It's taken a long time to even find the time to sit down and write this blog. Life as a mum is always 100% fast forward, never time to stop, eat, go to the loo or breathe, so where on earth I am managing to find the time to run I have absolutely no idea! I have to be honest and I think I may have bitten off more than I can chew. Me and my great ideas.... I think sometimes fate intervenes in our life and we have to just sit back and follow where it takes us. It does seem that fate has me destined to run 26 miles in 6 weeks. Even typing that makes me want to vomit with fear. Rewind to November last year when I took my 5 year old son, Flynn to a 2km Park Run and we both had to stop THREE , yes 3 times for a breather. That was a long hard 2km. What I was lacking in physical ability I made up for in mental determination. Nothing will beat me. Ever. Thats why I am here, 44 days away from running The Virgin London Marathon and just over 100 days until I turn 40. This is HUGE for me. This is MASSIVE. Heres my story....
Ever year on Marathon Day I have a tradition, whereby I sit in my Pyjamas until at least 1pm, eating toast and drinking tea and watching the whole Marathon coverage on the TV, with a few tears at all of the inspirational stories. My husband thinks its the most boring thing ever, whilst I watch in awe of those people dressed up as washing machines or in some enormous peppa pig outfit. I've always wanted to run, but I'm just not a runner. I teach fitness classes, I specialise in pre and post natal exercise and I love the studio, I love to dance and exercise to music. Running is a whole different ball game. A fitness level like no other.
I turn 40 this year so it seemed only right that this should be the year, and by some miracle I got myself a ballot place. I could tell you my whole story that surrounded it but you would be reading for a long time, so the shortened version is that after I put my application in, my life turned upside down. I had a baby, a tiny premature bag of bones, called Teddy, that arrived in a huge hurry almost 9 weeks early. He arrived into the world in complete silence. No crying. No noise. No lung activation. He was whisked away as quick as he arrived to SCBU where he was ventilated and looked after by some pretty amazing NIC nurses. Those nurses cared for my baby. When I had to leave him every night, they were there to feed and change him and for that I will be eternally grateful. After 2 small operations and a move from intensive care to neonatal care, Teddy was finally allowed home, but it wasn't the end of the story.
My dad (popsie) got ill when Teddy was 10 weeks old. Dad had terminal kidney cancer and after a short stay in hospital (yep that hospital was definitely my second home last summer) he passed away at home. I still wonder whether Teddy arrived early so that my dad had more time to spend with him and I guess this is the circle of life- some arrive, some leave.
Admist all of this that Ballot Place letter dropped through my porch. Fate intervened. I had to run. I wanted to raise money for hospital where Teddy was born. "Making Miracles" are a new charity based in the Fetal Medicine Unit at Medway Maritime Hospital. They support families of high risk pregnancies, premature births and stillborn babies. This was my chance to give something back.
As a Womens Health & Wellness Coach I know only too well the pitfalls of running in the post natal period. Relaxin hormone levels are still high, which leaves you more prone to injury. Your pelvic floor has just withstood the trauma of birth so is weakened, you may have diastasis (separation of the abdominal muscles), internal fascia can take up to 500 (yes 500!) days to fully repair and your core muscles don't quite feel the same. Taking on a marathon challenge is big, but I have the knowledge and I have the tools and this is my passion, this is my profession. Each woman is different. What is right for me, might not be right you and vice versa. I teach an Holistic Core Restore® programme which is great birth recovery. We have Coaches all over the UK. The programme helps to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, the whole core and works with exercise and nutritional support. I had AMAZING results. It was hard work. It was 10 minutes "homework" every morning alongside big nutritional changes but each day I felt myself get physically stronger.
My weekly Buggyfit classes have also helped. Teaching non impact strength exercises, toning and lets not forget the good old fresh air that does a tired mum wonders!
My long runs before Christmas were 8km, now they are 18 miles. I'm getting there. I'm slow, it's hard, its challenging but I will do it. I read somewhere once that running a 14 minute mile is still a mile and I try to remember that. I have no aspirations of racing to the finish, but I want to finish and I will show myself that a womans body is capable of great things, capable of almost anything in fact with the correct training, knowledge and determination.
Never EVER underestimate how hard this is. Every step I run I will be thinking of the money I have raised for Making Miracles. The money I raise will support parents like us, it will buy new equipment for the fetal medicine unit and believe me, every single POUND will be well spent and appreciated.
You can donate below