Sunday, 1 February 2015

Run Forrest Run

Number 4 on my #40before40 was to run 850 miles in 2014.

Flashback a decade and setting this target would have seemed like a dream, rather than a potential reality.

Growing up I'd always I enjoyed watching and taking part in sport: football, tennis, cricket, swimming, hockey, basketball and rugby. 

Although running was one of the sports at school I didn't really take to. I think that point was bought crashing home when I stumbled across the line to finish last in the 800m at school sports day when I was about 15. 

It was a bad performance, although not as bad as when I was entered for the javelin, even though I'd never shown any particular skill in this area.

I was number 13 to throw and as I ran up on a grey, drizzly summer's day, my less than grippy trainers gave way below me and I slipped over. Cue mass howls of laughter from the sidelines as the javelin went about 30 cms over the white line and I landed on my arse.

I somehow kept my feet behind the line and avoided a foul throw, meaning that my misery was compounded and the throw was measured. 

As I entered my 20s, I became less active and, for a number of reasons, developed a pretty poor lifestyle. I was unhealthy and overweight.

When I moved to our old flat to Falmouth when I was 29 I decided that one of my challenges I wanted to achieve before I was 30 (in 2005) was to lose weight and get fit.

So, I started to run.

To begin with I could barely get round Pendennis Point, which is just a couple of miles, but I kept going. I kept setting myself targets and kept, literally, plodding away.

I got to the position where I could run round Pendents Point in one go without walking, so I pushed it a bit further, and then a bit further.

By 2008 I'd run my first half marathon (Truro) and my first marathon (New York). I'd also taken part in two triathlons (Perranporth and Helston).

And like Forrest, I just kept running (also, we don't have a shed, so to get some space from the girls and to clear my head instead of going to the shed, I go running).

At some point in late-ish 2012 I downloaded the Log Your Run app to my phone. I wanted to keep a record of how much running I'd done.

On New Year's Eve 2013 I checked the app and it said I'd run around 800 miles.

"Wow!" I thought to myself. That was great, but I think I can beat that. 

So I set a target of 850 miles, which I thought would be achievable, but also push me a little bit.

Now, on checking the Log Your Run website, I discovered that on New Year's Eve 2013 I'd misread the data on the app. It had showed me the amount of running I'd done since I downloaded the app, not since January 1, 2013.

In fact I'd 'only' done 664.1 miles during 2013.

Running total for 2013

And instead of getting up to 850 miles, I'd recorded 522 miles in 2014.

Running total for 2014

There are a couple of reasons for the drop in miles: I played a lot of football in April and May, which meant I was unable to get out running; and I started having session with a personal trainer, so I often did sets of reps instead of going for a run.

Despite being down on my targets, I'm chuffed with the total for 2014. 

There were some great runs and events thrown in, such as the Classic Quarter (where I beat my 2013 time), Rock Solid (where I came 271st out of 1880 entrants) and the Rok 5k.

I'll just have to see if I can increase the miles to 800 + in 2015!

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