Hi G - just to send my hugs too. It's 4 years this week since I had the devasting news of my cancer and whilst life goes on, it's still there everyday when I get dressed. But I promise there is life after cancer. I haven't done the races Stilts has done (well done Stilts!!), but have done one half and various 10ks and some daft muddy trail races.
Don't think you're a diva - from a physical point of view, losing your breasts is a lot easier than losing other parts of your body, but from a psychological point of view it's very traumatic. I admit that whilst I'm "cured", my reconstruction took some time for various reasons and it left me very down; to the point where I suffered panic attacks and still take some mild anti-depressants. I'm not saying it will happen to you, but look after yourself and DON'T simply think "I'm being a diva, I should be thankful to be alive, there are plenty of others worse off than me etc..."
I really recommend the forum on breastcancercare.org.uk too - a lifesaver for me to talk anonomously with others. And post here or send me a personal message if you want to talk further.
My treatment was expanders followed by implants with some fat transfer. When dressed I look 100% normal (esp as I went up a cup size!) and I do get some tightness in my chest when I run, but otherwise nothing has changed - apart from fully appreciating the fact I can run rather than chasing PBs all the time. Running is part of what we do and ensure your surgery choices support them.
I'm now thinking of a marathon next autumn to "celebrate" 5 years of living.
As above - do have a plan about how to get to the the event and how to get back again. Put all your stuff in a bag and you'll get a tag for your bag to identify it at the end. I've certainly never heard of anyone having stuff nicked from their bag, but obviously it's sensible to avoid having all your credit cards and expensive stuff in the bag.
If it's a bit chilly on the day, wear an old sweatshirt or something that you don't mind ditching at the start - many of the big events will collect these up and donate them to charity afterwards. The same goes for a bottle of water if needed. As the others say, I'd carry as little as possible - for me it's gels (plus one spare if case you drop one), a blister plaster and a hair grip, with sunglasses on head if needed.
Even though you are on your own, you'll need to provide an emergency contact number on the back of your race number so just make sure that person is happy to be contacted if something happens - even if they aren't at the event itself.
And finally - get to the start early so that the logistical stuff can be organised in plently of time so that you have time to "relax" before the race starts and really enjoy it. There will be lots of marshalls to help you
I used to work in Swindon Old Town and head out for some lunchtime runs. Mill Lane which is a short cut from the motorway to Old town has a good hill. And as Mill Lane turns into Westlecott Rd, I used to do hill sprints up a footpath off Mill Lane.
The old railway line is a nice route and the overflow carpark for Nationwide has a track going round it (not a proper running track, more a walking track) so good for intervals. There is also apparently a trim trail there too, but don't quote me on that.
Being a little more generous, on the kits where I can see the flag, I do sort of get what Stella was trying to do. Although I still hate it. But on the cycling kit for example, the flag just looks like a couple of rubbish stripes.