Thursday, 20 January 2011

Why this is so important.

On Tuesday, I met Judy Pride, the Community Fundraiser for NE & SE Cornwall and Plymouth area, for Children's Hospice South West. Wow, what a meeting ! I thought it would be basically a chance for me to learn some more about the work that the charity does and to talk to Judy about my 2011km challenge. Yes we did that, but it was so much was an amazing, emotional, uplifting, positive experience.That possibly sounds a little over the top, but I can assure you it isn't.

Children's Hospice South West, is the only organisation in the South West providing hospice care for children with life limiting conditions. Sadly there are over 1000 children in the south west with illnesses that mean they will die in childhood. Through their 2 children's hospices- Little Bridge House in north Devon, and Charlton farm , in somerset, they are able to provide expert care for up to 400 such children and their families.

By building a third children's hospice in Cornwall, they will be able to reach out and support even more families, and bring their special service closer to the many families in Plymouth and Cornwall that need them. Since September 2007 they have been raising funds through their precious lives appeal, to raise their target £5 million to build this much needed hospice. Work is now very much underway in St.Austell , and they hope that Little Harbour will be open to families by the end of this year.

All 3 hospices offer respite, emergency and end of life care for sick children, in a homely environment that supports the whole family. Well siblings and parents are given an opportunity to meet with families in similar situations to their own- an extremely important source of support and friendship. Families are also supported through bereavment and beyond, for as long as they need it.

I am extremely fortunate to have two healthy children something which is easy to take for granted.The reason that this charity is so dear to my heart is that my best friend's little boy is now using the service. He and his family have just returned from a respite visit to Little Bridge House, which proved to be an extremely positive experience for the whole family. It was a chance for my friend and her husband to get a little, much needed rest, knowing that their son was being looked after by very caring and highely trained staff. They were able to mix with other mums and dads who understand what they are going through. They enjoyed time together as a family knowing help was on hand should they need it, and very importantly their older daughter, who has been having a difficult time at school because of her brother's condition, could see she is not alone.

During my meeting with Judy, several times she referred to me now "being part of their family" , and I think that summed up for me the essence of this charity, and reaffirmed that choosing to support them was 100% the right decision.

Please help me to support them by clicking on my just-giving link on the left of this page, any donation no matter how small will be very gratefully received, and well used.- Thank-you!

Find out more about The precious lives appeal, by joining their facebook page

Sunday, 16 January 2011

A marathon a week, every week for a year

A marathon a week, every week for a year...If someone had put it in those terms originally I have to be honest, I probably would never have even attempted this challenge!

However here I am almost 4 weeks in ( for those of you who don't know impatience got the better of me , i'm doing it 21.12.10 to 21.12.11) and I am doing it! I'm on track to complete my target of 155km. I started the challenge hoping I would manage half of that in the first month, then gradually build it up from there. It seems I am more capable,determined and fitter than I thought. I wouldn't have classed myself as a couch potato , but I'm certainly no athlete. I've always done some sort of regular exercise, but never pushed myself like this before. Going public, has helped enormously, I've had such overwhelming support already in terms of both donations and good luck messages, both of which are equally important to me. Knowing that people believe in me and want me to succeed is going to carry me through.

This challenge isn't about weight/inch loss, though I will be happy for it to be a by-product, and already I'm noticing changes in the shape of my body. I've lost a little from the tops of my arms and my thighs and my tummy feels flatter. I'm yet to pluck up the courage to re-weigh myself but will aim to be brave and do so this week. Perhaps more importantly than the physical changes, I think there has been a shift in my mental attitude. This challenge is making me realise what you can achieve if you really set your mind to it.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Day 16

It's day 16 of my 2011km challenge, and so far so good!
So far I have
Run 26.87km
Cycled 85.56km
And swam 540m
That's a total of 112.97km which I'm really chuffed with. Much further than I thought I'd be able to do in the first couple of weeks. So far most of the kilometres have been clocked up on cycling but I'm hoping to gradually increase the running to make it a bit more even.
Feeling a little bit of wear & tear on my hips and knees today but then I did complete 21.48 km my furthest in one session so far. I know I'm not going to manage great distances with the swimming but I want to slot some in-between the running and cycling to make it more interesting and also put less pressure on my knees hopefully. Anyhow here's to the remaining 1898km...

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Saturday, 1 January 2011

Giving myself the best chance

Eleven days into the challenge, and so far I've completed almost 50km which I'm pleased with- next training session tomorrow.

I really want to give myself the best possible chance of completing the 2011km, which means I need to try and avoid getting poorly or injured as best as I can. So I'm taking berrocca vitamins along with cod liver oil capsules each morning, trying to eat fairly healthily and having days off between training sessions to allow my body to recover.

I know from when I've been doing a moderate amount of running before, that I need to take care of my knees and hips, both of which seem to take the brunt of overdoing it. So I'm doing exercises to try and protect and strengthen those joints.
These are links to some of those exercises

However, I've been reading "Eat, pray, love" by Elizabeth Gilbert , and it seems there maybe an alternative way to free up and protect those joints that might be worth looking into....

Gilbert visits a healer whilst in Bali and the following conversation takes place-
"She felt the other knee... Grinned and said, "I can tell by your knees that you don't have much sex lately." I said "why? Because they're so close together?" she laughed. "no,- it's the cartilage.Very dry. Hormones from sex lubricate the joints...."

Not sure if there's any scientific truth in this, but hey ho could be worth a try!

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