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9 Days, 5 Runs, 50k

Actually, it was only meant to be 7 days, 4 runs and 40k, but, annoyingly, I got the start date of the challenge wrong and so the first 10k didn't actually count towards the challenge. I wasn't going to let that get in my way though, so today, with rather weary legs, and between the showers, I set off to complete the challenge and run the final 10k.

Having had a quick recce earlier, the problematic riverside stretch that I ran on my first ever 10k turned out to be no longer submerged, so I decided to rerun that first 10k run from 1 July 2019.

So, despite it being decidedly squelchy in places and my poor trails shoes having had another 350km on them in the intervening year, the difference between then and now was just over 15 minutes.

Now, I think, I'm going to give my legs a couple of days off while I work out my next challenge.

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Another running anniversary

. On 1 July 2019, I ran my first ever non-stop 10k. I qualify the "non-stop" bit because several weeks earlier, before I'd even completed Couch to 5k, I'd covered just over 10k refereeing a rugby 7s tournament. It was stop start, spread over six 14 minute games, but I still include it in my distance totals. Anyway, I digress; 1 July was the day I completed Ju Ju's Magic 10k Plan over on Health Unlocked's Bridge to 10k Forum, so that's the day I'm counting. The time that evening was 1:19:36.

Tonight, one year on and not including the rugby tournament mentioned above, I completed my 58th run of 10k or more. When you consider the that 4 of those 58 runs were half-marathon distance, I've actually completed the 10k distance 62 times in the last 12 months. Tonight's time was 1:04:51, which is a bit off my PB of 58:58, but that wasn't what I was aiming for tonight given the conditions underfoot following several days of rainfall including some s…

From one end to the other

The accepted distance, by road, from John O' Groats to Lands End is 874 miles (1,407km). The straight line distance between the two is actually a 'mere'  603 miles but, since quite a lot of this route is through the Irish sea, which is not exactly conducive to running (and I'm a famously poor swimmer), I decided to stick with the road network for my virtual mission.

If you take Monday 11th March 2019 (when I commenced my Couch to 5k journey) as being the date I set out on my end-to-end odyssey, today I completed the final 10 miles that saw me traverse the full length of the British mainland from one end to the other.

Given the current lockdown restrictions in Scotland meaning I'm supposed to stay within 5km of my home, it's probably just as well that this has been a virtual challenge or I'd probably be in all sorts of trouble (although I could try and claim I was testing my new (at the start) running shoes to see if they fitted me properly as my justificat…


That pretty much sums up today's run. The distance, 5k, was OK. The time, 32:15 was nothing special but by no means poor based on my usual pace. I certainly want trying for any form of PB either on terms of distance or time, but I still felt somewhat deflated after it.

If it had been my plan simply to run 5k, I'm pretty sure I'd have been happy with it; box ticked, achievement unlocked, job done. The trouble was that, while I had no specific distance in mind, I had set out expecting, no, intending to run further but by the time I got to 5k, my enthusiasm had evaporated and I plodded wearily home as my 5 minute cool down.

As I said, not a bad run by any standards, and one that I'd normally be happy enough with but today has just felt a bit flat; which, given that one of the reasons I run is for the lift it gives me, makes this one all the more disappointing.

Ah well, I'm sure normal service will resume soon.

New shoes, new PB

As I mentioned in my last post, my plan for this evening was to take my new shoes out for their maiden run. By some strange coincidence, today also happens to be Global Running Day.

To mark this occasion, I decided to run the same route that I did for last year's event. The result was that this year I ran it a whole 7 minutes faster than last year.

My time of 27:22 was a new 5k PB and was 37 seconds faster than my previous best, set at the end of March.

How much of that improvement is down to the shoes, and how much is down to having had a break from running since I completed my #MilesForMind challenge on Friday is a matter of conjecture, although they did feel decidedly springier than the pair they replaced have felt in quite a while.

Anyway, it does seem like an auspicious start and hopefully it won't be the last PB I set in them.

Out with the old, in with the new...

After a little over 8 months and a little under 740 km, it is time for me, sadly, to send my trusty old Brooks Ghosts off to the great retirement home for running shoes in the sky...

Fair thee well, faithful companions, your watch is ended...

Tonight, in recognition of it being Global Running Day, it is time to take their successors out for their maiden lollop. It's fair to say they have a tough act to follow...

The Ghosts are dead! Long live the Ghosts!

#MilesForMind - Job Done!!!

At the start of the month I set myself a #MilesForMind target of 75 miles. Having started my assault on that total on Saturday 2 May with a half marathon, twelve runs later, I completed the task tonight with a 5k in glorious sunshine to bring my total to 75.59 miles. It's not impossible that I might squeeze one more run in over the weekend to stretch my total further, but those will be bonus miles; the target I set myself has been achieved, and I'm feeling decidedly chuffed with myself.

To anyone reading this who still has to reach their own target, good luck over the next few days. Happy running and stay safe.

If you feel like "congratulating" me, please do visit my Just Giving page and give whatever you can.

Into the home straight

Following my last run, I had 9 miles left to run to reach the 75 mile target I set myself for #MilesForMind. Tonight, I crossed off another 7 miles leaving me only 2 left to do.

Tonight's run followed the route that I'd originally planned to do as my last run, but the high winds that I found myself running head first into on Friday evening necessitated a change of plan. The weather this evening was much more clement and what wind there was served to stop it from becoming uncomfortably warm, which made things that much easier.

My pace was fairly relaxed as my hip, it seems, still isn't 100%. The result is I'm going to give myself an extra day off before attempting to close out my 75 mile target on Friday evening; a run that I suspect will be the final outing for my trusty Brooks Ghost 12s as, after 730 km+, they are beginning to show definite signs that they need to be retired.

The end is very definitely in sight, and I'm going to get myself over that virtual finis…

Seven days and nine miles to go...

At the beginning of the month I set myself the fairly arbitrary target of running 75 miles on behalf of Mind UK as part of the #MilesForMind challenge. The logic, such as there was, behind this target is that this year I have been typically running in the region of 120 km each month so, as long as I remained injury free and the UK lock-down response to COVID-19 didn't become any stricter, 75 miles seemed achievable.

Ten runs and 24 days later, I've chalked up a shade over 66 miles so far, meaning I have just under 9 miles left to go to complete the target I set myself.

Now, in theory, I could potentially do that in one run and, traditionally, Mondays are my long (10-12km plus) runs. There is of course a slight snag; I currently have a niggling strain in my left thigh. It's not debilitating, it's not even especially painful but I am aware of it, so rather than going for broke on my next run, I'm going to give myself another couple of days to recover and break it do…

Running with an audience

There was almost nothing notable about today's run. The distance, 10k, was fairly average in terms of recent runs. The time was pretty relaxed, the weather was fine, the route was a mix of paths that I've run many times before. It was all about just getting some miles in the legs.

At one point I noticed I was being watched rather closely by the deer in the field that I was running along side. They seemed quite interested and totally unfazed by my lack of grace and elegance, and didn't bat an eyelid when I stopped briefly to take their photo.

That was the only thing that stood out in any way; the rest of the run passed without anything further to comment on.

Sometimes it's the uneventful runs that are the best runs.

Today brings my totals to:

Runs - 4Miles - 27.8