Next Sunday (23 April) one of the most popular endurance events in the country returns, and the BBA will be represented!
Katerina Hrochova, a Senior Certification Engineer in our Insulation and Building Physics team, will be taking part in the London Marathon on behalf of MS Society, raising money for people affected by Multiple Sclerosis.
Katerina’s efforts fulfil a personal motivation to support her mother’s treatment for MS. She was diagnosed with MS after Katerina was born. Living with MS requires ongoing medical care, including medications and regular check-ups, but she is determined not to let the condition define her.
Training for a marathon is a gruelling process and, to make things tougher, Katerina has had a short preparation time in the lead up to the event.
“I haven’t been running nearly for a year due to an injury from my last race,” Katerina explains. “To start running again was not easy. I could feel pins and needles in my knee when I ran. When I felt fully recovered I had only 12 weeks left into Marathon. So, I strictly sticked with the training plan, build up my mileage and intensity gradually, incorporated cross training, swimming, and other sport activities.”
Even once the physical training was under way, Katerina faced other challenges which have focused her mentality as next Sunday comes into sight.
“Running is not only a physical activity but also a mental challenge that requires focus, motivation, and the ability to push through discomfort and fatigue,” she describes. “Your legs are feeling restless and cramping during your rest day because you are not moving enough. You can’t fall asleep, can’t sit for long, having constant cramps and aches.
“During my training I have been through several challenges,” Katerina adds. “Not only worried that I will not have enough time to train but also I had to move from my flat, find a new place to train, my running watch stopped working and running shoes fall apart three weeks before the race. You might think there are plenty of running shoes out there, but not before the London Marathon! Not those which suit me, anyway. They all have all sold out!”
With little over a week to go until the marathon, Katerina has completed her last long distance run which just leaves the last-minute apprehension to conquer.
“Last Sunday I finished my 22 mile-run, now I am just tapering, going for short runs, stretching and practising yoga,” she explains.
“If I am worried of anything, it will be the heat! My body used to train in a weather around ten degrees, but by looking at the weather prediction for next week the 20+ degrees really worry me. Hydration is critical during a marathon race, particularly in a hot weather condition. If you don’t drink enough you can get heat stroke but if you drink too much it can lead to Hypothermia. It is when body has too much water and not enough electrolytes.”
Spurred on by the support of family and friends, Katerina is now focused on completing her fundraising before heading to the starting line.
“There were times when I really did not want to train,” Katerina admits, “but thinking about my mum and people with MS who I am raising money for, kept me going.”
Good luck, Katerina. We wish you well for the marathon and beyond!
If you would like to donate to Katerina’s cause, please visit her fundraising page, here: MS Society: Katerina Hrochova (enthuse.com)