Thursday, 14 October 2010

Dig deep for Ovarian Cancer Action

Many of my long suffering readers already know that I completed my first half marathon last Sunday. Indeed many of them have been encouraged to support Ovarian Cancer Action - the charity I was running for. They have already heard me moan about how unbelievably difficult it was to run 13.1 miles.

I guess completing a half marathon is an achievement, even if it did take me a full 3 hours to do it. I only marginally beat the pantomime horse, who seemed to have walked most of the distance. But who cares? I ran most of the distance (yes, I know, I am the slowest runner ever … ) and learnt more about myself than I really wanted to know.

First of all I learnt that not being fully prepared isn’t the greatest idea in the world. I hadn’t done enough training, not lost enough weight and hadn’t really understood what running 13 miles meant. My iPod was overestimating my practice runs, so I was lulled into a false sense of fitness security – thinking I had been covering longer distances than I had. You live and learn. But the psychological trauma of realising I had only run 9 miles when my iPod said 10 miles, and my legs said 24 miles was not something my head was ready for. And the humiliation of needing to be talked up that endless hill by a 14 year old boy on a bicycle is something I will train long and hard to resist next time.

I also learnt something about digging deep. Alliterations always have a jolly ring to them, but when you are living them they look a little different. Digging deep last Sunday meant remembering why I was running (because someone else had to endure the pain of chemotherapy) and why it was important (because I want future generations to have a better chance). Digging deep also meant keeping on going, when all I wanted to do was stop. Digging deep meant trying to think of something other than what might be happening under my socks.

I also learnt that it is worthwhile to stick my neck out to try and achieve something worthwhile. I’ve now got a great deal more respect for people who regularly run, cycle, walk and abseil down buildings for causes they believe are important. Without those people we wouldn’t know half what we know about cancer, how the heart or head works.

So thank you everyone who supported me, and Ovarian Cancer Action. My Just Giving page is if you would like to add to the bellow of voices who want a higher chance of survival for the lovely women in their lives who are unlucky enough to get ovarian cancer.

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