Ann Pettengell - News - Charity

Amanda's Marathon

Posted on: 13th Feb 2014 by: Amanda

Wish Amanda Luck

“no way”, “I couldn’t possibly run that far”

As I sit and write this blog, there are just 17 days remaining before I face one of the biggest physical challenges of my life to date! In October last year, I was asked if I wanted to join a group of friends in signing up for the Silverstone Half Marathon. Now up until that point, my running experience consisted of getting to week 3 of an 8 week ‘couch to 5k’ app on my phone. So whilst my initial reaction was “no way”, “I couldn’t possibly run that far”, I thought about it a bit more and decided that it was an ideal opportunity to set myself a challenge and see if I could complete it!

“I should be ready and raring”

And so it began, I did some research and printed off a ‘half marathon for beginners’ training plan to keep me on track. It started off with short 10-15 minute runs (or jogs really), gradually increasing in time and distance and by week 16, I should be ready and raring to run 13.1 miles!

“it was a struggle”

With my sports kit on and my laces tied, I began my training. At first it was a struggle to even run continuously for 10-15 minutes, but my fitness improved pretty quickly and it wasn’t long before I was able to comfortably run for 15 minutes and I have been improving at a somewhat gradual pace ever since.

“I do not enjoy running”

As the majority of my mid-week training takes place after work, it was becoming increasingly difficult to find a long enough route that was well lit so I could see where I was going! So at the beginning of the year I joined my local gym. I have discovered that I do not enjoy running on the treadmill in the slightest! Whilst they say it is so much better for your joints, there’s nothing better than actually running a proper route out in the fresh air and seeing the scenery change as you go. I have a constant battle with trying not to look at the mile counter on the screen; I’ve even gone so far as sticking tape over it so I can’t see it!

“I won’t stop”

Luckily my training plan leaves ‘longer runs’ for the weekends, so I am able to go out with some of the other participants to train. We had been reaching the 6 or 7 mile mark and a couple of weeks ago we managed 9.9 miles! We’re planning another run this coming Sunday and I won’t stop until the lady on my mile counter shouts “distance….10 miles”!

"every footstep of the training worthwhile!"

Amongst those that are running the race are my friends Johnny and Hayley Vinson, who have nominated the Children’s Ward of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Kings Lynn, as one of the two charities we are raising money for. Their two young sons Archie and Ralph both suffered child strokes last summer. Archie was admitted into Rudham Ward after suffering a stroke. Three weeks later, Ralph was then taken in again a stroke. Four weeks on from that, Archie suffered another stroke. It was an incredibly tough time for the whole family and the children continue to undergo tests and treatment. The nurses on the ward are absolutely fantastic and I know how much it means to Hayley and Johnny to be able to say thank you to them for their support, so it really makes every footstep of the training worthwhile!

“blisters,aching back, sore knees”

I’ll be honest though, it is tough going and has not been without overheating feet (any tips gratefully received), blisters, aching back, sore knees and running in freezing cold wind and torrential rain! There are many times (particularly in this weather) when all I really want to do is sit on the sofa, but I know I’ll feel really chuffed when I cross the finish line and I think I will wear my medal for the next week after! More importantly, I can be proud of playing a part in raising money for the two fantastic charities that we are  supporting.


If you would like to sponsor me as I embark upon this challenge, please email me with your name, contact details and amount you wish to sponsor and I shall add you to my list. Due to the dual charities, we are unable to offer an online donation facility. Once all monies are collected, they will be equally split between the two causes. I am aiming to personally come and collect all donations after the race, with my medal in hand as proof that I achieved what I set out to do! Click here to sponsor me



Tags: Running, Charity, Half Marathon, marathon, Davey Fund, Leukeamia, Rudham ward, Queen Elizabeth, Hospital, Kings Lynn, Silverstone, ,

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