Monday, 24 March 2014

Running To Remember: The final stretch.

When my Run To Remember Challenge began on December 1st 2013, I (perhaps like some others?) thought that running 'only' 2 miles each day was going to be relatively easy.  In fact I thought it was so easy that I immediately started to run more than 2 miles everyday.. Sometimes 2.5 and sometimes just over 3. Perhaps that's where I went wrong?

I was only 2-3 weeks into the challenge when my shins completely gave up. The pain I had in my legs when I ran was so unbearable it made me cry. I cried for the pain and I cried because I thought I would be unable to finish the challenge - a heart wrenching thought when I am 1 of 1800 runners nationwide running for a cause I feel strongly about.

After intense Physio and a LOT of rest I was able to start going out again to slowly jog no more than 1 mile every 3 days.. And even then my Physio was against it. But at that point I was SO far behind on my miles I HAD to carry on. Giving up was not an option. 

Some days were better than others. I've signed up for smaller challenges and earned medals whilst donating my own money to other charities.
I've shaved my 5k personal best from 38 minutes to 32 minutes, my fastest mile has gone from 12 mins to 9 and my furthest run distance (without any stops) is 4 miles, up from 1! But some days the twinge of pain would return and even after all the Physio - I have since been unable to run every day. :(  I have had no option but to complete some of my miles by walking them. I'm gutted to have had to do this, as the idea was to run to remember, not walk. But rather than stop all together, I've carried on - just slower. 

There have been days where I've felt poorly, days that the weather has been awful, and days where I've simply had time to do nothing else around my shifts than go out and cover more miles. But that's what I've done. 

Run To Remember has been the longest challenge I've ever commited to. 250 days is a long time, and running/walking has pretty much taken over my life and right now I am struggling through to the end. I know there are runners who have already smashed the 250 mile target, and so I feel like a bit of a 'let down' that I'm struggling even whilst walking, but thankfully there have been days where I haven't been alone. Some days I've persuaded my OH to walk with me, and some days my mate J has suggested long walks together to encourage me to cover more miles. (Thank you!)

I am now 12 days away from the final finish line & I have all sorts of mixed feelings. 
I'm still sad that I cannot run everyday.
I'm happy that I CAN at least run though - that's more than some people can say so I am grateful for that.
I'm nervous about fitting in the rest of my miles.. I still need to cover 50 miles in 12 days, that's 4.16 every single day..the pressure really is on. 
I'm glad that the end is almost here, my knees are starting to take a bashing and my legs feel tired all the time.
I'm excited for the final 2 miles..I wonder what it will feel like when I reach that long awaited goal?

Most of all I am proud. I'm proud of myself for sticking with it when I had a reason to stop. I'm proud of all the other runners who have battled through an array of problems themselves and still carried on. I'm proud to be part of the Run To Remember family who have grown fond of each other throughout the challenge, and of course I am proud to do what I said I would when you all pledged your money towards the PC Hughes Memorial Fund.

Thank you all for your sponsorship, it makes it all worthwhile, knowing that you believe in me and my capability to cover 250 miles, and that you feel strongly enough about the charity to give your hard earned cash.

Many of the R2R runners from all over the country are coming together to run the final 2 miles in unison on April 4th in Manchester at the Sport City Athletics track at 12pm. (M11 3FF) If you would like to come along and show your support, you are more than welcome! Please let me know if you are interested.. It will be an emotionally charged afternoon I'm sure!

What have you done today to make you feel proud?

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