Right, I have finally decided to join the blogging revolution in an attempt to keep all of my sponsors (and those interested) up to date with my training and my progress during my attempted York to Croydon run. As I write this there are only nine days to go until Good Friday, the day I set off from Nestle House in York and begin the lond trek south.
Training has been going well, although my body is beginning to complain about the sheer volume of running. I started a new job in Hayes a few weeks ago and have since been running to and from work every day- 11 miles each way (unless I'm feeling lazy and get the train to Syon Lane, which is a mere five mile run from work!). 22 miles a day has proved very tough and my knees are at times screaming in pain, but not having many other transport options has helped with motivation! I have also been out for the odd run with the one and only Matt Bennett on the odd evening, which brings the daily total to 3 runs on some occasions. However, I try to avoid this too often as his supreme physique makes me look really bad in front of the ladies of west London.
Over the past 18 days, I have been for a sum total of 36 runs, covering an approximate distance of 350 miles. Not too shabby- however- still some way off the mileage ratio of 60 miles a day that easter weekend is going to bring!
There have been many highlights of my training so far, including the surprise sighting of one of my idols, Property Ladder's one and only Sarah Beeny, on the Thames Path last week. As I always explain it, anyone who can knock a wall down whilst pregnant is most definitely my kind of woman! I'm pretty sure she even gave me a cheeky wink as she jogged past, but I tend to think that its probably more likely than an insect has just flown into her eye.
Another highlight has been the diet I've been able to maintain whilst training. I'm not the fussiest of eaters at the best of times, but recently I have been able to indulge myself to a pretty spectacular level- any increases in the share price of New York Bagel Co and KFC can be at least partly attributed to me. For the run itself, I am planning on eating as much as I can physically take on board (and as much as my dad can carry on the bike!). Regular trips to Tesco will be on the agenda for Bagels and other carb-filled foods, plus I will be taking a supply of Power Bar energy bars and Gatorade to last the four days. Water will be sought at every possible opportunity- after all, hydration is the key to success!
I will post a map on here so that anyone can have a look at the route we are planning to take- the first day is from York to Retford, where we have a hotel room booked, before running from there to Oakham and a slightly more comfortable hotel for the second night of unexpected cramping and Dalton senior's incessant, train-like snoring. Easter Sunday will see us run from Oakham to my dad's house in Toddington, before the final and longest day- Toddington to Croydon. Considering I spent three month's complaining about the one and a half hour train commute, this final 63 mile leg will undoubtedly be the toughest. By this point I am anticipating my body will be just about ready to give in, if it hasn't already, but as long as most of my vital organs are still working I plan to plod on, however slow and painful the progress might be. By this point I will probably want nothing more than to give up and go home- via KFC- to lie in bed and sleep until the cramp disappears. However, my plan is to push past the pain by constantly reminding myself of two things.
First and most important will be the pain and suffering that dementia patients and their families go through on a daily basis. The way I see it, no matter how difficult or painful running for around 48 hours in 4 days might be, its nothing compared to what millions of people worldwide are forced to go through every day with Alzheimers, a condition that in my opinion is arguably more debilitating than any purely physical illness. I will try to remind myself that if through the simple act of running I might be able to help improve the quality of life of just one dementia sufferer and consquently their family, then the whole thing will instantly be worthwhile. Hopefully, if I can keep this at the forefront of my mind throughout the four days, I will be able to fight of the undoubted temptation to stop and rest.
The second thing I will be reminding myself is less complex and one of the things that I am desperate to prove is true- that anything is possible. Even six or seven years ago, I struggled to run a mile without gasping for breath and would never have believed that anyone would be able to run 60 miles a day for four days. Since then, I have come to realise, often through reading about and witnessing the remarkable acts of others, that as Addidas put it 'impossible is nothing'. I aim to prove to myself that this is true and that anything, given the right level of focus and determination, is achievable.