Today, October 4th, marks one month until race day. I awoke to a text on my phone from the PBM.

One month

That’s all it needed to say to strike fear deep into my heart, head, stomach and my ongoing boob blister situation.

As I sit here and type this the PBM is halfway through tomorrow on the other side of the world, one month minus one day but I still have 90 minutes left to work through the psychological barrier. I am probably going to stay awake to savour every second and then sleep as much as I can tomorrow to avoid the thought of ‘less than a month’.

I can probably manage that, I am pretty tired. Yesterday morning I got off the red eye from San Francisco at 7am, having flown a mere 4 1/2 hours home to Atlanta after seeing my mum and my aunt enter security at the SFO international terminal for their flight back to Sydney. I can report they arrived safe and sound and are currently on a comeback medical tour of the local doctors and oncologist gathering information and medication for what comes next, which is as I write still a TBA situation.

Months ago before I moved countries, started training runs or had my mum to stay for two months and manage two hospitalization events I had a target of 42 sponsors for the marathon, one for every kilometre. I even started keeping track of them and their support. I am bold enough to think its not too late to get one sponsor per kilometre (39 needed and 31 days left) and I’m feeling bolshy, so I’m just going to throw in a new goal as well as a gazillion sponsors and actually running 42 kilometres.

I want to find 42 people who would not have done a screening test for bowel cancer this year to do that test before the year is over. Although this is the whole point of the Jodi Lee Foundation, raising awareness and encouraging screening and why I am doing ridiculous things like climbing mountains and running marathons, I still want to contribute on a more personal level to this process.  I have written before about why this is important to me, one of my closest friends and a sponsor from last year’s Kilimanjaro trip was diagnosed with bowel cancer earlier this year and is currently hours away from finishing a very difficult course of treatment that has involved radiation and chemotherapy over a nine month period.

If these are the same 42 people that I find to sponsor me, that is great. If it is another 42 people I would also be happy with that. If it is more than 42 that would be even better. I understand in some countries you have to pay yourself for screening tests and they are not covered by various health insurance packages and lets be honest its not something that comes up every time you visit the GP. I would ask you to read these stories and consider being screened which is in most cases and countries a very simple non-invasive test you can pick up at the pharmacy. I would consider it a very special form of sponsorship from those that did it. I would like to keep a concurrent Hall of Fame for those that participated in screening along with the list of sponsors, if you wish to remain anonymous on the fame wall I certainly respect that but will record it against the target of 42.

Earlier this year because of my family history I had a colonoscopy in South Africa which was thankfully clear. The surgeon who performed it said to me – if you have regular mammograms, pap smears, any kind of testing, irrelevant of family history you should also have regular screening for bowel cancer. I can probably not include myself in the 42 but I wanted to share my story, the details I can save for another time.

To become a sponsor click here,  let me know what kilometre you would like to sponsor if you have a favourite (1,22 and 42 and the little bit after 42 are currently taken).

To let me know you have done a screening test please drop me an email at randomthoughtsnikki@gmail.com

42 kilometres

42 sponsors

42 people screened

It’s all possible – one month to go.

A new type of injury

I have just spent hours five minutes or so googling running injuries. I read about Snapping hip syndrome, ITBS, runners knee, shin splints and sprained ankles, all of which sound absolutely awful and I hope to have none of them (the niggle in my knee is all in my head I am sure). The thing they appear to have in common is that they seem to occur to runners in the area below the waist. This leads me to believe I may have discovered a new type of injury in the shower today post-run.

First let me update you, I have been running – actually I think it may be classified as slow jogging if I reference my recent Olympic viewing, in anticipation that is what I will need to do for most of the first Sunday in November in order to meet the target time previously mentioned. For those that didn’t read the earlier post, my target time is a complicated mathematical equation based on times the PBM and I run on the day, where the PBM runs as fast as she can so on average we are able to beat the time Katie Holmes ran for the NYC marathon in 2007, 5:29:58. We may also have to factor in wind conditions and our celebrity status but I’ll let you know of further changes as we get closer.

This week with the kids back at school and the boxes from our move finally all having left the building I have been able to run a couple of more times than I have averaged in recent weeks and have been breaking all sorts of records according to Runkeeper. Farthest distance in a month for jogging, farthest distance in a month for walking – best time for certain distance – the list might go on but it actually thats it.  Still, this gives me some sort of encouragement to continue on the path to more kilometres – a unit of measurement I am resolutely sticking with even though I now live in a country that uses the unit ‘miles’. To say you ran ’16k’s’ to me sounds seriously better than you ran 10 miles, but that could just be me. As one of the world’s online oversharers it may surprise you to know I don’t auto populate my Facebook and Twitter feeds with my running distances, routes or times. I just keep it all to me to panic about.

World first injuries to delicate parts of my upper torso – they’re totally in the public domain.

Back to the point then. After my slow jog of 14k’s through the pretty – pretty hilly – streets of East Cobb this morning I was very keen to shower and rid myself of the extra moisture attached to my body and my hair so jumped straight into the shower and under the full force of the actually very weak water flow. I immediately shrieked and jumped back out. I was suffering from an acute pain that seemed to be stemming from my chest area. Looking down show the reason for concern, it seems that my favourite running top is not equipped for over 10km outings – it had somehow started to chafe and given me blisters – in fact two of them, one each side. If we have to call a spade a spade, we have to call them upper boob blisters. I could find no reference to this as an official running injury so believe this could be a world first. Please let me know if you have in fact suffered this injury previously so I can disabuse myself of the notion of discovering this particularly painful ‘world first’. I’d be happy to note it with an updated entry. Ouch.

As I am not showing you a picture of my injury (I am sure the mental picture is already bad enough) I will substitute with these pretty flowers that I saw today on my route. Enjoy!

Pretty flowers

PBM update – PBM completed the Sydney City to Surf, a 14km gruelling up and down run from central Sydney to Bondi Beach on Sunday in 76 minutes, her target was 75. I have suggested she see a Sports Psychologist, one of us should.