After the marathon...

She didn't see the "FINISH" line so she's not stopping now


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Wednesday, 13 June 2007: Moving on

The MS Society has featured me in their MS Superstars Flora London Marathon 2007 Souvenir Newsletter (1.5MB PDF).

It’s almost two months since the marathon, the blisters are almost healed, and life is returning to normal. Well... as normal as my life is ever likely to be!

I was very tired for over a week after the marathon. Then I had to go to the YBS's Head Office for an intense course connected to my role of “Mortgage Adviser”, but I was floating on the marathon high. The money was flowing in and the feeling was really good.

I got back to find a Certificate of Appreciation from the Croydon branch of the MS Society.  Apparently I missed my praises being sung at the AGM while I was away. (Damn! I could do with an ego boost!)

Talking of which, at a scrumptious meal with the family at Pepperton uk, I was asked for my autograph.  How surreal!  He was embarrassed because he had never asked for an autograph before, but I reassured him that equally I had never been asked before!

HOWEVER, I wasn't prepared for the down that you get when life returns to normal. I had suffered slightly from this after the sky dive but this time was much worse. Hence I’ve been quiet for a couple of weeks. There should be an emotional health warning on extreme accomplishments. Thankfully, my friends were tolerant of my misery and the Inner Shift Personal Development Group (now moved to a room at Pepperton uk restaurant) was a definite source of positive encouragement.

Shopping is the ultimate way to feel better! I went with Régine, who has volunteered her services as a transitional life coach. The trip re-invented and revived me.  I’m not use to spending so much time on myself and I wore a new outfit to see Dumpy's Rusty Nuts at The Underworld in Camden, chaperoned by my daughter Tabitha and two of her friends. It’s hard to believe it’s been a year since I celebrated my birthday at the Cartoon - which has closed down again.  Visit the reviews section on  My review of my 24th June 2006 birthday gig is at the bottom (it’s not in date order).

It’s time to move forward

Following his promise at the 8 mile mark, and out of fear that I will again do the marathon if he doesn't, Hubby Gary has now joined Solutions Gym and is building up the miles on the treadmill. He’s determined to beat not only my time but also the 8 hour deadline to get an official time with Flora London Marathon.

Dad, on seeing my success, has enlisted me to help get some charity places in next year's Marathon for the Croydon Hearing Resource Centre,  and he’s already seconded Gary to his Marathon team. I might also advise FLM of how they can help the stragglers in the Marathon, many of whom are charity runners ...or, in my case, limpers.

I want to work more with Chris Colgan and his Inner Shift Personal Development Group, from which I have benefited much.  I have offered my help to promote the work that Chris does. It's something “alternative” and unconventional that should be brought to the conventional audience’s attention and given the credibility it deserves.

Feedback from my fans... family, friends, business colleagues, associates... well everyone! Then perhaps I should really write my story. When I have some spare time.
Bye for now xx

Monday, 7th May 2007

It’s only been two weeks since the marathon but it seems like a lifetime ago. I’ve got my medal and my finisher's tee-shirt but I really want an official time that I and my supporters can check on the web.  Celestine & I have contacted the organisers, and this does bring up the bigger issue of the lack of support we stragglers received on the day.  Every year we see on television not only "novelty" entrants in more and more bizarre & inventive costumes, but people like me who are determined to finish the course despite illnesses or disabilities, often raising huge amounts for charity in the process.  The marathon media coverage doesn't show that the course directions, water points, finish line, and even finish time are denied us if we are too slow!

I’ve collected a lot of donations but I think I will have one or two last fund raising drives before drawing efforts to a close on my birthday. I have to move on to my next venture... maybe helping the marathon help the stragglers, or perhaps becoming Gary’s personal trainer in preparation for next year’s marathon!

I have quite an intense course at work and am really looking forward to a yoga retreat at the end of May. Then I may have more focus for WHAT TO DO NEXT!

Saturday 28th April 2007

I went to my Body Balance class today. I dashed in, 30 seconds late, and when they saw me I got a round of applause and congratulations. I was glad the class had already started because I really did find being the centre of attention embarrassing. I do things because I won’t be told I can’t do them, not for the applause. Plus I'm not used to receiving compliments. After the class they showered money at me: over £65. Thank you.

Before Pilates I visited my supporters at Runathon, who had kindly donated a pair of running socks for the big event, and had also been collecting in an MS tin. They were at the marathon and remembered seeing me on the day at about the 4 mile mark.

Pilates was followed by a shower & a thorough pampering of my peeling sunburn & blisters.  [Anna refuses to let me publish the gory details!]

After visiting family to show off my newly-arrived medal, Gary, Rebecca and I went to Pepperton for dinner. Wonderful as usual.

ANOTHER FIRST: I was approached by a nice young man who asked me to sign one of the photographs of the day. He apologised because he said he had never asked for an autograph before, I laughed with him because I had never been asked for an autograph before!

Finally, I've been packing my suitcase. I'm heading back to reality and off to the Yorkshire Building Society Head office in Bradford tomorrow. The course is 16 days long but then I will be well on my way to being reauthorized as a Mortgage Adviser again. (my paid job!)

Friday, 27th April 2007

Very tired today, perhaps my body wants to rest and recover since the Chiropractic treatment.

I’m on page 26 of the Croydon Advertiser, the "Marathon" page, and I take up half of it.  Not bad as I don’t yet have an "official time" (as the officials had packed up and left by the time we'd finished).  

Woohoo! My medal and finisher’s tee-shirt have just arrived as I finished writing this!


Thursday, 26th April 2007

I'm away next week on a course for work, so I've been getting mentally organised, and letting my body rest, plus I designed a poster proclaiming that “I Did It” (the marathon, that is!)

Had an appointment with Matt the Chiropractor. Ouch... quite painful, but he was impressed that I am actually in quite good condition and probably better than most at this stage after the marathon. Thank you yoga!

Wednesday, 25th April 2007

Body all stiff but it will pass. I walked to yoga but took so long I missed it.

Today I took time to reflect on my achievements, and my future goals.  I must be proactive, focus on specifics, and I should expect achievements to start to come my way.  I'm excited about the future.

At the Wednesday night development group we celebrated my marathon success with smiley face cakes.

Tuesday, 24th April 2007

Ouch ~ today I really know that I completed a marathon.  My right knee, left hip and sunburn are hurting today; a blister on my right big toe is tender, my hands feel bruised from pushing the walker, and I'm even more tired...  I’m not moaning - just listing - because this reminds me of what a great achievement I have made!
While visiting Celestine at Pepperton I got a phone call from Moisha of the Croydon Advertiser saying that I'll be in this weeks paper!
I think Pepperton is the centre of the universe and I wish the calmness would spread a bit further.

23rd April 2007: The day after the Flora London Marathon

I'm quite lethargic today but I think I’ll let myself off! 
My right calf is very tired, but my knee seems better after a night's rest.  I've made a conscious effort to eat “recovery” foods, went to Thendara's yoga class, and had a nice pampering shower and a massage of all the aching bits (everywhere!), plus moisturiser and healing lotions for the sunburn.

Earlier entries (the marathon blog) here


In the press:

"Karen won’t let MS stop her finishing marathon", Croydon Guardian, 4th April 2007

"MS sufferer Karen is running the London Marathon", Croydon Advertiser, 29th Dec 2006

"Pull yourself together", Chat magazine, 8th May 2003

"On Your Marx, Get Set", News Shopper, 30th Apr 2003

"Mum Karen forgets her illness to help buy ambulance", Croydon Post, 18th Aug 1999

Finishing the marathon, BBC website