All clear!

Yesterday I visited the Royal Brompton hospital in London for my 6 monthly MRI results. This is the magical place that has looked after my brother along with the rest of my family on so many occasions.

In 2008 my brother was fitted with an ICD. Much like a pace maker, this mini internal defibrillator works to monitor heart rate. If the heart dips below a certain bpm it’ll shock it back to life. In the same year The Brompton started monitoring mine and my mum, dad and other brother’s hearts too. This was also when we started helping with research into inherited heart conditions.

In 2010 my family spent a month going back and forth to The Brompton while my brothers health was deteriorating. Whenever I visit I remember the day he was moved by ambulance to Harefield hospital where he’d later have his heart transplant. He was so ill then that he could have suffered cardiac arrest on the journey, so they whisked him through London to Harefield. What a day! Luckily he got there fine and that’s where he stayed for the next 2 months waiting for his transplant.

Sometimes people forget that heart disease is the UK’s biggest killer. These 2 hospitals work to look after those suffering with the disease and undertake ground breaking research. Hopefully you can see why it’s so important that we support these hospitals and want to fundraise as much as we can.

Yesterday I met my consultant who talked me through my most recent results (and showed me an MRI of my whole body which was in sane!). The bad news is that my heart has got weaker again but they want me to keep exercising. So much so I’m allowed to run the marathon – as long as I take it easy and watch out for certain symptoms. Wahoo! High on this news, I went and walked down The Mall to get me all pumped up for race day. It bought back memories of last time I ran the marathon and really put the fear in me!

So with the all clear and a new found fear of this 26.2 miles, it’s all about cranking up those miles and getting that fundraising pouring in. Just 12 weeks, £4.5k to raise and over 350 miles to run!

You can sponsor me and support the Brompton and Harefield here: http://www.virginmoneygiving.com/fenben

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Motivation needed!

You may have noticed that I’ve been a bit quieter than normal these last few weeks. I blame the January blues! I’ve still been keeping to the training plan: 3

The big one! Just 10 weeks away.

The big training run! Just 10 weeks away.

runs a week, slowly increasing the longest run at our estimated marathon pace. The main problem I’ve faced is a total lack of motivation. After a long day at work one of the last things I want to do is go back out in the cold. So I’ve been thinking about different ways to motivate myself. So far I’ve come up with:

Fitness and weight loss. This should be a big motivator for me. I love being fit – something to do with defying my tummy and heart problems. I’m also very conscious about my weight and put on a good few pounds over Christmas. So really all this training should be something that I really want to do.

The achievement. I’ve done the London Marathon before. The first time it was really important for me to complete it, this time it doesn’t feel quite the same. In 2011 I ran part of the route with a lady who’d had a heart transplant 5 years before. I’d never met her before that day. If people can push themselves like Anne did, then why on earth should I be so lazy? I know that I’m very privileged to be running with a ballot place and able to take part in the marathon and I have to make the most of it.

Fundraising. This has always been my biggest motivator as I’m so passionate about the charities we’re supporting. So far we’re doing OK with our fundraising. It’s so nice to know that sponsors believe in you and want you to succeed but what we’ve raised isn’t enough to make us leap up and run out of the front door. I find it hard to explain how motivating it is having the fundraising behind you. As your runs accumulate and you get more and more tired the only thing that can truly make you want to keep running is knowing how much it’ll help others. So the more you raise, the easier it is to run.

Food. As I mentioned I like to watch what I eat so training a lot is a great excuse to allow myself treats I wouldn’t normally have. Last week after a 10 mile run we had fish and chips – delicious! Each long run we spend atleast 10 minutes discussing what treat we can have that week. We’re even considering writing a list on our training plan to get us through the  long runs in February and March.

We’ve also come up with a few tricks to keep us on track; we’re challenging ourselves to 3 runs a week (and have joined Jantastic with the rest of the Oxfam runners). If someone doesn’t hit their target they get teased and have to do the washing up for the week ahead! When we run together we’re looking to improve our mile average. So far we’ve got our long run down by 10 seconds a mile. Most importantly we’re going to start making some serious moves on the fundraising to have that money behind us like a jet booster! Watch out for an event near you soon.

From now I vow to be motivated for the 2013 London Marathon!

If you’d like to sponsor us you can at: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fenben

I’d love to hear your suggestions for motivation. Please feel free to leave a comment.

Thanks!