Jane’s inspiring 10k story
Jane Hogarth’s inspiring story of overcoming the loss of a leg and then running her first 10k.
After losing a leg in a car accident, the road to recovery was incredibly tough for Jane Hogarth. Yet she has still achieved goals that many full able bodied people have not. In recent years she has walked 60 miles for charity and run a 10k.
It was in October 2003 that a freak accident saw Jane’s life changed forever. While standing at the back of her parked car, helping her dog into the boot, a car travelling along the road clipped the stationery vehicle behind her car and shunted it into her legs.
Both of Jane’s legs were badly broken and doctor’s were forced to make the decision to amputate the right leg just below the knee.
Jane, of Edinburgh, says: “I had just turned 42. I’d recently returned from a lovely holiday with my partner Gerry of 18 months and then everything suddenly changed. I had no idea how things would be from then on.”
Jane spent the next few months in hospital undergoing skins grafts on her knee stump and undergoing rehabilitation. In January 2004, she was finally discharged and the rehab continued at home. She was fitted with a prosthesis and eventually returned to work although she still found walking very difficult.
Several exercises helped Jane to regain movement and balance including swimming, Pilates and a rebounder trampoline but walklng for any distance continued to be painful and tiring.
Yet in 2010, as she approached her 50th birthday, Jane decided that she would do a 62.5 mile charity walk.
She says: “It did seem ridiculous at the time because I had started seeing a physio as my walking seemed to be deteriorating. I was concerned I had peaked. Yet I was still determined that I could do the long-distance walk for the charity 500 Miles.”
The physio started Jane on another programme of exercises to strengthen her right leg and at the same time she spotted a free trial for a Power Plate session at a gym close to her home, FITNESS STUDIO EH1.
Jane says: “I wasn’t sure about the Power Plates but I met with the Studio EH1 instructor Helen and we hit it off straight away. With the use of the Power Plates I very quickly found improvements in my strength and walking. It was fantastic.
“My left leg always suffered from overuse as I couldn’t weight bear properly through my prosthesis and I suffered from tendonitis. The muscles in my left leg would be solid from the effort of holding myself rigid I order to walk.
“From day one the Power Plates seemed to release the tension in my legs, which was a huge relief. My balance was also very poor and being able to exercise while holding on to the Plate was very beneficial.
“Also, although my right knee is intact, I do not get a great amount of bend through it because of the shortness of my amputation and the ‘bunching’ of the sleeve of my prosthesis. When I first went to Plates, trying to perform a squat was virtually impossible. Now I find squats so much easier and, of course, they are so important for any kind of exercise.”
Progress with the Plates was so good that Jane managed the charity walk of 62.5 miles on the St Cuthbert’s Way.
Continued good health and fitness gave Jane the motivation to look for another goal. This time she decided to run a 10k.
Jane says: “I wanted to do another event for 500 Miles and a big thing for me would be running. I find walking hard enough let alone jogging. But in January 2013 I began the strength work required to run on a prosthetic.
“Again I was lucky to find an instructor who really understood my needs and limitations. Mark at Studio EH1 is brilliant.
“I now train five or six times a week including a one-one-one PT session with Mark, two group training classes, one cross-trainer or treadmill session at the local gym and a session each Sunday learning to run with Mark.”
It took Jane a year to build up the strength in her right leg to even contemplate attempting a jog.
Jane says: “Eventually I was able to jog for 20 to 30 seconds at a time but this felt like an eternity. I was exhausted but elated because I was managing t do something that vaguely resembled a run.
“We built up the running gradually on a weekly basis and while I found it extremely hard work, I really enjoying being out in the fresh air and moving fast (ish).
“Unfortunately, things did not go smoothly and I had a few issues with my prosthetic limb which took quite a few weeks to be resolved. Also, the friction caused by running was causing raw areas to appear on my stump and I had to watch these areas very carefully to avoid the skin breaking down.
“Nonetheless, things did settle down enough in April and Mark felt confident that I could get round the 10K in Holyrood Park on May 24, which was part of the Edinburgh Marathon Festival.”
On the day, Mark ran with Jane, as well as two friends Susan and Karen. She crossed the line 1hr 29mins 13 secs.
Jane says: “I had to alternate running for three minutes and walking for one-and-a-half minutes all the way around the course. I was also forced to stop twice to remove my prosthesis as I found a pain would build that would only disappear with the removal of the limb (think it had something to do with circulation).
“These stops would have added four to six minutes to my time, so I was delighted to come in at under 1hr 30 mins.
“I know I wouldn’t have been able to complete this run without Mark’s training. Learning to run again was way, way more difficult than I had imagined. But I did enjoy it and I had my sights set on another 10k, perhaps in Glasgow this time.”
What are Power Plates?
Check out my blog about Power Plates and their benefits. Visit FITNESS STUDIO EH1 for small group and one-to-one professional sessions on Power Plates
More about 500 Miles
500 miles (www.500miles.co.uk) is a registered charity which supports amputees and others with mobility difficulties in sub-Saharan Africa. It’s run by Olivia Giles, 48),who became a quadruple amputee in 2002 as a result of meningitis.
Jane, Gerry and friends have raised £3853.86 for 500 Miles. See www.justgiving.com/10kfor500miles