So its been a few days since I announced my new challenge 24 events for 24 months.  Feedback has been positive so far and I even had my first donation on my justgiving page which was hugely exciting! Thank you to my wonderful running buddy for that!

Alot of people have asked how I’m planning to spread the events out. So far my calendar shows mostly that there will be blocks where I am at a race one day of a bunch of weekends, ie every sunday in June. And then theres weeks where there are gaps. Namely the summer. I’m bridesmaid for my best friend next summer and she’s not too keen on the idea of me being bruised! I’m hoping to do an OCR 22 days before the wedding, enough time to heal right?!

I think for me personally the biggest challenge will be balancing training around racing. Often you train for a specific event but when you have a bunch of events together that makes it rather hard to do! I am currently on training for marathon no1 for next year. Now obviously marathons are big races and the bulk of my training needs to relate to that. I’m on a 16 week training plan at the moment. I will then have just 9 weeks between Brighton and Liverpool … that could be interesting! In that time I have a dozen odd races including 20 miles and 200 obstacles at Rat Race Dirty Weekender! And then after Liverpool I have about 16 weeks to Bournemouth, which is kind of a better idea really! My most important goal will be to work on my strength to be able to do my best at the OCR events. Ultimate goal, to be able to get over a wall without any assistance!

In other exciting news this week the wonderful Helen has designed me a logo which is just utterly gorgeous, don’t you think?

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Helen is Ellie Illustrates and she does freelance illustration and graphic design work, including blog designs! Click the button below to check her out!
Ellie Illustrates
And don’t forget to go like my new facebook page http://www.facebook.com/24Events24Months

24 Races for 24 Months

Occasionally I get inspired. And when I do its usually dangerous! I was looking at the races I already have booked for next year, and I was thinking about how next year will be 2 years since beautiful Matilda Mae passed away, 2 years is 24 months. So I started to wonder what it would be like to do 24 events for 24 months! And then I kind of ran with it a bit and started to find more races that didn’t clash with ones I am already doing! And suddenly I’d decided on a new challenge.

24 Events for 24 Months in 2015!

Now I’ve said events as the ones I currently have booked range from 5k Mud runs to full marathon road races. I’m setting myself the rule that to count it must involve running, aside from that more a less any distance goes. At the moment there are 3 marathons, 2 mud runs, 4 Obstacle course races, 2 normal 10k road races and 1 x 24 hour team event.

I also have a list of other races I am looking to book to reach the 24! If anyone has any suggestions for budget friendly races during 2014 ideally around London./South East then feel free to mention them! I quite fancy another half!

1 Womens only Brutal
2 Winter 10k
3 Eliminator Race – 5 Miles
4 Nuts challenge
5 Silverstone Half Marathon
6 Brighton Marathon
7 Dirty Dozen
8 Rat Race Dirty Weekender – 20 Miles – 200 Obstacles?!
9 Liverpool Marathon
10 Equinox 24 – 24 hour team relay
11 Womens Running 10k
12 Bournemouth Marathon
 13  Spartan Sprint

Other races I am eyeing up but haven’t yet booked include:

Back to the trenches
Rat Race Trailblazer
Judgement Day
London River Rat Race
Mudnificient
Mens health survival of the fittest Half Marathon Manchester
Mens health survival of the fittest 10k London
X Runner Water Wipeout

There will be lots of different fundraising ideas happening over the course of the year and I thought rather appropriately I would set my target as £2400. Hopefully I will beat that with your help and raise valuable funds for The Lullaby Trust.

My justgiving page is https://www.justgiving.com/24Events24Months and I have set up a dedicated Facebook page HERE where you can keep track of my progress :)

If anyone wants to join me at any of these races give me a shout! Company is always appreciated!

Brighton Marathon Training Starts Today!

I wrote the other week about struggling to find a training plan. Last year when I ran Edinburgh I did so on 12 weeks notice. I had run Silverstone half marathon with my brother who had a edinburgh marathon place, I was due to do the half. And then he dropped out and I decided to take his place! I found a Hal Higdon beginner plan and stuck to that. I was constantly tired, never felt rested. I didn’t feel it suited me all that well. Looking back I think I was over-training and as a result my marathon probably did suffer.

I’ve looked through a bunch of plans leading up to T-Day. And in the end I went with the Runners World Smartcoach. You input a recent time and it produces a plan for you to follow. You can choose how hard you want to train. I went for Moderate and have 3 runs a week to do. An easy run. A Speed work session which is sometimes tempo, sometimes track. And a long run. I am hoping by only doing 3 runs a week that I am going to feel more rested and won’t resent running so much. It allows time for me to still go to boxing and do some cross training. At the moment the only problem I for-see is working around races. I have a few booked, because I can’t not get my OCR fix during marathon training! So for example I have a 5k OCR the day before a 14 mile run. I’m tempted to switch the running and do the 14 mile a couple of days before the OCR. I’m yet to decide what will happen there…

I’ll be keeping a weekly diary of my marathon training again so everyone can follow how I get on and any wobbles I have!

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GRIM Challenge Race Report

A while ago the GRIM challenge came to my attention and knowing I could use my Mudstacle discount code I figured I’d sign up! This week though I’d been dreading it. I was worried I’d be running alone and wasn’t sure I’d enjoy it so much. Last night I found a running partner through the RMR group and we hooked up before the race which meant i had someone to run with. I’d talked my Dad into coming along so I didn’t have to drive home afterwards and he did, and had a great time too ;-) We got there nice and early and got a parking space a few minutes walk from the start area. It was horribly chilly but no where near what yesterdays competitors had to go through! I made a dash to the loo and went back to shelter in the car before venturing out about 9.45 to meet up with my buddy. It finally came the time to take off the hoodie and pop the bag in the bag drop, not the most secure or organised one I’ve seen at events it has to be said but it kept the bag dry and I made sure not to leave any valuables in my bag. We made our way to the start line where we had a quick speech from the health and safety advisor, we couldn’t hear it all properly but there was mention of stones in puddles that could cut hands! And then it was time to go! We started promptly and for the first mile or so was really congested so you couldn’t really get much pace up, and then came the hills! The sort of hills where you think your at the top and then it gets steeper! Yuck! We also quickly realised for every downhill there was an up pretty much straight after. Before long we hit the HUGE puddles of water. I ploughed through loving it all. I generally took the rule of following someone so to try and tell the depth of them. They were all muddy so you had no idea what the depth was like. Around mile 3-4 was sandy, it was HORRIBLE to run on! So wet and like it was sucking your shoes off your feet. I charged into as many puddles as I could, my feet were soaked so the shock wasn’t there so much anymore! We knew the cargo nets meant that we would be reaching mile 4 and suddenly they were upon us and my Dad was there with his camera. Straight after the cargo net was a hill that can only be described as clay! It was horrible to run up!

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Cargo nets!

After that we headed out of the woods and over some logs and a section of railway track, very random! And then came the worst stretch of water of the whole course. It was loooooong, don’t know how many feet but felt like a good 50 maybe. It was freeeeeezing cold and we got stuck behind the slowest woman ever. She may as well have stopped. I managed to get past but my friend didn’t. It was so cold your legs hurt and the spectators all found it hilarious watching everyone jumping around when they got out trying to get some feeling back in the legs! You then had to get over some tyres before heading down for an out and back section, it turned out this featured another cargo net in what can only be described as warm mud! Genuinely it felt warm! It was really thick and almost comforting and supporting on the legs, sounds nuts I know! After the cargo net there was puddles galore, but you say puddles, really they are ponds, they go anything from calf level to groin level! Its so much fun! Then we got to the turn and headed back towards the start, that was painful running past it and going through another huge puddle! This time a cleaner one which was fun! Further down was the same and then I spotted my Dad taking more piccies. image

We figured we only had about 0.5 of a mile at this point, or so we thought, the route then took us out into the forest and back again before sending us through some rope as an obstacle, which one guy decided to skip and carry on, spoil sport. Then we heard the finish line around the corner and thought oh that must mean this is the home stretch, sprint! Turned out it wasn’t, you went straight past the start for another loop before turning back, to say we were a bit pissed off was an understatement haha! Lots of cursing before we realised we had another fun puddle to go through! And then it was a quick dash around the bend and across the finishing line! The race doesn’t have a medal, which I have to say I was gutted about, I had assumed such a big race would have one and I have to admit I probably wouldn’t have signed up if I had realised it didn’t have one, I am a bling addict! The T-shirt is cute and everything but its not a bit of bling! There were plenty of T-shirts for us to choose from which was good, I was worried as we were slower runners and it was day 2 if they would have run out of sizes but they hadn’t which I was impressed with! We had a quick piccie and then both headed our separate ways to get warm! I made a beeline for the baggage tent grabbed my bag and hopped into the womens changing area to strip out of my soaking wet clothes asap! As usual with me I was cold for hours afterwards. I sat in the car shivering my butt off but it is so worth it. image

Overall I had a really fun time, much better than I had expected. It was fun, not as fun as obstacle races because you can’t beat crawling through tyres and climbing over walls but splashing through puddles for 8 miles was a giggle! Would I do it again? Truthfully I don’t know. If I had a friend who wanted to do it I would probably do it but I wouldn’t make a conscious effort to do a race that doesn’t feature a medal. In my opinion though it was a well organised race, quality tech T-shirt at the finish, well marshalled and good facilities, minus the not well manned baggage and I would recommend it to people who don’t mind not having a medal.

Choosing a marathon training plan!

So a few weeks ago I decided on a marathon training plan. Or I thought I had! And then I started looking at it and finding things I didn’t like, too many runs, runs that felt too long close together, runs that were too slow on the pace. Reasons not to use that plan.

I knew I wanted a plan that was based on mileage. And one that ideally was going to feature pace too. I’m a naturally slow runner so felt that a plan based on time wouldn’t be any good for me as I didn’t feel I would cover enough mileage. Pace plans aren’t all that easy to find I discovered. I looked at one training plan which was 3 runs a week, a long run, speed session and then a tempo run too. But then I looked at it closer and the long runs were erratic, I’d be jumping from 14 to 20 miles within the first 4 weeks! No way am I ready for that.

I think I’ve finally decided on one now. The Runners World Smartcoach plan. I used it for marathon training pace and I think it will work well for this. I was torn between moderate or hard and have decided to go for hard. I have to admit the pace of the early ‘long runs’ does bother me as its quite slow and then it picks up later which I’m not convinced will work for me but I’m going to give it a try! I’m also going to start a week early so that I can allow for injury time potentially.

I am excited to get started, but also quite nervous, I think thats why I’ve been faffing with plans so much. I just need to stick with one now and get down to it. I know how mentally exhausting I found long runs, each week was a battle to get out the door, working out what to eat to fuel runs. And to think I’m gonna run 3 marathons next year….. *injury dependant!*

 

Kingston 10k – Unexpected PB!

Today I went back to a race I did a year ago, Energized Sports Kingston 10km. It was my 1st ever 10k race. I’d never run further than 7k in training and boy did I feel it. I did it in 1hr 17 minutes and was just glad to reach the finish!!! Its a small basic race and its pretty cheap to enter which is why I decided to go back.

This year I took along my Mum and both the boys to come cheer me on so we set off and made it to Kingston in record time. I left them staying warm in the car whilst I went and joined the toilet queue. In doing so I bumped into a fellow RMR lady as she spotted my hoodie! We had a chat whilst we waited and once I’d been I went back to the car to grab my stuff and get set for the start! We found another few RMR ladies and all stood ‘warming up’ together, none of us were that thrilled with the energetic aerobic workout going on! Rather handily the bag drop is right next to the start line which I really like as it meant when you finish you can grab your bag immediately. We lined up according to our rough finish time. The race started on time and we set off down the side of the football pitch, annoyingly it was really busy and so it was hard to get your pace, I felt we were just trotting along. When we got out onto the roads I took advantage of the muddy grass by the path and overtook lots of people along it.

The first few km are on residential roads as you pass Thames young mariners and Ham House before joining the river. The path was muddy and whilst plenty of people avoided the mud and ran around it I ran through it all and the puddles. I got chatting to a couple of guys who commented on my lack of fear for mud and I told them its good prep for Grim Challenge next week! I also noticed that by going through puddles I was overtaking people, always handy! We reached Kingston lock and 3 women overtook me and then promptly slowed down which pissed me right off and I quickly overtook them again. 5k came up and I clocked on my watch that it was faster than yesterdays parkrun! 5k in 30:28, that never happens! That meant I could be on track for a PB if I could keep a similar pace! Soon 6km came around and the Hawker Centre came into sight, the water stop was here, cups! I was on track for a PB and wasn’t going to waste time walking through so grabbed a cup, took 1 sip and chucked it!

The route carries on down the river, past the finish line, thats torture! Until you reach a more residential area. At this point you make the turn inland and come back up towards the finish. I was monitoring my watch and knew I was on track to get a PB or close. Anything close I would be happy with! I kept on going and managed to stay close to a guy that had just overtaken me. As we reached the main road and the 9km sign I knew I was 5 mins away from finishing! I gave myself a huge kick and picked up the pace, corrected my posture as I was starting to tire and slouch and gave it all I had. As we came around and into the hawker centre I was careful not to slip on the mud and then sprinted as fast as I could down the finishing straight. Never has a finishing straight felt as long as that one did!

Over the finish and garmin stopped and I knew I had PBd! I was hugely happy!

Last years Kingston 10k 01:17:51

Last 10km personal best 01:02:31

NEW 10km personal best 01:01:55

The medal isn’t anything to write home about, it doesn’t even have the date engraved on it which is a tad annoying, but it is a rainbow ribbon!! They handed out water, an unknown energy drink (which I turned down), banana and cereal bar. Its not the best medal, its not the best freebies, but its a good little race, extremely flat other than one little bridge and a nice, mostly traffic free route.

Would I do it again? Yes!

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That OCR addiction…

In the summer I went through a really rough period and needed to do something for myself, in that insane moment I signed up for Judgement Day Team Event in December! Knowing I was doing that it made sense to look for some others. I did Fuddy Mud Sucker in October and LOVED getting caked in mud and hauling myself out of riverbeds and through bushes. I signed up to the Muddy Race Training day so I could learn how to tackle walls and this weekend took on Mens Health Survival of the Fittest. After all of these events I was on such a total high, like a complete and utter total buzz, the energy literally radiates off me and I get so excited telling everyone what the races involve and how much fun it was.

But one thing I’ve learnt is not everyone is going to support that decision I take to do these races. I’ve had mixed reactions from friends and family when I talk about these races!

My Dad has the attitude of ‘your seriously going to hurt yourself one day’ – and if I do then so be it, I’ll have done it doing something that makes me the happiest I’ve been in a long time.

Some friends see the bruises and just cringe, they can’t understand why I want to put my body through the pain. I don’t personally find the bruises that painful, unless you poke them, or the 3 year jumps on them and then of course they hurt a bit but its not a broken bone now is it!?

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Others comment on how cold you must get. Theres no denying that the water during winter races hasn’t exactly been on the warm side but its never been so cold I’ve not enjoyed it! I kinda have this thing where I don’t really feel it. I did a bit at the weekend after spending a good 20 minutes walking through a storm drain and my ankles had pretty much frozen but they soon warmed up when we got out! And once you finish you get changed into warm layers ASAP. Simples!

Maybe it is a bit crazy. Maybe its a bit insane. But it makes ME happy. People can judge my decision to do it all they like but its not going to stop me from doing it. I’ll never be an elite athlete at any of these events but I enjoy every single second of them. They are my way of enjoying fitness. Whats so wrong with that? Generally I am a positive person, especially about subjects I love. There is however nothing worse than the negativity of others bringing you down! Its zapping!

I cannot wait for 2015! I already have Dirty Dozen, Spartan Race, Nuts Challenge and Dirty Weekender booked and those wont be the only ones I do. Quite frankly I’m more excited about these than I am my 3 ‘normal’ marathons! They wont be my only OCRs next year and I can’t wait to add more to the calendar.

Mens Health Survival of the Fittest : SURVIVED!

A few weeks ago my fellow blogger keep it simpElle had posted on Facebook she had a spare ticket for Mens Health Survival of the Fittest. I was volunteering for the day and it fitted perfectly in with the end of my shift so I asked if I could join her and she said yes! I have to admit in the lead up to the day I was incredibly nervous. I’d done the Muddy Race Training Day last weekend and found my upper body strength severely lacking! Knowing that MHSOF would involve walls and god knows what else I was very nervous. Especially when they said they were bringing the Rat Race Dirty Weekender obstacle which contains 3 separate walls that must be about 7-8ft in height to get up. The thing looked terrifying and when I arrived on site at 7am Saturday morning it didn’t look any less terrifying! I then found out my position for marshalling was going to be obstacle 1, haybales, positioned adjacent to said wall. All morning I was watching people navigating it and wondering how the hell I was going to do it myself! Marshalling was awesome and I got to see some of my instagram buddies running the course as well as the Muddy Race team go through. Then it was my turn!haybales

I met Danielle and we got ourselves dressed and ready to run. I knew from watching all morning that our wave would start on time and ours was significantly smaller than the rest of the days. We weren’t however the last wave which was good as when our wave had deserted us and got ahead we had the back waves catching us up and able to help when needed.

I could write SO much about how amazing the day was but I’ll try not to take too long! The course initially took in the area around the green car park of Wembley stadium before moving off onto the concourse, which involved something like 4 stair climbs before we were allowed to stay on the concourse. By that point we had already traversed some scaffolding, crawled through water and under a net. We eventually made our way around to the water slide where my friend Louise was marshalling, she kindly videoed my slide!

After that we faced a stair carry holding onto a traffic cone, then onto more scaffolding and monkey bars before we made our way out and onto the industrial estate around Wembley, one turn which involved a blind corner, no marshall and a tiny arrow wasn’t all that great but we got past it with a mad sprint across the road praying a car wasn’t coming! We were then in Brent park and could see people wading through the river but were told we were still running on up the park. The park seemed to go on for miles and miles of boring running before we eventually came to the inflatables, guttingly the marshall told us people had burst what appeared to be 6 of the inflatable obstacles and we only had one we could go over! I’d been looking forward to that so was a bit upset! I think after that came the sandbag carry. I grabbed the smallest I could find! We had to climb up a hill under some metal fencing, along the top and back down the other side, I decided to slide down on my bum which produced rather muddy trousers but felt safer! We then made our way to our first river crossing. It started out ok and then it got to waist deep, one guy told Danielle she could hop on his back which she promptly did whilst I tried to feel my way along the riverbank and up the side! Before long we were back in the river.

I think we were in the water on 4 separate occasions with a few walls, cargo nets and pallet obstacles in between times! The final time we went into the water it turned out it went on for what must have been about a km before eventually we were signposted out! It was draining on the legs but fun, once your wet you don’t really mind anymore!
Once out of the storm drain it was a quick run into Wembley with one quick dip into a warehouse for a smoke and strobe light show, I was glad that didn’t last long as I’m not a fan of strobe lighting and it never makes me feel too great! Then we were back into the green car park and dozens of walls ahead of us. Thankfully there were plenty of men around who helped get us up and when there weren’t we took turns helping each other. The cargo net was exhausting and slow. I conquered a climbing wall with the help from a couple of brilliant marshalls who helped me feel safe enough by supporting me whilst Danielle helped haul me up.
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There was more water to crawl through under wires. More scaffolding to climb through. Walls to climb up and get back down again. A inverted wall which is not fun! Tyres to crawl through. Beer barrels to carry. And then it was onto the BIG one. Thankfully some men were milling around and I was not at all shameless in asking for assistance! I just wanted to get to the top. Between 2 and 3 two very helpful marshalls assisted me up, the one at the bottom giving me a leg up and then telling me to stand on his shoulder and the one at the top pulling me up. We made it, had a quick pic and then it was time to get down again. I knew from watching that most people had taken one section facing the steps and slow and steady which was the method I took. Then there were 2 walls to slide off, I took the stomach and facing in technique both times. They were too high for me to go forwards, I knew I’d land on my face! Then we ran around to the final 2 obstacles! A leg up from my friend from marshalling earlier in the day and we were on the platforms. I slid myself in first and then Danielle followed and hauled ourselves out the other side. Finally there was the last wall. It doesn’t look that high but once your up there the drop feels really high. I’d watched dozens fo people jumping down and slipping so I took the slide on your belly and have people to catch you technique! And then we sprinted across the finish deliriously happy!
water wall
We both agreed it had been an awesome race! I’d loved every single second of it. Our chip time was 2hrs 15 mins and 48s. I’d told myself I would be happy to come in under 2hrs 30 so was very happy with that!
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The medal is also a bottle opener too which is pretty neat and the goodie bag contained goodies from Durex as well as aftershave and mens moisturiser and some food sample products. The goodie bag may be very male orientated but this isn’t a race just for the men! Women can and do do it too! Don’t be put off by the name!
Overall the race was really well organised. Waves started on time. Majority of marshalls were brilliant. Only a select few were less enthusiastic and came out with ‘we cant help you’ lines, which was a load of rubbish as 95% of marshalls were helping! I was gutted most of the inflatables weren’t available and also a water slide in the park wasn’t open when we got there, it looked so fun! These were only minor downpoints and I wouldn’t hesitate to sign up again as overall it was the best race I’ve ever done! Next weeks Kingston 10k is going to be mega boring in comparison!

Thank you Rat Race for the courtsey place!

Race Report : Brighton Brooks 10km

So on Sunday after  doing the Muddy race training day I wasn’t entirely sure I was even going to run this today. But I had paid to run it and I’m not one to chicken out just for a few aches and bruises! So I hauled myself out of bed at 6.30 this morning and made my aching body move! I covered my bruises (of which there are many) in arnica and pulled on my RMR vest. Originally both the boys were due to come down with Grandma but one of them was poorly so my Dad stepped in and brought my eldest down as he likes watching me run. We arrived in plenty of time and parked at the marina as its free parking there! Whoop whoop!

We had time to stroll down Madeira drive to the start line. I joined the queue at the playground to use the nice toilets rather than going and using the portaloos! It meant my eldest could play for a few minutes too. Then we made our way down to the start line. Madeira drive isn’t exactly wide and I didnt feel it worked all that well as a start line! Similar to the london to brighton bike ride it just gets too crowded! I got myself sorted out and handed my bag to my Dad as trying to get to baggage was too much hassle for my liking, it was the other side of the drive across the start and through crowds of runners. I also figured it would make it easier as once I finished I could put my hoodie straight on … well that was the theory! I lined up and my Dad and son headed off to Costa!

I’d met up with a couple of RMR girls and it was nice to have someone to chat with on the start line. I found the GPS on my garmin and was pleased when we started on time! It took 3 minutes for us to get across the start line, and probably about 20 minutes before my legs started to agree to running! The route took you straight down towards the marina before a 180 at black rock to turn back and run past the start line and down towards hove, you then do another 180 and head back to the start/finish line. I love brighton, its my happy place, I know the route inside and out so it was nothing new for me. Its mainly flat with just a few slopes, one which is downhill just before the finish was very nice!

I was keeping an eye on my pace with the hope to not go too far over 11 minute miles where possible but I was trying to be realistic and let go of time hopes. I was hurting there was no denying that, I could feel the tightness in my quads from yesterday in every single step I took and the whole run was a mental battle not to give up and walk. It was only my usual mantra of ‘this is easier than edinburgh marathon’ that spurred me on. It was after all ‘only’ 10k! Trouble is when your whole body hurts only 10k feels flamin tough! I realised that actually it felt exactly like the final 6 miles of a marathon, when you’ve past that point of 20 miles and your longest training run and you know each step is another closer to the finish and a rest for your aching body!

The route is out and back in both directions so after turning back from black rock we passed the start line, continued up onto the road, straight over the roundabout and down past the usual sights, West Pier, the Grand hotel and carried on down to Hove. In Hove at the turnaround point it looked as though there should have been a water station, I’m not entirely sure if it was official or not. Either way it had run out of water, I wasn’t very impressed. I was gagging for water at that stage! Once we turned around and were headed back to the start I knew I was getting nearer to finishing which always spurs me on. We were soon back at west pier, the road started to slope downwards and I was managing to overtake numerous women. Before I knew it I was back on maderia drive. I spotted my Dad and son before they saw me and screamed their names numerous times before they heard me, by that time I had passed them! I sprinted as hard as I could, which wasn’t my usual speed into the finish. We walked through and were handed a medal by the scouts and offered bananas, I was only concerned with water which I enquired about and was told it was over by a lorry, why couldn’t they just be handing it out! As it was unmanned I grabbed two bottles as I knew I was going to down the first in one go!

In my exhausted pain stricken daze I forgot where I’d said I would meet my Dad, I’d stupidly left my phone with him! So I spent 15 minutes searching up and down for him! That wasn’t a bad thing as it meant I bumped into my friend. It was lovely to see her briefly! Eventually I found my Dad and we headed back towards the Peter Pan playground as I wanted to get dressed in the warm! Then we strolled back to the marina feeling smug at not paying for parking ;-)

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Overall I wasn’t massively impressed by the race. The start/finish area was so crowded you couldn’t see where anything was. No water station. Medal isn’t the best. Would I do it again? Probably not. I am glad I’ve done it though. My first of many races in Brighton I hope :)

Sometimes you HAVE to run!

I’ve got a stinking cold, its on my chest too, the sensible option this week in the lead up to Mens Health survival of the fittest would have been to have skipped running. But sometimes you need to run. Running for me is an anti-depressant. It enabled me to come off tablets and it keeps me in check. I wish I could say which part of it has such a positive effect on me but it does.

This week my eldest son turns 8. This usually means my depression and PTSD symptons get triggered. Not all birth trauma mums get affected around their childrens birthdays but I am one that does. Every year the memories and flashbacks plague my dreams. Last night was no different. I woke up twice, once I was mid scream, which it seems woke up my youngest, the second time I woke up I had tears streaming down my face and a soaking pillow. Both dreams had contained the usual memories. The horrible painful memories. The fear. The hardest part is that although they are in my dreams I know those memories are real. They actually happened. That physical pain actually happened. Those words that are hard to hear were said.

So I did what any runner does, put my shoes on and ran. I ran hard for the first mile. Angry with myself that although its 8 years on those memories still have such a powerful affect on me. I know theres no time limit on birth trauma, I know that from talking with other birth trauma mums. But it doesn’t make it any easier.

This week feels especially tough as I need to say so much. I need to talk it through. And I don’t have anyone I feel I can talk it through with and thats difficult for me. But I do still have my running. And after a while of being angry I started counting my steps and zoned out for a while and that was peaceful. I managed to block out the difficult memories for a short time. That horrible feeling of anxiety and being on edge. And now I feel calmer for it.

It may not have been the best idea for my physical health. But for my mental health it was what I needed.

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