Thursday, 29 March 2012

Marathon Countdown Weeks 6 – 3

Sunday April 1st will mark three weeks until the London Marathon, and also the date of a gig organised as part of my fundraising for Tenovus Cancer Charity. I’ll describe that in more detail a little later on.

The last few weeks have been a bit busy with life, fundraising and running. I’ll split these into sections for any readers who don’t want to read the lot!

Life: I had an MA assignment due mid March. My day job has been especially busy. There were Mother’s Day festivities. I went to see Wild Beasts and Alt-J for Plugged In Magazine in The Coal Exchange, as well as The Jayhawks and Richmond Fontaine in The 02 Academy. I met up with friends as much as possible. My poor car LUI (as named by the number plate) ended up in scrapped car heaven.

Fundraising: There were several fundraising events this month. Firstly, a stall in Roath Craft Market with my friend Laura. We sold bags and earrings, and made £45. Lots of friends visited us, including the very cute newborn Bill, his parents Nicola and Gareth, my mam, Jonny, and Pete. It was a lovely way to spend a morning whilst supporting a great cause. Thanks guys for buying our wares and big thanks to Laura for making lots and booking the stall!

Laura (right) and me (left) on our craft stall

Magda, Mair, Margaret and Me! 

I held a jewellery making lesson for my mother’s friends and colleagues, and also sold a few pairs of earrings. It was a really fun night full of cake and wine (water for me!) which raised £74. Diolch mam for being a great host and to your friends for being brilliant students!

Headlining act Everything Burns

Saturday March 17th saw a gig in The New Crown Inn, Merthyr Tydfil. I’d booked the date to hold a Tenovus event, and my Merthyr College lecturer friend Mike told me his students needed to hold a gig as part of their music tech degree – so, we joined forces. The students did an amazing job of booking bands, promoting the event and making sure things ran smoothly on the day. Every act was talented and full of passion for their music, and generously gave their time for the cause. The venue helped out by letting us play there for free, and The Welsh rugby team kindly achieved their Grand Slam on that day, increasing the number of merry gig-goers through the door! We raised a staggering £820.56 and I’d like to say a big huge THANK YOU to everyone involved in the day.

My justgiving page has been visited lots this month, and I really appreciate every penny so thanks lots to folks who have donated here. As I write it is at a huge total of £1594.44!

There are more thanks to come as so many people are helping out with Do Good at Gwdihw, the April 1st event. Four fantastic bands are playing: Kymo, Jam with Robina, The Word Virus Essay and Under the Driftwood Tree. Matt Jarrett of Cardiff indie night Punks in the Beerlight is DJ-ing. Lisa Heledd-Jones of Scrabble Sunday will be bringing her boards along. Laura will be running the craft and sweet stalls. Mike and Merthyr College students will be manning the door. Gwdihw have kindly donated the venue for free and helped lots with the organisation. Dan designed the super cool poster. Jonny, Sarah, Laura, the bands and the guys from Tenovus have promoted lots. In short, it is going to be great, and all of the people helping are too. Please come along and join us for a fab afternoon! 

Running: There has of course, also been some running in the last few weeks. I’ve been surprised by how exhausted I’ve felt following the long runs, but reassured by chats with experienced distance runners as to how this is a normal part of the body’s adjustment and repair work. Therefore, I’ve been making an effort to get more sleep than usual...particularly since taking part in the San Domenico 20 on March 25th! It’s a race organised by the Cardiff running club of the same name, and involves a run along the Taff and Trevithick Trails from Merthyr Tydfil to Abercynon and back. It was a beautifully sunny, and therefore hotter-than-the-fires-of-hell kind of day, and this coupled with some serious inclines, deep stone steps, and steep downhill stretches equalled something of a challenge! I got a bit carried away with the excitement and took off too quickly, meaning by mile fourteen my gas had dwindled and I plodded along for a while before picking up again. I finished in 3 hours 20 minutes which I felt a bit disappointed by, but I’ve also since reflected on this as an achievement – my first race of any kind was just six months ago so I’ve made some decent progress since then! Geeky details of my run can be found here for those interested. The event was loads of fun in a this-is-horrible-I-want-to-stop sort of way, and a great education in pacing. I now realise I need to keep an eye on my speed in the first half of the London Marathon, to hopefully leave me with enough energy to run rather than crawl over the finish line!

Happy to have completed the San Domenico 20!

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