Great Manchester Run

The Great Manchester Run… Wow!

I had an absolutely AMAZING day yesterday and just felt like I had to share it on my blog. Yesterday I took part in the Great Manchester Run (10K). This was the first ever competitive timed race that I have ever taken part in. I have done fun runs before but this year I decided that I wanted to push myself even further and get serious about my running.

When I signed up to the Great Manchester run back in January, I could only just about run 5K and I had no idea how big of an event it was! I was really nervous when I realised that it was a huge event, that it was televised on BBC1 and that there were even celebrities running!

After the horrific terror attack in Manchester last week, I wasn’t sure if the run would go ahead and if it did, I wasn’t sure at first if I should still run in the event. But do you know what? I am so glad that it went ahead and I’m glad I did the run.

I will admit that Monday’s events did make me anxious about taking part but I’m so honoured and proud to have been involved. The atmosphere and support from the crowd was just INCREDIBLE, it’s hard to put into words.

Great Manchester Run

As I was in the “green” wave, my start time was quite late (14.40) and so we arrived around lunch time and watched a few of the other “waves” of runners set off. It was such an incredible and inspirational sight to see thousands of defiant runners raising money for great causes, in spite of the tragic events of last week.

Many of the runners (including myself) wore yellow ribbons to show support to those who lost their lives in the terror attack and there was a minutes silence before the start of each “wave.” It was a very emotional day.

Great Manchester Run

 Great Manchester Run

When it was my turn, I was incredibly nervous but determined to give it a go and do the city proud.

I have been training hard since January, attending Park Run most Saturday’s and doing several short runs a week. However, I still wasn’t sure if I’d be able to complete the 10K distance. I decided though to just go and show my support to the city, enjoy the atmosphere and not aim for a specific time.

Once I set off, I had no idea what pace I was running as I failed to start my run keeper app at the start, which made it difficult to know if I was running at my usual pace or quicker/slower.

I won’t lie, I did find the run incredibly difficult. I got stitch half way round but the cheering of the crowd, high fives and the support from the other runners kept me going.

When I got close to the finish line and could see the timer counting down for my wave, I was shocked to see that it said 59 minutes!

I have never completed 10K in less than 60 minutes, in fact the last 10K I did for Race for Life two years ago, took me 1 hour 17 minutes!

As soon as I saw the timer counting down, I sprinted hard towards the finish line to try and get below 60 minutes and I managed it – just. My final “official” time was 59:09.

I’m super proud of myself and of all the other runners that took part in yesterday’s event. The atmosphere is something I will never forget and I hope to take part again next year 🙂 Plus, I managed to raise over £250 for The Christie – wahey!

I love you, Manchester <3

Great Manchester Run


If you’d like to support the families affected by the Manchester terror attack, the Manchester Evening news have set up a crowdfunding page where you can donate to help support the families of those killed and injured in the attack.

Louise X

RunforManchester

I’m proud to be running the Great Manchester Run

When I signed up for The Great Manchester Run back in January, I could never have predicted the horrific events that would happen in Manchester in the days leading up to it.

I first signed up as a personal challenge for myself and as training for the London Run in July, which I’m doing to raise money for the Scoliosis Association UK.

A few months ago, I couldn’t even run 10K. I have been training hard since January, attending Park Run most Saturdays and running several times a week in the rain, wind, cold and sun to try and get my fitness levels (and back) up to running the 10K distance.

As with most of the UK (and the rest of the world), this week I have felt shocked, confused, upset and numb after the events in Manchester on Monday. Living in Cheshire, Manchester is not far from me, I go there all the time and was in the Manchester Arena myself only a few weeks ago. Like many others, I still can’t get my head around what has happened and why it happened.

I do not find running easy and I have only just about managed to run 10K once in the past couple of weeks.

I will struggle, there’s no doubt about it! But I’m glad the run is still going ahead and the tragic events have made me even more determined to run then ever before. I think the atmosphere will be emotional and incredible and I’m proud to be part of it and show my support to the city.

I’ll be running on Sunday for The Christie but also for Manchester and all those affected by the tragic events this week.  If you’d like to sponsor me, I’d be eternally grateful 🙂 you can do so here.


#RunForManchester

5 things I wish I could tell my 14 year old self about scoliosis

5 things I wish I could tell my 14 year old self about scoliosis

I will never forget the day I was diagnosed with scoliosis. I was 14 years old and until that day, had never had anything medically wrong with me. I was a normal teenager going about my life. I didn’t even know what scoliosis was.

The day I was diagnosed with scoliosis was the day my life changed forever. At 14, I thought it was the end of the world. I thought my life was over and that I’d be in a wheelchair before I was 30. I was terrified, distraught and used to cry myself to sleep each night. Back then, I kept my scoliosis a secret and didn’t tell anybody about it. I was ashamed of how my back looked and of being “different.”


So, what would I tell my 14 year old self now, 17 years later?

Having scoliosis will make you a better person

You don’t know this yet, but in a strange way, being diagnosed with scoliosis will be one of the best things that ever happens to you. Sounds weird I know. Yes, there will be tough times ahead and some days will be hard. But having scoliosis will change you for the better. It will give you drive. It will give you ambition. You will be more determined to push yourself and achieve in life. Trust me – you won’t want to let scoliosis win. I know it’s hard to believe right now, but in the future you will actually be glad you have scoliosis as it will make you who you are.


You are stronger than you think

Don’t worry – you will get through this. You may not realise this right now, but having scoliosis makes you incredibly strong and brave. You will get through the surgery and come out the other side a stronger, happier and more confident person.


You will achieve so much you never thought possible

Did you know that in the future, years after your scoliosis surgery, you will achieve so many amazing things? You will be very active and determined. Please don’t worry – having scoliosis will not stop you from doing anything you want to do. Getting through the surgery will make you want to push yourself and live life to the full. You will go on to get a masters degree, you will travel far and wide, run races, climb mountains, lift weights and have a real thirst for adventure.


Never be ashamed of your scoliosis – embrace it!

I know you hate your back right now and it sucks to be different. But please don’t be ashamed of your scoliosis – it makes you unique and gives you a story to tell. You CAN and WILL turn a negative situation into a positive one.

In the future, you won’t be ashamed anymore, in fact, you will be proud. You will not hide your condition but will publish your story online for others to see. Your experiences will help and inspire so many others with scoliosis.


It’s good to talk

I know it’s hard but you really need to talk to people about your scoliosis. It’s so easy to pretend it’s not happening but you really do need support. You need to talk with your parents. Tell your friends, they will be there for you. Talk to others who have the condition, you’ll be glad you did. Don’t keep things bottled up, it’s the worst thing you can do. In the future, you will discover hundreds of people in the same situation as you, feeling the same emotions. You will realise you are not alone and so many others have backs that look just like yours. Once you accept and embrace your scoliosis you will feel so much better, trust me.


Louise X

Personal Update-Physio this week

Personal update: Physio this week

Hello,

Just thought I’d write a quick post to update on me and my lovely new symptom I’ve been getting recently – leg numbness.

I first noticed that I had numb patches running down my right leg about 6 months ago. I went to see a Dr who wasn’t much use and told me it was probably related to my scoliosis surgery (that I had almost 7 years ago) and to come back if it got worse. I do have numb patches over my back already that I’ve always had but I’ve definitely not always had this leg numbness, this is a new symptom.

So I tried my best to forget about it over the next few months and carried on with life as normal. However, I noticed that it wasn’t getting any better (in fact it seemed to be getting worse) so I went back to see a different Dr.

The second Dr thought I should be referred to physio and also get checked by the orthopaedic hospital that carried out my scoliosis surgery, just to be safe. That was a couple of months ago now and I haven’t heard anything about the referral yet.

Anyway, this week I finally saw the physio. She thinks that I have something going on with the nerves at L5/S1 – they are being compressed/irritated/pinched whatever, which is causing the symptoms I’m getting.

At the moment, this is really getting me down. I think because I don’t know what is actually causing the nerve irritation. I don’t think it’s a screw or anything as my fusion is much higher up (T3-L3). I’m not getting any pain with it, just numbness and tingling and my right leg does feel weaker.

I’m going back to the Dr’s next week for an update on the referral as I’m getting myself worked up wondering what it could be. The main culprits (I think from Googling) are possibly disc degeneration or a slipped disc, but because I don’t get any pain at all I’m not sure if these are the cause.

I do know that years down the line after spinal fusion there is risk of disc degeneration in the non-fused joints, I just didn’t think it would happen so soon! I suppose I just need to wait until I see a specialist and have a scan or something but I hate waiting and not knowing. I drive myself mad on Google.

In the meantime, I’m going to do the stretches that the physio has recommended and also start swimming. I enjoy swimming but haven’t been in a while as I still feel really self conscious about my back. I bought a new swimming costume last weekend though so I’m going to force myself to go to see if it helps.

I’m also going to start Pilates. I have a Pilates DVD that the physio recommended for low back pain and have tried it out this morning.

I’m just annoyed at myself in a way because if it is something like disc degeneration or a slipped disc I may have been able to prevent it by doing Pilates and core strengthening exercises sooner. Exercises like Pilates are so important for those with spinal fusions as they can help strengthen the core and protect the lower back.

I have been to Pilates in the past but I have felt self conscious as I can’t do all of the movements and I hate getting singled out by the instructor and made to feel different. I also worry I’m doing the moves wrong due to my fused spine and will cause an injury. It’s a catch-22!

So now I’m worried I’ve caused this myself with all the high impact stuff I’ve been doing recently, without protecting my lower back properly by building a strong core.

Anyway, I’ll stop rambling on now and I’ll be sure to update how I get on with physio and if I ever get that referral.


I’d be interested to know though, if you have had scoliosis surgery, have you ever suffered with leg numbness years down the line?
Please let me know in the comments or contact me I’d love to chat to you and share stories. 🙂

Bye for now,

Louise X