, then every single step I take on 22nd April 2018 will be worth it. There is nothing we can’t do, given the right support and encouragement. My diabetes actually motivates me to push myself harder. The old pre-diagnosis me would never have had the grit to do this challenge.
My Marathon Journey So Far
Well since I did that first Parkrun back in April I have run almost 1,000km.
This hasn’t all been plain sailing. There have been many highs and far too many lows along the way. The point is though I have done it, I have arrived at today and learnt a lot in the process. In my view the only way you will learn about diabetes and exercise is to get out there and try it. Trial and error really has been my friend in the past 6 months. The highlight of my journey so far has been running for #TeamDUK in the ➡ Royal Parks Half Marathon I am so proud of what I achieved that day.
Finishing a half marathon in under 2 hours less than 6 months after I took up running was beyond my own expectations. This has given me the belief that I will smash the London Marathon in 2018, hence going public with my personal challenge.
So,What’s The Plan Then?
Between now and April I still have a ton of training I need to do. I have a lot more to learn about how my diabetes is going to behave on longer distance running. The knowledge I gained from being a delegate at One Touch Sports Weekend will stand me in good stead I hope. The jump from half marathon to full marathon is quite a big one. My motivation is that this journey might inspire somebody who is newly diagnosed to set out on the right path. Always remember diabetes lives with YOU, not the other way round.
I have a couple of events already booked in for early 2018 prior to the big one in April
Sunday 4th February – I will be running in the London Winter Run
Sunday 4th March – My 2nd half marathon The Big Half
Sunday 22nd April – The London Marathon 2018
Please Support The Cause
I am running the London Marathon for ➡ RNIB, a cause close to my heart. The biggest fear I have around my diabetes is my eyesight. I know of some very inspiring people who have eye problems, this is my inspiration for running for #TeamRNIB. I am hoping to be able to share some stories from the people who inspire me most in the coming few months.
The work RNIB do for so many people is amazing. Having a long-term health condition, like diabetes, is tough. But having visual impairment or associated conditions really is life changing. This is when the services of RNIB are so important. It is a service which ANYBODY could need one day. I will blog more on this in the coming few weeks.
Hopefully see lots of you at The DiAthlete Global Premiere on Saturday 11th November. I’m honoured to be on the UK panel and look forward to speaking with you all on the day.
A few tips on running your first marathon can be found here
Take Care, The challenge is there