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Run Nurse Run: Maria's London Marathon Diary, Part 3.

Race day is fast approaching for Maria and fellow inpatient unit nurse, Tracey. Here is part three of Maria's training diary, which sees them smash their fundraising target... 
Maria-and-Tracey-in-the-park
Wow it's been a crazy few weeks since my last blog.   The quiz night on the 20th February was an amazing success, we raised £1250 and had nearly 140 people eagerly battling to win the title of Quiz Masters.  I also think there was a secret battle to win the wooden spoons but the team who did assured me that wasn't their plan.  Collier Row Catholic Club was amazing and allowed us full use of the hall and facilities free of charge.       

Maria-and-Tracy-serving-cake Maria-and-Tracy-serving-cake

So it's been a very cold wet 6 weeks, no change there then, and along with fundraising we have also been training.  We succeeded in surviving the 20 mile run although it was by far my worst running experience ever.  I have run 5 previous London Marathons and 1 Moonwalk and numerous half marathons but this run was painful.  It was cold and windy but it was the lack of carb loading and incorrect clothing that nearly rendered me hypothermic.  We did finish the full 20 miles and although a couple of people saw us and waved and tooted their car horn, no one saw the pain etched on my face, or if they did they chose to ignore it as they probably didn't want a cold and smelly runner in their car. 

We returned to Tracey's house where I promptly did everything wrong, according to the running manuals, and lay down on the floor.  Tracey immediately stated she wouldn't be laying down to do any stretches straight away as she felt she would never get up again.  I wasn't stretching I told her, I was in fact just waiting to die and would she mind just leaving me there for a day or two.  This is in fact stage four of marathon running as stated on the t-shirt in the picture.     

Maria-and-Tracy-serving-cake

So yes, we recovered enough to continue training and as we have managed to schedule our long runs with enough recovery time between them, we have also managed a 23 miler this week.  OMG we thought 20 miles was a touch difficult; a 23 miler was not a walk in the park.  Although saying that, we did manage to play on the equipment at Harrow Lodge Park at about mile 21 with our pictures here to prove it.
  
Maria-and-Tracy-serving-cake

The weather was better but as the run went on the temperature dropped and we struggled for the last few miles.  But do you know something?  Each long run ends with us feeling we couldn't possibly run another step but each time we have increased it by 3 miles and finished without cutting them short.       

We hope the weather will continue to improve and our Brentwood half marathon run on March 20th will be a nice interlude to our long runs.     

We have a 26.2 mile training run planned for the 26th March before our taper down to the marathon on 24th April.  I know the books suggest a 20 - 22 mile long run is sufficient training for a marathon but those extra miles are a long way and we have time to fit them into our training schedule so why not.  We have decided to run this at Southend seafront for a number of reasons; 1. It's flat, 2; it's flat, 3; it's flat .... Get my drift?  Plus our mantra will be donuts, chips and ice cream, a princely reward for our hard work when we have finished.     

So what have we learned this month?       

Friends and colleagues are amazing.  People are supporting us and seem genuinely interested in how we are getting on with our training and fundraising.  We are quite overwhelmed with the support shown by everyone.  So many of our colleagues attended or helped at the quiz night and have not only already sponsored us, they have contributed to our stock for our upcoming boot sales, plus they are organizing to come and support us on the marathon day and at the Brentwood half marathon.       

A coffee morning was organized by Karen, one of our colleagues, at her own house and was attended by an amazing group of people from her friends, neighbours' and our colleagues' from the hospice.   Myself and Tracey ditched the orange and swapped it for black and white to become silver service waitresses for the day.  No pressure, but we had to carry cups of tea and coffee up a flight of stairs on newly cleaned carpets.  We didn't spill any drinks or smash any cups amazingly.   Wow what an amazing array of cakes and snacks.  This event not only provided some really amusing moments but a staggering £780 towards the nurses' marathon fund.   The moral is never get in the way of ladies and cake!!  

Maria-and-Tracy-serving-cake   

Our fundraising has so far reached a whooping £5700.  We were hoping to exceed our required sum of £3600 between us, but we are now setting our sights higher and with a charity collection day at Sainsbury's in Brentwood on Saturday 2nd April we really hope to exceed £ 6000.     

Thanks to everyone who has supported us and the words of encouragement really do help us focus on what we are doing.  Going to work and looking after the patients on the In Patient Unit at the hospice continually reminds us why we are doing it.       

We will be carrying a forget-me-not scroll of names of loved ones with us.  If you would like to add the name of your loved one to the scroll please leave a message on the SFH Facebook page or email us.               
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