“Feel the fear and do it anyway”.
“Step out on faith”.
“If you believe it, you can achieve it”.
“Mind over matter”.
“Just do it!”
A few motivational and inspirational quotes we know too well, probably say too often; to other people, to ourselves. I’m saying this to myself now.
Hang on to the edge of your seats people. Here it is. I HAVE JUST SIGNED UP TO RUN MY FIRST MARATHON – 26.2 MILES/42KM!!! The Marine Corps Marathon in October. Breathe Titi, Breathe. Ok so what? You run races anyway. So BIG DEAL!
Wait, there’s a story behind all this.…..
Running a marathon IS a big deal, running any distance is a big deal in my opinion. Kudos to all who do.
I’d always wanted to run a marathon, belong to that “club”. I thought by my 40th birthday, I’d run a marathon, that came around and, no. Wasn’t ready. Is anyone ever ready? I was still at home in London at the time. With my crew of friends in British Military Fitness (GO BMF!), we were always running a race of some sort every weekend or other. Marathons were yuuuuuuge!! I was in awe of these runner friends of mine. I heard of the gruelling training. It was not for me.
British Military Fitness aka BMF are Boot camp style classes done outdoors in almost all major parks across the UK, taught by serving or ex-military trainers. Suitable for all abilities.
The uniqueness of BMS is that classes go on, WHATEVER THE WEATHER (keyword, “outdoors”). Snow. Wind. Rain. The latter we are not in short of supply of in the UK! Dress for the weather we say. It is more than just “Bootcamp” though, it offers mud run events, fitness holidays, ski trips, climbing trips etc. It is a community. I belong(ed) to BMF Greenwich park in Blackheath London.
Our park was “special, it’s where the London Marathon starts. For those BMFers “lucky” enough to get a slot, the rest of us would go cheer them on, usually placing ourselves at the Embankment area of Charing Cross, towards the finish line so we could all go for a celebratory drink postrace. I was always surprised they could still stand. But that race bling had super powers!
BMF Adventure trip, Isle of Wight, England – May 2010
BMS Ski trip, Alpe D’huez, France – March 2010……instructor present, why not have a workout too?!
In my last post – “The Madness of March!“, I talked about this year making it three times in a row that I’ve run the Rock ‘n’ Roll Dallas half marathon. Seeing those medals side by side, got me thinking, I’m done with this race, what next? I didn’t have an answer.
Last week, was the end of a 60 day challenge at the gym I joined this year. That was a ride! Friends I told looked at me in that “are you mad” kind of way – what are you transforming to? You’re already so fit etc etc. Ok, you have a point there. But like anything, if you don’t keep at it, you lose it (riding a bicycle blah blah) and I had the copious amounts of kettle corn (popcorn) and cake I consumed over the Christmas holidays on my mind….yeah, I’ll do it! Plus, it’s a CHALLENGE! (See earlier post on my love of a good “challenge” – Can you do the challenge? I dare you!). With a good combo of learning new recipes, eating differently and new workouts, I lost some body fat, got leaner and fitter. I honestly didn’t know what to expect on the challenge, sometimes that’s why I do them I guess! I was pleased with my results, even advising and sharing my tips! Now that’s over, what next?
When my friend Liliana told me she signed up for Marine Corps Marathon (herein after referred to as “MCM”), it didn’t quite register at the time. Great, do you, I thought. She is running for the charity, Autism Speaks. Then another friend, and runner extraordinaire, Nigel, said he got in on the lottery. Woah! I didn’t even know you were considering a MARATHON! He had sworn he was not going to up his half marathon (13.1 mile/26.2 km) distance! But then again he said he wasn’t going to run more than 4 miles….why did I ever believe him?
I’d never even heard of the Marine Corps Marathon and suddenly it was on everyone’s lips. People in my social running club, I’m seeing t-shirts on people who have done it before…the universe was telling me something. Yeah, that’s how it talks to me.
But are you running because everyone else is? No. That never is my problem! Nope.
I want to run an ultra (distance greater than marathon distance) sometime “in the near future”. Gotta start somewhere. “This is it, start here”, the voice said. But…but….
Official registration for the MCM had closed which meant the only way to get a spot was through fund raising for a charity. Oh no no, not my favourite thing to do. Also, for this, it can’t just be any charity, it has to be one I “believe” in. I should have given up by now but something pushed me to check out the list of charities. Just like the line from Jerry Maguire (1996), “you had me at hello”, I found Team Girl Up. I read their first line manifesto and said yes.
“Team Girl Up is a running program all about girls’ empowerment. We recruit runners for endurance races to raise funds that help advance girls’ rights around the world. Our runners know that girls are powerful, and they are committed to a world where every girl, everywhere, is able to reach her potential.”
I like it!!! As a “girl of the world”, I can relate. British born, Nigerian heritage, living in Texas, USA. I have lived on THREE continents! I always say I’m using my powers for good. I’m now putting my money where my mouth is! More than just wanting to run, I want all my actions to be of purpose. Not just about me. I’m making some changes in my life. I see fitness playing a huge part in this new life. I am finding my purpose, and this fits right into it, this feels right. Come on 2018!!!!
On this day, the eleventh day of April, “4.11” (if you’re in the United States!), the “411” is that I have made a commitment to run the Marine Corps Marathon, on 28 October 2018, with Team Girl Up and raise money for this charity.
My fund raising goal is $1,000.
Yikes!!! I’m jumping, leaping, leaning, stepping out, BELIEVING that I’ll achieve this goal with the incredible support of friends, family and people I will meet on this journey….and if you are reading this I’ll be coming to you, cap in head, thank you!
I’ve created a fund raising page.
Click here to go to Titi Osu’s fund raising page for Team Girl Up.
Do support me and donate, any amount is greatly appreciated. Thanking you in advance! I’ll be updating my message and the link…so it’s easy to find.
Girl Up is a campaign of the United Nations Foundation, an organization created to support the work of the UN. Launched in 2010, it partnered with the UN to support comprehensive programs that give adolescent girls in developing countries an equal chance for education, health, social and economic opportunities, and a life free from violence.
Marine Corps Marathon is:
- Highly ranked, largest marathon in the world that doesn’t offer prize money, earning its nickname, “The People’s Marathon.
- Welcomes those finding a new path to fitness and those simply seeking to conquer a distance that once seemed impossible.
- Known as the best marathon for beginners.
- Recognised for impeccable organisation on a scenic course managed by the US Marines in Arlington, VA and the nation’s capital
My first marathon. My first trip to Virginia. Am I ready? Being ready is all in the mind. I think I am ready! I think therefore I am. I think? When I was running 5ks/3miles, I never thought I’d make it to a 10k/6miles. Then 10 miles looked like the furthest I could go, I couldn’t THINK of 13.1miles/half marathon!
I’m excited and nervous as I write!!! I shall stop now.
From left to right: Rock ‘n’ Roll Dallas half marathon 2016, 2017 and 2018
The road to 26.2 miles starts now. Be ready!
Ps, 411 is another term for “information”….news just in….etc
“What’s the 411?” is the debut album by American R&B singer Mary J. Blige. It was released on July 28, 1992