Posts Tagged ‘fundraising’

A review (and some new photos)

May 16, 2009

Apologies for the lack of blog posts lately. To be honest, nothing much has been going on! There’s no running to write about as I still haven’t done my first post-Marathon run (and there might not be one, if my knees and hips continue to hurt like they currently do). The fundraising continues apace and I’m churning out bracelets like they’re going out of fashion (hopefully not!). I’m still trying to decided on my next big project (that Channel swim was a bit out of my reach after all).

Thought it might be interesting to do a little review of the whole marathon experience with a couple of graphs. Gotta love a good graph 🙂

So, this is my marathon graph – you can see how I started off well, pretty steady pace until the midway point, then it all starts to go horribly wrong. But I was speeding up again towards the end 🙂

My marathon pace graph

My marathon pace graph

This is all the running I did in training, along with my excuses for those bits with no runs in them 😉
runninggraph

Also check out some of my previous posts for some newly added pics….
Post Marathon Syndrome
London Marathon Part 2
London Marathon Part 1

Was it all a dream?

May 3, 2009

Well it’s a week since the marathon and I’m still having trouble getting my head around the fact that I did it. It seems so long ago! And not quite real!

It’s been an interesting week. As the aches faded, my friends got bored of looking at the medal and I was forced to eat like a normal person again (or risk re-gaining all the weight I lost), I suffered terribly with the post-marathon blues. I mean, what am I supposed to do with my Sundays now I don’t need to go for a three hour run? Should I carry on running? Should I do some 10ks and half marathons just to keep myself going? What do I have to aim for now? What should my next project be?

I think too much 😉

I have been working hard on my fundraising this week and have just smashed through the halfway mark. I’m at around £2,100 of my £4,000 target so your help is still very much appreciated. I held a charity bucket collection in my hometown yesterday, raising an impressive £222.18, mostly I think down to the fact I had Neil of Running For Rhinos very kindly wearing one of the Save The Rhino official rhinoceros costumes!

Neil in the rhino suit

Neil in the rhino suit

I don’t think anyone had seen anything like it and we did manage to give several old ladies a bit of a shock! My sister also helped me out in the afternoon and while she can’t move her shoulders today, I have sunburned forearms and aching biceps from holding the bucket!

I’ve also been busy making some more trinkets to sell on my Etsy shop. The entire price of these beauties goes to the rhinos… Just need to sell (and make) a couple of hundred of them and I’ll have reached my target!

CMYK Rhino button bracelet

Monet's Waterlilies-inspired Bracelet

Monet's Waterlilies-inspired Bracelet

Button Rainbow Bracelet

Button Rainbow Bracelet

Spring Daffodils and Blue Skies

Spring Daffodils and Blue Skies

Post-marathon Syndrome

April 28, 2009

Despite having done the marathon the day before, I knew that Monday was going to be tiring and involve lots of walking, a bit of heavy lifting and a fair few stairs too!

After checking out of the hostel I took the Tube over to JustGiving’s headquarters. I had been invited to pop along and say hi by Heather at the expo on the Saturday, and after a slow negotiation of a couple of Tube stations and a short walk there I was greeted by Sophie (who I’ve been talking to on Twitter) and introduced to Kai and Jon (who I’ve also been talking to on Twitter). It seems I’m something of a Twitter celebrity at JustGiving, possibly something to do with the rhino hat antics! Heather soon arrived and gave me a quick guided tour of the office (prompting one staff member to say this!).

I was asked if I’d like to do a post-marathon interview to which I of course agreed – and it can now be found not only here but here. Apparently there is video of me too and I had some photos taken at the offices, but lets hope neither of those ever see the light of day! 😉

EDIT: Pics of me and Heather from JustGiving:

Me at the JustGiving offices showing off my marathon medal - check out those undereye shadows!

Me at the JustGiving offices showing off my marathon medal - check out those undereye shadows!

Showing off my JustGiving wristband, worn proudly through the whole marathon

Showing off my JustGiving wristband, worn proudly through the whole marathon

Me and the lovely Heather at the JG offices

Me and the lovely Heather at the JG offices

After distracting the JG staffers for a couple of hours they had important meetings to get on with so I went to my second ‘appointment’ of the day – picking up one of the rhino suits from Save The Rhino. Luckily there was one that wasn’t too sweaty, so, weighed down by my backpack, London Marathon kitbag, rhino head and rhino body, I set out on the Tube journey back to Paddington. I had a couple of scary moments on the escalators but most of the journey passed without incident. I’m not sure now how I managed it, I was hurting all over! Once I was back on the train home I was able to relax a little and prop the rhino suit up on a seat, which got some strange looks. It’s for a bucket collection I’m doing in my hometown on Saturday, to get a little more interest after the disastrous attempt at a bucket collection in Oxford (all day for £43.56). I may be doing some other stuff with it too, check back soon! 😉

So, to the title of this post. Once I’d arrived home, put my stuff away, had half my race goodies nicked by my brother, the reality that it was all over sunk in. I have the full on post-marathon blues. The thing I’ve been aiming for for the last four or five months has now passed, no-one wants to listen to me talk about the marathon any more, life seems dull and boring in comparison to the amazing weekend I’ve just had. I need something new to aim for but don’t know what, and it would probably be foolish to go signing up for anything now whilst my head’s still sorting itself out.

I do have to raise £2,500 by the end of May though, so that should keep me busy!

London Marathon 2009 Part 2

April 28, 2009

Where was I?

Ah yes, the part at which it all started to go a bit weird. I struggled on, walking but occasionally managing to jog half a mile or so before feeling like I was going to fall over. I knew the 13-22 mile section was going to be difficult, you’re running away from the finish, you’re already tired from running 13 miles, it’s a big twisty loop…normally it’s pretty quiet round there but I have to say I don’t think I saw a let up in the spectators in the entire section! They were amazing!

I was still feeling really nauseous as the course headed back round towards the Embankment, so I popped into a Portaloo to see if I was actually going to be sick. No such luck, but as I headed back out I heard a runner behind me yell ‘Becki’ and looked round to see it was Becca Boop who has been one of the e-marathoners hanging out on Twitter. What are the chances of meeting someone you know amongst 35,000 people!? She will tell you that I helped get her to the finish when the truth is she got there herself and helped me get there instead of the other way round! It was lovely to be going along with someone again after so many miles on my own.

Me and Becca Boop
The relief I felt as we passed Tower Bridge again at about 22 miles is indescribeable – we were on the home straight! The sun seemed pleasant rather than scorching along the Embankment, and the trees made lovely dappled shade. There were still so many people cheering us on! I saw my dad again, and Heather and the JustGiving gang who screamed at me (in a good way)! Soon the Blackfriars Underpass approached, which I managed to jog through and got Becca to jog through too. When you come up from the underpass, you can see Big Ben behind the London Eye, which is of course practically the finish (only a mile and a bit to go). We were so close!

Soon enough we were turning right past Big Ben (which is more sparkly in real life) and down the last long section of Birdcage Walk. It wasn’t long before we saw the turning right past Buckingham Palace and I mentioned that we’d have to do a sprint finish. With 385 yards (the .2 of the 26.2 miles) to go, Becca suddenly took off on her amazing sprint finish. I attempted a sprint finish but feeling like I was going to pass out, so it wasn’t one of my best, but at least I ran over the line! I managed 6:28:32 which is about an hour faster than last time but an infinitely better experience. I was aiming for 5:30 so maybe if I could get the nausea under control I could do a faster time. Not that I’m ever doing it again you understand!

With timing chip removed from my trainer and medal hung round my rhino horn by one of the lovely medal ladies, I set off to find my stuff, and those longed-for Lemon Puffs. I was reunited with Becca briefly before being dragged off to the Save The Rhino rug by one of the lovely STR ladies. There were loads of other rhino runners there, eating, being massaged, chatting about the experience. I was OK until I finally stood still at which point I had to run off and be sick (sorry, too much detail!). Once that was all out the way I returned to the group and managed a civilised (I hope) conversation with Neil and his wife Lorna along with some of the other rhino runners – Louise (who was running in a rhino suit!) definitely launched herself at me for a hug, and I think Stephanie may have aswell, it’s all a blur!

At the finish, sweaty and tired and wearing my medal with pride

At the finish, sweaty and tired and wearing my medal with pride

Heading back to the tube across St James’ Park, I was wandering along in a daze, not quite comprehending what I’d just done. By the time I got back to the hostel and had received loads of congratulatory texts I was on the verge of tears and as soon as I was in my (thankfully empty) room I burst into tears for a good 10 minutes! Probably a combination of exhaustion and emotion and the fact that it was all over 😦

To cheer myself up, I limped out to find some food and ended up having no dinner but two puddings 🙂 A lovely end to an amazing day!

London Marathon 2009 Part 1

April 27, 2009

Apologies for the delay in getting a post up, I’ve not been near a decent computer-and-internet-connection-combo!

Where do I start?! I guess Sunday morning is probably a good place…

I kept waking up every couple of hours on Saturday night, expecting to have to get up but being slightly disappointed as I realised there were a few hours to go yet! As one of my main fears was oversleeping and missing the start the waking up was probably a good idea! Eventually it was time to get up and I managed to force a couple of slices of toast down me – better than nothing!

Soon enough it was time to catch the DLR to Greenwich and the main Red Start (where the charity places go from). It was quite a trek from Greenwich station to the start area, but there was no chance of getting lost because of the sheer volume of people heading in the same direction!

Me in the rhino hat and laden down by kit bag and carrier bags

Me in the rhino hat and laden down by kit bag and carrier bags

Pre race smile - or nerves?

Pre race smile - or nerves?

I met up with the other rhino runners (including those crazy people who were wearing the proper costumes) and my ‘usual’ running mate Neil. I dosed up on my usual painkillers (although one of the Save The Rhino staff had to get the tablets out of the packet for me as I had no strength!). Soon enough we were all on our way to the start – no going back! – where to everyone’s probable annoyance I kept saying ‘Why? Why am I doing this? Why am I here? Why? Why?!’

We all ended up somewhere between pen 8 and 9 (at the back) so it was a good 25 minutes or so before we finally got over the finish line and started running. From the start there were loads of spectators brought out by the glorious sunshine. The first couple of miles didn’t feel as hellish as they normally do but I guess there were so many distractions going on – including the many male runners swerving off to have a wee in the hedges! I ran with Neil again this time as we have similar pace.

I was keeping an eye out for the JustGiving gang who I was expecting before mile 5 (check out my list of ‘landmarks’ here). Can’t remember exactly where I saw them (all the miles blur into one) but it was great to see Heather and the gang (I met Heather on Saturday at the expo, and she mentions me in this video! Woo!). Further on we passed the Cutty Sark where Matt Baker (formerly of Blue Peter fame) was waiting with a cameraman, to which Neil blurted out something like ‘Ooh, you’re a famous person off Blue Peter!’ and I almost fell over laughing (the runner’s delirium had kicked in by that point I think). We carried on round to mile 8 and Surrey Quays where my dad was waiting with a large Save The Rhino flag which we had printed up, and jelly babies.

The supporters were great, and it sounds like a cliche to say they got me through but it’s actually true. So many times I heard ‘Go Becki’ ‘Come on Becki you can do it’ ‘Go Rhino Head’ ‘Becki’s got the horn’ ‘Becki are you feeling horny’ and variations on a similar theme, and they really helped, it would be easy to feel a bit invisible in a crowd of 35,000 (but I don’t think there was any chance of that with a large horn on my head!). I acknowledged every cheer although what started out as a wave each time soon turned into an arm waft because I didn’t have any strength left!

Somewhere before mile 12 we managed to see Neil’s family, then it was on to Tower Bridge, which seemed to be hiding from me very well! I knew that I’d have to take some more painkillers imminently so decided on 13 miles as the point at which I’d walk for a bit and take the painkillers (no point trying to swallow them whilst running, I’d choke!). So Neil ran on ahead and I strolled for a few hundred yards. Trying to run again after walking was interesting to say the least, and because obviously the painkillers hadn’t had a chance to kick in, painful! I managed a gentle jog for another couple of miles but then the nausea kicked in. Despite my previous posts assuming the the jelly beans I was eating were the culprit of my post-long-run throwing up, it appears it might just have been the running, as I was only on glucose tablets for the marathon. I had to walk somwhere around mile 16 and when I stopped running it felt like my knees would buckle from under me…

More to come soon! 🙂

Three is the magic number…

April 22, 2009

…but doesn’t actually feature in this post! Thought I’d continue my song-title-blog-title theme 🙂

I thought it’d be interesting to take a look at some of the stats around my London Marathon experience.

These first numbers are taken from my stats on LogYourRun

Shortest run: Way back in December 08 my first run was 1.4 miles, I had to stop halfway throught and practically died by the end. I managed something like 12 minute mile pace although I was so bad back then I didn’t even bother to time myself. Look how far I’ve come!

Longest run: The epic 17 miler that made me throw up and cry, but I managed to run the whole way round!

Fastest run: Before the training got into the long runs I was working on increasing my speed and by trying really really hard and ignoring the pain in my muscles I managed …. drum roll …. 9:30 minute/mile pace around a four mile circuit. Woo!

Most times running the same route: I’ve run my quick 2.7 mile route 15 times in my training. Most other routes have been run at least a couple of times, apart from those where I tried the route once and swore never to do it again!

Total miles run: 241.29 – just over 9 marathons’ worth of running. And soon to be joined by a tenth marathon of course…

Minutes spent training: an amazing 2532 (or 42.2 hours), making my average pace 10:30 minute miles.

Blog stats:

Total views: 1,889 (wow!)

Busiest day: 100 — Thursday, April 2, 2009 (this was the day I posted up my vest-printing services)

Posts: 41

Comments: 70 (most of them lovely, thank you 🙂 )

Me stats:

Weight lost: 5lbs

Toenails lost: 5 and counting

Money raised: £1,327.28

I’m aiming for £4000. Please help if you can!

More ways to buy a bracelet and help a rhino!

March 30, 2009

I’ve been busy crafting again! As well as, or instead of, sponsoring me, you can also help the rhinos by buying a bracelet (or pair of earrings, or other craft item). Don’t worry about the price being in dollars! That’s just the currency of the site.

All Natural Rhino

Rainbow cascade earrings

Lemon & Lime-o Rhino

Domino Rhino

Do let me know if you like any of these, or would like a different version, or if there’s anything you’d like to see in the future 🙂

Why and how I’m helping Save The Rhino

March 25, 2009

I thought for those new to my blog it might be good if I reiterate some of the reasons why I’m running the London Marathon for Save The Rhino and some of the ways that I’m trying to raise my (rather large!) target amount.

Basically I chose Save The Rhino as my charity because it covers so many different areas. If you’re an animal lover, there’s obviously the main rhino-saving aspect, as well as the fact that if the rhinos are saved, many of the area’s sub-species are also helped. If you’re a people person, they help educate local communities about sustainable ways of living, building schools, solar panels and water reservoirs. If you’re an eco-warrior, saving the rhino entails saving its habitat so helping to prevent deforestation etc.

You can find out more about my reasons for helping the rhinos here.

I’m aiming to raise the rather large sum of £4,000 in a number of different ways:

  • Good ol’ sponsorship from individuals or companies. Although it seems like a lot of money, if I can get just 126 people (at the time of writing) to sponsor me £1 a mile, I will have reached my target!
  • Bucket collections, the kind where I stand in the street with a bucket and collect change. I have a few of these lined up in the near future.
  • Making and selling crafts on my Etsy shop or in ‘real life’ if you’d like to commission something.
  • I’m hoping to hold some kind of event at some point but can’t decide between a quiz night, barn dance or full blown Safari Summer Ball. I’d love to hold a Safari Ball but am currently struggling to find a suitable venue…

I hope that you have found this post informative, please leave any questions or suggestions in the comments. 🙂

Running with a cold

March 9, 2009

Having already covered running in the cold I’d like to turn my attentions to running *with* a cold, as it’s pretty topical at the moment – I have a cold and I’m not running!

I was supposed to do a long (13 + miles) run yesterday but having come down with the aforementioned lurgy I decided not to go. There’s a fine line between making sure you train and breaking yourself if you run when you shouldn’t. I took the advice of this interesting Times Online article and the ‘below the neck’ anaysis – as I had achy joints even before running I figured an unplanned rest day might be in order. I was also very dehydrated, a situation that would not be helped by going out and getting sweaty! And because I had a sore throat it was difficult to do any preparatory carb loading. Sometimes stubbornly carrying on with the training can do more harm than good…and I’m taking solace, after missing my long run, in the fact that my dad had to have an entire *month* off training just before his first London Marathon and still managed to post a decent time!

I found this part of the article very interesting:

However, while exercise does seem to boost immunity, it does so only to a point. Serious athletes or anyone in training for the London Marathon or another endurance event may find their defences are compromised as a result of longer or more intense workouts.

Last time I ran the marathon I avoided all colds until the week afterwards! This time I’ve not been so lucky it seems.

Hopefully I will have recovered by this weekend’s Silverstone Half Marathon (my first race of this year) as I’m hoping to debut the rhino costume. On a side note, I have given up on the paper and wire horn because I just couldn’t get those ridges on the side out. I mocked up a horn out of cotton on the sewing machine in about two seconds flat that looks way better so I’m probably going for that option! I’ll post pics when I’ve made the head of course.

Before the lurgy hit this weekend I was out and about doing a little bucket collection to help with my Save The Rhino fundraising, managed £49.62 in a small country town so I’m hoping to repeat the experience in some larger towns and cities. Please help me with my fundraising by sponsoring me if you can!

Links Roundup

February 19, 2009

Some useful links for new visitors to my blog!

My JustGiving Page – where you can sponsor me for running the London Marathon in a rhino costume of my own making

My Etsy shop, where I’m selling crafts with 100% of the price going to Save The Rhino, so if you want something back for your money, this is the place to look.

Everyone seems to be Twittering these days. You can catch up with my training and fundraising efforts as well as musings on life, the universe and everything.

Come and join my Becki Saves The Rhinos Facebook group, tell your friends! 🙂

I’ll add more links as I think of them.