Friday, 4 April 2014

Fleet Half Marathon: The Matthew Elvidge Trust Inspired Nail Art

It's been over a month since I last posted and I can only apologise for that. I'm honestly not sure what happened to the last three months - it's been a bit of a crazy time with work and life and sometimes you have to work out what has to be done to get through and what you can afford to put on a back burner. Unfortunately my blog has suffered this time. But now it's the start of the Easter holiday and summer is on the not-too-distant horizon and finally I see my time freeing up a little and I may get some of my evenings back, allowing me time to focus on where I wanted to take my blog back in January but haven't had the means to.

The Matthew Elvidge Trust Fleet Half nail art

So to get back into what I hope will be regular posts, I thought I'd kick off with a manicure that goes some way to explaining why I've been so busy over the past three months.  Back in November last year, I decided to sign up to do the Fleet Half Marathon on March 16th in aid of The Matthew Elvidge Trust.  Before I signed up, I'm ashamed to say that I hadn't done any exercise whatsoever for an entire year.  In fact, I'd go as far as to say I actively avoided exercise I hated it that much.  So with that in mind, signing up to run a whole 13.1 miles was a massive deal (and many thought it was rather an unrealistic target).  However, I trained three times a week throughout the miserable cold, wet and windy winter months of December, January and February and found myself actually enjoying running.  Anyone who calls themself a runner will I'm sure agree with me when I say that it became a sort of therapy for me.  In my down moments, a run could clear my head and give me the endorphins I needed to get myself back together.  I completed my first race, the Bushy Park 10k, in January in just under an hour and kept pushing towards the Fleet Half - which, despite shin splints developing two weeks before race day and losing my voice totally the week of the race, I completed in 2 hours 13 minutes.  I could not have been more proud of myself.

I wouldn't have pushed myself so far out of my comfort zone if it hadn't been for wanting to support the Trust.  Matthew Elvidge was the younger brother of my university friend, Doug.  Matthew was a bright, energetic and caring young man, who had everything to live for and yet, aged 23, he took his own life after a very short period of depression.  His family wanted to help others who are, or may be, in a similar situation and so decided to set up the Matthew Elvidge Trust.

The objectives of the Trust are:
- to increase the awareness of depression, its signs and behaviours that may lead to suicide in young people
- to equip and train people, who are best placed to identify those at risk from depression
- to encourage and help young people, who are suffering from depression to seek professional help in the form of counselling, psychotherapy and cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT)
- to reduce the stigma of depression

The Matthew Elvidge Trust Fleet Half nail art

A few words about the mani - I used a base of OPI Incognito in Sausalito with Butter London Scouse over the top.  I used the striper brush from the white Rio Nail Art Pen to do all the white writing and silhouette.  Excuse the slightly grubby cuticles, I had to redo a couple of the nails twice because that silhouette is not easy to get right!

Running has truly become a big part of my life now - it's safe to say I am completely addicted and can't remember a time when I hated exercise.  If you've never run before, go and have a go - sign up for something like a 5k and work towards that as a goal.  Give yourself time and make sure you're following a sensible training plan (there are some great couch to 5k plans around, including an NHS podcast one) - or push yourself a bit further and do a 10k!  Not only will you feel physically fitter, but mentally too.

The Matthew Elvidge Trust Fleet Half
About 150 people ran for The Matthew Elvidge Trust on the day 

Finisher!  (I was not expecting to have to wear shorts...)

If, having read this, you'd like to support the fantastic work the Trust does, here is my Virgin Money Giving page.

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