Sunday, 25 July 2010

The long awaited posting...............

So much seems to have happened since I blogged last November. People keep asking me to ‘pick up the pen’ as it were and after our latest challenge, today seems a good day to do just that.

The last year has seen us do many challenges running 5k’s, 10k’s, half marathons and yesterday we walked the Three Peaks of Yorkshire for BHF. Pen-y-Ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough!

For me it was the most challenging thing I have done so far, physically, mentally and emotionally! It’s amazing the things you think of when you walking for a long time – hence the blog!

I must’ve had an idea it was going to test me as I’d been nervous and emotional all week. At any point I would break out in tears and although I miss my Dad every day, this week was different, I’ve missed him more than ever. I could smell him and I could feel him I just couldn’t see him and it really was breaking my heart.

We stayed in Skipton the night before, about 40 minutes away from our start point as we had to set off between 7:00 and 7:30 in the morning. The challenge was to complete the three peaks within 12 hours! An ‘average’ person completes them in 12hrs 35 minutes and that is without stops, we were to do all three with stops in 12 hours............

Let the challenge begin..........

Every peak had its own difficulties. Pen-y-ghents rise was a very quick one from the start at Horton-in-Ribblesdale and very quickly got steep. It took us about 1hr 40mins to climb to the first summit and thankfully the weather was kind at this point, the sun was shining and we were sporting our British Heart Foundation T-Shirts. We had made it, the first of three peaks, the tears fell, feeling very emotional with enough time for a quick sandwich before heading down the other side of the mountain.

It was then a cross country ‘trek’ over to Whernside stopping at Batty Green near the viaduct en route for lunch. We walked through bogs, over fields and hills, jumped over streams and crossed over stepping stones. It was a very long slow harrowing walk up and along Whernside’s ridge to the trig point. The highest of the three peaks at 3000ft, we were literally in the clouds! It had started getting drizzly with rain and quickly got cold, at which point we had to put our fleeces on to keep warm.

The weather stayed colder and drizzled for most of the day but it was a relief to keep us cool.
For me Ingleborough was the b1tch of all of the peaks with what felt like (to me anyway!) a rock face to climb up. I had a panic attack halfway up (I have to say at this point, I’m girl who has an inane fear or both cliff edges and falling!! - so now you can maybe understand my fear!!). I just kept pushing through it for the sake of finishing what I’d started and for my Dads memory. If he was here he would call me insane but he would also be bursting with pride.

Then we had the walk down the other side of Ingleborough and back into Horton-in Ribblesdale which seemed to take an age and I can’t even count the amount of times Ray said ‘it’s over the next ridge’, ‘it’s just around the corner’ or ‘it’s just over there!’ But it kept us laughing all the way to cross the finish line, collect our medals and set our time. We’d beaten our challenge, it had taken us 11hours and 17minutes, which includes about an hour’s break throughout the day for drinks, toilet and ice-cream!
Am I glad I did it??? Hell yeh!!! It wouldn't have been a challenge without its good points and bad points. Without its hopes and fears and without testing me – to the limit!

Would I do it again?? Hell NO!! LOL That last peak REALLY took it out of me and to ever know I may have to do that again scares the pants off me.

I have conquered my biggest challenge and faced my biggest fears.

Yesterday, along with Ray, who is my biggest support team, my confident and the love of my life, we walked nearly a marathon, burnt 4408 calories and reached the highest three peaks of Yorkshire (If anyone tries telling us we have walked up three ‘hills’ they will be told to go and walk them and come back and tell us then if they are hills).
We popped in to see our friends on the way home as we literally passed the end of the street. Caz had, possibly the best cup of tea ever waiting for us. We were muddy, smelly, sweaty but happy and lived the three peaks all over again in telling her and Andy just how we got on throughout the day.

Now I KNOW my Dad would be proud because I am, for the first time in a long time proud of myself. I placed rocks on the peaks in his memory and cried many, many tears for him not being around and lets face it at 3000ft I was closer to him than I have been for nearly two years!!!
Today I can't feel my legs because my thighs feel like two lumps of steel and I have sock burns on my ankles BUT............ I've done it, I'm smiling and I have no blisters!

Mum cooked us Sunday lunch which was absolutely beautiful and once again we relived our journey.

So what lies ahead for me now?????...........................

Well, although I have now lost 6 stone in weight I still have about another 1 ½ stone to go so I’m concentrating on that at present.

Ray and I are also booked in to do the Great North Run in September hopefully finishing in 2:30 and next year on 18th March I’m running my first ever marathon with my Mentor Andy Mcmenemy Me?? Marathon?? YES!!!

Andy has set himself a massive challenge. Challenge 66. He is running 66 marathons in 66 days in the 66 major cities of the U.K. Check out his website . I wish him all the luck in the world and look forward to supporting him every step on the way mentally and sometimes physically!

My life certainly has been a rollercoaster over the last 20 months and I’m riding the ups down and looping the loop a lot of the time.

I’ve met some wonderful friends along my journey, who support, love and respect me for who I am and admire me for what I have done and achieved. I really don’t know what I would do without them.

It does sadden me however that I’ve also lost friends along the way. Yes my life has changed I don’t deny that for one minute it had too!! I had to become healthy because I was on a road to destruction the way I was living. Yes I was enjoying life, too much. Yes I was eating well, too well. I love being the life and soul of the party, being the girl that everyone could laugh at and laugh with but I was dying! My Dad died of heart disease, caused primarily by obesity and I was on the same path as him, I needed to change.

What really saddens me is the people that don’t speak to me anymore don’t seem to see that MY DAD IS DEAD!! I’ve done this because I no longer have my Dad by my side helping me and making me laugh, helping me through bad and good times!!! If they could live just one day of my life and see and feel the pain I get in my heart every single day of my life because he’s not here then they can. My family and my friends tell me ‘it’s their loss not yours Ellie’ I’m starting to come round to that now but it doesn’t hurt any less, it doesn’t make the years of friendship I have strived for any easier.

I’m lucky to have the family and friends around me to give me every ounce of support, love and help I need because I really don’t know where I would be now without them. You know who you are and from the bottom of my heart , thank you xxxxxxx

I love you Dad