Archive for Jon North

Day 365: The end or is it just the beginning!!!

This has taken some time to start to write! For a change I was a little stuck for words- writers block if you will. I am also on holiday and have been quite busy shopping, drinking and eating in no particular order!! We had said very early in this challenge that we would run with Stephen Marsden up on the Wirral nr Liverpool and do the final run together.

We arranged to meet at around 17:30 and as usual left late. We then had to stop, turn around and go back as I had forgotten my watch!! I can be quite forgetful as you will have noticed by how far I am behind with my blogs; making the time and blogging is the real difficulty, the running itself is reasonably easy. Logistically it can be a nightmare but you find a way!!!

We met up and had a chatter and then we departed for the run. Stephen, John and I, and Sammy, Freddie, Joe, Heidi and Isaac trotted off on our final 3 miles. It was a nice run at a really gentle pace whilst we chatted and discussed the challenge, its merits, its negative points and its positive points. We agreed that it is mentally tough, very selfish but not brilliant for fitness unless you really make it proper running (training) which I haven’t and have really just gone through the motions for the last 2/3 months at least.

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3 x 1095 milers finishing!! Brilliant!!

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We then went out to Frankie and Benny’s for dinner and had a really good natter with Stephen and his lovely wife Amanda and that brings me on to a very salient point which is about family. I wouldn’t have been able to do this challenge without my amazing and brilliant wife who has put up with, suffered alongside and wholeheartedly supported this challenge even renaming it “the bloody run” i.e. get your “bloody run done” do the “bloody run” so we can (delete as applicable) go out/put kids to bed/have”personal time”(delete that)/go on holiday/go to hospital/go shopping/ go to work/cook dinner/other!!!! My kids have become inspired- more so Sammy who has reduced his times to sub 24 mins for 3 miles and could probably go a bit quicker if it wasn’t for his Dad saying “slow down son there’s no need!!!”. Even Pops has run with me; only for half a mile but its a run! Freddie picks and chooses but is more of a plodder. Determination is his strength not pace (a little like me!!).

What do I say to you the reader? Well I can’t name you all on here but there are a few I will- John Newton, Stephen Marsden cheers boys!! It’s been a blast! Phil, Ash and Wayne(cyber bullies) remember I did it to spite you but thanks for the banter. Louise, Lucy, Karen, Kim, Claire, Nicky, Dan, Jeff thanks for the likes and positive comments it means people are reading the drivel and it keeps you going!! To people on the other side of the world that read them it makes it truly international-Harry, Pete and Mandy the Australian contingent- hopefully see you sooner rather than later!!! James Ellis I’m not sure that thanking you is good but it’s your fault!! Steve Morris my good friend you inspired me. It took a while but the seed was planted and I eventually did it!! To everyone I haven’t mentioned thank you! Without the little chats and banter things would have been difficult so positives and negatives were warmly received!!!

To review the year- the highs and lows- we will start on the lows and finish on the highs. I undertook this challenge under duress!! We had a drunken conversation(standard for me!) with Stephen when we met him and his lovely family on holiday in France last year. We had an evening drinking cheap fizzy wine and discussing sports and challenges and I stupidly told the story of Steve Morris and that as far as I was concerned was the end of that!! A month after we returned I received a Facebook message from Stephen asking for the details of the challenge!! John and I had a brief conversation and decided to join Stephen and the rest is history! I have been injured; my calf gave me grief for 3 months to the point of nearly quitting. I eventually had Physio with Louise and managed to be pain-free for the rest of the challenge!!! I have struggled with running ill. Running with sickness etc isn’t fun. With colds and feeling rough I just got up, manned-up, smashed 3 miles and went to bed!! The hardest part has been logistics. Sometimes I have had to run very early, very late and just about everything in between. Some of the best runs I have had have been just after midnight (so the next day!!) this enabled me to have up to 40 hours of rest!!!

There haven’t been many lows but there have been many highs!!

1. Weight Loss nearly 3 stone- 14 stone 9 at the start 11 stone 11 at the end!!
2. 6 inches off my waist 36″ to start 30″ to finish
3. I see my bits when I wee (and it’s small -that was the most disappointing bit!!)
4. I am rarely tired at work
5. I am more focused and have better concentration
6. I am happier(Sharon will disagree!!)
7. Running is Cool!! (T shirt orders being taken!!!)
8. Pride in what I have achieved
9. Inspiring others(even just 1!!)
10. I am brilliant!!!

It has been a couple of days since we finished the challenge: the main thing I feel I have discovered is my own self determination and will to succeed. These are things I knew I had on the rugby pitch but over a longer period you are never sure. I would recommend anyone to try this, give it a go! It shows you how far you can push yourself, how you will react in certain situations, how to manage time, how to spend a lot of money on running clothes and trainers (£500 ish!!!) how to irritate your wife to the point of explosion (a good enough reason in itself!!)

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I have run 1166 miles which would take me from Grove to Rome which is pretty cool, I have gone through 2 pairs of running shoes and am midway through my third pair, I have purchased new tops, hats, lycra, luminous lycra (just for you Phil).Anyway I have decided to make some T-shirts which my wife designed and purchased for John, Sammy, Freddie and I for our final few runs. We are doing another run of orders for the T-shirts cost approx £15 -if interested contact me!!

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To finish, it’s been a blast! At times man-up pills were required, but, without the support of friends and family I wouldn’t have been able to succeed so thank you all!!!!

Miles today:3
Miles completed:1166
Miles to go: 0
Shoes: Asics GT3000

Day 364: The penultimate run!!

A real pleasure today John and I ran along Hoylake seafront and ran slow and easy and just chatted about the challenge and as we ran we counted down the miles to go 6,5,4 and as we finished we both said just 1 more bloody run!!

We then headed into Liverpool centre to watch the Liverpool v Southampton game we took the boys to watch the game and the girls went for lunch/shopping a good and well organised plan!!! We shifted a few beers whilst a poor Liverpool turned over Southampton 2-1 a wins a win doesn’t matter how its done look at me sounding all Wendybally!!!

The girls in the end just did lunch!! We met them and headed to a man made beach in Liverpool One and had a couple of extra beers and then journey home and drank on into the night last one tomorrow!!!

Miles today:3
Miles completed:1163
Miles to go:-68
Shoes: Asics GT3000

Day 363: Run with John and 2 left!!!

So we had done our last run in the village yesterday and were off on our holidays today so true to our road we drove to Wantage and ran down to Ardington around West Lockinge and back a really nice run and we were joined by Sammy and Joe. I am really proud of our achievement and although the body is starting to give up I only have 2 runs left so I will crawl if I have to!!!

Off to Liverpool later than expected but had a good run up and arrived shortly after 9 and started the holiday with some more cider good times!!!

Miles today:3
Miles completed:1160
Miles to go:-65
Shoes: Asics GT3000

Day 362: A fantastic turn out!! Emotional!! 3 left

It was a slow day at work, I was waiting for this evening and the final village run of our challenge. I arrived home and sorted a few bits out and John Newton had arranged a photographer from the local paper to come down and take some pictures of us a splendid idea well done Mr Newton!! So although we had planned the run to be at 8pm the photographer was arriving at 6.30. It was a real pleasure to see so many people turn up to run, support and piss take!! As the photographer left I went to the rugby club bar to sample their wares and ended up drinking a couple of pints of the very fine Thatchers gold.

More and more people arrived too many too mention on here but one I will mention was Steve Morris who had travelled over from High Wycombe to join us on this run and it was lovely to see him, Steve is a good friend who I have known for 20 plus years and played cricket and Wendyball( I know I know I used to play!!) with it was his running of this challenge a few years ago that inspired me to eventually do this challenge although technically it isn’t his fault it is James Ellis who started it so we will blame him!!

We had a fantastic run which we had kids and adults all running together, unfortunately some of the party got lost Sharon, Sarah, Chloe, Izzy, Poppy,Millie, Henry and Hazel all went a rather long way around the route after not listening to the route advice!!! When darkness fell they arrived back and I am pleased to say all in one piece!!!

I have to say it was lovely to see everyone turn up and the village that has produced four 1095 milers that were all in attendance Dave, Toby, John and I showed real community spirit and I was humbled to see everyone run with us and had a fantastic night!! I managed to fall home just after midnight a little worse for wear but very happy!!

Miles today:3
Miles completed:1157
Miles to go:-62
Shoes: Asics GT3000

Day 361: 4 to go and the eve of the last run in our village!!

Its Thursday and today was the day that a fourth runner from our village has taken up the 1095mile challenge welcome Toby. Toby is a friend of mine from the rugby club and has closely followed my rather excellent blogs from the start, he always has time for a chat and is genuinely a top man. He asked my advice about the challenge and I told him my point that it is selfish, logistically hard, tough on relationships and could cause divorce which I think was the tipping point as he has decided to do it!! Only kidding I wish him well on his journey and have offered my support to him. So 1095 milers and all lets get behind Toby as he starts and intact to all my cyber bullys what will you have to do in 4 days!! Toby is now your man!!!

John has managed to arrange a photographer from the Oxford mail(great work bro!!) to come along tomorrow so although we are running at 8 he will be there at 6.30 so as many of you as possible can you get down a bit early to get in the photo!!

Miles today:3
Miles completed:1154
Miles to go:-59
Shoes: Asics GT 3000

Day 360:5 to go Sharon away again!!

Sharon is on a company course for a couple of days so I have a peaceful evening in but it makes running logistics hard! Sammy wanted to run with me so I dropped Freddie and Sammy to Grandma and Grandads and Sam and I ran the route for Friday, I tried to run quickly to stop is incessant chatter but this failed as motor mouth kept talking to me about football transfers, his running challenge that he is going to take up( a million miles in 4 days I think my brain had started to melt by mile 1!!!) his new school next year in fact about 50 different subjects!!! All joking aside he seems to have a good level of stamina, runs at a healthy pace and has good technique I just wish he would stop jabbering and concentrate on breathing. He has all the facets of a good distance runner if he can zip it!!

Miles today:3
Miles completed:1151
Miles to go:-56
Shoes: Asics GT3000

Day 359: 6 to go and a run with Poppy!!

Well I think we are all getting into this running malarky in the North household. Sam has turned into a very good athlete, Fred is a little like me so he will run on will power rather than any form of technique, Sharon has decided due to my weight loss that it maybe a good idea to get fit as well and is slowly building up to a 5k and seems to be quite enjoying it and then there is Poppy she isn’t interested, well I thought she wasn’t interested until she announced she was running Friday and wanted to come out for a run tonight so she ran the 1st half mile with me and did very well except she didn’t stop bloody talking!!

Miles today:3
Miles completed:1148
Miles to go:-53
Shoes: Asics GT3000

Day 358: 7 to go!!!

Monday and I don’t even care this means there is only 1 Monday left!!! I had a busy day and as we are into the last week I am not going to bore you any more than absolutely required, I’ll leave that to John Newton!!

We have arranged for a group run on Friday and we will be running at 8pm from the rugby club all welcome to join in and run with us or just retire to the bar whilst we run!!

Jon North is fundraising for Cancer Research UK.

I am hoping for a reasonable turn out so we have a bit of a laugh!!

Miles today:3
Miles completed:1145
Miles to go:-50
Shoes: Asics GT3000

Day 357: 8 to go Boing!!!

Well not the best nights sleep and I’ll give you the reasons, firstly Poppy and Freddie wanted to sleep next to me so I ended up between the 2 airbeds, secondly when they were asleep I moved stealth like to a new position at the end of the bed and Sam kept kicking me in the face!! Thirdly it started to rain hard and then the wind picked up and it made for an eventful night, at around 6 Sam and I were watching the porch section of the tent being blown to the floor and then bouncing back up with a boing!! So we went out and repegged the tent and saw lots of others doing the same thing. We are pretty hard us campers and there were some people packing up and going home.

At about 8 we decided to pack up as the rain wouldn’t stop and the wind was relentless so we unpacked, launched it into the car and then started the task of taking down the tent!! anyway as we packed the last bit the rain stopped and the sun peeped out!!

On the way home we stopped at moors Valley park and hired some mountain bikes and had a lovely funny couple of hours bombing around the tracks in the sunshine, Poppy was funny as she flew down a hill and forgot to brake ending up in a pile face and arms covered in mud but smiling!! It was a really good afternoon and I’d recommend it as its only an hour and a half from us!!

Miles today:3
Miles completed:1142
Miles to go:-47

Day 356: 9 to go and boredom took over!!

I woke this morning feeling quite fresh and got up and was instantly bored with the silence in the house so I decided to take a trip to Dorset to see Sharon and the worms, I packed up my running gear and set of late morning hoping to arrive by lunchtime!! Sat nav told me traffic so I took a different route that took my 3.5hrs to get there, I have often wondered why they give Sat Navs women’s voices as men don’t listen to women when it comes to directions ever and this was borne out by the ridiculous journey the cow sent me on!!!

I arrived and met my beloved and the boys and waited until Poppy returned from playing in the park. I then decided to take the boys all 4 of them on a run up through the paths and forest for a bit of trail running. It was great I had run a similar route when I started the challenge last year but this time we got a little lost but we had a good laugh with some falling over, others being attacked by gorse bushes and me trying to set some sort of easy pace!! We arrived back and I settled into some cider!!

After catching up with a few of the people we know down there we walked the kids into Corfe castle and had some pizza at the local pub and a few more drinks. We left and Poppy, Bella and Andrea got a taxi back whilst the rest of us (7 of us!!) walked back in the pitch black through woods and fields and then it rained just as we got back, this was the start of bertha!!

Miles today:3
Miles completed:1139
Miles to go:-44
Shoes: Asics GT3000