Sunday, 14 July 2013

Guest Post: Running The Race For Life Fundraising For Cancer Research (by Cllr Tumi Hawkins)

As I prepare myself mentally to run 5K on Sunday 14 July at 11am in Stevenage, I think to myself that this is about my journey to get fit as much as it is about raising funds for Cancer Research UK. You can help me do that by visiting my Race for Life fundraising page.

In previous years, whenever the Cambridge event came up, I would tut-tut and say to my family “I would have loved to have run that if I’d known before hand and could have prepared for it”. Well, as the saying goes “watch what you wish for, as you just might get it”.

In early April my other half reminded me of those words and asked if I would be doing something about it this year. Gulp!!

Cancer research is a very vital work that is being done and events like Race for Life are crucial in getting funds for Cancer Research UK’s life-saving work into preventing, diagnosing and treating cancer. Breast cancer in women affects not just the women but the entire family, because of the role mothers play in the family. I just figured if we all did our little bit, it would add up to help the fight.

As it so happened, I had noticed how unfit I had become and knew that I needed to do something about it. After all, from a very early age, I had always been an active sports person, on the school athletics team as a 400m and 800m runner, and on the basket ball team both at school and at University. I am a generally active person, and on the move a lot. So what’s the problem?

I had done a few 5K and 10K races, and on the last one in 1988, injured my knee. The injury took a while to clear up, which put me off doing anything sporty for a while. Then I just got used to not being sporty and the thought of the pain that I would have to go through to get back into it was not one I wanted to entertain.

But there comes a time in a person’s life when you just got to do what you got to do. So, I decided to run in the Race for Life in July 2013. But I didn’t have much time and needed an action plan. I found Full Circle Fitness, a local fitness business based in Dry Drayton, on facebook through a post on a friend’s wall. After speaking with Simon, I signed up for a 3-month program, attending two sessions a week in the Ladies Only classes at the gym. The first couple of weeks were agony …….. but I kept at it.

I also downloaded onto my phone RunDouble C25K app, a Couch-to-5K running program to coach me. I knew I needed a structured program to keep me on track, and the 9 week program worked a treat. The program is structured so that you work out 3 times a week, alternating between walking and running until you build up enough strength to do the full run. Seeing what others were doing on the facebook page was also encouraging. On Thursday morning, I ran 5K for the first time, and did it again today. So, I am ready to run.

As I was not going to be able to do the Cambridge run, I decided to do the run in Stevenage instead, which is to take place one week earlier that I had planned. But that’s life. It is going to be a hot day … according to the weather forecast, but that is fine by me.I would prefer that to having to run in wet or cold conditions.

Please help me in raising funds for Cancer research UK by visiting my Race for Life Fundraising Page and making a donation, no matter how small. My mum used to say to me “little drops of water make a mighty ocean”. No donation is too small.

I look forward to updating you on the event in a few days. Enjoy the summer weather.