Regular readers will know that I am currently trying to complete a self imposed challenge to travel 2013 “self-powered” miles in 2013 in order to try and raise money for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust. Although not technically in my rules, I am also trying to pick up some race bling along the way and hope to average at least one race per month.
I only started running in June 2012 and at the beginning it was REALLY HARD. I couldn’t even run a mile without having to walk bits of it and by the time I finished each of my training runs I was dripping in sweat and breathing like Darth Vader. Since then my legs have run over 1,100 miles, including over 445 so far this year.
My longest race so far is a half marathon. I’ve run 3 of them so far and now have less than 3 weeks until my first full marathon on my 38th birthday! (The old Neil would think the new one is mental!!!)
Here is a summary of my 2013 race schedule so far….
Whilst on holiday in January, my family and I took part in the Disney 5k Family Fun Run, part of the official Disney Marathon weekend. I had planned to do either the half or even full marathon, but sadly the event was sold out before I’d been able to confirm travel arrangements, luckily the 5k still had space.
My highlight of the race though has to be seeing my 3 year old daughter run across the finish line. My wife and daughter were in the “stroller division”, but my daughter insisted on getting out and running the last mile in her Cinderella dress! Very proud Daddy.
This weather was wet and windy, but 600+ people still turned out for the first Gloucester 10k. I think the weather must have put some people off, but to be honest, I quite like running in the wet. I’m not so keen on heavy rain, but some light drizzle is a great way of keeping the body cool when running at race pace is busy warming it up. For me the Gloucester 10k was a great race. I improved on my 10k personal best by approx 3 minutes with a finish time was 47 mins and 35 seconds. As I sprinted across the finish line I knew in my heart that I could have pushed myself harder and finished even quicker! At least that gives me something to aim at on my next 10k.
My first official half-marathon – done! Although Id done a number of training runs of 13.1 miles or greater, the Adidas Silverstone half-marathon was my first race at this distance.
When I started running I suspect it would have taken me over 3 hours to complete a half-marathon, if I’d managed to finish at all. I was really pleased with my time in this race when I finished in 1 hour, 49 minutes and 53 seconds. My ultimate goal was to run a half marathon in under 1 hour and 45 minutes, but for my first attempt I was more than happy with my finish time. I was also quicker at the 10 mile point than my finishing time at last year’s Great South Run (10 miles). Thanks to the Cystic Fibrosis Trust I was also lucky enough to get a quick sports massage at the end of the race.
Just 2 weeks after completing my first official half-marathon I was lining up ready to start my second. My target was simply to try and match my time from the Silverstone Half Marathon. That was until I saw how hilly the Warwick Castle course was.
When the first racer to finish crossed the line about 20 minutes slower than the Silverstone winner, my wife decided she wouldn’t need a camera ready until at least 1 hour 50 minutes after the start. This view was only confirmed when some of the early finishers were interviewed and commented on how hilly the course was.
I really enjoyed the course, running through some great countryside with plenty of hills to keep it interesting. To be honest, I think the course was great at keeping my motivation up and this was helped even more by the spectators cheering the runners on. The result of all this? I crossed the line in 1 hour, 43 minutes and 43 seconds – more than six minutes quicker than Silverstone! My long term goal of a sub 1 hour 45 minute half marathon was achieved on just my second attempt. The only disappointing thing was the muddy, slippery grass at the end which stopped me from doing a sprint finish.
OK, so Plymouth is NOT flat. In fact, this was without doubt the most hilly half marathon I have run so far. Oh, and perhaps the steepest hill of all was in the last mile! By the end of the race my toes were feeling bruised and one of nipples was bleeding, but I didn’t care. I got another personal best (1 hour, 41 minutes and 48 seconds).
This race was also a harsh reminder that there is not enough awareness of Cystic Fibrosis. I saw many runners representing many different charities, most of them cancer charities, but I did not spot a single CF runner other than myself.
My upcoming race schedule:
- The Edinburgh Marathon (on my Birthday in May)
- The Two Castles Run (in June)
- Great British 10k London Run (in July)
- The Isle of Wight Half Marathon (in August)
- The Great North Run (in September)
- The Great South Run (in October)
I still want to find races in November and December so all suggestions are welcome!
2013 Miles in 2013
I am doing my 2013 miles in 2013 challenge in aid of the Cystic Fibrosis Trust as I have been surprised since I started fundraising for the CF Trust just how many people are unaware of this disease and so I hope my efforts will not just raise money, but also awareness of the UK’s most most common life-threatening inherited disease.
The first person to commit to sponsoring my 2013 mile challenge has committed to 1p per mile (£20.13 in total) and this got me thinking. I am hoping that as many as possible of those reading this will commit to do the same and the best thing is, if each person does this on a “pay as you go” type approach all you will need to part with is approx £2 just after each pay day. In January I completed 205.9 miles, in February I completed a further 200.9 miles, in March I completed 185.7 miles and in April I completed 192.1 miles. If you can please spare £7.85 to help the Cystic Fibrosis Trust it will be greatly appreciated.
The easiest way to give your sponsorship is to visit my Just Giving page: http://www.justgiving.com/2012-AYearWithoutBeer-CF.
2013 Miles in 2013 – The rules
The rules for my 2013 miles in 2013 challenge are quite simple:
- All miles must be completely self powered (no motors, sails, etc)
- I must be able to evidence all miles, either via GPS or with a picture of any static gym equipment
To complete my 2013 miles I will be running, cycling, rowing and who knows, I might even try a few other self powered methods along the way.