My training is now well under way. I am in week 8 of the training plan and have got my longest run yet this Sunday – 14 miles. I’ve only ever run this far once and that was when I got lost in the wilds of Suffolk during a half marathon training run. The good thing about running in London is that the Thames serves as a pretty good orientation point, as I found out last week when I attempted to run to Battersea via Clapham but realised I’d gone too far left when I reached Putney. A short run north brought me to the river and I followed it all the way back to the park.
I am now running at least 4 times a week. My weekday runs consist of a mix of hill runs, fartlek runs, and the occasional well-received easy run, and then the week is topped off with a long run on a Sunday. These are a really great chance to explore London above the ground and to spend some quality time with Stephen Fry as he whispers the Harry Potter audiobooks into my ears. His impression of Professor McGonagall is remarkable.
As well as running I have also added some Yoga and Pilates classes to my routine. These are great for working on core strength, which will be very important as the miles increase, and the stretching really helps with my knee. Epsom salts are next on my list as a colleague swears by their restorative magic!
The fundraising donations are slowly but surely coming in. A few weeks ago I held a bake sale in the office which raised nearly £100 thanks to the incredible generosity of my colleagues, and only last week I was reminded of why what I am doing is so important. I saw in the news that 18 of the firefighters who attended the Grenfell Tower fire are going to be running the London Marathon in full kit. That’s an extra 30kg of weight and just imagine the chaffing! The funds they’re raising are going to local groups supporting those affected by the fire and this reminded me why the work of LCF; supporting such grassroots groups; is so very important. LCF’s support of the hundreds of incredible grassroots organisations across the capital makes a difference to the lives of all who live here and being able to help deliver that is humbling.
So I’m going to keep running and keep fundraising and hope that I don’t get to the end of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows before race day because I can’t imagine the voice of anyone other than Stephen Fry getting me through those last few gruelling runs.
Lauren will be documenting her journey to the London Marathon through regular blog posts. She is raising funds for The London Community Foundation, helping to build and stronger and more vibrant London for everyone. Check out Lauren’s fundraising efforts or donate today.