Only 73 days till the Brighton Marathon.
73 days… 10.5 weeks… This feels like not a lot.
I’m not really a runner, in fact since I graduated 3.5 years ago I havn’t really been that active at all, and come to write of it final year consisted of sitting, studying and binge eating junk food. But I have signed up for this marathon in 73 days…
This was a potentially poorly thought through decision born out of a wish to do something, anything, to feel like I was doing something helpful following the death of my cousin in August 2016. She was 17. She had a cardiac arrest the day after she received her AS level exam results, 2 weeks before she was going to be a bridesmaid at her brothers wedding. Just 3 months before her 18th birthday. She is the baby of the family, the youngest of 3 siblings, and the youngest of all six of us including me and my brothers.
It was completely unexpected. She was fit and well, an active member of her local RAF Cadets group, worked hard at school, excelled at French, had a strong Faith, and an army of good friends. She had barely been at home in the month leading up to her death with an RAF trip to Gibraltar where she had a close encounter with a Giraffe, and then straight to a 2 week christian summer camp that she has been going to every year since I can remember. She had just met a boy she really liked, who liked her back, someone who shared her love of cadets and her faith. She said that she was the happiest she had ever been.
They found nothing on post mortem.
Her death was put down to SADS, sudden arrhythmic death syndrome, and her immediate family are still awaiting cardiac screening for inherited cardiac disease. Her parents got in touch with CRY, Cardiac Risk in the Young, a charity that helps investigate cardiac death in under 35s, provides support for bereaved families and for those living with inherited cardiac conditions. After hearing about this charity I went onto their website to have a look around, and there on the home page they were asking for people to run the Brighton Marathon for them.
So I just did it. I signed up.
I feel very strongly about trying to help this charity, in the hope that there are fewer families in the future who have to go through what my family have been through since August. You can have a look at my fundraising page, where I have talked a bit more about what the charity does, here.
In the interest of full disclosure, it is worth noting that I have run a marathon before. It was in Sept 2011 – almost 6 years ago! And I did it partially because I had quit university rowing, and I was advised to take up either running or cycling to burn off my bulky rowing muscles. Partially it was to tick it off, running a marathon was on the 100 things to do before you die list that I wrote with my best friend, and I wanted to tick it off whilst I was young and fit! I can’t really remember the training being much of an issue, I just did what it says, sometimes I was tired afterwords, sometimes I wasn’t. For the last 8 weeks I was inter-railing around Europe, and I remember the amazing scenery I was lucky enough to run through, and the joy of getting up and feeling really fit, and the feeling that you could run for ever.
I do remember the marathon being unpleasant. Really unpleasant. I hit the wall at about 19 miles (too early!) after really struggling with the hilly route, and honestly do not remember how I really got through it. Except for Disney’s Zero to Hero song coming on just when I needed it and helping me come out the other side of the wall at… 24 miles. I swore I would never run again, and I was so adamant about how horrific it had been, that everyone seemed to believe me. Except for my great aunt, who lived near my marathon route and had waved my charity top at me from the sidelines as motivation, who said that she thought that I would do one again. And it would be when I found a charity that I felt strongly enough about fundraising for that I would go through that again. She was right.
Thank you for reading my post, and thank you even more if you visited my fundraising page, even if just for a look. This wasn’t the direction I was planning on taking this post in. I wanted to talk about trying to train with a torn hamstring, but the words came out and the post about the hamstring injury will wait for another day. Sometimes you just need to talk.