A few months ago I was reading a post over on Exceed Possibility (which I recommend for those interested in adventure travel, by the way). In it, Tom, who writes the blog, posted that he’d decided to run for a hour without stopping.
Something about that inspired me. Last year I did a 3 mile run for Sport Relief, which took me about 28 minutes, and the longest I had ever run for in my training for that was 35 minutes. I decided to take Tom’s post as a challenge, and set myself the target of running non-stop for an hour by the end of the year.
I must confess that I haven’t exactly been training hard for this. I managed 40 minutes in the gym a month or two ago but the challenge had fallen by the wayside a bit until this week.
I’m off work for a couple of weeks and on Monday morning I thought I would go for a run. I usually run a set route around my house. (Having since plotted my circuit on a Google Maps distance calculator, I know that it is approximately 1.67 miles long.) Sometimes I run around it twice, sometimes only once, depending on how I feel and how much time I have. On Monday I felt good and due to not being at work I had plenty of time, so I planned to do the route twice. As I reached the end of the second circuit though, I felt good and decided to push myself and do it an unprecendented third time. At the end, I felt ok and that I could even have gone further, and though I hadn’t checked the exact time when I left, I must have been running for about 53 minutes.
I hadn’t actually been thinking about my challenge at the time, but that made it clear that I could actually do it, and soon. On Monday evening my knees were aching and on Tuesday it was the tops of my thighs, despite the fact that I’d stretched before and after, so I waited until today to try again.
I’m happy to report that I made it! I ran the circuit four times and it took 1 hour 12 minutes to cover a total distance of 6.67 miles. This is a massive improvement even on Monday’s results in terms of the distance and length of time I have run for without stopping. I’m aware that it’s not a fast time for such a distance by any means, but that wasn’t my aim.
I feel good today: not only did I manage that, I also made vegetable soup from scratch; helped get rid of a large, unwanted bush in the front garden; collected three buckets worth of dead leaves from the back garden and I’m about to pack for my trip to Oxford tomorrow.