The week before last I ran a marathon. 26.2 miles.
Ok, maybe I should come clean. I didn’t run that marathon. Not the London one. And actually I didn’t run the whole thing. I walked some of it. And I also didn’t do it all in one go. It was spread out over the whole week. But, despite all that, I still completed a marathon last week. Something which before I would have doubted I could do. And if I’m really, really honest, half way through the week I was still doubting I could do it. But do it I did, and actually I’m pretty damn proud of myself as it happens.
I’ve been rather quite about all my running of late. Mainly because there hasn’t been that much of it. A few 5ks here and there. A few more 3km outings. But that was it really. I’d lost some of my running mojo and being a bit ill also slowed things down. Back in January though I joined Nickie from TypeCast and her new online fitness group called Fitbitches (She’s written about it all here – towards the end of her post) and was also introduced to the concept of virtual races. I’ve realised that I need motivation to run, and as shallow as it might sound the idea of a bit of running bling is actually enough to encourage me to get my trainers on and get out of the door. So when Nickie told me about Virtual Runner UK it was problem solved. They have a whole host of virtual races and challenges that you can sign up to and so far this year I’ve added four pieces of running bling to my collection.
My aim was a medal a month, so when I was looking for something to do in April I was somewhat taken by their challenge around the London Marathon. I think it highly unlikely that I’ll ever run an actual marathon (never say never though…) but the idea of a marathon spread out over the week seemed achievable, especially because the rules said that I didn’t have to run all of it, walking was permitted. So the rule I set myself was that I was to run as much of it as possible and walk the rest. And not just count walking around the house and stuff, but specific walks, like walking to school or the shops.
All you need to do to qualify for a virtual race like this is provide evidence of what you’ve done, so in may case phone screenshots of my walk or run from MapMyRun. The biggest challenge there was remembering to actually set MapMyRun going when I left the house for a walk, especially if it was just for the school run. My attention was normally given to trying to get two children, plus assorted book bags, coats, scooters, homework and water bottles out of the house on time!
What I’m most proud of though is that I did it. In a week I managed to record a total distance of 43.67km (a marathon being 42.2km) and that just came from the times that I remembered to set it recording. There were many more school runs when I simply forgot to do so.
And my prize for completing the challenge?
This amazing, spinning, medal! Which has to be one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen.
So, what next though for my running? Well, after a bit of a mad week I actually struggled to get out again for a week and a half, but this morning I pulled my trainers back on and managed a fast 3km before 7am. Maybe the running bug is back. I just need a challenge to sign up for in May to keep up my medal a month plans!