Saturday, April 07, 2018

First #parkrun post surgery completed

I set myself a target back when I was lying in my hospital bed in January, that I would run a #parkrun before the end of March and get some semblance of fitness back, despite the issues I have had to deal with. well, I didn't quite make it, due to a number of small issues, resulting in false starts, but I was only a week out!

Gout, snow, and finally a chest infection which laid me up for ten days, all combined to stop me from running with any continuity. A few sessions on the treadmill in the gym, but no regularity could be done, and as April started, it was Re-launch version 3. This time, I bit the bullet, and with only one 2km session in the gym following my chest infection, it was with trepidation that I decided to head to Hartstown for my first attempt at running seriously in the 13 weeks since my surgery. I posted my intent on RSP, aiming to break 40 minutes, with a walk/run strategy, but in all honesty, I had no idea what I could do.

Thankfully, I under-estimated my level of fitness, or lack thereof, and I lined up this morning planning to see how it went. Once we started, I settled into a very even, steady pace, by previous standards very slow, and had a minimum of 5 minutes for the first run phase in mind. But I felt comfortable, and pushed on, through 1 Km, and kept going to the 10 minute mark. I then walked 2 minutes, got my breath back, and then started running again. The next two phases I went 5 minutes running, 2 minutes walking, times two, taking me to 26 minutes, and a little over 1 Km to go. Obviously I was well under my estimate, and a further 5 minutes running, and just one minute walking, saw me visualising the finish line, and a sub 34 minute run. I picked it up and ran with a purpose over the last 400m or so, and crossed the line in the official time of 33:41, well pleased with myself.

Obviously there is still a long way to go to get back to the fitness levels I would want to be at, but every journey has to build up, and this was a far better start than I had expected. If I can get a couple of weeks of continuity, with three/four sessions a week, I can be looking at 30 minutes by the end of the month, so that is my next target. Lets hope for no more setbacks on the road. Onwards and Upwards...

#mymillionthparkrun

Monday, March 05, 2018

Nothing to do with running - A blast from the past

Many years ago, in a distant past, I used to take part in another sport, and of I do say so myself, with some success. Darts! - Yes, I know that to many, darts isn't a sport, but, to be successful, a lot of practice (or training), had to take place, and many hours were spent throwing at the board to hone the skill.

In the days before cable/satellite TV, I even managed to appear on TV (and, NO, not on the game show Bullseye!), and lo and behold, in clearing out the attic at home, I came across the VHS tape of the event. I finally got around to having it digitalised, and popped it up on You Tube for nostalgia sake - Now it was 1984, so be prepared... If you want a laugh, probably at my expense, then here it is -

I promise, I'll stick to running from now on.....

Sunday, March 04, 2018

"Snow joke" slows me down, and back to work on Monday!

Just as I had started to run again, albeit timidly on the treadmill, Ireland gets hit by the Beast from the East, and darling Storm Emma. Heavy snowfall, and curfews, not to mention the fact that the country ground to a halt, with everything closed from Wednesday until Saturday afternoon. So, a slight hiccup, but nothing lost, especially as I hadn't actually gained anything!

The big Good News, (never thought that this would be considered Good News), is that I am heading back to work tomorrow morning, just 8 weeks after the surgery. Not sure if I'll do full days in the first week, I'll see how it goes. I feel grand, but then again, I'm doing next to nothing, and getting up at 10 in the morning. Tomorrow I will be up at 6.30, and off to work by 7.30, so tiredness may take over by lunchtime, but I'll see how it goes. It's another big step on the recovery road, and it will be grand to get out of the house, although I could get used to doing nothing...

As for the running, given this is meant to be a running blog, well, again, I aim to head to the gym tomorrow after work, and restart the process. I'll keep it steady, short and slow, as I get going again. Hopefully I'll have better news to report on that front in the weeks ahead. Until then, onwards and upwards....

Friday, February 23, 2018

Post Op Session Number Three

Exactly 7 weeks since surgery, and six weeks home from hospital I completed my third session of running. It was a gym session and a total of 2 Km run, 1 K warm up walk, 1 K run, walk interval, followed by 0.5 Km, walk, then further 0.5 Km run, and walk down cool down for total of 4 Km exercise. Completed session with 3 sets of leg curls to rebuild leg muscle.

Nothing spectacular at all, and a long way from any shape of fitness, but every journey has to begin with these first steps, and given the time frame involved, I can't complain. Need to work on the cardio, surprisingly, as I hadn't expected that to have been so weak, but it will come.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Starting back slowly

After being given the OK to start light running again by the Consultant last Thursday, I have done just that. Albeit very easily, very steadily, and not very far. For once listening to advice and using common sense, instead of an obvious desire to get going, and no doubt, overdo things.

Monday I went to the gym, it seems sensible to start the comeback process on the treadmill, where I can control what I am doing, and if anything goes wrong, I don't have to walk too far home :). Monday I warmed up with a 1 Km walk, then ran for 1 Km at around 6 minute pace. Have to confess it was hard. The cardio fitness I enjoy most of the time, has vanished, must check with the surgeon if he removed some of that when he cut away bits of my colon - who knew that the colon was what gave you fitness !! :).... I completed the session with another Km of cool down walk.

Today, Wednesday, I was back at the gym, and after another good Km warm up walk, I managed to run 1.5 Km, at a little slower pace than on Monday, still feeling the lack of cardio fitness, that will come, and then finished with another Km cool down walk. Actually felt a little better than on Monday, and I proceeded to do 3 sets of 20 leg curls on the machine, as I am aware that the leg muscles have also reduced in my time of enforced absence.

I am still on target to be completing a #parkrun by the end of March, the target I set myself when I was lying in my hospital bed in early January. Obviously I have walked a parkrun in the meantime, but I plan to be back and able to run the full 5Km within 5 weeks, it will be done......

Stay tuned...

This is what I want to be doing this summer...

Thursday, February 15, 2018

All Clear on the Western Front

February 15th - A great day for me.

It was a return to St Vincent's and a meeting with my Consultant to go through the histology from my surgery and see how the recovery is going. No beating about the bush, it's Good News Day. The histology came back clear, and there appears to be no sign of any nasty little cancerous bits running around inside me. Given this, it is virtually certain I will not require any further treatment, just have to allow the muscles around the colon to do their business, and look forward, if that is the right phrase, to heading back to surgery in the summer months to have the reversal down on the stoma and by-pass. After that, its just a case of regular check ups over the coming years, and fingers crossed, all will be grand. They are also happy with my progress in recovery. Another couple of weeks off work, then I can look at getting back to even more normality.

Even better, I can resume running, albeit slowly and steadily in the next week or two, although that will be tough in a number of ways, having had almost three months off, I know the cardio will be a struggle initially, but, I plan to get back to a great level of fitness, one way or another, so I will be back in my shorts soon, although, given the cold weather, that might wait another few weeks - Can someone turn the sun back on please!

Hopefully, this will mean that this blog can soon be back to recording my running progress, rather than the last few months tales. I thank each and everyone of you who sent good wishes for my recovery, it certainly helped keep me sane, and on track. For those that came to visit me, in hospital, and at home, I thank you from the bottom of my heart, and thanks for all the chocolates :)...

Onwards and upwards, the only way to go from here....

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Volunteering at #parkrun

Despite the weather, it was really great to get out this weekend and play timekeeper at #hartstownparkrun for their 170th #parkrun. Wrapped up well, and managed to walk most of the course (I walked one of the two laps of the parkrun), before the run, and another day out on the road to recovery.

Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Just a brief Update on life (Oh, and a parkrun!)

Obviously not a lot to report in the way of running just yet, given it's only just over 4 weeks since my surgery. On the plus side, I am getting used to everything now, and despite a touch of gout holding me back, I have started to get out and about a bit, trying to rebuild some of the muscle loss than inactivity can lead to. Mildly negative aspect is that I tire very easily, and still find myself having to take an afternoon siesta, and am in bed by 10 most evenings. Sleep patterns are not as regular as I would like, as I have to get up during the night to clear out the stoma bag, but all in all I can't complain.

The BIG plus this last weekend just passed, was that I managed to get out to #poolbegparkrun as it was #worldcancerday and I acted as tailwalker for the #parkrun and walked around with family and friends in under 50 minutes, which surprised me. I felt tired afterwards, but happy to have achieved my first step on the road to a full recovery. I've been told my the nurses that the recovery is far more mental than physical, and so I have set myself little goals along the way, the first of which was to get back to parkrun and manage the walk at least - Ticked!

I have an appointment with the consultant next Thursday (15th), and hopefully all will be OK. After that I'll be planning my return to work, and, slowly, and without rushing things, my return to running. My next goal will be to jog/walk a parkrun in under 40 minutes, and then the 30 minute barrier. All steps along the road.



A number of the friends and family who joined me last Saturday at Poolbeg.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

The story of my operation... (as reported on Facebook).


Liam Mycroft
6 January at 06:01 ·
Thanks everyone for the messages yesterday. Very sore this morning, and next to no sleep, but will be cheering Ulster on later, and reading all the run reports. Love my friends xxx

Liam Mycroft
7 January at 10:25 ·
Another sleepless night in St Vincent's. At least I'll lose weight, no solids yet.

Liam Mycroft
8 January at 04:51 ·
Monday morning. 10 to 5, and awake again. Very warm here in Vincent's, and with the meds, etc., I simply can't sleep. Still very sore, but all heading the right way. Wonder what they'll have me trying to do today?...

Liam Mycroft
9 January at 05:57 ·
Tuesday morning. Bit of a set back yesterday, stomach swelled, so they have had to put a tube down to the stomach, through the nose and throat, to alleviate the pressure. It did, straight away, but it's murder on the throat. Back to the drip overnight,oh well. Onwards and upwards 😀

Liam Mycroft
10 January at 06:27 ·
Day 6 in the Big Vincent's House. Tuesday was a strange day. Started well, and was up abot after a couple of drains removed. Felt tired, so went back to bed. No solids again, but water going down well. Up again when Pau arrived, and had a good wash and change. Back in beds for visitors, and all of a sudden, projectile vomited... All over my nice new gown.... Got cleaned up again... Doc then put me on 12 hour fast, so even water taken away. .. around 11, another small bout of sickness, this time I was prepared, and having had medicine for heartburn, this might have been a factor.... Just couldn't get to sleep, eventually dropped off, only to wake around 4, damp, as my stoma had leaked.... Changed again, managed to pee properly again, couldn't get back to sleep, so here I am, feeling a lot better this morning, after an eventful last 24 hours..... Apologies if these updates are over graphic, just like to be thorough 😀... Plus it saves me having to post more info to folk when they ask via pm......

Liam Mycroft
11 January at 08:16 ·
For all you lovely people following my trials and tribulations, a very positive post this morning. Yesterday dawned with me having been on fast the previous night, and once the docs approved liquids again, that first cup of tea was gorgeous. I had no discomfort, and at last the final drains were removed, and I could move around. The physio came around, took me for a walk. As to be expected after the op, the legs were a little rubbery, but he was very pleased. Christine Mc Cann came to visit, sweetheart, and Nurse Brid from the stoma unit came to explain the post op diet etc. Interestingly, it's the complete opposite of a healthy diet, but, allegedly, you don't put weight on 😀. From then, it was a little more walking, reading, chatting and Pau brought me a fan, which was a godsend, and I managed to get off to sleep by 10, and slept till 4... Heaven..... Docs been around this morning already, onto light diet, and an amazing turnaround from just 36 hours ago. .... Once again, thank you all for your support this week, it's kept me smiling, even when down. I'm not counting my chickens yet, but that light is getting pretty bright on this tunnel....

Liam Mycroft
12 January at 07:40 ·
One week ago, around this time, I arrived at St Vincents for my op. Had hoped today would be the last day, and it still might be, or possibly tomorrow.
Nothing exciting to report really, yesterday was another good day, no drama, and recovery in full swing. Bit of a rough night, sleep wise, as the ward was noisy, so not able to get a solid sleep, so a tad tired this morning.
Looks like I won't make #parkrun in the morning then... Stay tuned, hugs to all....

Liam Mycroft
Yesterday at 08:23 ·
Woo hoo... The day we've all been waiting for... Going home.....
After 8 days in Vincent's, pleased to report that the last three have seen a superb upturn, and everything is grand, and they are sending me home. Obviously, the recovery has only just started, and it will still take a few months to be back fully fit and healthy. I will have to come back later in the year to get the stoma out and ensure all goes back the way it should, but the worst is over.
I really appreciate all the support from everyone here, it has helped immensely to keep me going. One thing I'd like to say to friends who work in the health service, whatever country that may be, I thank you for your service, from the bottom of my heart.
Apologies to anyone who felt I was a little OTT with all the details, but it helped me, and saved me repeating myself 29 times. So, Thank you all once again, and, don't worry 😀 😀 😀, I'll still post about the recovery process over the months to come, just not every day 😀 😀 😀 😆

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Monday, January 01, 2018

That was the Year That Wasn't!

January the First, 2018, and I think it's pretty fair to say I'm, glad to see the back of 2017. Didn't quite go to plan... At the start of the year, the #FarewellTour was planned, and the intention was to finish off the year, retired, and lining up for the San Silvestre Road Race in Buenos Aires, having emigrated to the sun. Along the way I had a number of races that I hoped to run, some for nostalgia, and some for the first time, having never got around to running them in the past.

The year didn't start too badly, and one race I was very glad to get into and head to, was the Ballycotton 10, down in Cork. I may not have been as fit as I would like, a continuing saga all year, especially when compared to 2016 when I was lucky to stay injury free and reach a 10 year high fitness level. Little did we all know when we crossed the finish line at that 40th Ballycotton Race, that this would be the last time the race would be run, a sad loss to the running scene, not just in Cork, but in Ireland generally. I slogged around in just under 87 minutes, but loved adding my mug and t-shirt to the collection, they will be treasured.

I picked up an ankle injury after Ballycotton, and this has continued to plague me all year, and still is. As a result, I could only run every other day without any difficulties, but, as I was on my #FarewellTour, I carried on, regardless, albeit not improving my times, and generally running with discomfort for the year.

One of the highlights for the year was running a couple of "trail" races under the Born2Run banner, at Malahide and Bohernabreena. I have avoided X-Country and Trail Runs in the main over the years, having broken an ankle many years ago running the East Lancs Cross Country Championship, with the uneven surfaces always making me run more cautiously on XC, and therefore slower. While the Malahide run was mainly grass and path, the Bohernabreena run was up and down, around and around, the reservoir out there in South Dublin, it was tough, but actually very enjoyable, and I enjoyed the craic at both races, with times being irrelevant.

One of the last Highlights of the year was heading to the west, and Dingle, for the Kerryman Dingle Half Marathon. It lashed with rain, the course was hilly, up and down the roads of the peninsular, and there were next to no spectators on the course, except for the hardy souls who braved the elements to yell encouragement along the way. Thank You. Despite all the that - I loved it. The scenery is spectacular, and on a clear day it would be even better, although, somehow, the rain made it more real. Didn't enjoy the walk back into town from the bus drop, but, as ever in running, the camaraderie of the other runners involved was second to none, and the Shirt was impressive too.

The week after Dingle I ran a decent 5K in a BHAA Race in Kildare, clocking a seasons best 24:14, and found out that I had won my Handicap Section of the BHAA Races from 2016, which ended up with a €60 windfall. Three weeks late, I had a disasterous run in the Rathfarnham 5K, some three minutes plus slower, and feeling terrible as I ran, which I couldn't explain. A couple of weeks later, we headed to the US for a holiday, and as luck would have it, the Brooklyn Rock n Roll Races were taking place the weekend we were to be in New York. Wasn't up for the Half Marathon, but teemed up with an old friend, Vincent Cloud, and we ran the 5 Miler. Although my time of 43:20 wasn't that special, I placed in the top 15%, on a tricky course, and if I had been running as well as 2016, I would have been a top 50 finisher. Not sure if that is an indication of how well I was running that year, or the standard of competitors on the day, but I'd take it.

Then the wheels fell off.......

OK, it hadn't been a great year, nursing the ankle injury, but I was getting around, was able to manage 18 #parkruns over the year, including new runs for me in Rostrevor and Poolbeg, a fair number of races, and some highlights as indicated above. My Saturday morning posts on #RSP seemed to have gained a little following, and at least I felt I was still contributing to the running community here before I set off for pastures new.

Friday October 20th, I handed my retirement notice in at work. The plans were being made ready, and we were looking to be heading to Buenos Aires the week before Xmas. Then, the following Monday, the week before the Dublin Marathon, I received a phone call from St Vincents Hospital. I had been having an MOT done during the year, just routine tests to make sure I was in great health before leaving the country. Just before we went to the States on holiday I had been to Vincents and had a colonoscopy, at which, four polyps had been removed, nothing serious, or so I thought. The phone call was from the department asking me to come in the next day to go through the results of the examination. To be honest, I didn't think too much about it, but when the consultant told me that one of the polyps had come back from histology showing a cancerous tumour, albeit small, my heart, and our plans, sank.

I won't go through all that happened again, if you read my previous missives, I explained it there. Suffice to say, all I heard was the C word, and I did have a few weeks of anxiety as I awaited the results of the follow up CT and MRI scans. Yep there is a trace of cancerous tissues floating around, and I will have to have an operation to tidy up the problem. Work were brilliant, ripped up the retirement notice, and I awaited a date for the operation.

My running took a back seat from then on. Sure I have managed a couple of #parkruns, and the Run in the Dark, but I've also managed to put on over 5 kilos in eight weeks, which will take some time to shed once I am back on my feet.

Thankfully, as the New Year commences, I have a date for my surgery, this coming Friday, January 5th, and I'm told the recovery period will be 10 to 12 weeks, although I hope to be out and about well before that. Obviously this will mean a long period of no running, which might actually allow my ankle to heal, and I will have to be very careful of my weight on my enforced lay off. If 5 Kilos will be hard to shake, 10 would be a nightmare.

I admit I have been very lucky. The cancer was relatively small, and at a very early stage. It was caught, and was/is being dealt with, which should result in a clean bill of health going forward. Being positive, we plan to remain in Ireland for the best part of 2018, so once I am back able to run again, I may just start part two of my #FarewellTour, and maybe manage a couple more of those races I didn't manage to get around to in 2017.

To all my friends from #RSP, from my Wednesday Night Ranelagh Run & Beers gang, from Lust for Life, from Kickrunners 30's Club, and the Hashes around the World, not to forget my family and friends from all four corners of the globe, huge thanks for all your best wishes over the last couple of months, lets hope that 2018 will be a far more positive one, and I wish everyone, health and happiness throughout the coming year.