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. Www.justgiving.com/elliebirch300
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.