709 %
raised of £300 target
by 54 supporters
Jenny Bridger avatar
Jenny Bridger

Jenny's first marathon page

Fundraising for Cystic Fibrosis Trust

709 %
raised of £300 target
by 54 supporters
  • Event: Brighton Marathon 2011, 10 Apr 2011

Cystic Fibrosis Trust

We work throughout the UK with one mission to beat cystic fibrosis for good

Charity Registration No. 1079049 (England and Wales) & SC040196 (Scotland)


I made it!

Blog Post!


Official Chip time: 5 hours & 27 minutes.

Thank you for all the donations so far, the page will remain active for another 3 months if you still wish to donate.  I am going to write a blog post (on my very neglected blog) and put the link here when i have done it.

Thank you.

(scroll to the bottom for the latest update)

This is my first attempt at a marathon and even better, it's in my home town (ish).  It's a town i know & love from my childhood right through to this day. My grandparents still live there & i hope that on the day they will be there cheering me on (so long as they haven't booked their April holiday earlier than normal).  I'm sure mum will be there too - just to see if i complete it!  Despite my current efforts at the gym, she knows that running is a new venture and i think she has her doubts! 

April 2011 will also be a 2 year anniversary for the start of my fight against anorexia.  It was in April 2009 that i took up the challenge to gain weight & shift my BMI from a life threatening 12.  Since that day i have doubled my BMI but the battle is far from over. I couldn't have run 2 strides in the state i was in then.

I know i will complete it though (however long it takes me), because there are 2 special reasons to me that ensure i will.  They were born in Brighton, grew up in Brighton, dividing their childhoods between home, Brighton hospital & London hospitals.  They won't be stood on the streets cheering me on, but i like to think they'll be looking down, watching me from above. Thank you Aunty Susan & Uncle David for being my inspiration.  I may never have met you but you are still, frequently, in my thoughts.

A few facts about CF:

*Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is one of the UK's most common life-threatening inherited diseases.

  • *Cystic Fibrosis affects over 8,500 people in the UK.
  • *Over two million people in the UK carry the faulty gene that causes Cystic Fibrosis - around 1 in 25 of the population.
  • *If two carriers have a child, the baby has a 1 in 4 chance of having Cystic Fibrosis.
  • *Cystic Fibrosis affects the internal organs, especially the lungs and digestive system, by clogging them with thick *sticky mucus. This makes it hard to breathe and digest food.
  • *Each week, five babies are born with Cystic Fibrosis.
  • *Each week, three young lives are lost to Cystic Fibrosis.
  • *Around half of the CF population can expect to live over 38 years, although improvements in treatments mean a baby born today could expect to live even longer.
  • Sadly this wasn't the life expectancy for David and Susan, back in the early 80's, who died in their early 20's, but it shows how far advances in science have come and how the 50% of money raised that goes towards research (http://www.cftrust.org.uk/aboutus/how_we_spend/)  really does make a difference.

  • People it can make a difference for are those who are still in their childhood right now - if you want to know what life is like for a family with children who have CF, have a read of this blog http://beckyadrianserendylan.blogspot.com


    11th August - first toenail lost due to blisters (not totally sure it happened during a run,  possibly on a long walk instead) but makes be wonder if i'll have any left by the end of 26.2 miles next April!  I am planning my training via the Asics website which is the brand of trainers i have.  This training plan sets me a time to run, so then with the help of my ipod nano and Nike + sensor i can tell how far i've run in that time too!   Oh and now i have a new training helper - Mum!  she rides her bike as a bit of company for me on the longer runs.  35 minutes tomorrow....eeeek!

    22nd Sept - good news is the tendonitis in my ankle, although tight, isn't that painful now & the shin splints discomfort/pain i will have to get used to & work through i think.  Just need to loosen my calf muscle up. After 2 weeks rest from everything (inc. all gym classes) its time to start running again, Monday will be the start of training Mark 2.

    13th Nov - Perhaps i should start calling this an injury update? So currently i think i am going to lose that same toenail again due to blister issues, the lower leg pain, which is not in both legs has finally settled down.  Its not gone, but i can run at least! I just can't do Body Attack :( - but i can still do Step pain free! Current other injury is a muscle strain on the inside of the right thigh. Hopefully it will ease in time. I'm on about training plan 3 now, one from the CF training/fundraising webpage. and i now have a sticker chart on the fridge! Since i started this plan 3 weeks ago i have missed 1 day!  Tomorrow is a 40 minute long run which is dedicated to Michelle who sponsored me £40 today.

    5th Dec - Today I was supposed at an official Brighton Marathon training day, but due to adverse weather driving there was still not totally safe. But i completed my planned 70 mins with an average pace of 9:51 a mile. So that was a total distance of 7.15 miles! I've never run that far before ever! Very happy with progress. Especially after a bad treadmill (due to snow & ice) attempt on friday, which left me in tears with frustration & anger.  Great thing was i felt like i could have kept going for a bit longer today.

    17th Dec - Today's run wasn't what i wanted really but i think i did well given it was about -4/-5 outside (and has since dropped to -6.5!). I was hoping for 90 minutes but before the halfway point i had to turn around i was so cold, i'd already had to have a 5 minute walking break. So i decided on an interval session o get me back to the car. Running 9 minutes & walking 1 minute. Somehow i reached the car a lot faster than the speed i ran away from it. Seem my desire to get back to the car and to the warm gym meant i was hitting a pace of an 8 min/mile in places according to my ipod! Just under a 10 min/mile is normally considered good for my little legs (only 5'2" tall!) Anyway on reaching the gym i put my clothes under the handdrier to warm them up, changed out of the damp clothes & then used the hair drier to warm my body up some more! Even after sitting in the warm gym reception for half hour, it wasn't until 10 minutes into the step class that i started to warm up, get rid of my blue lips & stop shivering. My instructor and gym buddies were a little concerned by my blue lips, they honestly were blue and more than just a tinge too. To be honest i was worried too.  I'm not sure i'll be running longer runs ourside for a while, which is worrying me because you can't do more than 60 mins on the treadmills. We shall see.  Thank you also to my Uncle, second cousin & god-father who all sponsored me today!

    14th January 2011Good news is the xray can back all clear - bad news is the physio wants me to stay of all impact exercise for at least another week. So i'm sticking to X-biking to keep the cardio fitness up & body pump to improve the strength in all my muscles. (And maybe a few other little classes thrown in along the way)

    26th Jan 2011 - so the physio still hasn't said i can run, but i have started uping my exercise level, so my fitness levels are still tip top. with 10 weeks to go i am concerned but also know that the determination that gets me through 4 classes in a row at the gym (an hour each) will get me through 26.2 miles. Having just read a 'marathon hack' guest blog on the just giving page i still feel confident in my ability to complete this.  My emotions push me to strive for the finishing line a lot of the time at the gym, so i'm sure in Brighton it will be even better.  I managed 9 miles on Boxing Day the last time i ran which is something i never thought i'd do - again something that eases my worry about not running right now.

    28th Feb - Thank you for all the donations once again. Thank you to Nan's BHS coffee morning friends (not sure any of them will be reading this though!) Thank you to Beryl @ Lister too. I'm feeling in very good spirits today - even though i ache & am not planning on doing much today!  Yesterday i attended a Brighton Marathon Training Day & it was really worth it. A great day, fab speakers on general advice, physio, nutrition, kit, a talk from former olympic marathon runner, Richard Nerurkar & the best talk from the organisers mum who had run 12 marathons & achieved her PB (sub 3 hrs!) on her last race aged 50. We got a lovely goody bag with gifts from the sponsors, a t-shirt & other little bits and went for a run for an hour too. I did do the run & although it was a struggle towards the end for my legs, my general fitness clearly has been sustained by my routine at the gym. So i was very pleased. It was great also to hear so many people say that if you are injured there are other ways around the training. Richard gave the example of a friend who got injured 5 weeks before his race so simply cycled & went on the cross trainer for the amount of time he would have been running. So my plan of action now is to increase my time swimming - half hour is not enough but also focus it on my legs more so use a float & push my legs harder. Also get on the cross trainer for long periods (as long as the gym settings will let me!) and perhaps try going for a run once a week too. There is a niggle in the back on my leg but i got suggestions from the physio yesterday which i will check with my physio on wednesday. To top it all, thanks to recent sponsorship I am now only £14 away from £600 with only 6 weeks to go!

    17th March - With only 25 days to go I've raised 220% of my original target. Due to a limited real life social network & quite a small family (in a way due to CF - who knows how many cousins i could have had instead i am an only grandchild to my maternal grandparents) i didn't expect to reach my original £300 target with any ease, but the generosity of people has really touched me - from all over the world.  From people i met through an amazing Eating Disorder Support group ('Joy Project Online' should anyone ever need it & i pray you never do), to my great Aunt in Canada, to people i've only met recently on twitter to long term online friends who i met back in about 2004/5 (can't believe its been that long Mary, Amelia & Jenny!) to my dad.  Offline thanks to my Nan's coffee group and also someone who supported me when i was severely ill when living was hard enough, let alone even thinking of running a marathon. Thank you all.

    I had an MRI scan on my legs on monday, but touch wood they're ok, i'm still looking after them, my gym classes have been cut to Body Pump (weights) only, and after i've volunteered for Riding for the Disabled today i shall be heading to the gym for a swim. I'll make it to the start line in one piece so that i can reach that finish line. It doesn't matter how long it takes - i'm not a runner (that's become clear! lol!) but i will have completed my goal - to run a marathon.

    20th March - on the same day as my last update i saw an ad in the local paper for a 10K in a village about 30 minutes from home.  So decided it would be a good 'race' practice thing to do. So today i ran a 10K in just under an hour, which puts my pace at about the same as i have always run, so injury hasn't slowed me down! It was a cross country race with 2 stiles too! Plus a lovely man who i got talking to in the hall before the start and then caught up with again at the end, gave me £20 for the marathon! He said he didn't "do any of that 'online' malarky" so simply handed me a £20 note. Its things like that, which really restore my faith in humanity! Back to the gym to build up those muscle at the gym tomorrow and tuesday with a long session on the cross trainer planned for Wednesday.

    23rd March - with 18 days to go i feel proud of how hard i pushed myself.  I will NOT let my injurys get in the way! Because i am still trying to avoid lots of impact until the day (once a week is fine but no more) today i used the AMT (Adaptive Motion Trainer) (see here if you don't know what i'm talking about http://www.amtfitness.com ) I initially wrote in my diary that i planned 2 hours, but that 2 turned into 3 hours once i'd got to the gym. After an hour my legs were starting to think about hurting however that thought soon got put in it's place when a lovely lady stopped to thank me for what i was doing (I was wearing my CF t-shirt & no i didn't stop moving!) as her 11yr old daughter has CF. Her hubby was planning to run Brighton but had to pull out due to injury, but he'd run London a couple of times previously, anyway we had a chat, i told her a bit of my story (hope i didn't say the wrong thing) and we swapped details.  Maybe in the future i can get more involved with local CF events? Afterall it is something that has shaped me as a person & i think led to quite a few struggles in my life, plus could still affect me in the future. For the next hour i made sure i kept looking at her email address which was now on the machine next to me.  A quick water break after hour 2, where i attempted to walk quickly to the water fountain refill my bottle & not fall over due to wobbly legs and then back for the final hour which my legs & back really wanted to object to, but i ignored their pleas and completed the 3 hours (burning a ridiculous amount of calories in the process! Seriously if you want a calorie burning exercise, use the AMT!) Its the closest i'm going to get to a long run & i hope its enough. Right now i would like to sleep (it's almost 7pm) so i think it was hard enough, but i managed to push myself to the finish (imagining that finish line by the pier & trying not to cry whilst thinking about it) which shows me i do have the determination & CAN do this. Day off tomorrow as i have a Riding for the Disabled training day somewhere north of cambridge - did i mention i'm doing an abseil off a water tower at the end of April for them? Oops, i think i may be getting carried away.

    30th March - Well with 11 days to go it's time to start winding training down. As with all my training it's not exactly a conventional taper, but i am starting to conserve my energy & thinking about next weeks carb loading mission. Today i have a session with the physio, where i hope she is planning to tape me up.  I have been unable to find any decent sports tape in any of the sports or health shops near me but i did notice last night that Rocktape will be at the exhibition on the Saturday in Brighton! So it all else fails i should be able to get some there.  I'll see what the phyios says today. After the physio comes time to test the taping, as i go for a run with Mark - time to test out the capris, CF t-shirt, socks & trainers that i will be wearing on the day (again) and of course my Justgiving Sweatband.  I have an idea in my head of the photo i hope to get taken at the Marathon to try and win their final photo competition and win more sponsorship!  I've started to make a list of things to take & things to do but i really need to sit down and look at it properly. Will add my photo idea too, because i'm sure i'm not going to remember after 26.2 miles! Had better go shave my legs ready for the physio - don't want the tape sticking to the hairs not the skin! - perhaps i should add that to my list to, after all i'm sure the stubble/hair will add extra wind resistance & could slow me down!  And thank you to Bill for my latest sponsorship - i knew hiding my sponsorship form in David's tool was a good idea!

    4th April - Into the final week now, all about rest, reading the Runners World Brighton Marathon Forum thread, stretching and Carbs (which are still quite a big deal for me, especially trying to 'carb load'! But it's only until Sunday, it isn't going to cause me to gain a stone & even if it does i have 5 hours of running to sort that out on Sunday!) In the last hour my emails have gone mad, i had six come through in a row from justgiving.  Now sitting here slighly overwhelmed. Most of the people didn't leave email addresses, so i will say thank you here as i have no way of contacting you.  I have a feeling it may have something to do with my mum's cousin, Gary who is also running with his wife this year, so thanks go to him too.  Not being at the gym each day is driving me slightly mad, really feel like i could do Body Pump and through some weights around right now, but with 5 days to go, not only do i need to rest but knowing my luck i would end up with a major muscle strain too, so i'm staying clear but i'm sure i'll be back within a week, at least i hope so.

    8th April  - 2 Days to go!!! Picked up my treat from the bakery, to go in my kit bag this morning - had a piece for lunch too, just to remind myself what i have to look forwards to at the end! Nick really does make the most divine bread pudding, with the best thing - no peel! More 'Thank You's and mostly to people i have never met, or even heard of! But thank you all for your donations it really is heart warming and very motivating too!  Well the kit bag is packed, just needs the mobile phone to go in there on the day, just need to pack an overnight bag now & buy some bananas to take with me, as Grandparents don't normally eat them/have any. Its so lovely & sunny outside, but after a morning in the sun yesterday i don't need any more heat rash or run the risk of sunburn & heatstroke either! A final thanks (a sarcastic thanks) but go to Nobby, the pony i was leading during yesterdays RDA, who put his foot out to scratch his leg - expect he landed on my foot! Fortunately my reaction caused him to realise that wasn't a good place to stand & he removed it before putting any weight on the leg. Phew! Nothing like a reality check to make you pay attention with only a few days to go until the biggest event of your life so far!





    P.S......  Donating through JustGiving is simple, fast and totally secure. Your details are safe with JustGiving – they’ll never sell them on or send unwanted emails. Once you donate, they’ll send your money directly to the charity and make sure Gift Aid is reclaimed on every eligible donation by a UK taxpayer. So it’s the most efficient way to donate - I raise more, whilst saving time and cutting costs for the charity.


    • T-Shirt ready! Publicity for at the gym!
    • 27th - post run stretch @ Nan's
    • +7