When your body doesn’t work like it used to before…

It has been 11 months since my last chemo/radiotherapy session and 6 months since I came out of hospital after having 2 major operations.

I would like to say that recovery is going well although it has been slow. With a very active family It has been hard keeping up with them.

To think of where I was 6 months ago and to where I am now – I am very proud of myself. When I was discharged from hospital I couldn’t even walk up the stairs, I had to be carried and I couldn’t stand for longer than a minute without my legs giving up on me and collapsing. I thought I would never get to where I am now, but with the help and support of my family and friends I wasn’t allowed to give up.

I lost a lot of weight when I was in hospital and although I have managed to gained the weight back on, it has left me with many problems. Not just losing the weight but the treatment has too.

A few weeks ago I attended an appointment at my Doctors surgery as I was struggling with stiffness and weakness in my legs and pelvis area. I had been told previously from my Nurse that It was probably just my body getting used to being used again after so long resting in a bed. I was a little worried, understandably, after all what I had been through. So I thought that it would be best to get it checked out. A previous MRI showed no problem with the bones so I was referred to a physiotherapist.

Since gaining my strength and the weight back I have tried my best to be active. I am not strong enough to go out running but I have began to take gentle bike rides with the boys, jogging round the block and I walk everywhere. I believe that it was the walking that has helped me get me to where I am now.

I feel like I have got old before my time. I can no longer bend my knees and get down on the floor without having to spend a few minutes trying to get back up.

You take for granted how your body just does things, like bending down, walking up the stairs, sitting and kneeling down. All these things are now a struggle for me!

My body just doesn’t work like it used to and I have to work on these areas.

The physiotherapist has given me some exercises to do and is hopeful that I should gain some more strength back in my legs. The treatment and the operation has caused muscle loss in some areas and she believes that with a few gentle exercises and being taught how to use some gym equipment I should be on the right road to recovery.

I have two exercises to get on with; where I have to lift my pelvis up off of the floor and level it out and to stand up and sit down from a cushioned chair. I am also going to carry on with my walking as I do believe that in doing this type of exercise it has helped me gain muscle and strength in other areas.

Hopefully (fingers crossed) i will be stronger by the end of the year. I need to stay fighting fit!

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Running together as a family at Westminster Mile

A family that runs together stays fit together

With three very active boys we are always looking for ways to keep them active but also for us all to be together. It’s not easy when you have three lots of sports clubs to get to all at the same time. We have tried football, swimming and athletics clubs and the boys even went to drama club but these type of clubs take up a lot of family time, especially when you’re a working family and just want to spend the weekends together doing fun stuff.

We found that going out running, jogging together ticks all the boxes. The boys are keeping active and letting off steam, as a family we are keeping healthy and spending quality time together.

Running is an activity that the whole family can get involved in and enjoy, no matter what your ability or age is. And what’s best is it requires very little equipment, meaning it’s not heavy on the purse/wallet.

The children partake in a 2k timed Jumior Parkrun every Sunday morning, Dad runs every evening at a club and also enters races for cross country and track and I just jog at my own pace. Since my surgery I have being trying to increase my stamina and to get my muscles working again in my abdomen.

For the past few years the family have entered into family waves in Westminster Mile. It’s just a short distance around St James Park – Starting on The Mall, going around the edge of the park and down Birdcage Walk and finally finishing on Spur Road, just in front of Buckingham Palace.

The eldest races in the Junior Athletics One Mile Road Championships, Dad races in the first wave and the younger ones and I race in the family wave.

Last year I ran along with the youngest, just 3 weeks into my chemo-radiotherapy treatment. This year I ran 6 months after having two major surgeries.

Even though the eldest and Dad compete in other races they also run along with us as family. I can’t tell you how proud i am of all of them and how warm i feel when i am running along with them close to me.

I wouldn’t class myself as a runner, not like the rest of my family (especially Dad and Jak who race at competitive levels) I just jog along at a slow pace or i get dragged along by the youngest. I still enjoy the feeling and we are all spending quality time together.

First up was Dad in the first adult wave, we cheered him on as he was the first person to cross over the finish line with an impressive time of 4.31

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It was then time for the family wave. We made our way to the start line, where many other families were.

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The boys sped off as soon as the gun fired and left me behind, they were eager to get a fast time. I could still see them up ahead of me.

Joseph finished first with a time of 6.50

Then came Oliver with a time of 8.10

And lastly, Mummy with a time of 9.53

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After picking up our goodie bags with our medals in them, we made our way to Green Park where there were plenty of fun activities to keep us busy in the wellness vitality festival whilst we waited until the eldest ran in his race.

The youngest got his face painted at one of the stalls, he chose to be Batman20170528_120704

Then we found a spot on the grass where we sat down and had a little picnic.

There were many other fun child-friendly activities to try like target football, basketball, a range of demonstrations, zumba and yoga sessions.

Dad and Joseph tried the tumbleator. Which was a giant conveyor belt that they controlled the speed of, varying from 0-8m/sec Mo farah world 10,000m champion pace. Dad took on the challenge to get to 21mph on the Canning Conveyor Tumbleator, he made it look so easy! He said he wanted to carry on until he tumbled but they stopped him at 21mph. The machine is capable of in excess of 25mph

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Joseph was up next, he managed to stay running at a speed of 13mph for 60 seconds. What a star!

Joseph getting ready on the tumbleator
Joseph getting ready on the tumbleator

It was soon Jak’s turn to race in the road championships. He went off to the start line and we found a spot near the finish line to cheer him on

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It was his first time in the under 15s race and he done really well. Finishing with a time of 5.10, he even had enough energy to finish with a sprint.

I may not be in the same league as the rest of my family but I still enjoy to race along with them. It makes us all feel good, as well as being in each others company.

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A New Year a new goal

I’ve made a promise to myself that this year I will become a little fitter, I don’t want to lose weight but just to tone up and able to run around the park with the children without getting out of breath. Now that the boys are getting older and becoming more interested in outdoor sports, I just want to be able to join in with them, enjoy our time together and have fun. My two eldest boys partake in a 2k junior parkrun on a Sunday and the eldest runs in the 5k parkrun on a Saturday. I am always there to cheer them on from the side lines and always support them in any race that they participate in but now I want to be able to join them and support them in a different way.

I used to enjoy running as a young teenager and did get the chance to represent the school in the odd race but as I have got older I have become more and more lazy with running, to the extent that I don’t even run for a bus! Don’t get me wrong, I am fit. I will walk anywhere rather than drive and I can walk for miles and miles and not tired, I am far from being over weight but I do have the odd body part that has started to begin to sag.

Recently I looked in the full length mirror (not something i do often) and saw a body looking back at me that was lacking energy and looking a bit downbeat. I want to bring it back to life again.

I have lumps and bumps that i had no idea was there!

My reasons for becoming fit

  • Wanting to run around the park without getting breathless
  • Toning up areas that need a little lift, If you get what I mean?
  • I want to be able to wave my hand without my under arm waving along with it
  • My bottom now faces southwards and needs a little perk
  • I suffer from bad back and have osteo arthritis in my jaw, so I would like to make my bones and joints stronger by doing gentle exercise

I have downloaded the RunDouble app onto my phone which has the couch to 5k on it. The couch to 5k is a beginners running training plan that is designed to help you ease into running and achieve your goal of running 5k. The programme consists of three sessions per week, lasting from 20 – 30 minutes each time and runs for 9 weeks. Each session consists of walking and jogging and as the weeks go on you do less walking so by the end of the 9 weeks you should be able to do jog for 3 miles.

I started the first session yesterday morning. I woke up at 5:30, done a gentle warm up and off i went , out into the cold fresh morning air. There wasn’t many people around, it was rather quiet. I had no idea of where I was going to jog/walk to as the park wouldn’t be open at that time and to be honest they are not a safe place to be where I live anyway. I held my phone in my hand and pressed start on the app, It started off with a 5 minute warm up walk, then went into a 60 second jog and then a 90 second walk. This went on for about 20 minutes and finished with a 5 minute walk down. Although the jogging doesn’t sound like much, I was beginning to sweat So I know it was doing something to my body. I felt really good after the exercise and was wide awake for the rest of the day.

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Today I am feeling it, today i have aches in muscles and joints that i had no idea existed! It’s not going to stop me though, if anything it has just made me more determined to carry on and achieve me goal of jogging 5k.

I have next session planned in for Thursday, wish me luck!

 

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