Sunday – Thankfully all my tech updated to give me a nice, relaxed start to Sunday ahead of my race. Mum, Dad and I had breakfast together before we headed off – usually ahead of a 10K I would just have porridge and jam, but the race was nearly three hours away and I knew I wanted a fast time…so I added a banana to give me extra fuel.
On arrival at Brigg it was very quiet and I’d registered within just a few minutes. We took time to sit in the car, chat and watch other runners arrive.
The queue for the toilets wasn’t too bad in comparison to some race starts I’ve been to, but did mean I only left 15minutes before our start. We got to the high street in time to see the military competition begin…the runners each in full kit, including bag.

Our line up put me nearer the front then I’d felt comfortable with, but as we set off I kept with everyone and surprised myself. I wasn’t passed by too many and found others to help pace me….making the first 2K fly by. I’d nearly got to the 4K marker as the front runners passed on the opposite side of the road….it was such an honour to have shared time with them that you don’t always get unless at an out and back race.
Coming into Cadney and knowing I didn’t need the aide station meant I kept slightly to the right, a good strategy as I was round the corner and on the way back to Brigg efficiently. I checked my watch time 34minutes! I really wanted a sub hour run…my 10K PB of 56.45 stands from the Race For Life event on 24th July 2018…days after my diagnosis, I’d ran like I was running for my life. This however felt different…I knew I was pacing quicker but I didn’t feel uncomfortable or breathless. Yes I had moments where I felt I was pushing it, but at others I just felt like I was flying…a flow that I was happy with. Usually I would speed up in my last 2K but I just didn’t feel I could maintain it. I quickened my cadence as I passed the 8K mark, beginning to push harder but not intensely. At the 9K mark I sped up more…we entered the town and I was going fast, but then the road turned us right and down a side street and my brain went “you can’t push anymore, you have to slow down”, then as I turned the corner and the crowd was with us cheering us on, I found that extra something I always try to keep in reserve…I sped up.

The lady I’d followed for so long did the same and we sprinted across the line together…a pleasure to have run with her but I hadn’t words – my lungs burnt and my stomach lurched. I’d pushed harder than I’d done in a long time and needed to stand still. Medal around my neck I found a wall to lean on to gasp breath in. As the world stopped spinning and I gathered myself I walked back through the crowd and found my parents. I felt overcome but held it together, grabbed some cake and we headed to a quiet spot so I could drink my Rego. I won’t lie, trying to get it down was hard work!

We got back to the car and had a quick compression socks change before setting off for lunch. I then checked my data…heart rate excessive for most the way…and no wonder as every kilometre split time started with a 5! Never had I run so fast for so far since before cancer. The sick feeling that was overwhelming me was suddenly completely understandable…running slows digestion but run hard and you shut that function down. My body was realistically in a state of shock that I needed to be mindful of.
As we joined the queue leaving I checked my official time and was blown away 57.15…only 30seconds slower than my PB! A huge achievement after all I’ve been through in the past year, something I didn’t expect at all…I thought it would be an achievement to beat my April post chemotherapy 10K of 1.10.19…so this just felt out of this world!
We celebrated with lunch together…I had french onion soup and bread, knowing it would aide my hydration recover, then a winter berry crumble and custard…pure sweet, fruity bliss.
Driving home wasn’t as bad as driving over had been, but I still felt tired when I got in…plus still very queasy. We shared my cake with a cup of tea, had a rest while jacket potatoes cooked and then had a relaxed evening. I knew even though my muscles felt good that foam rolling was a no no, so I did all my physio exercises and stretched well before bed.

Monday – Most will have gotten up to a light morning, the clock change having a visible effect. At 5.30am it was still dark…but there was a glimmer on the horizon!
My warm up showed a little soreness in my muscles and joints and I worried about DOMs. My hormone injection was later that morning and my body was at that point where it aches anyway…building up ready for the next injection, so it was hard to know what was effect from Sunday and what was my new normal. As I set off though all felt fine…I had to actually remind myself to slow down and keep a steady pace.

The sun started to raise over the hill and the world beamed with radiance…a dramatic beauty so many miss and I felt privileged to see.

It was however flippin cold, as the sun rose more and the frost spread my fingers felt numb in my gloves! I got back, put my PJs back on and did half an hours yoga to boost my circulation.
Set for the day I headed off for my injection. Seeing a different doctor I was a little anxious about how things would go, everything was fine but I bled dramatically! It gave us chance to sit and chat…and discuss something that is hopefully nothing – a couple of weeks ago, just for one day, I spotted. Given I’ve gone through chemical menopause it shouldn’t happen, even slightly. My GP feels it may have been a trauma response from my marathon given the timing. It will be something to keep an eye on and an extra to discuss with oncology when I see them in a few weeks.
My work day passed well and I left feeling alright…a marked difference to how tired I’d been last week. I was however so so sore from my injection and just wanted comfort and to feel cosy.

Tuesday – I woke with sore hip joints and an uncomfy tummy where my injection had been. Given I wasn’t sure exactly why my joints ached I did an hours strength training circuit session…but in two parts, the first working my glutes, hamstrings and core with bodyweight only. Then assessed how everything felt, before doing my second half hour of full body workout with weights.
I didn’t have any discomfort or problems, so my 20minute yoga session afterwards was more to stretch everything out well than to relieve any tightness.
Once showered and dressed I noted a twinge in my lower back…it stayed pretty much all day! Resting in the morning before work helped and I made sure my seat was in the correct alignment when I got to the office.
Before I started spin class I had a chat with the instructor about my back, my hip flexors felt light too…sometimes you need reminding of events and life giving some perspective…she explained that with pushing so hard in the 10K on Sunday, I would have tightened up any underlying issues. I made sure I didn’t do any stood sprints and kept things in check when doing hovers. Thankfully over the 45minutes I had no discomfort and got off the bike with my hips feeling a lot better!

Wednesday – As I warmed up for my run the muscles in my left side felt tight, a definite worry I’d pulled something on that side. My hip flexors felt fine…a big contrast to Tuesday.
Expecting another freezing start I wrapped up a little more before setting off, but the morning was milder and damp underfoot. No dramatic beauty in the sunrise as with Monday, but lovely none the less.

I had really wanted to try and do a fully zone 3 aerobic run, but I could feel myself breath differently now and then…sometimes having to check myself on my pace. When I got home and looked over my data I’d done a half aerobic, half anaerobic run…thankfully my heart rate hadn’t gone too high, but I could have taken things more gently.
I was positive my blood test appointment, to check my bone strengthening pills are working, was mid-morning. Between it and with going out for dinner straight after work, I felt like I was rushing a bit. I forced myself to take time out and do some yoga and stretching to ground me for the rest of the day.
At 10am I realised that my blood test was on Thursday…thankfully I’d not left home! So took to the sofa for chance to read and relax before setting off to work. The afternoon passed really quickly and I felt almost like I’d caught up a little…always a dangerous thing.
I had an evening with friends at Ithaca Greek Taverna in Buxton, indulging in beautifully cooked and presented Greek food!

Thursday – That beautiful Greek food was still with me, gosh did I wake up feeling full. I also felt pretty fabulous and refreshed…an evening baring our souls to each other had taken something unnoticed away, eased the mind and made me feel free. The cold had made me hesitate a little while getting ready to go out, I donned my running club vest over my thermal to give me extra warmth, plus two pairs of gloves…but still wore my shorts!

My run felt uplifting, relaxed…I tried not to look at my watch for my pace and instead just flow. Getting home I realised how beneficial that was as I’d relaxed, paced well and kept my heart rate over zones 2 and 3 throughout. I snuck in a 20minute yoga session before getting ready for the day and then busied myself with jobs around the house until my appointment time.
I had chance to look over my fundraising details and was surprised, and very proud, to find I’d raised £986 for Weston Park Cancer Charity. It felt lovely to be able to let everyone now and thank them for their support.
Never did my blood run as free and easy as it did at the Doctors that morning, I was in and out fast and should hear back within the fortnight.
I got into work to find my mountain of to dos replaced but worked my way through everything, and left feeling good and not drained. I got home and lit the pumpkin, aswell as lots of candles, and we settled in for our Halloween evening together.

Friday – The first of the month, how quickly October passed us by. November is lovely…bonfires, lights, chilly fingers, hot chocolate, crunchy leaves underfoot month…but it’s also the month that feels like a stop gap to Christmas – something old me would have been beyond prepared for by now, new me is still hesitant… You may find reading this sad but my first thought on turning the calendar was not ooooh Christmas is nearly here – it’s…will I be okay and be able to enjoy it this year! It seems surreal, far off, something other people do. There’s a fear somewhere in the back of my mind that I’ll find something and be poorly again over Christmas, something to pull the rug from under our feet at a time of year that’s difficult for us as a family anyway.

I took a deep breath and started to get on with my day.

I was going into work early and so did 25minutes of yoga and half an hour upper body strength training. Breakfast afterwards was a bit of a rush even though I’d stood everything ready and I was leaving before I knew it.
The first of the month is always busy, but between us we gracefully sailed though and it was lunchtime before we knew it. I left at 1pm feeling a little foggy and was pleased to get home. I arrived back to find my medal from Lin…a lovely lady in my running club who, through taking part in next years London Marathon, is raising funds for Global Action Nepal. Lin had set a Halloween virtual challenge for October, I’d pledged 36miles for her aswell as doing my marathon. It was an honour to run for her and her cause and I’ll look forward to cheering her on in April.

After a coffee I set to and did a few jobs (I hate leaving housework to a weekend) while – like so many others the day after Halloween, I transformed the pumpkin into soup.

Saturday – Treating the day as my rest day I switched off the alarm and had a lovely lie in. I had plans to see a friend in Manchester, and my other half…who had originally been down to work but then had a change in rota, was heading off to see his parents – life is dealing them a difficult blow and time together is vitally important. We sat and chatted over coffee and toast before each heading off.
I had a lovely time catching up with my friend over lunch at Evelyn’s.

We now live closer together but life commitments mean we don’t tend to get to see each other more than we used to…as with all my close friends, the distance never creates a boundary. The time we do get together is more meaningful, committed, honest and beautiful the older we get. Hours of chatting passed before we again parted until the next time.
Once home I did my flat lay for the Tatton Park half the following morning, then grabbed my mat for a spot of Yoga For Risk Takers before supper.

Sunday – After last week’s near PB in my 10K I’m unsure what today may bring. The sensible brain says to take things steady, feel it out, enjoy the views and relax. However, the competitive brain is also in the room…whispering “you’re not driving there so will be rested” “see what you’re made of” “take a chance”. My PB for a half marathon race stands at 2.15.19 from May this year – the Manchester half marathon, three months post chemotherapy and two days post radiotherapy.
Who knows!

I don’t know how my story will end, but nowhere in my text will it ever read….”I gave up” – John Lennon

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