Monday, 17 December 2012

mum and me

Mum and Me - Rhyl Beach - 1985

Normally I find running is good for my brain. There is a particular kind of peace at the end of a long run that puts the stresses of the day/week/year at the back of my mind for a good few hours. But sometimes, on particularly long, cold and lonely runs it’s easy to get caught up in the hugeness of everything ahead of me next year. Such thoughts as “what am I doing?! I’m never going to make it!! Why couldn't you just host a coffee morning like a sane person?”  swirl around and around until it becomes a physical effort just to keep putting one foot in front of the other. Suddenly running the 3 miles home, never mind the 26.2 of a marathon, seems impossible. But I always manage it. I slow down, take some deep breaths and think about where I was this time last week, last month, last year. I think about the progress I have made, and the injuries I've overcome. I think about how I feel seeing my pace get quicker and my breathing get easier. And I think about who I’m doing this for. My mum always has, and always will support me in everything I do. When I wanted to see Boyzone (age 11), she bought me tickets. When I wanted an undercut (age 16), she helped me shave my head. When I got in an assortment of trouble at school (age 6-18, mostly for having the worlds biggest gob – nothing changes), she always took my side. When I went to uni and got my nose pierced within 2 weeks of being there, she still sent food parcels. When I came back from Canada covered in tattoos (age 21), she winced, but brought me home from the airport anyways. When I said I was going to abandon my career and raise money for cancer research by spending a year running, cycling, and swimming my way across two countries, she didn't bat an eyelid, just said for goodness sake wear a bloody helmet.  So then I think, jeez suck it up princess. Compared to 29 years of dealing with a rebellious, opinionated tomboy of a daughter, who refuses to grow up and get a sensible haircut, who may never settle down and pop out the grandkids she deserves, 26.2 miles is really not such a big deal. Now move your ass.

Happy Birthday Mum, this weeks miles are all for you xx

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

6 miles in

So this week has been pretty cool so far for a number of reasons: I started my "official" training plan on Tuesday - it's colour-coded and sellotaped to the fridge so you know I mean business. I'm gonna start crossing off the miles as I do them (like some kind of reverse advent calendar with pain instead of chocolate) starting from today... so erm 6 miles down, only another 581.7 to go ... easy! One day I'm going to sit down and figure out exactly how many calories that is, as I find it easier to imagine energy expenditure in terms of bags of onion rings than metres of pavement pounded. But not tonight - maths isn't my strong point and I have just returned from an evening out. Which brings me to reason two: tonight I sacrificed fun (and beer) for the first time in the name of running (in the rain no less) and an early night. I know right, high fives to me. Told you I was serious about this thing. I also just found out that a friend of mine got a marathon place, after a couple of years of trying, Yay for Paul! It's gonna be super nice having someone to chat to about manky toenails and nipple chafing. But of course I'll be sharing all of those joyous little events with you guys too, so don't worry about being left out. Plenty of moaning for everyone. Speaking of moaning, hopefully I'll be boring everyone a little less with tales from the physio - nearly 4 months after my accident, looks like I'm finally fixed. I had my last treatment session today and all being well, I won't be needing anymore. Happy days! Still keeping on with the ice packs though, this time with a little help from my furry assistant...

Monday, 12 November 2012

Monday night knees up

Geddit? Haha. Official marathon training starts next week, and the countdown begins for real. Up to now I've been trying to take it easy, and get myself back on form before ramping up the miles - I've had a ton of injuries in the last year or so (which I'll totes be droning on about at a later date no doubt), the worst of which was tearing a ligament in my knee. Super painful, took ages to diagnose, and I couldn't run for months. It also used to lock up without warning, which once resulted in a rather impressive faceplant when getting out of the car outside Tesco's in Beccles. But that's a whole other story. I'm okay now, but beyond paranoid about it flaring up again, so the one thing I always ALWAYS do is elevate and ice my knees after every single run. Much to the amusement of my housemate, and the delight of the dog, who takes full advantage of any opportunity to lick my sweaty face. Gross.

Thursday, 8 November 2012


So it's been exactly a week since I started really talking to people about my fundraising plans, and already you guys have donated an crazily massive £2,000. I really have no words for how amazing I think you all are, I am thoroughly overwhelmed by your generosity, kindness and offers of help and support. Aw shucks, you guys. I'll do you all proud, I promise.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

And so it begins!

My fundraising page went up tonight, so now its really time to get this thing moving. I hope that some of you will follow along with the highs and the lows of marathon training, from black toenails, dodgy knees and ice baths, to elation of running further, faster and stronger than I ever thought I could. 

Once the marathon is over, I will use page to record my bike trip, logging  in with photos and progress updates as I pedal my way across the provinces of Canada. Leave your comments, thoughts and (hopefully) encouragements, as if nothing else this will reassure me that it’s not just spambots and my gran that read this. 

Warning: future posts may contain moaning, swearing and gratuitous lycra-wearing