Why I’m Running the London Marathon

I have always wanted to run a marathon. But not just any old marathon (though I wouldn’t mind being fit and quick enough to qualify for Chicago, but I love Chicago pizzas too much for that to ever happen) but London. My favourite city in the whole world. The city so close to where I grew up. The city that holds so many happy memories for me.

It helps that I love running. I’m not fast, but I can run and run and run and run and never get tired out. Running was something that I lived for. Coming in after work, changing in to my running gear and getting a quick and easy 5k out of the way before dinner. It helped me to get rid of any stresses I had, and just gave me time to relax. Getting fit was a nice bonus!

I started by only running 1 minute, and worked my way up to running 10 miles without stopping.

I always wanted to run a marathon before I turned 30. Time is now ticking.

When I first applied to run the marathon I wanted to get in on a ballot place, but was unsuccessful. This is a mighty shame, as this was pre my diagnosis and I could have easily completed the 26.2 miles.

But then of course, disaster struck. Arthritis came to me and I had to stop running overnight. I was so devastated I don’t know how I managed to drive past runners without opening my car window and throwing something at them. I’ve managed the odd run, and really hope that I get back to it.

So what better way to get back to it, than to actually do it.

Easier said than done, we know. My body isn’t playing ball. Methotrexate hasn’t had the dream results I was hoping for, and I’m always bloody tired. But I still believe I can do it.

I’m going to start ‘small’, running the inaugural Great Aberdeen Run 10k in August. No longer aiming for a sub 55 minutes, I’ll just be grateful to get round in one piece.  A few weeks after this I have a place for The Great North Run, which I hope to do a little quicker than last years disaster (but again, will be pleased to get round and survive.)

Which leads to The Ultimate. London.

Why do I want to run it? A few reasons.

  1. Because it’s a dream
  2. Because I want to prove to others I can do it
  3. Because I want to prove to myself I can do it
  4. Because I don’t want my arthritis to beat me

But also

5. Because I want to raise much needed money for Arthritis Research UK

And that’s my main motivation. I want to give back to this charity that have helped me immensely. When I was first diagnosed, their website and the leaflets available at the hospital were a lifeline for me. Even now I still access the website to provide me with my information on everything from fatigue to exercise. When I see my rheumatologist next week, I know that when I am offered new medication the first thing I will do is access ARUK website for the reliable information on it.

6. I want to run it for all of those who can’t. I want to run it for other runners who have had to give up running or up on their dreams because of the devastating effects of arthritis.

I won’t be fast. It won’t be pain free. But every single step will be worth it.

If you feel obliged then please take the time to visit my fundraising page and help me to support a charity that mean so much to me:

http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/showFundraiserProfilePage.action?userUrl=RebeccaNorth2

 

 

The London Marathon

So today I should have been running the London Marathon. My first marathon.

I have wanted to run London my entire life. I knew as soon as I started running it was going to be my ultimate target. Getting to this point was 2 years in the making.

Running is my favourite thing.

One year ago exactly today, I ran my first ever Parkrun. I wasn’t sure about going because not only was it chilly and hailing, I had a sore foot. However I went and it was a personal best by 2 minutes, and I was just seconds away from going sub 30 minutes. That sore foot was to be the beginning of my arthritis, and it was to be my last run for almost 6 months.

I did however manage a half marathon, The Great North Run. It was slow and I hurt a different part of my left foot, but I managed it. I felt fit enough, and crucially, strong enough. Just one week later though I came off anti-inflammatories and onto methotrexate and I’ve been on a downward spiral ever since.

Back in the summer of 2016 I applied for a charity place for Arthritis Research UK. I really believed I would get better and be back to my normal self in time. This hasn’t happened.

Today, on marathon day, I am at home, bedbound. Arthritis has taken my left shoulder in the last 4 weeks. I can’t dress or undress myself. I can’t open doors with it. On top of that, inflammation has spread to my top of my spine and my neck. If I turn my head even a little either side I feel like I’m going to be sick. That’s on top of the normal stiffness and swelling I have in both my hips, my ankles and my knees. I am in one of my worst flares for a while.

Watching the marathon on tv has been a painful experience emotionally. I should be there. There is no guarantee that I’ll be there next year but I have to believe it. I have my place for next year. It’s literally next year or never.

The comeback starts today.

If anybody wishes to support me in this impossible quest, please follow the link below

http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/RebeccaNorth2