It’s been a while since I last blogged so you have to bear with me as I may be a little rusty.

You’ve probably been wondering where I’ve been all this time since the exhilarating Yorkshire Marathon last year. I took a long break up until Christmas spending time with family and just relaxing, which I must add, was very hard to do.

After the New Year, I was feeling re-energised and inspired again to get back out there and set some new challenges for the New Year! Brighton Marathon was on the cards this time round.

Training began but it was soon followed by recurring injuries. Life was also thrown in the mix with buying a new house and constant visits to the hospital. I also developed the post blues after the year I had in 2017. As you might have expected after such a high from last year, it was inevitable that I was going to get the blues at some point. I thought it would have been straight after the marathon, but it started to make its appearance in March this year. It got to the point where I didn’t want to go out and exercise, I hated the word running and I lost all interest. Exercise is great for my mental health and as you can imagine, no exercise = poor mental health. For me I’m glad I recognised this early on and in this case I just had to ride the wave I was on. Not going to lie, it was extremely hard to even get out of bed some days, but my work life, friends and family kept me focused. The biggest feeling I lacked was motivation to get up and go for even a walk. Many times my partner and friends drove me to the running club, or somehow found a way to persuade me to do something. For them I could imagine it was very emotionally draining at times but they persevered and helped me at my lowest and I couldn’t thank them enough for that. I’m pleased to say I’ve slowly cooperated exercise back into my daily routine.

So you’re probably wondering whether I completed the Brighton Marathon or not. Sadly I didn’t, I had to pull out and this was due to a pre operation appointment and moving into our first home. Sometimes life does take priority and sacrifices have to be made. I’ll be back to tackle the Brighton Marathon another year no doubt.

However, the great thing is I’ve started running again and taking part in other sports. Goal setting really helps me focus and I like something to work towards. Last October after my marathon I had a holiday in the Lake District. Whilst there my partner and me volunteered at this outdoors activity centre called the Bendrigg Trust. This organisation supports disabled and disadvantage people access adventure activities i.e. canoeing, rock climbing, kayaking, caving and many more. Having the dream to one day open up something similar myself, I offered to help them with gardening and painting ready for the big grand opening of the Acorn accommodation. A guy called Ed showed us round on his tractor and made us feel very welcome. The place left a mark in my heart and I left feeling inspired!  Check out this amazing charity by visiting their website on: https://www.bendrigg.org.uk/.

It’s the Bendrigg Trust 40 birthday celebration this year and they are looking for 40 people to raise £1,000 each to help towards their target of £40,000. Bendrigg Trust depends highly on donations and sponsorships every year as they don’t get any funding from the local authorities. I’ve seen first-hand the impact exercise and sports can have one anyone and the Bendrigg Trust makes sure this is accessible to all.

So I’ve decided to help by attempting to fundraise £1,000 for them this year. I will be doing this by putting on and taking part in some events. The first event is this Friday in Swindon – I’m hosting a skittles do for friends and family to enjoy. Challenges that I have signed up to throughout the year are the Leeds Triathlon, RideLondon, the Yorkshire 3 Peaks Challenge, and ending on the Great North Run.

If you would like to support me and help me achieve my fundraising target, please visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Grace4Bendrigg and donate.

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