This summer Naga Munchetty will run the Virgin London Marathon and raise important funds for United Response. In a series of blogs, Naga keeps us up to date on her progress.  

I never thought that running would be enjoyable. If you read my last blog I think that you would have picked up that I’m not exactly enthusiastic about the thought of training to run.

However, I’ve reached a new milestone of 13.5 miles and managed to complete this in less than 2 hours. I was determined to do it, and doing it on my own with no one spurring me on was quite a tough emotional and mental challenge.

I relish competition against others, but rarely compete against myself. This run gave me time to think about my attitude to my achievements. How do I go about tackling challenges? Do I shy away from them or do I take them head on?

I would like to think I relish a challenge but when it comes to running, I find myself thinking up excuses not to train. It’s been a steep learning curve for me to make a commitment to something that I don’t always enjoy doing. But nothing beats the feeling of finishing a run that you thought you couldn’t.

Challenges are something those with disabilities are usually all to familiar with, though often they lack the forum to draw attention to them. That's one of the reasons United Response have launched a new project called Postcards from the Edges. The idea is that through artwork, poetry, stories, collages or messages, people can express what is important to them.

I created a postcard which you can see above. As my postcard says - a smile a day is usually enough to keep me going. This thought helps me when I’m running. Sometimes it is the foodie treat I indulge in as a reward for my hard work that makes me smile through the aches and sweat!

I’ve also had my first ever running lesson which allowed me to focus on my running style and my goals. Often I find my mind wandering to all sorts of stuff - from “What to cook for dinner?” to “Did I ask the right questions in the interview I did this morning?”. The lesson helped me focus on my posture and on hitting new milestones.

I’ve been really busy of late - the BBC has moved into a new big, fancy studio that has been challenging and taken time getting used to. I’ve also been meticulously planning the holiday of a lifetime to celebrate a milestone birthday for my husband.

I’m now looking forward to a little rest and relaxation - I will be doing training runs on holiday but hopefully they’ll be outdoors, in sunshine and with the breeze on my face rather than on a running machine with the snow outside!

Naga Munchetty

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