The Loneliness Of The Long Distance Runner

Alan Sillitoe 's novel

I am obviously not a long distance runner, not even a short distance runner at the moment but the solitary nature of running is used as a metaphor in this excellent short story as the main character turns to long distance running as a way of escaping both emotionally and physically from his desperate situation.

Taking part in a triathlon this year and doing the 10k last year has become something similar to me, a way of escaping the world of myeloma both mentally and physically. It signifies that I can do normal things (though some would say that it is mad not normal) and reach a level of fitness which has no place in the world of myeloma. I truly appreciate having been able to be fit and active since my stem cell transplant if not fitter than before diagnosis without bone pain or in fact any pain that some of my fellow myeloma suffers have as a legacy of myeloma even when in remission.  As for the loneliness, living with myeloma can be lonely and scary. I appreciate the acknowledgement of this by a long distance friend who doesn’t have myeloma in a comment made by Prue about my last post, the Myeloma Trilogy  “I reckon it must be quite a lonely place at times…so this is a hello!!!

However I am pleased to say that I won’t be on my own doing the Salford Triathlon next Sunday. My individual place has been substituted for a team place and I am grateful to two friends for doing the swim section and the run section at the end. I still intend to do the middle 20k bike section but have someone on standby if I cant.  I have had to accept that I am not in a position health wise to do all of it and stopped the intensive training a good few weeks ago, finding myself breathless and exhausted. Anyone that knows me will know that I hate to admit defeat and don’t like giving up but now I have accepted it I am pleased and excited to be doing it as part of a team and hugely relieved that the pressure (all of which was self inflicted) is off.  The photos below were taken at a open water swim in a lake in Cheshire on a lovely sunny day and yes that is me gliding through the water with a Myeloma UK swim cap on! Just to prove I had been doing the training!



So neither lonely nor a runner but I will be taking part in the Salford Triathlon on Sunday 18th August and I hope you will support me. You should be able to click on the Just Giving Link on my blog to take you to our  Just Giving Page.  Needless to say I am raising money for Myeloma UK.


Filed under Cancer, Health, Multiple Myeloma, Myeloma, Relapse, Remission, Stem cell transplant, Uncategorized

9 responses to “The Loneliness Of The Long Distance Runner

  1. I love that you’re still doing this, in an adapted form. Brill! I’ll see if I can make it up there to support you. No promises but it’s be nice. I might even give financial support too. x

  2. Brenda Cooper

    Well done Wendy! I appreciate your flexibility ….if you can’t get directly from point A to point B then go via C. I know how hard it can be to let go of our level of fitness due to MM…it is as much a mind trip as a physical challenge.Hurrah for you! I will be donating!
    all the best,

  3. Ron Harvot

    I was diagnosed back in 2009 and am an avid cyclist. This year I have done several races and rallys. I cycled before my diagnosis but took it to another level afterwords as a way to fight back. It helps me both mentally and physically.
    I am pulling for you and will also be donating.

    Good Luck

  4. Susan Assinder

    Hi Wendy
    Just going off to your donation page but thought I’d say hello first. We haven’t met but I’ve followed your inspiring blog since my husband (also a keen Mancunian cyclist) was diagnosed with myeloma last year.
    All best wishes, Susan

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