East Lancashire Hospice

Mary runs the Marathon

To support Mary Pomfret, one of our fantastic volunteers and exceptional lady, visit https://­2023tcslon­don­mar­athon.­enthuse.­com/­pf/­mary-pomfret

London Marathon Update 28/03/2023

Preparing for a marathon isn’t easy, but running one is even harder! Ask anyone who has done one and they will tell you IT HURTS!

So if it hurts, why put my body through this, AGAIN?! It all comes down to the big WHY? What is someone’s reason for doing it? There are as many reasons as there are people for why to take on the iconic 26.2 mile distance. To me it’s not just finding the BIG WHY, but remembering it through the weeks of training, especially when the long runs keep getting longer and longerrrrrrrrr!! Positive self-talk and self-belief are essential. There are no places for making excuses to not get out and train when the why is so big it is just about tying up your trainers and opening the door and pushing/pulling you out even when the weather is doing its best to persuade you to stay nice and comfy inside!!

Paired along with the “why” of doing a long distance event is also the mind-set. I have read and truly believe that an event takes place in an athlete’s mind before ever reaching the course. It all starts with the desire, a goal, an ambition and unwavering determination to cross the finish line. The mind is a powerful tool that can help or harm us in the training. I have been exploring this regarding my own longer weekend running.

Surrounding myself with positivity is one huge help. I am thankful that I have a multitude of past race shirts that I can wear for any run/­walk/­workout to bring the memory back to me of that event! It makes a difference because when I put that shirt on I see and feel like the person who participated in that event! I have decided that every weekly cross training session at the gym I will wear another marathon shirt! It’s about feeling the part and mentally being the part!

Another tool I am using is printing out the previous marathon “race reports” that I wrote shortly after the events that have been stored on my computer. Re-reading my telling of the marathon so close to having done it brings back the emotions I felt then but have since forgotten. One such marathon was my and my late husband Grahams’ 2008 London Marathon. While reading it I was mentally transported onto that course again being surrounded by the thousands of other runners and sharing in the excitement of the day. I also got to relive the jubilation of sharing finishing stories with Graham.

Other people are a huge boost to helping with my mind-set and keeping me positive and on track with my training!! Knowing there are people who are supporting my race and are giving a donation to East Lancashire Hospice keeps me getting out no matter what! There is a supportive embrace that I can feel from being a part of this fund-raising network. I thank all of those who already have given and all those who are planning on giving. This is my “heart marathon” and I am honouring the gift of receiving a ballot spot and giving back to East Lancashire Hospice with every training session I do. London is getting bigger and bigger!! It is VERY real!

London Marathon training update:  Thursday 16/02/2023

I am fortunate that today was an inside cross train day at the gym!!!

Tomorrow will be an inside strength training day so I’ve been spared these two days!

However, 10 miles awaits on Saturday rain or shine, wind or warm I’ll be out there.

London Marathon training update:  Sunday 29/01/2023

12 weeks, 84 days!

Where is the time going!!???? I started my training at 24 weeks to go. Has half of it gone already?

I have been doing mainly hill type runs because you can’t get back into Mellor without going up a hill!  Considering this I decided to do Saturday’s long run of 12 miles on the Guild Wheel. For those not familiar with it, it’s a 21 mile walk/run/cycle path which encircles Preston. My start and end point would be Brockholes Nature Reserve going 6 miles out and back.

A pre 09:00 start allowed me to have very little company until I got closer to Avenham Park in Preston. The park run had recently finished and it was nice to share a passing word with some of the participants. It felt good to be on a mostly flat course and allow myself to get a feel of how I might do on the day.

I had been in a hurry to leave the house and hadn’t charged my Ipod very much.  Because of this the music which had been background encouragement for the first 7 miles ended abruptly. Now I was relying on my own body to keep the rhythm and pace. I kept repeating “one, two, one, two” a trick I had heard Paula Radcliff mention in an article or interview a number of years ago.

As I got close to the one more mile (11 mile distance) I thought of the last mile of the London Marathon course. I played that video in my head. Good thing no one else was around as I was saying all of this out loud too! I pictured where I was on the Embankment with Big Ben in front of me. Approaching Big Ben and right in front of it, make the right turn on to Birdcage Walk! Now I imagined all the crowds lining the street. Queen Victoria’s statue is in the distance. As it gets closer Buckingham Palace comes into my left peripheral view. Slight right turn in front of the statue and then another. There is the finish line! In my mind’s eye, there is my late husband Graham holding my finishing medal and cheering me on. Crossing the finish line I receive my medal as he puts it around my neck and gives me a “well done, so proud of you” hug.

Needless to say, that last mile of my 12 was the fastest. I intend on using that imagery to encourage me and keep my focus as to why I am doing this event.  

22nd January 2023

Mary Pomfret from Mellor is completing the London Marathon on behalf of East Lancashire Hospice. A regular volunteer at the hospice, Mary hails from the USA but moved to England in 2002, and is a lecturer at Preston College. It is thanks to her husband that she is familiar with the London Marathon.

She explained the significance of the marathon. “East Lancashire Hospice and the date of the 2023 London Marathon are extremely, personally important to me. My late husband Graham was an outstanding runner and had raced 11 marathons, 3 of them being London. He encouraged me to not only become a runner but a marathoner too.”

Sadly, in March 2016 Graham was diagnosed with stage 4 Lung Cancer. During the difficult 13 months that followed, East Lancashire Hospice was there to support both Graham and Mary. “The counselling, complementary therapy treatments and nursing support were amazing.” Mary explained."Graham's wish was to die at home, and with support from the hospice, it was possible. Graham passed on Sunday, 23 April 2017, London Marathon morning. It seemed fitting that he would finish his life marathon on that day.” Because of this, Mary has decided to use her ballot spot on the London Marathon to raise much-needed donations for the hospice.

“I want to thank East Lancashire Hospice for all they provided for Graham and me, I will not only be thanking the hospice but also honouring Graham's memory by running the 2023 London Marathon on the 6 year anniversary of his passing.

“I am 71 and feel privileged to be able to have the health to do another marathon. This will be my 14th when I started running in 2003 to do a 5k Race for Life in honour of my Mom. I never intended to do anything longer!”

Mary knows we are living in challenging times, but hopes people will support her and East Lancashire Hospice. “Whatever amount you can donate goes to the continuation of the incredible help and support East Lancashire Hospice provides to so many other individuals and families, for which I sincerely thank you. It is an honour to be a part of East Lancashire Hospice’s fundraising team."

To support Mary Pomfret, one of our fantastic volunteers and exceptional lady visit https://­2023tcslon­don­mar­athon.­enthuse.­com/­pf/­mary-pomfret

Mary has promised to keep us posted on her training and preparation for the marathon. Please support her as she supports us and watch our social media to see how she prepares.

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