Well if I can , then any one can!I am hoping to be successful for the London 2012 Marathon. I wont know until October. So I shall use my time wisely and start training now.I am a very busy working Mum. I have to fit in dog walks, feeding horses, housework, shopping, cooking, chauffeuring my children around for horse riding, Stage School and Tap Dance, my work and my training
.I have put together a training schedule to maximise on sensible time management to make sure I can get all my training in.
I am not a runner, plus I am rather overweight. My carefully thought out programme will slowly ease me into running with minimal stress on my joints and with the cardio work outs at the gym, hot pilates and yoga and the running it will help burn off the weight.I will do a combination of going to the Gym, running and powerwalking/Nordic walking with the dogs
and running. I also have 3 work sessions where I can push a 5 stone child in a mountain buggy off road - great resistance work out incorporating hills! I still have to train for the endurance hikes!I have borrowed the Virgin marathon beginners guide to training for a marathon. I like its simple way using timings rather than distance. Think I can relax a bit more and enjoy the new running experience.This is my training plan for the next 6 months, May until October. As and when I feel strong and fit enough I shall enter some 5km, 10km races, then some longer ones!I have used the graph below to show how I have plotted in my training schedule. I walk the dogs early to coincide with walking children to school. I will do the morning walks as a power walk or Nordic walk so my body is warmed up ready for a run straight after. I shan't try and run with the dogs just yet as they wrap themselves around my ankles or take unexpected pee stops.I will be following the marathon training plan so will play around with times to fit into this schedule. the only thing I can't move are the blue bars for work!
The white blocks is for all the domestic and family stuff!I shall still stick to food plans as mentioned here, but will add in low fat, low calorie protein
powder drink if I think it is necessary. I prefer to use real food and sensible choices. I use a variety of Runnning World magazines for recipe ideas , plus Anita Bean's "Food For Fitness" and the "Athlete's Palate Cook Book" by Yishane Lee and editors of Runners World.
Sooo, with this military precision and attention to detail I should be a lean mean running machine by October!footnote added :- I have now entered the Great South Run, Portsmouth, 30th October! Ten mile marathon that I can now look forward to and check how my running plan has come into fruition! Plus raising funds and awareness for Fibromyalgia and FMA UKFootnote - sadly I wasn't successful for the London Marathon ballot. I have decided to not opt for a charity place as there is too much pressure to fundraise further for potentially another charity. Since writing this piece I have entered the Forces March, a very challenging event and for a very worthy charity, The Veterans Charity.
This is the interview I did for The Race For Life
The Rambling Duck - aka Janine!Race for Life 2011 events are fast approaching, so we thought it was high-time we introduced you to some of the people that will be helping to make your events happen.So, step forward volunteer Janine Lewis!
Janine talks to us about volunteering for Cancer Research UK at Race for Life for the first time this year, her reasons for getting involved, and why she’s known as The Rambling Duck!Hello Janine! Which Race for Life events are you volunteering at in 2011?I’ll be volunteering at Reading, Prospect Park, 16 and 17 July 2011. I shall be dressed as The Rambling Duck, the now infamous alter ego of mine!How did you get involved?My friend Nancy was encouraging me to enter Race for Life. I love doing challenges but as a dedicated waddling duck I had a few on already so I decided to volunteer for an event instead.Why did you choose to volunteer for Cancer Research UK?My nana died of bowel cancer 19 years ago, many friends have been affected by or died from breast cancer and prostate cancer, and my brother-in-law recently had a tumour removed. Sometimes I feel it’s as common as a cold, and too many lives are affected.Tell us what volunteering at Race for Life involves for you?When I do events I always whizz around and thank each marshal I see on the course for giving up their time. Without them we can’t do these events as they help keep us safe and on track. Plus they are great motivators, shouting and singing words of encouragement.What do you enjoy about volunteering? This is the first time I've volunteered at Race for Life. I have already done the Royal Marsden Charity for Cancer March, and will be talking part in Cancer Research UK's night-time walking event Shine in London on 2 October.I am a strong believer that we should learn to give a bit more, especially time for charity, in any capacity. The Duck practises what she preaches!What would you say to anyone thinking of volunteering for Race for Life?If you cant actually do Race for Life but still want to be involved, it takes no real effort to give some time, a smile and perhaps a whoop or two as you help people walk, jog or run to save lives. Volunteers help create the carnival fun atmosphere which boosts the feelgood factor and spurs everyone on.Thank you and good luck Janine!
Many thanks to you and happy quacks!
If you're interested in taking part in Race for Life as a volunteer, we've got lots more information here
A holy man was having a conversation with the Lord one day and said, 'Lord, I would like to know what Heaven and Hell are like. The Lord led the holy man to two doors. He opened one of the doors and the holy man looked in. In the middle of the room was a large round table. In the middle of the table was a large pot of stew, which smelled delicious and made the holy man's mouth water.The people sitting around the table were thin and sickly. They appeared to be famished. They were holding spoons with very long handles that were strapped to their arms and each found it possible to reach into the pot of stew and take a spoonful. But because the handle was longer than their arms, they could not get the spoons back into their mouths. The holy man shuddered at the sight of their misery and suffering.The Lord said, 'You have seen Hell. They went to the next room and opened the door. It was exactly the same as the first one.There was the large round table with the large pot of stew, which made the holy man's mouth water. The people were equipped with the same long-handled spoons, but here the people were well nourished and plump, laughing and talking.The holy man said, 'I don't understand.''It is simple,' said the Lord. 'It requires but one skill. You see they have learned to feed each other, while the greedy think only of themselves.'I like this story. I am not a religious sort, but the sentiments perfectly state what I think we should do more of , “Sharing and caring.”
All too often we get caught up in our selves, own lives, own family, and fail to look out to see what else we can for others. I am of sound mind, body and limb. I put my family and I above anything else. That’s fair enough. I have little money I can afford to give to charity or those less fortunate. But I give a little. I do have some spare time, which I can happily squander on gorgeous walks and favourite pastimes. But, I give a little of it to help others.
I hate running. It means I have to push myself out of my comfort zone, through a degree of pain and commitment. The commitment is important to be able to get fitter and better. Walking is far more enjoyable and I can enjoy the freedom all walks bring. Ah, but this is about pushing beyond on own limits! In time, running could become a pleasure?
I bought a copy of Runners World yesterday. It’s the May edition but it carries all the stories of why people do the London Marathon. The “In memory” of stories and the reasons why charities are chosen really gave me a lump in my throat.
I do a lot of awareness raising of Fibromyalgia. A condition where the person suffers immense pain. The least I can do then is to submit to my own pain, and attempt to do something that is very much out of my comfort zone and train for a huge challenge. On the 26th April I will enter the ballot for the 2012 London Marathon. Its just under a year away so with sensible training and preparation over the next 50 weeks I should be able to carry the banner for all Fibromyalgia sufferers and run the marathon in my Fibroduck suit!
I shall be doing this with a good friend who's father has prostate cancer. I have also had friends and family affected by both prostate and breast cancer. He and I will be supporting TeamPB for Prostate and Breast Cancer care
. But we are at the mercy of the Ballot system!Fingers crossed we are successful with the Ballot!Footnote - sadly I wasn't successful for the ballot. I have decided to not opt for a charity place as there is too much pressure to fundraise further for potentially another charity. Since writing this piece I have entered the Forces March, a very challenging event and for a very worthy charity
, The Veterans Charity
Meet Team Dogface!
Sarah, Neville, Myself and Paul are doing a 40km Quackathon on the beautiful South Downs.Our name is derived from the 4-legged fluff ball in the photo, its his nickname!We are raising funds for the Dogs Trust as that is where Dogface aka Shaun comes from.You can read more of his story on our
Just Giving page and on Sarah's blog.Of course, just a reminder, Janine will be doing this in her Fibroduck Ducksuit. She never misses an opportunity to raise awareness of Fibromyalgia.
Across The Divide
are a specialist company who put together many events and challenges - walks, runs, cycling, either in this country or many places across the world.Just Events
are Across the Divide’s own branded charity challenges and expeditions, formerly referred to as 'Open Events'. JUST WALK is now in it’s the fifth year. The event is getting bigger every year and has resulted in over £1 million being raised for a variety of charities since the event started.Just Walk
is the flagship Just Event.
It's a one day walking challenge, on 7th May, in the stunning South Downs, West sussex. You can choose either 10km, 20k, 40km or 60km routes, so there really is something for everyone. You pay an entry fee and then you can concerntrate on raising money for your chosen charity. Every penny raised goes to your charity. It's a great event to get involved in whether it's your challenge for the year or training for one of their overseas events.
Across the Divide’s reputation for safety and the thoroughness of its planning means you can concentrate on the fundraising challenge. The expedition team’s enviable and unequalled depth of experience means that we are in safe hands
There are six power stations along the route. The power station numbers coralate to the maps and graph below.
This is a route profile of the 40km route. The start and finish at Goodwood is 150 metres above sea level. From here you can then see how the route descends and ascends throughout the 40km. If gives you a good indication where you can expect the big hills to be and how steep the climb will be. The six power stations are also marked on the profile, and matches in with the maps above.
We need to do a lot of training! Our home turf is very flat, and there are some serious ups and downs as shown on this graph! We have been venturing out most weekends to get our hill-legs toned and strengthened. Apart from Paul, we are all out walking our dogs daily and go hiking and camping regularly. We consider ourselves fit enough for this challenge, although we may not be one of the first groups in!
This is how our route is described -
The JUST WALK 40km route provides a great variety of terrains and scenery and is the perfect way to experience the broad and sweeping landscapes of West Sussex. For the first 3km the walk is on roads heading out of Goodwood. This will allow the walkers to spread out before we turn into the plantation forests. Despite being deep in woodland, we will get glimpses of the stunning views to the south including Halnaker Windmill. As we head to the first power station the route crosses into Eartham parish and the station is at Eartham Woods’s car park, just after 6km.
Now the route ambles through the wild chestnut coppiced woods and rolling arable fields. The paths through the woods are 4x4 tracks and if wet will be a little muddy in places. Now turning to the south we follow bridleways to picturesque Slindon with its thatched cottages.
Power Station Two is on the far side of the village at nearly 13km.
So far there have been very few hills but the first incline comes after crossing the A29 as we pass through the last of the coppiced woods. The woods are teaming with wildlife so look out for deer and a wide range of birdlife. From the top of Rewell Wood this is where the 40km route splits from the 60km Route.
We continue along the top of the woods to Rewell Hill where we drop down through the woods and come out opposite the A29, where we cross the A29 here and take the bridle path through to a country lane. Staying on the country lane till we reach a track on our left hand side taking us to a car-park, the location of our third power station at Whiteways Lodge car-park at 18.6km.
From here the route heads from the car-park running alongside Houghton Forest until it meets up with the South Downs Way. We then head on the South Downs way Trail climbing our steepest climb to reach the peak of our route. At Westburton hill we join-up with the 60km route and follow the trail to Bignor Hill car-park the location of our fourth power station at 23.4km. Once rested and the views explored the route is now surprisingly flat as we walk over the open chalk Downs before dropping down and crossing the A285.
The South Downs Way part two starts as we climb again upwards , this time only 110 metres, up and along to Power Station Seven at just over 29km. Now we are at Graffham Down, famous for its unique wildlife, shortly after here at 30km, after what will seem like a very long walk over the hills - we start the long drop down through forestry towards Charlton and the final power station at 35.8 km.
Once refreshed we continue down the lane to the village of Charlton after which we make a short ascent onto a bridleway and join the edge of the racecourse. Here we have our first glimpse of the finish. With just less than 5km to go, the path meets the road and takes us along the final stretch into the grounds of Goodwood: time for a well deserved cheer and lots of congratulations!What else do we get for our Entry Fee?
*Graphs, map and details of the walk have been used from the Across The Divide website and info pack so that I can share the walk details and how brilliant they are organising and giving us all the relevant information to make it a most enjoyable, hassle free and memorable day
- What’s Provided for our Event Fee?
- Full event plans and management plus support throughout the build up to the event
- Medical support team and lots of TLC
- Training and fundraising advice
- Six power stations along the route with snacks, drinks, medical support, big smiles and encouragement. Most also have loos
- Marked and mapped route with free views!
- Complete safety back up
- JUST WALK info and advice on the website and on the phone
- Hot food at the start and on route
- JUST WALKED t-shirt
- JUST WALKED certificate emailed to you after the event
The Polar Challenge is very much my pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, and that of another!
I have an addition to the team, the lovely Lauren Richardson
. I shall be writing more about her later. An added to charity to benefit from the Polar Challenge training and event is the North East Wales Search and Rescue team - NEWSAR
. Lauren is one of the their volunteers.
We shall be raising the profile of the terrible illness fibromyalgia, through our training, events and ultimately the Polar Challenge Race, dressed as Fibroducks. As well as blowing the trumpet of the good work of all the volunteers in Search & Rescue, but particularly the NEWSAR.
The Extreme World Race
Polar Challenge is one of the coldest, toughest, and most spectacular endurance races on the planet. The Polar Challenge is a 320 nautical mile race to the 1996 Magnetic North Pole. This is Extreme Racing at the top of the world. The frozen ice of the High Arctic is a vast expanse of rugged sea ice, boulders and gullies, treacherous islands, and home to one of the world’s deadliest land based predators. It’s a stern test for the toughest of individuals. This is more than just a race; it is the adventure of a lifetime.
Extreme World Races believes that any person with the right tuition, guidance, equipment, and instruction is capable of competing. Their ethos is that it is in our nature to explore and to test ourselves, pushing through mental and physical barriers.
The journey will take us from our everyday life to the frozen landscape of Norway for a week of intensive training.We will be comprehensively trained by the world’s most experienced Polar Instructors in the use of the equipment. The intensive week is essential, as it will provide us with knowledge and expert guidance required not only to survive in the Arctic, but also to compete.
It is here that we will be fully equipped with the essential clothing and navigation, cooking, and survival tools that the environment demands. The training is a mixture of classroom and lecture based material, interspersed with practical, hands-on tuition. Nordic Skiing (XC Skiing) is taught and how to manage a pulk. This week is specifically designed as an intensive course to highlight the importance of knowledge, practice and demonstrate the dangers of extreme cold.
The Polar Challenge gives competitors the opportunity to experience one of the last remaining wildernesses of the world by racing to the very top of it at the Magnetic North pole.
Racing in teams of two or three, competitors set off from Resolute Bay in Northern Canada across a terrain of frozen sea ice and Arctic tundra. As well as racing against the other teams and dealing with the extremes of environment, competitors are also likely to have to factor polar bears into the game plan, the natural inhabitants of this extreme environment and the most powerful animals on earth.
The teams for 2011 have just flown at this weekend and the race is due to start next week.
I shall be glued to the incoming blogs, race updates and diary calls that come through. We are supporting Team Arktix, with close runner-ups to be Pole Position.
We shall be learning from all that they do.
Our appetite for this extreme race has been well and truly whetted.Supporting good causes
There are three good causes that are close to our hearts, and the hearts of many others. Together we can all raise awareness of them and provide funding to help their future and those they support. The beneficiaries of the charities face daily struggles and challenges. Raising the money and awareness, training for the next two years and then actually competing is but a token gesture compared to their daily struggles. 2nd May 2011 foot note added - This is written due to events in a couple of North Pole races April 2011. Due to a variety of reasons I have now shelved all plans to participate in the Polar Challenge. Instead I shall be concerntrating on other challenges. Mother Nature is veryunpredictable and I feel that the climate changes are putting the race and support in jeopardy.
I took advantage of the snow to do some resistance training,pulling a tyre - my pretend pulk!
I have used this article as it helps me as a non-sufferer to understand a bit more about Fibromyalgia, and realise the differences between a lot of the "invisible illnesses" with chronic pain and fatigue
. There are still differences of opinions, and this in no way represents mine, but it is a good place to start to learn and understand more about Fibromyalgia. A
: .There are wide differences of opinions on the two conditions, even among medical experts. Most would agree that fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) are similar, and probably related, disorders. One faction in the fibromyalgia/CFS debate believes these are simply two names for the same thing, while others say they are completely different and still others (though their numbers are small and diminishing) contend that neither condition exists at all.
My opinion is that the conditions are similar and probably related. Pain, fatigue and a host of other problems are seen in fibromyalgia. CFS displays similar symptoms. However, a practical way to differentiate the disorders is that pain is the predominant problem in people with fibromyalgia, whereas fatigue is the major complaint in people with CFS.
The pain of fibromyalgia is typically chronic and widespread, and is often associated with stiffness. On examination, many patients have specific sites (called tender points) that are extremely tender to touch. The detection of these tender points is helpful in making a diagnosis of fibromyalgia.
The fatigue seen in people with CFS is generally profound, and can be completely incapacitating. Criteria for CFS established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are fatigue that has been present for more than six months and is accompanied by the following:
- a sore throat;
- enlarged or tender lymph nodes;
- muscle or joint pain;
- other signs of systemic illness.
Signs and symptoms that are commonly present in botfh fibromyalgia and CFS include the following:
- sleep disturbances;
- impaired memory or concentration;
- bowel complaints (such as bloating, diarrhea and/or constipation);
- anxiety or depression.
Despite the differences between fibromyalgia and CFS, the approaches to treatment of the two disorders are, in fact, quite similar. Most patients benefit from education about the conditions, participation in local and national support groups such as the Arthritis Foundation Self-Help Course, the use of low-dose antidepressant drugs at bedtime to improve sleep, as well as low-impact aerobic exercises. For more information on fibromyalgia, contact your local Arthritis Foundation office and ask about fibromyalgia resources. John Klippel, MD, RheumatologistDo have a read of the various comments people posted after this article was writtenI came across this article on Twitter, through the FMAuk. I have borrowed it and blogged it here as not everyone has access to Twitter or Facebook. I am publishing it through my website, but with the entire article accredited to its rightful author, and site of origin.
In February I noticed a blog and facebook event publising Steve Blethyn’s
midnight walk. He is another Reading based Adventurer.
I sent him a message asking him if he wanted a Duck for company, as you do! Not sure if he was grateful for having some company, or mortified he was going to be walking with Fibroduck
. But we both have a passion for walking, adventures and fundraising. Our feet are focused on a very local and worthy cause.
We are doing the walk for the THE WICKED AND WACKY BREAKFAST CLUB
at St Mary’s School in Shinfield where Steve works.
We are also promoting the healthy option of Walking to school
We are starting at -
- A. Robert Piggott School, then going via
- B. Polehamton CofE Junior School,
- C. Willowbank Junior,
- D. Emmbrook,
- E. St Pauls CofE,
- F. Westende School,
- G. Oaklands,
- H. Gorse Ride, and then finishing at
- I. St Mary's, Shinfield
We’ll be walking past every Junior School in Wokingham Council's area, a total of 23.6 miles (38km). We will be starting at midnight, and finish at 7:30a.m. on the 8th of April. (That's the last day of term.) We'll be in time to join the children in the breakfast club for toast and a coffee.
Hopefully I shall be able to have a live tracking with endomondo
which can be accessed from their website, or twitter and facebook. Feather tips crossed I can work the technology!
So wonderful people we are asking you to dig deep and donate
, even just a pound or two - every little helps.
This is my Fibroduck suit layed out with my all the kit I will need for the 38km trekathon.As it is at night time I have got 2 flashlights to wear front and back, plus a torch. I also have a reflective vest.
GPS, compass and map of course are essential.In my rucksack I will have 2l of water, a small concerntrated beetroot juice
(energy), a coconut water (rehyrdation at the end), a small thermos of hot chocolate (energy and comfort). Plus my gluten free nakd bars
, jelly beans, mixed nuts and raisins and a slimfast (energy & food drink). I also have a small pot of baked beans to enjoy as my wheat free alternative to a sandwich.I always carry a 1st aid kit, my Whiz (for a whazz, lighter than a shewee), spare warm hat, gloves, fleece, bandana (useful at end of walk when temperature drops).Plus a few fibroducks to hand out - not sure who we shall see in the wee hours!Wearing my new beloved Salomon Exit 2 GTX shoes. Perfect for my arches; gives great cushioning and support. Love the grippy vibram soles. Goretex lined too for our British Summers! I always wear a pair of thin bridgedale inner socks, with my Bridgedale trekking socks over the top. I usually douse feet in a liberal coating of talc to keep them dry & friction free.I always use my Osprey rucksacks. They are very comfortable and have lots of stretchy pockets.I have tried many backpacks but this is perfect for my height, waist, shoulders and chest.
We were blessed with a warm and dry evening. It was mostly cloudless so when we weren’t watching where our feet were going, we could enjoy the gorgeous starry sky.
We arrived at the first school, The Robert Piggot School, at 11.45am. Parked up in a dark school car park. Then another car drove in! The chap pulled alongside, wound down his window and asked “Do you know anything about the charity walk?”
I answered “Oh yes!” Straight away, Churchill style.
Steve slowly and cautiously answered with a mumble. He was waiting for the chap to tell us to leave immediately, as we couldn’t park there!
The chap introduced himself as Ryan, a photographer from the Reading Guide
! He certainly pulled the short straw for this story! His Editor had told him there was a job he certainly couldn’t refuse to do tonight!
He hadn’t brought proper lighting so we improvised with car lights on full beam. He was given a little Fibroduck as a thank you for coming out to record the start of our Midnight Quackathon.
We said a goodbye to Steve’s wife, Ginny, who was driving back home, to a warm bed! She repeated this several times and that she was looking forward to a snore-free night of sleep! Well at least I would know when Steve was sleep walking. I’d hear him snoring in mid stride. Then off we set!
We did our best to twitter through out the night, uploading our photos as we took them at each school. A big thankyou to all of you who supported us through the night.The walk was tough. The body is used to sleeping at that time. I had made sure I had packed some nice sweet things to keep my body ticking over, spiking it with jelly beans, nakd bars and brazil nuts.
The worst sections were the country roads with no lights, or paths. We had to pick our way over/through/under potholes, drain hole covers, molehills (grass verges!) and a lot of debris. thankfully no accidents. But notably my GPS recorded a maximum speed of 6.8mph! It must have been one of the stumbles when dancing with some hidden twigs!
It was a mostly quiet and uneventful night, with a few funny moments. I can’t for the life of me remember timelines for all the incidents!
- We found Cinderella’s shoe (Steve has the photo to prove this) and it didn’t fit either of us. It was a very petit glitzy gold ballet pump.
- We only had 1 car toot, but then Reading and Wokingham drivers are respecting the fact that most decent and civilised people would be asleep and not want to be woken up.
- There were two young lads walking near the Winnersh Showcase cinema. As was my way with all the good folk we came across, I said “Good Morning, Quack!” One lad replied “Good morning” back, and the other said, “Bon Appetite!” Hmmm..could he see an orange in my beak or a bottle of hoisin sauce under my wing?
- Another young lad cycling with his hands in pockets looked, nay stared, at us in disbelief as wiggled his way down the road, near St Paul’s school. He was lost apparently and needed directions back to Reading! At 3.30am? He did say if he had some money on him he would give it us as “We were well good folk!”
- Scariest moment was when we could hear a police helicopter over our heads, and could see the long search beam. It took about a minute to come over to us, then onto us, then move away. Then come back, and linger! We took advantage and took some photos of ourselves out side Westende School. Watch Police! Camera! Action! For photos of The 6ft Duck and Bewhiskered man blinking in their main beam!
- Outside of Wokingham, near a Tesco’s we thought we could see the Coco Cola Christmas truck. A very clean and smart “People Carrier” had a front load of very smart lights! Didn’t need streetlights with that around! But as we had already seen a Christmas lights on around a Magnolia tree in Wargrave I was still waiting to hear a Christmas jingle.
We got back to St. Mary’s School at 6.45am. We joined the children at the Breakfast Club, for breakfast. It was fun listening to their banter and taking questions from them. I was stumped at the one “how old is the Duck” and “Why has the Duck got two heads?” Just love what kids will come out with next.
I thoroughly enjoyed my walk and chats with Steve that night. We shall do another adventure again.
A big thankyou to Ginny, his wife, for chauffeuring and staying up late night that. Plus thank you to Ryan, the Reading Guide Photographer.
Oh I wish I could eat it all without any problems!
Over the last couple of years I have been fighting a real battle with weight. I do so much walking and training you’d think I’d be skinny as a rake! Sadly not.
For some strange reason the weight just keeps sneaking on. I have tweaked my food and tried a variety of diets and ideas, with the help of doctors, dieticians and fitness instructors. I have foxed them all!
My regular intake of porridge, Soreen Malt loaf, and some Nakd
bars have now been crossed off my list as I am now trying the latest notion, at the request of the doctor, and that is to be totally wheat free. Not even oats or barley! Or spelt or buckwheat! Not even if it says gluten free! Nothing with the four wheat proteins, from the same grass family as wheat, is to pass my lips for three months. I haven’t been diagnosed as a coeliac, but there is the possibility that I do have a high wheat sensitivity, and my body sees wheat as a toxin. It stores it as fat cells on my body.
Being totally wheat-free is not easy. You only have to try giving up wheat to realise that it is contained in all of the foods I most enjoy, pasta, bread, cakes, biscuits pastries. Its in sauces, yoghurts, gravy..oh the list is endless. Wheat is in all processed and ready made food. Zimples..I think of my Nana and go back to basics and cook food from scratch. I was brought up on Lebonese/mediteranean style cooking. Hmm, just lacking the sunshine! I also have to plan ahead better. Cant do a wrap or sandwich for an easy lunch. Nowt wrong with a potato, sweetcorn & hard egg salad though. Just have to think, plan and relax. Food is to be enjoyed.
Wheat has a number of problems. Firstly, because wheat is so predominant in Western food, we tend to eat too much of it. When we eat a particular food too often we are in danger of developing a food intolerance. The reason why wheat and dairy are the most common triggers for food intolerance is because they are the most common foods in our diets. Eating a particular food too often can cause the digestive enzymes to be overwhelmed. When this happens the particular food is not digested properly. This is more likely to happen with foods which are not particularly easy to digest in the first place. Wheat is not an easy food to digest.
Wheat is highly sprayed and heavily processed. During processing wheat germ is stripped from the grain and this reduces its nutritional content. This means that the body is less equipped to process the toxins from the chemicals from spraying and from the refining process. The liver quickly becomes overwhelmed and stores the toxins in fat cells. Secondly, the wheat protein, called gluten, is very hard to digest.
When we become intolerant to a food eating it causes bloating and water retention making us appear overweight. When we cut out that food the bloating and water retention subsides.
Secondly, when we eat a food we are intolerant to it affects the efficiency of our digestive system. Poor digestion causes constipation which means we are not getting rid of waste products. This causes the toxin levels in our body to rise and the liver stores the toxins in fat cells. As the toxin levels rise, fat cells are created and maintained to assist with storage of toxins. When cut out the food we are intolerant to, our toxin levels fall and the body disposes of the fat cells.
I am having fasting blood tests each month for the next three months to monitor the effect a wheat free diet has on me. I am also living by a diabetic diet, as there is also the implication I may have diabetes 2. I also have a high cholestral which was lowered with the use of statins. These didn’t agree with me, and I often had cramps. I don’t want my biggest muscle, the heart, cramping out on me, so I came off those tablets. My cholestral is also being monitored to see if I need to go back on the tablets, as I may have a genetic issue, so diet alone may not help me.
I also have high blood pressure, and this doesn’t ever seem to go below 138/92 despite being on 160mg valsartan per day, walking a minimum of 10 miles a day, training and eating a sensible diet. So all the above tweaks should help too. I am also cutting out caffeine completely. I already drink 2 litres or more of water a day, and lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, pulses and nuts.
Yes, I am a doctor’s conundrum at the moment. But other than that I am fit, healthy and well, with a cheery disposition. Hopefully my issues can be solved with a change in my diet; some people don’t have that option. Thinking of you with fibromyalgia, cancer, crohns… and so may other illnesses where research is still a long way off from finding a cure.Thankfully, Nakd do have a range of gluten free bars that I can still enjoy. When I am doing my long distance hikes and endurance training I like to have a quick energy fix of a delicious moist bar. There are 7 yummy flavours to choose from - Cashew Cookie, Cocoa Orange, Ginger Bread, Pecan Pie, Berry Delight, Cocoa Delight & Cocoa Mint.100% raw 35g bars that are all natural, no added sugar, gluten, wheat, dairy & GM free. Just raw fruit & nuts cheerfully smooshed together in Wales. Try them! You can order mixed cases of the GF bars here.
Oh this was a magical day!
Many had travelled from afar for this wonderful event. I shortened my journey by staying over with a Twitter friend, Nancy, as it was an early start.
We had the excitement of donning our special T-shirts, with duck feet all ready pre-printed into the Marsden March logo, and then wear it over my Fibroduck Ducksuit, then drive to Sutton Hospital, to catch our coach to the Chelsea Hospital.
It was a cold morning, despite the sun shining, and we were pleased to be able to get on the coach fairly quickly. It seemed such a very long coach ride to the Chelsea Hospital. I was convinced the coach driver had added on some extra miles to make us all feel we were doing an exceptionally longer walk!
We got off the coach and headed towards the lively exciting sounds, and wowed at the colours of the balloons as we arrived at the “Starters Village”. There was a beautiful arch of balloons to walk through as the starting line.
However, just before that was the more welcoming site of the portaloos! Both Nancy and I headed straight for those. It took a wee while to peel off my Fibroduck Ducksuit and T-shirt though! I made sure I was very empty before dressing up again and was certainly crossing my wing tips I wouldn’t have to do that again in mid-March!
We bumped into Team GIST
, some great girls (and boyfriend) we had got to know through Twitter prior to the event. Twitter has been a wonderful forum to keep in touch with the event details and updates; plus to make new friends before and after the event.
Without lingering too long in the cold we were under way fairly swiftly and set off at a good pace keen to complete the 14 mile March in under 3 ½ hours. I let Nancy stay a stride ahead of me for most of the March, setting our pace, as she was anxious she wouldn’t be able to do it at Duck speed, and without another Pee stop. Tis a good ploy, used previously on my sister on the Moonwalk (26 mile midnight walk for Breast Cancer) as it worked psychologically, lulling her into thinking she was “beating” me..hehe! It also meant Nancy couldn’t see my face as I was in a bit of pain as my boots failed at mile 5. But I kept going! Thank goodness for the comfort and energy giving Nakd
bars! Cashew Cookie is my new forever chocolate!
The March was initially along a lot of busy pedestrian areas until we got to Wimbledon Common. I had never been there before so loved the novelty of seeing the Windmill and singing a variety of Wombles songs. I was also able to check twitter to see who had sent messages of support. There was a message to call up Redshift Radio
, a community radio station in Crewe, and do a live link up. This we managed to do, so it was fantastic to think that despite Marching in London, all folks tuned in from around the country could also share our experience. Thankyou to Liz and everyone at Redshift for your fantastic support, and suffering the whimsicial twitters of a daft Duck!
I also had the fun of being interviewed by Royal Marsden Radio at the start of the walk, and again as we left Wimbledon Common. I puffed out my Duck chest with pride as not only was I supporting a very worthy cause of raising funds for two excellent cancer hospitals, but raising awareness of Fibromyalgia and Fibroduck. Listen to the interview here.
I am about 51mins into the programme.
Nancy and I managed to complete the March in just under 4 hours, and certainly welcomed the orange squash from a nearby pub before we got to the finish line; then the bottled water and goody bag as we crossed over/walked under the balloon arch.
The March Village at the end was alive with music, face painting, bbqs, drink stalls, Marsden Charity merchandise shop, and the wall of memories.
What really brought it home for me, as to why were all there, was seeing the obvious signs of recent cancer patients who had undergone chemo. Plus one patient who was on walkabout with his medicine drip bag stand. When I got home, I tried to explain the day and the finale to my husband. It was as I mentioned this man with his drip bag and stand, I burst into tears and was quite overwhelmed with how lucky my family and I are truly are. Plus, there was the feeling of euphoria of having walked in such esteemed company, on a beautiful March day, on the most memorable March ever. The first Marsden March will never be topped, but there will be many more successful ones. The Duck is signing up for 2012!You can too, here for 25th March 2012!There will be an official video and more photos from the Royal Marsden site shortly.You can still donate to this walk on my Just Giving Page
A little bit about The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity Work
The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity supports this pioneering work. Thanks to our supporters, we are able to help The Royal Marsden continue to push boundaries and raise standards of excellence.
When people donate to the charity they support everyone who benefits from the work of The Royal Marsden. Scientists searching for cures. Doctors who depend on the latest treatments and technologies. And, of course, cancer patients and their families.
Together, we can keep making life better for people with cancer and keep striving towards a future without it.
Recent appeals include: Europe's largest centre for children and young people with cancer Doubling our capacity so that more children with cancer can receive the best possible care and treatment.
Medical Day Unit at our Chelsea hospital A bright and spacious environment that improves patient comfort and reduces waiting times.
CyberKnife – the latest in radiotherapy treatment Treating the most hard to reach tumours with concentrated doses of radiotherapy. (from the Royal Marsden website)