"The purpose of life is to contribute in some way to making things better." ― Robert F. Kennedy
Sunday 13th April, 2014, was the most amazing day of my life so far. I got to run the 2014 Virgin Money London Marathon. It's an experience, I'm unlikely to forget for a very long time. I managed to complete the marathon... and got myself a stunning medal, to prove it. It had been such an interesting experience. It is a remarkable thing, the London Marathon - huge, overwhelming. It's a level of such intense emotions, is nothing I've encountered before. It was a very surreal day overall. What a great experience! It was so intense and so loud! There were people everywhere, they were runners everywhere.
When I started training, I knew it would be intense, and that my blood, sweat, and tears would be going into this, but I did not care. All I knew is that I wanted to run the London Marathon, and do my bit to change someone else's life for the better. I managed to get myself a charity place, with Sparks, and it provided me with the opportunity to work towards this goal. I'd always wanted to raise money for charity and run the London marathon. This combined the two things together. It was such an amazing experience and achievement, for me. And I did it. My training was filled, with my blood, sweat, and tears, minus the blood. I won't forget all those days where I'd ran so much that I felt like my legs would just drop off, I can safely say, that it was all worth it. We have made a difference to someone else's future, and that is all I could ask for. And to top it if, it has always been my ultimate goal "to leave this world a better person, and for me to not be the only one who knows it." By doing this, I think I just may have. I have amazed not only myself, but also my family and friends with the sheer determination, to complete the marathon. There were times, when I really wanted to give up, but I kept going.
I have to tell you that, I really hated training, I found training so boring, knowing that I'd have to run such and such miles after work, was tough at times. It was completely different compared to when I would just be running for me, not worrying about miles, pace and time. But I kept saying to myself, 'Don't quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.' And I will. I did it, there were times when I wanted to give up, but if didn't. I did it. I proved all my doubters wrong. I managed to finish the race and get a medal. That's always a plus. It was the most painful, exciting and thrilling thing I've ever done. Who knows what I'll do next. With your help of friends and family, together we raised £2,513.12 (with the help of gift aid. Did you hear that? We RAISED a total of £2,513.12? You all are so amazing. Thank you. Remember to continue sponsoring me, I will be keeping the page open for a whole year should you wish to donate at a later time.
It has been the hardest, most exciting experience I've had. And the day and run itself was truly amazing, but it was also very physically and emotionally draining, but I know, in my heart that it is all worth it for being such an achievement within itself for getting so far and for an amazing cause. I thought I knew what it meant to run until you were totally exhausted. But let's face it, running 26.2 miles is a lot. The exhaustion I felt after the marathon is a whole different kind of tired. You are completely drained of all physical, emotional, and mental strength. Every muscle fibre in your legs feels totally used up, and they hurt clear to the bone. When you finish the sense of relief is enormous, for some reason it is just as easy to cry as it is to grin. Your brain can finally shut down, the pain, the mile markers, the worrying about the pace, too fast, too slow, too soon, too late, it's over, it's all over. Difficult to explain to a non-marathoner but every detail of the day has been permanently recorded into my memory. Was it worth it? Definitely! Without a doubt. No regrets here, it was a small price to pay for the feeling of accomplishment, the validation, the joy and relief. It made every mile of training was worth it.
The change in scenery and seeing all the different neighbourhoods and seeing how they enjoyed watching the marathon runners was so interesting, it helped to pass the time and inspire the runners. We were on a running tour of the city and everyone was glad we were there, running through their part of town. It was fun! And some of those views were truly amazing. Seeing The 02, Tower Bridge, Canary Wharf, The London Eye, Big Ben, Parliament, Buckingham Place, the list goes on.
It will be my bravest moment of 2014 and I can now say I have shown the world that no matter what it throws at me. I will survive. And you know what? I am a fighter. And as long as I have feet in my shoes, I will can steer myself any direction I choose. And so can you. I hope my story will inspire you, to take on your own little challenge to make a different in the world we live in. Maybe, join me in taking part in the 2015 BUPA 10k in May for Sparks too. Will I see you there?
The warmth of the crowd, the depth of support, from the kids seeking a high-fives, to strangers giving out sweets or shouting words of encouragement, were truly amazing. It was very strange having, strangers not only shout out my name but give out so many words of encouragement, especially when I was getting closer and closer to the "wall". It really kept me going. At mile 16, I thought I was dead. At mile 23, I wished I was dead. My knee was in so much pain. I wasn't sure if I could continue. At mile 25, I knew I was dead. At mile 26.22, I realized I had become too strong to kill. All I wanted to see was the finish line, and there, at last, after hours, of running, it was finally there. I saw it, I took it in. And smiled. As I crossed the line, my eyes began to water. I did it. I proved all the doubters wrong. To the people, who would say I'm stupid for running a marathon or saying running such and such miles is crazy. I can say, I did it. I am stronger. I'm a fighter. And you know what, I'd do it again too, if I have the chance, to. When I collected my medal I smiled. The man giving it to me even said, "You're to smiley after running 26.22 miles". I'll never forget that. I'm stronger now. I collected my medal and goody bag, and headed to find my family. When I took my medal into work a few days later, I was asked "So, when's your next marathon?" I just replied saying, "maybe next year." (I don't find out if i have a place until October) It's also been said, the "The person who starts the race is not the same person who finishes the race." This statement couldn't be any more true.
I did not aim to complete the race within a crazy time, but to just finish, the race itself and reminding myself when it that "wall" that, "It's not about winning that matters, but it's the taking part itself that counts". I just wanted to say a very big thank to you again, for all your support in helping me to reach one of my (many) goals and the donation(s) you have given. The money was raised for a charity called Sparks.
Each year in the UK over 3000 babies die before their first birthday and 1 in 30 are born with a condition, which may affect them for life, that's one in every class. The medical breakthroughs Sparks make possible, make a difference not only across the UK but for thousands of children and families around the world. The money raised is helping them support so many projects and change our future a small step at a time. To see how much I have raised so far, please visit my page at: http://www.virginmoneygiving.com/PreenaDivecha
I've also added a little video for you, about my marathon day experience. Click the link to watch what happened: http://youtu.be/Kybymx3zBkE
"You're off to Great Places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, so... get on your way!" ― Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You'll Go!
Thanks for your support and love always,
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