I’ve just got home after my first race since Paris, earlier this year and I loved it.
Today I ran for Guilford based charity, Oakleaf. I first heard about Oakleaf through a networking event, run by The Bestof Guildford. Oakleaf is the only mental health charity in Surrey working as a social enterprise to provide vocational training for those suffering from mental health issues. They offer training in horticulture, upholstery, IT and print finishing, enabling people to acquire new skills and ultimately return to work. They also offer a range of Social Inclusion Activities that cater towards building confidence, physical health and wellbeing.
I was taken on a tour of Oakleaf by Deepti. Deepti is the Events and Marketing Executive and plays an important role in securing much needed resources enabling Oakleaf to continue to provide help to those that need it.
I was amazed by the buzz and the atmosphere of the building as I was shown around. I was particularly interested in the upholstery service. The skill and attention to detail here is second to none. I have seen examples of their work and I have to say, this is a service that I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend. Not only is their work outstanding but you’re also helping to fund a charity that’s giving so many people opportunity.
Check out the video below to learn more, it’s an interesting watch.
To The Race
You may have read about the drama’s on Saturday… If you didn’t here’s a snippet from Facebook.
Earlier this year I signed up to run The Great South Run for local mental health charity Oakleaf… For as long as I can remember it was always the day after Jacks Wedding as per my diary. So here we are, a little hungover and tired but ready and raring for my first race since Paris.
I opened my race letter in the car on the way, and read ‘remember the clocks go back an hour’ hmmm, and ‘congratulations on your place in the Great South Run on Sunday 25th October 2015’
Uh oh – wrong day, never mind. I’m so glad it turned out to be today as I know I would have really struggled yesterday
So, here we are on Sunday, we arrived nice and early. We met up with Deepti to say ‘hi’ and pick up my running vest. I headed to the start line and got ready to run. They started a little 5 minute warm up, which is always a good laugh. Lots of stretching and jogging on the spot to cheesy music.
The temperature was rising. It was a hot day and not just for October either. The sun was shining and after 2 miles I had to take off the t-shirt I had under my running vest. I wasted about 3 minutes but it was well worth it. I felt pretty good throughout the race. There was plenty of water and Lucozade Stations to keep us hydrated and energised. I felt it pretty tough up to mile 4. I hadn’t really done enough training for this, which I know is bad, but I’ve been focussing more on lifting weights to build strength and burn fat. I could feel my legs were getting really tight too, so I stopped every couple of miles for a good stretch.
It was a really good course – not too many hills and there was plenty of support along the way. I loved the music, especially the percussion bands. They’re amazing. Thank you.
The last 3 miles seemed to fly by. Although my fitness levels were down, my endurance seemed to kick in. I just wanted to enjoy today. For a 10 mile run, I thought the atmosphere was amazing. As I ran down the final stretch, I heard Lauren on the left. I waved and carried on, there was about 100 meters to go! I crossed the line in 1:39 – a very average, but realistic time.
Thanks again for all your continued support. I’ve received lots of donations from various people and I really appreciate them. If you or anyone you know has been affected by mental health, please take a look at Oakleaf. If you’d like to donate, please follow my link below.
Right, I’m off to Zizzi’s!