The Serpent Trail

Clumsy Kabler strikes again…


Hi everyone,

Oh dear. I’m writing this while feeling a little bruised and battered -this is definitely NOT the blog I’d planned to write this week! So where do I start?

Regular readers of my blog might remember that about 14 months ago I was lying in an operating theatre having injections into my spine in an effort to ease horrible back pain (I was diagnosed with facet joint arthropathy which has caused me to lose all the cartilage in my lower spine). I’m a big fitness fan, so when the consultant told me I should never run, or even walk any great distance ever again, I was absolutely horrified.

So, very kindly he agreed to refer me to a sports injury consultant, who thought differently. I began an intensive programme of physiotherapy, supplements and “controlled” exercise (including running on an amazing “anti-gravity”treadmill, and even walking backwards, which bizarrely helped massively!). Then, last October I went outside and ran one very slow, careful mile. I could run again!

The Serpent Trail run

Since then I’ve been running more and more, and when I could run for a couple of hours without stopping I decided it was time to enter a race, to prove to myself that I really was much better. Now, I could have entered a 10km or a half marathon or something sensible, couldn’t I? But being me, it had to be extreme (sigh) so I entered the Serpent Trail 50km (31 mile) ultramarathon, an off-road race over pretty rough terrain across the hills, fields and woods of Sussex and Hampshire.

Training went really well, and when the day finally arrived on Saturday it started brilliantly, despite the searing temperatures. At four miles in, I’d found a nice steady pace and was running downhill through a fairly rough bit of woodland with lots of tree roots and stones underfoot. I’d just passed a man who’d tripped and was being picked up by other runners when the lady behind me fell too, so I stopped to help and make sure she was ok. And then, just as I’d got going again, it was my turn… at speed, I literally fell flat on my face and then slid along the hard ground.


A couple of other runners immediately stopped to help and provided tissues and plasters, and I ran on to the eight mile checkpoint, arriving rather covered in blood from cuts on my face, knee and hand. The (slightly horrified!) medics there patched me up and told me I needed to stop and go to A&E as the cut on my hand in particular was fairly deep but I decided to carry on. The same happened at the 14 mile checkpoint,  but again I ran on. By the 20 mile checkpoint though, things had changed a little. It was 30 degrees by this point and terribly tough going (some runners had already keeled over from heatstroke) and I was still bleeding heavily and starting to feel ill. So, with huge reluctance, I decided to quit.

I was really upset for an hour or so, then had a firm word with myself. After all, what was I doing this race for? If it had been for charity and I was being sponsored, I would have been devastated to be letting everyone down. But this race was just for me, a personal challenge to prove to myself that I’d beaten my back problem. And I’d just run 20 miles in 30 degree temperatures, 16 of them while bleeding profusely, and my back had held up wonderfully. Challenge enough for now, I think! So off I went to Petersfield Community Hospital where two absolutely lovely nurses picked stones out of the hole in my hand and closed it and my knee wound up nicely (thank you, yet again, our wonderful NHS, and happy 70th birthday!).

The butterfly stitches and bandages should come off by the end of this week and I’m hoping the cut and bruising on my lip will be coverable by make-up when I’m back at work on Saturday. Just thought I’d better warn you so that if I look a bit rough and you see me hobbling a bit on-air, you’ll know why!

Hope you’re surviving the heatwave – I’m using bucket loads of Ultrasun at the moment (it even kept me fully protected during those long, sweaty 20 miles on Saturday… no sunburn to add to the injuries, thank you Ultrasun!).

See you soon,

Love Jackie x


  1. Susan McIntosh July 10, 2018 at 4:52 pm -  Reply

    Oh my goodness Jackie, what a mess you’ve got yourself into. I should say congrats on being an absolute maniac and continuing in such conditions. Hope you recover well from your injuries. God bless the NHS for putting you back together. Fair play for your achievements. Well done. (I think!)

    • Jackie Kabler July 11, 2018 at 9:37 am -  Reply

      Oh dear Susan, I know! Getting better quickly though. Our NHS is truly wonderful!

  2. Nikki July 10, 2018 at 6:19 pm -  Reply

    Oh dear! I hope you’re healing well. You do like to punish, I mean challenge yourself. lol. Get well soon. XxX

    • Jackie Kabler July 11, 2018 at 9:38 am -  Reply

      Healing quickly, thanks Nikki!

  3. Debbie booth July 10, 2018 at 7:13 pm -  Reply

    Oh Jackie you poor thing! Hope that you are feeling better, please be sensible and look after yourself. Debbie X

    • Jackie Kabler July 11, 2018 at 9:39 am -  Reply

      I’m trying Debbie! Sensible doesn’t come naturally to me unfortunately…must try harder!

  4. cherry July 10, 2018 at 7:21 pm -  Reply

    So sorry to hear about your fall, Jackie – being clumsy too, I can empathise. I’ve taken a few tumbles myself. Rest up and take care of yourself x

    • Jackie Kabler July 11, 2018 at 9:41 am -  Reply

      Glad it’s not just me Cherry! Thank you.

  5. janet Groves July 10, 2018 at 7:37 pm -  Reply

    Oh dear Jackie Pride comes before a fall. Pleased to hear that you are ok .

    • Jackie Kabler July 11, 2018 at 9:42 am -  Reply

      Not much pride involved Janet…just the fall!

  6. Josephine Lynne Jennings July 10, 2018 at 8:14 pm -  Reply

    Jackie I hope you take things steady to give yourself chance to heal .

    • Jackie Kabler July 11, 2018 at 9:43 am -  Reply

      I’m trying Josephine!

  7. Malcolm July 10, 2018 at 8:16 pm -  Reply

    Get well soon. xx

    • Jackie Kabler July 11, 2018 at 9:43 am -  Reply

      Thanks Malcolm!

  8. rebecca walker July 10, 2018 at 8:28 pm -  Reply

    Jackie you are a super trooper, racing on through all the adversity Well done you loveiy lady. You did yourself proud,

    • Jackie Kabler July 11, 2018 at 9:44 am -  Reply

      I’m a clumsy clot Rebecca but that’s very kind of you, thank you!

  9. Jane Duff July 10, 2018 at 10:10 pm -  Reply

    Oh Jackie poor you! How brave you were to carry on for as long as you did. I do hope that you will feel better soon and heal quickly.
    Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

    • Jackie Kabler July 11, 2018 at 9:46 am -  Reply

      Hi Jane, I’m stubborn, that’s my problem! Feeling better already, thank you.

  10. Ellie July 10, 2018 at 10:13 pm -  Reply

    Not sure whether to commend your determination or question your common sence, not only did you have a deep cut but in that heat, any level of excercise will increase the blood flow and in your case blood loss which potentially could have made a minor situation far worse. Wishing you well Jackie, you nutter.

    • Jackie Kabler July 11, 2018 at 9:47 am -  Reply

      Oh Ellie I know! I’m an idiot! I really should have stopped straight away but hey…thank you!

  11. Pebbles July 10, 2018 at 11:12 pm -  Reply

    My goodness missus. What in earth am I going to do with you?!?
    I don’t doubt that the fall was your spine telling you to stop. Doctors don’t say these things for fun. Ask JJ.
    I know how much your heart hurts because you can’t do what you want to but it’s not forever. Gentle exercise until you recover xxxx

    • Jackie Kabler July 11, 2018 at 9:48 am -  Reply

      I know Pebbles. Might enter a race with less rough terrain next time!

  12. Beverley Lewington July 11, 2018 at 12:35 am -  Reply

    Dear lordy how fit and determined are you !! Well done ?X

    • Jackie Kabler July 11, 2018 at 9:48 am -  Reply

      And also – how clumsy! Thank you.

  13. steph eddleston July 11, 2018 at 12:20 pm -  Reply

    If your gonna do it do it in style # not again JK…… The conspiracy theorists have spotted a possible spot of erm cosmetic procedure bruise n all! Joking aside Jackie ..looking forward to the new 5* novel you have penned whilst relaxing at home. Novel about this woman that keeps on having accidents ……

    • Jackie Kabler July 12, 2018 at 9:36 am -  Reply

      Hahaha! Made me laugh Steph! Think I might need cosmetic procedures if I keep bashing myself up like this!

  14. Joanna Downey July 11, 2018 at 12:49 pm -  Reply

    Good grief girl, that’s one mighty tumble & I bet the other half had words with you. I’m married to a gorgeous man who does fell running & climbing; with less than a week to go before our daughter’s wedding he travelled down a section of Snowdon on his face. The wedding photographer was brilliant & my husband said he’d never imagined that he’d ever be photoshopped. Have a gentle recovery. Jo x

    • Jackie Kabler July 12, 2018 at 9:37 am -  Reply

      Oh no, ouch! Your poor hubby! Easily done though. Thanks Joanna.

  15. shirley symonds July 11, 2018 at 1:30 pm -  Reply

    Jackie sorry about your fall hope you recover quickly but I must admit it was silly to carry on and I am sure your husband being a doctor told you so too whats the saying don’t try and run before you can walk that is very true take heed young lady

    • Jackie Kabler July 12, 2018 at 9:38 am -  Reply

      You’re absolutely right Shirley, I need to try to be far more sensible in future!

  16. Sue wilson July 11, 2018 at 2:38 pm -  Reply

    Jackie sorry to hear about your charity race. Well done for doing so well in the searing heat, you did really well. Glad to hear your on the mend.

    • Jackie Kabler July 12, 2018 at 9:39 am -  Reply

      Thanks Sue…I’ll be back to normal (well, whatever normal is!) in no time.

  17. Susan July 11, 2018 at 2:44 pm -  Reply

    Hi Jackie,
    What an accident! I remember Anne having a terrible fall in Israel! You two are a pair! Take care. Lucky it wasn’t worse. Everyone complains about the nhs but you know how hard everyone works in really tough circumstances so well done for saying so!
    Rest those running shoes!x

    • Jackie Kabler July 12, 2018 at 9:42 am -  Reply

      Yes, poor Anne, she took a right tumble! What are we like? And yes our NHS is incredible, we are so lucky. Thanks for getting in touch Susan.

  18. Alison Peacock July 11, 2018 at 9:40 pm -  Reply

    Jackie, sorry to hear about your fall. you did so well to carry on in your race. Take it easy and hope you feel better soon. x

    • Jackie Kabler July 12, 2018 at 9:43 am -  Reply

      Thanks Alison, very kind. Feeling better already!

  19. Cherry and White July 11, 2018 at 11:22 pm -  Reply

    Wow Jackie! that was a cracker of a fall, hope you mend quickly. There could be a book in this, female runner sprints up Chosen Hill stops to admire the view over the “Shire” stumbles and falls, only just stopping at the railway line below. Picking herself up, she notices some strange goings on ………. . Would Cora investigate? I enjoyed your last 3 books, hope you are going to write some more. Take care 🙂

    • Jackie Kabler July 12, 2018 at 9:45 am -  Reply

      Haha, love it! Im definitely writing more books but no more Cora for now…never say never though!

  20. Jay Dermott July 12, 2018 at 9:18 am -  Reply

    Not clumsy, indefatigable. I saw the picture of your leg wrapped in clingfilm and at first I thought you were about to unveil a sweet little tattoo or something. Sadly it wasn’t a fun thing at all. Look to the future; pain is temporary but what you’ve got driving you on is The Right Stuff and that’s permanent!

    • Jackie Kabler July 12, 2018 at 3:30 pm -  Reply

      Thank you so much Jay! Inspiring words. Pain much better already…I’ll be back at work on Saturday!

  21. Veronica July 12, 2018 at 11:16 am -  Reply

    Jackie well done for carrying on I hope you are now on the road to recovery. NHS brilliant as always at putting us back together again. ?‍♀️?

    • Jackie Kabler July 12, 2018 at 3:31 pm -  Reply

      Thanks Veronica…yes thank goodness for our NHS!

  22. steph eddleston July 12, 2018 at 12:13 pm -  Reply

    If your gonna do it do it in style # not again JK…… The conspiracy theorists would have it have it that there’s a spot of erm cosmetic procedure goin on here, bruise n all …Joking aside Jackie ..looking forward to the new 5* novel you will have penned whilst relaxing at home. Novel about this woman that keeps on having accidents ? Here’s a toast to getting better asap.

    • Jackie Kabler July 12, 2018 at 3:32 pm -  Reply

      Hi, I replied to you above Steph, not sure why your comment has appeared twice! Thanks again!

  23. Carole Ivell July 13, 2018 at 12:02 pm -  Reply

    Jackie you truly are an amazing lady. Get well soon and look forward to seeing you on air soon. xx

    • Jackie Kabler July 14, 2018 at 8:48 am -  Reply

      I’m back today Carole! Thank you so much for the kind words.

  24. Gillian July 14, 2018 at 11:24 am -  Reply

    Hi Jackie, watched you on air today and saw bandaged hand, so read your blog and now I know why?! Oh dear, sorry to read about your fall and injuries, hope you soon feeling better though. Well done for soldiering on with the race, you are a trooper. Get well soon, take it EASY!!xx

    • Jackie Kabler July 16, 2018 at 9:33 am -  Reply

      Hi Gillian,
      Feeling much better now thanks, just one bandage to go! Thank you for your kind words.

  25. Jean Cherry July 15, 2018 at 4:27 pm -  Reply

    Well done Jackie as you said you were doing this for yourself and you proved that you could do only maybe not with the results that you have but at least you did it I hope your wounds heal up soon and get well soon take care

    • Jackie Kabler July 16, 2018 at 6:39 pm -  Reply

      Thanks so much Jean!

  26. Susa oldroyd July 15, 2018 at 4:28 pm -  Reply

    So sorry to hear this but you have achieved so much you should be proud take care get well soon. Xx

    • Jackie Kabler July 16, 2018 at 6:40 pm -  Reply

      Thanks Susa, very kind.

  27. Jane July 15, 2018 at 4:33 pm -  Reply

    I work in the nhs in general practice and see everyday the great work they do as I am sure does your other half…..well done for carrying on and being a great inspiration……..

    • Jackie Kabler July 16, 2018 at 6:41 pm -  Reply

      Yes indeed, what would we do without the NHS? We are so lucky. Thank you for all you do!

  28. janice wise July 15, 2018 at 4:43 pm -  Reply

    poor you , does not take a lot for a fall , I fell in my back garden trying to get the cat in, the cat went one way I went the other falling a dislocating my elbow . still suffering 3 months later. hope you feel better soon x

    • Jackie Kabler July 16, 2018 at 6:42 pm -  Reply

      Ooh Janice that sounds so painful! Poor you. Hope you recover soon too.

  29. cathy lowe July 15, 2018 at 5:23 pm -  Reply

    Hi Jackie ,i was wondering about the back treatment that you had ,,,the NHS are no longer doing back injections ,i have had them though with not much help ,,,this just shows if you get the right treatment to stand a good chance of recovery ,,,having had a back problem for many years now ,very little has been done to help me ,,,i was just wondering how they found your problem ,was it x ray ,MRI scan ect ,the only thing i have not had is a bone scan,,,im so glad that you were referred to a sports physio and not just left ,i was very sporty when i injured my back ,and as it has just been left it has got worse and worse leaving me now in a wheel chair ,,,im so very glad that you had the right support ,it is so important ,,,look after your self and your back xxx

    • Jackie Kabler July 16, 2018 at 6:46 pm -  Reply

      Cathy I’m so sorry to hear about your back troubles. Yes I had an MRI scan. I’m not convinced the injections did much…they helped for about two weeks but that was it, but they did give me a window to start intense physio with less pain and I carried on from there. I do stretches and exercises for it every single day and can feel the difference if I miss a session. I hope things improve for you…medicine is constantly taking great leaps, isn’t it, so hopefully one day back problems will be easier to treat!
      Take care.

  30. Sandra Bowskill July 15, 2018 at 5:57 pm -  Reply

    Oh dear Jackie what a Kerfufle!! Look after yourself and allow your body to recover from the trauma.

    • Jackie Kabler July 16, 2018 at 6:47 pm -  Reply

      Excellent word kerfuffle Sandra! I’m feeling much better already, thanks so much.

  31. Rhiannon July 15, 2018 at 10:57 pm -  Reply

    Hi Jackie I guess there was no stopping you !!! Hope that you feel better soon xxx

    • Jackie Kabler July 16, 2018 at 6:48 pm -  Reply

      I’m too darn stubborn Rhiannon, that’s my problem! Thanks.

  32. Carole Webster July 16, 2018 at 8:43 am -  Reply

    Oh bless congratulations for carrying on hope your feeling better you looked great on Qvc take care god bless x

    • Jackie Kabler July 16, 2018 at 6:49 pm -  Reply

      Awww thank you Carole, you’re very kind!

  33. Kate July 16, 2018 at 10:17 am -  Reply

    Hi Jackie, You should be so proud of what you have achieved! I had a situation where I had to stop exercising and then I managed to start again after help. When done with support I really admire that determined spirit. I hope you feel fully recovered soon. Best wishes – Kate x

    • Jackie Kabler July 16, 2018 at 6:50 pm -  Reply

      It’s horrible being told to stop isn’t it? So glad you were able to get back to it too Kate. Thanks so much.

  34. Mary King July 16, 2018 at 1:30 pm -  Reply

    Oh No poor Jackie, please take care and hope you get better soon, lots love xx

    • Jackie Kabler July 16, 2018 at 6:52 pm -  Reply

      Mary I’m feeling much better already, thank you so much!

  35. Alison Burrows July 17, 2018 at 8:04 am -  Reply

    Oh dear Jackie, poor you! My daughter is the same, even though her back is really bad, she won’t quit. Hope you are soon on the mend x

    • Jackie Kabler July 17, 2018 at 12:20 pm -  Reply

      Much better Alison, thank you!

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