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Shona goes Over The Moon at The MoonWalk Edinburgh

The Moonwalk gets under your skin. The Moonwalk is addictive. The Moonwalk will change your life. Over the Moon will mess with your head and take you one step beyond…

The Moonwalk gets under your skin.
The Moonwalk is addictive.
The Moonwalk will change your life.
Over the Moon will mess with your head and take you one step beyond…
This is my personal story about going Over the Moon.

I first entered the Edinburgh Moonwalk in 2009. I didn’t walk in the end because I
was pregnant with my second child and decided it would be best to take it easy.
In 2011 I walked the walk with four colleagues. I was absolutely hooked. All five of
us started together and finished together in our bras. Amazing.

In 2012 I entered again with a team of colleagues. I got pregnant again and
decided not to walk. A few days before Edinbra I changed my mind as I wanted to
join the team again. Remembering the brilliant atmosphere from the year before I
didn’t want to miss out and I was fit having run a half marathon a few weeks
before. So 16 weeks pregnant I walked the walk with my small bump. Once again
all five of us started and finished together as a team.

Six weeks after that my tiny little boy Callum was born and died from a rare
inherited syndrome. I tried hard to be strong but was utterly miserable for a long
time. I sat about and drank a lot of wine. I became very unfit and put on weight.
But I just felt too sad to do anything about it.

At the start of 2013 a friend told me I needed a project and just after that the
Edinburgh Moonwalk opened for entries. None of my colleagues were able to
enter for one reason or another and the new and shiny Over the Moon caught my
eye. Having done the Full Moon I knew I could do that so I needed a bigger
challenge to make myself get off the couch. Before I knew it I had entered. 52.4
miles. In 14 hours. What was I thinking?!

Training was a big commitment. Full time job and two small children made it hard
to stick to any sort of plan. Never mind a husband training for a marathon.
Although his running took up far less time than my walks! I became totally
obsessed with long walks, minutes per mile and long walks. I made some friends
along the way. Did I mention long walks and minutes per mile?

From early February to June I walked almost 500 miles. Which seems fitting for a
huge Proclaimers fan. Although I have no immediate plans to walk 500 more.
I felt like I had done my best with training. I couldn’t have fitted in much more.
Let us not forget the main reason for the Moonwalk. To boost my fundraising I
had Pink Tuesday at work with a cake sale and raffle of an awesome bra cake.
Breast cancer is a cause very close to my heart as two of my aunts and two very
close friends have survived, whilst another old friend died 7 earlier this year aged
39. I heard she had died during one of my long training walks and felt all the
more determined to do this challenge. To date I have raised over £1500.
Saturday 8 June 2013. The first ever Over the Moon.

At the start line I actually had no idea if I would finish it, or if I would finish in the
time limit. Here is what I wrote immediately after. I haven’t edited it because it
was written so fresh from the night and I think that is important.
“Here are some of my emotional highlights:

The minute silence in the pink tent. An old friend of mine died earlier this year
from breast cancer.
The flurry of good luck messages and last minute donations that came in when we
were in the pink tent.
Approaching Silverknowes – before I could see the disco bus I heard John the DJ
say I’m still waiting for Dr Shona! Then the Proclaimers Let’s Get Married came on.
I went down the aisle to that!!
Catching the sunrise with a quick coffee at Portobello.
The Broughton St lady on Waterloo Place instead. I recognised her and thanked
her and she thanked me too.
Ravelston Dykes second time when a very fit looking runner asked if I was on my
second lap and said bloody good effort.
Putting my ipod on at Silverknowes second time round. Put in on shuffle and the
first song on was The Long and Winding Road! Too true.
Small Bump on my ipod. Tears in Leith for the small bump I had for Edinbra last
year who isn’t with us now.
Ipod running out of charge a few miles later just after Stronger. What doesn’t kill
you…
Getting to the end of Silverknowes promenade and the support team telling me I
was looking good and going to make it. I kind of knew it then already but it meant
a great deal someone else saying it out loud.
Seeing Nina on the road at Seafield. I was in a painful zone right then but it made
me realise what a big deal this was.
Seeing John and girls at Portobello with ginger beer and cake.
Huge cheer from Sarah Bean at the Scotsman at mile 50.
Seeing John and girls running towards me at Leith Links.
Getting to the finish line and going through the tunnel.”

What can I say. I got to the finish line in the original 14 hours time limit. This was
such an enormous personal challenge. I am a very different person to the one who
entered this in February.

On the day it was painful. It hurt much more than I anticipated. About 15 miles in
I thought there was no way I could do the distance. But once I was well on my way
with the second lap I knew I would get to the end. Which was an amazing feeling. I
walked most of the second lap on my own but I quite enjoyed it really although
there a few private teary moments. I put my ipod on at Silverknowes and sang
along loudly! The battery ran out much too soon. I was counting down to
Portobello where my family were waiting for me thinking after that I’d have only 6
miles to go.

Those “only 6 miles” hurt even more! I slowed down to a hobble. But I could still
walk so I did. Every time I had to stop at a road crossing I held onto the post or I
would have fallen over! And battling with tourists on the Royal Mile was not fun.
They had no idea what I was doing. And I had no energy to tell them.
But every few minutes there was a cheer from a support car or a volunteer on a
bike or a random passer by. It meant so much.

The support from the Walk the Walk team is impossible to put into words. Just
brilliant. They made me believe I was going to do it. And at the end going through
the tunnel made it feel even more special even though I was barely able to bend.
Several days on my leg still hurts but it will heal up and it was worth every painful
step. I am one very proud mad cow. I feel a sense of contentment that I had
thought I would never feel again. I have travelled an enormous distance both
physically and mentally. Part of it was the training, but much much more of it was
on the night itself.

There is no way I am going Over the Moon again. Once is enough!
But I will be back to support the next crazy gang of mad cows. And there is always
3LC…


From Guy:

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