In November, for the second time this year (August), I ran a total of 7 races in just one month. After 47 long weeks it would also see me finally reach my target 1000KM a whole month and a bit ahead of schedule. Not that I would let myself hang my trainers up and simply enjoy the rest of the year off though.
The first race of November was about as impromptu as they come, 16 hours before the race started I was planning a race free weekend, then after doing tidying up I happened across a flyer for the 3 River Challenge and all my plans changed. Taking place only 20 minutes away from my house it seemed like a missed opportunity if I didn’t go, but I would still have to wait until 90 minutes or so before the race started before I knew whether or not I would be able to make it. In hindsight I probably wished I hadn’t, my body was feeling the effects of running 3 marathons in quick succession and both the weather and the course’s conditions made for a tricky morning. I was soon won round by the sight of cake at the finish line mind.
The following week I would continue a common trend this year of running multiple races in a weekend and first up on the Saturday was the Robin Hood Trail 10K. As the first of two races I opted to run at a reasonably relaxed pace, but as with most races this month I would feel like I was running with very heavy legs after a year of running was slowly coming to an end.
The next day I would run the Boston Poppy Run, held every year in support of the Royal British Legion on Remembrance Sunday. After trying to run at a reasonably relaxed pace the day before, I intended to try and set a fast time, on the nice, flat course. A strong head wind and general fatigue would put paid to this however but it was another race down, another step closer to 1000km and more importantly another medal.
After moving to Lincoln in 2008, running went from something I would occasionally do if I needed the toilet or I was being chased to a full time hobby. I soon then became aware of the ‘Parkrun’, a 5km free timed run every Saturday held at various spots around the country (and world). A long, long 5 years later and the Parkrun would finally come to Lincoln. Despite waiting half a decade I wasn’t prepared for it and after some issues with trying to print out my barcode I nearly ended up missing it. After a frantic 5km dash to the start I arrived with a few minutes to spare, but barely enough to catch my breath back.
I was originally scheduled to run the Rother Valley Half Marathon on the 17th November, but earlier that week I learnt that the race had been cancelled for unforeseen (and undisclosed) reasons. Fortunately I already had a good replacement race in mind, the Stilton Stumble, as it was the race that I was originally planning to run that weekend instead. The race felt like a throwback to some of the races earlier in the year as it had more than a one challenging hill but even with my legs feeling empty it would still make for an enjoyable race.
Last year when I was trying to work out just exactly ‘what’ my big fundraising challenge would be this year one of the ideas that I had was to run 52 races in a year. Eventually this was dismissed as financially and practically it seemed impossible and I opted for the 1000KM challenge instead. As the year went on I began to find more and more races and it began to seem a little more possible, one of these races was the Nottingham Mo Run. The bright orange headband and moustache shaped medal drew my attention and when I realised that running it would mean finishing the challenge back ‘home’ in Norfolk it was a no-brainer.
After 47 long weeks the 1000KM challenge was finally brought to an end at the City of Norwich Half Marathon. More often than not every year this race came round I would be running it injured, or running it having just recovered from injury. This year was no different, having banged my knee badly at work, whilst initially appearing to be fine, it would rear its ugly head and turn the race into one of the toughest of the year. You only have to look at the best/worst photo of me running this year to see just how much pain I was in when I crossed the finish line.
So I had reached the 1000KM target the weekend before and I was suffering with a niggling knee injury, so what was I doing running another race? Surely I should have been resting up, enjoying the weekend off and allowing myself to recover? Well I should, but instead I ran the Silkstone Shuffle on one knee as my 48th race of the year as my attention now turned to running an unprecedented 52 races in 52 weeks.
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1000KM Challenge Distance: 109.45KM
Time Running Total: 08:14:57
Total Running Distance: 188.17KM
Bananas Eaten: 43
1000km Challenge Stats:
1000KM Challenge Distance: 1010.37KM
Time Running Total: 86:22:46
Total Running Distance: 2046.47KM
Bananas Eaten: 466
A look ahead to November
08/12 – Turkey Trot
14/12 – Gaddesby Gallop
15/12 – Lincoln Santa Run
22/12 – Lincoln South Common Cross Country
31/12 – Liverbird New Year’s Eve Marathon