Vivien Dodds

My Activity Tracking


My target 26 mi

I’m fundraising for the charity Sands!

Hi there,  

 This year I'm taking part in My Marathon My Way to raise vital funds for Sands during this incredibly difficult time.

Today I started my Marathon Journey to raise money for SANDS (Stillbirth & Neonatal Death Charity).  My aim is to complete 26.2miles on a rowing machine in a month (running is not my thing), that's a mile a day (or 1609.3m/day)....which for anyone who knows me, will know how super unfit I am and this is a challenge in it's self!. 

Why am I doing this... well in 2007, we lost our gorgeous Georgina ... she would have been 13 this year (with all the fun that would have brought)...and it feels, during this uncertain time, it is right to do something that would help support others who have to go through this hideous experience....

In these uncertain times, the Sands helpline and online community are vital in keeping bereaved families connected by offering a safe, confidential and compassionate space to talk.

The NHS is stretched and Sands are there to support with the various emotional needs bereaved parents and families have day to day, which can be heightened in such uncertain times.

Sands is not immune from the effects of this pandemic so I’m taking on My Marathon My Way to save lives with every mile.

I hope you feel able to support me (even if it's just by virtually cheering me on from the sidelines)

Thanks for reading

Take Care and Stay Safe


My Updates

Day got the Love

Wednesday 3rd Jun
And so it’s done..... 26 miles (that’s 42155m or 1609m -equivalent to 1miles a day) on a rowing machine by an incredibly unfit woman..... and at the end here’s some reflections on this mad journey....

If you had asked me 26 days ago if I would complete this crazy be honest I think my response would have been .... I’m not sure ... If you ask my how I feel today on the completion of the 26 miles .... my response is honestly I’m not quite sure... 
emotional definitely, ....
cream crackered certainly (but certainly fitter today I got a PB of 9 mins 50secs) ....
but also incredibly humbled by the wonderful support I’ve received from people who have cheered me on from the sidelines (remotely in lockdown) and donated to this wonderful charity who do such fabulous work with those of us (mums and dads) who have had to go through the heart rendering pain of losing a little one....

When I started this I’m not sure quite I expected but now I’ve finished I have gained so much from this experience (not just physically but also mentally) and I would recommend anyone to set themselves a challenge and go for it....

Thanks for reading, thanks for supporting...

Toodle pip


Ps will I continue on this torture machine after today?..... yep I will.... despite hating the machine on occasion I have enjoyed getting yes I will😄... but perhaps tomorrow I might have a lie in 😉

Day 25 .... how to take your mind off the distance

Tuesday 2nd Jun
Today, my penultimate day, I was hoping to provide some insight into to the last 25miles, however my home coach (aka my darling son) decided yesterday to launch himself off his bike and promptly broke both wrists. This an evening at A&E ensued and my thoughts this morning were straying somewhat... 

So 25 miles are done 1 to go and tomorrow we will finish the distance 

Day 24 Monday mornings

Monday 1st Jun
I’ve said it before...... I hate Monday’s on this I seriously thought it was going to kill me..... every slide back and forth, every pull was hideously hard.... but that could be because now I have broken my 10 min barrier I am determined to keep the downward trajectory of time going.... one positive my time dropped to 9mins 51sec for 1756m

24 down 2 to go.....

Day 23...cracked it

Sunday 31st May
Today is my recovery day and as readers of the blog know this normally spells trouble.... the belief (my illogical brain) that a shorter distance should be done in record quick time means that I end up a mess..... but today I got a grip and stuck to my slowly does it rate and I completed it not in a record time but at least I did not end up a complete mess....

Only three more rows to my target..... thanks for being with me throughout....

See you tomorrow 


Day 22 not try this

Saturday 30th May
Ok one thing I have learned today and it’s a super important lesson.... do not under any circumstances try to row a set distance (1756) and aim to do it in certain time (sub 10 mins) if on the previous day you have decorated your kitchen ..... it doesn’t/will not happen....there you go  words of wisdom....

On another note I did get an answer to my question of yesterday (why despite having a lower s/m rate does my time come down?) apparently it’s all to do with consistency being better than sudden bursts of speed ( thanks to Coach Matt J for that much more useful words of wisdom)....

So 22 miles to go 4 to go.... 

See you tomorrow 


Day 21 fabulous Friday feeling

Friday 29th May
Ok here’s the question of the day.... why is it when I row steadily at 20-21s/m my time drops exponentially (got sub 10mins today) and I am more cream cracker (heart rate well up).... answers on a post card please....

21 down 5to go

Day 20 Another mile in the wall

Thursday 28th May
Although  this morning I would have happily gone back to bed rather than get on the machine (a feeling that’s was with me on day 2 and has been with me throughout this challenge) I’ve done my 20th mile and reduced my time by 5 secs time to complete 1756m = 10 mins 17.3secs 😁

So here’s to today and tomorrow.....

Day 19 - Rhythm is going to get you...

Wednesday 27th May
Not sure if it’s hay fever or just a cold but rowing with a blocked nose is no fun.... thank goodness for my two coaches who tell me to ignore the dictator (also known as the concept 2 pm3 - which tracks my rates and time as well as the distance)and just row ... the rhythm will come .... it does ... and before I know it another mile is done....

Thanks once again for the amazing support - it’s amazing...

Until tomorrow 


Day 18..... lose yourself

Tuesday 26th May
All I can say today is thank goodness for Eminem.... I have probably said it before but his track lose yourself is perfect for keeping me going when my legs are screaming to stop.... so day 18,18miles down & 8 to go... will I make to the end .... God willing and with Eminem on the playlist I think I just might 🤞

Until tomorrow 


Day 17. ...keep on rowing

Monday 25th May
After yesterday’s debacle... today I was determined to get back to a more sensible approach.... and it paid off .... not as quick as Saturday but still sub 11mins for 1.1 miles (1756m) which  is not bad for a 54year old who started the as ultra unfit and now is a bit fitter....

See you tomorrow 


Day 16 : crash and burn

Sunday 24th May
After yesterday’s elation... today because it’s my recovery day (short distance of 719m) like an idiot, I bolted from the start and consequently 300m in I nearly lost ability to move the ergo at all... I kept going just and did manage to finish but boy oh boy it was tough!!!!

Have a good Sunday.... I am going to have a lie down

Day 15....starting to enjoy??

Saturday 23rd May
Not quite sure what happened today after yesterday’s elation at getting the distance done in 11mins 22 secs... this morning I did it in a mind blowing ( for me) 10mins 22secs.... I didn’t go at a quicker rate (stuck to 21s/m throughout most) but ... the outcome was even better.... from a cardio perspective was definitely more out of breath but hey that’s not a bad thing....😃

One thing I do want say which is so much more important than all of the above.... massive thanks once again to all of you who’ve donated... I’m humbled and between us we’ve raised over £411 (with gift aid this will rise to over £500) which is immense....

Thanks have a great weekend 


Day 14 half way reflections

Friday 22nd May
Yesterday I was elated to have passed the 13 mile mark but getting there was tough.... today although the drive to get going was nigh on nonexistent once I got going the rowing zone seemed to kick in and I completed my session in PB of 11mins 22secs.... 

People ask what I gaining from doing this challenge .... apart from raising money for Sands, but on a personal level well I would say 3 things: 
1. discipline... the discipline of getting up each morning and getting on the Rowing machine and grinding out the distance and then writing blog afterwards even though I don’t think anyone is reading it.
2. Fitness - as I said when I started this I was extremely unfit ... now I can honestly say I am so much fitter than I was ... my time to row 1756m per day is dropping which is good for my health... it’s more exercise than I’ve done in years and I’m determined to keep the habit when this challenge finishes.
3. Reflection - as I slide back  and forth on the machine it frees my brain to reflect... on the loss of G (which I had not done for a while) and how that has shaped me.... but I also reflect on other things ... on the good things in my life my healthy son Who I won’t embarrass by saying more, my husband who supports me in his own unique way, my 82 mum who is still going strong and all my lovely friends and family.... I’m blessed in so many ways....

So there you go for anyone who’s reading this as always when you give you get back so much more....

Until tomorrow 


Day 13...whoa we’re half way there....

Thursday 21st May
Well here we are on day 13 and we’ve done 13 miles.... which means I’m about to tip over into the heavenly space of less miles to do than have been already done and the end of this mad challenge will shortly hove  into view😄

I’ve noticed to that many of blog titles have song lyrics in them....not contrived but just shows what comes into my brain just after finishing my session.... weird 

Thanks again for all your support....

Til tomorrow 


Day 12 into the groove

Wednesday 20th May
Well here we are at day 12.... and before I go any further I would like to thank you again for your support.... when I started on this never would I have thought that the target I set would be smashed so emphatically😃... it’s humbling.

Today went well I kept to snails pace and consequently I managed to reduce my time for 1756m to less than 12mins..... perhaps I’m getting fitter..... I can dream ...🤣


Day 11... another one bites the dust

Tuesday 19th May
Day 11 and another mile down.... only 15.2Miles to go.... I’d like to say it’s getting easier but it’s not.... but I will continue through sheer b&@@)y mindedness....

Thanks as always for your support I couldn’t do it without you 

Til tomorrow 


Day 10.... I don’t like Mondays

Monday 18th May
Waking up late is not a good start.... but the rowing machine beckons... thank goodness for the song list - who would have thought Moby (extreme) Indeep (last night a DJ save my life) Beyoncé (Crazy in love) Florence & the machine (you got the love) Eminem (Lose yourself)and AC/DC (thunderstruck) in a mix wouLd be good to row to ... although going to have ditch the Beastie boys (Sabotage) ... bit too fast

Thanks again for reading and supporting 


Day 9 recovery day

Sunday 17th May
First... want to say massive thanks to all those who are supporting me in this, either donating via Facebook directly or via the donation button on this page. I truly appreciate it ... losing a child never gets any easier, the raw all consuming pain may subside a little with time but the ache never goes away (even after 13 years) and that’s why the work of Sands is so important and your support will make a real difference.

So today, after taking the advice of my two coaches (Matt & Matt) I’ve done a smaller distance ... this will keep me ticking over but still on track... 9 days in 14363m completed which leaves 27793m left to do....

Take care and stay safe


Day 8 getting on an even keel

Saturday 16th May
Well today was infinitely better than yesterday which could be due to fact I rowed with music on my phone.... like I should know that music will help the rhythm doh...😖. So all those years dancing taught me nothing 🤨
So job for me today is to organise a play list ....

Thanks for reading and for your ongoing support 

Have a great weekend 


Day 7 - 7 miles done

Friday 15th May
Today was wobbly.... as in my rowing rate (s/m) was all over the place .... never mind I’ll get there.... I win no awards for elegant or smooth style but I will keep going .... the goal of raising as much as I can for Sands is spurring me on 

Hopefully tomorrow I’ll get my rhythm back.  .... have a great day

Day 6....Tough

Thursday 14th May
Boy oh boy this morning It was tough.... totally my fault despite my brain telling my limbs to take it slow and steady, my body rebelled and kept pushing up the rate to 26-27 s/m the result was I really struggled to keep going and had little left in the tank to do my usual final push..... the good news was I did finish my new extended distance (1.15 miles) and reduced my time.... I passed the 10,000m rowed too so I’m getting there

Best news of all is that the target sum I set out to raise for Sands was achieved yesterday...... many many thanks to everyone who has donated your generosity is amazing.... my new target is to raise as much as I can for Sands in the time remaining.....

Thanks as always for reading and your support 

Take care and stay safe


Day 5 - Upping the pace.....ever so slightly

Wednesday 13th May
Well here we are at day 5..... the rhythm of get up get on the rowing machine is starting to feel the norm. 

Before I tell you how today went I want to say a massive thank you to the people who have donated to Sands - I’m overwhelmed by your kind generosity and support..... the work that Sands does is so vital at times like this when parents who have lost their little ones are having to grieve in isolation away from their friends and families who would normally support them. So your donations help keeping this lifeline open.

So how did I get on today.... well I have upped the distance I do so I can have a either a lesser distance or even a day without rowing to recover one day a week. This came about after a chat(virtually) with a friend who’s a coach.  This will mean I’m still on track to complete the marathon in a month..... 

So far I be rowed 8960m only 33196m to go😐

Day 4....back in the groove

Tuesday 12th May
Day 4..... today was not easy by any estimate but I at least  I seemed to find my groove. I remembered not to go off like a rocket and seemed to find a steady pace around 23s/m..... I admit it didn’t stop me doing a 1/2slide express for the final 100m but getting my time below 12mins was too tantalising to miss😁.

I’ve not had to resort to drinking wine yet  to ease the aches(as suggested by Liz)  - it might be a bit early...

Thanks once again to everyone supporting and donating - I am overwhelmed by your kindness..... 

Til tomorrow Take care and stay safe

Day 3 ...the going is getting tough

Monday 11th May
First of All,  A massive thank you to those of you who have donated to the cause,  I am overwhelmed by your generosity. 

Today it's a work day, so the rowing session has to be fitted in around getting ready for early morning meeting - but no excuses ….on the machine early, (by the end of this I might view the concept2 rowing machine as akin to a medieval torture implement) and off I went at a slower pace today...I thought I was being clever and have the total number of meters (it has to be in meters) left on the screen so I could count down and track my progress.... but this 1. proved disheartening (42,155.8m is such as large number and equals 26.2 miles), 2. impossible as it does not tell me when I have completed the 1609m I need to complete each day to stay on track, So whilst rowing I was also trying to do the maths in my head (never a good idea)….. Anyway, it took a bit longer but it is done.... and I managed to find the bit on my machine which tells me how far I have rowed so far...see the images below....

Day 2 ......

Sunday 10th May
Well yesterday went well - with no ill effects, this could be a breeze  thought.... how wrong could I be ….. this morning the urge to get on the rowing machine had diminished somewhat (and it's only day 2)!  I really need to remember that this is a marathon not a sprint and go at a lower rate rather than go off like a rocket only to die in the middle 500m.... I kept going(which is good), my time from yesterday  came down (which is also good) but to say I am cream crackered is an understatement!!!!!  never mind as scarlett would say - tomorrow is another day

Thank you to my Sponsors


Paul Dodds


Jane Webster

Way you go for Georgina! XLove Richard and Jane xx


Peter Sykes


Hannah And Al


Stephanie Banfield

Congratulations Viv- such a worthwhile cause xxx


Vivien Dodds


Laura Millard

Well done Viv, great effort. Cheering you all the way. Love Laura Angus & Ben x


Sue, Andrew, Eleri, Matt & Owen

Good Luck Viv! Sending you all our love



Good luck Viv, we know you can do this! For your beloved Georgina. With love, P, R, G & A


Julia Fentem


Suzie Greenwood

Go - Viv - Go :-) x


El Webster

Supporting you all the way xx


Clare B

You can do it Viv! One day at a time :)


Tina, Roy, Harvey & Leah X

Great idea Viv, such a crazy lady and what a way to get fit under lockdown. So generous to be doing this to raise money for others, but I know, you know, how valuable the support of SANDS is. You go girl!! We'll be virtually cheering you on from the waters edge :)


John Wells

Well done Viv, great achievement for a great cause.


The Parsonages

Good luck VIv!


Karen Ellson


Jean Murphy


Ruth Mulholland

Good Luck Viv xx


Wendy Ellis

Well done Viv - you go girl! Excellent cause and hope you have fun achieving it. xx


Oliver Webster

Great cause Viv x


Susanna Speirs

Go Vivien!! That sounds like quite a challenge but you can do it :-) Great cause as well, clearly!


Matt Jump

Fantastic cause Viv and a great challenge!


Jason Chillingworth

Well done Viv. Keep going. Love to all. Jason, Treena, Ben and DAB


Phill Francis

Hi Viv Wishing you all the best in you Marathon, I know you can do it. Best Wishes Phill


Jess Lea

Keep going Viv!



You are an inspiration to us all


Gereldene Shone

Well done 👏🏻👏🏻 Fantastic effort. Sorry my donation is after you finished, but knew you’d do it. 🥇


Joey Mcmorrow


David Blackham

Great effort Viv, well done


Ali Reid

Well, there's no way you can stop now you are half way there. Because now you know you can do it... and now we know you can do it! Keep going/keep rowing. Ali, Jonathan & Chris, x


Paula Wilcocks

Good Luck Viv.


Edna Bamber


Elizabeth Redding

Row Row Row your boat, Gently 'cross the floor, If you're achey have some wine, Then you can row some more..... nice one Viv, brave lady for a great cause xx


Daniel Heffern

Good luck 👍


Vicky Cromwell

Well done Viv, great cause <3