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Run Nurse Run: Maria's London Marathon Diary

Two of our nurses, Maria and Tracey will be tackling 26.2 miles in London for Saint Francis Hospice in April. Maria's decided to pen her thoughts and feelings as they train for the ultimate running challenge... 
Maria Bishop and Tracey McGarry warming up (cropped)
Maria Bishop and Tracey McGarry warming upRun a marathon they said.  PE kit, plimsolls and enthusiasm I thought. How wrong was I ?


Our journey to the London Marathon 2016 begun in November 2015 after finding out myself and Tracey had been successful in our application to run the London Marathon as part of the Saint Francis Hospice Running Team. The fact that we are both nurses working on the Inpatient Unit of the hospice didn't provide any favoritism and we were biting our nails waiting for the results of the ballot like everyone else.


A great night hosted by the events team with talks from numerous people who are experts in marathon running and fundraising, who I don't think planned to scare the day lights out of us, but still managed to do so. It was great to meet some other members of the SFH running team and talk about any previous experiences and worries.


Onwards and upwards from November with the training plan in place and the enthusiasm overflowing. So PE kit on, plimsolls on, then the realisation that actually we might need a bit more help. Off to the guys and girls at Runners Need based in Snow and Rock, Romford to have our running gait analysed. Imagine the scene.... A treadmill in the middle of a busy sports shop, on a busy Saturday morning and they want me to run with a video camera aimed at my backside to analyse how I run. 

Now I'm no expert but I know I run like a duck, as I have been told on more than one occasion, and a video of my backside cannot possibly help anyone decide which running shoes will be best for me.  After some negotiations the team confirm my backside is not being videoed just my feet.  The team agree my current running shoes are suitable for my needs, but being a girl who loves shopping I leave armed with the latest and most appropriate running shoes, sold at an awesome discount in my favourite colour and with important advice and ongoing support whenever I need it.


Now I stand inside the front door with all the gear and a little idea but with great enthusiasm.


We are the people out running in all weathers, even over Christmas and to answer your questions as we run past .... yes we are mad but hey.... while we can, we will.

Maria Bishop and Tracey McGarry warming up


Myself and Tracey have been running regularly and now in January 2016 are progressing really well with both training and fundraising.  We have managed our longest run at 14.3miles so far with a 16ish mile run this week. I say ish because we have yet to make it to the finish without exceeding the planned mileage. Myself, I would love to stop and sit on the floor when we have reached our planned mileage but Tracey says it's not mature and won't help so I have to continue till the end.


Our fundraising target of £1800 each is well on the way to being achieved and hopefully exceeded. We have met some marvellous people who are so happy to help us  fundraise for Saint Francis Hospice and have been organising quiz nights, coffee mornings, boot sales and store charity collection days.


If you see us out running in our bright orange SFH running shirts give us a wave and a hi. Personally for me, if you see us struggling up Orange Tree Hill, stop and offer me a lift. Tracey won't let me off running up the hill but I will know someone cares.


We are so pleased to be able to take part in this amazing event and raise much needed funds for the hospice that any pain we may feel during training is just transient compared to the pain some people go through. 


Look out for our February update and if you want to help with our fundraising please visit our joint Just Giving page at Nurses Maria and Tracey and donate to enable the hospice to continue to provide the excellent care to each and every patient. 

We are so proud of Maria and Tracey, thank you from everyone in the fundraising team at Saint Francis Hospice. Please give generously!