Well, I did it, I managed to walk the 14 miles on my own, in four and a half hours which I have to say is not a shabby result not that the Marsden March was a race.
So, lets rewind to March 2016 as this is when I said to myself as I sat in the hospital – that will be next year. I had to visit for my stomach jabs one of the joys of being neutropenic.
So, I signed up in November having picked up a leaflet in the hospital and decided that I was going to do it alone. If friends wanted to join me they could sort themselves out as, I was doing it for me and this was a time I was going to be selfish and not become a team leader.
Training, umm not sure that was done but I managed to get blisters from old trainers in January before going on holiday so, they were binned and a new snazzy pair purchased on my return from holiday.
I had two weeks to break them in and that was assisted by my week walking buddy, Julian and then at weekends it was wellie walking as we walked the dogs in the country with Hubert.
So, Sunday 19th March had arrived and my slot was 945am so, we headed off at 915am and I off I went with my green balloon, bottle of water and an energy bar and Hubert walked back from Royal Marsden to Chelsea and Westminster Hospital and off I went.
I didn’t know the route but the first part was familiar as we made our way up to Putney Heath and into Wimbledon Common and then to Raynes Park and it was half way, 7 miles. So, I had my picture taken.
I was feeling good at this stage as I had set a good pace as it was 11.54 so just over 2 hours to half way. No rain, but went from hot too cold to hot and hoped that a banana would help.
Then, I hit the ‘oh my god why am I doing this?’ at mile 10 just after going past the point where the children and 5 mile walkers came on board. My legs and butt were tired and walking it alone was taking its toll, I needed a kick up the arse. I had messages on my phone which lifted me to the last 1 ½ miles and then I knew after Nonsuch that the end was so close. By now, I had joined a group of children, about five of them walking to support their friend who was himself walking after battling Leukaemia (twice) – a real inspiration.
Walking on my own gave me time to reflect my journey as I didn’t listen to music, I just walked and it was the determination and positive thoughts I had when undergoing treatment that made me finish.
Then, I could see the finish point and I knew Hubert was at the end but would I miss him, as I didn’t really know how many people would be at the finish line, but I saw him and boy was I grateful that everything had gone like clockwork and he was there.
I got my medal and we headed to the car, back through the walkers, some of which I had passed during my March and some looking how I felt so I said it was only a few more minutes and it would be finished.
We got to the car and Hubert drove back and I was shattered but in a good way as I had raised over £1,000 for the RMH, who had saved my life.
We went for lunch and having sat for half an hour it was like I had aged 50 years as I wrenched myself out of the car and it took about 5 minutes for my feet to re-engage with my body. I was grateful for a hot bath and a good night’s sleep.
Today, I feel it in my bum cheeks but then if there was no pain, would I have felt like I had achieved it?
Would I do it again, maybe not but I will certainly offer to marshal as a volunteer next year as they were amazing giving us the encouragement.
This morning, I notice that I have gone up to £1,200.00 and hopefully it will climb a little bit more. Thank you to everyone who supported me on this March this was an important part of my journey.
What next …. Well watch this space as you know me I like to have a challenge.
Thank you to all the staff at the Royal Marsden Chelsea (NHS) you saved my life and gave me the strength to KICK CANCERS BUTT.