11 days to go

Just 11 days to go until I am a marathoner.  Over the past 14 weeks everything has gone pretty well.  I’ve been slow, I’ve been fast, I’ve felt like a superwoman, I’ve felt guilty, I’ve felt weak, but at the end of it all, I feel that I am actually going to be able to do it.

Every two weeks I’ve written a blog post, sharing my plan, what I actually ran, and how it all went.  If you are interested you can take a peek here.

We all have time goals in our minds, but despite writing about them here (including a slightly unrealistic goal).  So I’ve thrown the time goals out the window, and instead I want to run well, to my ability, and get around, while feeling good, whatever time that may be.

Running for charity, but not taking a charity place

For my first marathon I didn’t want to have the pressure of a high fundraising target that comes with running on a charity place.  As well as the pressure to do all the training and run, and keep both those balls up in the air while doing all my normal things, like being a mum, working, keeping the laundry on the go, etc…

Note: A charity place for a running event often involves raising a large sum of money to get your race place. I don’t know if it is true, but I have heard that if you don’t meet your target you have to ‘top up’ your fundraising yourself.  #stressful

For this reason purchased my own place, allowing me to run for me.  Then if I wanted to run for a charity, I could do so independently, of my own choice, without a big target, and with any money I raise going straight to the charity.

Here’s how I understand it: Charities have to purchase places at marathons (and other popular running events), and often have to pay for big advertisements in order to secure more places.  So the money you raise on a charity place, will be offset by the amount that the charity has had to spend to give you the place to start with .

So, long story short, here we are, in 11 days I will run my first marathon for me, but also for Team Macmillan – Cancer Support (visit my Just Giving page)!

So, why Macmillan Cancer Support?

While on these long runs, even with music, audio books, podcasts, thoughts creep in and my mind wanders.  And during this training cycle, for both my Daddy and my Step Dad, David, it was their birthday and also the anniversary of their deaths.  So with all these poignant dates in my head a lot of thoughts have been coursing through my mind, feelings, memories, and crystal clear recall of certain moments.

These moments, the last ones, the worry filled ones, the confused ones, the sad ones, the bittersweet ones.  The hospitals, the operations, the endless tests, the family struggles, the loneliness.  And while when my David, passed away, there was a huge support network of family and friends (and this in itself brings its own challenges), but when my Daddy left this world, it was just me.  You might think, I was an adult at 24 years old, and I would be able to cope and also help him cope.  But I was so naive, I didn’t even understand what a hospice was, or why we were moving there. We didn’t have a resource like Macmillan Cancer Support, but I wish we did and it would be my greatest wish that other people can have access to it.

Macmillan Cancer Support says that they are right there with you, whatever cancer throws your way, they are there to support you physically, financially, emotionally.  The charity receives no government funding and in the UK one person every 2 minutes is diagnosed with cancer.

Where does the money go?

Just £28 would provide a Macmillan nurse for an hour, helping and supporting.  I would have given my right arm for an angel like this to help my Dad and me through the minefield we found ourselves on.  £50 would buy someone with cancer a microwave, making it easier for them to prepare their food, which was always a worry when my dad was at home, that he was eating well and often enough.

I have no target to raise, but if you could support me and my effort, it would mean the world to me.  And if you’ve read my story above, and feel moved at all, or went through something like this yourself, please support me.

I know both my Daddy and David would both be so proud of me, putting one foot in front of the other and completing my target of running 26.2 miles.  They were very different men, and equally important in my life, and in different parts of the race, I know they will be speaking to me, telling me to sharpen up, cheering me up, and both spurring me on!  Plus, I’ll be wearing CJ ironed onto my vest, something they both called me when I was growing up (my initials: Caroline Juliet) – and no one has called me that in years.

So, long story short, I’ll be a marathoner soon, t-minus 11 days, and I’m running for Team Macmillan, Cancer Support and you can help me raise vital funds and support this great charity here.

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