At the end of November I had a weeks holiday booked, just Lorraine & I visiting Budapest for a week. We had planned sightseeing, opera and lots of walking to keep up my training.

Unfortunately, a few days before we were due to go my Dad was taken very ill whilst on holiday with Mum, in Tenerife. He had a heart attack several years ago and a few months before they went had heart problems again, but was given the all clear to fly. He was in intensive care for a day when they said he needed a pacemaker. So my brother and I flew out the next day to support Mum and be there for Dad’s procedure.

This is one of the reasons I chose to raise charity funds for the British Heart Foundation to help fight heart disease.

Lorraine and I scrapped our week in Budapest and re-located to Tenerife. Not quite the same! The island is quite hilly and I did keep some training going for long  walks, up steep hills and a bit of work in the gym. But the food in the hotel won out and I definitely put on more pounds than I worked off!

The whole saga with dad was very stressful and had more twists and turns than a good thriller. The pacemaker was successful but he wasn’t stable enough to fly home without going through a procedure to open a blocked artery with a stent. Thank G-d he eventually got home and is recovering well and getting stronger.

Those few weeks and the one at home when Lorraine stayed in Tenerife really were so stressful and threw me right off my training, I got a few walks in and the occasional trip to the gym.

Then it was getting towards Christmas and my gym closed for a refurbishment til mid January. Then the snows came down and walking was not so easy either!  I did take good benefit from the time over New Year to get most of my clothing. It’s amazing all the layers, under armour, socks and fleeces that there are! (Thanks for your expert help with this Stephanie – it was fun.)

So, I was now rested, kitted out and determined to get fitter over the 9 weeks we had left.

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