Since 1981 thousands of people around the world have flocked to the London Marathon to compete, test their metal and/or raise funds for causes close to their hearts. At 26 miles and 385 yards, the course is a grueling test of endurance which makes up part of the six world marathons that form the World Marathon Majors.
This year two of our own have stepped up to the plate to make their mark on the event and raise funds for The British Lung Foundation – a cause close to all our hearts here. Zena Swansbury and Lynne Taylor have been hard at work training for the event and with the big day looming, we got in touch with Lynne to find out how she’s feeling about the event and her experience getting in shape to take part:
“The call came last October saying the British Lung Foundation (BLF) would like me to run for them in the London Marathon – I was so excited the first thing I did was tell my mum! Next came the news that my colleague, Zena, had also been allocated a space – so now there were two of us! Baywater immediately offered their support and encouraged us to start fundraising – we wanted to raise as much as possible so we were well in advance of D-day. We set up a joint fundraising page with the BLF for sponsors, and we started a tuck shop, all the funds we raised were added to our donations.
Next came the training schedule, I donned my trainers and started going out for some short runs. Five 20 minute runs later my body started to protest with a pain in my left leg. Off I went to the Physio. After some heat and stretching exercises I was told that my trainers were the wrong kind for running. I went back to the shops for stability trainers with corrective insoles – I was good to go again but with instructions for only half hour runs until my next physio appointment. I started to go further, although I was still aching I found I could keep running, so the totals grew – 3 miles, 4 miles, 5 miles. Then I started to struggle with motivation and could just not seem to get to the 6-mile point – but I had a goal! So I tried a new strategy – I’d recently won a full facial and body treatment, 2 hours of bliss – so I told myself that I could not go for that until I’d mastered the 6-mile distance”¦ Well I did it! and I was so happy – I got to the road sign which signaled I had made my target, touched it and then ran back home with the thought of my upcoming pampering treatment firmly in the front of my mind. I put my first post on Facebook after this run. The 10-mile point didn’t not seem quite so far away!
With my routes planned I continued training, I was feeling the best I had felt during any of my runs when suddenly I felt a shooting pain in my right foot, and the more I carried on the worse it felt. Every time I lifted my heal the pain got worse. I took my trainer off, readjusted my sock and laces and put my trainer back on again – nope! Still there! Worried about injuring myself further I knew I had to stop and rang my husband in tears (injured again!) to come and pick me up. After lots of googling and resting I was anxious to get back out and run again. This was the most nerve-wracking time of all my preparation – the race was getting nearer and I was desperate to hit my 13-mile target, I knew that to reach this goal I had to get going again soon. So the evening before my run I put my trainers on – the pain felt worse – took out my corrective insoles – lots better. I did not sleep well that night worrying, I woke at 6am, ate my breakfast and got myself ready (ibuprofen gel on my foot, and painkillers) and off I went. For the first mile, I could feel a niggle in my foot but it completely disappeared as I carried on, and I hit my target! or as I like to call it ‘HALF A MARATHON’ – I was ecstatic!!!
That brings us to now, the race is so very close – my training is all about self-preservation and not pushing myself too hard and risking another injury. Yesterday I ran 17 miles, my longest run yet and it was tough – I struggled, but I did it. I made my second post on Facebook and I had so many lovely comments it gave me a real lift. My next run will be shorter but I am hoping to pick up my pace a little, I would love to be able to say that I’ve completed this amazing race in under 5 hours – even if it’s only by 60 seconds!
I know that with the support of my family who are coming to cheer me on, my friends who have been with me all the way and Baywater Healthcare, I will definitely give it my best shot. The London Marathon is such a huge event, I know that the atmosphere will lift me and as it gets close I am actually daring to look forward to being part of it! I am proud to represent the BLF and hope Zena and I raise lots of money for this incredible cause.”
We’re sure you will join us in wishing Lynne and Zena the best of luck on the day – we will all be cheering you on!!
If you would like to sponsor our brave athletes and support a fantastic cause at the same time you can do so by clicking here