Only two months until the London Marathon ... Oh no!

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As she prepares to complete the longest run of her life, Sally shares her planning so far and considers the challenge ahead

The Children's Society cheers squads

I experienced a lot of change last year but one of the most positive things (along with relocating to the south and meeting my new man) was joining The Children’s Society as a Regional Fundraiser. As I learned about the work the charity does, I became inspired to take on a personal challenge to help raise some much needed funds. 

I’m not the only one; there’s a real culture of staff fundraising here which surprisingly I haven’t experienced at other charities I’ve worked for. The team is constantly busy baking, running, crafting and quizzing to raise money for young people. 

In November I received an email from my colleague Michael reminding staff that there were a few places for the London Marathon, and I decided that 2013 would be the year that I won’t be watching it from my sofa, sporting pyjamas. I paid my entry fee on the spot and before I had the chance to change my mind announced my challenge to everyone I knew. 

Getting on the road

While I’ve been told that some people are natural runners, I’m definitely not one of them. I’ve run a few miles in the past but 10k is the longest run I’ve ever completed, and that was back when I was several years younger and in better shape. 

I started by getting some top of the range running shoes and a tailored training programme, which is a mix of shorter runs, Pilates, speed work, rest days and a long run on Sunday mornings each week. I haven’t yet reached the part of the plan where the distances are getting too scary, but I felt really proud of myself last Sunday returning from a two-hour run and feeling, well, pretty much OK. Yorkshire puddings justified!  

Going for it

I won’t lie: the training is hard and the dark mornings, snow and ice haven’t helped, but I’m excited about the big day in 8 weeks and grow more and more confident about my fitness each week.

If you’ve thought about taking on a sporting challenge yourself just go for it. Doing it for a charity really does help to keep you motivated and you’ll get fantastic support and encouragement from friends, family and colleagues (and a firmer bottom, too)!

If you’d like to help me raise money for The Children’s Society, please visit my Virgin Giving page.

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