I was in denial. If I didn’t tell anyone, it wouldn’t matter. But I started recording my miles anyway, you know – just to see. That was enough, that was my commitment. I am supporting Cricket Without Boundaries this year, by fundraising and volunteering. I needed a challenge and covering 3000 miles on foot or by bicycle seemed impossible and therefore at the right level for me to have a go at, to see what happens and to use as a hook to ask for sponsorship/donations.
A double parkrun on 1 January got me off to a good start. A couple of weeks later, I entered some running races – a couple of half marathons. Ordinarily this would be no big deal for me. This year, it gave me something to talk about, something to train for and I had a bigger reason for doing it. Since 2005, CWB has worked on 60 projects in 9 African countries. Over 250,000 children have been coached and received valuable, life changing messages about health and especially HIV. Over 3,500 adults have been trained as ICC accredited coaches to support cricket development. I want to help this work to continue.
By the end of January, I was feeling happy about things. The number of miles I was covering (running, supplemented by walking) was increasing. I was training with people aiming for a spring marathon and by the end of the month I had run further in a week than I had ever before and covered nearly 50 miles that week.
February rolled on and I got a cold. I managed a few walks and reality hit home. This is a big challenge. I hadn’t met my target number of miles once. But I couldn’t do much about it till I was feeling better. This didn’t take long. I was still feeling fit and I threw in a couple of big runs. I also entered my first ultra-marathon that would happen in April. It didn’t matter about time, it mattered that I did it to add a fabulous 37 miles to my target. A little bit of sun and warmth meant that I ventured into my shed and was reassured that my bicycle was still there. I dusted off the cobwebs and tested it out a couple of times. Nothing too far. I still had to focus on my running: training for an ultra involves a lot of running!
March appeared and the feeling of Spring. I was feeling good about putting in a good time for my half marathons. Except my body gave me some strong messages that this wasn’t going to happen. Three weeks out with a back injury meant I didn’t run the half marathons, that my whole aim of 3000 miles was in jeopardy and I had no idea how I would get round this fundraising hurdle. But in the present moment, there was nothing I could do (except lie on the floor watching House of Cards). The focus on recovery meant I did things properly and was back out running again. Starting slowly – the achievement of running 1 mile, properly, with no shuffling felt so good.
So I’m back on track. I still haven’t reached target miles in any one week, I’m behind schedule, but I’m still committed. I’ve consistently run further in a week, I’m using my car less and I’m looking forward to cycling more. There’s a long way to go and your support would be gratefully received. Please donate here. If 3000 miles represents a straight line to central Africa, I’ve currently got as far as Lyon in France….
For those interested in the stats, in the first 3 months of 2017 I’ve:
Run: 304 miles
Walked: 125 miles
Cycled: 19 miles
Total: 448 miles