Move & Use.....coined by one of my nearest and dearest, this short and simple catch phrase infuses inspiration into my day to day. For those not on my wavelength here, it basically means, "get off your ass and apply what you've got!"
I am a thinker. But ideas only get me so far and I could often benefit from a bit more movement. Take this blog for example....where are all the gems of observation I promised? Not that it mattered much before now, because following this post I'm actually going to share this blog in hopes of recruiting a small, but existent readership. I'm moving and using.
I'm moving and using on many fronts in fact. As you may know, on April 13 (in 11 small days) I am running the London Marathon. My first marathon! I've been running since I can remember and first thought seriously about a marathon back in my Boston days of running around the Charles. Then there was that fateful day of the 2002 Boston marathon - my dear friend and I decided it would be a bright plan to run the last mile or so of the marathon route (which passed our apartment door) in order to take in the atmosphere at the finish line. So I grabbed my sneakers, she grabbed her roller blades and we were off, only to find the route was still cordoned off and spectators were cheering me on like a superstar, and booing my friend like a heartless cheat! We managed to break out of the barriers before the finish line, thankfully. I'm now ready to reach the finish line in good faith.
I'm running on behalf of children's charity WellChild, so if you haven't yet sponsored me and would like to, you can at http://www.justgiving.com/tanyastevens. I'm around £350 off my fundraising target of £1500 so please support me if you can. WellChild is a small, grassroots charity that provides nursing care for chronically ill kids, support servies for their families and research into childhood illness.
Re the race itself, I'm respecting the distance; 26.2 miles is no breeze and I've been training like a mad woman...or maybe like any responsible runner would do! At times I felt like a mad woman going for a run in wet, cold, dark conditions before work, which is why I'm loving the longer, lighter days post daylight savings and my discovery that running during my lunch hour is a great way to train and clear my head.
How am I progressing? My body has become a little machine that charges on in rain, snow and sun for great lengths...15 miles, 18 miles, my personal peak distance of 20 miles (during which I faced all of the above weather!) that I completed in just over 3 hours. I'm aiming to finish the run around 4 hours or just under so I appear on target but it all depends on how I feel on the day....
Some of my best discoveries so far have been:
1. Runners Need - it pays to be fitted for sneakers and seek advice from a proper running store. I got some excellent shoes and training advice from the Liverpool Street Store (http://www.runnersneed.co.uk/home.aspx)
2. Go Gels - I'm not totally into the isotonic drink/power bar/etc. type things, but I kept reading about the performance enhancing effects of carb gels so I thought I'd try one out on my 20 mile run. I had it around mile 17.5 and surprisingly it wasn't too sickly sweet, didn't make me want to throw up and did give me a little boost. I had the orange flavor.
3. Friendly runners raise my spirits and add a spring to my step :) - Since when do passers by around London smile or say hello as they rush past you on the street? People are more likely to run you down as they go about their regular business but I've encountered many fellow runners that greet me with an encouraging smile, nod or hello. It's a show of mutual respect and support. And it's refreshing.