A Jammer’s Marathon Journey

This Sunday, during our home bout, we are supporting our jammer ‘Lady Foxley’ with her fund raising effort for the Hertfordshire Community Foundation. She is fully signed up to this years London Marathon and shall proudly be wearing their logo on her top.
Come and support her by having a scan on the seca body composition device or by sponsoring her through this link.
Her marathon story begins below…
I started my derby journey around 4 years ago. I wouldn’t say I was extremely fit but I lived an active life, walking the dogs and occasionally running to work. During the fresh meat programme I soon realised that to be a strong derby player that I needed to ‘up’ my off skates training. I invested in a Fitbit and started to use the kettlebell and weights which were rusting in the garden. After passing my minimum skills and moving onto the advanced track I became a charted skater. A blocker! It felt good knowing that all those extra squats and balancing techniques had paid off. I felt stronger and more stable on skates.
I was just getting into the swing of blocking when my derby path changed, somehow I became a Jammer! I could no longer rely on body weight and ploughs, but now needed to work on endurance and fitness. So, I invested in some runners and attended my first park run. My first park run was slow and painful. Even though I had run in the past I felt unfit and pretty rubbish. I wasn’t going to let that feeling deter me and I pushed through and went back the following week. After a few weeks and an improvement in my time, I caught the running bug and was now road running on my own, upping the distance each time. It helped that a few other skaters had also taken up running and my competitive streak helped me to push through. Within a few months I was entering runs, 10kms and then my first half marathon at Hampton court, what better place to run your first. After completing the half marathon I ached like hell, and my feet were ruined but, I wanted to go further. So next step Brighton Marathon! Training began. There were days where I loved running and enjoyed every second and then the days when I cried. I ran in sweltering heat and I ran in the snow, the main reason was because I was running for the charity ‘Mind’. I wanted to improve and challenge myself physically and mentally, and do what I could to raise awareness. On the day of the Marathon I was nervous as hell but, some how I managed it. There were highs and lows around the 26.2mile course and as I crossed the line I was overwhelmed with mixed emotions. Firstly with pride, but also gutted I didn’t do it quicker. I was so happy I was still able to stand to neck a well deserved beer!
Talking to my family afterwards I swore never again! I had done my bit, my knees ached, my feet were blistered, and Id lost 7 toenails throughout the journey. I’d raised over £700 and raised awareness of a great charity and now it was time to focus on derby.
So skip forward a few months post marathon. Roller derby was in off season and I’d taken time out of running due to a metatarsal fracture. A fellow skater (Abbie Sol) decided to share a post about a local charity looking for London marathon runners. I’m not entirely sure why (as my life was crazy busy) but my initial thought was “lets apply!” I wasn’t expecting to hear back so quickly but I had an email congratulating me on my place!! The Reality of the situation I’d just got myself into ‘kicked in’ and I had a small panic. Knowing the time and effort I’d put in before training, how was I going to fit this in alongside derby, work and moving house! All this panic and fear was soon eradicated after I’d been to a marathon meet.
I didn’t know much about HCF (Hertfordshire Community Foundation) beforehand, but, after the meet I left feeling motivated and inspired. So proud that there was something I could to to help such a broad spectrum of people within the local community. With 11 weeks to go till the big day I’ve realised this journey is so different from my last. I’ve taken the pressure of myself to run a good time and to focus on enjoying it as we all should do with sport. This is why playing with the Belles and roller derby is such great fun. Hertfordshire roller Derby has been such an important part of my life. I’ve never been part of a team sport before and have loved every part of the leagues’ progression and development on and off the track. It has given me the platform to push myself physically and settle myself mentally.
At HRD we pride ourselves on being an inclusive and supportive league. We eagerly welcome anyone wanting to learn how to skate and play Roller Derby. Make sure that you look out for our next fresh meat intake and who knows where your derby journey will take you.

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