Tomorrow I am running the Pretty Muddy 5km race for Cancer Research. Sounds easy right? It’s only 5k… *coughs* No. When you are as SERIOUSLY unfit as I am, 5km may as well be a marathon. THIS is what it feels like to run, what it feels like to train, when you are me >>>>>

Trainers on. GPS tracking app on. Feeling good. Let’s go!

I’m about 200 metres in. Good start. I’m actually running. I’m actually doing this. My legs feel fine! I do need to try and get my breathing right though. I feel like I can’t catch my breath. I’m sure it’ll settle in a minute. In through the nose and out through the mouth… that is what they say isn’t it?

My legs ARE actually starting to ache a little bit already. I am SO out of breath. Is that normal? Well I must have run quite a long way by now. I feel a bit dizzy, everything in front of me is a bit FUZZZZZYYYYY.

My chest hurts. I can’t breathe. I’m gasping for air like an asthmatic. Oh God… maybe I’m asthmatic? No, don’t be stupid, of course I’m not. But there could be something wrong? After all… there are internal organs that hurt right now and I didn’t know they existed before this run. And I can’t get the air into my lungs quick enough. What if I pass out? I feel like I’m going to pass out.

I should get new trainers, these trainers are making my legs feel SO heavy. I’m sure they are weighing my feet down, because I can feel them pulling my calf muscles. I should have worn shorts too. These cropped trousers are restricting my legs. That must be why my legs are starting to struggle already.

Can you believe I am working up a sweat? I never sweat. I’m just not a sweaty woman. My top is sticking to me. That’s going to be making my running harder too. Perhaps I should have just run in a sports bra and tiny shorts.

AAAAAGGGHHHHH I’ve got a stitch. I’m going to have to walk for a bit. No Emma. No. You cannot walk. That is quitting. Just focus on the blurry road. Don’t look to far in front. A few paces at a time. You can do this.

Okay… no I can’t sodding well do this. I will just walk for a little bit.

Oh no. Now I’m walking, my breathing pattern has changed again. I’m coughing and choking and spluttering. My throat is so dry I think it might burst into flames. Blame the cancer. If I hadn’t had my Cancerous thyroid cut out two years ago I’d be able to run without getting a sore throat. Normal people can do this. I have no excuse anymore.

I’m going to be sick.

I must be half way by now. I must have done nearly 3km, maybe more. I’ll just check my app quickly.


I am not going to survive this. That’s it. I’m not coming out alive. I should call my kids and tell them I love them. I’m going to crash and burn on the pavement and the hospital will say I died of exhaustion or a heart attack.

Optimism Emma. What would your friends say if they saw you giving up this easily? You walked 104 miles cross country last year in just ten days… surely you can master a little run?

I’d better start running again or I’ll be tempted to walk the whole thing. But it’s so hard. My legs feel like buckets of jelly.

I’m going for it. I’m running downhill now. I’m off the housing estate, I can feel a breeze. I can do this. Maybe I was “hitting the wall” as athletes say. If I’m beyond the wall, I can complete this now, it’ll get easier. I actually feel like I’m going quite fast!

Oh look there’s another runner coming the other way. He’s going to think I dressed in COMPLETELY the wrong clothes. He might think I’ve been running for hours though, because I’m so sweaty and red and blotchy-faced. What if he thinks I’m slow? I best sprint past him, so he doesn’t laugh at me.

I should NOT have tried sprinting. Now everything hurts again. I’m still going though. I’m breathing (somehow). My face is flopping from side to side. I look like a St Bernard with it’s head out the car window on the motorway. Am I dribbling?

I do feel like I’m going quite fast though. Who can I measure my speed against? Oh look, there’s a little old lady with a zimmer frame… ah wait… no… surely she can’t be going faster than me? No way! Could I actually power walk faster than I’m running right now? Perhaps I should take another break.

No… I can’t take another break. I’m nearly there. I’ve nearly run 5k. I’ll just check the app because I certainly don’t want to run any further than I need to.


Is this some kind of wind up? The app must be broken. I’ve been running for ages. I have no energy left and I feel like I’m dying.

Well screw that. I’m not going to make 5k. I’m going home.

*collapses on doorstep after 2.5km and vows not to get up for at least an hour… by which time all muscles have ceased up completely and I can’t stand*

THIS, ladies and gentleman is the actual thoughts that go through my head when I run. I genuinely find running THIS hard. And tomorrow, I have no excuses because I am running with five fabulous ladies and we are running for Cancer Research UK. A charity which I would not be here, without. A charity which saves lives like mine everyday, but needs vital funding to find better treatments and to cure more people. So please… if you can spare £1 or two, PLEASE sponsor me… because I am seriously unfit and I am going to be sweating and gasping my way around that course tomorrow as if my life depended on it!

We are very close to a team total of £2000 and we’d really love to pass that milestone. We call ourselves the Fast Food Fighters… because we are all quite partial to a few takeaways!

If you aren’t familiar with my cancer story, you can see it here on YouTube, but please excuse the references to Christmas as I made the video in December 2014.



The last time I ran 5k was in 2013.
race for life 2013

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