Tag Archives: cancer

Back to running….sort of!

So after all the excitement of the cricket in South Africa, and as England struggle to win the 4th test in Port Elizabeth, I must return my attention to my running training.

As most amateur marathon runners know, 18 weeks is an ideal amount of time to run a marathon.  Unfortunately I am going to have to stick to a hasty 15 weeks preparation as my broken wrist is hampering my running somewhat.  Running or training intensely at any pace is quite difficult, partly because the good people at Truro Hospital in Cornwall, and at St Thomas’s in London, have set my wrist at an awkward angle for me to have any dexterity.  The cast gets uncomfortable sweaty when doing high intensity training on a bike or treadmill, and the awkwardness of the cast means I have to hold my arm in to keep it as still as possible – so best laid advice has been to withhold from the running until it is out of cast as it may cause me to run off centre and generate niggling injuries! Role on 2nd February when hopefully the cast comes off…it is becoming quite boring having it on. Although it does get me out of doing press ups or pull ups!  Although wearing a training weighted vest with 28kgs in it and pulling a weighted sledge up and down is not affected by it – thanks Jon.

Anyways, I am confident that 15 weeks is going to be sufficient to lug myself around the London Marathon course in April.

Speaking of which I can now alert you all to the details of my fundraising page for the London Marathon.

I am running the London Marathon 2016 in memory of my darling Daddy, Robin Halfhead and raising money for a wonderful charity called Maggie’s. 

Maggie’s Centres helped my mother and father during my father’s battle with cancer.  The Maggie’s Centre in Oxford was a place they felt they could go to after they had been to one of my father’s consultations with his consultant and be given reassurance, advice, comfort and where they felt treated as individuals going through the cancer journey and not just another old couple where my dad was just another man with cancer facing a battle he couldn’t win.  They treated my parents with respect, and listened to them and answered their questions in a way that my parents could understand, and they treated them as old friends.  There was always a cup of tea and coffee, and homemade cakes and a friendly face to greet them.  Everyone going through cancer would benefit from visiting a Maggie’s Centre, they help you feel less frightened, less lonely, and able to share what you are going through.  They are run by volunteers, but are so well equipped and run by such wonderful people and they really make a difference.  If you can help me raise money for them, specifically for Maggie’s Centre in Oxford I would be so grateful.  They really helped my parents, and I know they can continue to help so many more people.

My fundraising page is http://www.virginmoneygiving.com/Runhurryharryrun 

For more information about Maggie’s please visit they’re web page on http://www.maggiescentres.org 

Thank you so much….

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A chocolate conundrum…

This is just a short blog to make those who following it (and who know my family) laugh…

One problem with my old man is that since he’s had cancer one of his main problems is that he has lost his appetite and rarely eats very much – hence becoming so weak and contracting a bad chest infection in the last week.

So, we are trying our hardest to find tempting titbits that Dad fancies – on previous admissions Dad has been quite good with hospital food, but not so much this time.  For some reason Mummy and my brother Nick are quite happy to polish off anything Dad doesn’t eat on the menu!! We have brought in from home cooked brownies, flapjacks, amongst a host of other snacks, and of course a sneaky box of Lindor truffle chocolates found its way into Dad’s room – a Halfhead favourite – a box normally lasts all of about 5 minutes in our family.  Well, Catherine brought these in on Sunday afternoon, and Dad hasn’t really been interested in them, so of course on the sly we have all been merrily dipping our hands in the box and innocently munching away, and the box just about lasted until Monday evening where I must confess Mum, Nick and I finished the last 3! Clearly my training diet is no longer being strictly followed.

What happens, this afternoon I have a long chat with Dad about eating and how I know it feels like we are always nagging him to eat this, try that, but it’s only because we want him to regain some of his strength so that we can have him back at home.  Suddenly he states he’d like to try a chocolate……I look at Mum and we both collapse in (guilty) laughter as we tell Daddy that um, his grown up family (not the grandchildren) have eaten them all!  

I hastily ran down to the shop and bought some more, and Dad has happily enjoyed one, he even gave one to his lovely nurse but told Mum and I they were strictly his chocolates.  

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Running sadly doesn’t always make it better…

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.



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