These are the questions I imagine I will be asked when I tell people that I have decided to challenge myself to run 1000km in 2016. So, I’ve decided to keep a blog! Partly, so you can understand what and why I’m doing it. Also so you can follow my progress and so that I can record what I consider to be a great personal achievement.

What…………….. Running, 1000km in 2016. Yes you read that right! I who only ran my first timed 5km on 26th December 2015 decided a week later that I would take part in a digital run challenge. I came across it on the MapMyRun App and therefore joined ‘Under Armour You VS Year 1000km in 2016’.

Why………………. It all started at the end of August 2015, I joined Slimming World to try and loose the 4 stone (yes 4 stone!!!!!) I had put on while pregnant with Cerys. Slimming World is about adopting a healthier lifestyle and while for the first 8 weeks I concentrated solely on eating a healthier diet. I soon realised that I needed to exercise more too. That is where Slimming Worlds Body Magic came in. Body magic begins with the Bronze Award (45 minutes of exercise a week spread over at least 3 days and maintained for at least 4 weeks) and progresses through Silver and Gold to Platinum where active living is lifestyle.

I decided to work my way through the awards but only counting the time I spent running as logged exercise. I did this to test myself and to increase my fitness. Then I saw the challenge to run 1000km in 2016 on the app I use for tracking my runs and I thought why the hell not!

Are you Crazy……… Possibly but I prefer to think of myself as determined,  strong willed and maybe a little pig-headed. I have challenged myself and I WILL DO IT.

I then thought what better way to keep myself motivated than to tie it in with fundraising for charity. I have sponsored many people over the years for marathons, half marathons, bike rides etc so if I am planning to run the equivalent of almost 24 full marathons in a year I would hope people would sponsor me too!! And before any of you reading this who have run a marathon say, it’s not the same, it’s not as tough, it’s not as full on, I would like to say I am committing to running 1000km in a year that is a MILLION metres, not just 42km one Sunday morning 😜 The charity I have chosen to fundraise for is ICP Support.

I had never heard of Intrahepatic Cholestasis of Pregnancy (or Obstetric Cholestasis as it is also known) until I was well on in my pregnancy with Freya. After a very easy and straightforward first two trimesters I could never have imagined what was about to happen in my third trimester and the turmoil it would throw us in to for the last few months of pregnancy.

I had been itching on and off and not just a little bit but so bad I was not able to sleep, I was scratching my hands and feet raw (normally with a hairbrush or against Paul’s jeans) and then it would ease for the day or a night and I would wonder if it had all been in my head, after all itching is a common side effect of pregnancy or so they tell you!

We had read about Obstetric Cholestasis on the internet (when trying to convince ourselves that my itching was normal) but thought as it was so rare it wouldn’t effect me. It was Paul who convinced me to mention it to my midwife after one of our antenatal classes, I  did and she laughed and said ‘oh dear someone’s been on Google’ and then proceeded to tell us all about how bad it was to Google your symptoms because you always think the worse and it was normal to itch in pregnancy. She took my bloods anyway ‘to reassure me’.

Two days later, she phoned me at work and said my blood levels were abnormal and I needed to go to hospital and that they were expecting me in 2 hours. I can’t remember a huge amount from the phone call apart from her saying ‘try not panic’ and then proceeding to use words like early induction and stillbirth. I obviously broke down and went in to full panic mode.

The next couple of weeks were filled with trips to the hospital every 2 days for blood tests and monitoring, lots of panicking, lots of tears and lots of itching. One of the worst things I found with obstetric cholestasis (apart from the heart wrenching fear of still birth) is the hospital could not just diagnose me, first they had to rule out other potential causes of my abnormal blood results. The not knowing what was happening or understanding what was going on was awful. By the time I was diagnosed my bile acid blood results were in the 100’s when normal was 0-14, my LFT’s and ALT’s were through the roof and the itching was unbearable. I was prescribed URSO and my induction was booked for 37 weeks and 2 days (two days later). I wish I had known about ICP Support during this time.

When I got pregnant with Cerys, I was very anxious at every slight itch and pestered my midwife to check my bloods more regularly than she normally would have. Luckily although my levels were slightly raised with Cerys it was nowhere near as severe as it had been with Freya and I was induced at 38 weeks.

During this pregnancy I found ICP Support, the information I learnt from their website, the support and advice I got from their Facebook page and my own previous experience made it all a little more bearable second time round!!

I therefore want to challenge myself by running 1000k in 2016 but I also want to help raise awareness of this condition, the charity and raise funds to help support the charity to continue with the fabulous work they do supporting women and their families and funding research in to Intrahepatic Cholestasis of Pregnancy (Obstetric Cholestasis).

If you can, please support me by visiting my fundraising page


Kim x x