Marathon Runner Cllr. Sharon Daw

>52 marathons in 46 weeks<

2017 got off to the worst start and 52 x 52! never entered my mind. And only doing two marathons in the first 4 months, along with the ensuing elections, both local and general, I had a lot to get on with. On top of delivering 10 yellow pages rounds and 5000 magazines to Plymouth surrounding area I was keeping busy albeit not running. Well 52 in 52! was a wild idea, not having any idea of what it meant and number 3 came on 6th May quite unintentionally. Really I’d entered the ox half but ran the ox 12 hour instead and felt awful leggy and tired and breathless. It was a struggle. I walked a lot and was so glad when completed. As I drove home I just couldn’t understand what was wrong. I’d been ill for 2 years with many trips to doctor and consultant, never actually proving very much other than ischemic heart disease, coming about during the heart break heartbreaker. Good run to have a mini stoke/ heart attack but the tracing looked awful and sent panic around the doctors the next day!

I felt awful, ran terrible and was coming to terms that 2016 would be the last year of running marathons and just had to deal with it the best I could. Loosing Marty on 4th January 2017 just added to my torment and headed deep down to the deepest darkest place I’ve ever been, and I’ve got to be honest I still wonder today how I’m actually still here to tell this story.

Dragging my body and weak mind around races was torment. I felt terrible in mind, body and soul and just didn’t know which way to go. I had highs but mostly lows and anyone with mental health knows how low you go and how hard it is to lift one’s spirit when there is so much negativity around. I hated my life, what I did and who I was. I just could not focus or think rationally and just wondered on. To my surprise, and still taking it in, I got elected on council, I don’t know why. Such a shock and with my mental state it took two weeks to sink in.The day after the count I ran the ox marathon 6 May 2017, even then the possibility of running 52 in 52! had not entered my mind, let alone 10 in 10. So with my new challenge and training and still milking twice a day left little time to feel sorry for oneself any longer. I was still suffering the biggest loss of my life. I knuckled down to working hard and doing my best. I became determined to fight the demons in my head and to get my running mojo back. I had a very serious asthma attack in July and tried using an inhaler. What a difference this has made to my running success in Tusamu marathon, the crossing and from Bath two tunnels I had a marathon a week booked.

The idea of 52 in 52! was still way off. But I had seen many wearing the shirt and I wanted that shirt. I thought I got lots of T shirts but none say 52 in 52! I want that shirt and so I became focused in October. I’d stopped milking, it was going to be much easier to get away now, freedom!

Well my first Double was at Ashford forest where I met Kat! She was just the inspiration I needed, she was wearing a 10 in 10 T Shirt … umm nice shirt …. my favourite colour… I wanted one, so I entered the 10 in 10, complete madness, well another double Saxon, Vikings and Normans marathon entered then a quad in one week …

My demons, fighting my ability to push myself beyond what I was capable to do. Self doubt is a terrible thing, but could I do it?!?! Tell no one!! Then if you fail no one needs to know, yes that’s a good idea: tell no one. Yet I had to tell my other half that I was leaving for 11 days and possible unknown territory, I could be away a couple days or couple weeks who knows no one knows, so that was that. Well 10 in 10 came and went and my head did battle with the rest of my body successfully, returning home elated and bang back into normality. Everyone was the same but I felt different. I wanted more, a double, a treble, another double followed by a single then 3 weeks off, followed by a quad and now with 4 to go I’m so excited I can’t believe .. I can do it.

A last minute rescuing to do marathon day and what a day it was: freezing and gales and snow forecast. I just had to get it done so I could get on my way before snowed in… 3 to go.

The double I had booked was hindered by snow, I never expected that but not to be outdone I found an event closer to home and less snow…so 2 more to go.

Life is not about preserving oneself, it’s about getting to the pearly gates completely worn out and slip silently into the eternal resting place, knowing you can give no more.     Sharon Daw