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Jess' London Marathon 2018 Diary: Entry #1 - Finding Out

The decision to apply for the 2018 Virgin Money London Marathon was one that I had been toying with for a while.

Should I, or shouldn’t I? Do I really have what it takes to run a marathon? Will I get injured (ironically)? Will I finish in a good time? Is it going to be all that everyone says it is?

So I figured, if I am going to apply to run the London Marathon I want to raise money through my journey.

​My dad was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis 20 years ago. Every year in Canada we participate in our community MS Walk, but since moving from Canada to the UK I have been unable to participate with my family.

SV's Jess Armstrong with her family

What better way to stay involved than to run the marathon for an MS Charity?

One of my clients ran for MS-UK and she said the charity was amazing, and the support they provide is outstanding, so I decided to apply to MS-UK; a charity that supports those living with MS and their families.

MS-UK logo

As many of you know I treated quite a few runners who ran the 2017 London Marathon and their stories were SO inspiring! They still continue to inspire me today!

For some, VLM 2017 was their first marathon, others had been running for a while and wanted a different challenge and a handful were running for charities and raising money because there had been some significant event in their life where that chosen charity supported them or a member of their family.

These are the people that helped me believe “yes I can run a marathon too”; that I can run through the heat, rain, wind and what little snow England gets to take on this challenge; that I can put in hard work, dedication and train my body to run 26.2 miles. I CAN!

Thank-you to each and every one of you! I will forever be grateful that your stories have encouraged me to take on this challenging journey.

SV's Jess Armstrong at London Marathon 2017

After applying, I assumed I wouldn’t hear anything until late October after the ballot results were out, but at the beginning of June I received an email asking me to call Jill from MS-UK to discuss my application.

After discussing my fundraising plans, why I want to participate and my current running training, Jill said: “We’d like to offer you a spot to run the marathon for us”. WOW!

Excitement washed over me like a wave crashing onto a sandy beach. I, me, Jessica Armstrong, am going to run the famous London Marathon! Once I hung up the phone I thought, I HAVE to tell someone! Three people came to mind: my best friend, my partner and SV's Sophie.

Well I texted my best friend as I knew she’d still be sleeping back in Canada; my partner was at work so I decided to wait until he got home and I spoke to Sophie on the phone 30 minutes later!

Then I thought to myself, what’s the first thing you do after you find out you got into a marathon? Go for a run, of course!

Well, it was rainy and windy, but I did see a marvelous rainbow and I thought, I am going to run a marathon, but boy do I have a long way to go!

After a short 5 km I realised I needed to get my butt into gear.

So, what are my next steps? Time to get a plan!

I will be looking for some races to enter, discovering what type of training plan works for me, looking at my overall nutrition and surrounding myself with people who will support and encourage!

Oh and not to mention fundraising!

Keep an eye out to hear about how my progress is going! Happy running everyone!

SV's Jess Armstrong outside The Running School

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