Why you should run a half marathon.

By Alice Weaver: Alice is Blackbaud’s Marketing Automation Executive, and not traditionally a big fan of running….

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Have you ever thought about running a half marathon? No? Me neither… Well, I hadn’t a year ago. I couldn’t even run round the field by my house more than twice.

“It’s too far.”

“But it’s so long and you have to train for months!”

Phrases like these sprang immediately to mind when I first toyed with the idea of running any kind of distance race. I used them as an excuse in the early days before training, and heard plenty of this from others who were starting training too.

So who knew it could actually be – dare I say – an enjoyable experience?!

Let’s throw logic to the wind and start near the end.

Eight miles down and my legs were killing me. Concrete.  To say this was composite material was my new enemy would be an understatement. It was kryptonite to my knees. The atmosphere on the other hand was my friend, my ally; it’s what pushed me to keep going! I was amongst hundreds of other runners, and thousands of supporters all shouting and cheering, handing out sweets (yeah you can eat sweets on the way!) whilst waving their home made flags.

The overpowering feeling of team work, with everyone suffering through mile after mile but all in it together, is something that I can’t compare to any other experience in my life. The majority of them, like me, had trained for months to be here, in this moment, all pushing through the pain barrier together. What a feeling!

But now, let’s go back in time to before the actual run. The months beforehand were a challenge, but a challenge that I managed to turn into positive focus. I spent a load more time outdoors, and it felt so good. On Sundays I couldn’t just lie in bed and be lazy, I had to go out and do a few miles. Now, even if some will say that sounds horrible, I can promise you that the sensation afterwards was excellent, every time – plus it made those extra chips feel less naughty.  I was challenging myself, and boy did it feel good to get out of the office for some proper fresh air!

One question kept on popping up. “Why did I do this?” Many reasons really, but on this particular occasion it was my way of supporting a close friend in a time of need. Turning a hard situation into one we can look back on with pride.

I decided to fundraise. I wanted my efforts to count for something – there was no way I was doing all of this and not have something to show for it! But the fundraising was the easy part; there are so many good causes out there and so many charities to enable you to run, walk or swim for them.

Fundraising nowadays is so simple. There is no more of this ‘let me see if I have any spare change’ – instead you just click a button and BOOM you’re done. Okay, so my grandparents weren’t such big fans of this, but it just shows how times have changed from fundraising buckets and donation forms to online portals and mobile giving. Raising money for your charity is now easier than ever, and more rewarding than ever.

I finished the Bath Half, but my challenge is not finished. Now it’s time to see how I can push myself further. Who knows, maybe I’ll manage the London Marathon (err really?) an IronMan (you must be joking, or are you?) or perhaps an ultra-marathon (okay please stop now).

What’s your challenge? Why not try 2 miles every other day this week?

Step, step, run! Easy!

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