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SportsAid fundraiser Julie Collins-Powell goes from being a non runner to marathon runner in three years

Blog post   •   Feb 16, 2015 11:25 GMT

I only started running (well jogging) nearly three years ago as I was six stone overweight. I wanted to lose weight and a friend of mine suggested Parkrun to me. It’s a free timed 5k on a Saturday morning and you can even walk run it! So that’s what I did. Since then I haven’t looked back, and it’s because all my friends at Parkruns that I am doing the marathon this year as I got carried away listening to them applying for the marathon and thought I should apply too.

I’m now just two stone overweight and have completed three half marathons, with two more to go before the VLM. I’m really excited and nervous about running it in April.

I decided to run the London Marathon as I’ve watched it for many a year on the TV and last year I travelled to London to see my best friend run it. The atmosphere was electric and I wanted a piece of that (as well as the lovely large medal you get at the end, it’s all about the bling you know) plus I’m hoping that the atmosphere will carry me some way around the course!

When the opportunity came along to run the VLM for SportsAid I thought there was no better charity to do it for as the support they give the younger generation of British athletes is amazing. The younger generation of this country need all the help they can get in achieving their goals; I should know - I have a 16 year old son!

So training has officially started in the new year with a 14 mile run the first weekend of the year. I attend a lady’s only run school one night a week and the leader has offered her services to me, for free, to help me train. We have drawn up a training plan of three runs a week which consists of one speedy run, one long slow marathon paced run and one run which is in between that pace. I’m comparing them to steak: one rare, one medium and one well done (as I will be well done in after the long runs) plus it helps me to remember what I need to do. I have also incorporated a session of core circuits and spinning. Of course I will still be park running every Saturday was well, I couldn’t get through this without the support of my park running friends.

I know that my running has inspired some of my other friends to start running, which for me is such a fabulous feeling. I am keeping a diary of thoughts and feelings and what I am doing so I can share this with people and hopefully inspire more. If you would have asked me just three years ago would I like to run the VLM I would have laughed and answered “I get tired walking upstairs” but now, it really is very exciting. 

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