Monday, 27 January 2014


From starting my journey I have always found that it's helped to set myself challenges, it's helped to keep me focused and thriving to do better and achieve more.  This morning I've been reflecting on just how far I've come since that very first challenge was set and how it feels working towards my latest one.

My journey started on January 4th 2009 when I embarked on my sponsored slim in memory of my Dad who had died the previous November.  It was because of him that I'd turned my life around. He'd suffered from heart disease and I was heading the same way with my lifestyle and it had to stop. Although I loved him more than anything I didn't want to be where he was so I had to do something about it. I was eating too much, drinking too much, I never moved much and I was morbidly obese.  I couldn't even get up the stairs with out being out of breath.

My first major event was set for June of the same year.  I would complete the Edinburgh Moonwalk, a 26.2 mile walk in aid of Walk the Walk for breast cancer charities.  It was around Edinburgh, it started at midnight and it was the toughest thing I'd ever done.

It was Fathers day, my first without my beloved Dad here to share it with and it was the toughest thing I'd done to date both mentally and physically.  I can still feel ever step of that Moonwalk even now, every twinging muscle and every tear that fell is with me to this day. But what it did teach me was that my body was capable of more than I ever gave it credit for and although my heart was breaking I was doing something to benefit myself, my future and in turn the future of my family because I would be around for a lot longer becasue of my change of lifestyle and it left me wanting more.

Challenge upon challenge followed from that very first Moonwalk.  I completed 5k's, 10k's, half marathons and more Moonwalks. Other challenges on my journey included injury and having to endure shoulder surgery on not one but both shoulders.  I had to take a break from exercise and concentrate on getting well which in turn lead to weight gain and feeling pretty grotty and sorry for myself.

After my last surgery I was desperate to train again, I missed it and wanted to be back on form and before I knew it I was completeing my 300k challenge last summer which lead to me completing The Great North Run in 2:30:08 smashing my PB.  Running from start to finish without a break, something which I'd never managed for more than a 10k.  It left me wanting even more.

I got home and in true Ellie style picked up my lap top and looked at what could be in store next and before the end of the night I'd entered myself into my first running marathon.  What better place but the same city I'd walked my first marathon all those years ago on Fathers Day but Edinburgh!!

The time is right and I've got the best support network I could ask for.  Friends who said they would run with me, non running friends who would bike and others who said they would support in any other way they possibly could. My Fitmums buddies said they would help and push me and one of our Fitmums and Friends coaches Mike who is an accompished runner, a great coach and an all round nice guy made me out a training plan. We talked about how I would deal with my runs and I'd told him I was thinking of entering the Ferriby 10 and he said it would be great marathon training. I immediately started clocking up the miles and getting in the distances he suggested. The marathon and upcoming Ferriby 10 challenge kept me focused through the Christmas break. I'd been warned it was a hilly course but like all my challenges I would just set out and head for the finish line.  Everything was new territory I knew it was going to be tough I just had to get through it.

There were quite a few Fitmums and Friends taking part and because Mike had been taken into hospital the previous week we had arranged to get together for a photo before the race. 

It was a horrible day but I don't think anyone said quite how tough it would be?! The Ferriby 10 is a 10mile road race with the 1st 5 miles uphill.  Add to that 25mph freezing wind with driving rain, hail and sleet and I have to say it was lethal!!!  (I'm looking forward to Mike getting better so I can tell him off!!!!! ;) )

Donna and I had said we would run together and set off with a 2hr time scale in our heads, taking into account the hills and the weather.  We made a pact that we were not allowed to 'idle gossip' for the first half we were only allowed to complain! We actually did remarkably well in fact hardly talked at all for that first 5 miles, we just got our heads down and tackled what was ahead of us.  The second half we knew would be a tad faster and we were both shocked and relieved when our running buddy Wayne who had already completed his 10 miles (in 1:16:56!!) came back out to the 8.5mile point and ran in with us. (I often say that if we cut him open he would have cogs instead of veins and yesterday proved it, the man is a machine) WELL DONE and THANK YOU xxx.

We romped home and completed our first Ferriby 10 in 1:50:03.  I was astounded! my legs felt remarkably good but I was cold to the core, I think the weather kept my mind off my legs. Home for a very hot shower to warm through which took about 3 hrs!!

A lot of things went through my head in that horrific weather yesterday......

WOW I've come a long way.  I couldn't walk for 10 minutes in January of 2009 and I'm not only ran 10 miles but half of that was uphill. It's true what they say from an acorn grows a mighty oak

I have lost a lot of weight but it hasn't been overnight!!  For all my friends who struggle with their weight and are wanting results straight away please please be patient, it didn't go on overnight so it won't come off overnight.  Yes I have lost 6 stone which is colossal but it's taken 5 years for it to come off (having put 2 stone back on due to injury and lost that again)! but remember every step is a step, every pound is a pound and every tear is one less to carry and one nearer your goal.

My fitness has surpassed anything I ever thought it would do and I actually like myself.

My family and friends mean the absolute world to me and I really wouldn't be where I am without their help, love and support and really hope that one day I can repay them.

The 'friends' I've lost along the way isn't really my loss. My door, my home and indeed my heart have always been open and if people choose to dislike me for whatever reason I will no longer let it effect me. It's their insecurities not mine that are at fault.  I have always been a good friend, I'm loyal and I would do anything for the people I love and care about.

My husband, my lover and my friend, what would I do without him? He supports, encourages, helps and is my No.1 fan. Last year was possibly the worst of his life with the surgery he had to endure.  He is 6 months down the line and getting stronger and stronger by the day. I know he gets fed up that he can't run with me but to run for 2 miles after what he's been through is phenominal. I just sometimes wish he could see what an impact he has on everybody elses lives.  He expects far too much of himself and does everything to please without thought of how it would effect him.

The one man I can never thank enough for my journey is my wonderful Dad.  It took his death for me to survive.  He would be laughing up there at the fact I have ditched my Handbags and Heels for Trainers and Tracksuits but he also knows deep down I'm a girlie girl and like nothing better than getting dressed up to the nines! I know he is watching over me every second of every day with pride.  When I'm out he is on my shoulder constantly as I cover even more miles. He's with me helping on every challenge and beside me on every race-day pushing and willing me to succeed .  It's just sad he's not here in person because I know he would be at the finish line of every race, cheering me over it with his smiling eyes and immense pride in what I've achieved.

Until the next update

Much love