On Sunday, 29 September I took part in the Windsor Half Marathon. I had never run the whole of this distance before, but after taking up running about 2 years ago I thought I’d give it a go. In my youth, I was a sprinter and never had the inclination to run any great distance. I also played hockey, but when I had my children they became my hobby and I didn’t have the energy for sport.
However, a couple of years ago I was asked by my husband, sister-in-law and brother-in-law if I would make up a team of 4 to take part in the Herbert’s Hole Challenge in Chesham – a 10k cross country run. Well, that was certainly a challenge! With my children now old enough to look after themselves it seemed like a good time to take to the roads and see how I got on with a bit of training. My first outing saw me run about 50 metres around the corner and almost collapse with exhaustion, so I stopped running and walked the remainder of a mile before turning around and heading back home, running the last 50 metres. I continued with this on alternate days running a little bit further each time until I could run all the way to the mile marker and what an achievement that was! At that point, I felt willing to tell my family how far I had run and the rest, as they say, is history!
I increased the distance gradually, changed the route for a bit of variety and entered my first official run in December, 2011 – the inaugural CAFOD Nativity run – 5k on Clapham Common. Since then I have run several 10k runs, not running very fast (indeed, ‘running’ is a fairly loose term where I am concerned), but never walking. The sense of achievement has been tremendous, not to mention the sense of well-being. There is really no better way to clear your head than to be physically exhausted.
So, the distances continued to increase until I decided, with my sister-in-law, to attempt a half marathon. I knew this was going to be a big challenge, so I thought I would celebrate it by raising sponsorship for one of my favourite charities, CAFOD. We set off for Windsor with some trepidation, but also feeling a little excited. The course was a lot more hilly than we were expecting and I found the last few miles quite a struggle, but I have a rule that I won’t walk, so relying on determination, support from my husband and the knowledge that CAFOD’s very worthy work was going to benefit from my efforts, I crossed the finish line with a big smile on my face, hardly able to believe that I had run the whole distance, and feeling very, very tired!!
I set up a Justgiving account for anyone who would like to make a donation online and it will remain active for a while yet, so if anyone reading this feels inclined to make a donation the name is Justgiving.com/Nora-Maw. The big question now is, could I face doing a whole marathon………well, 2 years ago, I could barely run 50 metres and said I would never run a half marathon, so you never know…………..although it is twice as far, isn’t it!