8 Sep 2013

698.64 - 708.64KM: The Lone Runner (Solo Run)

Today a run of 11 consecutive races, dating back July 14th, was ended as I ran a solo run to break the 700km mark. It wasn't my intention not to run a race this weekend, there were two I could have entered on the day, but after spending most of Saturday either asleep or in bed it felt like my body was trying to tell me something. After not getting to sleep till gone 2am last night because I couldn't breathe, the decision was made for me.

So instead at 11am I left my house to run a solo 10k. The night before I knew that I was stubborn enough to run my 35th race of the year today, but having already spent the past couple of days flirting with a cold, doing so on 4 hours sleep would have been a terrible idea. With a big few months of races coming up, it made sense to just sit today out and run at my own pace and adapt if need be. It could be argued, mainly by Jenny, that I shouldn't have even be going for the gentle run I did, but I vowed at the beginning of the year to run every weekend, rain, shine, illness or injury.

No other runners in sight...
Next year, after I have recovered from the physical toll of this one, I intend to take my up running up a level or two, focussing on the marathon distance. It is no secret that the incredible exploits of Julie Weiss, Eddie Izzard and Richard Whitehead have inspired me this year, and will continue to in the future. I always thought that the 1000km challenge this year had the potential to be the start of something and I'm more than interested in the idea of doing something massive, such as the 52 marathons in 52 weeks or Lands End to John o'Groats run. Not next year though, next year I imagine I'll be sleeping a lot more and enjoying spending my weekends with Jenny.


Today's run was all about exploring, if the intended serious marathon training and the aforementioned challenges are to be anything other than crazy dreams, a lot of running will need to take place. So I thought it was time to start finding new running routes, so to keep things fresh I headed South, rather than North, and through some nearby villages. I've always felt that the best way to explore somewhere is in a pair of running trainers, today I got a head start on next year, when I intend to cover most of Lincolnshire in my trusty Asics.

It always frustrates me when I miss a race, regardless of the reason why, as ideally I would run every single km of this 1000km challenge in a race as I feel it legitimises the challenge, but sometimes I'm forced on a solo run instead. Today I added another 10km to my target, to make up for not making it to the East Coast Classic 10k in Mablethorpe this morning. With the 'World's Biggest (and Greatest)' Half Marathon, the Great North Run, next Sunday I knew I couldn't push things too hard as I was still suffering from whatever bug had affected me for the past couple of days. The longer the run went on, the better I began to feel, after I finished the 6.2 miles I carried on and ran another 4, taking the long way home. Turns out running can cure anything.


There was also one other reason as to why it made sense to sit out this weekend's race and that was financial. Whilst truthfully there is little money can do to directly improve Jenny's condition, I still view this year as an investment into Jenny's health. There has been a couple of times this year where I have had to make a decision on which race to enter based on the cost of entry (and travel etc.) rather than my own personal preference.

With Jenny unable to work a full time job because of her health and more often than not even unable to work her part time one, the financial onus is very much on me. So sometimes, such as this week, I have to make the tough decision not to enter a race, when it means saving for another one later in the year. I was reminded of this after booking accommodation yesterday for the Great South Run in Portsmouth, a race that will involve 400+ mile round trip.

Without going into too much detail this year I'm guaranteed to enter a minimum of 40 races, likely to be somewhere between 40 and 50, and whilst entry into some of these have been subsidised by the charity, the vast majority of these have been paid for by myself. If you then factor in travel costs and occasional accommodation, it's easy to see how a lot of my spare money each month goes into this challenge. That is why I set myself the fundraising target of £6,000 this year, a figure I felt was significant but also achievable. Many people said that I was being optimistic with this target, but given the effort I would be putting in, I felt that such a figure matched it.

There is also one other financial reason behind missing the race today, the small matter of Jenny's birthday on Thursday. After the year(s) that she's had, she deserves to be spoilt a little, so if not entering the race means an extra present for her, then good. It goes without saying that top of Jenny's list would be better health (I'm certainly doing what I can to help that), quickly followed I'm sure by kittens and cake, and yes that was a non-too subtle a hint to take a visit to my JustGiving page.


Finally, next week is the start of National Eczema Week (14th - 22nd September) and I plan to be very busy, so keep your eyes peeled for some special posts. The big feature of this week though will be the Bake Sale I'm hosting on the 21st at ASDA Living in Lincoln, where I plan to have dairy and gluten free bakes, alongside what people would consider the 'normal' stuff. So if you're in and around Lincoln in a couple of Saturday's time, please pay us a visit.

As always, please visit http://www.justgiving.com/shanes1000km and donate what you can and please share news of what I am doing with others.

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Distance: 10.00km | 6.21 miles

Time: 00:48:21
Official Time: N/A
Average Pace: 04:50 min/km | 7:47 min/mi

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