About a year ago I decided to set myself the challenge of running the New York Marathon. For someone that has always had a love/hate relationship with running, this was a big step.
I first started running a couple of years ago when I saw a friend run a marathon and thought if she can do it then I can at least do a half marathon, which I achieved later that year.
Having completed a half, I decided my challenge would be to run a marathon before I turn 30. Not content with completing just any marathon, I decided to run the New York Marathon and here I find myself with a flight booked to NYC, ready to run on Sunday 1st November.
Why I am Running the New York Marathon
I have represented people affected by abuse for three years now and have worked on a variety of cases, including Savile cases, claims against schools, doctors and various other organisations.
As part of this work, I have seen the devastating affects abuse can have on individuals and those close to them. Many of them have found it very difficult to speak out about the abuse they suffered as they didn’t know who to turn to or what steps to take. As a result of seeing this, I decided that I would like to support a charity dedicated to helping those affected by abuse and have therefore decided to run for the National Association of Those Abused in Childhood (NAPAC).
NAPAC provide support for adults who have been abused in childhood, recognising that the effect of abuse in childhood doesn’t end there and can continue into adulthood. They help adult survivors of abuse access the support they need and also run a fantastic freephone support line. In addition to this, they campaign on a number of issues.
I am hoping to raise £2,000.00 to support this fantastic charity.
As motivation for me (and a little light entertainment for you), I will be keeping this blog updated with my training progress – the good, the bad and no doubt the ugly! I would be grateful for any sponsorship – big or small – as every penny donated will help encourage me to keep running, both in training and on the day!
Update: 28th August – Injuries, Injuries, Injuries
With less than 10 weeks to go until the big day, I should be pounding the streets as much as possible. Unfortunately, however, I am suffering with another injury!
Having dealt with a knee injury last year and finally getting back to full fitness, I am now plagued with a metatarsal injury. After worrying that it may be a stress fracture, two trips to the minor injuries unit later I have been reassured that it is not fractured and is likely to be tendonitis. I am under strict instruction not to do any impact exercise which means no running for three weeks and my training plan will pushed back by a few weeks - eek!
Thankfully, I am ahead of schedule and as long as I keep my fitness up it shouldn’t affect the marathon… fingers crossed! Just another hurdle to overcome in the marathon training!
Update: 20th October – Almost there!
It's now less than two weeks until the big day and I’m proud to say I have managed to complete the bulk of the training. Whilst my body is screaming at me through various aches and pains, I have also managed to avoid any further injuries along the way. Just the small matter of the final 26.2 mile challenge to complete... I’m ready for it!
It hasn’t been easy with aching hips, blisters and being welcomed into the world of black toes and chaffing, but I've survived. Knowing that I am raising money for such a great cause has really helped me to keep going during those low moments on my many long runs. That and copious energy gels paired with some anti-chaffing body glide. Who said running wasn’t glamorous?!
I am now filled with both nerves and excitement and after a final taper run this weekend, I’ll be packing my trusty trainers and NAPAC vest, ready to show New York City how it is done. Wish me luck or better still, please sponsor me!
With all the training I haven’t been able to keep this blog as up to date as I would have liked. However, more information, updates and (somewhat embarrassing) pictures can be found here: https://www.justgiving.com/jessica-standley-nycmarathon/
See you on the other side!