My next few blogs are going to be slightly different as they follow my journey of training for the London Marathon 2017…yup you read that right! So me a first time Mum, who is not at my physical fittest and also happens to have uncontrolled epilepsy is going to take on the London Marathon; I must be mad! They will be an honest account of how much(or little!) training I do, what its like working that around a 1 year old, the challenges of long distance running and epilepsy and coming back from an injury.
As we saw in 2017 I watched everyone around me making New Years Resolutions, promises to change and be better, but I turned to my husband Chris and remember saying I have none, for the first time in a really long time I feel like myself again and actually this is what I wanted to continue. For those of you who don’t regularly read my blog let me tell you a little bit about myself (and for those of you who do bare with me!) I was diagnosed with epilepsy at the age of 7, it has been part of my life on and off ever since, I gained control and spent over 18 months seizure free until I fell pregnant with our little boy. What followed on from that was a difficult pregnancy and a challenging 21 months since Noahs arrival . I was hospitalised twice following seizures during pregnancy, one which saw me fall down a flight of tube station stairs ( http://fairyfaye1986.weebly.com/blog/blog-12-and-then-it-happened ), Noah arrived safely in June 2015 but it didn’t stop there. Pregnancy changed everything and my epilepsy has been uncontrolled ever since, we have been through numerous drug changes and dose adjustments and nothing seems to be doing the trick anymore, then added to that is the side effects of the medication and the crippling anxiety that came with it.
On the 1st January I went out for a short run/walk and I loved it again, so whilst I was feeling myself I signed up for Silverstone Half Marathon and the Great South Run again with the intention of just trying to enjoy running again and doing a little something for me. Noah was that little bit older and running had helped both the epilepsy and anxiety in the past, it was time to give it another go. I also had broken my ankle running just before I fell pregnant and that was still weak so this was a prime time to start looking after myself a bit and try to strengthen it.
Then one random February afternoon in work (I work in the London Marathon Store) my boss offered me the opportunity to run the London Marathon, the only condition being that I have to run it in Reeboks new running shoe the FloatRide and offer feedback. My heart jumped and my instinct was to say yes but that old anxiety crept in, and the fears around the epilepsy – I mean I barely run outside so how was I going to manage this, I asked him if I could think about it and off I went to call Chris. He as ever was hugely supportive and told me I could manage this and we could work around Noah, to go for it, he had the faith in me that I lack in myself. My sister thought I’d lost the plot when I said I was even considering it after everything but she reassured me she knew I could do it and would be there to cheer me on, bless her I know she is just frightened but her unwavering support keeps me going. A friend popped by for a coffee and his words were “remember how gutted you were when you didn’t get a ballot place, if you think your health is up to this then what is stopping you, I don’t want you bleating on all year about a missed chance.”
I nodded and went back to work after my lunch break still unsure where my boss said to me “Sometimes Faye you just have to say yes!” So I did ( I’ll decide later whether I want to thank him or strangle him!) But the anxiety and fear wouldn’t let go so I although I said yes I went home thinking I can still change my mind, and told Chris that I would use Silverstone as my bench mark as to whether I was fit enough. (Having said that as I write this paragraph I have just under two weeks to Silverstone and I am happy with my training and excited about it all) But that evening my concerns were:
As I sit here and write this now I ran Silverstone Half marathon yesterday. I missed my PB by just four minutes and I am happy with that because I had a fantastic day. I wasn’t feeling 100% yesterday morning but thought I can stop if I need to. I caught up with Liz who also runs for Young Epilepsy and it was good to see a familiar face. I normally find the crowds at races a comfort but yesterday they overwhelmed me so I kept my head phones in, volume up and ran/walked my race. I finished and I knew no matter what the nerves and anxiety said if my Epilepsy would hold up I wanted to do this, so the final decision was made I really am going to run the London Marathon in 6 weeks time!
When it comes down to it I am terrified of taking part in the Marathon and I am looking to just get around, it will be a huge achievement for me especially after everything over the last two years. Mostly I am fed up of being scared all the time and its about time I tried to take back some control. After Silverstone yesterday it was the first time since I fell pregnant that I really felt like me and felt like I had some control. I was so excited and I have spent today feeling on top of the world. Someone reminded me recently that I adapt my life for the Epilepsy, I don’t let it adapt me. The London Marathon campaign is #reasontorun and mine are for Young Epilepsy, to be a better Mummy & Wife for my boys , to have control and to be me, to feel like I can achieve anything. Someone suggested a song for my running playlist and I heard it for the first time whilst running at Silverstone, I shed a tear because it really spoke to me; its called “I Run For Life” by Melissa Etheridge (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0b77cc7oZOg) have a listen because it says it all.
As William Shakespeare said in his play Measure for Measure
“Our doubts are our traitors,
And make us lose the good we oft
By fearing to attempt”
Wish me luck xxx
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My names Faye, mostly known for being a tea addict and keen runner and swimmer. I'm 32, married and I had my 1st child in June 2015, oh and I also happen to have epilepsy. This is my story of Pregnancy, Motherhood & Epilepsy.