Thursday, 28 June 2012

Running - Stepping it up

I have been running for a while now - on and off since February. It hasnt impacted my waist size yet but it seems to be starting to take effect as I increase my distances. Due to working away I have been stuck at 5k for a few weeks now but I only have 5 1/2 weeks until Im running the Jane Tomlinson York 10k. Yikes. Plan is to run every other day, come rain or shine until then and try and get up to 8 or 9km before the big day. Adrenalin will have to find the extra distance for me. I ran last night after a week in Norfolk where I only did a single 2km run. It was hot and wheezy and I had to walk a few times. It was my 2nd quickest 5km but I went far too quick to start with (its all relative) and was broken by halfway round. I dug in and managed to get round but I was blowing big time. Thus the reason to step up the training - I cant have easy weeks now when I am away otherwise I will fail to do the 10km on race day and I have worked too hard already for that. The reason I am running is to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support. I am pretty sure every one of you guys will have your own stories about how the BIG C has touched your lives but here is mine.

My father has always smoked. My essential memory of him during my childhood would be covered in oil trying to fix the dilapidated family car with a fag hanging at a jaunty angle out of his mouth. It just looked right. As I got older I realised that Dads habit would eventually kill him although he remained firmly in denial. A couple of christmas's ago dad had a prolonged chest infection and felt crappy but he soldiered on grimly. He and Mum joined myself and my wife and our 4 month old daughter on Speyside. It was -18 degrees outside and a winter wonderland but Dad wasnt enjoying himself. He had chest pain which forced him to turn round and drive 450 miles home. With a heart arrythmia caused by a massive tumour in his lung pressing on his heart. Dad was diagnosed with small cell Lung Cancer soon after which is terminal. Fatal. Dad underwent 3 months of chemo which shrunk the tumour and whilst he felt awful he soon recovered and the tumour was negligable. It will come back but he was effectively in remission. Great - but he was told that he should have radiotherapy on his brain to prevent a secondary there. So he did and it turned him into a different person, selfish, grumpy and balding. It took a further 7 months to get my Dad back from the personality transplant caused by irradiation of the brain. It cooked his circuits but gradually in the spring of 2011 he returned to normal except for a few memory issues. He has been in remission since then. My Dad back but I remember when it was touch and go in spring 2010. I remember when he was brain damaged by radiotherapy. I remember him in agony with his heart. I know it will kill him. Not tomorrow or the day after but one day not too far down the track. Dad is 59. My daughter will now remember my Dad thanks to the efforts of medical staff in caring for him. Dad will walk my sister down the aisle this autumn. Dad will meet my new child this summer. Dad will need Macmillan Nurses supporting him and Mum when he is dying. Next year? The year after? Who knows but I am grateful he is here now and that is why I am running - to raise money to make people suffering from cancers final weeks and months as comfortable as possible.

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