Day 22: Monday 22nd May
When I first thought about doing this challenge in May, I (naively) imagined I’d be running under clear blue skies enjoying the gentle warmth of spring. Basically, like a scene straight out of an EM Forster novel.
Unfortunately, May ’17 has been more like one of Checkov’s Russian winters. But at long last, this looks set to change. The forecast this week is sunshine all round, with the mercury nudging upwards as the week goes on.
This morning, I ditched the running jacket and enjoyed a run in the warm, early morning sunshine. Just like I’d first imagined. And it felt amazing.
Stats: 6.3 miles, 8.00 minutes/miles. Early morning.
Run summed up in one word: warm.
Day 23: Tuesday 23rd May
If this challenge has taught me anything, it’s that I’m now a black belt in ‘sneaking in a run’.
Today, I was heading to London and wouldn’t be back ‘till late. In the past, knowing I had a day like this meant I’d just write it off for a run and think ‘It’s fine, I’ll just go tomorrow or the day after’. Now though, running comes first. And today, without thinking about it, I got up early, ran and then went about the rest of my day. Why has it taken me 39 years to figure out that fitting in a run isn’t really that hard?
Stats: 6.3 miles, 8.00 minutes/miles. Early morning.
Run summed up in one word: sneaky.
Day 24: Wednesday 24th May
Straight after work, I drove to an area of forestry just outside Cardiff. After so many road runs, I really fancied a trail run and today was perfect.
Leaving work in a rush, I’d forgotten to get changed into my running gear. So I had to do it in my car. I don’t know how Superman does it, but it’s impossible to keep your dignity (and temper) when you’re yanking off trousers and trying to squeeze on a tight pair of running shorts.
After a lot of huffing, puffing and swearing, I was set. I didn’t have a route planned, but sometimes it’s nice to just plod along and follow your nose. And that’s exactly what I did. By the end, I’d forgotten all about my car changing debacle and felt my stress levels return to normal.
Stats: 6.7 miles, 8.40 minutes/miles, trail run.
Run summed up in one word: trees.
Day 25: Thursday 25th May
What a morning. Forget the wind and the rain, this is exactly what I’d been waiting for. The type of spring morning I imagined I’d be running in for this challenge.
Well, it was worth the wait. I ran my usual 10k and if it wasn’t for an early work meeting, I’d have stayed out for another hour. It was that nice.
Stats: 6.26 miles, 7.49 minutes/mile (fastest yet), early morning.
Run summed up in one word: Halleluja
Day 26: Friday 26th May
I had a meeting near Brecon this morning. So what the hell. I booked the afternoon off, packed my running kit and got excited about running in the Brecon Beacons.
My plan was simple. Rock up to the car park at the botton of Pen y Fan, run (or more realistically, walk) to the top, then trundle along nearby ridge lines taking in the amazing scenery, before heading back down to the car park.
There was just one problem. It was an absolute scorcher. 27*C to be precise. And I’d forgotten to bring sun tan lotion. So what’s a runner to do? Well, I did it anyway. I figured I’d just have to put my foot down. In the roasting heat, that turned out to be a lot easier said than done.
Red arms aside, the run was spectacular, breathtaking and lots of other words which won’t do any justice to how it felt. And I decided I’m gonna come back soon to spend a full day exploring these amazing mountains.
Stats: 8.2 miles, 11.35 minutes/mile (trails & hills), afternoon.
Run summed up in one word: EPIC
Day 27: Saturday 27th May
What goes up, must come down. Yesterday’s exhilarating exploits in the Brecon Beacons were followed by an aching plod though Cardiff today.
Running downhill wrecks your legs. And to avoid getting sun burn, I’d hurtled my way down like a dumbass. So my legs were screaming at me for the first few miles of today’s run.
But a few aches didn’t stop me completing my 27th consecutive 10k. When I was done, I treated myself to a post-run Aperol Spritz. I don’t think they’re recommended in running magazines, but they kick ass.
Stats: 6.2 miles, 8.40 minutes/mile, morning.
Run summed up in one word: Spritz.
Day 28: Sunday 28th May
46.31. My fastest 10k of the challenge so far. Ok, so Kenenisa Bekele’s world record of 26.17 is still intact, but I’m pretty chuffed to run my quickest time exactly 4 weeks into the challenge.
And it’s made me think: if I carried on running 10k every day, how quick could I be? Who knows…Bekele certainly won’t be losing any sleep.
Stats: 6.2 miles, 7.30 minutes/mile, morning.
Run summed up in one word: Record!
Day 29: Monday 29th May
I don’t know if it’s a coincidence, but since I started this challenge I’ve been necking more coffee and tea than normal. Normally, I’d only have 1-2 cups a day. Now, I’m treating myself to 4-5.
I think it’s because all this running means I’m sleeping like a king. And if I’m sleeping well, what’s the harm in upping the caffeine? Well, I definitely overdid it on the coffee today so I’m gonna try and ease off. Sounds like another challenge.
Stats: 6.3 miles, 8.24 minutes/mile, morning.
Run summed up in one word: coffee.
Day 30: Tuesday 30th May
Ah, the last but one run of the challenge. So close I can sniff the celebratory beer.
Well, I had to work for it today. I’ve been feeling quite tired the past few days and maybe all this running is starting to catch up with me. But what an amazing thing habit is. I got up, put my kit on and sleepwalked my way out of the front door to patter out what can only be described as an early morning plod. 50 minutes later I was tucking into my post-run omelette feeling 100 times better.
Running: you’ve gotta love it.
Stats: 6.2 miles, 8.35 minutes/mile, early morning.
Run summed up in one word: penultimate.
Day 31 (last day): Wednesday 31st May
And that’s a wrap. My final run of this little challenge. Phew!
So, have I enjoyed running 10k for 31 days straight? Would I do it again? Are my legs wrecked? What’s next? Did I really chat to a guy who was trapped in his bathroom during one of my early morning runs?
Well, I’m going away for a few days which is perfect timing and a nice bookend to the challenge. I’m gonna use that time to ponder what I’ve learnt from all this running business.
In the meantime, I’m treating myself to a beer on a school night (tut tut) for completing the challenge. Cheers.
Stats: 6.2 miles, 7.53 minutes/mile, early morning.
Run summed up in two words: Job done!