Charity of the month of March, The Meningitis Research Foundation

Posted on Mar 6 2014 - 8:14pm by Samantha Clark
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A post by Fiona Fairbairn

FiStairs are finally manageable again having run the half marathon on Sunday and it is nice to be ache free again, I heard it takes a day to recover for every mile that you ran but unfortunately I can’t take 13 days off with all of my final year deadlines approaching!

Anyway back to why I under took this challenge in the first place.
An old school teacher of mine made a bet with me a few years back about completing a marathon one day, so I chose a half marathon as starting point. Bath is a beautiful city and I had heard that the
support there was fantastic and close to Bristol, I thought why not.

I chose to run for The Meningitis Research Foundation, a charity that is close to my heart and is also a great cause to support. Meningitis and septicaemia can kill or disable in hours and early identification of symptoms can help to save lives (like mine).

I naively went into my training pre Christmas thinking that a half an hour 5km/3 mile run wouldn’t be that hard, I was so wrong. As a lacrosse player I am much more used to short sprint running rather
than long distance so even the first little step took some getting used to with perseverance. I downloaded BUPA’s Beginner Half Marathon plan off the Internet and this was a great help with my training. Slowly increasing the distance over a couple of months is definitely the way to approach this kind of race and it does take time to get used to. In hindsight I would also try to do 14 miles in training a few weekends before the race so you know what to expect as I had only  trained to 10 miles because of injury and therefore found the last 3 miles at  the end particularly difficult in such wet and windy conditions. The feeling after a long run is a great sense of achievement too, especially when you can see that you made it around the same loop as the day before perhaps in a faster time. I also used an app called mapmyrun which was really useful – it does what it says on the tin really and interrupts your music every 1km to tell you how fast you are going and what time, this definitely helped me gauge where my comfort level was.

The run itself was that step up from training, it is difficult to find your own pace with everyone constantly over taking you and you over taking other so you are never next to the same person for long with approximately 12,000 runners. The Bath Half course is 2 loops and it was amazing to see the winners sprint past you at double your pace when you are not even half way and also that little bit depressing but everyone is cheering for you and handing out jelly babies along the way so the atmosphere is just fantastic.  It is so great to see the huge variety of causes everyone else is running for and their fancy dress outfits too. I ran next to one guy for a little bit and he was juggling the whole way!!

I definitely want to run one again, hopefully before the end of the year and I will be using Bristol’s 10k race in May as something to keep my running going. I find training is much more rewarding when you are doing it towards something like a race and it is also nice to have a running partner too.

I would just like to mention that it is NOT TOO LATE TO DONATE and
my page is still open and can be found at http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/FFairbairn.

Donations will help fund research into the prevention, detection and treatment of meningitis and septicaemia, provide life-saving awareness information and support for people who have lost a loved one, or are coping with after effects.

Thank you for all your support,

Over and out,

Fiona

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