From chemo to Berlin marathon – July update

August 1, 2011

I’m just back from two very relaxing weeks’ holiday on the Danish island of Bornholm. OK, relaxing probably means different things to different people and many of you probably don’t think it is particularly relaxing to participate in a 5 day stage race during your holidays! However, Etape Bornholm is something special – the distance of a marathon, but run in 5 stages over 5 days at different locations on the island, including stages in the forest, on the beach, up hills and on flat roads.  For me the biggest challenge was running on 5 consecutive days – I never normally run more than 2 days consecutively and then usually one of them is an “easy” run. It was a challenge I actually didn’t manage to meet as I ended up dropping out before the final stage because my left Achilles tendon started to complain – so I’ll just have to go back and do it again another time! Regardless of that I can easily say that it was one of the best running experiences of my life: well organised and beautiful routes, and for some reason I was feeling great! Each stage is between 5 and 10 km, which aren’t my favourite distances, the pace is too fast so it hurts! Normally I spend races of that length longing to see the next km marker and arguing with a voice in my head that is telling me to stop and walk. Only this time that didn’t happen – each evening I got into a great flow and lost track of how far I had run, even though I can see from my watch that it wasn’t because I was taking it any easier than I normally would. I have a theory that my body had to put up with so many horrible and uncomfortable things last year, that anything else is a piece of cake now!

 Generally I haven’t been home much in July. As the month opened I was on holiday in Scotland visiting my family and friends there for the first time since before I was ill. I was also in New York for a few days for work, where I got in a few early morning runs in Central Park. I always love running in Central Park – there are so many people, even at 6am, the paths are like some kind of runners’ motorway – very different from the forests near where I live where I can run for ages without seeing another soul!

Travelling certainly hasn’t held me back from running then, as confirmed by this month’s statistics. The distance is looking good, but I’m not quite sure what the reason is for the rather slow average pace. Certainly all the beach and hill running on Bornholm last week resulted in a rather slow overall pace and the trip to/from New York probably took its toll too, plus since I haven’t been home I haven’t been doing my speedy track sessions. Whatever it is, I don’t believe that it is because my fitness is declining – at least I hope not!

Month #km Average pace min/km Comments
April 2010 132 5:07 Typical month pre-cancer treatment
October 2010 88 5:54 Last chemo on 18 Oct.
November 2010 100 5:46 First radiotherapy 15 Nov.
December 2010 49 6:08 Last radiotherapy 8 Dec.
January 2011 100 5:53  
February 2011 103 5:44  
March 2011 47 5:43 Injured!
April 2011 113 5:27  
May 2011 98 5:32  
June 2011 147 5:17  
July 2011 172 5:37  

 Only 8 weeks to go now until Berlin marathon, so I also need to step up the pace a bit on the fundraising. Thanks a million to those of you who have already supported my efforts. If you haven’t done so yet, you can donate here: (and do feel free to spread the word to your friends and family!).



One Response to “From chemo to Berlin marathon – July update”

  1. […] I’m talking about the injury to my Achilles tendon during Etape Bornholm last week, which was a bit worrying with 8 weeks to go to my marathon, particularly considering […]

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