Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Quick update of the last 4 months and the completion of the June 10k challenge

The past four months as I try to remember now are a bit blurred but I know I have done loads and started lots of new adventures. So I will try to unravel my brain as I write this blog, so things may end up a bit higgledy piggledy.

May started with a hard slog of a race with the lovely sounding name 'the Bluebell 10 mile trail' which because of overnight bad weather turned into an 11.3 mile trail run and even though we were warned, it was mentally very hard. 

That race was followed by the first session of the beginners running group I had started as part of the Jog Kirklees course I had previously been on. For the first session 3 amazing people turned up and allowed me to push them further than they had run in a long time. They did amazingly and have returned most weeks to push themselves even further and enjoyed doing it at the same time. I've really enjoyed it and I'm really proud of how well they've all done. They have now managed to complete a 5k run each week with me and sometimes even a bit further.

After that there was the Leeds half marathon and the final half marathon of my challenge to raise money for Dexters school. It went really well even though at the time I may have whinged and moaned about my time and performance, and Jennifer who was also running for the school had a great time and got an amazing result. 

After that the rest of May seemed a bit tepid, or bland, like it was missing something, and it was. The excitement and determination to get out and run had disappeared slightly and I found myself saying oh well I will run tomorrow and justifying it too. So I needed something to pick me up and get me out there ready for the marathon training which was going to start in July. So that is when I came up with the idea of the June 10k challenge, based on the Marcothon challenge in December. For which I gave great credit to for getting my parkrun times down to what they are now. So simply(and I use that in terms of the idea not doing it) all I had to do was run a minimum of 10k everyday in June, to help build my fitness and keep my mind active in preparation for marathon training. I was going to do it all by myself but decide to make a Facebook event and invite others to join me in this crazy challenge. I didn't expect many if anyone to join me but as June approached a few people started to talk about possibly trying it. 

As June started and the first few days went by the 10k's were nice and steady. I didn't want to burn myself out too early, and neither did the 9 or so other people that started the challenge with me. To be honest 9 people joining me on this silly challenge was incredible and 9 more than I expected. There was even a friend of a friend who was taking part in Spain with the Spanish temperatures too, truly amazing. One of the challengers Victoria did drop out after a few days but as she had only be running a couple of months. I thought she was awesome for even starting it with us. She had recently joined us at Huddersfield parkrun the month before and was chipping away at her PB each week. That in itself was incredible, she was pushing herself each week and was challenging herself to go further too.

The remaining challengers were continuing each day to be awesome and keep up with the 10k's and when we could meet up (mainly after parkrun or at junior parkrun) we would heap praise on each other. Or at least they did with each other, I got a lot of abuse mainly in jest for making them do this challenge and for coming up with the idea. As soon as I would see Frances or Chris at parkrun it would be "I hate you" or "I'm not talking to you today" which did make me chuckle a lot mainly because I am a little evil but mostly because I knew they only half meant it. Maybe some days about 75% meant it other days 100%. We chatted to each other on the event page on Facebook helping each other out and sharing our stories which was really nice too. As the month began to come to and end SJ had some mugs made up to give to the everyone that completed the June 10k challenge, they went down really well and I thought it was a great way to well done. As all 9 of us had done amazing it really was great to present them all with their mugs and see their smiles at the end of the month having done 300+ km's. There were 10k PB's during June from most of us and even some 5k PB's too. Awesome job everyone and please don't kill me if I come round next year suggesting it again.

There was one thing I hadn't taken into account when I planned the June 10k challenge and that was the Stadium runners club championship race "The Helen Windsor 10k" on July 1st that I had entered prior to the June challenge, Do'h. Plus it was on one of the hottest and muggiest days of the year, so to come home in 43m45s I was very happy, considering the conditions and the 300+ km's in the month leading up to it.

Early July was a nice and steady month with not a lot on the cards but I was keeping myself ticking over. I even managed to knock a few seconds off my parkrun PB down to 19.09, that put a smile on my face for quite a while that day. The second half of July and I was really trying to extend my runs and clock up the miles as a start of my marathon training and what better way to do that than 14 miles at the Northumberland coastal run, yeah? Wrong it was hard work, I completed it and even came in as 3rd stadium runner male but damn it was hard to keep it going at the end of that race. Gorgeous race and lovely atmosphere just completely unprepared for the sand, sand dunes, coastal paths and road on the route. The change in terrain was the hardest thing, I had no idea it would zap the energy in your legs and mind as much as it did. Glad I did it though. SJ and the boys came up with me and we camped (when I say camped we were in a camper van which was a bit easier) overnight the night before the race which was fun and the boys first camping trip with SJ and I.

July has also seen me take up the task of training to be a UKA grade 2 course measurer, which I had stumbled upon when investigating getting the Shepley 10k officially measured and licensed by UK Athletics. I've been completing some online theory lessons in my spare time and I'm pleased to say I've passed and I'm now waiting to complete my practical seminar which is in October. Once I have completed it I shall be an official course measurer and could be responsible for marking out a race near you soon. It's been really enjoyable and having to use some of my brain for a change has been brilliant and a real confidence booster. I had lost a lot of confidence in my brain actually working when I have spent the last 7 years at at home with small people, I wouldn't have changed the last 7 years for anything but I need to keep the old noggin ticking away now and again.

August has been chilled with school holidays and our family holiday it's been great to get out on the bikes with the boys and do things as a family whilst still getting my runs in. August has also seen the best non stag do stag do ever which ended up with the stag up on stage singing with THE Sugarhill gang, I mean it can't get better than that can it? That night I also decided to run home afterwards at about 2.30am I set off running home drunk, not the best of ideas but I seemed to get faster and faster as I went along and even managed a PR on a Strava segment too! This was created to memorialise the night.

Then a week later the awesome stag and his also awesome fiancée got married and a few days later we had an amazing time at their wedding party. It was a great night and great to see two of the nicest people we know so happy. There was lots of talk of Sugarhill Gang on the night as well as drunken runs home luckily there weren't any that night.

September is creeping up on us and that means one thing, Clark will start School! He's been ready for school for a while now but now it's a few weeks away it seems weird and I can't believe that he's that old already. Flynn could even start pre-school soon with his 2nd birthday on the 11th, that is far to soon but could mean I could go running in the morning whilst he's at pre-school.

Well I think that's everything caught up but if not I can add it to the next one which hopefully won't be in another 4 months. The Shepley 10k is soon so I'm sure that will get a blog all of its own or at least with some marathon training thrown in too. 

Well until then,

Keep running everyone