Running the London Marathon for SAMH

10th April 2018

Blog by SAMH Fundraiser Emily.

I am not a runner. Take one look at me – my hips don’t lie, and my body does not scream ‘marathon runner’. So why am I training to run the London Marathon in aid of SAMH?

I have never been a runner. The idea of running seemed so pointless to me. Why would I go for a run when I could have cake? I only ever saw it as exercise to lose weight, or to show off to your non-running friends that you went for a run. 

I never thought it could be something which could help mindset, combat anxiety or generally make me feel better. I started running two years ago, and it has completely changed my life.

My flatmate and best friend Jennifer would go out for a run when she had a bad day. Instead, I was reaching for a large glass of wine to combat the daily stresses whilst she was getting her trainers on. 

When Jennifer returned from a run she would be refreshed, renewed and reenergised. I would be sleepy and sulky. 

It wasn’t until I decided to join a jogscotland running club to try and lose weight for my brother’s wedding that I really got into it.

I’ll never forget walking along to my local jogscotland group feeling sick with apprehension and pre-determined disappointment in myself for not being able to do it. 

I had such a low opinion of myself and was convinced I wouldn’t keep up; that I would embarrass myself and that everyone would laugh at the jiggly jogger. I ran just under four miles that night, and was proud as punch.

Fast forward two years and I’ve run multiple 10Ks, countless 5Ks and a half marathon. 

I am now a leader for my jogscotland group and training to run the London Marathon. 

I’m not a fast runner, nor do I run to compete with myself or others. I use the ‘my race, my pace’ mentality and just get on with it. 

It took me 26 years to pluck up the courage to give running a try, and it’s one of the best things I’ve ever done. People land on the moon, why can’t I run a marathon?

I’ve often said that my running group is the like the best therapy session – they have helped me through bad days, good days and life drama’s. As well as a support network, running makes me think clearly and rationally and it helps me feel so much better about myself.  

I was lucky enough to receive a place in the 2018 Virgin Money London Marathon, raising money for SAMH and accomplishing a life-long ambition. 

My training has been difficult to fit into an already busy life, but I rest when I need to, I slow down when my body aches and I love to stop at traffic lights. 

I feel so proud of myself already. Since I’ve taken up running I have discovered a lot about myself. I’ve now become the type of person who goes for a run to solve a problem, and have wine after.

Feeling inspired? Pull on your trainers or strap yourself in – we’ve got the perfect challenge for you. Everything from running round Loch Ness to flying through the St Andrews sky.