I entered the Brighton Marathon 2018 in April 2017. Previously I tried to enter the London Marathon 2016, running for a charity that saved my life, Tommies - everyone at St Thomas's Hospital Special Care Baby Unit first taught me to become ‘fighting fit.’ For the London Marathon 2016  I would have been 26 years old, born in February, the second month of the year, extremely premature at 26.2 weeks. It would have been poignant to then run 26.2miles, right? But I did not get an entry.

However, with the Brighton Marathon next year, 26.2miles are technically 26 + 2 = 28. So, it fits beautifully with the statistics for my first attempted marathon at the age of 28!.

 Not everyone can attempt to run, yet alone train for a Marathon

Since last April, I have been told via friends and family, social media, Runner’s World etc, not to peak too early. But now the Brighton Marathon 2018 is becoming real,  it’s time to challenge myself and up my game with only five months to go.

This blog is my personal journey offering tips, trials and errors in order to make it to that finish line and with that comes daily struggles, injuries, setbacks, hitting walls, but all with a feeling of accomplishment and knowing  that not everyone can attempt to run, yet alone train for a Marathon. 

I have friends and family, some within the fitness industry, all showing their love and support, encouraging me to keep moving forward. It's a blessing. As a Sports Massage Therapist I have an understanding about what the body can do - and can't. I have previously raced Half Marathons including the Las Vegas Rock 'N' Roll Half but now I know it's a different mind set for successfully doing double the distance.

'Success is never owned, it’s rented. And rent is due everyday'

I started officially Marathon training back in September, just easing in 10 miles. Now that I’ve got a Training Plan schedule with 20 weeks altogether and  just 23 weeks to go, I have already done a Half Marathon 13.1 miles run on Week 2.  So for the rest of the week, I can reflect, recuperate and be proud that I have smashed my PR with a segment of 11 miles attempted in October, as recorded on Strava.

I’m challenging myself, because it builds character with the occasional reward at the end! But during training, I’ve sustained knotty niggles in both calves, soreness within my right achilles and my first ever massive painful running blister! Having narrow feet, high arches, yet a neutral running position with slight ugly duckling feet (from being born premature), I can only assume this is where the pain eminates from.

I am still getting setbacks with my legs, so I am implementing more recovery into my routine

I managed to get a professional opinion from The Jog Shop in Brighton buying some beautiful new running shoes, that fitted my requirements and I am now running in Brooks trainers. But from originally delaying the shoe purchase, I am still getting setbacks with my legs, so I am implementing more recovery into my routine such as getting a regular Sports Massage myself and soaking muscles in salt baths, the best cure. And throughout my fitness Marathon journey, I am aiming to experiment with supplements, running gels, foam rolling, stretching and compression socks, too!

Recently during training, I let my mind take control and I’ve started to doubt my body’s capability. So I decided to switch up my training - going to the gym with my boyfriend to focus on more strength and conditioning. We call this Gymarathon Training!

I need to hardwire my brain to stop obsessing 

I have also made myself, before I hit a wall, come up with a 'focus phrase'. 'You got this girl!' This is the positive affirmation I need to repeat and shut down my inner doubting critic. I need to hardwire my brain to stop obsessing over speed, clock, pace,heart rate, body image (includes having a downward spiral with my current injuries, too) and temporary pain.

This way I can run comfortably, focusing on what really matters - my overall health, being mindful within my strides and present throughout my workouts. Doing Hot Pod Yoga sets the foundation for this, too, which not only works the body, but calms the mind.

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  • The Run Diary Duo

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