Start where you are – run your own race
Posted: Tuesday June 25 2019
By: Guest Blogger
“I ran the London marathon” feels like the most ridiculous statement I’ve ever made, but it’s true, we’ll sort of true, there were bits where not a lot of running happened! It all started with a very innocuous conversation with the charity the Youth Sport Trust, who I’m extremely passionate about and am an ambassador for. They were looking for one of their team of athlete ambassadors to join their marathon team and no one had volunteered. I’m a serial joiner inner, it’s a character flaw, I once drew a face on the floor of a stage, with my own face, using melted chocolate because no one else volunteered and I felt so bad for the presenter just stood on the stage with their brilliant idea going so terribly wrong. As the deadline drew near with no volunteers my left hand raised itself to say I’m in, whilst my right hand tried to punch it back down, but too late my “thanks for joining our team” arrived and withdrawing felt like I’d be letting down all the young people the charity work with.
By Rachael Mackenzie – World Thai Boxing & UK Boxing Champion
Rachael Mackenzie World thai boxing champion
“It’s ok, you’re an athlete” they said, yes, yes I am, I’m an athlete who gets a sit down and a drink every three minutes and has not run for more than the length of a hockey game in as long as I can remember. So my preparation began, well that would have been the ideal scenario but in reality I had a masters project to complete, conferences all over the UK and abroad to speak at, kids to look after, a trial for the north of England hockey team alongside a never ending to do list, and if I’m honest I don’t actually like to run……so I didn’t.
The real runners in marathon pen three told me conditions were perfect, to run how I feel, to enjoy the day, and so I did, for the first thirteen miles. At the half way point, having only once run beyond thirteen miles and only twice up to that distance, I found myself feeling great and ahead of the 4 hour marathon marker. Half a mile later I was broken, caught up in running the race of all those around me I’d given myself a stress fracture in my foot and made myself physically sick. The next 12, very slow, miles were a time of reflection.
As we approach the never ending bombardment of advertisements ensuring our “bikini body” is a mere £99 programme and 20 star jumps a day away we need to ask the question who is this benefiting? Who gave someone else the right to decide my body isn’t ready for a bikini? How did we get caught up in believing the Instagram fakery? Most importantly why are we always trying to run in someone else’s race? I understand the science and I still find it hard not to get drawn in. So my plea to you all as we head towards summer is to run your own race, but let’s make it a race towards health, strength and celebrating how fabulous we are, whatever our bikini of choice.