13 September 2015

Joanne in her M.A. running vestI have always wanted to run the Great North Run my whole life I live in the same area where it is held and have always said one day, but as the years go by it remains one of those things that I never tried. I have never ever run in my life so knew it would be a huge huge challenge for me.

I have gone through the heartache of having 5 miscarriages myself and after almost giving up and saying I couldn’t go through another I am now very blessed to have 2 beautiful girls age 6 and 2.
Miscarriage has affected my life massively in so many different areas. You go through every single emotion you can think possible and no one really understands unless they can relate which is why when I decided to run the GNR I wanted to do it for The Miscarriage Association. I wanted to raise as much awareness as I could; it is such a taboo subject that you feel like the only person in the world that it happens to.

I got my place confirmed in February and training was going really well I was surprised how quick I picked things up and was running great. One day in July I went out and ran a mile and fell over. I knew I had hurt myself, I had cut all my hands open but decided to get up and keep going and I ran another 9 miles!! I got home though and had really hurt myself. I had to go to the walk in centre and my hands had to be bandaged. From there was the start of pain in my hip. The doctor confirmed I had inflammation on the hip and said he didn’t know if I would be able to manage the GNR. With around 8 weeks to go I was really worried but also so upset as I had trained so hard. I made the decision that no matter what I was going to take part and give it a go. I would finish it whichever way I managed.

I rested for 2 weeks but struggled every time I ran I had burning in my hip from around 4 miles and just couldn’t run further than 7 miles at all. I knew it was going to take a lot to get through the day.
The day came and I was nervous, excited and well nervous!!! I didn’t sleep more than 4 hours the night before I had waited to do this for years.

We got down to the start and the weather got hotter and hotter. Got off to a great start first couple of miles, I was running with my friend and we had planned to run about half together till we got our pace but I lost her at 2 miles so had to run the rest myself. It was so hot. I got to 6 miles and saw my parents and my youngest daughter and that spurred me on. I was really emotional and every mile or so could feel the tears start couldn’t believe I was actually running it.

I got to 8 miles and was surprised my hip was okay I hadn’t even really thought about it. The crowds were amazing, the support was fantastic by 9-10 miles in I was still going but getting really tired.
By 11 miles I was starting to feel my hip was getting sore and thinking about walking when a man from the crowd shouted – come on Jo you can do it!! That spurred me on even more I started to cry: complete strangers supporting you the whole way. I managed to keep going and made it over the finish line in 2 hours 38 minutes.

I can’t even describe how it made me feel: the elation that I made it and managed to keep going the whole way.

I have now raised £510 for The M.A and I am really proud of what I have achieved.

The support, messages and general encouragement I have received from my family and friends has been incredible it has kept me going the whole way. An amazing journey on one of the biggest rollercoasters. If I can do it anyone can – you just have to be determined enough!

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