Saturday, 10 September 2011

Where have I been?!

When Dad died I set my self my very first challenge of losing weight and getting healthy.   Like my Dad I was obese and desperatley needed to do something about it.

It seemed to give me something to focus on and help me through the pain of losing him and I was even enjoying it!!  My decision to undertake that very first challenges seemed to turn my life around.

I felt by giving myself challenges it kept me focused on my goal and somehow brought me closer to my Dad even though he was no longer around.  My Dads ethos through his life was to work hard and achieve the best you could so by setting these challenged  I could somehow 'give' him something back in return for being such a good father, friend and mentor.

From that first challenge (weightloss) came the next (5k) and the next (Moonwalk) the next (10k) and the next (half marathon) before the next (3 peaks) and then numerous runs and charity events after that. 

So when in August of last year I got a pain in my shoulder and first went to see the specialist my life seemed to come to a complete halt. 

Having numerous physio session then having to have not just one but 2 operations seemed to set me further back on reaching my final goal. 

Andy's challenge66 started in March and Ray's participation in it seemed to help keep me a little focused and give me something else to concentrate on.  I seemed to live and breath the Challenge helping and promoting it in any way I possibly could, not only to help Andy with gaining his world record but also to feel close to my husband who was away from me and our 5 year old son. 

Some may say I put too much time and effort into it? Yes I did!!  It was all I had to keep me going.  Some of my friends came to visit and help me through what was a silly lonely time for me and from the bottom of my heart I thank them for, without them it really would have been unbearable. The ones that thought I was putting too much time and effort into Challenge66 obviously didn't visit very often becasue they didn't have a clue what I was going through.  Most of the time only having a 5 yr old to converse with and when he went to bed sitting in every night on my own in a big house.  It was soul distroying and did nothing for my self esteem. 

I was making it an adventure for Benjamin so why not make it an adventure for myself too?!

Ray being away was like half of me being ripped out!  He has been my rock and my life since my Dads death and sometimes I've never given him the credit he truly deserves.  On the day I lost my Dad he also lost a good friend, possibly one of his best friends and I have no doubt he hurts as much as I do some days but he never complains, never moans just helps me smile again and supports me in anyway he can.  Of that alone I will be eternally grateful.

Andy did a fantastic job and I was so proud to see him finish Challenge 66 ot of 66.  66 ultra marathons in all 66 cities of the UK on 66 consecutive days!! You are a machine Andy Mcmenemey and a lovely guy to boot.  I really hope you get all you desire in life and hope we be there to see you achieve it but more importantly share in it. xxx

So with Challenge66 completed and another op for my shoulder in the pipeline I needed to get back into some sort of training to re-focus my mind. . . . . . . .

I put out an event on Facebook to see if anyone would be interest in doing 'a bit' of walking working towards the London Moonwalk next year.  Before long people were saying yes and  eventually there were about 8 of us that were extrememly interested.

Before we knew it we were out 2-3 times a week in training for our challenge.  We all have a great sense of humour and have had laughs and giggles along the way.  I for one live and breath for the next time we get together and I'm sure I speak for al the girls when I say I get so jealous if I can't make one of the walks that have been organised.

Friendships have been made and bonds are getting stronger.

I'll keep you posted but why not also keep an eye on to find out more about us all :o)


Thursday, 18 August 2011

Ready for another??!!

Hiya guys, it's been a long time and a tough road but I'm back on track and have lots of news.
It's been a tough year and I've decided to pick up 'the pen' again.
Full blog coming up - 'Twists and Turns' will be here in the next couple of days.
Look forward to seeing you.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Does this mean I'm an athelete Andy?

Has it really been 8 months since my last confession? - sorry I mean blog :)

A very good friend once said to me "You only know your an athlete once you get an injury" - That friend is Andy McMenemey and a week today he will have completed his first marathon of 66. - This is not a typing error!

Andy will be running 66 (ULTRA) marathons!

In the 66 major cities of the UK!

In 66 consecutive days!

Have a look at the website . The world record attempt he is about to undertake is truly incredible and truly inspiring, not only pushing himself to the limit but raising both money and awareness for ABF 'the soldiers charity'.

When Andy first talked to us about this 'idea' he had we called him barmy, a looney, insane (amongst other things!) and then decided if anyone could do it he could. Challenge 66 was born and he ran with it and we ran with him, over the last 12-18 months it has been incredibly exciting watching his dream come to life and listening and following to his journey.

He has helped me along my incredible journey as I have mentioned before in my blogs and it only seemed natural that my first ever marathon would be ran with him on the Hull leg of his journey (who'd have thought that Hull was one of the 66 major cities of the UK?). I was honoured that he'd mentioned it and I would be honoured to run with him so training was set and I was out on the street running, pounding the treadmill and clocking up the miles.

By the beginning of October of last year it became very apparant that I was having a serious problem with my left shoulder. I went to the Dr who sent me for physio. After 2 1/2 months the physio wasn't helping so back to the Dr to be referred to a specialist. After various prodding, poking, scans and cortisone injections it was determined I had a rotator cuff injury that needed an operation to remove some excess bone that had been growing, give it a good scrape out and a clean up.

My training was abandoned! My life had fallen apart because my dream of running my first marathon with my mentor was shattered.

All I could do now was watch Challenge66 unfold from the sideline, encouraging where I could and following the blogs that were being released. That was until 2 weeks ago!

On 24th Febraury (which happends to be my Mum and Dads wedding Anniversary!! - call it fate if you will) Ray and I saw a post on Facebook that pricked up our ears and started us thinking.

The Challenge66 team were looking for a driver for their journey who would be responsible for a 36ft American left hand drive RV. We had a talking point. . . Was it too short notice? . . . Would it need a special licence and if so could we get one in time? . . . was it 'do-able' with holidays and dates that we were already commited on?? We talked a lot over that weekend and it was heartwarming and heartbreaking all in a session. I was still out of the loop as my shoulder operation had taken place on the 21st February and I'm unable to do an awful lot for a while but by the Monday Ray had made the all important phone call and offered his services as a driver for Challenge66.

Ray is now part of the Challenge66 team comprising of Andy(The Legs!) McMenemey, Barry Groves (Project Director), Sophie Vowden (Physio), Ray Birch (Driver), Kevin Jones (Driver) and Nicky Groves (Admin)

Has Challenge66 come at a bad time??

In a lot of ways it couldn't have come at a worse time!!

My shoulder in a lot of ways is worse than it was. I am at the moment living on pain killers and struggling to even dress myself.

We have decorators, workmen and contractors crawling all over the place sorting jobs out that are well overdue!!

At the moment I'm neither allowed or able to drive and we live 3 miles from the nearest supermarket. Ray and the team depart on Tuesday and until I get to physio next Thursday I won't even know when I can drive!

AND we have a 5 year old son!!

BUT and it is a HUGE .......................... BUT!!

This is a once in a lifetime opportunity, that will NEVER be replicated and should never be missed!!

Andy is a true gentleman, a great friend and has helped give me my life back. My initial objective of Challenge66 was for me to run my first ever marathon with my mentor Andy. Because of my shoulder that will never happen (but there is a marathon with my name on it in the future!) In the meantime, for me to give him my husband for just 2 months is only a fraction of what I owe him and not nearly what he deserves! I really do wish him all the luck in the world and I'll be with him 100% of the way and seeing him whenever I can.

To my wonderful husband Ray - Am I jelous???

DARN RIGHT!!! You can bet your life I am love!!! I would give anything to be in the position you are in right now, but you really do have my 100% blessing. I love you unconditionally and will be here with Benjamin waiting for you when you get home.

Benjamin and I CAN and WILL cope and I promise not to struggle and ask for help if I need it!!

We have mapped out the 66 cities and there is a flag waiting for every completed marathon.

Good luck and safe journey to you all.

All my love