Buzzard's Sis - Member of the Month July 2007

Fetch says: Hi Buzzard's Sis. You're a very worthy winner of our Member of the Month title for July 2007. Your dedication to your family, to your running, to making the most of everything you are involved with - is something we should all aspire to. So lets get on with these questions then - the Fetchies are keen to get to know more about you...

Blister asks: Congratulations on winning member of the month. Does running ever get in the way of your busy life?

BS says: Thanks Blister. Running does take up time but it actually enables me to cope with the rest of our hectic life as it gives me a time out. Speed training gives me something else to focus on for a while and long runs give me the space to clear my head, think things through, listen to some music and just relax. I am conscious of running getting in the way of time spent with the family. I try and minimise this by running as many early mornings as possible, before everyone else gets up. I always make a point of doing something with the children on the other weekend day if I am spending most of the other afternoon on a long run.

Hendo asks: Does it irritate you when people forget the apostrophe in "Buzzard's"?

BS says: No, I would probably not notice. In fact, I have only just noticed why you asked that question.

Stumpy2 asks: How do you manage to be so organised and cope with everything? I have nothing like your responsibilities, but somehow my time seems to be full of just the essentials.

BS says: I live in organised chaos. My life is full of piles of stuff. It drives Paul nuts. I guess, I have learned to be organised where it is essential to be and the rest is the chaotic bit. I use a lot of lists and plan each day in the morning to try and fit in what is really important and forget what isn’t. Some of life’s essentials aren’t really that essential. For example, I have not ironed a thing since William was born. Something usually gives though. If I have a big work deadline to work to the house will be a total mess.

Fetch asks: You mentioned that you were looking into pushing William on some of your runs. Have you had any success with that, and what are the practicalities of it?

BS says: I haven’t taken this very far yet. I wanted to run with all the children at the Hydro Active, but Wills, being a boy, is not eligible! I often run with him to get the girls from school and he absolutely loves it. It is very hard work though and his buggy is not the best for it. I think I may focus on trying to get a bike he can get onto with me and get us all out cycling as a family instead. We often go to a cycling club for people with special needs and he loves cycling round the track with me. The girls love it too and want to take it further. I still hope to do some suitable event pushing him and running with the girls though – that will certainly not be one to bet on!

Mikuro asks: What do your girls think of your running obsession? Are any of them inspired yet? ;)

BS says: They are quite intrigued. They talk about it a lot. Hope is not going through a very active stage at the moment but Ellie likes to run and wants to start coming out with me. She would like to do the junior cross countries when she is old enough. Hope did the Race for Life with Guides, but admitted to only running when she saw me marshalling. They are both doing the Hydro Active in September but will be walking behind me in wings and tiaras, with my friend Emily and her Angels, which will suit them down to the ground.

Hendo asks: Why do birds suddenly appear every time you are near? (I'll think of a sensible one soon)

BS says: Not sure about birds but why do mosquitos and flies suddenly appear…I seem to be inhaling and choking on them every run at the moment!

KR2 asks: How much sleep do you get on average per night? and what time do you get up in the morning? what would you class as a lay-in?

BS says: 6 hours in total but I get up at 3.00am (unless it is our weekly night nurse shift) to change William’s nappy, and usually clothes and bed. I go to bed at about 11 and Paul does the midnight change and meds. If he is on tour, I will go to bed afterwards, at midnight. I get up between 5:45 and 6. A lay-in would be anything beyond 7. A serious lay-in is beyond 7.30.

Ultra Bouncer asks: Sum up what running has done for you and how, if at all, it has changed your life? How do you stay motivated? How far do you want to take your running - are there any particular goals you have? :-) And well done!

BS says: Thanks BB, Crikey, that’s an essay title ;-) Running has given me an outlet for stress. I always feel so much better about things after a tough speed session or a nice long run with my thoughts or some music on my i-pod. It also gives me another challenge to focus on and a challenge where I can see the impact of my efforts. I suppose this means that it gives me a small area of life that I have control over. It gives me a huge sense of achievement. This may be partly why it is so addictive. I work from home so, before I started running, all the new people I met were those I met in hospitals and all my new friends were Mums in similar positions to me. I used to post on message boards with other Mums. While I have made some great friends, it meant that there was no break from William and thinking and talking about treatment, hospitals, prognosis etc, even when out with friends. Running has also given me a new social life, through the club and Fetch. In short, I think running has helped me discover me and doing something for myself again and, consequently, I feel much more alive.

I would like to take my running as far as I can, within the limitations of my very late start in the sport and the fact I am not a natural talent at it. I aim to work with Gobi to discover how far I can push myself. A year ago, I ran a 5K at 10 min mile pace on a flat course and now at 7 and a half minute miles on a hilly one so who knows what pace I will manage next year. I will keep on pushing myself to find my limits at different race lengths. This is what motivates me too, to see just how far I could go and knowing that I won’t find this if I lapse in my training. I have come on so far so I am not prepared to throw it all away in periods of low motivation. My long term goal it to keep on improving over the next few years and see if I can get to a level to be a more serious contender towards the end of vet 35 and into vet 45. I would like to reach GFA FLM level and Boston qualification. I also aim to go sub 40 at 10K, eventually…I would like to get to the stage where I can place in small local evens within my category. I have no idea if any of these things are possible so I will break all this down into shorter term goals over to achieve over the next few years and see how far I get.

Velociraptor asks: Tell us what your routine is on a "normal" day. A day when Wills is well and at home, and you've got the world spinning nicely on the tip of your little finger.

BS says: This is tricky as there is so much variation in William’s treatment and frequent new additions. Nappies need changing every 2 hours while he is on TPN (intravenous feed). Paul helps with a lot of this when he is around and not off singing Operas.

5.45 – Get up, eat a flapjack or half an energy bar and a cup of coffee. 6.00 – change William, give first round of meds then run for an hour – hour and a half (maybe longer on a weekend day when Paul is around) 7-7.30 – get William up, wash, teeth, nappy, dressed, next batch of meds, nebuliser, physio. Wake up Hope and Ellie. 7.45 – breakfast and sorting out the girls for school. 8.30 – nappy, watch Thomas then take Ellie to school (Hope about to go to secondary school) 9.30 – get back from school and begin to try and juggle some work and entertaining William. William has support workers to help with this some mornings so I try and get my head down and work (usually with the Fetch window open too) when they are here. 10.00 – nappy change and take down the pump that drips water very slowly overnight, into the intestines, just below William’s stomach to try and stimulate the hormones. 12.00 – lunch for me and nappy and more meds for Wills then off to playschool 4 days a week (where I have to stay with him so try and get some more work done in the parents room). Blood tests and dressing change on Mondays 14.00 – flush William off his TPN, more meds, another nappy. 15.00 – pick up Ellie from school. 16.00 – time with the children and walking up to Brownies etc where applicable. 18.00 – Get William bathed, ready for bed and give him his IV drugs, put up his TPN and the pump for the water, clean his gastrostomy, give meds, physio and get splints on. 18.20 – All of the above needs to be done in time for “In The Night Garden” Give William his nebuliser then finish making tea while William sings and chatters with Iggle Piggle and friends. 19.00 – William’s day ends with the CBeebies bedtime song the we settle him down and tell him a story. 19.15 – running club on Wednesday and second run if I am doing one or evening run if I didn’t go out in the morning, otherwise, make tea, usually while chattering with the girls, eat tea and spend more time with the girls. 20.15 – 21.00 – girls go to bed 21.00 – glass of wine or cup of tea (depending on training and need!) and survey the carnage left from the day. Tidy enough up to be able to relax. Try and get a bit more work done, relax with Paul, watch TV etc and aim to get to bed by 10 but never seem to be asleep much before midnight. 24.00 – nappy change and meds (Paul usually does this but may be away singing) 3.00 – nappy change (apart from night when we have a respite nurse) Of course, a major part of the day is having Fetch on in the background whenever the computer is on! Most days include a trip to the park at sometime and most weeks include a visit from a therapist, such as OT, physio or a hospital or clinic appointment. Writing it all down makes me wonder how we manage to fit it all in. We try and go out somewhere on Saturdays and go to church and Sunday School etc on Sundays. The football academy also takes place on Sunday at 11.30.

RuthB2 asks: If you had to pick one change in your training that has led to your recent great improvements, what is it? What is your favourite ever running memory, and your least favourite? (Can you please stop getting so darned good, otherwise I'll have no chance of beating you at Loch Ness and winning our challenge!)

BS says: The interval and hill speed sessions are certainly having a huge impact and all the aspects of the schedule as a whole are making a huge difference. If I had to single one thing out, I would say the mental shift is the most important thing. Believing and telling myself that I am an improving club runner and focused training will make a big difference to my performance. I tell myself that I can reach each target in my training and races because there is no reason why not.

My least favourite running memory is about mile 19 at the FLM. I had arranged to see the family at Tower Bridge but we missed each other. It was dwelling on my mind and, as I got more tired I convinced myself there must have been a problem with Wills. Eventually I called Paul but the mobile traffic meant the call failed, making me even more convinced they were at the hospital. I ran straight through Fetch Central as I thought I would burst into tears if I stopped. I was so close to leaving the race to find them. London was an amazing day and my favourite running memory in many ways, especially all the excitement and anticipation in the build up. However, I have to say, my favourite memory was the recent 5 mile club handicap when I hit the first race target Gobi set me, with just over a minute to spare too. My average pace was faster than I ever dreamt I could run and I really saw what focused training could do. I think Loch Ness is going to be a fantastic memory too and, no, I won’t stop improving so you can beat me and win our challenge ;-)

Qwerty asks: Interviewed by Jonathan Edwards........How did it go? And could you concentrate on answering interview questions when you're trying to get psyched up for your first marathon? And if there was one thing you could change about the NHS, what would it be?

BS says: It was really exciting and was a big factor towards making my first marathon such a special occasion. I had to be there really early and there was hardly anyone around. It was really exciting watching the morning build up around me after the interview. Jonathan was really lovely. The interview itself was really quick. He asked about why I was running the marathon and a bit about the hospice and wished me luck. The first take didn’t record so we got to do it again which was good as I thought it went better. They didn’t tell me the questions before the interview so I had to think on my feet and it was quite hard to concentrate. I was assured they were going to use it, probably in the highlights. They didn’t though. I am always as upbeat and optimistic as I can be about Wills so perhaps that made the interview lack some of the drama they were hoping for. I was also running it in a very boring way with no fancy costume, not backwards or in slow motion or knitting my way round! I thought of many things I should have said afterwards. It was great to meet him though, not many people get wished good luck in their first marathon in person by an Olympic legend.

That is really tough. I could say all the obvious things like more and better targeted funding. I think for us, the biggest thing is that children could be seen more in context. My biggest worry, when Wills is in hospital, is who will look after Hope and Ellie. Paul is often away and can’t be relied on, my parents are getting no younger and Dad has had big health problems himself. They have to drop everything and come and look after the girls and this is a situation that can’t continue for much longer. The family segregation is heart breaking and intolerable for us all, especially for long admissions. We have a great community nursing team but there are limitations to what they can do as there is only so many of them and so many resources. It would be great if William could be kept at home as much as possible and only admitted when dangerously ill. I would like to see more funding into schemes like out “Children’s Hospital at Home” so William could have the kind of monitoring he needs when we are making changes, or when he is on a lot of IV drugs, at home. This would need more nursing staff in the community to be able to visit the child several times a day and communicate observations etc to the doctors, much as they would on the ward, as well as getting the child admitted if any concerns arise. The child could then attend the main consultant wards and be home in between. We already do a lot at home but, with more resources, this kind of model could be achieved for families who are willing to work with it.

orbital sander asks: If you could have 2 wishes (a running related one and a non-running one) what would they be?

BS says: My running wish would be that I taken running seriously from childhood and had not been put off running by a, much less than encouraging, PE teacher when I was 11. I would love to know what I could have achieved it I had worked at it for longer Predictable I know, but my non-running wish would have to be that we were a normal family (if that exists) in a nice house, with Paul, a successful opera singer, a healthy William and two happy girls and me at home, making a living out of writing novels on my lap-top in my Cath Kitson styled dining room with the smell of baking bread and coffee wafting around, and being a fab runner too, of course. (BS pauses for a moment to picture the scene) I think that is a few wishes rolled into one but you get the picture. I am working towards it…

Greg asks: Complete the following : Edward, Elizabeth, Emily, ???, George, Gordon What were you doing before you spent your time running, coaching footie and Fetching?

BS says: Edward, Elizabeth, Emily, Fergus, Freddie, George, Gordon.

SteveX asks: Something topical to ask given the debate around running clubs. As a relative newbie how have you found it? What are the ups and downs? Has membership improved times, motivation etc? Be honest, I wont tell, promise....

BS says: I love our club. I love the social side and the friends I have made. I also love the encouragement the coaches and more experienced runners offer us newbies. It is a very friendly club so we are really lucky. The only down I can think of is that, like any group of people, it can be a bit cliquey. I love entering races for the club, especially the women’s cross country when we have a really good laugh and support each other.

Membership has certainly improved my motivation with support from others and wanting to see myself go up in the rankings. I don’t think it improved my times. I think it will if I start pushing myself more on club nights and run with the faster group. The racing obviously helps and I think the coming cross country season will see some improvement. My current plan with Gobi is doing a lot more for my performance than the club. I will enjoy using the improvements in races where I am representing the club though, as to rise up the rankings some more.

Runs With Coyotes asks: Do you ever ask yourself: "Why me? Why Will?" and curse the unfairness of life? And if you do, how do you get past those moments and stay so positive?

BS says: Of course, but I stop myself in my tracks when I remember those who would swap everything to go through what we do with Wills. We still have him and I have many close friends who have lost their child. I remember that and treasure every single second. I am an optimist, in fact, Paul and I often hear completely different things from a discussion with a doctor and it is not as if I am just focusing on the positive - sometimes I really do not hear some of the things he did. Making the most out of every day helps us all to stay positive but we all have our moments. I know now why we have the term “heart break”. It is a real physical pain and it hurts a lot.

Lucky the cat asks: How do you cope with running when you're staying at the hospital? Is there somewhere to shower and does the hospital ever call you back from a run if there's an emergency? What are you training for at the moment?

BS says: It is hard because undisturbed sleep is impossible and there is a lot of sitting around that leads to stiffening and feeling a bit sloth like. I tend to run when William is asleep or when Paul is here. If Paul is not here, I stay close by, running shuttles and loops so I can get back easily. If William is unstable then I won’t leave him. So far, I have not been called back. When I am doing a long run, I do an out and back and always run faster on the way back as it does feel hard running away. It is great for negative splits. There are showers and baths, we just use the same ones the children use. There is also a washing machine and my kit is usually to be seen hanging off the curtain rails in out bay. At the moment, I am training for the Loch Ness Marathon in October and at my peak mileage. I can’t afford to let is slip as I have worked so hard to improve lately. That thought gets me out there when I don’t feel like it and I always enjoy it when I get started.

Pammie asks: What plans have made for the next 12 months?

BS says: In running, I have Loch Ness on October 7th. I have entered the draw for FLM. Other than that, no clear plans. I need to think where I want to go over the next 12 months and plan some races and targets. I want to find my speciality and focus my training accordingly but still run some other distances for variation. At the moment, I don’t know what that is.

Outside running, it is impossible to make plans like that as life is so unpredictable. We will have a holiday in the next 12 months as we haven’t had one for 4 years. We tend to do things on the spur of the moment with Wills is well. I do plan my work but that is too boring to go into here.

Toks asks: How do you deal with day to day challenges with William????

BS says: Just face them as they come and get on with it. Don’t pause to think too much or it can get overwhelming. There is a lot of practical stuff to do and that helps us get on with things.

Girlie asks: If you were granted use of the invisibility cloak for a day, what would you do and where would you go? How did you first get into running?

BS says: For one day, tricky. If I had longer, I would stow away on an exciting trip. For one day, I would wait until I had some writing I was really happy with and then take it into the offices of top publishers and agents and put it on the top of their piles to read. I would then put Paul’s CV in folders of singers to be called to audition for roles and companies he wants to work for. I think I would need Harry Potter’s broom as well as his cloak. I would also spend some time watching the girls at school as it really intrigues me as to what they are like there.

I first got into running because a friend of mine, Emily, got a team together to do the Hydro Active last year (September 2006). She had a chronically collapsed lung and was dying of cystic fibrosis but trained to walk the last 500 metres. I was going to walk it with her and her angels but, inspired by her and William’s determination to walk, fall over, get up and keep going, I decided I could run if I set my mind to it.

Tarange asks: As well as having to work, focus on William and your girls, how do you also manage your health, ie your Asthma? How has it affected if at all your running and how do you cope with it whilst you are running??

BS says: I am rubbish at managing my health. I am also diabetic and frequently run out of insulin when we are in hospital. I never attend my own clinics and appointments and am always being told off by the doctors and pharmacists. I am trying to keep a better grip and do things like get my prescriptions at the same time as William’s but he is in hospital so much, we always seem to get drugs here rather than from the GP. I am generally very well at the moment but when it goes, it really goes.

Asthma has put me off running all my life and it is easy to see why. Running has taught me a lot about how my asthma works. I was really ill in puberty and when I was pregnant. All my babies were premature because I was so ill I needed to be ventilated and I was always in hospital adolescence. My asthma is horrible during the first couple of miles of a run and this nearly made me quit before I got going. I seem to react to changes in my body, be it hormonal or changes in effort. If I keep a steady pace then, once I have reached it and settled down, the asthma settles. If the effort needs to change, like reaching a hill, it kicks in again. Intervals are pretty troublesome for the same reason and I have to get my breath back in between. I use loads of ventolin and have a weird way of breathing that is like blowing up towards my hair from the corner of my mouth. It is most unflattering in race photos but helps me force the air out (it is harder to breath out than in when asthmatic). I am rubbish first thing in the morning and in the late evening and don’t breath properly in my sleep. I have to use oxygen overnight and, strangely, I have noticed that I need more of this, not less, since running. If I don’t use it, I can’t run the next morning. I also can’t run beyond 9pm without really struggling to breathe. I thought running may have improved it but it hasn’t in general. I have just learned a way of running with it.

Hendo asks: How many characters and modes of transport from the In the Night Garden can you name. Without cheating.

BS says: Characters are: Iggle Piggle, Upsy Daisy, The Tombliboos – Unn, Ooo and Eee, Makka Pakka, The Pontipines, The Wottingers (Mr and Mrs Pontipine and Wottinger and 4 boy and 4 girl children each), The Haahoos, The Tittifers and also the Olly Bolly Dob-Dob could be seen as a character I guess.

The modes of transport are: The Ninky Nonk, The Pinky Ponk and, of course, Iggle Piggle’s boat. Upsy Daisy’s bed is often transport for the Pontipine children. Makka Pakka’s Og-Pog also deserves a mention.

Do you want me to recite the songs?....

runnyeyes asks: Have you been involved with other sports before running?

BS says: I used to swim and ice skate as a child and played ice-hockey for a while during university years. I did a lot of cycling before moving back to London but that was touring rather than sport. I have never got as involved with another sport as much as this before

Making_Tracks asks: What element of your training do you think is helping improve your pace? Also - Do you blogging helps order your thoughts?

BS says: Intervals and hill repeats are definitely improving my pace.

Blogging does help me order my thoughts. I used to try and keep a diary but it is so hard to keep going with it. It really helps you to keep writing when you know people read your blog and want to know what happens next and how you feel about things. Answering most of these questions has also been really useful in thinking about things and ordering my thoughts.

Snapstinget asks: Do the girls ever feel that William takes up too much of your (their) space/time/commitment?

BS says: Oh yes, this is the most difficult and upsetting part of the situation with William. I do my best to make it up to them and be there for them but he does take up a huge amount of time. It is easy to think that they will still be there and I can catch it up with them but you can’t recreate moments and I am trying harder and harder not to miss them, for me as much as for them. I realized that one day that I would turn to them and say, I’m here now, all yours and they would tell me they have grown up and don’t need me any more. Now, I make a point of making sure we all make time for each other and share everything. This includes how we feel about William. I used to try to protect them from my feelings but was once told off by Hope for not caring enough because she had never seen me cry. I told her I do cry, many times, on runs, in bed… She reacted by telling me that we can’t help each other and go through things together if we don’t share how we feel. We are much more honest about our feelings now.

SparkyMark asks: Now that you have run a marathon what other sporting challenge lies on the horizon - Ultra, Ironman, Etape, or is there something else?

BS says: I want to get better at what I do ad that is the main challenge for me now. I would like to do a triathlon once William is in school and I have more time to train and can spread the time between the three sports. For now, I think I will do better to use the little time I do have getting better at running.

Boingy asks: Do you have a favourite race ? and which one did you find the hardest ?

BS says: FLM was an amazing experience. I think Loch Ness will be a better race. I also really enjoyed the Dorking 10, challenging but really pretty. The hardest was definitely FLM. The hardest miles are actually on a really boring part of the course so it makes that section seem so long.

Widger asks: Who is your celebrity crush? If you could eat only ice cream or chocolate for the rest of your life which would it be? What are your 3 favourite/inspirational songs of all time?

BS says: My current celebrity crush is Sawyer from LOST. That smile and those dimples… I would definitely rather eat chocolate all my life rather than ice-cream.

3 inspirational songs of all time – very hard to choose. In no particular order: ‘Wuthering Heights’ by Kate Bush, ‘El Shaddai’ by Michael Card and ‘Somewhere’ from West Side Story

No.8 ™ asks: What's your running goals - either short term or long term? Do intervals rock?

BS says: The running goals are pretty much covered in BB’/Ultra Bouncer’s question but, yes, intervals certainly rock!

Ultra Bouncer asks: Daddy or chips?

BS says: Chips, of course. Even Wills says that and he can’t even eat them!

LorraineS asks: Who would play you in the story of your life ?

BS says: I don’t know, I asked Paul and he said Charlotte Coleman (Scarlett in ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral and ‘Marmalade Atkins’) She sadly died of an asthma attack though. Maybe Emily Watson (Breaking Waves among many others). I would like to think Kate Winslet!

topcorner asks: Other than family, who has been your biggest inspiration in life? also If you absolutely had to, would you rather snog a tramp, eat a worm or lick a dog?

BS says: I am a Christian and have recently been inspired by the story of Mary, Mother of Jesus. She knew what was in store for her Son, and that he would die a horrible death as a young man, but did her very best to bring him up in as normal a way as possible. Her story is comforting as she had to carry the pain with her, a pain described as “like a sword in your heart” I can identify with that.

Recently, I have been inspired by Fatmata Bangura, a sprinter in the Sierra Leon international team. She is training over here and is a cleaner on William’s ward. She works so hard for long hours, 6 days a week and then trains afterwards to follow her dream. She is the national champion – can you imagine Paula Radcliffe having to do that? She has been popping in to watch some of the World Championships with me but, rather than be downbeat because she is injured, she is happy to see her training partner, Christine Ohuruogu win the 400 meters and so, so excited that if her training buddy can do it, she really could win the 100 or 200 meters in China. Rather than dwelling on the Worlds, she is training hard for that goal. That is so inspirational. Work hard and focus on your goals and, if you have a down time, look to the next one. Depends what the tramp looked like!

Ultra Bouncer asks: Which would you marry, sh*g and throw off a cliff out of the following: Hendo BB Gobi?

BS says: Am I supposed to marry, sha*g and then throw the same person off the cliff or assign one of those actions to each of them?

Greg asks: BB - if you're going to be risqué, you need to do it properly. Which would you marry, sh*g and throw off a cliff out of the following: Hendo BB Max71

BS says: Is that question now to me or BB Greg?

Just John asks: How much has Gobi helped your training? Would you recommend online coaching? Well done - greatly deserved :-)

BS says: Thanks JJ, Gobi has helped my training enormously. I would no way have made the improvements I have over the last few months and I hope to keep on improving more, under his guidance. I would definitely recommend online coaching and know a really good one!!

santababy asks: We as runners always have *woe is me* times when we're injured/cba/ etc etc, you have far far more on your plate to deal with but always seem to have a positive spin on everything, dont you ever have *woe is me days?*

BS says: Of course I have my moments. I try not to feel down for the whole day though. I used to have days like that but I think I am more happy and positive since we had Wills because I have learned how precious life is and how you have to make the most of everything rather than dwelling on negativity. I do have my moments when I am really horrible though, believe me!

santababy asks: Me again with your hubby being an opera singer, does it bother you that someone like Paul Potts can get themselves on a talent show and get an no1 album? have you never thought of pacing him up and sending him along to xfactor?? ;o)

BS says: I’ll let Paul answer that “I don’t care if someone like that makes albums and does well, as long as they don’t call themselves an ‘opera singer’ and don’t sing opera. It is easy listening and if there is a market for that then fine, just don’t call yourself an opera singer unless you have trained as an opera singer and sing operas.” I have thought of sending him along to the X-Factor. He does like to go on about things like this so why not show them a real opera singer and see if the public would rather buy an album from one of those? After all, Lee Mead took the genre of TV show, and the public in “Any Dream Will Do” and the public chose the professional so now he has his career made. Sadly, I don’t think it would buy Paul any credibility in the opera world to enter such a show though.

Buzzard asks: When are you going to give your old running shoes to your nephew? Can you give me a ring as I can't get hold of you?

BS says: As soon as I next see you, but he is not having my FLM ones, too sentimental and, anyway, they are pink! I will do my best not to get pink ones again. Will call at the weekend ;-)

Robo-Gobi asks: Buzz One of the things I notice is that no matter what is thrown at you somehow you remain positive and manage to train and largely see a positive in everything. HOW ??????

BS says: As I said in answer to Santababy’s question. Having William and seeing all he goes though has taught me to do this. It has made me a better person and a whole heap more positive. When I am determined to do something, I do it and I won’t let the hospital stays etc get in the way of my training because I really want it to work. As I said to Santa though, I am not positive all the time and when I allow myself to dwell on things and get upset or angry, I really do. I am better at snapping myself out of it though. I am positive about the training because I really see the results and I have a very encouraging coach!

John Bach asks: Very deserved BS - well done Is there a particular race, which you would like to do?

BS says: Thanks John. I would like to do some of the fun ones, like Race the Train. I would also love to qualify and do the Boston Marathon.

GordonG asks: Buz can you ask Fetch if the new Fetch shirts are here yet? ta ;-)

BS says: Fetch, are the new Fetch shirts here yet?

Fetch says: Yes, but I've sold them!

Big Al Widepants asks: What do you like better, racing or training and why?

BS says: I like both. I love racing and achieving a PB. I love the atmosphere of race day. I also love the challenge of training every day and developing the stamina to keep going and push myself to improve.

Fetch says: So... that brings us to a close - and another revealing interview (with questions about sh*gging nicely dodged. Thanks to all who submitted a question, and to BS for taking the time to provide her excellent answers. I wanted to give you (the readers), the opportunity to donate to a charity that would help children like William - and BS is a big supporter of the CHASE Hospice Care for Children. She says: "They provide us with 15 nights a year at the hospice, where we can go as a family to relax and leave Wills if we want to take the girls to do something that would be impossible with him. They also support the girls with sibling days where they join in with other children in the same boat for fun and therapeutic activities. They support us at home too and provide loads of fun days out to help enhance our life with Wills. We have made loads of friends there and I don't know what we would do without it. They have 250 families like us and there are many more waiting to use the service. They rely on charitable fundraising to keep going. I try and raise money for them through running the marathons I do." So if you'd like to make a donation, here's a link to the CHASE Hospice Care for Children donations page. Thanks all.

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