2 years and 11,922 miles later.
Every single day, for two years. That’s what it’s been. Marked typically by the Barnsley 10k the local race I had to miss in 2015. Due to sickness, laying in bed for the full day listening to the wind smashing on the window. Marking the end to my first streak of something like 4-5 month. Laying there regretting not going out. Never wanting to feel that way again.
In this two years, running has given me something to do. It’s given me an addiction, an adventure every single day. Most days twice; sometimes even 3 times in a day. I’ve had 31 Mile training days, I’ve had my lowest at 3/5 mile. I’ve had 70 Mile weeks and I’ve had 175 Mile weeks! In fact I lie, I’ve had a 73 mile training day, the whole of Barnsley, that was training, right? I’ve recovered, sometimes, and every single time, every single day, got my shoes on and got back out. Some days, I’ve definitely not felt like running. Some, I’ve felt ready to conquer the world, taken the rough with the smooth and rolled with it. I’ve not had any expectations, every single race isn’t a PB dream, or the chasing of a goal. They’re races, they’re runs, practicing for the next. Just a step in front of the other. The idea of running every single day, gives running meaning, gives it something a little more than a hobby. It becomes a lifestyle, if you want to be a runner, run. It’s a simple game. Life factors can get in the way, problems arise, but at the end of the day, running will always be there, the feet will meet the surface and 20-30 minutes is time to take you away from everything else. It’s a lifestyle now, something I do to survive, as simple as eating, showering and hydrating. I struggle to ever find a good enough excuse to stop at the minute, one day I might come across one. We shall see. I’ll just not tell you how much the shoes have cost me over the 2 years, but I’ll give you an handy tip. Ever heard of eBay? You also don’t want to see my ‘finishers t-shirt’ drawer(s)…
Running the past couple of years for me has improved and that for me is down to this whole streaking business, I’ve gone from a 2:53 marathon runner at an absolute struggle. To a 2:37 surprise PB recently at York. I’ve dipped from a 82 minute Half Marathon runner, to a 74 minute PB. Thats in the space of 2 years of streaking! I’ll not bore you with all the facts and figures, but I will put in a simple term. I have improved, who says you need a rest day?
My miles haven’t been too short either, in 2 years I’ve knocked out a figure that looks something rather like this…..
11,922 miles, did I tell you that?
Thats including racing 12 marathons, 28 half marathons, loads of 10k’s, around 104 parkruns and even ran around the whole of the Barnsley Boundary in a day. But still lacing my shoes up and getting out there the day after that as well.
They say it takes 10,000 hours of practice to make you a master at something? I’ve only done about 1600 hours of running in these 2 years. So maybe I’m nearly there?
In the beginning of all of this, that kid who entered a marathon to raise some money for Cancer Research UK, definitely didn’t see himself here. He definitely didn’t envisage himself running the amount of miles he has. I was content on doing short runs at that time to train for a marathon. But you know what, running has been the single greatest thing that I have found. Its allowed me to explore, have my own adventure, put myself through the pain and torture; then get back up and go again. Its brought me a large and interesting social circle from every single background, its introduced me to all walks of life. Its taught me many lessons about myself and the world around me. Its allowed me to learn things that I never ever thought relevant. This won’t appear on my Power of 10 profile and most of all of this will go unnoticed, its training after all. Its a silent game, a secret and lonely adventure, shared between me and the streets, fields, trails, beaches and track. Its lacing my shoes up, sticking my shorts on and going for a run. Being out there and seeing what the world has to offer today. Running when dehydrated, cold, warm, ill, stressed, starving, pained and tired. Knowing that whatever I’m doing right now, right this minute is worthwhile. Its meaningful and its working on making me a better person than I was yesterday.
All of this from the simple form of running, one step in front of the over, 1 mile a day. Thats all it takes, maybe go a little further, try something different. You are a runner? Aren’t you? Try a streak, try a week, maybe a month. I dare you to try a year? Seriously, most of all………
Just Keep Running.