I opened last month’s review on a rather sombre note, claiming that most of these reviews all end up sounding the same, starting off with me talking about the races before then ending on how Jenny’s health got worse or threw some unexpected spanners into the works. This month however was different, we ended the month with Jenny’s health as the best it has been for some time and we also celebrated her birthday, baked and ate plenty of cake. I did lots of running too, obviously.
The month started slowly with my first Solo Run since the middle of July. It wasn’t my intention to run a Solo Run, I simply had yet to sign up for a race that weekend and after struggling to fight off illness for most of the week and getting very little sleep it seemed like the best option. Add to that the fact that it was the week before Jenny’s birthday, National Eczema Week and later that month I had my first of three marathons in a very short space of time, saving money and energy seemed like a good idea.
If there was anyway to get the ball rolling on races again after the previous weeks Solo Run then what better race than the ‘Greatest’ and ‘Biggest’ Half Marathon in the World, the Great North Run. Their words not mine. Personally I’d call it the ‘Alright North Run’. The weather was a touch grim, which was expected given that it was in t’North, but other than the sheer number of entrants and local pride I saw little to justify it’s reputation. Maybe it was just me, a breakfast of a Mars Bar and a can of Relentless probably wasn’t the best preparation, as evidenced by throwing up several times around the course. That said I still managed to set a strong time, within a minute or so of my PB without really trying to.
The Great North Run meant a return to Jenny’s homeland for the weekend, typically this would always mean a cake, the fact that it was a couple of days after Jenny’s birthday too meant that there was several. By the time we had finished eating all the cake it was time to bake some for the National Eczema Week Bake Sale we held on the 21st. Once again it was a big success and we managed to raise over £130 for charity but almost as soon as I had finished washing up all the plates and counting the proceeds it was off home to Norfolk for my next couple of races.
Once again I had lined up two races in one day with the Sandringham 10K and Hunstanton Beach Run. which in hindsight may not have been ideal a week before the Robin Hood Marathon. First up was the Sandringham 10K, one of just a handful of races I’ve ran before this year. Taking only a couple of hours before my second race I made sure to take it reasonably steady but still came in just over the 45 minute mark.
Before I had chance to get too comfortable watching the rest of the runners come through the finish line I would be off to Hunstanton for my second race, the Beach Run. After the horrific evening in August when Jenny was suspected to have suffered a mini stroke, the Beach Run was on my radar as it raised money for the Stroke Association. The race took place on the beach, surprisingly, and went from Hunstanton to Heacham (my hometown village) and back. I was very pleased to have been able to take my challenge all the way back home for a race, even if the race did end up measuring over a mile short.
The final race of the month would take place in this challenges second city, Nottingham. The Robin Hood Marathon would be my 6th race so far this year in and around Nottingham, with a couple more lined up before the years end. Between the Half Marathon route, which I had ran a few times before, and a few other races this year I had ran across the entire Marathon route at some point, just not all in one go. Being only my third marathon ever, but my first of three in four weeks, I was cautious over the pacing making sure not push it too hard as it was essentially a ‘training run’ for the Yorkshire Marathon at the end of the month. I was happy enough with a time of 4 hours 3 minutes, although the race will ultimately be remembered for being hit on around the 6 mile mark.
Nine months in and at almost 800km means I am, albeit only by about 40km or so, ahead of schedule. This month (October) I am due to run another two Marathons within 7 days and travel all the way down to Portsmouth. It is going to be an eventful (and expensive) month, but by the end of it my total will be 900km with two months to go, leaving me in a very good position.
As always, please visit my JustGiving page and donate what you can. If you can’t donate then please share my JustGiving page and news of what I’m doing with others, in case they can. The only way we can end the suffering that Jenny and millions of others go through on a daily basis is with your help.
1000KM Challenge Distance: 91.89KM
Time Running Total: 08:51:10
Total Running Distance: 197.34KM
Bananas Eaten: 45
1000km Challenge Stats:
1000KM Challenge Distance: 790.53KM
Time Running Total: 68:16:30
Total Running Distance: 1697.67KM
Bananas Eaten: 346
A look ahead to October
13/10 – Steeples & Spires Challenge (26 Mile)
20/10 – Yorkshire Marathon
27/10 – Great South Run