And so the final push was upon me. Just 25 miles remained between me and my goal of 100 miles in 30 days. It was as I was running the “Fun Run” track at school for the 3rd time with key stage 1, that I realised I should have started my Nike+ app to try and add a little more distance. I had absolutely no more interest in running. The, mid way through elation and enjoyment of running, had subsided and it was only my competitive nature and stubbornness to finish it that was keeping me going.
I had finished my talking book and discovered that my free trial only covered one book. Rather than choosing the longest book I could, I had in fact managed to download an abridged version that was only 8 hours long. I would like to think it was reaching the zen like focussed running heights that I have heard myths and legends about which meant I don’t have a clue what happened in the story but I think it may have been more to do with the editing of the audio book. I had downloaded more music but I was bored. Bored of running and bored of my routes. I was also very bored of the mountains of washing I was facing and had begun to wear more and more un-cordinated outfits for my runs.
I kept going. Through ridiculously early mornings (and encouraging waves from delivery trucks) to evening runs where I kept adding a bit more onto the route, or “lying about the route” as my running partner called it. By the last day of the half term my class had coloured in 90 miles on my totaliser and I knew I would complete the challenge.
By now my legs felt like they were made of lead on every run, my calves were tight regardless of how long I spent on the roller and I came to the conclusion that I am not a natural runner! I was determined to finish strong on a 5 mile run but started to question whether I would be able to complete the 3.7 miles needed never mind the 5 I wanted.
And so it was that I celebrated finishing my challenge running past Brewsters on the bypass. The smell of bacon gently perfuming the air (a much welcomed improvement on the turkey farm smell five minutes before), a swift “get in” and hand clench and on I went.
I know that for some runners out there what I’ve done won’t be a huge achievement but to me it’s the first time that I’ve set out to do something without a very specific end goal like a race and actually completed it. I have run since, as I wanted the 100 miles in one month badge and although I didn’t feel delighted at the prospect of running, I did enjoy knowing I could run 3 miles and have a few days off. I think it is the few days off that I need, my running friends and I have run out of things to each other, conversation has become limited to the state of the pavement and overgrown bushes of the A167 and how I can’t feel my toes amongst other complaints. I am a little concerned about how I will get around training for the London Marathon if I do get through the ballot, although I have learnt my lesson about audio books.
I really do feel a sense of achievement in what I’ve managed, especially as I did it in 25 days (me competitive?!?) but if anyone sees me with a third fruity cider in my hand can you please steer the conversation away from running challenges.
I’m off to sit by the letterbox and wait for my medal which must be delayed in the post…