Big Hopes

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Kathy Miller

KickAS_Kat

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Big Hopes

I have never been a distance runner - I was a sprinter/hurdler/high jumper/swimmer mostly, so the challenge of seeing if I can run any kind of distance is a big one. As well as AS I also have hypermobility syndrome - a weird but common enough condition. The combination has ended up in them trying to convert me into the million dollar woman - I certainly feel if after 19 orthopaedic ops - 15 of them since 2002. The metalwork in my lower back was specially imported from the US at the cost of £80k (thank you BUPA!) - but what a piece of kit - the screws holding the rods in place have heads that move when I move, so I have better movement than I had pre-op and no leg pain any more : ) I put that op off for 10 years as I could still ski and still walk a decent distance, and that's all that mattered. Now I can walk so much faster and for longer than for years. The last 15 years have been one op after another as I'm pretty good at ignoring what my body is telling me and keep pushing on - life isn't a dress rehearsal! I tore the ACL in my left knee in 2012 while skiing (exactly a year after the back surgery) - I got carried away with feeling good and a short while after that, had a bad fall during which my skis didn't come off. I strapped up the sore knee even tighter and carried on and had three more very similar falls that week as my knee kept giving way. Where there's no sense, there's no feeling ;) A while after that I tripped over a kerb coming out of a concert and ran head first into a brick gatepost then I started losing sensation in my feet and hands and as the weeks went by, that gradually spread. Thankfully everything still works, I just can't feel it working very well. A couple of months later after a full spinal scan, the problem was finally found in my neck where my spinal cord was being compressed by bony bars that had grown across two of my neck vertebrae and in the fall, the spinal cord had been slightly damaged by the bars. In October 2013 they removed the bony bars, then fused the two vertebrae together to hold everything steady. 

I've tried running so many times in the last four years but rapidly develop a banging migraine that stops me in my tracks. I also get pretty bad lower pain back when I run too, but I'm not going to stop trying. I will run again in future because all of you superstars do tougher things every day of the week and every single one of you is an inspiration. You all ran for NASS, and one day soon I hope, I will run for NASS. In the meantime I'll walk and ski and I'll pedal like fury on my exercise bike - fast, slow, long or short, just so long as I stay active I'll be winning :)

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Getting So Close

Hello Realbuzzers 😊 Well, just 7 days to go and the excitement (along with a healthy dose of nervousness) is growing every day.  Can't wait to get started now, to see a new country, to experience a desert again, to put myself to the test 😊 Before th...

Five weeks to go!

Hello there Realbuzzers 😀  I've been meaning to blog for ages but as usual, time and a busy life run away with me. In fact the blog was originally titled 'Six weeks to go' but yet another week has passed since I started writing! After the 50k Chiltern...

Ups and Downs

Last Saturday I took part in the one of the Sealskinz Ultra Trail series events - the Chiltern Challenge. It was an early start as walkers were to start at 8am with registration starting at 7am. So, up at 4.30 after just a couple of hours sleep. I'd bee...

The Isle of Orange Part 2

Stage  3 - 28km and 480m of ascent Back across the park again to the departure area for the second half. Our packs are decorated with a glow stick. It's dark and a stroppy marshal tells us we can't leave for another 15 minutes until there's a large eno...

The Isle of Orange Part 1

Hello Realbuzzers 😊 Grab your mugs of tea and a packet of biscuits - this is going to be a very long one. On second thoughts you might need a full three course meal 😂😂 I make no apologies, I want to remember in as much detail as possible a challenge...

Playing catch up again

Hello Realbuzz Superstars 😁   What incredible performances there have been already in the spring marathons. Catching up on all the blogs has been so inspirational 😊 For those of you running London, the days are passing so fast now and I guess taper ma...

Magnum Training

Hello Realbuzz Superstars 😊    I published this blog first last night (yes, two in one night!) but for some reason it didn't appear in the list of blogs. So, trying again tonight. Maxine saw it it so I've added her comment and my reply at the botto...

A Worthy Step Challenge

Good Evening Realbuzzers 😊   It's the Walk Your AS Off Challenge and Team AS BUZZERS I want to publicise this evening. AS Buzzers have some members who have AS and many of these are members of my local NASS group (Woking and Weybridge Branch) as well a...

Tump, Hump, Tump

Hello Realbuzzers 😊  Hope that those of you training for  spring marathons are all going well as you get to the long run end of training. There have been some epic performances this week - always a huge inspiration 😊   Just a couple of Parkruns and a ...

Quieter times

Hello Realbuzzers 😊   Well a much quieter week for me! I shook off the minor cold of the previous week quite rapidly, then started just over a week ago with the dreaded coughing virus that seems to be doing the rounds. Just to make life interesting I h...

Mud, Snow and Plans for 2017

Hello Realbuzzers 😊   Hope that everyone's training is going well. There have been some superb and very inspiring blogs recently and a massive well done to you all putting in the tough miles last weekend.    The magic medicine has really damped down t...

The Bad, The Good and the Dow...

Hello Realbuzzers 😀 The Bad Last week I was in a state of great nervousness about starting the new drug therapy for the AS. Thank you so much for all your reassurances and positivity, it really did help a lot. More about how it went later as the day be...

Viral tales!

Hello Realbuzz Superstars 😀   This was only meant to be a short catch up, but you know me by now so grab those cups of tea! Well, the hope that the London Winter Walk would finally give the virus the heave ho was a bit of a vain one. More sore throats,...

Walking in the Rain

Hello Realbuzzers 😊   If you're on Facebook, you'll know that I haven't been feeling too smart for the past ten days having caught some kind of fluey type virus that doesn't know when to quit. My first Parkrun was walked in the hope that it would give ...

A New Experience

Hello Realbuzzers 😊   As you'll notice, a change of blog title to go with the New Year, which sums up very well how I feel about 2017. I hope to do more challenges than last year. R and as still haven't decided which challenges we'll do yet , but you'l...

Happy New Year

Hello Buzzers    Here's hoping that you've all had a splendid Christmas and have already started working off all those extra calories ready to stuff in a few more to celebrate the impending New Year   Massive and very very well deserved congrats again t...

A very late Snowdon Post!

First of all, apologies that this blog is so late! I've been writing this as and when I've had a spare five minutes so it's been written piecemeal over the last three weeks. Another apology too because it's very very long, but I never want to forget my ...

Getting into my stride again

Hello Buzzers    I've been meaning to blog for a couple of weeks ( I started writing this a week ago!) so many apologies as it's another dreadfully long one and pictures galore!   The week after the Thames Path 100k, I was really surprised that I had v...

Great Oggie Run Weekend 2016

Hello Realbuzz superstars    What a weekend we had last weekend - just incredible!! The blogs may have slowed down on Realbuzz over the last few months but the GOR weekend brought us all back together again so well and with blogs aplenty, that has been ...

48 hours to go!

Hello Realbuzzers    I meant to write this blog days ago but as usual, time runs away with me. Just a quick account of the last couple of weeks training then in 48 hours, it's time to triple knot the laces (definitely have to triple knot my boot laces o...