Wednesday, 18 January 2012

The generosity of friends

Since I started running I have had plenty of people share the idea with me that all runners are mad. Why would we put ourselves through the pain and suffering of a run when we could be tucked up on the sofa? Well anyone who runs knows the answer. Running doesn't make us mad, it is what keeps us sane! Or at least as close to that state as possible.

But the other positive side effect of running for me is discovering the incredible support and generosity of fellow runners and friends. Not only have I raised over £900 since entering the marathon just a couple of weeks ago thanks to donations from friends and family both close and virtual, I have also been overwhelmed by the help I have been offered from so many and varied wonderful people.

One friend has set me up with 10 sessions of Pilates at Pilates Nation in order to keep prevent my poor old body from freezing up in protest at all the training I am expecting it to do. I had my first session with the incredibly lovely Rachel there yesterday and I can see that a good stretching out is just what my muscles need.

Then there is my personal trainer, Andrea, who has promised to help me get into tip top shape for the marathon, which, given my lazy week due to injury, is a godsend. At least now I can be sure that my upper body is in with a fighting chance of keeping up with my legs.

Or the lovely Elise, The Patient Chiropractor, who has given me invaluable advice and treatment for my calf strain. I can't wait till she can join me out running again and see all her good work put into action.

These are the big ticket items though. I have been equally touched by the hours of advice that expert runners including Mark who I have mentioned before, as well as some seasoned marathon runners at my gym, have given this novice runner to help me beat that 26.2 miles into submission.

I was also touched when two volunteers at the North London Hospice shoved wrinkled £5 notes into the collecting tins I had come in to pick up as soon as they heard I was running the marathon for their charity.

The kindness of strangers and friends in the face of human endeavour surely enough to make it worthwhile. It has certainly made my marathon experience so far an incredibly uplifting one, and I hope this will help to carry me around the course - bad leg or no. Worst comes to worst I shall walk the whole way, as there is no way I will let all these wonderful people down.

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