From Sickness to Fitness

Hello loyal followers and new readers! Thanks for coming back for another instalment of my journey towards achieving 12 medals in 12 months. For those of you who are new to the blog, I am currently training, with my husband Matthew, to run 12 races over the duration of 2016. The aim is to complete one in each calendar month, the first already being achieved at the beginning of January, The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park 10km. Our next race is in just 3 weeks and will be the Hampton Court Half Marathon on 21st February 2016. We have also just signed up for race 3 in March, The Surrey Half Marathon, and race 4 in April is the wonderful Virgin London Marathon. All of this effort is in memory of my younger brother Graham, who passed away in 2012 from Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, and we are raising money for The Muscular Dystrophy Campaign.

It’s been a funny couple of weeks. Sadly week three of training in 2016 did not go well, in fact training was non existent. Work was indescribable, I felt like death warmed up, and the kids were sick. Recipe for training disaster. Hence there was no training update last weekend!


I’d like to focus this post on my strategies for recovering from illness and getting back into training after an unplanned break (if thats what you can call it!), but first, the weekly round up!

Weeks 3 and 4 Round Up

13.29 miles plodded

2016 miles = 41.96m

Donations received £120.00

2016 total raised = £320.00

Monday saw me attempting to recover from the worst lurgy I’d had in a rather long time! But was super pleased I hadn’t lost my pace!
Wednesdays fartlek run (my favourite, not) was super hard, 5 intervals and 5 hills! And the hills round this part really are hills!
Todays long run was tough but only because I had missed last weeks run. But I did it and in super time for my little legs!

Getting back into training this week has been super tough. My legs have been fine but my poor chest….. I don’t get out of breath easily, what with being a slightly slower runner and all that, so it came as a bit of a shocker this week. I usually pride myself on my breathing technique, but not sure I actually had a technique this week other than to avoid collapsing into a breathless heap!

I have some unwritten rules when it comes to training when under the weather and when it comes to training with a slightly more severe bout of illness. This is by no means meant as professional advice, as I am far from a professional runner or coach, but just my personal beliefs and opinions, plus tips I have picked up over the last 9 years.

When it comes to coughs and colds I use the neck rule…….

By this I mean I take some time to assess where my cold has decided to settle itself within my body. We all know that feeling when the cold is bloody awful head cold (above the neck) and when it has travelled further down towards our chest (below the neck). I’m asthmatic so it is pretty easy for me to recognise when my chest has been affected, for starters I can barely breathe, I cough like mad, and it hurts, a lot. If my chest isn’t affected then I usually just keep up with my planned training sessions but at a slower pace, and to be honest it usually helps me to clear the cold quicker and relieves my symptoms temporarily.

If a cold has travelled below the neck, then rest!

As frustrating as this rule is for me (even if it is my own rule) I usually do listen to my body and take the opportunity to rest. I hate sitting at home (between long shifts that is) thinking that I could be out running. I also hate the way my bottom expands with the lack of running (which definitely happened last week).

If I’m ejecting anything from my body then I’m not running (sorry……)

Enough said (fellow medical workers and parents will know exactly what I mean, we do pick up these nasty bugs from time to time).

When I think I have recovered enough to run I take it slow

Last weekend I though I had recovered enough to perhaps do a half hour run on Saturday and attempt a longer run on Sunday, just so my whole week of training wasn’t written off. However a little walk around the town and some housework soon told me that I wasn’t. On top of that the kids got sick too, which meant I was approaching a week of very little sleep as I had already been sleeping terribly all week and now there were crying bambinos to comfort all night.

Eventually on Monday, although still exhausted, I dragged my sorry (and slightly bigger) bottom out of the door and pounded the local streets. I just did a little 30 minute jog, at effort 2, and actually surprised myself when I saw my pace was still as it was before getting sick!

I don’t try and make up for the runs I have missed

Now, I had had only been out of action for a couple of days I probably would have managed 3 out of the 4 runs planned for last week. However, missing a whole week? I could never make that up, not without killing myself anyway. Trying to make up that many runs is a sure fire way of making myself sick again!

I eat well but also afford myself the odd treat

I’ve made a real effort this week to eat some really nourishing foods, however, as my appetite was off and I hadn’t actually eaten much last week (I know you are wondering how my bottom got so big then, well, my body is somewhat of an enigma) I did allow myself to enjoy that afternoon tea with my mum, and a curry with the husband. I’m also pre sickness size again…….

Lastly, I have a good moan

Feel free to moan when you are feeling unwell and it is scuppering your plans, especially to those around you who are willing to listen. A bit of sympathy never hurt no-one!

I’d be really keen to know how you recover from illness when training, and what your unwritten rules are! Please comment below and share your tips!

If you would like to donate to our cause then please feel free to visit

We also have a Facebook page you can follow found at the bottom of this page, and you can always follow our blog and our journey also by pressing all the right buttons.

Wishing you all a healthy week ahead!


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