Running


I returned to running in the beginning of 2012 following an extended gap after having my four children.  To ensure I stuck with my training I entered 7 races that year in order to mark the 7 years of support our family had received to date from ShootingStar-Chase Hospice.  This went so well (see below) that I then applied for and gained a Gold Bond place from the charity to run as part of their team in the 2013 London Marathon.  I trained really hard and it went very well but I missed a sub-4 time by a matter of seconds.  I still continued running, training and improving my times with many new PBs last year and then at the end of the year I won a competition to combine the two main interests in my life - blogging and running!  I am now an official Virgin Money London Marathon blogger for 2014.  I'm training hard and writing about my experience, click on the link above to read my marathon training blog.

London Marathon Blog






7 Races in 2012 - My Race Diary

I completed my challenge to run 7 races to mark 7 years since Daisy and our family was first supported by ShootingStar-Chase on Sunday 4 November 2012!!!!  Thank you to everyone who sponsored me - I raised over £1,000 for the hospice but fear not, my running days did not end with the Loseley Park 10K (aka Grim Challenge/Mudfest) - I have been busy pounding the streets as I train to run the London Marathon for Team ShootingStar-Chase in April this year.  You can still sponsor me as my Justgiving Page will remain open until later this year.

This year I have taken on the challenge to run 7 races ranging from 10ks through to half marathons  in order to thank our wonderful hospice Shooting Star Chase for the support and care they have given our family over the past 7 years, and of course to raise much needed funds and awareness for them!  Here's the link to original post I wrote explaining what the hospice means to my family.  You can sponsor me by donating via my justgiving page at www.justgiving.com/stephnimmo .




JustGiving - Sponsor me now!

Catch up on my progress below and don't forget
to leave a comment at the end of the page,
I need all the encouragement I can get!

4/11/2012

The last race - and definitely the toughest - was the Loseley Park 10K.  The distance itself was not a problem but the fact that the night before the race and on the race morning there were monsoon-like race conditions did not help the climbs up newly ploughed hilly fields and through sometimes knee deep puddles!  But it was great fun and made all the better by the fact that my two gorgeous boys, Theo and Jules took part in the 4K race at the same time making me a very proud mummy on the day as the conditions truly were awful. 

 I gave a short speech at the beginning of the race telling people about why I was doing the challenge and what the hospice means to our family - I saw from a few blogs after that people were quite inspired by it and I even heard recently that someone who ran the race has also decided to train for the marathon as a result.

This is my speech from that morning:-


So as we stand here freezing cold, raring to go, garmin’s poised, I wanted to briefly tell you what this race means to me and other families like mine across Surrey , Western London and West Sussex…
I am mum to four children, my two son’s are here today running the 4k.  Staying warm and dry at home is my youngest daughter, Daisy.  Daisy was born, prematurely on 22nd December 2004 and not long after was diagnosed with the rare genetic condition, Costello Syndrome.  She is one of around 250 people in the world diagnosed with this syndrome and one of 12 in the UK.  She spent the best part of her first year in hospital and with no family nearby to support us we were struggling.  Until we were thrown a lifeline – when Daisy was 6 months old we were referred to ShootingStar-Chase.
And since then the team at ShootingStar –Chase have shared our journey with Daisy, supporting our older children through siblings programmes and play therapy, supporting Daisy when she was little with music therapy and a specialist playgroup, giving us time together as a family through short breaks at Christopher’s hospice and as she became more and more medically fragile spending time with her in hospital so that Andy, my husband, and I could get a break.
In late 2008 Daisy was rushed into hospital and ended up staying there for  nearly a year.  She was diagnosed with intestinal failure, and became dependent on receiving nutrition directly into her bloodstream in order to survive.  Since then Andy and I have had to become expert in an increasing number of medical procedures in order to keep Daisy alive.  Not only has her intestinal system failed but her bladder is now failing too.  She is dependent on a complex range of intravenous medications to keep alive and has had countless major surgeries.  These are not curative surgeries – there is no cure for Daisy’s condition, there is only one outcome, the surgeries are to help manage her pain and quality of life.  On Thursday we will return to Great Ormond Street again for Daisy to have another 5 hour surgery which we hope will help improve her quality of life and possibly decrease the dependency of painkilling drugs to get through the day.  But none of that is guaranteed.  The only thing we do know is that our hospice will be there for us, whatever happens.  One of our hospice at home nurses will come and visit and give me a break from the hospital, probably so I can fit a run in!  And once Daisy is ready to come home we hope she can go and stay at Shooting Star House for a couple of days as a transitional stay.
Unless you are thrown into this world you would never know what a children’s hospice means to a family like ours – they are with us every step of the journey with Daisy, and when she is no longer with us they will still be there to help us pick up the pieces.  Our support from Shooting Star Chase comes at no cost to us or to social services – the amount of funding they receive from the government is paltry and not guaranteed – they rely solely on voluntary donations and successful events like today to provide their essential services.
Our family has been supported by Shooting Star-Chase for just over 7 years.  Earlier this year, I set myself a challenge.  Prior to life with Daisy I was a regular runner, but this had fallen to the wayside once she had arrived.  So I decided to dust of my running shoes and get out again, last January on a freezing cold day I ran 3 miles straight after the school run, and I felt great.  I started doing my local park run regularly and then joined my local running club.  I decided my challenge would be to run 7 races to mark 7 years of support for our family by Shooting Star Chase. On Mother’s day this year I ran my first 10K race and since then have run 10ks, a half marathon and the Great South Run.  Today’s race is number 7 – I have improved my pb’s over and over, I have raised over a £1,000 for the hospice and hopefully along the way helped people understand exactly what a children’s hospice means to a family like ours.
I love running, I’ve found it’s the best way to cope with the stress of life with Daisy, in fact I love running so much that next year Shooting Star Chase have accepted me onto their team to run the Virgin London Marathon, so I’m hoping while I’m in Great Ormond Street over the next few weeks with Daisy I’ll get the chance to fit in a few training runs.
In the meantime, I won’t keep you any longer, like you. I’m raring to go but I just want to finish by dedicated my race today to my beautiful, inspirational daughter, Daisy Rose Nimmo and the wonderful team at Shooting Star Chase who support her.

31/10/2012

Well the end is in sight!  Last Sunday I completed Race #6 - The Great South Run, only the Loseley 10k to go.

Sunday's race as part of the Bupa Great Run series with 25,000 runners so I was very pleased to finish in 3,413 place with a time of 1:22 - I was actually a bit disappointed as I was hoping for 1:20 but I will say that the headwind and cold got the better of me on the day!!!!

Lovely to see so many ShootingStar-Chase runners also and to have such great hospitality from the team - I must admit it was so much nicer to go back to the charity marquee at the end of the run to change and refuel and see some friendly faces.  Here's a pic of me at the end of the race with my medal




So it's the last race in my challenge next Sunday 4th November - Loseley 10k is a cross country race so I'm really looking forward to a good off road run!  It will be a real family occasion as Theo will join me to run the 4k race which takes place at the same time and weather permitting Andy will bring Daisy to cheer me on too.

The most exciting news is that I have smashed my fundraising target - thank you to everyone who sponsored me, we have now raised over £1000 for the hospice and that will go a long way to helping other families like ours.  I am going to keep my just giving page open after the challenge ends as next year I will be running the London Marathon for ShootingStar-Chase!  The training begins as soon as the challenge ends!


25/10/2012


Here's a lovely pic taken at the Royal Parks Half Marathon.  Another race coming up this weekend - can you believe it, number 6!  It's the Great South Run in Portsmouth, it's a 10 mile race but the weather has been forecast to turn really cold and I have also been warned that the last few miles of the race face into the wind along the seafront making it pretty challenging, the following Sunday will be my 7th and final race in my challenge to Run 7 races to mark 7 years of care for our family by our hospice, ShootingStar-Chase.  This is the Loseley 10k race and it's a cross-country/trail run, so mainly off road, mixed terrain and lots of hills - this is my favourite kind of run so I'm looking forward to it.  The Loseley 10K is also ShootingStar-Chase's own official race so all the entry fees go to supporting the hospice and there will be lots of support from Hospice friends.  Theo, my eldest son will be running the 4K race which is being held at the same time so it will be a real family affair!

Completing my 7 Race challenge will not be the end of the running I do to raise awareness and funds for our hospice - I have now agreed to take on the even bigger challenge of running the London Marathon for ShootingStar-Chase next year so I will keep my justgiving page open until after this next challenge!  At the moment I have nearly reached my target of £1000 so please share this link with as many people as possible to get them to sponsor me and help raise much needed funds for our wonderful hospice.



7/10/12

Royal Parks Half Marathon Day!- So proud to run for ShootingStar-Chase today - I left home very early this morning and Daisy was tucked up peacefully in bed and I must admit as I ran my first mile that image came back to me and I felt really choked up as I remembered why I drag myself out of bed and pound the streets to train, it's all for Daisy and the unfaltering support and care she gets from her hospice. I was over the moon to complete the race in 1:49:07 which exceeded my expectations! Two more races to go - the logistics will be interesting however as Daisy will be in Great Ormond street following major surgery but with the support of my wonderful family I will do the races and finish off my challenge!
17/09/12

I have managed to do loads of running this summer, despite the children being off school. I am constantly improving on my times and feeling stronger and stronger and more like a proper runner!  I have completed a few races for my club and still enjoy Saturday morning Park Runs on Wimbledon Common - I have now achieved a PB for 5K of 23:14 which means I have shaved a whole 5 minutes off my 5k time since I started running again at the beginning of this year.  If someone had told me that I would be averaging 4 training runs a week  by this point in the year I would never have believed them.  I'm feeling in really good shape for my first half marathon of the challenge - the Royal Parks Half, this will be on 7th October and I can't wait.  There are 90 other Shooting Star Chase runners so there's going to be a great team spirit.  If you are in London come along to Hyde Park on the 7th as there will be a food festival running alongside the half marathon so it should be a fun day out - and you can cheer some of the Shooting Star Chase runners on too.

16/07/12

I now have 4 races under my belt so only the Great South Run, Royal Parks half marathon & Loseley 10k to go to complete my challenge.

My fourth race was the British 10K,  very different to the Bupa 10K although it was still held in Central London.  This time there was not a phased start according to expected finish time, also this was a very very big race in terms of numbers so I found myself dodging and weaving around fun runners, walkers and joggers all along the route.  I was very surprised therefore to find that I had done yet another personal best time - 52.10.

I have been overwhelmed by the generosity of friends and family in donating to my just giving site to support this challenge - I have now raised over £750 for Shooting Star Chase.  When I first began the challenge in January I had not run for several years as Daisy had been confined to hospital for so long.  My first run this year was a challenge in itself but thanks to regular training and the support of a great running club (Wimbledon Windmilers) I have been averaging around 4 training runs a week and clocking up around 25 miles in training.  My running is just getting better and better and I really want to put in my best performance at the Loseley 10K in November as this is both the last run of my challenge and is also Shooting Star Chase's own run on home territory.  If anyone else wants to join me in this run you can find more info here

My next race is not until October but in the meantime I'm going to do lots more training, I'm even looking foward to taking my running shoes back to Wales when we visit my mum there this summer - it will be a great opportunity to do some hill training and maybe even do the Cardiff Park Run.

4/06/12

I had a brilliant run at the Bupa 10K - another personal best time for the distance despite the searing 28 degree heat, here are my official stats to prove it!

PlacePlace AGPlace in genderNumberNameAge Group5k TimeFinish Time
3173926957687Stephanie NimmoWomen 40 -4400:27:2700:54:17


There was a great atmosphere on the day and I enjoyed catching up with some of the other ShootingStar Chase runners, however the bonus was seeing their supporters at the 7k mark!  It was lovely to run around London, on the course which will be part of the Olympic marathon route, we ran down many streets that I have walked down during my breaks away from the hospital when Daisy is in as a long term patient so I probably knew the route better than many of the other runners.  

A quote I saw on the back of one runner's vest inspired a blog post which you can read here.  My next run is on 8th July, again it is around the streets of London for the British 10k.  Between now and then I will be training hard as I want to shave a few more seconds off my time.  

Thanks to everyone who has sponsored me so far, I am well over 50% of my target fundraising and really appreciate every penny as I know how much it means to the Shooting Star Chase team.

26/05/12

I'm just getting everything sorted for my next run tomorrow.  It's the Bupa 10K and uses part of the Olympic Marathon route.  I'm meeting with the Shooting Star Chase team at the beginning of the race for pics and hopefully Andy and the children will be somewhere on the route to cheer me on too.  My running is going really well, I'm getting better and better at it and it's hard to believe that I only started running again after a very long absence in January.  I have now reached over 50% of my fundraising target, thanks to everyone who has sponsored me so far and for those who haven't, there's still plenty of time - after tomorrow I still have 4 more races ahead of me, all culminating in the Loseley 10k which is Shooting Star Chase's own race in November.  Pics of the race will be posted tomorrow, and while I am loving this sunny weather I hope it's not too hot!

28/04/12

I'm still training, despite the rain, trying to average around 25 miles per week, I have also completed four ParkRuns on Wimbledon Common.  These are timed, 5k runs which take place at venues all over the UK (and beyond) every Saturday morning.  They are a great way to get used to running races and meeting other runners.  Have a look at the website for the nearest one to you http://www.parkrun.org.uk/.  My next race is at the end of May, it's the Bupa 10K in the centre of London, there will be a big team from ShootingStar Chase running this one and also lots of supporters.  I'm really looking forward to it and training hard as I'd like to shave a couple of minutes off the finish time of my last 10K.


4/03/12



Two races down, five to go!  After a hectic weekend which involved spending Friday evening at Brixton Academy with my eldest daughter watching her favourite band, and all day Saturday travelling to Birmingham NEC and back with my Guide Unit to watch Girlguiding UK's Big Gig, I got up at 6.30am on Sunday Morning to drive to Kingston for The Kingston Breakfast Run.  I say got up at 6.30am, owing to a mix up with Daisy's nurse rota we did not have a nurse on Saturday night so I was up several times in the night to her so to say I was sleep deprived starting the race is an understatement!



I don't have many photos from this race as my official photographers (aka my teenage son and daughter) forgot to set their alarms, however  here's a pic of the starting point to prove I was there!





The blue sky doesn't tell the full story, I had to scrape ice off the windscreen before leaving the house! It was a cold but sunny spring morning when we set off to run 8.2 miles through Kingston centre and along the banks of the Thames to Hampton Court before crossing over the bridge at Hampton Court to return to Kingston.  I love this area, Shooting Star House is located in Hampton and we drive through Hampton Court to get there, last Christmas while Daisy was staying at Shooting Star House she was taken ice skating (in her wheelchair) on the open air ice rink at Hampton Court Palace, she loved it!


I felt really good during the race, despite my tiredness, and found myself overtaking lots of runners at the last mile, coming in at 1 hour 13 minutes, 2 minutes ahead of my anticipated finish time! I was really pleased , it was a great race , with a couple of thousand participants, fantastic views and stunning weather (once it warmed up)

I have already reached 33% of my fundraising target with some offline donations to still go in, don't forget you can sponsor me on www.justgiving.com/stephnimmo.

My next race is in May, it's the Bupa 10K. I'm really looking forward to it as it's a really big race and right in the centre of London with plenty of spectators, it starts a bit later at 10am so I'm hoping my teenage children will be able to drag themselves out of bed to cheer me on. Depending on how she is doing, Andy may even bring Daisy along too as there will be a big team of Shooting Star Chase runners participating.



26/03/12

My next race is looming! This Sunday I will be getting up extra early to run 8.2 miles along the banks of the beautiful Thames in the Kingston Breakfast Run (the clue is in the title, should have known it would be an early start). The race starts in Kingston and follows the Thames to Hampton and back again.  I chose this race as it is so close to Shooting Star House, one of the two Shooting Star Chase Hospices.  Daisy will be going to Shooting Star House for the day next Tuesday and is very excited as she is going to visit a farm and watch Pig Racing.  Anyone who knows Daisy knows how much she loves Peppa Pig, so she will be in her element.  While Daisy is having fun at the Hospice I can spend some quality time with my other children without the worry of meds, leaking stoma bags, blocked catheters and beeping pumps.

I'm planning a long run tomorrow in the beautiful spring sunshine , just hope the sun shines on Sunday morning.


18/03/12

Well, I have now completed my first race, The Atlantic College 10K.  It was a beautiful day for a run although the weather had not looked promising the day before.  What a great way to start my challenge, the day after Wales won the 6 nations, on Mother's Day and running from the beautiful castle I called home when I was at school at Atlantic College in the '80s.


The Atlantic College 10K is an annual event in the Welsh running calendar and there were a lot of runners from my late Father's old running club, Les Croupiers, so it seemed even more poignant to start my challenge with this race as he was the one who had first introduced me to running and sadly didn't get to meet Daisy.

The race started at 11am and was a fast, hilly course around the potholed lanes of the Vale of Glamorgan taking in some stunning views.  I was very pleased with my time of 55.14, finishing 232 out of a field of 450.





Next race is the Kingston Breakfast Run on Sunday 1 April.  In the meantime I'm going to fit in a quick visit to my miracle worker osteopath Krystyna to sort out some niggly pains (which sadly I think are par for the course now I'm the wrong side of 40) and then it's back to pounding the streets of Wimbledon and running on the common with my club, The Wimbledon Windmilers.

Don't forget to sponsor  me and spread the word - www.justgiving.com/stephnimmo


14/3/12

Here's the pic of me with Lucy Mayer from Radio Jackie taken when I visited yesterday, my interview will be broadcast on Friday, don't know what time but you can listen to Radio Jackie on the internet here http://www.radiojackie.com/





I went for a lovely 10k run yesterday, spring is really in the air, all the flowers are coming out and Wimbledon looks beautiful. So much easier to get out running on days like this rather than those cold days of winter when the ground was frozen!


13/3/12

Tomorrow I will join one of the PR girls from Shooting Star Chase at Radio Jackie to tell the good people of South West London all about my challenge and what the support from the hospice means to our family.

This Saturday I will travel by train to Wales - not only (hopefully) to see Wales win the Grand Slam! But also to stay with my Mother ready to be up bright and early on Sunday morning to run 10k around the lanes of the Vale of Glamorgan in the Atlantic College 10K.  This race is significant for me as it is held at my old school and is also on Mother's Day.  Mum and I plan a quick pub lunch in a local hostelry before I return by train to London to spend mother's day evening with my wonderful children.





1 comment:

  1. Steph, so proud of you, off to spread the word x

    ReplyDelete

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