Why I'm saving the last mile for my Dad

Nadia is running the marathon for us for the third time, but she's keeping the last mile for her Dad.

I’ve always been a bit of a runner, but I never, ever dreamed I’d be able to run the Marathon.

This year, I’m running it for the third time for the British Lung Foundation, though I’m just as excited about it as if it was the first one!

It gives me a goal to work towards, and I love connecting with people, and raising awareness of what the BLF does.

But it’s also in memory of my Dad.

"I can see him in myself"

My Dad was a cantankerous old Italian man. He was a very dapper, good looking Neapolitan. He was a very fit man growing up, but he had started smoking at the age of 6 - as they did in the backstreets of Naples around that time.

He was diagnosed with COPD when he was in his 60s, and had breathing difficulties for the last years of his life.

After that, he was on oxygen and needed lots of help. At first, people didn’t really understand in the beginning, and we didn’t have enough information. But he always managed to make himself understood to us. 

He passed away at 85. When I look in the mirror now, I can see him in myself.

My inspiration

My Dad had such a strong influence on me. We had such a strong connection. I’ve even written a poem to go on my fundraising page, inspired by him, which is at the end of this page

If you’re a runner, or you do other events (or even if you don't!) you might understand why someone starts counting down the miles to the finish line. To keep me going, I always dedicate each mile to someone or something that I love. 

But I always keep the last mile for my Dad.

Exercise-induced asthma

Sometimes it’s not easy. I also have exercise-induced asthma, which means if I get ill, it all goes straight to my lungs and chest. I have to be so careful about it, and remember to always take my inhaler morning and evening. 

Running has definitely helped my asthma though. Keeping active has helped me to lose weight, and I’m generally fitter.

In a lot of ways, I’m doing the marathon for me as well.

It's amazing

The benefit of running, and doing something good for a cause, and for others, is amazing. Don’t think you can’t do it. You can, it’s absolutely possible! But you have to be prepared to make sacrifices. It’s not easy getting up on Saturday morning and going running for hours and hours on end.

But it will definitely be worth it. Just look at me! I can’t stop coming back for more.

I know when I cross that finish line, I’ll be so excited and tired, and so chuffed with myself. And I’ll be thinking of my Dad, dedicating my run to him, along with that final mile.  

So you found my page - thanks for the click,
Yes I am doing it again and going for the hat-trick.
2015 was a gift I can never forget, 
2016 I will never regret,
2017 London Marathon beckons.
Can she do it again? What do you reckon?
I will try and I will run with all of my heart,
it's hard work enough to get to the start!
But with the support of family and friends respected,
we can make a difference with the pennies collected. 
My passion to run comes with pain but it's my choice
to help breathe life and give tired lungs a voice.
So I will huff and I will puff the doubters away,
you see my Papa's last breath made me this way.
Nadia's poem on her fundraising page

Comments

I started jogging around a year ago..had an app 'run double ' on my mobile and started with a 1 minute run then a brisk walk gradually increasing the distance. i completed the 10 week course and now i run for around 35 minutes between 2 and 3 miles..i'm over weight' suffer from various mental health problems .i find that jogging helps..i jog around the lea valley park and white water centre.. i do not feel fit enough for a marathon, but it would be a brilliant achievement if i could complete a marathon.. i stopped smoking over 11 years ago and do not drink alcohol.. regards  george tiger

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27 March 2017