Elaine is training to run a 10K for her mum who was diagnosed in 2016, and in memory of her mum’s friend Glenda, who died of ovarian cancer earlier this year. Read on for her round-up of why she’s running, how she’s preparing and how the heatwave has affected her training…
To me, superheroes aren’t caped crusaders, they are people fighting every day to live well. My mum is my superhero. Two years ago my mum was diagnosed with terminal ovarian cancer. Her story is like so many others, no symptoms until the disease was already advanced and a host of side effects which left her in hospital before one major operation and too many chemo sessions to count.
Taking on the challenge
For my mum, and for all the women fighting every day, I wanted to take on a challenge to raise awareness of ovarian cancer, as well as the importance of early diagnosis and support services. Unfit and packing quite a few extra pounds due to my love of wine and carbs, I decided to take on a 10k and signed up for running for Target Ovarian Cancer in the Richmond Runfest in September. Hell if my Mum can go through chemo, I can train for a 10k – that was my thinking.
I started my training in March, and at first, it went pretty well. Nice, short distances and cool weather were my friend. I enjoyed it, saw my fitness improve and dropped a dress size!
When the summer heatwave hit the training got harder and the training distances got longer. My lack of fitness started to show and it’s been hard pushing through what sometimes feels like running through treacle. I return home a hot sweaty mess with my head as red as a tomato. I have had to adapt and have changed when and where I run to try and get shade and avoid the peak heat of the day. Much to the surprise of my family and friends, I have even set my alarm early to go running before work and the school run just to benefit from the (slightly) cooler temperatures. And an even bigger surprise was investing in running shorts and getting my legs out!
The real heroes
My training difficulties pale in comparison to those that arise from chemotherapy and ovarian cancer. I am lucky that I can run, I can choose to go out and train, heat or not. My side effects only extend to sore, tired legs and heat rash. When it gets tough on a run I remember what made me do this in the first place. Running as a woman for women. I have had so much support from my family and friends and I’m raising much needed funds to help get the awareness we so desperately need around early diagnosis and screening that will ultimately save lives.
I am NOT a superhero or a natural born runner but I AM going to do this. My mum and the many other women battling and living with ovarian cancer are the superheroes. Join me in taking on a superhero challenge for them.