Posted: 05 April 2013

Despite indications that maybe I shouldn’t, I’m running 10k

I’ve tried many different sports but have never been happy with the results. The perfectionist in me doesn’t like being mediocre. Also, I have a tendency to injure myself.

For example, I broke my thumb standing still on a dry ski slope. I broke my ribs racing to the finishing line on a quad bike (fastest lap of the day, though!). I broke a bone in my ankle just trying on a pair of trainers. I damaged both knees by being too enthusiastic at step classes. Last summer, I hurt my back while showing off on rollerblades.

So I am either jinxed or totally inept. The jury is still out on that one.

Getting out of my comfort zone

Even with all of this in mind, I signed up to run this year’s Bupa London 10k for the same reason I chose to trade a chillaxing holiday in the sun for two weeks of camping: I wanted to prove to myself (and others) that I am not afraid to get out of my comfort zone.

I also did it to prove to those who were convinced that I wouldn’t swap my Kurt Geigers for trainers. Well, I did!

But the biggest reason I am running is because I’m raising money for our work here at The Children’s Society, where we make a difference in the lives of the young people we work with. (Please visit my page on the JustGiving website to support my efforts.)

Even if you’ve only ever run a bath before, you can join me and the rest of our team to run, walk and crawl the Bupa London 10K in May. We also have a wide range of other runs, bicycle rides and other athletic events taking place all over this year, which support our work.

Fundraising tips

When you sign up to run, we’ll ask you to do some fundraising, asking people to support you as you run, jog, walk or ride your bicycle to complete the run you choose.

My main fundraising tip is: ‘If you don’t ask, you don’t get’. You can ask people whenever you like. For example, this spring, I’m arranging a few get-togethers with friends and will ask them to support me. I also plan to ask those supporters to ask their friends to support me, too. Also, will you support my run?

I suggest trying different requests with different people – friends, family, colleagues, neighbours – to see what works best for you.

People may ask you why they should support your run. I always explain to people how I'm in awe of the resilience and courage of the young people and children who we help across The Children’s Society. Running the 10K allows me to talk to people about our work and the wonderful children and young people we support – I also explain how our work can have a real impact on their lives, and it’s an absolutely worthwhile cause to support.

My training plans, such as they are

While I have a lot of experience with fundraising, when it comes to actually training for a run, I’m not so savvy.

Training hasn’t been easy, I admit, but it has been varied (and I like variety). I recently had a good few weeks recently, including:

  • Jumping up and down at Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh when the Scotland rugby team won: 600 calories burned
  • Dancing for three hours to celebrate Scotland’s back-to-back wins: 900 calories burned
  • Running for the 341 bus (twice) and missing it both times: 60 calories burned

After running, jumping and dancing so hard – and feeling my heart pound loudly enough to hear, my throat aching from exhaustion and my legs jellified – I had a sense of exhilaration. That helped me realise that, well, when I get those same sensations when I run 10k in May, being a mediocre runner will be OK. I don’t mind how quickly I finish the run – for me, the brave part is starting!

Support Gillian's run by making a donation on the JustGiving website.

By Gillian Claugher - Fundraising and events team