https://www.bowelcancerresearch.org/Fundraisers/sue-matthews-llhm-2020

Blog 2 - Sunday 16th Feb - 6 weeks to go!

Right, a few thumbs up to my friends for reading my first blog so hoping this will spread the word even more now and who knows across the globe. I really want to get the message across as it’s important to listen to your body especially if there is anything unusual about a change in your bowel movement (even if there’s no pain!).

Is the Western diet blamed or the stress we live in today’s society? There are many questions but it’s always best to eat healthily and to live a balanced life between work, living with your families, etc., to reduce stress, and importantly to have some  ‘me’ time, like I have with my golf and running.

I partly changed our family diet after my uncle’s diagnosis and we started to eat more healthily- one thing, I did immediately changed was to stop buying frozen oven chips and now I make my own oven chips by and it’s so easy. Just cut the potatoes (with peel on) into wedges or slices, wash with water and pat dry, put them in a bag with a little rapeseed oil, herbs, spices and/or crushed garlic, but no salt), then bake them in a hot oven at 200C for 20 mins. They are amazingly delicious and work out so much cheaper than oven chips, and you get the fibre that’s in the peel, so it’s great for the bowel too. More tips will be added next time.

After my race at Kirskstall Calverley Cutter I promised myself I’d do a run into work once a week, but my runner colleague Eleni was unwell with a nasty cold. So I didn’t want to run on my own on that week as it’s so hard to get up in the morning if you have no-one to run with: the motivation is not the same and the negativity slides in your mind so you say just 5 mins more in bed because you are nice and warm and then you will get up, but no that 5 mins leads another and another and then you realise it’s too late to run to work, and then I ended up feeling guilty for not doing my training run. Therefore I had to make up for it later in the week.

So Thursday is my Flyers club and I opted not to drive the car to the starting point (it’s only 1 km but I take the car all the time and I felt guilty as it only takes about 6 mins to run down and it will help the environment too: for your health try to walk/run away from polluted air but it’s so hard in our society – hopefully the air quality will improve when electric cars become more common).  I stayed in my usual group that evening - sometimes I have been tempted to go back to faster group, but I lose confidence from time to time and I don’t know why. I ran 8.5K in 54 mins and the hardest part was the run home, as I started to cool down after the stretching out at the end of the run.

Sat 8th Feb- I opted to drive down for a tourism parkrun at Barnsley with my Flyers friends Caroline and Emily - this was a great course for all abilities with hills, down hills and across an undulating course.

Sun 9th Feb- with storm Ciara battering the country I waited for the best time to leave the house and do a 10 miles training run and maybe 20K - I need to reach that before I do my LLHM. How mad was I to be running in the wild weather, but I kept running steady right on the inside of the path until I was out in the open space.

A strong gust of wind almost blew me over to near the side of the road and I held onto the stone wall. I thought to myself, “Why the hell have I come out?!” and if my mother had seen me she would have gone bananas.

I then came across to a big dip in the road and it was just like a river at the bottom so there was no other way for me to go other than go through it or climb back up the hill. I didn’t fancy going up that hill again so it was a real test with my new Gore-Tex trainers (guaranteed waterproof!): I managed to jump out into the middle of the road and a car suddenly came round the bend and tried to jump back on the path, but thankfully it stopped and waited for me whilst I crossed the large pool of water. I was jumping about trying to get to the parts with as least water as possible and I managed to get out safely - I wish I had taken a photo but didn’t fancy taking my phone out to capture a picture. I was so glad to complete the 10 mile run which took me 1h52m- no energy gels or anything required as I felt ok.

Wed 12th Feb- Good to my word I ran to work with Eleni (58m:54s for 9.6Km) and ran back home solo after a day at work. I was very glad to be at home even though my mum was not happy with the thought of me running home in the dark. She offered to pick me up at half way which I refused.

Thurs 13th Feb- was my usual Flyers club and I ran down to the starting place and I went up to the faster group after a run leader convinced me I’d be able to do it and they were right! I felt really good and the fitness was there (if only it was like that every time I run but unfortunately it’s not, it’s how you eat, feel on the day and whether you are fully hydrated too: this is important for the bowel to be fully hydrated as it helps to push things through).  Took me 1:04 for a 10K run and I did the homebound run too.

Sat 15th Feb - It was my friend’s turn to drive to the Parkrun so we did Conyngham Hall and the weather was horrible and raining. It was the slowest parkrun ever as it was very muddy and I was sliding everywhere.

Sunday 16th Feb - 6 weeks to go to LLHM. This time it was Storm Dennis and I went out running at the best time I could and found it rather difficult as I was taking it steady so as not to injure myself. I was disappointed with myself as my legs felt tired from Parkrun the day before - they were heavy as lead so after 10K at 1h 11m I decided to stop and go back home on the bus and felt guilty again.

I watched the world go by on the bus and saying to myself, I promise next Sunday- I will do that 10 mile or more :) Should I say watch this space? :)

To donate to Sue's page, please visit: https://www.bowelcancerresearch.org/Fundraisers/sue-matthews-llhm-2020

Read Sue's first blog entry