Keeping It Real – Week 1 Down – 15 to go

Hi Guys,

Firstly, WOW. Just wow. I cannot believe how many people read my first blog Week 1. I have received so much positive feedback and support, so hopefully you will like my latest blog. Week 2.

The Call

I want to rewind back to the day I first got the call to say I had been accepted to run London Marathon. I don’t remember the exact day; however, it was a man called Adam from The British Lung Foundation. He called me explaining who he was and simply ‘we have read your application and we would like you to run for us in the London Marathon, what do you think?’ Well I was shocked. I couldn’t believe it I was only speaking to Geoff (fellow running buddy from Helsby RC) the night before when he was telling me about his inspirational story when he ran London.

I couldn’t wait to tell everyone, my family, my boyfriend, friends and work colleagues.One thing I have always said is, if I am going to run a marathon it must be London and for a charity precious to me. But then it starts to sink in, the excitement wore off the next day and I felt anxious. But why did I feel so anxious about running a marathon? I should be planning.

I spoke to close family an explained my concerns. When am I going to find the time? I have £1800 to raise; how will I even do that? What fundraising ideas should I do?And lastly, how on earth am I going to run 26 miles and train?!

I’m not sure if it was just ‘a bad day’ on why I felt like this, but my mindset soon switched! I started to talk to fellow runners and close family, their experiences and it motivated me more. I recently joined a running club (HelsbyRC) and the runners are incredible. It’s a friendly group and every time you go you have the motivation to do something out your comfort zone. Well I think joining a club is out of some people’s comfort zone anyway – so that’s a good start! I also want to say if its something you have personally been thinking about taking up running, join a club! There are all different abilities, and no one judges – sometimes I feel like people only think its for athletes or extremely good runners. But its not!

So, I started to plan, get focused and well look at me now I am writing a blog.

My Personal Story

Now I mentioned briefly in my first blog why I am running for The British Lung Foundation. I am not one to bear my soul to the world however when you do things like this you have to talk and be open.

I found it difficult writing my JustGiving page, people would say have you set it up yet?But I had concerns over that, I am talking about something that is still so fresh to me. I didn’t want to upset family, but I then I thought why am I looking at it negatively? This is s a positive and I want to bring awareness to everyone!

I lost my Gran (Georgina Brooks) in early January 2018, it was the day after New Year’sday. My Gran had an ongoing struggle with COPD for many years, I remember that it started with a lot of medication and a lot of different coloured inhalers,but it then got worse. She was on continuous oxygen for the last years of her life, she wouldn’t leave the house because her immune system was so weak, and she didn’t want to pick up an infection – now this wasn’t my gran. Even when I was a child, she would take us out to the local town center even if it was just for shopping.

They say COPD is like breathing through a straw. Now, can you even imagine how difficult that must be? I look at running and the biggest organs you use is 1) your heart 2) your lungs. Now imagine that feeling you get breathing with COPD and running at the same time. I recently met a runner with COPD at the park run and that’s areal inspiration right there!

Not only am I running for my Gran Brooks but my other gran also who is still with us, I call her Granny Tricia. She also suffers with COPD, its difficult for her but for us too when you see how exhausted she is even walking to the kitchen. Now for me, my grandparents are my world. Grandparents are the ones that think no bad in you and only the positives, the ones that support you no matter what and the ones that always said you could have sweets when your Mum and Dad said no!

I plan on touching more on COPD and lung disease throughout my blogging so keep with me.

The Beginning of Week 2

Now, let me tell you about my week.

Firstly,how am I doing with the podcast situation? Ok, erm.  I went out for another 5 miles on Wednesday,I started to listen to Fern Cottons – The Happy Place podcast. The podcast covers mental health and supports the charity mind, now I am 110% behind mental health however the podcast just wasn’t for me. I want to touch on the mental mindset as I continue to blog too, I believe that as much as people say well its one foot in front of the other, how hard can it be? I believe the mental mindset is the key!

In my first week I have completed the total amount of miles on the plan – 23 miles! My runs during the week have been fine, the struggle with the dark morning and dark evenings especially with running are difficult but once your out, your out! I shuffled my plan slightly this week which meant I done a back to back run Saturday and Sunday (this wasn’t part of the plan!) EP Park Run on Saturday and then another 8 miles on Sunday. Now, if you’re a beginner runner I would recommend the Park Runs. They are everywhere, so friendly and a good way to get the miles in! There are always pace walkers so there is no pressure if you can’t run the whole thing.

On Saturday before the park run, I sat in my car, knackered and talking myself out of running it. Soon before I knew it I was finished, I’d done it?! It wasn’t my best run or performance I remember at 2 miles saying to myself god I’m knackered.But once I finished and I bumped into a few new faces who said ‘I tried to catch you but I just couldn’t’ and I thought why am I beating myself up about this Park Run – they’re supposed to be fun!

However,Sunday didn’t go as planned either. I went out for 8 miles in which I completed 8 miles however the WIND – how windy! The wind was extremely strong and I think I have previously mentioned about weather and the impact on running. For the first 3 miles I was running against the wind to the point where my earphones fell out every 2 seconds. I had to ditch the headphones but then it allowed me time to concentrate on how I was running. I started to concentrate on my legs,my arms and my breathing. Now personally it takes me a good mile for my breathing to become stabilised. I think if your breathing sounds extremely exhausted your pushing yourself way to hard, again if you think your running slow, top tip slow down again! It happens a lot! The main way I control my breathing is deep breaths in and out – feel your lungs fill up!

Now if it wasn’t just down to the wind, I got chased by a dog. Could these 8 miles get any better? I’ve ditched my headphones, I feel like someone is pushing me back every time I go forward and now, I have a dog that’s going to eat my ankles –brilliant.

Overall not the best start but I am going to take the positives from it!


I have a busy week ahead with work and birthdays, its Abigail’s 6th birthday (that’s my little sister) so I will be shuffling my plan again! Now Abigail believes that she will be running the marathon with me and her thing at the moment is asking me if she can race me when ‘we’ do the marathon – ha! But I am sure she will be taking full advantage of the freebies at the end. However, as long as I get the miles in I am still sticking to the plan!

One from Sundays 8 miles

Before I go,a few people since this blog have asked me, well how did you get your plan? You simply google there is thousands out there however I read a book and I thought well that looks like it could work for me! I have read various books/magazines given to me with plans. I have personally gone for an intermediate plan rather than a beginner purely because I already run!

Wish me luck this week and follow me on Strava (running app) if you’re interested on taking a closer look at my runs!

Again, THANK YOU for all the amazing support and donations.

Hayley x

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