I've always enjoyed cycling; it's been a big part of my life for the past 4 years as I've gone from a novice on a £200 Viking 'bicycle shaped object' through to completing 'Chase the Sun' last year on a new carbon steed. Running, on the other hand, has been something of a personal challenge. It's not that I don't enjoy it, but that my enjoyment has historically only lasted for a few minutes before finding the repetitive movement either tedious or boring.
One of the things that I've been acutely aware of is the mental boundaries that we set ourselves, not only in limiting our achievements, but in preventing an attempt in the first place. I remember in my first few times on the bike often falling off due to the "bloody clipless pedals" - yet at the end of my 330km ride I was very glad to have them with me.
I'm very fortunate in that I'm physically able to complete these challenges. Many close friends will have a little chuckle when I hark back to when I broke my leg, but I'm incredibly lucky to have survived with few physical and mental deficiencies. I remember the frustration of having to rely on someone else to do everything for me, and the freedom I got from being able to get quasi-mobility from even driving a RC racing car.
Back last year when me, Karly and a few of our friends put into the ballot, my girlfriend Karly and I made a pact that were one of us to get into the ballot, then they'd help fundraise for the other to run for a charity. When Karly's magazine arrived first to say she hadn't got in, I thought I was off the hook - only to receive my "You're in!" magazine the day after. As quick as a flash Karly got on to the charities and selected the Duchenne Family Support Group as our chosen charity.
I'm not personally connected with Duchenne disease, but the work of JoiningJack has been prevalent in the #rugbyfamily for the last few years and I know that I have at least another couple of friends who do have a personal connection to the disease. Duchenne is a horrible disease, and having worked with charities over the past few years the value of their support services to people who just need information is priceless. I hope that the #DFSG4 team can raise a decent amount of money, but also the profile of the charity, through our training over the next few months.
I'm also going to be documenting my training (though not necessarily posting all of the posts onto facebook/twitter/linkedin .etc) on my blog, so that runners who are new to the Marathon can get some insight into what kind of training is required to get round, and hopefully act as a diary to let me know what I did well/badly (delete as appropriate after the marathon). If you want to follow just these posts, visit https://www.andyloughran.co.uk/category/exercise/running/marathon-journey/
If you do wish to support us, and can't necessarily donate, then please either share our posts on social media (using #DFSG4) or if you can donate, we've got a page open at JustGiving (and please claim GiftAid if you can!).