This time last year I saw a rather innocent little post on Facebook … posted by a colleague from work. Social media can be great for some things can’t it?
My colleague set herself and anyone else who wanted a challenge in January a challenge – she asked if anyone wanted to join her in a ‘modest’ challenge to do what ever it was that might motivate them.
She chose to run a set distance, 50 miles if I remember correctly, and I chose to run 100 miles in January. It’d get me back into running after some time out recovering…
I’d had three months prior to that resting up from running after 18 months of marathon training:
– Loch Ness Marathon Sep 2015
– London Marathon Apr 2016
– Loch Ness Marathon Sep 2016
And my feet were sore, not just sore, probably overtrained and close to injured (my planters) so I decided to take 3 months where I hardly ran at the end of 2016. This challenge was just what I needed to get me going / running again.
Then I went one step further and said that I wouldn’t do any marathons in 2017. Some people didn’t believe me, but I’ve run many marathons and I know they (and the training for them) take it out of you. I thought I could use 2017 to have less pressure to train for big events, and maybe less mileage too.
Then this happened – a 100 mile target in January… it would mean and average of about 25 miles per week, which could be done… I managed to squeeze it all in.
At the end of January, I was there but did need to squeeze two runs in on the last day. My colleague got her goal too, which was well done… (and many others who signed up for their own challenge achieved too).
It’s amazing what a little challenge will do. 🙂
In January, the result was that I felt remotivated to run, I ran when I maybe wouldn’t have bothered, and I really felt a kick from the challenge.
So I decided I’d do it all year, and my 12×100 mile challenge was born.
I’ve never liked streak running, where you run every day, (I need my rest days), but this gave me a realistic goal to aim for and got me out running on many occasions when I otherwise would have decided against it for one reason or another.
Right away in February I was up against it when I got a cold right at the start of the month. I made myself have Rest days to recover (x4) and I learned that I could do this and still have the rest of any month to recoup the miles.
I usually crammed miles into the end of the month, but some months I was ahead of target all month and was able to coast to the end.
My maths failed in June and I managed to do 99 miles up to the 29th June… so I did the 1 mile the following day on the 30th June (RAGING! Lol).
I nearly gave up the challenge there and then, but I spoke with my colleague who started it all, and she reminded me I’d signed up to do it all year… 😳aaaaaghhhhhh
Then lots of running in July meant I was going to go over my target and I made up my own rules that whatever I went over in July, I’d reduce my September monthly mileage goal by… so 123 vs 77. I was on holiday in September, so it worked well.
Fast forward today, and I had 10.5 miles left to do, to get my 100 mile target for December and 12×100 for the year. 3 days to go and we had heavy snow fall, 2 days to go and it was still a bit icy, so I decided I’d leave it to the last day to complete the challenge.
The same day Storm Dylan decided to turn up. 😳 50 mile an hour winds and heavy rain – what fun! What a day… unless I had this challenge or I was rounding my annual mileage up, I don’t think I’d have run today. But I’m glad I did (and I got this after it too!)
Back to my run – I’d planned my route and decided I’d do a southside run, going through a few parks. I got up at 830am after a good sleep and had breakfast, plenty water and got wrapped up warm – 3 layers on top including my waterproof Nike running jacket, trousers and shorts on the bottom and a cap (and hood) to keep the rain away.
The buff in the picture above is attached to the hood of the jacket, and I really needed it for most of the run to protect my face. As I was sitting preparing to go out, I decided I’d do a slight variation to the run I’d planned, still southside, but including Pollok Park too.
I’d go up to and through Maxwell Park, onto Pollok and Bella Parks, then through Plantation Park and through Festival Park. Always staying on the southside of the river.
It wasn’t much fun at the start, and I think it took me about 8 miles to get into the run – I was getting blown about like I don’t know what. The wind didn’t know what it was doing, gusts going this way then that. It was great when it was behind me, and there were only a few times it was in my face (a bit in Pollok Park and outside Bella park running west).
I decided to just try to take it easy and if it felt hard (with the wind) I’d slow down. I didn’t see many other runners out – 3 guys and 2 women… a few dog walkers and a few elderly people maybe going to church.
I ran over the flyover across the M8, with about 2 mikes to go and I felt great. I’d had one energy gel with caffeine about 4 miles in, so maybe it was that or some endorphins kicking in. The last day of 2017 and I was nailing this challenge… if it was ever on doubt that I’d complete it, now I was sure to finish it.
I was blown east along the Clyde on the last stretch, my fastest mile of the run (and first sub 9 min mile of the run – 8:42, when others were between 9:07-9:48).
I stopped my watch dead on 10.5 miles, and walked the rest of the way home (about a quarter of a mile). Avg HR was 155, a little higher than normal but I’ll blame the wig for that. It was one of those runs that you’re maybe crazy to do, but feel great after it for having done it.
196 runs (16 on avg each month)
190 hours 35 minutes 49 seconds running (about 8 days in total, or 16 hrs running each month on average)
Over 100,000 calories burnt running (386 mars bars!)
Avg HR 145
A cool graph on my garmin connect (ok it’s not straight, but hey ho, neither am I 😜)
It certainly was a good challenge to motivate me … people would kind of look at me crazy when I told them… ‘no marathons for me this year… but I’m running 100 miles a month instead.’ It worked for me.
Fancy challenging yourself in 2018?
It doesn’t need to be 100 miles a month – make it realistic for you but still challenging… aim to do it January to March and if you like it, keep it going the whole year. What will you do in 2018 to challenge you?
It could be 50 miles a month, or 3 runs a week. 2 strength sessions or yoga twice a week.
Set a goal…
make it important…
work towards it…
and achieve it. 👍🏻
And if you don’t want to do it on your own, get others involved for even more motivation. 😀 make 2018 your year to shine.