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The Post-Marathon Post

May 19

Posted by: ACHA
5/19/2014 12:36 PM  RssIcon

By Paul Willgoss

The running magazines in the U.K. have two approaches to advising runners after they’ve done a marathon: 1) You’ve done it, now go do something else (probably shorter), and 2) You’ve done it, now get faster!

I’m in neither. I’m this one: I’ve done it, after six long years I’ve done the London Marathon, I’ve smashed my personal best (PB) by 12 minutes, I’ve got the medal, I’ve got the t-shirt and I know what's coming next…

Unfortunately since London I’ve been injured and have had a heavy cold. So the carefully thought-out plan has gone out of the window, and all I have is the fact that I PB’d a marathon five weeks ago, and haven’t been inactive to take me into my home marathon – the Liverpool Rock and Roll marathon.

The final week before a marathon most of the guides will suggest a gentle run of about seven miles, nothing too hard or too fast. Which is fine, apart from in the U.K. it is Children’s Heart Week.

What that means is that this past weekend I was doing some of the charity stuff I enjoy the most. I was talking and sharing with kids (of all ages) and their families whilst having fun. That fun included getting up at 5:30 a.m. on Saturday to go for that long gentle run, but also one of the highlights of the last couple of years – we were in the Quays of the Thames, in fancy dress and rowing dragon boats!

Fun is the key word here, as it is very easy for our community to focus on the negative. Sometimes we have to focus on the negative, because we, or those we love, are going through the dark places that we know far too well. These weekends give the families a chance to be families, and if my inspiration for my crazy running life ever wanes then it is these weekends that give me the boot up the backside I need.

So, pop along and join the fun on Facebook or Twitter – we have Teddy Bears picnics, work with teenagers (including reality stars!) and a selfie competition…

And on May 25, well sometime before 3 p.m., I’ll be finishing my second marathon of the year, as ever with a smile on my lips – especially as one of the sponsors is giving us all a beer at the finish!

Marathon runner, GUCH (Grown Up with Congenital Heart Disease), long-distance hiker, charity trustee, patient advocate and whisky lover—Paul Willgoss is all of these and more. A member of the Most Honourable Order of the British Empire, his efforts both in front and behind the scenes for those with congenital heart defects have been recognized at the highest levels in his native U.K.

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