We intend to keep everybody up to date with all the events organised to raise money for FIT. Please get involved and contact us with your ideas

Cliff and Linda Whitefoot

Cliff and Linda Whitefoot are raising money by losing weight.

Karen and Grant Linton

Karen Watkins Linton’s husband Grant agreed to shave his beard off if a certain amount was donated.

Jean Jones

Jean Jones is doing her annual coffee morning at Dudley Golf Club. There will be cakes, books, and greetings cards for sale. Ir would be great if you could give her some support.

Maria Giuliani

Maria Giuliani will be running the Brighton Marathon in April. She is going to write a piece about her reasons why she is attempting this.

Maria’s story

Hello all,

I thought I’d share with you my big challenge this year…. I’m going to be running the Brighton Marathon in April!  I’ve never ran a full marathon before, but have run half marathons.  It’s a big step….literally! 

I have CPA and was diagnosed in 2016.  Previous to this I had hypersensitivitiy pneumonitis (extrinsic allergc alvelotis), and several pneumothoraxes, (collapsed lung) resulting in a pleurectomy.  I won’t go into the detail too much about all of these, as I expect you’re all familiar/aware of them.  However, needless to say, it was a shock to suddenly become so ill at the start of all of this, back in 2006.  I was hoping to start university (as a mature student), doing Performing Arts, but had to defer my place for a year because I was too poorly.  I couldn’t even walk up a flight of stairs and I remember one time having oxygen delivered to me at home. 

Previous to all of this, I have always been fit and healthy.  I used to run regularly, cycle, aerobics and have always been musical.  Suddenly, all this came to a halt.  Because of a delay in diagnosing my initial condition, that is where my lungs become scarred, which subsequently brought on Aspergillosis.  I remember being in hospital and not knowing what I had as was awaiting to have a biopsy uner general, because I was too ill for keyhole. I was  thinking, what is going on… as well as feeling scared…. and fed up of being in hospital. 

Moving forward several years, after being on and off steroids, getting better, then getting ill again, being put on anti-fungals (Itraconazole), I was eventually referred to Wythenshaw Hospital, where my condition has been monitored and treated.  At the moment, I feel great (apart from the side-effects of a high dose of Voriconazole).  I almost feel I don’t need the medication anymore, but I know previously that when I stopped, I became ill again.  But who knows what will happen.  All I know is that I’m making the most of feeling great at the moment and wanted to use this opportunity to raise awareness and funds for the Aspergillosis Trust, as without them, I would be in a very bad way.  I would also like to add how grateful I am to my partner for being there for me and especially for driving me all the way to Manchester and back for appointments! That’s always a very long day indeed!

So, onto the marathon!  I started about 3 weeks late into my training plan, but have steadily caught up.  I’ve not kept to the rigid plan as it requires, as life gets in the way, but I’m doing what I can to keep up!  So far, my longest miles training (during a week) has been around 45 miles!  I have a 20 mile race this weekend (16th March), which will be the longest I’ve ever run.  It’s an organised event, so that should help with the mental aspect, as I find training on my own can become a bit of a chore!  I spend a lot of time thinking, when I’m out running! It’s tough and tiring fitting it all this training in, plus working full time.   I seem to spend a lot of my time planning my diary when to fit in runs….. and checking the weather forecast… oh and buying  lots of bananas!   I might add that my friend is also running the marathon with me (for a different charity). We may or may not run together, depending on how we’re feeling on the day. It’s funny how you can have bursts of energy at times, then other times feel like you’re running through treacle!   As long as my friend and I meet at the end (as she’s giving me a lift home!)  

I’m not out to achieve an amazing time on the day of the race, I just want to get round the course in one piece!  I know this will be a massive achievement for me and one that I feel grateful for the Aspergillosis Trust for giving me the opportunity to do! 

Take care everyone and I’ll speak soon!

Here’s my next instalment in my marathon training blog.

So today I ran my longest training run….ever, 20 miles! It was a very blustery day and the wind was predominately in front of us. I suppose it’s a good way to get a cheap facelift! Whenever the wind was behind us (rarely), my legs could just about keep up! It was like someone set the treadmill at high speed!

I had the usual nerves at the start of the race, (will the toilet queue go down in time before the start, will I need the toilet later on, will I have enough energy to keep going, …… the usual).  However, all of these were ok.  I managed to keep running pretty much the whole of the race, just stopping about 5 times for 30 seconds max to get out my energy gels and a protein bar (which wasn’t very nice), but means must!

My legs seemed to keep going somehow, it was my mind that was the struggle.  I decided to use a trick that apparently Paula Radcliffe uses, that is counting backwards from 100 (in my head, I might add!).  I tried this but found it too much to get past 80, so instead, started at 1 counting up to 100, keeping each number in time with my breathing.  I must have counted to approximately 5,000 (in bursts of 100), from around mile 16.  That’s when it started to become challenging and energy levels needed more of a boost.

I was running with my friend, who’s also training for Brighton Marathon. We kept each other in good company, managing to talk some reasonable conversation up until around mile 13, then we both gave up talking, instead just talking in our heads! 🙂

Today’s race was an organised 20-mile race, which also included a 20 km race for anyone wanting to that instead.  Running today’s mileage alongside lots of other like, I mean, crazy-minded people, made it more bearable!  It’s funny how so many people comment with the same comments, such as “why did we sign up to this?” or “it’ll be worth it in the…. just think about the cake” (which was very welcome by the way!)

At least the rain stayed away! That’s a blessing!

So a few day’s rest now, until I begin my next week of training! Oh the joys!

Take care and I’ll speak soon!


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