It may be the end of Mental Health Awareness Week, but it’s important to keep the message going all year round. With that in mind, here’s a sentence that I truly never expected to write…. I’m running half a marathon! I use the word ‘running’ loosely, because there may also be some walking.
A few months ago I was contacted by Heineken UK, about their ‘Race to the Tower’ event. A double marathon along the Cotswold Way. Participants can choose to do the full double marathon, a single marathon or a half. I’m doing the half… because lets not kid ourselves!
Tbh they had me at; “help to end the stigma around mental illness in the workplace,” as this is something that I’m very passionate about. The aim of the event is to raise awareness and support the charity Mind.
I’m happy to admit that I was initially very nervous about accepting such a big challenge, as I’m not a natural jogger. (I know that lots of people say this, but seriously… I run like a grandma after one too many G&Ts)! No problem on a treadmill, but for some reason outdoor jogging wasn’t something that I actively enjoyed.
However, I was blown away by the amount of support that the Heineken team offered. Not just with encouragement, but with expert advice from trainers and professionals. Over the weeks of training I learned that most of my concerns were psychological and with the right practice I could overcome them. A prime example is my new breathing techniques. In the past I’ve hyperventilated when jogging and had to stop until I calmed down, (very embarrassing after only two minutes). Thanks to the advice I received I now understand how important it is to exhale properly. Distraction is good too.
As we know, exercise does wonders for the brain, so it feels great to have a purpose and a goal. I don’t plan on turning into a hardcore marathon junkie, but I’m pleased to have finally discovered the joys of outdoor running.
I’ll be running with my best friend (also called Claire) and we’re both really excited to be supporting such a fantastic event. I’ll do pretty much anything for mental health awareness, but this one feels extra special as I’ll be doing it with a partner.
The race officially takes place on 9th – 10th June. But I’ll be posting updates on instagram and Twitter in the weeks leading up to it. (You can expert at least one freak out). On the day itself I’ll also be doing Instagram live as I run, (you lucky sods). So be sure to follow me for sweaty and sweary updates.
There’s still time to join if you fancy joining us. Click HERE for more information.