After a relatively slow start to the year with only two races, February saw me run a 14k, two Half Marathons and a 30k. In the second month of my 1000km challenge I broke the 100km barrier, ran in four new races, ran my longest race so far and broke my Half Marathon PB by 7 minutes.
My first race in February, the Rauceby Ripper, was a difficult one as I was running on empty before the race even began. Although only a 14km race, a month of running to and from work most days on snow and ice had taken it’s toll on my legs and before the race began my legs were already feeling heavy. Once I got going my legs seemed to loosen up and I came in just over 68 minutes and received my first medal of this 1000km challenge.
The hill at 10 miles on the Caythorpe Dash still fills me with fear, a 100ft sharp incline up chewed up farmland after a few days of rain defeated anyone attempting to run up it, with it’s victims’ having to resort to walking instead. What surprised me most about this race was my ability to have stayed on my feet throughout, I was witness to more than a couple of competitor’s losing their trainers in the boggier parts of the run and heard of how a runner slipped off a bridge into a stream towards the end of the race.
The St. Valentines 30K by all accounts should have been the most challenging race of this month, being both the longest distance I have ran for sometime and a being home to a notoriously gruelling undulating course. Instead, it turned out to be my most enjoyable. I went into the race with the idea of surviving and trying to keep a constant pace throughout and came out with a massive smile on my face and my dream of a 03:30:00 marathon still in my hands.
I smashed by previous PB by about seven minutes and came in safely under 01:40:00, so by all accounts the Sleaford Half Marathon should be considered a good race. Except it wasn’t, I almost fell apart mentally and physically, my pacing was extremely erratic and everything that could go wrong pretty much did. So how did I record such a good time? I still don’t know.
Alongside a lot of running I have also been doing my bit to get my fundraising challenge noticed, putting posters up in shops and arranging interviews with local news outlets. I was interviewed by David Wriglesworth from ‘The Linc’ on the 8th February, with the interview also being played on [Siren FM]. It what was my most impressive feat so far this year, I managed to avoid mentioning both the name of the charity and eczema throughout the entire duration of the interview.
Because she is a lot less useless than myself in talking about the condition, this month Jenny started up a blog to openly discuss her condition, how she deals with it on a day to day basis and the types of treatments she has tried over the years. This blog managed to achieve over 2,000 views in under two weeks which astonished the pair of us. When I remember to I try and include here posts on this blog too to help raise awareness, but you can check out here blog here.
Finally, I was interviewed on Tuesday (26th February) by Josh Francis from The Lincolnite about the motivation behind my 1000km challenge and how I see the year ahead panning out. Josh’s article ‘Lincoln man goes beyond the finish line in 1000km charity challenge’ can be seen here.
In the past couple of weeks I have reintroduced strength training back into my routine, to help maintain my strength and build core strength. Last year I was a regular down the gym with three sessions a week, however with my running taking the forefront this year I’ve taken advantage of my gym membership running out and given myself a well needed rest.
Next month I intend to clean up my diet a lot more, although with Jenny winning a Treatbox from Pattiserie Valerie this week, it looks like it will start on Monday. She has recently mentioned about how she intends to improve her diet with the hope of it having a positive affect on her skin and with my focus now turning towards the London Marathon keep your eyes peeled for upcoming posts on 101 things to do with a Sweet Potato.
1000KM Challenge Distance: 74.26km
Time Running Total: 07:12:28
Total Running Distance: 173.87km
Bananas Eaten: 43
1000km Challenge Stats:
1000KM Challenge Distance: 160.97km
Time Running Total: 14:11:03
Total Running Distance: 367.48km
Bananas Eaten: 94
A look ahead to March
03/03 – Silverstone Half Marathon (21.13km)
10/03 – Newton Fracton’s Half Marathon (21.13km)
17/03 – Gainsborough Morton Striders 10k
24/03 – Rother Valley 10k
31/03 – Tulip 10k