The positives

Ray Sievey Monday, 30 April, 2012
Time to sound like a winning Oscar speech. Firstly I want to say thank you to everybody involved in Project 26.2. Thanks to Men’s Running for picking me in the first place, Danny, Rhalou and Chris have all been a pleasure to deal with. Thanks to Paul Hobrough the physio (physioandtherapy.co.uk), I think I shocked him on our first training day, as my flexibility, or lack of it didn’t even get on the scale of some of his charts! But by following his stretching routines along with some yoga, my flexibility is a million percent better and my hamstring pains seem a thing of the past. Thank you to Up & Running and Garmin for kitting me out with great gear that saw me through the project. Thanks to High-5 for the supply of energy supplements, these now accompany me on all of my long runs. And then there is Nick Anderson my coach (runningwithus.com). If any of you saw my tweets on Sunday, you will have seen I was feeling pretty down at the time with my performance. Nick was the person I felt I had let down the most. But as well as receiving lots of nice messages from friends, family, the Project 26.2 team plus lots of people on Twitter, Nick also sent me a nice message about the positives and the lessons I need to take from this. More on those in a moment. I have really enjoyed his training schedule and with better execution on the day by me, Sub four was a real possibility. Finally, and to be honest this is the most important one, I would like to thank my wife Mich, she has put up with me over the last six months and looked after our little boy while running has become a big part of my life. She has been a star and I really appreciate her support. Ray wife april 2012
So despite me not getting the fairytale conclusion to the project I have learnt a great deal and got a lot out of Project 26.2. Here are the positives WEIGHT I have lost almost three stone in weight. 17st 3lb on 1st August 2011, 14st 5lb on marathon day. I have gone down clothing sizes and I am feeling so much healthier. My aim now is to be 13st 3lb on 1st August 2012. KNOWLEDGE
I have learnt a lot more about nutrition, stretching, core stability, speed work, so much more than just running, which I know will stand me in good stead for the future. PERSONAL BESTS I have a new half marathon PB of 1:38, a new Parkrun PB of 22:18, my 10K times are getting quicker, plus PB’s at 16 and 20 miles, but that is cheating really as I had never officially run those distances! And despite my disappointment of my marathon time it was still a PB. I am pretty sure I can improve my 5K and 10K PB’s in the near future, and I WILL get a sub four marathon! FRIENDS It has been really good sharing this journey with the other Project 26.2 Spartans and GIRLS. I genuinely believe that we will keep in touch, it may not be often, but I think we have all been bitten by the running bug. So I am sure our paths will cross at an event or two and I will be keeping tabs on how everybody is getting on via Facebook and Twitter. Plus we have plenty of excuses to meet up for an occasional beer or two. Also, having joined Petts Wood Runners, I now have a new group of friends who have given me loads of support. The camaraderie is excellent and I enjoy running with these guys on a Tuesday evening. I would also like to thank the PWR members that came up to London to support (not just me but also the other 20 PWR runners taking part) I would like to take this opportunity (as I forgot last week) to thanks all of my friends, family and colleagues who have supported me and taken an interest during this project. I have been surprised by the support I have received via Twitter. I was a Twitter virgin before project 26.2. I now have almost 300 followers, people came up to me at events for a chat to say they had been following me and the messages of support and congratulations have been great. Some of these guys and girls even sponsored me, which is amazing! Which leads me onto… SPONSORSHIP I am delighted to say that as a result of my London Marathon run, I have raised over £5,100 for the MS Trust which is almost double my original target of £2,620, so HUGE HUGE thanks to everybody that sponsored me. Thanks to everybody who has followed my journey, I hope some have been inspired or learnt a thing or two, probably not from my rambling blogs, but at least from the experts who have helped me along the way. I have already registered for the Brighton Marathon for March 2013 and the Toronto Marathon in autumn next year is calling me! Rest assured, when I break that sub four marathon, it will be all over Twitter and Danny will certainly be getting a letter from me to publish in Men’s Running! All the best The Hippo

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