Wednesday 1 January 2020

Virtual Running - part 1

I really like running.
I like the way it gives me space to think about nothing.
I like the control it gives me over my body, allowing me to eat cake if I want to.
I like finding out what my body can do and how far I can push myself.
I’ve run 5k, 10k, 10 miles, half and full marathon distances and have some PBs that I am very pleased with.
But I don’t think running should be just about how fast you go.

Over 2019 I decided to challenge myself to do at least 10,000 steps every day.  Going for a 30 minute run and taking the dog for a walk most days made this totally possible and I managed 172 days (5.6 months) before I had to take a trip to Leeds for work and missed it by 2000 steps.  I then managed another streak of 75 days which would have given me 247 days (about 8 months) if I hadn’t had to go to Leeds.
I’m now in a job where hitting 10,000 every single day is a bit harder so I wondered what other challenge I could give myself to help motivate me to get out of the door.

Totally by chance, I came across a virtual challenge that really inspired me.
Virtual running (or walking, swimming and cycling) mean you log your distance with an activity tracker then send the results to the organiser.  If you meet your target you get a nice shiny medal. This means you could do a challenge like running from London to Paris without actually having to leave the country, and in a time frame of your choosing.
Doing a monthly challenge doesn’t really motivate me as too many things could go wrong within the month to mean you don’t hit your target which means I probably wouldn’t be as ambitious as I could be.
But what about over the course of a whole year?  Then if you have a bad month, you can make it up later.

So imagine my excitement when I came across a set of challenges to complete over 2020.  
The challenge is to run 220 miles ‘along’ the River Severn; 291 miles ‘along’ the Cambrian Way; 214 miles London to Paris and 277 miles ‘along’ the Grand Canyon.  Added together they make 1002 miles to run in 12 months.

If I make it I will have 5 shiny medals (the 4 above and one for 1000 miles) to add to my collection but I will also have had a nice way to motivate myself when it’s cold outside and I’d rather get the tube than run across London to the office.

Based on what I’ve done this year I think it is possible, but I’m looking forward to seeing how far I can go rather than how fast.