I am unwell, not lazy.

Virgin Money London Marathon is now officially less than two weeks away and I am seriously starting to doubt myself, eek!

I have got a serious case of maranoia. I have not got in near as many miles training as I would have liked. Why? Sometimes it feels like sheer laziness, but the truth of the matter is that sometimes I just do not possess the energy to run. I have to stop beating myself up psychologically. I am unwell, not lazy.

You see I have pernicious anaemia, not to be confused with iron anaemia, pernicious anaemia is an autoimmune condition which affects the stomach and the absorption of vitamin B12. A vitamin which is an essential component for the facilitation of energy release in the body via the formation of healthy red blood cells and the key to unlocking healthy metabolic and neurological function. It’s quite a complex process really, but simply put, my body attacks its own defence mechanisms and its own healthy cells. This has led to nerve damage, frequent numbness and tingling of my hands and feet, cramping, poor circulation, shortness of breath, weight loss, muscle weakness, brain fog and unbelievable tiredness… chronic tiredness!
As I am sure you can imagine, this does not lead to the greatest body in which to train with.

Becoming a runner for me has been a hard, hard road. I try not to let my PA get in the way, but it does and there is very little I can do about it, which is completely infuriating. My own body fails me at times when my mind feels stronger than ever. It’s a constant balancing act because if I over do it, boy do I know about it physically. But… I. LOVE. RUNNING and how it makes me feel psychologically. Unfortunately, tablets do not work for me so I have to have an intramuscular injection every three months which stings like a b**ch! Due to my condition, I can go from feeling just fine following treatment, to restless, unable to sleep and rest despite feeling completely worn out to days and days of hibernation.

Anyway, with the marathon fast approaching, I am due a B12 injection now and I am hoping that it will help power me through, unlocking energy that has been in short supply recently. I have decided this year I am going to listen to my body and take it at a fairly relaxed pace, soaking in all the sights, smells, sounds; everything that the big smoke has to offer as I travel the 26 miles by foot around the city. I am not going to compare to last year’s performance because, I have to face it, my body does and acts exactly how the hell it pleases sometimes and not the way I want it to so I have to stop pushing it when it simply won’t be pushed; when it threatens to crash completely. That’s not to say that I am not going to keep trying to improve myself and running performance but sometimes it takes strength to recognise weakness and work within physical limitations and capabilities in order to keep moving forward.

Over the next 13 days I will eat and sleep as well as I can, train gently and hope all comes together on race day. Either way, I will finish and I can assure every single person who has donated towards my London Marathon effort for the British Lung Foundation will not be disappointed. Even if I am slower than previous years, even if I have to walk at times, I can assure you that it will take me just as much, if not even more, determination and hard work to cross that finish line but cross it I will. If I have to crawl. I can, I will. Because no matter how crappy I feel there will always be someone feeling worse and that is the reason why I will. For the British Lung Foundation; fighting for cleaner air today, helping people breathe easier tomorrow… London I am coming to get you. Again!

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