My Activity Tracking
My target 42 kms
422 lengths done!
Time to bust some myths on the home stretch
The final week
Confronting imposter syndrome through a long run
The benefits of neurodiversity
The first real tests
So what does rugby have to do with all of this?
My autism diagnosis
How I'm training for a marathon in a monthSo I hadn't really planned on doing this. At least not from a long time ahead enough to plan for it. It was something that popped up in an ad, and I thought "why not". It's a cause I care about, so I signed up.
Next thing, I'm setting myself the target of running a marathon distance, not over the full 8 days of the Run for Autism event, but in a single day. And then I started thinking, "running on roads is boring, why not do it differently". After all, a rugby field is 100m end to end, so 422 lengths (or 211 up-and-back runs) is a marathon distance. Add a ball and some passing practice and it'll be just like training.
But marathons are a whole different beast. I had heard the stories about needing to train for three months or more, about the physical toll on the body, and about the dreaded "wall" where the body runs out of glycogen stores and you slow to a dizzy walk. I had even watched the movie "Brittany Runs a Marathon", which while being a heartwarming film, doesn't make it look easy. So can a marathon even be trained for in a month?
A quick internet search later and I had an answer: maybe. It is going to take a lot of work, but it's theoretically possible with daily structured training and a good diet. Just to be sure I checked with my physiotherapist, who was supportive and gave me some exercises to build strength and flexibility to give me the best chance of preventing injury. The goal in her view was not to try for speed, but to get to the finish in as good a condition as possible.
I'll be blogging more here during the lead up to the event, including photos from training runs, a bit about what it's like being diagnosed as autistic as an adult, what rugby has to do with all of this, and why neurodiversity is a strength that can benefit everyone. Follow along, and most of all, please donate to the cause. By donating you'll be helping autistic people to achieve their potential, and you'll be enabling my reckless behaviour. It's a win-win.
Early morning training
I'm running for....
About a year ago at age 36 I was diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum. I had always felt like I saw the world through different eyes to others, like everyone else magically knew the rules. Growing up, autism was far less known and in my case it was complicated by having a high IQ. People just put me into the "gifted" box and left it at that.
While diagnosis has been a relief in ways, it has changed how I approach the world. Before my diagnosis my response was to try and better myself, thinking if I just work that little bit harder I'll get it. I'm ambitious by nature and that hasn't changed. I still work hard and believe in self-improvement. What is changing is my understanding of how to do that, to make the most of my strengths rather than relentlessly focussing on my weaknesses.
And this run is part of that ambitious streak. Instead of just running 42.2k, I'm going to combine it with my love of rugby and attempt to run 422 lengths of my club's home ground, ball in hand. Every rugby club I have been a part of has accepted me for who I am (and even my lack of tackling ability). This run is about helping society to be more accepting like that.
Help make my run challenge count and show your support by donating today!
Uploaded a profile picture
Shared page on social media
Personal donation made
Halfway to fundraising goal
Reached fundraising goal
Reached total KM goal
Thank you to my Sponsors
Kevin And Laura Morris
Mr Phillip Tovey
Kevin And Jan Tyra
Craig & Maz
Peter & Elaine Atkinson