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Friday, 17 June 2016

WRITING || Budapest Marathon 2016.

I'm currently experiencing some intense writer's block. You know the kind, where you struggle to start typing, leaving sentences half-finished, and thoughts unexplained. I think its all because I don't even know how to begin explaining the ins and outs of why I've undertaken this huge challenge. All I can say is, that in October, a little under four months time, I'll be running the Budapest Marathon. And breathe.

Towards the end of my first year of university I got a taste for all things charity through volunteering with RAG - our university's 'Raise and Give' Society. As I documented here,  I caught the charity bug and started my next academic year intending to get even more involved. Like I mentioned in my catch-up post last month, one of my best friends at uni was recruiting people to run the Budapest Marathon in aid of The Children's Society. And myself and my other best friend Nancy, being the excellent friends that we are, offered to help hand out flyers around campus and garner interest in the challenge. Little did we expect that by trying to convince complete strangers to take part a marathon, that we'd end up convincing ourselves.
Maybe it was the remaining New Year vibes that swayed me into signing up, all I know is that I'd been wanting to get back into running again for a long time and this was the perfect opportunity to do so.
I always knew it was going to be hard. I would say that in the grand scheme of things I do have a pretty active lifestyle, mainly from dog walking and whizzing round London, but that I've never been particularly sporty. As you would expect, my taking on a marathon took a lot of friends and family by surprise but every banterous scoff made me all the more determined to do it.
As always, I'm a pretty all or nothing type and I so I started hitting the gym hard. So hard that I injured my knee within the first month which was far from ideal. I should have known better but you can't fault my enthusiasm. Since then, I've been running at least three times a week (except for exam season when I had to focus entirely on work - being the all or nothing kind of girl I am) and I've realised that feeling fit feels pretty damn good. Its nice to actually enjoy exercise - not that I love every minute of it all the time, of course - but being able to say that I've shaved 11 minutes off my starting 5K time seems like quite an accomplishment. Plus, I now have a nice new workout uniform of gym gear - largely acquired from the likes of Fashercise and LuluLemon.

The other huge task that comes with running a marathon is the fundraising. And oh did I underestimate how tough raising £1200 could be. But I'm currently on £800 and I'm feeling pretty good about the remaining amount I have left to raise, I still have a few tricks up my sleeve. Above is a photo of me and some uni friends at our Easter themed bake sale earlier this year. I've learnt so far that sometimes the most unsuspecting members of the public can be the most generous and that I'm so lucky to be surrounded by friends and family who are willing to donate to this amazing cause.
Which brings me nicely to be my final point. Because even though completing this marathon will cross one thing off the ol' Bucket List, it was the amazing charity I'd be doing it for which made me want to commit. The Children's Society works to represent underprivileged children living in the UK, specifically those aged between 11-18 who are often overlooked and dismissed by society. In recent years they have worked hard to expose the sexual exploitation of vulnerable people which is allowed to go undetected for years as it is seen as a taboo subject by the media at large.  You can find out more about the amazing work this charity does on their website but I wanted to touch on it a little here just to highlight what a fantastic charity it really is.
I know that I still have a long way to go. Right now, I feel like I can safely run a half marathon. But that 26.2 miles feels like an age away despite the three month mark looming in front of me. The silver lining is that I know that I'll find the strength to complete it in the comfort of the amazing charity I'm raising money for.

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