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Sunday, 28 September 2014

Writing and Running for ME/CFS

After the first run.
Generally, I cover writing topics on this blog. But some things in the life of this author are only indirectly associated with writing, and the following is one of these.

For 10 years, from November 2002, when I caught an odd viral infection, I suffered from ME/CFS until just after I retired from employment in April 2013. Leaving work, an environment I found stressful for reasons I’ll discuss later, relieved me of the pressures that were most responsible for the continuation of the condition. I feel I’m now fully recovered (or as recovered as possible).

I’m not going into details here, merely announcing my intention to write an account of my period with ME/CFS in book form. I want to share empathy with and hope for those still suffering the condition, and provide help and personal insights for those involved with sufferers. I’ll donate 50% of the proceeds of the book to the charity that helped me from the beginning. Action for ME was there with advice and information right from the start and I want to support this organisation. I chose the charity as the recipient of 10% of revenue generated by my books published by Fantastic Books Publishing. It’s part of the contract with this company that this amount is donated to a charity of the author’s choice, you see.

As a result of the improvement in health, I’ve decided to regain fitness after so many unavoidably sedentary years. I’ve started training for a half marathon. At present, I can’t say which one this will be, as I’m not yet able to register for it, but I’ve registered an interest and await the announcement of the date on which entries can be made. For that run, I also intend to collect money for Action for ME.

The purpose of this post is to let my readers know my intentions. In future, I’ll make weekly reports of my training progress. As a 66 year old who last ran a half marathon in the early 1980s, that time to raise funds for a local hospice in Colchester, I’ve a good deal of catching up to do.

I began training 3 weeks ago, using a programme suggested by the Great Run website. Today, I performed my first real run. It was only for 5 minutes, followed by 2 minutes walking and then 4 sessions each of 1 minute running and 1 minute walking, but it was the first time I’ve spent that amount of time actually running without a pause for many years. I felt that if I could manage this challenge, then I’ve a good chance of completing the first stage of training, which aims to get me running for 20 minutes by the end of the 8 week period.

So, watch this space. Maybe join me in the effort, if you feel so inclined. Some time in the future, I’ll place a link here to enable people to sponsor me for the actual run. But that won’t come until I’m actually registered for a specific half marathon, which may be some months hence.

Sorry for the lengthy post, but I want to ensure that regular readers understand why I’ve decided to do this and why I’m placing the record on this blog. I’ve made a start on the training, and I’ve also made a start on the book, by obtaining copies of my medical records for the period concerned – interesting reading! As my publisher, Dan Grubb of Fantastic Books Publishing, would say, ‘Onward!’
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