So here I am, sat on the sofa, about to commence my week of rest, writing my last blog of the challenge and I really want to go for a run, really really. My brain is screaming at me to ignore my bodies urge to get up and run. I honestly thought I would be relieved to just sit down for a day and I am rather disappointed, it’s actually quite awful. If I didn’t have my hip consultant at the end of the month and the wrath of several physios I would be out running right now, quite happily. Talk about Pavlov’s dogs.
As I look back over the year I have to start thinking about what’s been great, what’s been awful, what I have learnt and what I have achieved. So, If I haven’t already bored you to death with my last 364 blogs here goes.
No.1) Running the bridges of New York with Aaron Texan Wine, one of the funniest guys I know and a great friend from my travelling days. Just being in New York (Thanks to BGL) was a great feeling and the run made sure I saw bits of the city I would never have seen. It was just an awesome weekend.
No. 2) Running the marshlands of Spain with my nephew, Finley Fat Boy Fin Penn and finishing off with a dip in a natural spring. Crikey that was a welcome swim on hot day.
No.3) Going under 20 mins for 5k, finally at Parkrun. I’d been so close to sub 20 in several occasions and it just felt like I would never get there. I was absolutely blowing out my arse but knew it was on the cards after 2 miles and was super pleased to finally do it.
No.1) The ones where my calves were knackered in the first few months. Somedays it was absolute agony and I honestly thought I would have to stop and give up on the challenge. So glad I pushed on through though.
No.2) The ones where I had a hangover, the worst being the last day of the conference in New York. I’d got absolutely bladdered and had hardly any sleep before I had to get up and get my run in before checking out the hotel and collecting Kate from the airport. I’d set off from the hotel with the noise of New York in early rush hour to run in my own personal hell when Rob Butler came up beside me and said, can I join you. He’s a pretty quick runner and there was no way I was going to let him leave me behind. God that was awful.
No.3) The MRI scan day. That evening I went out and just felt like I wasn’t there. I had a massive headache and thought I would pass out. It was horrible.
What’s been great? Just exploring. Running in places that I would never normally run and discovering places. I think from now on I shall always take my trainers wherever I go. Be it business trips, holidays and family get togethers, I need to run in as many places across the world as possible.
What have I learnt? I have run a lot over the years but have never really ‘enjoyed’ it, I’ve liked the challenge and the stress relief but not the actual running. I’ve learnt that not trying to run fast and just running however you feel like running is enjoyable. Just go, don’t try and do a time or a distance, don’t have a plan, just go where you feel and whatever pace is comfortable. Also try and run with people that is when it is awesome. Somedays it just clicked and everything felt smooth and floating, massive grin on my face, I felt invincible. I think moving to a forefoot lead after reading Born to Run has made a massive difference to me and how I run, ‘ve not had any of the injuries that have previously plagued me in the past. I know I have been injured but I’m glad to say that is down to an actual deformity in my hip and not running.
I’ve learnt that there generally isn’t any excuse to not get fit, especially time. You can always find time if you want to. You might be tired and you might want to veg out but you can find time, even if it is half an hour a few times a week. Even on Christmas day if you want to (now that was fun), it’s just about choices. I haven’t actually been ill for the whole year. I’ve been tired. I’ve been injured and I’ve been hungover. But I haven’t actually been ill. Running is truly awesome…. Bet I get a cold now!
I haven’t learnt this but I did confirm that I can get a bit obsessive about things and I can be pretty determined once I have put my mind to something. Not always a good trait but in the round I’m glad I have it. It is also great to know that I have inspired several people to get up and get fit. Knowing that by doing this challenge I have had an indirect positively impact peoples lives is a really great feeling.
What have I achieved?
The biggest thing is raising money for Build It International and sending Benson to college to get his teaching qualifications. I cant believe its been a year since going to Zambia and visiting the school we funded. It truly changed my life and I am over the moon that I have been able to continue to support them throughout the year and make a difference, not just to Benson, but to his students now and for hopefully many years to come.
A few stats to support the achievement.
Days Run: 365
Miles covered: 1234
Time ran; 7 days 12 hours 54 mins 28 seconds
Fastest 3 miles: 19 mins 22 secs
Slowest 3 miles: 43 mins 02 secs
Total height ascended: 76,358 ft (Over two times up Mount Everest)
Total Calories burned 149,989 (3.06 Stone)
4 physios (About 20 appts)
1 Osteopath (6 appts)
1 Consultant (2 appts….. more to come)
1 MRI scan
Trainers x 2 – Asics GT2100 (400 miles, heel lead), Nike Free 5.0 (800 miles forefoot lead). These trainers have been a revelation and have lasted beyond what I thought possible, hardly wearing out at all. When the girl in the shop told me they would last to the end of the challenge I was somewhat skeptical. They could do with a wash though as they could pretty much run themselves.
I need to thank some people.
James Ellis, for coming up with the crazy challenge in the first place
Jon North, my old detention buddy, 1095 mile Hall of Famer and person that initially inspired me to take up the challenge.
All the other 1095milers. Reading your blogs, your comments and encouragement has been a great help in keeping me determined.
Richard Reliable Salisbury and Simon Big Bum McGuinness, your company on many of my runs has been more help than you will ever know.
Troy Bradshaw, he hasn’t always been the most reliable and does only like one running route but he has been with me on many many late night runs round Northampton and the Parkruns.
My physio and osteopath at work, Phil and Annie, two varying approaches but both very effective. The monthly treatment and tips have been invaluable in managing my body. Also, thanks to Claire and Leian at Witty Pask & Buckingham. Your help at the beginning and end of this challenge have stopped me falling to pieces. I promise I will have a rest!
Finally my family, Kate and the kids for ‘putting up’ with this challenge. I promise I will never again wake you up every day on holiday so I can go running. I can’t promise that my stinky trainers wont be pulled on on some days on holiday though. And my eldest Zac, running with him has been brilliant. Seeing him get faster over time with his Triathlon training and his determination on the park runs has really made me proud. I actually look forward to the day when I will be struggling to keep up with him.
Anyone that has ever read one of my blogs. Your, likes, comments, piss taking and encouragement has helped enormously. The blogging is one of the hardest things, knowing that someone somewhere is taking the time to read them has been brilliant.
Onto the details of my last run, it was at Parkrun Northampton and they gave me a little announcement which was pretty cool. They also announced that Bob, an Octogenarian was running his 150th Parkrun. What a legend, I hope that when I get to his age I am still going strong. I was joined by several friends and for once I am not going to give them nicknames for two reasons, there was too many of them and its getting late and also this is a somewhat serious blog.
The BMF crew – Ross Wardell, Leian Lee, Catherine Prior, Claire Rae, Kirsty Myers, Nicky McCarthy. The Parkrunners, Ben and The Everetts (Dave, Clare and Matty). Northampton boys Troy, Jack and Liam Bradshaw and Tony Monger. BGLers Richard Salisbury, Stefan Szoltsek, Neil Martin and Amy Beard. Family – Ben, Emma, Max and Zac. 1095 Hall of Famer Jon North. Many of you drove quite a while to come over and run with me in rain and it was an honour to run with you. Also thanks to my cheer leaders Kate and the kids, Anne-Marie, Nick Howell and Norma Hogan and unofficial photographer Bryan Lewin.
So that is it. Onto a rest and thinking about the next challenge before I put on a shed load of weight. It’s been emotional.
Miles so far 1233.93
Miles to go – 138.93
Trainers Nike Thank God That’s Over