My Medal A Month Challenge for Bowel Cancer UK. 

Towards the end of March this year my friend Hayley told me that she had started to run having followed my London Marathon training on social media. She said that she’d just ran a half marathon and a 10k race and really enjoyed it. She also said that she’d like to earn a medal a month, I had a think for a few seconds and decided that I’d like to do that too. As it was already the end of March I was already 3 medals behind, this worried me slightly. 

 

London Marathon

Since completing the London Marathon in 2016 I’d kept up with my running, I wasn’t running nearly half the miles that I had done but I was running every month still. I’d completed in Chester and Manchester Half Marathon’s early last year but nothing since. My first run this year was Chester half marathon which Hayley and I did together, I’d forgotten how tough it was, but it was really nice to have some company for a change. That was it then I got the running bug back and there was no stopping me. 

So here I am 9 months later, five half marathons completed, one 10 mile run and six 10 km races and on my third pair of trainers this year. My Medal A Month Challenge is finally complete.

Louise Ennis Bowel Cancer⠀⠀

Emotional Challenge
It has been an emotional challenge, some runs were ok, some I really didn’t enjoy at all and I swore I wouldn’t run another half marathon several times, but I did. There were even a few that I actually enjoyed like Conwy Half which I’ve avoided for 2 years running and it really wasn’t that bad after all. 

Sometimes my health was an issue for me as well. I had bowel cancer 10 years ago and have ongoing medical issues but I try not to let it stop me from doing anything but that wasn’t always possible. There were two runs where I had to take it easy as I was on antibiotics for kidney infections, one was a 10k in Manchester that I really enjoyed as I really took it slowly. The other was the Great North Run which was one of the hardest runs I’d done this year. I almost gave up half marathons because of this race but then I remembered my challenge and knew I had to plough through it.
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I wish running came easy for me, I wish that I could just put my trainers on and go. Little did I know that my wide feet would be such a nightmare and then the hundreds of different types of trainers for pronation, neutral etc would confuse the hell out of me.  ⠀⠀
There’s even different ways to run which I’ve only learnt in the last couple of months (a bit late now) but this made such a difference to my last few runs. ⠀⠀
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Running with Friends
Running with my friends Hayley and her sister Tracy has made such a difference we have spurred each other on and kept each other spirits up when we’re feeling like quitting. I also made friends along the way too. I met Emma in Conwy 10k in July when I was struggling with the heat and Emma had forgotten her asthma inhaler, we got each other to the end and we’ve run several races together since. ⠀⠀⠀⠀
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Running has helped me more mentally than physically. It literally got me through losing my mum 3 years ago. I’d never ran before and it became my therapy and also gave me the stupidly crazy idea to run the London marathon in 2016. ⠀⠀

I’m still going to keep running but I won’t be committing to so many races next year. ⠀
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A big thank you to everyone who had sponsored me in my challenge so far. There’s still time, the link is in my bio and I would be eternally grateful as all money is going to @bowelcanceruk
Much love, Louise Ennis. x x

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