“It always seems impossible until it’s done” – Nelson Mandela

I recently ran the Manchester Marathon to raise money for Clear Sky Children’s Charity. As a Clear Sky therapist, I am lucky enough to witness first hand, the amazing work with children and families. I am hugely passionate about supporting both emotional and physical health and wellbeing. Therefore, partaking in a physical challenge to raise funds for a charity who work to develop children’s emotional wellbeing felt like the perfect task.

When I signed up to run I was excited and nervous. Despite knowledge that people run marathons all the time, the challenge felt huge.

The Training

The training that goes into a marathon is in no way easy. Life becomes a series of early nights and early mornings, followed by cold, dark (and often rainy) runs. Despite this, for me, it’s all in the mind-set. An early night meant a fresh start, a long run meant another achievement.

Holding in mind all of the children we support at Clear Sky, in particular those that I have worked with personally, was a huge motivation for me. Further the long runs often gave me an opportunity to either switch off fully from busy thoughts, or alternatively, gave me the time to think about things occupying my mind. Alongside this, I knew that each run offered potential for a new achievement. Of course, sometimes I faced hurdles and days where I couldn’t run the distance because my body couldn’t manage it. These were the hardest days.

I learnt a lot from the experience. I began taking the difficult runs in my stride and focusing upon what I had achieved on the days that went well. I learnt to be kind to my body and rest when it was asking for some time to recover. Saturdays became days for long runs, and Sunday’s became a day of self-care and recovery. Without the self-care, whether that be going to yoga, having a long soak in Epsom salts or meditating, I don’t feel as though I’d have accomplished the task.

The Race

Race day came, and I was full of excitement and fear. I continuously reminded myself that I had put the mileage in and that I could achieve the distance. Throughout the entire race my mind-set jumped between overwhelming fears of failure, to moments of feeling as though I could conquer anything.

I utilised a few techniques to keep myself regulated when feeling as though I wouldn’t achieve it, such as focusing on counting steps, or mindful breathing. I also held in mind my reason for doing the run (my biggest motivation), alongside focusing upon the end goal.

I ended up completing the race in 3hours 26minutes. My aim was to finish in sub 3:45 so I was so pleased to have taken 19 minutes off of my goal!

Because of generous donations from close friends and family, £1092 was raised.

I am left empowered and inspired to take on more physical challenges to raise funds for good causes.

My Next Challenge

On the weekend of June 15th, a team of 10 walkers (myself included) and two drivers are taking on the 3 Peaks Challenge. We will be aiming to complete the ascent and decent of the 3 tallest mountains in England (Scaffel Pike), Wales (Snowdon) and Scotland (Ben Nevis), within 24 hours (including driving). Please wish us luck, it’s going to be tough.

If you would like to make a donation to support our efforts, please click here for our sponsorship page. Thanks in advance.

Finally we would like to say a massive thank you to Gareth Johns at Certain Exhibitions for kindly offering to cover the cost for the hire of the minibus we will be using to undertake the challenge.

Author: Becky Hill