Well that’s it then! Done!
I’ve been thinking about what to write in my final blog and to be honest, I’m just going to type and see where it takes me.It may well turn into war and peace or I may get bored and cut it short….so let’s see how it goes!
I’m writing this a week after finishing as it’s really nice not to think about the challenge for a bit. I wasn’t entirely sure how I would feel upon finishing but it came as a bit of a relief as my body was starting to break a little! I’d discussed the actual finish with Steve Morris and also with Jon and Ste and it’s a bit of a strange thing really as there is no finish line – when you run a race there are spectators and a defined finish line. We are away on holiday at the moment for Sarah’s Mum Hazel’s 70th Birthday celebrations but we coincided it with the final run and took the opportunity to meet up with Stephen Marsden and his family as he was the one who got us doing the bloody challenge!! So we arrived at the Marsden residence and planned our last 3 miles.
So we headed out and were accompanied by Joe, Sam, Freddie, Isaac and Heidi. The kids ran at various paces and the 3 1095 milers hung back and compared notes from the past year. It was a really pleasant run around Bromborough and we finished outside Frankie and Bennys before stuffing our faces in celebration!!
As we went round our final 3 mile route we swapped stories from throughout the year so I guess that is how I should finish my final blog.
What have I learned? I’ve learned that if I didn’t get out for my run I started to get withdrawal symptoms and get grumpy (at which point Sarah would say go out and do your ‘bloody run’!!) I’ve also learned that, as Northy would put it, running is cool. You see a spike in runners after New Year or if there’s been athletics on the tv! However, it’s been really humbling to see the amount of people who have started running because of our efforts. I learned that the hardest part of the challenge has been the blogging, fellow 1095 milers will know what I mean!
Looking back at best and worst runs now. Most bizarre moment has to be the 4.30am run before my Christmas do when I was accompanied by a bloke who was a little bit….well he was on something!! He saw me coming and decided to jog along on his way to his mates apparently, really strange when you’re half asleep and it’s the early hours!! Hardest runs were definitely the week or so when my back was really bad and I came the closest to giving up. But there was also the run when I had the dreaded sickness and diarrhoea bug – the contents of my stomach wanted to go up or down but I was desperately trying to keep them central!! The best runs have to be the half marathons and certainly the Liverpool marathon – couldn’t believe I made it around 26 miles and that I had actually attempted it in the middle of the challenge! Also, the best runs have to be the ones with other people. Lots of runs with Northy discussing high and lows of the challenge and our respective weight losses and pace improvements. Other friends and fellow runners joined me along the way and also some lovely runs with my eldest Joe and also Sarah and the kids joined me quite a few times following on their bikes.
So I guess I better summarise now to finish off with!
The year has been an interesting and challenging one. I have achieved an enormous amount and managed to get through everything that has been thrown at me. I’ve finished my degree after 3 years studying and we’ve had the bombshell of Millie’s diabetes diagnosis. We’ve also had several hospital visits with Joe bashing his head and Charlie cutting his open as well as the most scary experience of my life so far when Charlie was convulsing in the bath and I was preparing myself for CPR! I’ve run in sun, wind, rain, ice (but strangely no snow!!) but, as the best song in the world says, ‘When you walk through a storm, hold your head up high’ and at the end of the storm there is a golden sky. Yes, it’s very true, you will never walk (or run) alone.
My last words though, have to be a massive thankyou to all those who have helped and supported me throughout the year and especially to my amazing wife Sarah and my fantastic kids!
Keep on running people and good luck to all those who are on the challenge and those just taking it up…it’s been emotional!!
Miles Today : 3
Miles Completed : 1239 (1269.78 without rounding down!)
Days Left : 0!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Shoes : Brooks Adrenaline GTS 1100