As you may know, Julie was lucky enough to secure a place in the London Marathon 2013 and kindly volunteered to run in support of Pseudomyxoma Survivor. As if this wasn't enough, Julie also established and co-ordinated the Pseudomyxoma Survivor Marathon Challenge 2013 where she encouraged us to run, walk or crawl a marathon in whatever timme was a personal challenge. Julie has been amazing thoughout, enthusing us and the children at the school where she teaches and producing amazing progress charts for us to share. Julie tells us about her marathon challenge:
The last several months leading have been quite the journey and I have loved almost every minute. I admit that I find my new love for running quite strange as this time last year I never, ever had the desire to run more than 10km; that was painful enough.
My husband decided that it would be funny if he signed me up for the marathon ballot as he was entering himself, this remained secret until October of 2012 when he got his commiseration letter and I didn’t. Instead I got a letter of congratulations. I can’t even put into words how I felt about this except that I felt as though I had just had my car towed. I had no idea what I was going to do. I certainly wasn’t excited or grateful for my wonderful surprise. I had time to think about withdrawing or deferring my spot for 2014, I knew deep down neither was an option as it wasn’t fair to the people who really wanted to do it (like my hubby) and I knew in 2014 I would feel the same way. I came across a quote that helped me make my decision:
“Excuses are always there.....opportunities aren’t”
From that moment, I knew I was going to do this even if it killed me.
I started my training in January under the direction husband and believe it or not, we still actually love each other. Through the weeks, I slowly increased my mileage and after several weeks, each long run was a milestone for me. Every time I went that bit further I became more and more proud and wanted to go further. I realised I had never really had enough faith in myself to push my limits. I am so pleased that this journey has made me realise the only way for me to realise my true potential is to try. I have loved the fact that I have been able to run slowly and not have to make excuses for it. Now when people pass me on the roads, I quietly say to myself, “I bet they are not running as far as me today”. I have been looking forward to each and every run. People are right when they say running is the cheapest form of therapy. Each run gave me time to think about anything and anyone, time to myself, peace and quiet and just a chance to appreciate the world around me, and what a great place it is. I always feel on top of the world when I am done.
Strangely as race day approached (way quicker than I had hoped) I felt calmer and more and more excited. I think this was because I visualised this day in my head so many times. I saw myself running with a smile, with my special little angel on my shoulder encouraging me to keep going. I envisioned my smile getting bigger with every passing mile. Oddly, this is exactly how the “race” played out. The morning of the race I had an aura of peace around me; everything went smoothly from travelling up to the race, to checking in my bags, and finding where I needed to start. Once I got there, there was nothing left to think about but just to take one step at a time, have fun and finish the race. I won’t lie, even though I enjoyed EVERY second of the race there were moments where I got really emotional and a bit choked up. I just couldn’t believe that I was actually doing the race and enjoying it.
Looking at all the charity shirts over the 26.2 miles made me realise how many stories of heartache, pain, joy and happiness there is out there, and this gave me that much more motivation to give it my all. It was such a beautiful day and the crowds helped to fuel the fire within, especially when I saw my hubby Matt at Mile 11 and Mile 24 with TEAM PMP (Dawn, Kirsten, Megan, Angela, Sarah and Jenny). This gave me that extra boost to get me to the end. I was so unbelievably touched that they all travelled up to London to cheer me on, especially when I had never met most of the team before. I was going to finish strong for them.
It wasn’t long until I saw the finish line in the distance, 800m, 600m, 400m, 200m I could feel myself starting to bubble over with excitement as I was nearly there. I crossed that line with so much pride for myself. I was on top of the world and I didn’t want that moment to end.....EVER!! Sadly it has, but I have fond memories of the day and yes......I would do it all again in a heartbeat!! Best experience ever and I am so glad to have chosen such a special charity and special people to run for.
Would I do it again?? ABSOLUTELY, YES!! I was the only runner for Pseudomyxoma Survivor, but all it takes is one person to make a little difference. If you haven’t already, please can you make a small donation to http://www.justgiving.com/topmp.
We would like to take this opportunity to say a mahoosive thank you to Julie for all she has done in supporting Pseudomyxoma Survivor and raising awareness of pseudomyxoma peritonei. You can find out more about Julie's marathon challenge here and show your support on her JustGiving page.