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.
3 x 1095 milers finishing!! Brilliant!!
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!!)
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!!
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 to go: 0
Shoes: Asics GT3000