Sunday, 24 November 2013

GNR and beyond, the world is my oyster.

GNR seemed so long ago now and I must apologise for the length of time its taken to update you on it.

                                                   In one word......WOW!!

I could leave it just there but that wouldn't be fair because I had such an amazing weekend with amazing people with amazing support.
To be made so welcome by Jonathan and Katy in their beautiful home with a beautiful meal cooked by Jonathan and a belated birthday cake made by Katy set the weekend off a treat. 


On the Saturday Benji and I ran the mini run and he was incredible.  He ran his little legs off and almost left me standing!! He really enjoys his running and I really hope he keeps it up.  He's certainly got sprinters legs!! Lol. He proudly showed off his medal for the rest of the day as we watched the games and sat 'people watching' whilst having our lunch.

Saturday evening was a quiet one and early to bed ready for my big day......
My idea for GNR was to run the whole distance without having any recovery walks or stops.  The only thing that bothered me was that I would be running it alone. I'd never run that distance before never mind having to find the self motivation to do it on my own. I had to look back on my challenge and how lonely some of those runs had been so the iPod was at the ready and I was prepped ready to go.

We set off for the start line and Jonathan and I said our goodbyes as he was in a different starting pen (he was running it for his dad xxx) I did have some friends running it too and some were even in the same pen with me but would I find them amongst 18,000 people? I doubted it very much!!


Miraculously I did find Shereen, Donna and Paul who were stood only a few feet away for me. Shereen has been a wonderful running companion and has helped me tremendously through my challenge so I was delighted to be able to start the run with her.

Off we set and it became apparent quite early on that she wasn't moving anywhere but would be by my side the length of the run with the statement "Ellie I've been through most of this challenge with you, I ain't going nowhere but finishing it with you" ... Yes you've guessed it I cried!

When I started I was feeling incredibly strong, my head was in the right place, my legs felt good, I was smiling and I was on a mission. The only thing I could see was the finish line and Shereen and I talked and helped each other all the way....... Until mile 11!! We were on a hill climb my head was down and I was heading for the summit, I kept hearing "its OK Ellie I've got your back just keep going girl" from Shereen but all of a sudden it went quiet, I was calling for her, I looked behind me but I couldn't see her, I'd lost my running partner. I couldn't possibly do the last two and a bit miles without her it would be so wrong!!!

Shereen has always been the stronger runner so I decided to carry on and she was bound to catch up. I'd almost lost hope when, with about 800m to go she appeared like a little pocket rocket by my side and exclaimed, "I've told you I started this with you it sure as hell isn't beating me now..... But you've taken some catching!"

Ray, Benji and Katy were at about the same point with a banner that I didn't spot and I was completely gutted, I was looking in the wrong place for them.

They met me at the end and we waiting for Jonathan to come in. To see them was amazing, what an unbelievable experience. The time honoured tradition of bubbly was popped and we enjoyed a glass before heading over to the pub to celebrate with the rest of our friends that had travelled from Hull and completed their challenge.

What an amazing weekend, an amazing run, an amazing challenge and an amazing result! I completely smashed GNR 2013 finishing in 2:30:08 knocking a full half an hour off last years time and over 10 minutes off my all time PB!! I knew my head was in the right place but I really never expected that result, I was astounded. As I later learned, it was me that helped Shereen more on the day and I have to say to run it with her was an absolute honour, she is an amazing friend, person and run leader and I really am blessed to have her in my life and call her my friend xxx

I can tell you now after finishing the challenge that I really never expected to finish it never mind smash it!

My target was to run 300k in 6 weeks. By the end of GNR I had completed 312.5k!! (for those of you that follow miles that is just short of 200!!)

Sometimes it's not just about the people that die of horrible illnesses and diseases. I've previously raised thousands of pounds in memory of my Dad who died undergoing an aortic aneurism repair in November 2008 (and I will continue to do so!) but also we need to look upon the living. Without the research and development that goes on behind the scenes for BHF my wonderful, caring, loving, adoring husband might not have survived undergoing exactly the same operation earlier this year!

I aimed to raise £1000 if I could for my 300k challenge.......... I smashed that with the total standing at a staggering £2000 (and rising!) Thank you to each and everyone of you that sponsored not just with money but with time, love, help and encouragement without which I would not have been able to achieve this incredible challenge.

Until the next one........................????????


Thursday, 12 September 2013

Where did that 6 weeks go??

Where did that time go?!

Just 6 weeks ago on 1st August I took up the crazy challenge to complete 300k by this Sunday (GNR 15th September)

I can now officially tell you...

I'm aching -
WOW! I never really appreciated what I was putting my body through . I've pushed through pain most days and run on air some days, working through whatever my body has thrown at me yet for the emotional wreck I am, only managed to have one proper meltdown which was on a stupidly hot evening with absolutely no air! But tell me, what crazy person decided to do this challenge in one of the hottest summers for decades?! Oh that'll be me then! Lol.  Luckily I have had the most amazing therapist that has been on hand whenever I have needed her too, thank you Suzi, I couldn't have done it without you, you probably know my body better thean I do now! Love you xxx

I've got an amazing family and some awesome friends -
They say a challenge is only as good as its team and I have a fantastic one! From runners to bikers, sponsors, water carriers, texters, PM'ers, babysitters and supporters thank you. I really couldn't have done this without you. Some days I dreaded going out but a word from one of you is all that was needed not to mention that in as little as 6 weeks I've managed to secure nearly £1000 for the
British Heart Foundation.

I need to do housework -
Our poor house is suffering because I always seem to be out running. Ray has been wonderful keeping on top of things but I can't wait to get my Karcher out next week.

300k is along way! -
So far to date I've now covered 290k. I've run 37 runs,. the toughest batch has been the last 16 where I've covered a colossal 130K all of which have been run in the last 12 consecutive days!!

I think I'm going to lose my toenail
- Well something had to give I suppose and hey it'll grow back right! Lol

I like electrolytes -
But I hate recovery drinks but they have helped immensely. Thank you Andy and Humber Runner for all your advice and support.

Ice baths are the devil!
Yes Macca I know they work but they are still horrible and make me miserable for all of the 15 minutes I'm sat in them!

Without Sunday's run I've been running for the equivalent of 36 hrs -
That's a lot of running!! I've laughed and cried my way through different runs but mostly smiled. When I ran Tuesday's run with East Hull Fitmums I realised it was a done deal with Sundays 21k added to the pot. In true Ellie style the waterworks started but to have the runners come out and bring Rebecca and me home was just incredible. I'm sorry for being a wreck at the end guys but it meant so so much.  The support and encouragement you have all given me over the last 6 weeks has been truly amazing thank you. xxx


My husband is almost officially a machine! -
When Ray was first diagnosed we were told it would probablly be 6-12 months for him to feel as though he'd got back to 'normal'. Well we had his follow up appointment with his surgeon Ian Chetter on Saturday morning and he gave him the all clear and signed him off, to go out and enjoy his life - just 7 weeks post op!!
Ray has felt amazingly well for the last couple of weeks but needed the ok from his consultant to pick up his training again which he has now been given.
Already, Ray is back training, slowly, but has still managed an hours PT session and has ran 5.5 miles over the last 4 days. The last mile was with me on my last run before my rest days prepping for Sunday (ok ok I admit it I cried again!!).
I have to say, I'm overwhelmed and I'm in total awe of him, because of his sheer determination to succeed on his own challenge he is back where he wants to be, living a healthy lifestyle, training and enjoying life. I love him with all my heart and to see him 'back' is the post precious gift anyone could give me. Thank you NHS screening, thank you Mr Chetter and all the team, thank you to all the staff at Spire and thank you to all our friends that have helped.

I've all but completed my challenge!!! -
I've got an emergency treatment with Suzi tomorrow to sort my legs out and then I'm resting before we travel up to Newcastle. On Saturday morning I will be honoured to run with our 7 year old son Benji on his mini GNR challenge gaining his own medal and earning a whole load of respect. 

Sunday is GNR and the completion of what has been one hell of a challenge but an even bigger roller coaster. I'm excited, nervous, extremely emotional and very apprehensive but I'm going for that finish line .

All my runs and challenges naturally bring thoughts of my Dad and how and why this all started. If it wasn't for him, I truly wouldn't be sat here now typing a blog or running a mile never mind 300k. He was and always will be my inspiration.

He taught me love, respect and gave me both the will and the power (and probably the stubbornness!) to succeed and I will be eternally grateful to him.

 I also know he is watching over me and as always will be by my side on Sunday encouraging me and showing me the way so failure isn't an option - I WILL succeed.

Until the race report..........

Much love



Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Clocking them up, knocking them down!

Clocking them up, knocking them down! 



6 weeks ago when Ray went down for surgery we both lived with a certain fear of what may or may not happen. We've never openly spoken about the deepest fear we had and we probably never will but we only have to look at each other now to know the bond we have between us is even stronger than it ever was (if that's at all possible?!)

I have to say having him home is unbelievable yet watching the man you love most being able to do a fraction of what he used to at the moment is also heartbreaking.  He is however getting stronger and doing more and more by the day and has even been out on his bike to bring me fresh water on a couple of occasions. He has a check up with his surgeon in a couple of weeks so he is hoping to start increasing his fitness levels then.

So why raise money? Well - I started my challenges in 2009 after losing my Dad when he underwent surgery for an aortic aneurism repair with a sponsored slim for BHF in his memory. After Ray survived exactly the same operation it quickly became apparent to me that it wasn't just about raising money in memory of people that were no longer with us but it was also about celebrating the fact that people are still here to tell the tale because of research, medicine, health and lifestyle.

I have to say that the support and backing I've had so far on my Whopping challenge has been immense. From cheerleaders, to runners, to sponsors and even messages and texts of support. I've been overwhelmed by people's generosity and truly touched by their words.

I'm also thrilled to announce I'm over half way through the 300k with the distance of 151k being clocked up so far. I've another 10k to do today and then I'm having a well earned day off.

People have been asking me if I am crazy setting such a challenge. After all 300k isn't exactly a 'walk in the park'?

Maybe I am a little crazy but surely a challenge isn't a challenge if you don't push yourself to the limit?  I remember when I initially set the challenge a couple of friends said, of course you'll do it Ellie defeat isn't in your dictionary! I laughed at the time but they are actually right, I don't like to fail at anything and like to think I embrace everything I do with dignity and honour.

Do I ache? You bet I do. My legs don't know what's hit them but the good old ice bath really does help (ok Macca you were right!!) and with my therapist Suzi on standby whenever I need her I seem to be getting through.

Have I lost weight? Oh yes and lots of  inches too, my body shape has changed dramatically and I feel better than I've felt for a long long time.

Sponsorship is rolling in too with a massive £570 in the pot so far. I really can't thank everyone enough for their kind donations.

It's amazing the things you think of when you're out pounding the streets so I am also in the process of arranging a charity event to celebrate the end of the challenge. It will be held in memory of my Dad as it is every year and is planned for the 4th October to be held at Ryder club on Coltman street in Hull, so please book the date in your diaries and come and help us celebrate.

50% will of course be going to BHF and one of my best friends is walking the Himalayas next year so the other 50% will be going to her for Dove House Hospice.

If anyone has any donations for raffle or tombola please message me and I can arrange to get them collected.

Much love