My Marathon Journey
Digital team's blog
The London Marathon takes place this Sunday and this year we've got 22 runners taking part who've raised over £30,000 between them for us and each has their own story and reason for taking part. Nicholas Hough tells us about his journey to recovery and why he's running for Rethink Mental Illness.
So I’ve just run my final long run (34.5k) in training for this year’s London marathon. And so far stayed pretty much injury-free, which has helped keep me positive about the big day!
But my journey to the start line on 23rd April started a long time before my training began on New Years Day.
Six years ago when I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, a pretty horrible disease, similar to Crohns which is an inflammatory bowel disease. I battled this on and off, taking way too much medication to mention and several stays in hospital to cope with the disease. The stress that this caused me was significant and one thing that helped me throughout was keeping fit, and particularly running. It was my way to help relieve stress, feel more confident and to show the disease that I was stronger than it.
But each time I got fitter, the disease came back with a vengeance and I would be sick again for a few months which really tested my resilience. I was determined to keep going and during a period of relative wellbeing I applied to run the London Marathon in 2017 inspired by my wife who ran it in 2016 after recovering from cancer. But halfway through my training I got very sick culminating in major surgery and had my colon removed meaning I had to postpone my run until 2018.
This operation has been life changing and the stress was immense and I know how much this impacted the ones closest to me as well as myself. My wife, Harriet, was absolutely instrumental in supporting me get through this difficult time but also the drive to get fit again and run this marathon has been a key in keeping me positive. This drive to run the marathon and demonstrate to myself that I have conquered this life changing experience is an immensely important step in my recovery and continued wellbeing.
I want to mention the reason why I chose to run for Rethink Mental Illness too. A few people very close to me, including my brother, have suffered and still suffer from mental illness in its many forms and guises. The work that Rethink Mental Illness does, is truly amazing and inspirational in helping and supporting many thousands of people everyday to face their battles every day.
On Sunday, I'll be running for both myself and for everyone involved with Rethink Mental Illness. Wish me luck!
If you want to donate to to us through Nicholas's fundraising efforts then you can head to his Just Giving page here.