Race for Life 2014

I’ve been writing online in some form of personal blog since 2001 (which, depressingly, is older than some bloggers out there) and when I’m asked to describe my blog, I say it’s things I like and care about. I never expected one of those topics to be testicles. I mean, they’re nice and all, but it’s not really something you talk about, is it?

Well, we should.

Around Christmas, Alex found a lump. After a lot of pestering to register with the doctor, and an unfortunatly timed 3 week work trip, a tumour was diagnosed, and quickly removed. A follow up scan showed that the lump was cancerous, and that it had spread to a lymph node, so chemotherapy would be needed.

Alex has been receiving chemotherapy at BHOC (Bristol Haematology and Oncology Centre) since his further diagnosis in March. The speed in which he has been seen and the care he has received so far has been amazing.

He has been lucky enough to experience the young adult ward, which is for teenagers and young adults up to 25 years old. With wifi, private rooms, and a communal area and kitchen that’s comfortable and almost relaxing, it makes a pretty shitty experience less poop to go through.

I usually take part in a Race for Life event every year in order to raise money for Cancer Research after my mum died in 2005 after a short battle with cancer, but this year, it’s even more important to me. With the money that we raise, Cancer Research is able to work on new developments that mean treatments work quicker and more effectively to cure more people.

We also wanted to set something up to allow our friends to donate directly to the people who are actually making him better (because they’re pretty damn awesome). Above and Beyond is the charity for the hospitals in Bristol. We are so lucky to have such excellent healthcare available to us (that you don’t have to pay for to benefit from!) in our city.

RFL_Master Logo_Short Tape Above-Beyond_RGB

I am running both the 5k and 10k in Bristol in the same weekend in July because Alex thought it would be funny and signed me up for both of them. Cancer has not affected his sadistic nature, unfortunatly. (You can still get involved with these events! Head over to the Race for Life page and get signed up!)

You can donate to my Race for Life page here – www.justgiving.com/hayles10kand5k or you can donate by text by sending HGCB95 £1 (you can replace £1 with whatever figure you want to donate, up to £10!) to 70070

You can donate to Above and Beyond here – www.justgiving.com/nixgeek or you can donate by text by sending HCAH99 £1 (again, replacing £1 with whatever figure, up to £10) to 70070

Finally, if you take nothing else away from this blog post – check yourself, and check your partner.  Some of you may know that one of my favourite people, Vanessa, was diagnosed with breast cancer before Christmas, and is also going through chemo. We assume that these sort of illnesses won’t affect us, because we’re young, but it’s even more important to learn how to check yourself so it becomes a part of your routine. You can find out more information about breast cancer from Breast Cancer Care and about testicular cancer from It’s In The Bag (who are a part of Above and Beyond)



Race for Life 2013

So, my 6th Race for Life, and my second 10k. When I signed up for it, I had high hopes that I would be able to – well, not run all the way, but at least complete the race in a reasonable time. I am definitely a lot fitter than I was last year and I was training at least 5 days a week on my cross trainer.

Race for Life medal with Github t-shirt

But things never go to plan, do they? About a month before the race, I started having twinges in my back – nothing serious at first, but by the end of that week, I couldn’t even walk properly or sit down at work. I ended up taking a week off work, lying on the floor most of the time which was a pretty miserable week. I would take enough pain killers so I could sit up for a few hours and crank out a few BB posts, then retreat to the floor to watch TV. A few doctors visits later, and I have painkillers that make me queasy and forgetful, but at least I can walk now.

Anyway. Excuses out the way. The day of the race came, and after buying two pairs of shorts (because I left one on the bus the night before the race – see, forgetful), I headed up to the Downs and took part in the 10k on one of the hottest days of the year. I was also wearing a Github Pinktocat which raises money for Breast Cancer Awareness in the US (thanks Alex!) and some pretty gloriously flourescent trainers which I’ll talk about a bit more later.

I jogged for the first few kilometers, but around 2.5km, I started to get a pain in my back. I had a stash of painkillers in my pouch, so took a dose and carried on, a little bit slower. Unfortunatly by around 4km, the pain was just getting too much and I ended up (speed) walking the rest of the way. I was so gutted that I couldn’t manage the whole race but I managed to complete it in about 1hr 20mins.

Nike trainers

A few months ago, I had a very kind email saying “We saw that you’re going to be doing Race for Life, would you like to review a pair of running shoes?” I had been thinking of buying a new pair for the race, but hadn’t gotten round to it, so this was perfectly timed. I chose the Nike Lady LunarGlide+ 4 because they have the Nike+ technology ability, and I already had the chip from my old pair of trainers. (I’ve already blogged about how digital metrics can help motivate me!) The trainers have been so comfortable and supportive, I hadn’t realised what bad shape my old pair were in!

My sponsor page is still open, so if you’d like to sponsor me, please head over to raceforlifesponsorme.org/hayles10k (and thank you!)

Race for Life 2013


I know, it’s come around quick, hasn’t it? Yep, it’s that time of year, when I tell you that I’m going to be doing Race for Life again (for the 6th year!) I don’t think I need to tell you why I’m doing this – you all know the story by now (or if you don’t, you can always go through the Race for Life category on this blog and find out more!)

This year, I have chosen to do the 10k – my second one ever. With the exercise I’ve been doing, I feel a little fitter for this one. I mean, I can run for the bus without wanting to die. That’s a definate improvement on my previous races.

It’s in July, so I have a few months to get fitter – I have no idea about times, but if I can do it in about an hour, I’ll be happy. (I did my previous one in about 90 minutes, so room to improve!)

If you’d like to sponsor me, my sponsor page can be found here. (and thank you!) If you’re going to be doing a Race as well, I’d love to hear about it – have you trained much? Have you done it before?