Tiffany's Zermatt Ultra Marathon - Part 2

Recently, we shared details of Tiffany Jolowicz who is planning to run the Zermatt Ultra Marathon, a 45 km mountain trail marathon on July 1st. Tiffany is running to raise money for the Jane Tomlinson appeal.  She lives in Luzern, Switzerland.

This is the second part of her story, her training and her marathon efforts in her own words...

I have had to interrupt my training for the Zermatt Ultramarathon because it turns out that the vacuum biopsy I underwent three weeks ago, did not yield enough micro calcium deposits and accompanying cells to be able to draw a solid conclusion about the cellular activity in my left breast.  

Yesterday, I underwent a full anaesthesia so they could extract as much of the offending tissue as possible and therefore hopefully run conclusive tests.  By 15:00, I was free to leave.  Everyone at the Clinic is extremely efficient and friendly, professional and punctual, yet I was more than happy to bid my farewells. 

Behind me I left a handful of women who had also had surgeries that morning and who had to stay overnight or maybe longer. I overheard discussions about chemo and radiation. This is a sisterhood, with a high entry level. I am grateful that I can leave this building where weak smiles are exchanged in corridors and conversations about anything other than cancer try to linger in the waiting rooms. 

I can leave because of the huge debt I owe to others who have gone before me, those who have suffered, worked tirelessly in research, in fund-raising and in this medical field.  I will not be able to run for a week or so again but hopefully soon I will be back on track training for my mountain run in Zermatt.  Now I am in an emotional holding pattern until next Wednesday, when I return for the results.

On a much lighter note, I would like to share a recent training run story. According to my training schedule, the week before Easter, I had to run 28 km. I planned my run for the Tuesday. Finally after a slow breakfast around 10:30 I left the house. I know if I can get the first 5 km under my belt I can usually coax my body to keep going. 

I ran 7 km and stopped briefly for a drink and half a power bar. The wind was in my face and that was bothering me, but given that I had decided to run 14 km one-way and then turn around and simply run the same 14 km back I knew the wind would be with me when I most needed it.

Snow Portrait

I stopped in a bus stop at 12 km and sheltering from the wind, drank some more and finished the power bar. At 14 km, I saw a familiar car pass by, it was Roland checking up on me.

At 14 km, feeling refreshed and loved, I turned around for the return. Wind behind me I picked up the pace and ran fluently. I was out of power bars and water so decided I would run to the petrol station I had seen on the way out, that would be at 21 km.

I spend a lot of hours running, mainly on my own and mostly without music. Often I reserve topics to contemplate on these runs. Today I was thinking about photos I needed to take to add into the book I am writing about Ironwomen and also one for this article.

I figured it would be fun to have a picture of me running in the beautiful wood or across the fields with the mountains in the background, wearing my Jane Tomlinson appeal t-shirt.  I wanted this photo to be a bit edgy, maybe some trendy pink shorts or a cool blue bandana around my head.

I visualised this photo. For my book I also had some cool ideas coming together. I turned into the petrol station at exactly 21.1 km, a half marathon; I had run it in 2 hours and 2 minutes, which is a good training marathon time for me.

With a big smile on my face I entered the shop, grabbed a blue Gatorade, a bottle of water and a huge Protein Bar. Outside, I walked past the petrol pumps and went to sit on a low brick wall. I took long gulps of water and long gulps of Gatorade and slowly ate my bar. I was in no hurry to run the last 7 km home.

I glanced around as I chewed. Something blue in the bushes to my right caught my eye. I looked again and I kid you not, what had caught my attention was a blue and white bandana. "No way," I said out loud.  Well however it got there, it was mine now. I picked it out of the branches, stuffed it into my backpack and ran home, not even noticing the last 7 km.

I felt so energised by the strange gift of the blue bandana. I washed it and as you can see it is the perfect hue of blue. Two days later, a snowstorm provided the perfect background for the photos you see above.

A huge thank you to Tiffany for her ongoing support. To share your stories, please get in touch