If you have read my last couple of posts (Honest Post #2 & Blessing in Disguise) you will know that I have started to take my health a lot more seriously, and as well as my actual training runs & gym workouts, I am looking at the bigger picture – rest, recovery & making sure my body is working correctly, as no matter how healthy you look on the outside, how do you really know whats going on inside your body?

medichecks (2)

Thats where Medichecks come in. Medichecks are a private medical company who provide various blood tests with a full medical report (including advice on what to do next) without the faff of having to get a GP appointment or wait for weeks for your results. After speaking to their Customer Service team (who are very quick to respond & helpful!) we decided that the Endurance Check Elite  was the most suitable test for me to ensure that my body was coping okay with the stresses of marathon training.

Endurance Check Elite  – Key Info

  • This test is for endurance athletes of every level who want to optimise their performance and gain insights into their training, nutrition and recovery. 
  • 55 tests included
  • Our Endurance Check Elite has been formulated in consultation with top endurance coaches to check the markers that can make the difference between success and failure. This profile includes a full blood count, liver and kidney function, tests for inflammation and muscle damage, cholesterol for cardiovascular risk, hormones which can be affected by training such as testosterone, oestradiol and cortisol as well as markers for fatigue such as a full iron profile and vitamin B12. Includes key vitamins and minerals such as vitamin D, magnesium and zinc as well as a comprehensive metabolic panel including an insulin resistance test. 

Setting up an account with Medichecks couldn’t be easier. You need to complete a simple health, lifestyle & medical questionnaire and once this is complete your testing kit will be sent out to you. The kit arrived very quickly and was presented in a lovely pink box with really clear, simple instructions (I am very sorry about the poor photo quality!!) and everything was included that was needed for the test.

The test requires a blood sample, so unfortunately it is not something you are able to do yourself. There are many different options – you can visit your GP and they may be able to do the test for you (although they are not obliged to as its a private blood test), you can visit a local clinic that works with Medichecks (they will be able to let you know where your nearest clinic is) or you can get a home visit from a nurse if you do not live near a clinic (this is the option I went with.) 

Soon enough it was the morning of my appointment, for my test I needed to make sure I didn’t eat or drink anything 8 hours prior, so an early morning appointment was essential!! I had a really lovely nurse called Jacqueline come round to take my bloods, luckily I am okay with needles/blood tests, but she was so reassuring and friendly I am sure if I was a nervous patient she would have totally put my mind at rest! The test itself took less than a minute, and she quickly filled 3 tubes with my blood – and that was it, my work was done! Jacqueline disposed of the needles and took my bloods away to be sent off, it really couldn’t have been easier! Now I just needed to wait for my results.

The fantastic customer service continued as I received my results just 3 working days later. Before receiving them I wasn’t really sure what to expect, I am not a medical professional so I was a bit concerned if I got a report just with a load of numbers I wouldn’t have a clue what it meant. But alongside the lab report, you also get a full written report from a GP who goes through each result & highlights any areas for concern.

I am pleased to say, that my results were all pretty spot on! I am going to include a full copy of my results report below.

There was only one area of concern, and that is that I have high levels of ‘Creatine Kinase’ – this can be down to a number of factors, but the fact I recently injured my hamstring could be an underlying factor. Medichecks have suggested I have a follow up blood test for this in one months time, so this is something I will be following up to ensure these levels do not get any higher.

Hi Jordan, I understand you are an endurance athlete and have recently come off the pill and so have had your first period for some time. 

This is an excellent test today. Let me go through it for you:

You have normal red cells.  

Your neutrophils are a little low, a common cause for this is recent infection. Yours are only slightly decreased and are not a cause for concern. 

Your platelets are reported as clumped which usually indicates difficulties in taking your sample. 

Your slight high urea is not an issue given your levels of exercise. 

Similarly the raised alanine transferase is not concerning based on your exercise levels. 

You have a markedly elevated creatine kinase level. This is a breakdown product from injured muscle. It is a common finding in a bodybuilder or athlete, however yours is at a level that starts to raise concerns about a condition called rhabdomyolysis. The threshold at which we start to consider this is 520 in a female of average build.
There are a wide range of potential symptoms. The classic example is dark brown or tea-coloured urine. Other symptoms that would cause concern include muscle tenderness, swelling, stiffness and cramping, accompanied by weakness. There are also some non-specific symptoms, such as malaise, fever, abdominal pain, and nausea and vomiting. If any of these affect you then I recommend attending your local emergency department today. If you are feeling well then I recommend repeating your CK test at least 48 hours after any intensive exercise to establish what your baseline is. 

The rest of your liver function is normal. 

You have normal protein and calcium levels. 

Your uric acid level does not place you at risk of gout. 

Your diabetes screen is normal indicating that you do not have diabetes. The low insulin is not an issue given the fact your are an endurance athlete in training. 

You have healthy iron levels. 

Your cholesterol profile is excellent with healthy levels of protective HDL cholesterol and normal levels of unhealthy LDL cholesterol.  

Your CRP level is normal, suggesting low levels of inflammation within the body. 

Your thyroid stimulating hormone and thyroxine are both normal which suggest healthy thyroid function. 

Your testosterone and oestradiol results are within the normal range. 

Your serum cortisol level is within normal limits making a disorder of your cortisol production unlikely. 

Your magnesium level is normal. 

Your levels of vitamin B12 and folate are normal.  

Your vitamin D level is normal. 

In summary, Jordan, this is a very good test today, although it would be worth finding out your baseline creatine kinase. For a female endurance athlete this test is also reassuring as there are no discrepancies that might indicate that your body is struggling to recover from your exercise regimens. You are well optimised for sport. ‘

Overall I am really pleased with my results, and it has definitely reassured me that my body is working the way it should! If you have any concerns about your health, or like me just want to have a bit of a body ‘MOT’ – then I highly recommend Medichecks & the service they provide.

If you have any questions about how it works, my test & my results, then please drop me a message.

Jordan xxx





Blessing In Disguise.

On the 9th July 2018 I tore my hamstring playing a game of rounders at school. At first I was devastated, I cried, I panicked and I thought all of my hard work had gone to waste. Now? Well I am not saying I want to get injured again, especially not anything more serious, but in a strange way, I am actually glad this has happened. hamstring

There is no getting away from it, this year has been hard work. My 16 week plan for the London Marathon started on New Years Day, and its been pretty much non stop since. After London I had a week off, and then went straight back into racing, completing three 10k races in the space of a month (and beating my PB at each one!) there were local 5k races and then before I knew it my training plan for Berlin had begun! I won’t lie, the effects of marathon training kicked in a lot quicker the second time round, although my runs were going well, I was constantly feeling tired. My sleep wasn’t great and I just felt like I was always on the go, but I kept pushing on because I wanted to give my plan everything!

watt bike

Anyway, back to #hamstringgate – so yep, everything was going pretty well, and then before I knew it, I was going from 18 mile training runs, to struggling to walk and sit down without pain. Luckily I managed to see a physio the day it happened – he assessed my leg and we did everything we could – ice, heat, massage, and then I was told the words that NO runner ever wants to hear – ‘You’re going to have to take a week off running’. I won’t lie, this set me off and I cried. I cried because I had been working so hard. I cried because I set myself a huge goal for Berlin and I just saw it slipping away. I cried because I was so angry that I got an injury from playing a game of rounders! To be honest, I just felt shit.

Over the next couple of days the pain did ease, but I behaved myself and didn’t run. Instead, I made friends with the watt bike! I got some seriously sweaty sessions in, and actually started to enjoy it, and it didn’t cause me any pain at all. After about a week, my coach said I was allowed to do a test run. I was so excited and part of me was thinking that everything was going to be fine and I would be back to running normally again. Unfortunately this wasn’t the case! As soon as I started running my hamstring just ached, I have been running for long enough & know when something isn’t right, so I stopped and just accepted my leg wasn’t ready to go again!

I kept Lloyd (my coach) updated constantly with how my leg was feeling and he was absolutely fantastic at adjusting my sessions and trying to keep me calm. But then, there came another blow. When you are cycling, you predominately are working your quads and hamstrings. So although I wasn’t feeling any pain when I was cycling, Lloyd advised that it could be halting the healing process as I wasn’t giving it enough rest. Once again, I felt devastated. Cycling kept me going, I was still getting my heart rate up, I was working my legs, and it didn’t feel like I was losing that much fitness. But that was it – no cycling, no running, and I couldn’t even swim as that pulled on my hamstring too! So the last resort? Aqua Jogging! Click here to watch some great tips from GB athlete Eilish McColgan.

aqua jogging

I was willing to give anything a go, so as soon as I could I ordered my Aqua Belt from Amazon and then got myself down to the pool! If you have never Aqua Jogged before – then let me tell you, it’s bloody hard work! I only did a handful of sessions, but it really helped me mentally as I felt like I was still getting a good work out, and technically I was running – just having to work a hell of a lot harder & not putting any pressure on my legs!

During my time off running, I also went to the gym a lot to do my strength training. I avoided doing any lower body for the first couple of weeks, but instead focused on my upper body, core, and then spent a lot of time with my resistance band (post will be coming soon, I promise!) 

Once again, I was given the green light to run again. I was buzzing, I had been really sensible, done everything I was told to do, so I was certain the run would go well. Did it? Nope! As soon as I started I felt pain in my hamstring, I lasted a mile before I decided to call it day and not make it any worse. I was gutted. Berlin was 7 weeks away, and I couldn’t even run a mile. So it was back to square one, another week of absolutely no running, instead I was a slave to the pool & the gym! bad run

If you read my last blog post, I gave an open and honest account about whats been happening with my body over the last 15 months, and how finally it was starting to work normally again, and one thing I put this down to was how my training had reduced over the month, but also that I was getting a lot more sleep. There is a lot to be said for sleep. You can spend all the money in the world on expensive recovery treatments or the newest ‘must have’ product, but really the best thing we can do for our bodies sometimes is something we have been able to do since we were babies – get some shut eye! I do honestly believe this has also made a huge difference to my recovery, alongside being off work, I have just felt so much more relaxed & chilled out!

Soon enough, it was time to test out my leg with a run. This time I wasn’t excited, I was nervous. What if it still hurt? What if it hadn’t got any better? What if I had forgotten how to run?! I had a million things running through my head when I laced up my trainers and got out there, but finally – I WAS RUNNING PAIN FREE! There was no aching, no pulling – I was over the moon! But we weren’t completely out of the woods yet – rather than going back in 100%, we took it a day at a time. One day running, one day aqua jogging and so on, it was a tad frustrating, but I was just so happy to be back running!

Earlier on in my training block, I had booked a half marathon which I was using as a benchmark to see where I was with my training, I had done the same on the lead up to London and it worked really well as a massive confidence boost. The race was fast approaching, but it was only days after I had started to run pain free again. I was really stuck with what to do. I thought about not doing it, but I had already missed so many races & key training sessions I really didn’t want to miss anymore, so I decided to just use it as a way to get some miles in. Completely take the pressure off and just see if I could run 13.1 miles pain free. On the morning of the race I woke up feeling strangely confident, I usually suffer with really bad pre race nerves & anxiety, but this time couldn’t have felt more different. I had no expectations, no aim to push for a PB, I just wanted to run! I decided that as I had nothing to lose, if I went out at my ‘race pace’ and felt good, I would continue and see what I could do. I had nothing to prove and I made a promise to myself that if I had to slow down, I wouldn’t be disappointed. To get straight to it – the race couldn’t have gone better! I felt strong & in control the entire time, and I finished in 1.26.31, which was only 3 seconds off my PB! I couldn’t believe it, during my time off running I had convinced myself I had lost a lot of endurance & cardio fitness, but yet I just managed to almost match my PB time! newark

The race, alongside my returning period, has given me a massive wake up call. If I am being completely honest with myself, before my injury I think I was at the risk of over training. I wasn’t listening to my body, I was getting up early to fit sessions in, working all day, training again in the evenings and some nights not even sitting down till gone 9pm, and it was starting to take its toll. I definitely used to underestimate the power of rest, and now that I am going to be back to training normally, I am going to make sure that it is a priority. There is now just under 5 weeks until Berlin Marathon. There is nothing I can do about the last 5 weeks, except to take on board what I have learnt and use it. I will train hard, and I will give it my everything, BUT I am also going to listen to my body. So if it means missing an early morning gym session for an extra hour in bed, then so be it.

I am a strong believer that everything happens for a reason, and although it wasn’t ideal, I honestly do think this injury was a sign for me to take a step back, give my body a break and to learn (the hard way) that I am only human & not a machine. And it has also proved that by cross training, eating right (well, most of the time!) and taking the pressure off can do wonders for your running and racing.

So there we have it, I hope this is proof that you can come out the other side of an injury with a smile on your face! Just make sure you listen to your coach, or any professional advice you seek out,  and most importantly, to your body – because it knows you better than anyone!

Jordan xx



Honest Post #2

I am just going to get straight to it… This week I have had my first proper period since May 2017. There, I’ve said it.

I will be honest, I have been very nervous about writing & posting this. I have also felt embarrassed, and worried what people will say, but after speaking to someone who has also gone through this, I know that is important to share my story, in the hope that if someone else is going through the same thing, they know they are not alone and that they can talk to someone.

To give some background to this story, last May I decided to come off of the contraceptive pill, not because I had any intention of falling pregnant, but after being on the pill for most of my teenage & adult life I decided I wanted to give my body a break, and try to get into a normal and healthy cycle, as one day I was planning on starting a family of my own. I did read online that after being on the pill for a while it can take a little while for your body to adjust and that your monthly cycle may be a bit all over the place for a few months. So weeks passed, and I didn’t get a period, but I wasn’t worried. Soon, those weeks turned into months, but I just kept telling myself it was normal and that my body would start working properly soon. And if I am being completely honest, I didn’t miss them at all! No period pains, no bloating, no crazy hormones – it was a bit of relief.

But soon, those months turned into almost a year of no periods. But still, I was in denial that anything was wrong. I only spoke to a handful of people about it, and brushed off any concern as I didn’t want to admit anything was wrong with me.

If you have been following my blog & my Instagram, you will know that at the beginning of the year I upped my training significantly as I was training for the London Marathon. I was running more than ever, going to the gym 3/4 times a week, I lost a considerable amount of weight and was following a tailored nutrition plan. On the outside I looked healthy, and to be honest I felt it. I was the fittest I had ever been and was seeing so much improvement in my running I didn’t really care about anything else.

I chose to tell very few people about what was going on, but those that did know, were concerned, probably more concerned than I was, which is worrying in itself. I continued to brush off comments with a typical ‘I’m sure it will be fine’ response, which is very irresponsible but sometimes you need to realise these things on your own, and luckily, I now have.

A couple of months back, someone very close to me gave me some information about a condition known as the ‘Female Athlete Triad’ as they were concerned that this may be the reason why I wasn’t having periods. At first I completely brushed it off, this obviously wasn’t what I was suffering with. In my head I wasn’t an elite athlete, I wasn’t small enough, I ate a healthy diet, so I couldn’t possibly be affected by this. In all honesty, I was just majorly in denial that my issue was something that I could do something about.


Whilst I was training for the London Marathon, although I was training hard & eating right, one thing that I really struggled with was sleeping enough. Although I was tired, I was rarely getting more than 6 hours sleep a night. As an athlete our bodies need sleep to recover and to give our bodies a chance to rest & repair, and I wasn’t doing this. I was making myself get up early to go to the gym or do a session, going to work all day and then training again in the evening. I got so used to doing this, I just considered this normal, and what I needed to do if I wanted to improve and become a better runner. But in reality, I was probably just causing more harm to my body, and that extra hour in bed in the morning would probably been a lot more beneficial then forcing myself to get up and go to the gym.

After some persuasion, I eventually booked an appointment to go to the doctors, I was starting to realise that something wasn’t right, and that I needed to speak to a professional. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the help, nor advice that I was hoping for. I am no way putting down the NHS and the services they offer, but after my appointment I felt like I was just making a big deal out of nothing. I explained to the doctor that I hadn’t had a normal period for over a year, I told her how frequently I exercised and my concerns about the Female Athlete Triad, but unfortunately she wasn’t really aware of the condition and could offer no advice. I was weighed in the surgery, and as I am a healthy weight and my BMI is normal there wasn’t any concern. I had my bloods taken, and they came back as normal, so that was the end of that. I had no answers, no advice, and still no period.

In early July I picked up a hamstring injury. I was devastated. My training for Berlin was going so well, I was getting faster, I was getting stronger and was loving all of my sessions, and I had to just stop. Mentally its been very hard, but luckily I am now at the back end of it, it’s been 5 weeks now and I am still not back to training fully, and although its hard, I now see it may have been a blessing in disguise. During marathon training I was averaging around 40-50 miles a week, as well as 3 x gym sessions a week, working full time & teaching a bootcamp class 4 nights a week, I was always on the go and busy, but recently that has changed.  Since my hamstring injury, my training has reduced dramatically. I have still been exercising every day, but putting my body through a lot less stress as I haven’t been running high mileage or doing tough sessions. I also work in a school, so have the luxury of school holidays currently, and for the first time in a long time, I am averaging around 8 hours sleep a night, in fact it’s actually been a struggle to wake up some mornings. At first I felt extremely guilty, and almost lazy, but now I can see that my body obviously needed it.

To me, it is no coincidence that since my training load has dropped, and my sleep has increased it has allowed my body to function normally, and that is why, for the first time in 15 months I am having a proper period. It has made me realise that although I was exercising & eating healthily, my body was far from healthy. And now I am determined to make sure this doesn’t happen again.

As I was in denial that anything was wrong, I did not discuss this with either of my coaches. So to them, I was completely healthy! But I know I can’t go through another marathon training cycle and put my body through the same thing again. So something has to change. I will now be tracking my monthly cycle and will be keeping my coaches updated – it may be that my training load has to be reduced, my calorie intake will need to be increased or I have additional supplements added into my diet.

Am I scared about having to potentially eat more and that I may gain weight? Absolutely. I have talked openly about my body image issues and this is a whole other issue that I am going to need to work on as I go through this journey to get my body working normally again. But hopefully, with the support of my coaches, my amazing team mates and those closest to me I will get through it.

What I am going through is a real issue, and it shouldn’t be something to be embarrassed or ashamed of. And I hope that now I have shared my story, if any of you are going through the same, you will realise that too.

Thank you for taking the time to read this, and if any of you want someone to talk to, please reach out.

Jordan xx