Why I’m running the London marathon, why there’s a book, why I’m eating chalk and why marathon training has changed my life

Last July, whilst having an ultrasound for intermittent, unexplained bleeding, I was told that the lining of my womb was thick.

That’s nice I thought, not only was I blessed with thick thighs and a thick waistline, now my internals were jumping on the bandwagon and increasing in size.

And whilst I was milling over my genetics, my grandmothers ‘thick’ bust and my father’s ‘thick skin’ I certainly didn’t expect the sonographer to follow up with;

‘So, you’re e probably about five or six weeks pregnant.’

‘I’m what?’

‘I’d say,’ she made one of those guestimate noises through her teeth ‘more like five weeks pregnant.’


One of my most favourite words given the turbulent journey we’d had to have B. Oh my goodness B’s going to have a sibling I thought happily before being crushed with the reality of that word.


We’d gone through the mill to have B. Two miscarriages a dubious pregnancy and then a very, frightening forty one weeks where I continued to give myself thrush weekly such was my force of wiping ‘down there’ to check for blood. Every toilet trip, every niggle, every something different would see me rush up to the hospital to be checked over.

Pregnant was not good.

‘But the blood?’ I said, B’s now, in my mind, very physical sibling, slipping out of my grasp.

‘We’ll take bloods to see if it’s viable and go from there.’

Viable. Another word I’d long since forgotten. My last viable thing had just turned one and was happily playing with a stuffed frog at her grandparent’s house.

The words ‘I can’t go through this again,’ were about to come tumbling out of my mouth, but in the end I decided to just keep quiet, save my energy. If I’d learnt anything over the last few years it was that these things were way out of, both my control, and the hospitals.

What would be would be. I shuddered at the fourth or fifth cliché to spring through the natural barrier of my pessimistic brain.

Of course, what I hadn’t realised at the time, that, what was meant to be was a long drawn out, painful third miscarriage. A miscarriage that would see me so sick I’d have to be hospitalised and a miscarriage that would confirm that, like me, B is destined to be an only child.

A few days after I was sent home from that hospital stay, myself and Scotty had that conversation. The one that confirmed that A) my body could not go through another miscarriage, B) my nerves couldn’t go through another miscarriage and C) our marriage could not be put through another miscarriage.

‘So, that’s that.’ We agreed.

And I was fine with it. Fine with not having to purchase another pregnancy test ever again, fine with not flinging my legs above my head after we’d done those things that couples do, fine with not ever stepping into EPU ever again.

And despite knowing, feeling, understanding that it was fine, there was still a bit of a void, a bit of a void that needed to be filled… somehow.

‘I’m going to run the London marathon.’ I told Scott one Sunday morning.

‘Great.’ He said, his eyes, never leaving his phone.

‘I mean it.’ I said.

‘Two sugars.’ He said.

Now, I’d been on and off running for the past few years so I knew just how tough it would be to get a ballot place for the marathon, especially given they were changing the system last year and opening it up for an entire week. I also, vaguely knew, that running for charity meant raising a lot of money.

Bingo! I thought. I’d write a book, all about my running, I’d make it honest and funny and people could buy it, or sponsor me, and I’d raise the money that way.

Cue applying to run the London marathon for Bliss.

Cue No Run Intended.

Now, I never expected the book to bull dozer its way into the running and jogging charts the way it did.  (Cue my involvement with Run Wales.) I never expected the whirlwind of amazing events that would happen since publishing it and I certainly never expected to get a phone call from Bliss, less than twenty four hours after I applied, to ask me to run for them (which is an absolute honour given the work they do). But I can tell you, I’m bloody grateful that all these things did happen!

Even if I’m ridiculously tired, slightly achy, always busy and now to top it all off, eating chalk (jury’s still out on whether I’m anaemic, there’s a deficiency or I’m just actually a bit mental) everything surrounding this marathon has been completely amazing.

It’s changed my outlook.

It’s proved to me that I am capable of absolutely anything.

It’s introduced me to some of the most amazing people ever and it’s guaranteed that I haven’t got pregnant! Winner!

So, there it is, in a long-winded nutshell! The reason, in just under two weeks time I’ll be tackling an iconic twenty six point two miles, the reason why there’s a small eBook rocking the world of running literature (so to speak) and the very reasons why my life is sure to never be the same ever again.

(And if you’re a little bit moved and fancy helping with my sponsorship target, or just fancy communicating, tweet me @hannah3phillips )







One thought on “Why I’m running the London marathon, why there’s a book, why I’m eating chalk and why marathon training has changed my life

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