Melanie (aka Melaniejayne in the forum)
Target: A sub 4.30, although to complete and enjoy the marathon would be my ultimate target.
Marathon PB: I haven’t completed a marathon yet. Although I did my first half marathon in November 2012 with a time of 2.06.
My Strengths: I’m stubborn and wont give up!
My weaknesses: I’m stubborn and wont give up!
See Mel's training schedule here.
About me: "I am full of motivation and enthusiasm! Anything can be achieved; you just have to have the will and self-belief to make it happen. I started running very badly a couple of years ago with my husband who was a keen runner. He became unwell but continued running throughout his illness; I couldn’t let him run alone. After months of grumbling, I finally realised I wasn’t just running for him, but I loved it, it became an important part of us. It gave us strength and determination to fight his illness. We ran a 10k race together in September and were adamant we would complete it in under the hour: we did it in 58.12. He sadly died three days later. Every time I put on my running shoes, I am running for him, for us and for my future without him. Running has given me the strength to go on when the days have been dark, and I have felt so alone. In the ten weeks that he has been gone, I have completed my first half marathon and to run the Paris Marathon in April will be the most amazing achievement - I know it will make Martin so proud. I'll take him every step of the way."
Follow Melanie on social media: Melaniejayne in the RW forum.
Follow Mel's forum thread - remember to post your advice or training tips and join the debate!
More about Mel...
How do you feel about making the final five?
I think the first word that springs to mind is disbelief. When the decisions were made and we were to be told if we'd got through or not, Katie left me a voice mail asking me to return her call.
Myself and my daughters must have listened to her message 20 times or more trying to figure out the tone of her voice before I could ring her back. I never thought for a moment that I'd
get though to the final five when so many amazing people applied.
Some things are just meant to happen, and thank you
to everyone involved for making it happen. I guess I've just got the hard bit to do now, but that is such an exciting and amazing prospect.
How do your training plans differ from training you have done before?
All the training I have done prior to this has really just been on an as-and-when basis. If I felt like going for a run I would go. I think my only structure was not to increase my mileage
too much and to keep it fairy steady with a increase of per cent every week. Other than that I did what I wanted when I wanted. That is, apart from my running club (Arunners) making me run up hills every Friday.
What are you most looking forward to?
The structure of having a coach to tell me what to do and when. It means I don't have to worry too much about anything else, other that which routes to use, and how my body is adapting to the training.
Having a structure keeps you motivated on the rainy, dark cold nights. Last night it was raining so hard I should have run in my swimming costume! I certainly wouldn't have gone running if it hadn't been in my training plan, but I had an amazing session and I felt incredible afterwards.
The other runners, ASICS PRO Team and Runner's World world are all amazing, so it's great to meet and share this process with such lovely people. With it being my first marathon, I am asking lots of questions, and they all seem to have the answers!
What will be your biggest challenge?
I think one of the challenges is going to be the lack of spontaneous sessions. I'll miss the days when you just want or need to run for whatever reason, with no structure and no plan, just losing yourself in what you're doing.
However, my biggest challenge will be juggling raising three teenage daughters and holding down a stressful job incorporating shift work. Running is a great way of disappearing from the three girls when things get a bit too much at home!