Loss and Endurance: Half Marathon Training – Week 3 Day 4.

Today ends another week of my training for my first half marathon. Today, was/is a difficult day.


8 years ago today, I lost my dad to ‘Multiple Myeloma’ a rare form of cancer effecting the plasma cells. He was 53. photo (10)Abnormal plasma cells multiply in the bone marrow and change the formation of normal blood cells. Bone marrow investigations is one of the most painful things to go through (and that was from my Dad who was basically a ginger fucking superman). It is seen in 1 out of 100,000, is more common in men and is twice as common in people of African descent.

I inherited my pale pallor and ginger hair from my Dad. Trust him to get one of the unlikeliest, rarest and bloody terminal cancers! For a while, my Dad was attending his GP complaining of: confusion, headaches, visual disturbances, and fatigue. He was told it was vertigo. Eventually, after much insistence for further tests, he was diagnosed with the cancer. He told me over the phone, around 19:30, as I was getting ready for a night shift at work.

“I’ve been to the doctors and got the results of my tests back”



Little is known about Multiple Myeloma and more awareness, funding and research is desperately needed to improve the prognosis for sufferers.

http://www.myeloma.org.uk/is the only charity in the UK devoted to Myeloma. They do lots of fundraising events, including runs. They are one of the charities that run the Bupa Great North Run, half marathon. This usually occurs in September, and the minimum funds needed to enter are £350. I WILL DO THIS NEXT YEAR! I can’t do it this year as I don’t have the funds for flights and accommodation, but it’s an achievable goal for next year for sure.

So, yeah, today, not a great day. Although, I say “I’m ok”, although, I am not taking to my bed in tears, I am tetchy, irritable, and distracted by flashes of memories from his death. I try to make a conscious effort to remember the good things; one of these memories is: ‘the bus stop.’

The Bus Stop

My Mum and Dad were separated from when I was a very cute, well behaved toddler so I used to stay with my Dad at weekends and during some of the school holidays. He would collect me and take me back to Mums’ on the bus. There are two bus stops near my Mums’ one is very close to the street she lives down, the other is a little further away. He would ALWAYS make me get off at the one further away. Why? “Because, the other one means you’re walking back on yourself, what’s the point in travelling somewhere that you’re going to have to walk back on?”, “but Daaaaaddddd, it’s closer”, “tough”.

This being instilled in me, means two things in my life. 1) I always get off at the stop nearest the street, and feel a little naughty doing so, but I only do this with this particular bus stop and 2) Other than that rebelliousness, I can’t walk back on myself. Myself and the husband once walked 28km around the Blessington lakes as there was no damn bridges across it for miles and I was determined not to turn back. For about 3 hours Google maps kept telling us to turn around in order to get home quicker. “Fuck you” Google maps, I’m not allowed to walk back on myself.

My rule of not being able to walk back on myself brings me to today’s run.

The 11k run.

11k today, the farthest I have ever had to run. It also means that I have a different route compared to my 5k. It means I have to run up two particular roads to the end, turn around, and run back down them. For one of these roads, I have to do this twice. It bores the hell outta me, and I’m braking my own rules, and I dread having to do it. Nevertheless, tough shit, I had to do it, and I will be doing it a lot more often when my distance goals increase each week. YAY!

Like I promised in my last post: https://leanneandthehalfmarathon.wordpress.com/2013/05/30/i-know-a-old-runner-who-swallowed-a-fly-half-marathon-training-week-3-day-3/ I put the nice Nike + lady on silent, phone went in the pocket and I wasn’t to look at it until near the end.

It worked, I had a great run, 11k in 81 minutes, this wasn’t about speed, this was about running farther than I’ve ever gone, without dying or crying. I really enjoyed the run, my heart rate was a constant 175bpm, which is very comfortable for me and at times I found myself thinking “this is nice”. I was able to run mindfully, so much so I noticed a cover for an ear piece thermometer and only briefly got distracted by work! And, the run was completed comfortably.

I am over half way on the way to my first half marathon.

I have also re-christened the names of my runs from yesterday to reflect a more positive and determined way of thinking. They also come with a handy little Mnemonic to help me focus during my runs;

RECOVERY – 5k, a light run to recover from the long run 2 days previously.

PREPARATION – 7k, preparing the pace run tomorrow

PACE– 5k, try to beat fastest 5k time

ENDURANCE – the long run, enjoy it and run it at a comfortable pace.


So, yeah, I do think I have enough time to prepare for the half marathon, and I think it’s an achievable goal to finish it within 3 hours, a little less if possible. And, so what if I’m breaking my own rules? My Dad was the only Liverpool FC supporter in a family of Evertonians’, so I must get by rebelliousness from him! Plus, I don’t think he’d mind me going back on myself in this case. I miss him. A lot. But, I can still miss him whilst being productive and motivated. I can also make scouse and pea soup nearly as good as his. And, when she’s not gallivanting all over the world, I speak to my Mum everyday (well 3 times today) and when I visit, after her reading this blog, she will buy me things and make me BBQ spare ribs with chips and sweet corn. Thanks Mummy 😉

Lastly, for those of you undertaking ‘long runs’, here’s a little drinking tip. If you have a running belt with those little plastic running bottles…SUCK DON’T SQUEEZE! I squeezed and nearly chocked meself. I kinda felt like this:

photo (12)


About leanne402

A girl who has been lumbered with a disability following a brain haemorrhage and who also has endometriosis. A mum struggling to come to terms with what physical and mental illness has taken from her. Blogging my journey through endless hospital appointments and coping mechanisms I'm using to try and manage chronic pain, fatigue and learning to live with my disability. Trying to learn that I am not defined or confined by my illnesses and disabilities.
Aside | This entry was posted in Loss and Bereavement, Running and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Loss and Endurance: Half Marathon Training – Week 3 Day 4.

  1. fortnightflo says:

    Sorry about your Dad, but well done on your run today.

  2. Mandy says:

    Such a thoughtful post about your dad! Sounds like you are honoring his memory well. And way to go on the 11k! That’s awesome. I look forward to start pushing myself beyond the 5k distance in a couple of weeks. New challenges mean new achievements!

  3. What a wonderful tribute to your dad! My dad had a bone marrow stem cell transplant to treat his MDS last year and I understand how hard it is to watch someone you love go through the testing and consequences of bone marrow diseases 😦 AWESOME JOB on your run though girl, you’re getting there!!!

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