Couch to 5K

Parkrun and I'm torn about something

Hi everyone,

Again I'm sorry this is late, I mean to type them up on a saturday or at the latest sunday but then somedays I'm just not with it, and forget or like this weekend had such a great time on the saturday that I forget some of what happened at parkrun,

This week for what ever reason my alarm didn't go off like it usually does, trying to figure out why it hasn't as it's still set for 5, and it's still on loud sound so might just delete the alarms and start again and see if that helps, luckily I had pretty much 99% packed the night before so didn't have to pack my bag on the saturday apart from water bottles, so I got up at 5:40am, hopped in to the shower, changed, grabbed something to eat, double and triple checked I had everything and was ready to leave by 6:40, set off at 7 and I got to the gates for the track at 8,

There was some volunteers already there so we all chat see how everyone is, have a laugh, as it was IAMTEAMGB weekend, more people came to help set everything up, I did the cones as usual and Bruce Li came down to bolton parkrun to take pictures and took a sneaky one of me setting up the cones,

With everything set up and ready to go, there was nothing else for me to do apart from pose with my friend bill for some pictures hehe :) it was a great day and it'd only started,

We listen to the run briefing and then we line up, I ended up right next to bill, was going to try and keep up with berny the 30 minutes pacer for as long as possible, that didn't start well as he started right at the front, so me and bill run together for the 2nd time, I think bill is an amazing friend, so for his birthday I'm going to be baking him a cake (without him knowing of course so I can keep it a surprise)

We do pretty well, I struggled a bit this week, I told bill what was up and carried on but bill said if I felt faint or anything worse then he'd get me to the run director, basically my heart started playing up during exercise that's never ever happened before, I have sinus tachachardia (or however you spell it lol) so told bill and he kept an eye on me luckily it didn't go into full blown chest pains like it usually does, that didn't happen until my long run on sunday by myself of all times and in the middle of the night in radcliffe, luckily I got myself home, didn't run on monday and rang the dr's up on the tuesday got an emergency appointment, got seen by a locum who was great, I've been booked in for a blood test and an another ECG, as well as being told that he'd write down in my notes for me to get referred to a cardiologist since the chest pains started when I was 16 and palpatations started when I was 13 and they have slowly been getting worse to the point where they are affecting me whilst exercising plus it's about the future as well so he wants me to get seen by a specialist, anyway the dr has told me I have to run with people, I can't run alone, so can run with the SRC will just run the 5km route with the back marker and I can still run at parkrun as that's only a 5km but if I don't find someone to run with for tonight or for sunday I won't be able to run by myself dr's orders,

Anyway back to parkrun, my heart still bothered me but it didn't start until after 1km so I carried on, let bill know, I managed to finish the parkrun and then just sat down on the grass I was breathing really hard, but I'd pushed myself probably more than I should have with my heart going funny, it seemed to calm down after an hour of finishing the parkrun, anyway I only went and got a new PB the 6th PB in 7 weeks :) it now stands at 31:27 (20 seconds quicker than the previous week's PB)

So now why I'm torn, I've been given this amazing opportunity to go to an american camp but it's not just for everyone it's for brain injury survivors like myself, they have said they would provide me with a tent, sleeping bag and food and even pick me up from the airport I'd just have to pay for the travel and the food for the camp, anyway this is why I'm torn it's for a full week and I'd miss volunteering at parkrun on the saturday and I'd miss volunteering at an event on the sunday whether that be junior parkrun or great run local or I decide to volunteer at a seperate one off event like I have in the past,

What does everyone think? I just don't know what to do plus I don't have a passport and would have to save up a lot of money for plane tickets, food, and anything else I'd need like insurance which I've read it's pretty expensive for a brain injury survivor plus with my heart issue and exercise induced asthma, it's going to be a hefty sum that's if an insurance company accept me for all the medical side of things,

I have only told people on the headway forum, haven't told my mum yet,

Take care,

Siobhan xx

13 Replies

I would give it a miss. It will be expensive and stressful. I hate travelling Siobhan so I am not the best person to comment. I hate airports, boats and planes. Sick on the mobile library I am! 😊

You could organise a passport at yor leisure and maybe go next time, hopefully when you are feeling better.

Maybe be it was just pushing yourself harder at parkrun that made you feel funny. You will breathe very hard and get a thumping in your head til you have had time to recover, which is normally very quick.

I hope you are OK now 😊


The travelling surpringsly doesnt bother me im the complete opposite i love to travel, the camp isnt until next july, ive always wanted to travel to america to be honest


REally only you can decide. I think that the people you volunteer for would all understand - especially as its just for a week and you can tell them in advance. Do you have a long time to plan and save up ? That might make a difference to your decision.


The camp isnt until mid july next year, ive always wanted to travel to america but unsure what to do about this opportunity just waiting to find out roughly how much the camp would cost


It sounds like a fun get together Siobhan, don't they do something similar in the uk?

See what your mum thinks, she knows you well, does she know about your latest heart palpitations? Would the doctor be happy about you taking such a long flight? Would you be travelling alone?

It is next year, so hopefully yout heart will be settled again, you could start saving and see how it goes.

Take care and sorry to hear you're not allowed to run solo at the moment. Its great you still have parkrun. 😊xx


Organise your passport now, then that's one thing you don't have to worry about. When you know how much it is going to cost, youncan decide if it is do-able. I think medically you will be in good hands since the camp is only for brain injury survivors. I think it sounds like a wonderful opportunity to see America and if you're reasonably ok health wise, I'd definitely consider it.

The two big issues for me are the health scares you've been having lately, like your black out, the headaches and these heart problems. When your test results are in, I'd ask your doctor for advice and then someone from Headway. The other big concern is the high cost of medical treatment in the US. I expect the treatment is fantastic but it does seem to bankrupt people. I'd be concerned just what the insurance would cover. Would the camp organisers be able to advise on insurance cover and treatment at all?


Sounds like the camp is a great opportunity. I'd be saving my money and trying to go.

You volunteer so much which is wonderful, but some weeks you'll need off for various things in life. People will understand.

Why don't you check into the insurance and see what is covered and what the costs would be?


Sound advice, as always, from everyone here. People will have their own take on things but ultimately only you can decide and whatever that is those you volunteer for will understand. Do some more research to find out how much it will cost, insurance issues, speak to your doctor etc then make your decision. If you do decide to go it sounds like a fantastic opportunity.


It does sound like a great opportunity, Sweetie. However I suspect you'll need to discuss it with your doctor and medical team. I think it's a great idea to get a passport now and then you're keeping all your options open. I'm guessing that the invitation comes through Headstart, so maybe they will be able to contribute to the cost of the flights and insurance. You'll never know unless you ask. It's a nice dilemma to have, and something to take your mind off all the medical things that are going on at the moment.

Take care and massive congratulations on your new PB - you're really fast now xx


I agree with others that you should discuss it with your doctor / medical team and probably your mum. Whatever you decide, don't worry about not being able to volunteer during the time you would be away. You do so much, and no one will be concerned. Headway could probably give you pointers on where to get insurance even if they aren't able to fund it. if you do go, you must have travel insurance with the appropriate medical cover in place, America doesn't have an NHS! You could also think about setting up a go fund me type site to get others to contribute to your costs


It you decide to go and its at all possible they try to go a week early so you have plenty of time to get over your jetlag before the camp starts !


I've just sent them a message a few hours ago, they replied with what was a confusing answer to my question about how much it would cost for me to attend the camp and they sent me a message back saying that they would pay for my meals, loan me a tent and sleeping bag and even find me somewhere to stay if I come to america early or want to stay for a few extra days afterwards all I'd have to do is get a passport, visa's and make sure I get there and have my medications with dr notes, don't know what to do now


Maybe it would help to sit down with someone from Headway to go through all the information and ideas. They might be able to help you think it through ?


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