Friday, 30 December 2011

Quick Update From Me

Only me again my beloved blog followers (thats just you then Lucy) - unless others are reading this so please add comments if you feel the need to hurl abuse at me or at least words of encouragement.

Without wishing to sound like I have an alcohol problem, last night was spent with some good friends, who we dont see enough of.  Somthing to do with having children now and whats been going on this year!  But, it was good to see everyone, and at the same time have a few beers.

Come 1st January 2012, the beers will be few and far between as the training increases along with the healthy eating (along with the rest of the country, for the first month at least), where traditionally one joins a gym, goes everyday for the first month, and then its simply a wasted direct debit each month that you never actually cancel for about 6 months = biggest waste of money ever!  Trust me, I have joined a few gyms in my time and they have done well out of me not going and still paying for the priviledge.

Ok, rambling on now so I will keep it short and sweet and give the other 2 a chance to write something equally as exciting to entertain you all!.

My friend told me last night that her brother runs the London Marathon in around 2 hours 30 mins, which is nothing short of AWESOME! 
With this in mind, I set out today to run as fast as possible and as long as possible to try and match this monumental effort.
Safely made it about 500 metres down the road when the potential for my heart, and other major organs, to start falling out of places they really shouldnt due to the high speed of my heart rate,increased hugely, so I decided to revert back to my comfortable pace (virtually reverse) and crack on.

Beautiful day in the Farnham/Seale area and managed a 10K run (even after that energy session from last night sponsored by Perroni and scampi fries!  So wrong, but somehow right!).

I was pleased with the effort today and feel really good when running now.  Its weird to say but my body starts to warm up at around 3 miles and thats when I start to settle into the rhythm of the run.  In the past, 3 miles would have guaranteed me a bed at the Royal Surrey cardiac ward for the night, however I seem to be getting stronger, and dare I say it fitter.

We have bagged 18 miles this week each through our training, which is really pleasing and will be increased as of January, so watch out for the podgy bloke in a bright yellow top running around Farnham and think "have I donated yet?" 

Its New Years Eve tomorrow and of course it will not quite be the same this year as Nikki is not with us.  The reason we are running is for Nikki and to raise money for the amazing staff and facilities at the Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice, who cared so well for Nikki and also supported the family (shamless plug for

Its a simple motivational technique when running the streets and feeling like you should probably stop because you feel tired or your legs hurt, but all you need to do is think.........Nikki didnt stop, she carried on all the way and under extreme conditions Inspirational!!  If that doesnt drive you on, nothing will.

I wish you all a very Happy New Year and thanks to everyone for your continued support.  Its very much appreciated and we are so blown away by the generosity you have all shown, especially so close to Christmas.  We are already over £3000 now so cant wait to push the campaigning harder in 2012 to reach our goal, which we WILL hit with your support.

Tell your friends, update your facebook status and twitter accounts with the web site details, its the best way to spread the word and is proving to really work.

A big thankyou and see you in 2012!

M x

Saturday, 17 December 2011

A Personal Best

Dear All,

Ok, so I don't admit to being the next Shakespeare or JK Rowling, but I will try to give you an initial brief run down (no pun intended) of our training so far.  Without wanting to send you all off to sleep with tales of just running, I may just keep it brief on this occasion (ok, less of the cheering).

So, the shock of getting into the marathon has now set in and the three of us are on a mission to make sure we do the best possible job.  This, as you can imagine, is something that we are all immensely passionate about so we are dedicated to putting in the miles to ensure that we finish the race in a reasonable time.
For those of you fortunate enough to have known Nikki, you will know that as we pound the streets in our training runs, she remains our key driver and the reason why we don't stop.
I often find myself looking up into the sky for some kind of sign or encouragement during the runs, just at the point where I don't think I can carry on going.  Someone recently told me that he, during his own training runs for his marathon, would have arguments with himself on a regular basis as to why he should stop, "i just need to stop, I just need to walk, stop being such a wimp, you can do it"! 

This is not uncommon as I have found recently and has taken my talking to myself issue to a whole new level, especially when hitting certain physical barriers during the training runs.  The reason why I try not to stop?.......simple!  Nikki went through so much more than a bit of leg pain, breathlessness etc so I owe it to her to carry on and 'man up'!  The strength she showed to us all during the last few months was nothing short of gladiatorial, a real inspiration to anyone, so I have to carry on running.....its that simple!

The first few weeks have gone well, especially into the lead up to Christmas.  At work, as many people will know, its hitting 'silly season', which means lots of work parties, client nights out etc so I am trying to be strong and keep the alcohol levels to a minimum.

Having said that, I did find myself giving into some un-marcus like weakness and on the way home from a night out last week found myself in a kebab house!!

Waking up in the morning, with a mouth like the Gobi desert, I still knew that a run was on the agenda so set off on my merry way.  I had no specific target but I knew that being the weekend, it had to be a longer run.  My maximum to date was 7 miles which I achieved the week before, however after the night before, one mile in and I was seriously thinking of turing around and blaming that damn kebab for ruining my training (i might have had something to do with it) - but to this day, I still don't know why I had a kebab? My first in YEARS!
Having said all this, the day was beautiful, with stunning views, sunshine and still my goal firmly in my mind!  With that, I managed to achieve a personal best of 9.6miles....I was very chuffed and the facebook update to shout this from the roof tops went straight on!

Today (17th December) the three of us set off on our big challenge to hit 10 miles!  This would be a PB for all three of us during this training period, plus a 3 mile uplift for Shelly on last week!.
Below is a before and after picture, but I am happy to say that we all did it......together......without a wet start but ending in stunning sunshine again! 
The legs are now burning, and its safe to say that although we are over the moon to be able to run 10 miles without stopping, there is much to do to get to the 26 miles that the marathon is going to ask of us.

Christmas is coming, its normally a time to celebrate and share with the family, however this year is going to be different.  Its going to be missing someone very special and that's something that we are all going to find intensely difficult to comprehend.
The only thing we can do is run, keep on running and just when we think we cant run any some more, knowing that what we are doing is nothing by comparison to what Lady Fagg managed to achieve!

Until next time everyone, I am off to have an ice cube bath followed by a full body 'Ralgex/Deep Heat' rub down! 

Marcus x

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

This is why we are doing this.......

On 6th February 2011, we received the most devastating 32 year old sister's cervical cancer had returned having been in remission for almost 5 years. This time, it returned in the orbit of her left eye, her skull, liver, lungs, hips and bones. We were soon to discover that this time there sadly was no cure, with her initial prognosis being less than one year.

Nikki, a nurse herself, instantly showed her caring and selfless nature with her primary concern being that of her family. She took on the palliative treatment with such dignity and determination, even faced with the loss of sight in one eye. As always, she looked to make the best out of this terrible situation and wanted to achieve her goals surrounded by the people she loved the most, her family and friends.

Nikki fought with such courage and bravery, but sadly lost her fight on 14th August 2011. Throughout this time, both Nikki, our Mother and I were supported by Amber Turnell and the team at Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice. Without their constant care and compassion, the journey we faced would have been even more unbearable. There are simply no words to express our sheer gratitude for the difference the Phyllis Tuckwell team has made to our family in coping with this tragic loss.

Earlier this year, I made a promise to Nikki, that I would run the 2012 London Marathon for her, in aid of Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice.So...... here I am. Alongside me are two amazing people, my fantastic husband Marcus and our best friend Dan, who are ready to join me in taking on the challenge of a lifetime. Both whom have been directly affected by cancer themselves, with each of them having lost a parent to the disease. Our thoughts will also be with Desmond Carolan and Lyn White during our training and on the Marathon Day itself.

We want to say thank you for the incredible work that Phyllis Tuckwell undertake each day. If we could have one wish, out of something that has been and continues to be so incredibly painful, would be that no other family would have to lose such a vibrant, charismatic and kind hearted member of their family, at such a young age. Unfortunately, as we know, this is not the case but what we can do, is make a positive difference to other families who have found themselves in this similar life changing situation. We want to make sure that the funding is there for Phyllis Tuckwell to be able to continue to offer these families the support and guidance that they require on their own unique journeys.

I am so proud to have shared such a close bond with my sister and continue to be blessed to have such a wonderful and supportive family. Nikki is our absolute inspiration, and whatever we will endure during our training and on the day, will be nothing compared to what she had to go through during her treatment and the final few months of her life.

Nikki and her husband Pete, were in the middle of filming for Channel 4's 'Restoration Man' programme whilst building their 'dream house'. The programme is to be shown on Wednesday 4th January 2012 on Channel 4 at 9pm.
We fully appreciate you taking the time to read our story and know that with your support we can help so many more families. We would be so, so grateful if you could find the time to donate to our cause at our Just Giving site which you can find here -

However much you can afford to give in these difficult times, is genuinely appreciated as we could not do this without your support and generosity.

You can also donate by mobile phone -

TEXT: NFAG61 and the amount (i.e £10) to 70070 you'll be prompted to donate gift aid - this doesn't cost you anything but increases your donation by 25% so please click yes when asked. You then have the option to leave a message, that way we can thank you for you donation personally.

You can obviously follow our training here and we would very much appreciate your comments on our posts which I'm sure will help us immensely during the cold winter months!!! 

Many thanks again for your support and please share our link to this page with your friends and family.

Shelly, Marcus and Dan

Nikki, this one's for you x x x