Yes, I know, I know – I haven’t blogged for ages and you must wonder if I am still alive or even still running.
The answer is folks I am well and truly alive, and still trying to run as much as possible, but very sadly I have now withdrawn myself from running the Atacama Crossing in October of this year. Earlier this year, my darling Daddy was diagnosed with oesophageal cancer. As many people out there know, cancer is the gift that just keeps on giving and shortly afterwards it was discovered that he already has secondary cancer in his pelvic bone. Since full diagnosis my daddy has put up a brave face and been through two different bouts of radiotherapy to help slow down the growth of the tumours and relieve his pain symptoms. He has gone down the slippery slope quite quickly and every day is now precious. So actually taking the decision to stay in the UK and not head out half way across the world to Chile has been relatively straightforward to make. I couldn’t quite envisage perhaps on Day 3 in the desert coming to a halt and wondering why I was there. I am still running but somehow running doesn’t make cancer seem better at the end of the run – I’ve always felt a run improves any problem or dilemma I have, whether it is financial, emotional, career based, solving an argument in my head, but for some strange reason it just doesn’t work quite the same way with cancer!! Strange. My motivation is a little strained at times.
I have to drop in hear, for those that may be interested…and I hasten to add that I am still in negotiations with the 4 Deserts organisation (they hold the Atacama Crossing), about refunding some of my race fees. Unfortuntately my father’s prognosis and his obvious deterioration did not really occur 120 days before the start of the race and according to the rules this means that I am not entitled to any of the £2,500 + fees as a refund! Yup, I could be very sarcastic here and say something along the lines of my dad’s cancer should all have happened quicker for me then I could have got something back. But it obviously isn’t about the money and at the end of the day that it is all it is – and if anyone knows me, I am quite used to not really having any anyways! The 4 Deserts have tentatively suggested that they ‘might’ be able to transfer my race fees to a race next year or the year after, but not all of it! That would mean paying additional race fees on top for me – so I am sure you can imagine that if you were asking about how good the 4 Deserts are – at the moment, I’d say I’m not impressed. There are lots of other charges on top of the race fees for their races as well which I have to say the MDS do not have and they are a polished and well run race. Still, as I said, I am still in negotiations and may be I’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Out running this morning in the rain that now seems to slyly have vanished into sunshine now that I have gotten home, I did feel somewhat refreshed – but it is the heavy heart that is sluggish to run with.
I have a race down in Dorset in two weeks – the Purbeck Marathon – which I am hoping I can switch to their 16 mile challenge…not least because I don’t want to embarrass myself in front of my young man as I stumble last over the line.
I’m strong definitely – my training with Luke at the Third Space has been tough, and I have also been training with Jon Stratford of Commando Active at the Albany Club. He trained me for the desert race back in 2012 – and lets say he’s got tougher. And I have to blow my own trumpet here – Gary, my fella, came to watch my training session with Jon last week – I think the words “a little intimidated” were muttered!
I’m sad to have dropped out of Chile as my training was going well; I even trained at my friend Tim’s wedding (sorry – Boot Camp Wedding) on the Island of Fjardlang in Sweden (see picture of scenery), but you know what, there’s always another desert, but we all only have one Daddy.