With only 2 weeks to go, JLife’s Kirsty Plowman talks through her preparation and motivation to complete the 2015 Virgin Money London Marathon.
On taking up this challenge I had one motivation – my dad. It was on New Year’s Eve in 2012 when my dad was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. There’s never a right time to face a diagnosis, but at the point of welcoming in the New Year seemed too cruel, where a time of joy and celebration became a time of heart break and realisation.
I entered through the regular process of the ballot but, like thousands of others, didn’t get a place. Following this I entered through the charity – Parkinson’s UK – directly. So at around the end of October I had a phone call from the charity to say I’d been selected to run for them – an exciting yet fear-inducing telephone call to say the least!
From here my boyfriend – a keen triathlete – created a 6-month training plan for me to follow. Comprising gym sessions, outdoor running and yoga I was at the beginning of what has been a long and tiring journey! Over the weeks my exercises have increased in time and volume really testing my fitness and dedication. The cold winter months made it hard for me train outdoors, but weather depending I went out into the rain and wind regardless – the snow and ice were a bit much so forfeited these sessions for time in the gym!
I’m running alongside over 100 runners for the charity and we have been able to contact each other through a communal Facebook group. This has been a great motivational platform to remind myself why I am doing this and that I am not alone. Some of those taking part are people with Parkinson’s themselves and to be running alongside them is a true honour. Reading stories and picking up advice really helps me when I’m beginning to feel the pressure of the forthcoming challenge. It’ll be great to meet my fellow runners on the day – some of us will be wearing blue tutus so do look out for us!
Over the 6 months I’ve been busy fundraising. From a charity bonfire event and coffee morning to cake sales and selling old clothes on EBay, I’ve managed to raise more than I thought possible. Sponsorship forms as well as my online fundraising page have also been hugely successful. My mum has also been a great help also hosting a coffee morning and also roping in the efforts of the local Girls’ Brigade troop down in Dorset.
I’ve been overwhelmed by the support I’ve had from friends, family and associates of my dad. I really do appreciate everything that’s been donated as the cause means so much to me.
If you’d like to sponsor me then please visit my page: Uk.virginmoneygiving.com.