Summer Solstice: 5 weeks to go!!!!!

It’s been nearly three months since I posted about our plans for the Summer Solstice. It’s now only 5 weeks away! So, I thought it about time I posted something about our preparations and what I’m hoping to raise a little bit of money for.

We’re fundraising for a little known charity, the Pulmonary Hypertension Association UK (PHA). A friend of mine suffers from a combination of lung and heart conditions, pulmonary arterial hypertension and venous occlusive disease. She has been supported through her journey with her illness from active primary school teacher to life with a chronic life limiting condition by the PHA. Sarah, and her husband Phil, have both been active in raising the profile of Pulmonary Hypertension and raising funds towards essential research and support for sufferers.

We hosted Phil the night before his epic spine race earlier  this year. A seven day unsupported run along the Pennine Way in January. He endured snow, rain, hail, wind, mud and about twelve hours sleep in total for six and a half days. It was a treacherous event but one which, through sponsorship, raised over £15,000 for the PHA. It inspired me to want to do something to support this great cause.

Sarah’s journey has been a long one. What started out as breathlessness and tiredness slowly deteriorated to an inability to undertake normal everyday tasks. Her path to diagnosis took eight years with many mis-diagnoses along the way. If you’d like to learn more have a watch of this or head over to her blog

It turns out Sarah isn’t the only person I know who’s been affected by PH. As well as our summer solstice adventure The Short One and I are also completing the Lakesman ironman distance triathlon in a relay this year. I’m swimming 3.8km, The Short One is cycling 180km and another friend Julie is running 42km. It will take us about twelve hours in total and we’ll be there to support each other for the duration. I discovered after posting about our solstice plans that Julie’s Dad died of PH when she was a young girl. It also happens that our triathlon is only four days before the summer solstice. So not only will raising money be pushing us through our solstice adventures it will also be pushing us all round our Ironman challenge a few days before. If you’d like to sponsor us for our epic week in June here’s our fundraising link

So, am I feeling prepared for our week of exertions? Erm! Kind of ?!? I always have such good intentions. I’ll write everything down and stick to a plan. I’ll definitely do this, I’ll definitely do that. In reality such plans rarely come to fruition. The Short One thrives on a good training plan. Tracking her progress against a target, recording everything on her Garmin, uploading it to Strava, analysing the graphs her training schedule has plotted. She beats herself up if she’s missed a training session or thinks she’s not improving well enough. I think her zest for pushing limits comes through in her guest blog here I on the other hand am a bit more blasé about the whole thing.

Despite my best intentions I’ve realised I’m just a bit too lazy to be that planned and organised. I’m conscious I need to train for this but I regularly find excuses. The school holidays, kids having chicken pox, lousy weather, a bit of a cold, a few too many gins, work. Despite that, I have done a bit of hit and miss training. I’ve managed a few rides on my road bike without failing off, embarrassing myself or causing any kind of traffic jam. I’ve hauled my backside up a few hills too, though I’m slightly concerned that I’m still a bit stiff after a nine mile jaunt round Kinder on Monday. The walk and the ride will be my challenges. I’m confident I’ll manage them but more training in the next few weeks will dictate how hard and painful it will be.

But how about the swimming? My love, my passion, my obsession. Yeah, the swimming’s going fine. It’s warmed up at last and we’ve been in almost every day in May so far, with a couple of double dip days thrown in for good measure. I think I did about 12km over last week and The Short One’s on course to manage her first 3km non-stop session next week.

There’ll be no awards for speed on 21st June (well not from me at least) but I’m confident we’ll complete our challenge. Knowing we’re doing it for a great cause will help push us along regardless!

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