Well day 365, who would have thought that I would still be writing blog entries after this many days? I am not sure I did.
For me when I started this challenge I thought aim for 50 days, see how it goes, then another 50, you get the idea. To have now reached the final day is a little odd as I don’t feel a sense of achievement or jubilation at having finished. I am not trying to be modest or even big headed about finishing it is just that I currently can’t see what I have done the way others seem to be able to.
When you undertake a challenge like this you quite quickly realise it is more of a mind over body challenge, yes you need to stay healthy and as free of injury as possible but really you need to have the mental strength to want to do it. It is the mind that allows you to do something every day, when the weather is horrible and you really don’t want to go out your mind needs to have the strength to get you out and moving.
I have never really thought of myself as a runner, and I am certainly no super human athlete but I think you can become a runner. I now consider myself to be an accomplished runner, thanks to Andy for that title!
For anyone who undertakes this challenge you will learn about yourself, me, I learnt that my pain threshold is far far higher than I knew and also now no challenge holds a fear for me. If I decide I want to undertake something I now believe I can do it. I wasn’t lacking in self confidence before but I think this challenge has just given me evidence that I can do whatever I want to.
I was trying to think of my favourite run during the year, and I think it was one in February on a Saturday, the sun was shining the sky was blue and the snow was hard packed on the ground, I did 5 or 6 miles through the woods and trails and it was beautiful, yes walkers looked at me like I was nuts but I didn’t care I was having too much fun. I also really loved my week of running in Yorkshire, the scenery was stunning and routes were fun.
When I look back at the events of the year I am drawn to the deaths of two sportsmen, Marco Simoncelli and Gary Speed. These were from very different sports who died in completely different circumstances but both had an affect on me, Marco as he was so young and a brilliant talent. A man who made Moto GP exciting again. He is the reason all my blog posts are tagged with 58, his race number. Gary Speed was the same age as me and a player I always admired, but he had a dark place in his life which made him take his own life, I will never understand why but I certainly think the sport lost one of the good guys.
I have some people to thank for the last year, firstly James and Andy for allowing me the opportunity to have a go at the challenge, Radio 5 for broadcasting Andy’s interview else I would never have heard of the challenge!
To the boys I have run with over the last year, all our runs were a blast, particularly Joe and Roger who did plenty of runs with me and helped me when the going got tough. For my boy Sam, who I think thought I was mental to try this and his encouragement came in the form of “why are you doing it” and “you are mental”, but he did do a few runs with me. Last but by no means least to the wife, without her understanding I don’t think I could have got through it, she never once moaned when I suggested a slight change of plan so I could fit a run in or even that I probably became a running bore at times!
Finally here are the stats, I spent £499.18 on kit and event entries, I burnt 179,358 calories ran for 8 days 14 hours 14 minutes 23 seconds and did an average of 3.56 miles (5.73km), and had an elevation gain of 11,826m which is higher than Mount Everest which is only 8,848m high. If I had travelled the distance I ran I would have got to Naples in Italy!
The last question is what next? Well I have some ideas and I know from speaking to James and Andy they have some as well, but we will have to see, in the meantime I have a Sky Ride in a couple of weeks and the Reindeer 10k in November and I might slip a couple more events in as well.
I should really mention todays run, as I went back to Watford to run with the boys and it was fun to do a final 5km with them and then go and have some lunch in the pub.
I guess that is it from me, I want to wish all the best to the guys currently on the challenge and I hope I have shown you that it is possible to do it and I now look forward to future challenges.
Miles Today: 3.24 (5.21km)
Miles Completed: 1302.23 (2095.73km)
Miles To Go: -207.23 (-333.53km)
Shoes: Asics Torana