Couch to 42k

Yeah, it looks like I'm running the London Marathon next year, which is a little bit mental considering I've never done any running before (save a short stab at the Couch to 5k app earlier this year which I never finished).

A marathon is about 42km which is about 26 miles which is Brighton to Eastbourne, or in short, from one end of London to the other, which will be my itinerary: Greenwich to Buckingham Palace (but in a very roundabout way).

Adding some extra challenges for me are the fact that I'm a smoker and extremely partial to a pint. I make sure I get a varied diet with lots of veggies, but I'll never turn down a piece of cake or a pack of cookies (or a bag of sweets, or a packet of crisps, or a bar of chocolate).   

So why? Well first off I work well under pressure and had been letting my fitness levels sort of fall underway lately. Plus, I also find more motivation when there's a goal in sight. It's a challenge and it's a something I'll forever be proud of myself for doing. I believe we all need to challenge ourselves in this life and push ourselves outside of our comfort zone. I've never let anyone tell me that something is impossible because I know that nothing is. But I'm not just doing it for the 'fun' of it. I'm doing it to raise money for St Gemma's.

They are a palliative care hospice who provide end of life care. You might be wondering what sort of care someone needs at the end of life, if they are about to die anyways, right? That's what I used to wonder. Until my mum was in the position where she needed them. So I'm going to reveal some pretty personal stuff about the sort of support they provided for us specifically, and hopefully you will see why they're worth running eight hours for. 

At the point my mum was admitted she was suffering so much that she could hardly bare to be awake. So they put her on a constant flow of morphine and she was floating! 

When your bones are too weak to carry you and you are either in constant pain or high as a kite, a simple shower can turn into an ordeal. Have you ever felt so tired that you recoiled at the thought of getting up to go have a shower? Try timing that by 100, and throw in some nausea and some confusion and, oh, the fact that you know you are going to die any day now. Why even bother washing? Well, because illness and death have a particularly specific and strong smell, and my mum was a lady who put a lot of effort into her hygiene and her appearance, so we all knew she wouldn't want us to let that slide. So the care staff at St Gemma's rocked up with their wheelchair, wheeled her right to the bathroom, and the magic bath/jacuzzi contraption carried her into the bathtub and supported her to sit up while the wonderful lady/angel scrubbed her gently with a sponge. It was such a treat!

♥️ TREATS ♥️
They have massages, reikki and other such relaxing sessions. As soon as my mum found out she was signing up for all of them and it wasn't long before she got a lovely massage and her husband Nigel was relieved of his duties for the day! 

With their huge, beautiful garden we were able to go out for walks. Otherwise we would have been stuck outside and my mum would not have seen the light of day in her last couple of weeks in this life. 

So many places nowadays have a no-touching policy or a keep-a-professional-distance approach. At St Gemma's they give you a good old hug and make you a cuppa when times are hard.

Who wants to be screaming in pain and begging for some relief, or having toileting accidents in front of your family, your children, your friends? St Gemma's takes care of all of this, they've seen it all and they know what to do, and treat the patients with the upmost respect and compassion.

♥️ TIME ♥️
When all you have left is (a short amount of) time, you want to make sure that it's high quality. By taking on all the care responsibilities St. Gemma's ensure that the family can just be. I was able to just enjoy my mum's presence and have chats with her and take her out for sneaky cigarettes when Nige wasn't looking. It also meant that we were all there, holding her hand when she took her very last breath, and she knew that she was loved. 

I know the above probably sounds like a sponsored post but it isn't. It's my true experience and I want to give back. St.Gemma's rely on donations only; they do not receive any funding at all. The work they do is too important, we need to support them.

So I want to raise £3000 for them. The minimum requirement for me to actually run for them is £1750 but of course, I'd like to raise more if possible. Can you help me? Please give what you can, because little by little, a little becomes a lot. We have until the 28th of April 2019.

I promise to post regular updates on my training and to try and make it entertaining for you!

Donations ()

  • Tim Shoubridge 
    • £20 
    • 9 mos
  • Ericka Heckethorn  
    • £5 
    • 9 mos
  • Damien Murphy 
    • £50 
    • 9 mos
  • Alicia Forsaith 
    • £25 
    • 9 mos
  • Kevin Forsaith 
    • £100 
    • 9 mos
See all


Carly Forsaith 
Brighton, South East England, United Kingdom
St.Gemma's Hospice 
Registered nonprofit
Donations eligible for Gift Aid.
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