I’m Kate Ockenden, I’m married to Neil Hinson and have two wonderful daughters, Amélie (7) and Poppy (5).

I am a tax administrator for a Probate firm in Stratford upon Avon, however to balance that serious role I am also a lunchtime supervisor at my daughters’ school a couple of days a week! I absolutely love what I do, both roles are varied and interesting.

I’d been looking for “the perfect challenge” for a long while. I wanted to enter something that I could really get my teeth into, that would push my body to perform in ways that I can’t imagine. I wanted to see what I was capable of. But also something that was inherently easy for me to do, after all, I’ve been putting one foot in front of the other for the past 38 years!

So I entered the event London2Brighton which pretty much does exactly what it says on the tin, it’s an event where you can walk, jog or run from Richmond Park in London to Brighton Racecourse. You can do this over two days or one. I preferred two days as once I stop moving, I seize up and the thought of getting up at 5am the next day and doing the second half was beyond my capabilities. I’m much more of a “get it finished in one go” girl!

This challenge looked to be incredible well organised (there is a 3 course dinner at two of the rest stops, with menu choices. Glass of bubbly at the end? Not sure how I will feel about that!). There are way markers the whole way along and you are kept safe at night in a group with a guide, which if I’m honest, the thought of trudging across the field in the dark going the wrong way and bumping into cows really put me off.

When I entered it was the hazy end of summer, I’d never run more than half a marathon and that was a struggle. I decided that this event would test my technical abilities and I spent a long time researching nutrition, training strategies and equipment. I did nearly two months of strength and cardio work in the gym before really running at all. Then when the runs did start, it was winter time, freezing cold and very dark. That tested my dedication somewhat!

I have in the main thoroughly enjoyed the training, although I was a little naïve about the chunk of time this would take away from family and work commitments. I’ve had to book annual leave just to do some of the long runs. On the flipside, as a busy working mum it is a blessing to have five or six hours every week to just be. Not to have anyone asking me umpteen questions about dinner or where their favourite hairband is, to be on my own, to be mentally planning my next few days or just getting lost in my own thoughts. Quite a luxury really!

I have discovered late in the day the joy of a podcast so the very long runs no longer feel lonely and I’m enjoying being entertained while running. It also distracts me from what I’m doing, the miles fly by. Along the way I’ve discovered a lovely running community, be it groups on Facebook (Run The Distance especially) or people on the Fitbit app, everyone is keen to see you succeed and will encourage you every step of the way.

Overall I’m feeling confident and happy that the event is just round the corner, I’ve had many a sleepless night over whether I’ve bitten off more than I can chew or that I’ll be in agony from mile 40. But I think I’ve just got to focus on the finish line and what will be my biggest achievement so far in life (children not included obvs!).

As the phrase says “ Just put one foot in front of the other until you’re done” and that is what I’ll be doing on May 27th.

So my advice to the “maybes” out there who think “I wish I could do that (Half Marathon, Marathon, Wolf Run etc.) but I don’t think I’m capable” DO IT! Enter it, pay for it. Then research your training, stick to a plan and you will be successful. And if for some reason you are not successful then massive kudos for trying and there’s always next time!

Yeah!!!! I made it 👌 my word that was about a hundred times tougher than I thought…it was a real adventure and very hard going at times.

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