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I'm running the London Marathon for Coeliac UK!

So the phone call came and...yup, I've been lucky enough to have been chosen for one of Coeliac UK's charity places in the London Marathon. And I'm SO EXCITED!

Ali Walsh running outfit
I realise it's not the best photo (taken by my 5 year old, I don't think it's too bad!).

So the first thing I did was to run out (ah, first of the running puns) and get myself some new running shoes. And here they are in their full glory - a pair made by a chap who accidentally stepped on a hose and wanted to replicate the feeling when running. Sure enough, my first run felt like running on a (lovely) hose. And yes, I'm officially converted!

But it's not been easy. All this ice, snow and freezing temperatures haven't done me any favours. If you'd seen me at the weekend doing a "quick" 5 mile run, you'd have been forgiven for thinking I'd never run before. The amount of ice hopping I had to do coupled with squinting from the low sun meant I didn't have all the running feels and was incredibly grateful to make it back without breaking anything.

Of course, the weather isn't my only problem. When I last ran the marathon (ahem, 16 years ago), I couldn't eat any of the food provided on the way round because I wasn't able to find anything gluten-free, so I hit the wall at about 20 miles and it was horrible.

I'd first heard about the wall in 1987 when I went to secondary school and one of the PE teachers told us about this desperately exciting event where people ran in costumes around London to raise money for charity.

He said he'd been approached by 2 blokes who'd applied to do the marathon, got in, and needed training. So he took them out to see what they could do.

After a mile the first one threw up and the other didn't fare much better.

So the PE teacher knew he had his work cut out. He was also worried about "the wall", which he explained

many runners reached at about mile 20. But the way he described it made it so intriguing I was keen to find out what it was all about. (And let me tell you, the romantic notions I had about the wall soon dissipated when I experienced it and desperately wished I had some food on me.)

If you're wondering about those two men and the PE teacher, he obviously knew what he was doing because both chaps managed to complete the marathon in under 4 hours (and if you know anything about running, you'll know many people struggle to do it in under 5).

But they probably had something to eat. (Not a proper meal, mind, but something easy to swallow like jelly babies or liquid gels.) And that's something I'll need to investigate before I take to the London streets (I don't want to chance things on the day and have bowel issues thanks to a dodgy gel pack).

Of course, food doesn't solve my arctic weather issues. I could wait for temperatures to rise but that'd mean April would suddenly be here and I'd be wondering how to make it past the start line, let alone crawl past the finish.

So snow may come down while umbrellas go up, the sun may be low and the winds high, but that won't deter me from my training... Although if you spot me in a cosy gym on the treadmill, please don't judge me too harshly...

Do you run? What are your running tips? I'd love to know!



Hi! Great to have you here...

My name's Ali and I help people on gluten-free diets have a better, easier and healthier lifestyle. 

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