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From zero to marathon in a matter of months

What happened when people told K2 staff member Lauren she wouldn’t be able to run a marathon? You guessed it… she ran a marathon.

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Lauren’s motivation behind signing up to the marathon was to help raise money for the MS Society – a fantastic charity, and a great cause. Her ultimate goal was just to finish the 26.2 miles and, if possible, complete this in less than 6 hours.

Lauren admits she underestimated the challenge she had signed up for but the motivation she got from people saying she wouldn’t finish the race inspired her even more to succeed.

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She was completely new to fitness and had never trained at any level – she only started training 6 months before the marathon date, in November 2017!

Lauren said:

“My first training sessions were on the track doing intervals of 60 second running and 60 second walking, and eventually moving into small distance runs split between walking and running.

“Three months into my training, I started taking part in indoor cycling classes as these are low impact, which I found helped so much with my fitness. I continued to run but had ankle and calf injuries in January and February which set me back. After a few Osteopath sessions with Jonathan from David Such Osteopathy here at K2 Crawley, I stated to see improvements and was able to keep training.

“I also participated in a lot of staff classes and went out for runs with my friends and colleagues at freedom leisure, who operate K2 Crawley, who were also training for the Brighton Marathon (Sarah Roberts and Georgie Martin). Without the support of both of these girls, I don’t think I would have been able to complete this massive challenge.”

Moving into the last couple of months of training Lauren started upping the miles, doing 2 to 3 runs a week with the longest distance being 17 miles.

“When the day itself came around I still didn’t think I would finish the marathon. I was so scared and nervous but having the girls with me at the start really helped.

“For the first half of the race, I felt good, but when I got to around the 10 mile point I started feeling pain in my knee and it became more and more difficult. At around 16 miles I felt like I wouldn’t be able to finish. I’m lucky I had so much support from friends and family on the day which really encouraged me to keep going.

“The last 6 miles or so were horrible, and I would say the worst pain I’ve ever been in. Somehow I managed to find the strength to keep going, and when I got to mile 25 my uncle and dad ran the last mile with me and at this point I knew I would finish.

“I was in shock that I finished and was still in such pain I couldn’t take it all in. It wasn’t until the next day when I got all the messages from people congratulating me that my achievement started to sink in.

“I now feel healthier and better within myself. I’ve lost lots of weight and have gained confidence.

“I want to say a massive thank you to Georgie and Sarah for all their support and a huge well done for their amazing marathon times!  Also, to everyone who helped with my training including Owen Callaghan, K2 Crawley’s Fitness Manager, who took me out on runs around Tilgate Park. I couldn’t have done it without you, and all the staff at K2 have been so supportive and helpful. I must say a special thank you to everyone who donated. Between me, Sarah and Georgie we raised a whooping £1766.50 for the MS Society.”

Lauren managed to smash her target finishing the marathon in 5 hours 54 minutes! This was a huge achievement and something she should be super proud of.

K2 Crawley General Manager, Jon Hodgson said:

“We would like to all say a massive well done to Lauren, Georgie and Sarah for their fantastic achievement! It’s a great event to take part in, and they raised a lot of money for a great cause. All the staff at K2 Crawley are proud and have enjoyed taking part and helping them through their training throughout 2018 so far.”

To see how K2 Crawley, operated by freedom leisure on behalf of Crawley Borough Council, can help you on your own fitness journey, go straight to their website.

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Health & Wellbeing

Crawley woman among winning nurses at hospital awards

When the Queen Victoria Hospital asked its patients (past and present) to nominate staff they felt went the extra mile for them during their treatment or appointments, they were overwhelmed with the response.

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Pictured: Breast reconstruction nurse specialists Rebecca and Pam pictured receiving their award from Jo Thomas, Director of Nursing and Quality at Queen Victoria Hospital

The ask was for the hospital’s annual patient experience award, which this year generated over 50 nominations. Among the winners were Pam Golton from East Grinstead and Rebecca Spencer from Crawley – breast reconstruction nurse specialists at the hospital.

The duo received an amazing eight nominations from patients who commended Pam and Rebecca’s support during their reconstruction journey following breast cancer Queen Victoria Hospital is a leading centre for reconstructive breast surgery in the South East, performed either at the same time as a mastectomy or after all treatment has been completed. Pam and Rebecca are on hand to help patients throughout their journey and for however long their treatment takes.

Comments from the nominations included:

“All through my journey they have been amazing, going beyond the care and support I have ever experienced in any other NHS trust. They made me realise that I was normal and treated me as a friend.”

And

“they are kind, caring, good listeners, totally dedicated, professional and give you good honest advice and reassurance if you are worried about anything. Above all they just want to ensure you’re ok. I can honestly say I am so lucky to have been referred to QVH and been given Pam and Rebecca as my breast reconstruction nurse specialists. I really don’t know how I would have coped without them.”

Their win was announced on the night of the annual QVH Staff Awards by a special film one of their patients, Linda, helped create, explaining in her own words why she was driven to nominate the duo. You can watch it now on YouTube:

Commenting on their award Pam said:

“I was really thrilled to find out I had been nominated for an award and it was even more special to find out we had won. Rebecca and I are very much a team and it is lovely to be recognised for what in essence is “just doing our job”, but what a job! Helping ladies navigate what could potentially be the most emotional time of their lives is a privilege and one that we both take very seriously. Having recognition in this way encourages us to continue to strive to improve our practice and continue to make a difference to those we care for”.

Rebecca continued:

“I was so delighted we won the outstanding patient experience award, what a wonderful surprise. It is lovely to hear how we have made a difference to the lives of patients, and humbling to see how much we are appreciated. Patients are the focus of everything we do and it is so lovely to be recognised. To hear that I have helped women through a really difficult time in their lives is really rewarding and it makes me feel very proud.”

Jo Thomas, Director of Nursing and Quality at Queen Victoria Hospital (QVH) explains why the awards are so important:

“We hope that every member of staff makes the experience of our patients a positive one. But we know some of our staff are extra special. Pam and Rebecca are both very deserving winners and we’d like to congratulate them both and all of our staff who were nominated – it’s a real testament to the positive impact our staff make when patients take the time to contact us.”

Queen Victoria Hospital would like to thank everyone who took time to nominate members of staff for the award and would encourage patients to continue passing on their feedback through its Patient Advice and Liaison service (PALS) by email at qvhpals@nhs.net, or its Facebook and Twitter channels.

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