running trainers on path

Finding a Love for Running Continues…

Running – some love it and some hate it. I never classed myself as a ‘runner’ until I started to beyond the professional and competitive side. I started to enjoy running more once I did it in my own time and noticed the many benefits along the way for my own body. Up until June this year, I hadn’t ran since March on the treadmill in the gym. Due to the mixture of lockdown, feeling sluggish and having quite low thoughts, I needed to do something. I wanted to find something to focus on. That’s when I realised that I could try to discover a new running journey.

You might ask, how did I get into running?

Back in school I always took part in the relay for Sports Day and 100 metre sprints here and there. I didn’t hate cross country but I wouldn’t say I loved it neither. As for the bleep test, I weirdly looked forward to that because I always up for a challenge to see how far I could push myself.

Fast forward a few years, I’m onto a few cardio workouts in the gym. Nothing too strenuous but a fair bit to keep myself fit. Alongside the cross trainer and treadmill, I absolutely love strength workouts, particular strengthening my legs and arms. Now those, I really miss!

Some of you may already know that fundraising for charity isn’t new to me. Over the years I have fundraised for St Ann’s Hospice, Tommy’s, Alzheimer’s Society, British Heart Foundation, and Cancer Research UK. Two of these occasions included participating in a running event. So, it comes as no surprise that I found myself searching for a new charity fundraiser, which I’ll touch on below.

Work on your own goals

The thing I’ve found with fitness and exercise is that, you don’t have to follow what everybody else is doing. You can particulate in any shape of sport or exercise at your own pace and do what works for you. It’s always good to set yourself little challenges but there’s no need to compare to anybody else’s lengths, times, and strength. For me, feeling stronger starts mentally. Using exercise to take away irrelevant or low thoughts, especially on this running journey, as it’s something which has significantly changed my outlook on things.

I find myself feeling accomplished at the end of each run. I am determined and more focused on positive things e.g. doing things for me and trying to less critical of my appearance and how I am. It’s a way for me to keep active, explore the outdoors (great for my photography page), and release any negative energy. All of these benefits and more make it worth the while, donating for a good cause at the same time.

100 for 100 challenge

My current challenge, running 100k for £100 has been pleasing so far. I’m so thankful for my amazing 22 supporters who have helped me to exceed my fundraising target already. Here’s to 20th July when I will have completed the full distance, in time to commemorate grandad’s heavenly birthday on 22nd July.

All donations are sent to The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association, in memory of my grandad and all of those who have/had visual impairments. For more information visit my JustGiving page.

ribbon rolled out

Neuroendocrine Tumours and Race for Life with Cancer Research UK

Sadly, news has hit that my uncle has neuroendocrine tumours. Although it’s a short time to train, the news gives me more than enough motivation to start fundraising for Cancer Research UK. Anyone who knows me, understands how much raising money for charity means to me, especially when it comes to family. It’s been a couple of years since my last charity run but me and Danny will be taking part in Race for Life next month in Manchester.

Did you know that neuroendocrine tumours are rare?

According to Cancer Research UK, over 4,000 people in the UK each year are diagnosed with Neuroendocrine cancer also known as ‘Neuroendocrine tumours’ (NETs). Neuroendocrine cells are in the majority of organs in our body including the stomach, lungs and pancreas.

I want more people to know about this type cancer because of how rare it is. My uncle knew something wasn’t right when he was struggling to empty his bowels for weeks. Other symptoms have included, loss of appetite, sickness, weight loss and change of skin colour (grey).

His GP diagnosed uncle Dom with diverticulosis due to age. It wasn’t until he went into hospital that there was something more. It took a little while but the doctors and consultants carried out several tests including a biopsy, bloods and PET scan.

The motivation I need to take part in Race for Life

I want to raise as much as possible to help promote more awareness and more research towards fighting cancer. It’s something we hear about so often these days but there’s still no easy way of breaking the news to someone.

My uncle isn’t the first person in my family to face cancer so there’s even more reason to make taking part in this year’s Race for Life. I hope that by raising awareness, I will encourage others to participate. Don’t let the word ‘race’ put you off. Honestly, you can go at whatever pace works for you. Remember the real reason why you’re taking part.

All donations can be made on Tasha and Danny’s Race for Life. Thank you so much for everyone’s donations so far. It means the world to us and my family.

I’m ready to do this. And I hope that at least one of you out there will be too.

raspberries and 3 pieces of chocolate

3 Reasons Why I’m Taking Part in Dechox

That’s right, Dechox, a detox from chocolate. The British Heart Foundation are running this campaign with the aim to get people to give up chocolate for the whole of March. To all of you 20,000 dechoxers, think about all the chocolate you can indulge in once it hits Easter Sunday on 1st April.

I have a history of supporting the British Heart Foundation. There are people who face heart conditions and circulatory disease every day. Taking part in Dechox is just a small thing you can do, right? Below are my reasons for taking part.

The research has proven to help those with heart conditions

The British Heart Foundation list over 20 heart conditions on their website. Their Heart Helpline helps to offer advice and information on a healthy heart. If you’re worried about your heart, you can ring the helpline on 0300 330 3311. Their expansive research into diagnosis and treatment has been recognised across the UK. Having lost someone to coronary heart disease, it makes my heart beat faster just thinking about it.

I wish grandad’s heart bypass would’ve lasted much longer

He knew it and so did we. There’s a limit on the time you can have when you’ve had a heart bypass. That doesn’t mean to say it makes it any easier when you lose them. Some people will do their utmost to live the healthiest life possible. And others will want to make the most out of life in their own way. The British Heart Foundation’s research fights for people to have more heartbeats. I wish that grandad’s heart could’ve beat some more.

My blood pressure journey

In 2015 I had a few minor blood pressure problems which lead to a 24 hour monitor and an ECG. I’m not sure what happened in between then and now. But nearly 6 months ago, I began to have blood pressure problems again. I no longer drink caffeine hoping that would help. I came off the pill after 4 years as urgently advised by the doctor in October. Yet, still no change, none of those were a factor.

After many blood pressure readings, I was put on medication which has now been doubled, along with a number of trips to see the doctor and nurse. Today was another one of those days for yet another blood test. I’m sure it was my fourth one in the last few months. This was to check my kidneys are functioning properly. I’m sure they are working just fine but I just hope they’ll be able to pinpoint what’s going on somewhere along the line.

Perhaps it’s hereditary? My beta blockers that I’ve taken for migraines for 7 years, are known for reducing hypertension but clearly my body wants to be different! I seem to have followed dad’s migraine history (but for a much longer period in my life than he did). I have to remember how dangerous it is to stress and worry. And I remind myself of the time when dad had a mini stroke.

Are you participating?

Are you taking part in Dechox? What are your reasons? Show the British Heart that you’re supporting this campaign by using #DECHOX on Twitter.

Please sponsor me

I would be very grateful for your support. £1 can go towards the extensive research that the British Heart Foundation carry out. To do this you can visit my JustGiving page. Thank you.

My First Experience of a 10k Run in Manchester

Sunday 28 May is a day that seemed so far away since the day I registered for the Great Manchester Run.

Training for the Great Manchester Run

We began to train at the gym on the treadmill and developing other fitness. We decided that we needed to train for the Great Manchester Run outside rather just on the treadmill.

The truth is, we probably could have done more training. But the day wasn’t about being a professional runner. It wasn’t about time and being competitive. Today was about running for our charities, for our grandparents. Hitting the finish line made me teary eyed. But I did completed the run with Danny. That made it such a special accomplishment.

There was such a positive and boosting atmosphere prior and during the whole event. We watched other waves getting ready to run after they did their warm-up and couldn’t wait until it was our turn. It didn’t rain, although we kind of wish it did at one point to cool us down. Luckily, there was two opportunities for the shower mists that were there so they helped a lot.

Fight for every heartbeat

Before we began to run we did the minute’s silence for the atrocity that caused children and adults to lose their lives in Manchester on Monday evening. Once we began to run, it took a few moments to get passed the stage, where you feel like you’re too close to everyone to move properly.

We were so happy that we got to see my best friend, Faye as she was representing Diabetes UK and cheering runners from all charities on. It was lovely and so heart-warming to see all of the other charities, children wanting us to hit their hand as we ran past, and KEY 103 cheering us all on. I felt a great boost in my step when I saw the British Heart Foundation team, which is the charity I was running for in memory of my grandad – they were very supportive.

I loved how we did it together.

– Danny

There was a lot of sweat but most of all there was a lot of determination to run for Manchester and for our chose charities.

An amazing feeling

We passed through the city centre and sights such as Manchester United. There were people ready to hand us bottles of water as we reached the aqua stands. They were nice and refreshing to have.

I couldn’t have ran through a more supportive city full of togetherness. My favourite moment was approaching the finish line. We held hands to make sure we reached the end together.

Thank you to each and every one of you who supported us for the Great Manchester Run.

If you haven’t done a 10k before or a run of any kind, I recommend that you do it. Take the plunge and do it for you, your family, a friend, or for a cause which is close to your heart.