Friday, 9 September 2011

An introduction

Hi – welcome to my blog.  I’ve been considering writing something for quite some time now, but haven’t really hit upon anything I thought I could pass comment on.  Until now.

In April 2012 I’ll be running the London Marathon.  Granted, that’s not the most astounding revelation or the most fascinating topic (and nor is it meant to be).  This blog’s purpose (if you like) is to document my progress over the next six months or so, and give you an idea of just how challenging it’s going to be.

This post is mostly going to be background information – an introduction to me and my reasons for doing all this.  Hopefully that doesn’t fill you with too much dread as it’s the background that makes it interesting.

A bit about me… I’m 30, I hail from the fair city of Sheffield, and I have Type 1 Diabetes (I take 5 insulin injections a day).  The last bit  is the most pertinent to my story.

I want to introduce an important point here.  While I’ve been diabetic for the last 10 years, I’ve consciously (or perhaps subconsciously) never let it define who I am.  I firmly believe that you shouldn’t pigeon-hole yourself (or allow others to do the same).  There are many things that make me who I am – interests, hobbies, past experiences, family, work…these are all parts of a whole.

That said, for the purposes of this blog, my ‘condition’ will be something I talk about more than usual.

I’m not going to try and educate you about diabetes – I guess the majority of you know about it (or at least of it) and there’s plenty of information out there if you get curious.  I’m hopefully going to give you a bit of an insight into how you prepare for something like a marathon, but with that extra bit of consideration needed for dealing with diabetes.

So – what’s my starting position?  Well, I’ve wanted to run the marathon since my Dad did it when I was 8 years old.  Since I was 18 I’ve spent 10 of the last 12 years desperately trying to get a place in the ballot.  In 2010 I was lucky enough to manage it.

The eagle-eyed amongst you will notice that I should have run it last year, and you’d be right.  This is the final bit of background to the story.

Way back in 2008, I was training for the Sheffield Half Marathon.  After my last distance run (15 miles about 3 weeks before the race) I felt a pain in my foot and ended up hobbling about for days afterwards.  To cut a long story short, x-rays and GP visits couldn’t determine anything, but I ended up having to forfeit my place as I couldn’t walk properly, let alone run.

That lead to a bit of a downward spiral in my general levels of health and fitness (and a corresponding decline in my own care for my diabetes).  I gave up on the gym and put on a fair bit of weight.

After having two years of ‘rest’ for my mystery foot pain (including more x-rays and an MRI), I took an extremely cautious approach to my training for the 2011 marathon, but sadly after about 40 training miles, my foot gave up again and I had to defer my place to 2012.

I’m now having regular physio and should be starting my proper training at the beginning of October when the 6 month countdown will begin.  I’m also in the middle of a fairly intense diet to try and shift some of this excess weight.

This feels like the last hurrah in terms of my marathon chances.  It’s been my dream for more than 20 years and, having been so close to it already this year, I’m determined to make it happen in 2012.

If this has given you a glimmer of interest then I’d love it if you keep coming back.  I’m going to try and keep this fairly regular (certainly from October when the fun starts) and I’ll try and intersperse the running and diabetes chat with the odd bit of humour where time (and brain capacity) allows.

If you want to get in touch or fancy a general chat, I can be found on Twitter as @Broomowl or mail me on

Thanks for reading.  Andy.


  1. I had noticed that a few of your tweets recently mentioned Diabetes. I assumed type 2 and recently diagnosed. Good to find out more via your blog.
    Well done on the diet and weight loss. It is the right approach. It's best not to concentrate on diet just for weight loss but a way of eating for life if it's to remain lost.

  2. Hi - thanks for your comment :-) I should have probably mentioned it was Type 1 diabetes (post amended) so thanks for that.

    And I totally agree with your comment about weight loss - you have to have a long term view to keep yourself at target weight