Hospice nurse Rosie Ingham has vowed to take on a running challenge after overcoming her fear of flying, in an effort to push her limits and make her children proud. Here, she explains what motivates her to run in support of St Catherine’s, and how training with fellow nurse Alison Dick can have unexpected outcomes!
I absolutely love working at St Catherine’s alongside a great team to provide support and care to patients and their loved ones in such a difficult time. I am training for the Great North Run to raise much-needed funds for the hospice.
I have always been enthusiastic about sport and have always been passionate about running. I used to love PE sessions at school, spending the majority of my time training for tennis tournaments. I still like to get out for a run every now and then as it helps me to relax, unwind and makes me feel like I am keeping fit.
But as life gets busy, working full time whilst supporting a young family, I haven’t really had time to take part in many sporting activities in recent years, so my fitness levels are not at their best.
Last year was the first year I travelled abroad with my husband and three children, and was a big hurdle for me to get over my fear of flying. But the hospice nurses motivated me to do it and I was so happy that I had the opportunity to experience this and see a new part of the world with my family.
It was in November that I was sat down relaxing on holiday in Spain that I said to my husband, ‘What can I do next? I fancy doing a run or something!’ I get itchy feet a lot and always like to be doing something new.
Then I thought of my colleague Alison, who had just started the ‘Couch to 5k’ running challenge. She was always talking about it and updating me on her progress. Alison often tried to motivate me to get back into running, but due to some health concerns I have had difficulty getting back into full exercise.
So as a spare-of-the-moment decision, and after seeing an advert for the Great North Run, I messaged Alison and said ‘Fancy doing this to raise money for the hospice?’
It’s taken me a little while to get back up to my normal fitness levels, and Alison has been a great inspiration to me. She keeps reminding me to not go too fast or too far as I can get carried away, push myself and end up injured.
Since signing up to do the Great North Run, Alison and I occasionally go for a short or medium run after work, starting and finishing at the hospice; St Catherine’s Park and the nearby parks like Cuerden Valley are perfect for training! We have also been encouraging staff to join us if they wish to, and we also train separately.
The first time running together was a nice steady two miles around Lostock Hall; that was a good starting point for me. I think it was the third time we went running together that Alison so clearly said we were just going to do three miles, saying she knew a good route. Well nearly six miles later after missing a turn we managed to find our way back to St Catherine’s! But it was a nice detour, running off-road, passing the fields and horses, and it was a beautiful day. It was really funny, and it’s a running joke now that I don’t trust Alison with directions!
I can’t speak though, as I went for a run around Cuerden Valley and ended up getting very lost and couldn’t figure out my way back. I was due on an afternoon shift so the pressure was on to get back home and showered. I ended up doing just short of nine miles! I was walking a bit funny that evening, with very sore muscles!
I have been running when I have time after early shifts, before late shifts and sometimes in the evenings after the children have gone to bed, normally doing between three and six-mile runs, two to three times a week. I am still struggling with injuries, so I have been varying the exercise with swimming and walking, and doing plenty of stretches.
I have to grab the opportunities when I can as my husband and children have so many sporting activities themselves. My children actually suggested that we go running together, so I have been doing one-mile runs with the kids which has been great fun – lots of laughter! They love making shapes with the Strava Map on my phone.
The Strava app has been great for monitoring my progress with each run, and I think I am managing my timings and pace better now. I have recently re-joined the South Ribble Runners, who have been so welcoming and supportive, and I tend to go out with them once a week if I am not on duty.
I absolutely love running and I love the feeling of being free, and I find I can process all my thoughts and sometimes sort them out by the time I have finished running.
It’s a great feeling knowing that my efforts are helping to raise money and awareness for an amazing local charity too – I see the difference St Catherine’s makes to patients and their families, and am proud to be part of the team and support this wonderful cause.