Certainly been a hectic time recently. Over the past fortnight we’ve been moving house, which obviously created huge turmoil. I’m full of admiration for people who can move house in a seamless and dignified manner, but we are sadly not in that camp. Can’t believe we’ve got so much stuff! In fairness I did have chemo part way in to the move, which certainly complicated things. This cycle has been especially hard work. I’m coming to the end of this course now, so I’m more tired than ever and it means I’ve been next to useless in helping with the move. I guess this just gives my superhuman wife Louise the chance to overcome yet more adversity. I don’t know how she gets us to hospital appointments, cooks, cleans, cares for the girls, get them to school, supports me in my running and let’s me have naps at all times of day, when I’m tired. This is all after waking up with the girls at 6am. I’ve omitted tons of other things she does, but I’m just constantly amazed at how hard she works and yet how positive she is, no matter how hard things can be sometimes. I don’t want to paint an excessively negative picture of my contribution at home. I’m not totally useless and consider myself a committed and loving Daddy, but there’s only so much I can do when I’m tired from chemo. Louise is my hero. A character in a movie I like says that the key to a successful marriage is to just pick the right person to be in the foxhole with. No matter how bad things get I know that Louise will never leave me in that foxhole to fight alone. I love her more than I could ever say and I’m so glad of her.
So far this week has been busy, but really exciting. In some ways it’s been a tale of two siblings. On Monday I went to Blackburn to be interviewed on BBC Radio Lancashire.
It was great fun and my wonderful sister Grace filmed it. I’m really proud of her. She’s an award winning filmmaker and is documenting my progress, so we can no doubt laugh at my ungainly running style later. Grace has also been firing off press releases following which I spoke to a journalist from the Lancashire Evening Post, who’ll hopefully be printing a story about my fitness challenge tomorrow (Saturday 5th April). After my brief appearance on the Graham Liver’s Breakfast show I caught up with beloved colleagues at the Central Library in Blackburn, where I used to work.
I then tried running back to Preston from Blackburn, something I used to do after work.
Wish I hadn’t bothered. It was the worst, most horrible run I’ve been on since I started running again. I think I basically didn’t have enough respect for how fatigued chemo had made me. Running 12 miles, especially so close to a marathon, shouldn’t have been a problem, but I’d been really tired all the week before, so I hadn’t run for 7 days. Sadly I hurt my knee. I’d been tempted to run, because my training has been so disrupted by chemo and illness the last 6 weeks that that I’ve not put in enough miles. Guess there’s no training plan for chemo patients tackling ridiculous fitness challenges. My brother Tom is a 400m runner and a friend in his training group, Chris, is a physio. Chris phoned and gave some very useful advice. The next day I bought a foam roller and tennis ball and have been working on the muscles in my hip and leg every day since. Hopefully, it’ll stop my knee feeling like it’s falling off when I’m running. In addition to having well informed friends, Tom is a great motivator. This and the fact that he’s an athlete means he’s ideally placed to give great advice about my running. He’s always full of encouragement and stops me getting down when things haven’t gone well. I’m very lucky to have such a clever brother and sister. In different ways Tom and Grace have been instrumental to my progress this week. It ought to be said that my three other siblings are equally as ace and help me in different ways. Someone else who deserves a mention is my good friend Pete. He’s helped us out as a family in lots of ways since my diagnosis. Recently he’s convinced Johnson and Johnson to send me some Compeed blister plasters:
I’ve had big problems with blisters in the last few weeks and the plasters were gratefully received! Yesterday though Pete trumped even Compeed when he brought me a running vest he’d had printed for my fitness challenge:
Those letters couldn’t have been any larger.
Sunday and my first marathon in Blackpool is only days away. In the last fortnight the training has been either nonexistent or miserable, so it promises to be quite an interesting day! I’d originally hoped for a 5 hour marathon, but I’ve revised that target and I’d be happy with 6 hours now. That’s ok though, because this way the Marathon represents better value for money. I’ll be on the course for another hour, so that’s another 20% what a bargain! My Dad would be proud. Regardless of how hard the race will be nothing will wipe the smile off my face. I thought I’d lost the chance to run a marathon forever, so just being at the start line on Sunday will be the realisation of a dream.
Ben’s Bowel Movements. Running 6 marathons in 6 months in support of Cancer charities: