In a moment of FOMO-induced madness in November, I entered myself into the Vitality Bath Half Marathon.
Who fears missing out on running 13.1 miles?! Me.
Many of my friends entered last year and I thought about doing it then, but with very minimal running experience didn't think it would be for me. Then they all did it and basically made it out to be the best thing ever and I was kind of jealous. So when entries opened last year, I signed up before I could change my mind.
Luckily I do actually enjoy running, and have slowly started to get into doing it more regularly. Having a race to aim for and a training plan to stick to is really helping with this.
However, the last time I ran in any kind of organised thing was a school cross country competition way back in year nine. I sort of accidentally got onto the team because the day we did cross country in PE that year, all the best runners were off school. Therefore, my memories of my last long distance race are of having next to no training (and probably about three days' notice), running through muddy fields with no idea of how far I had to go, and then rather unceremoniously having to return to my maths lesson...
Anyway, this time around I plan to do things a bit more properly.
My main aim is really to just to prove to myself that I can do it. Hopefully I'll be able to enjoy the atmosphere and the sense of achievement.
I've also decided that this is a good opportunity to raise some money for a worthwhile cause. I understand that many people have their own charities to support, so please do not feel in any way obliged to sponsor me - any messages of support and good luck are just as equally appreciated! However, I have chosen to try and raise some money for Alzheimer's Society, a charity who support people with dementia, their relatives and carers, and also to fund vital research into understanding, treating and preventing this disease.
Dementia is something I see frequently in my time as a medical student, but also something affecting my own family. I see the difficulties and heart break it brings and is something I would never wish on anyone or their relatives.
850,000 people in the UK currently have dementia, and this is set to rise. Any work that can be done to slow this seems invaluable and this is why I have chosen to support Alzheimer's Society.
If you do want to donate, you can find my fundraising page here.
I'll probably post some updates about how training is going and of the day itself (providing all goes well and I don't incur some terrible pre-race injury!!).