What a great challenge this was! A brilliant way to round off a year full of running. The idea of the challenge is to set a target distance (50km, 100km, etc) and log those miles and kilometers in your own time between 1st and 25th of December. I set a target of 150km (about 93 miles) which was high considering the distance on my runs had tailed off somewhat following the Oxford Half Marathon in early October. I managed to get off to a good start with a medium and a long run on the first weekend in December clocking up nearly 26km (16 miles). The following weekend did not follow suit. It started with some Parkrun tourism in Cardiff which was a really enjoyable course and I had a good run at it but after that the focusing switched to socialising and then ‘holiday’ mode as I stayed over in the Brecon Beacons and ended up drinking more wine than expected so didn’t manage to get the trainers on on the Sunday morning.
The following weekend I took myself down to the Ridgeway for some trail running practice. That was such an amazing morning. The forecast had been for rain but it was beautifully clear, crisp winter morning and I managed 8 miles of very enjoyable but challenging running (and photographing!). A few less than originally planned but definitely enough of a workout for the legs.
Although still managing to get some shorter runs logged on the weekdays I ended up getting towards the final weekend before Christmas with around 50km still to run. That’s a marathon (26.2) plus just less than 5 miles. Make or break time. The organisers of the challenge are really flexible so at this point I had the option to call it quits, claim a medal based on having run 100km already and donate any extra to another runner falling short, or keep going. I decided to keep going and just see if I could do it. Saturday, after having taught classes and before going to get my nails done I squeezed a 6 mile session in. Then on Sunday, suffering a horrible hangover from work drinks the night before I somehow jogged 7 miles. On the Monday, thankfully no work so I had time, and had recovered enough, for a 13.5 mile slog up to Oxford and back. I was gearing up to have a double run day and finish off the final 4 miles that evening but after seeing a message pop up that Christmas Day runs could be included in the total decided to save that for the morning. A shorter, faster push to finish the distance. Repeatedly refreshing Strava until the total for the month to date showed 151km. I actually did it! Now it’s time to relax and enjoy Christmas!