So, you may have been wondering (or not) where I have been since the London marathon. Two weeks post marathon I had scheduled surgery for another nerve issue in my stump which was getting considerably worse throughout my training. I had another TMR surgery with muscle graft, which went really well. Unfortunately I had a nerve catheter in my leg for pain control post op. These work really well and really help with pain, but for me, they seem to cause infections. We diddnt know this trend until this point. I had the catheter removed after 4 days and was already very poorly with a huge infection. I ended up going back to theatre to have more surgery, and my leg was filled with puss. I was then put on very strong Intravenous antibiotics, but after another week the infection returned, and so this meant more surgery. More antibiotics, more cannulas and more pain. I felt pretty unwell. I lost about a stone in the month I spent in hospital. The saving grace was that my surgeons were phenomenal, and the nurses at East Grinstead hospital were amazing. They were so efficient and attentive. I can’t thank them enough for their care.
After a month, I was finally well enough to go home, but was still in a considerable amount of pain. But after a week more, I decided it was time to get back to training. Unfortunately I had lost quite a bit of muscle and strength, and so the marathon distance which I was used to wheeling, had become almost impossible, especially in the rain and freezing cold weather. But all hope is not lost. I am still out there training as before and building my way back up to marathon distance. My goal being to make it back to marathon before Christmas day. This will be weather depending, but I will do my very best to get there. I don’t give up easily, as you all know!
I can’t wait to get back to where I was before. Some exciting news came when I was in hospital, I have been accepted for the London marathon again next year, so I will be entering and attempting to beat my own record. So this provides a huge incentive for me to get back there ASAP. Also, if all goes well, we are a go for attempting lands end to John O’groates using my everyday non-sport wheelchair, which will be another world record. We are hoping for August 2023. So this is another huge incentive. So it’s training, training, and more training for me. I am loving it, and hating the cold! It makes wheeling exceptionally tricky, which very slippy hands. But, it is all good strength work, and I can’t wait to reach some new goals. 😍🙏
So, incase you haven’t realised. I managed to set the world record for the fastest female using a non-sport wheelchair to complete a marathon, at the London Marathon. But before I talk about that. There was one other event a week before; the goodwood half marathon, which I did complete. It was a tough one. Very strong headwind with uphill section, which covered three quarters of the race track. I had to complete 5 laps. I was exhausted by the end. But it was the last one before the big one. Chichester was beautiful. Unfortunately for the third time, booking.com dis not place me in a disabled room, despite my asking for one. So it was a crawl up 2 flights of stairs. The room was beautiful though, and the owner was amazing. Booking.com are terrible for disabilities. You pop in your preferences, and they always say there are facilities for disabled, weather there are or not! But, despite this little set back, goodwood was great.
So, now onto the biggie. The epic London Marathon was just incredible. The crowd, well let’s just say, all I heard was my name being called the whole way, with words of support. It was so phenomenal. I did get the world record, with half an hour to spare. It was adjudicated on the day by Guiness world records and they told me when I reached the finish line. It was one of the happiest moments of my life. The whole this was just wonderful.
What made it even more special, was the fact that I found out official that I’d got the record for the half marathon the day before. I was sat in out hotel at breakfast, ready to go to the excel to get me number and an email came through. Well, I burst into tears, in front of everyone. They all must have thought I’d recorvwd some bad news, or I was a nutter! But they were tears of elation. Then it was off to the excel. Where I managed to bump into the male record holder for the same record I now hold. A chap called Stephen Salmon. He is phenomenal. He has been beating his own record for years, and managed to again this year. We’ll, it was funny. When we were going into the excel, a photographer took a photo of us two together. It wasn’t until we got in that Cat pointed out, that if only he realised he had just got a photo of both record holders together! I wish I could have a copy of that photograph. Me being me, was so happy to have met him in person (we’ve been chatting on line for ages and speaking on the phone) but had not yet met in person. We are both very similar, and driven by very similar things. So that was the best bit. Then came the number bit. Which was such a relief. My start place had been moved from red to green, so that it could be official with Guiness. So I had lots of going backward and forwards with sorting that out.
The start line was very tricky to find, and unfortunately the marshals sent my wife and I in the opposite direction twice! She must have ran miles pushing me as fast as she could to the line, running about all over the place, until we finally made it. The down side was the singular disabled toilet, which was covered in poo. No joke, it was all over the loo, the seat, the floor, and no loo roll. Not only that, it was the furthest from the start line. I had no choice but to hover, which was not fun! I did speak to the manager of the green zone, and his answer was ‘oh well!’. Not helpful at all! Then came the start, which was amazing. But I found the whole way round that I was fighting to get through people. I think I could have completed the marathon in possibly half an hour or more faster than I did, but just couldn’t get round some people. Some lovely runners stepped in and helped so much, which was amazing. Then I rolled over a massive blob of chewing gum, which got stuck to my wheel and I couldn’t get it off. I had no choice but to stop and try to do what I could. Then out of nowhere came an amazing lady who took off her own glove and used it to remove what she could. Then just ran off. I shouted ‘thankyou’. What a wonderful thing to do. This lady is my hero. It meant I could carry on much quicker and get that record.
As for the route. I don’t actually remember much of it. My poor wife and our friend, Kate, ran about London all day, trying to find a point where they could see me. Then they shouted furiously at mile 21 and of course I was in the zone and diddnt see them! I literally saw legs the whole way! But I have lots of photos with thanks to friends and people on the London Marathon Facebook page. Plus London marathon them selves.
I came over the finish line at 4:32:11. A new world record. So 2 new records in less than a month. To sat I am happy is an understatement. It hasn’t sunk in yet. I’m not sure when it will. I’m yet to receive my certificates. They can take 12 working days, so hopefully they will be here soon. 🙏 I did receive my half marathon one, but it had the wrong date and time on it, so I’ve had to ask for another one. According to this one I’m wonder woman, and I’ve set the half marathon record in the future! I thought they couldn’t possibly get it wrong. I was wrong! It is right on line though, which is the most important thing.
So hopefully by the time I’m out of hospital (which I go in for surgery again on the 18th October, for more nerve surgery on stumpey) I will have both Records waiting for me at home.
So what’s next… well, big things next year. Another new world record. This time I’m doing something that no one has ever attempted or achieved. I am hoping to become the first person to wheel from lands end to John O’groates using a standard non-sport wheelchair. It will take approximately 30-40 days. It is going to be the hardest thing I’ve ever done, and a huge event. Pinnacle photography are organising the event and sponsorship, which is brilliant. I doubt I could do this one alone. In fact Pinnacle have been so incredibly supportive throughout my whole 7 events. They have been there at both Records taking photos and putting posts out. They are still helping now, and being amazing.
So keep checking in for updates of my epic challenge. We are hoping for August 2023, but the official date is yet to be set. So that’s it for now. Double world record holder, signing off! 💪😊