Past, present and future

I made it!  Thirty consecutive days of exercise for Juneathon, thirty blogs detailing the process.  It feels so good!

Firstly, I shall dispense with the formalities – today, Day 30, saw me controversially complete (for me) a long mid-week run.  I set out with the goal of covering 9km (which would take me to 130km covered in Juneathon) around Witney which would give me the option to curtail the run early if I was just too knackered or stretch it out if I was feeling good.

I started off at a comfortable pace of 5m30 per kilometre and after completing the Deer Park Road ascent I upped the pace a little before hitting a sticky patch around 7km.  I think my body finds a brick wall to hit at the 7k mark – it seems my issues frequently occur there.  I managed to retain a decent enough pace and finished the last 2k strongly, considering I was knackered and had slightly misjudged the length of my route so had to do laps of the neighbouring close to make up the 10k!

Rather ridiculously I completed the 10k in 52m47, just one minute over my official PB and over a minute quicker than my Thame 10k time.  It proves two things – considering I was “taking it easy”, I definitely have the ability to beat my PB this year and just how much the heat of Sunday affected my performance.

Sitting here having completed my first Juneathon I find myself looking back and forth.  I time that is – I’m not sat shaking my head manically!

I look back to May 31.

Written in my pre-Juneathon blog post were the words: “I write this nervously, having only decided to embark on Juneathon for sure as I type this.” (The typo has been changed to protect the innocent!)

I was new to blogging and I was only 2 months into a new challenge that saw me run twice or 3 times a week.  I was right to be nervous.  Could I step up to the plate and exercise everyday for a month?  Would I be able to find something to blog about everyday for a month?

In reality I had entered Juneathon with no expectations, with pre-formulated excuses tucked away in case of emergency.  It didn’t take long for me to get hooked and to get competitive – mostly with myself!  I’ve got a real sense of achievement from Juneathon.  Here are just some of my successes (and some stats – to please my inner-Statto):

  • Blogged for the first time, blogged on 31 consecutive days, received over 41 views per day on average (prior to today)
  • Exercised for 30 consecutive days
  • Ran 131km in a month across 27 runs, the most I have run in a month ever
  • Ran 9 days in a row (including a sneaky pre-Juneathon warm up on 31 May)
  • Obtained a personal best 3k time of 13m51 (and quickest average pace ever of 4m37/km)
  • Obtained a personal best 5k time of 24m34
  • Obtained an unofficial (i.e. non-race) personal best 10k time of 50m52
  • Ran with 2 of my 3 biggest running influences & friends – Steve  Naylor & Pat Hudson
  • Discovered swimming as a decent cross-training option and recorded my longest swim session ever – 510m
  • Gained 79 followers on Twitter and made some great cyber-friends along the way

Having covered the present and the past, all I’m left with is the future.

To many Juneathoners, today marks The End, and fair play to them.  A lot of Juneathoners (30 at the time of writing) have run further than me, some stupendously further (@kevinforeman 650km, @mrafletch 424km & @runningman856 380km).  They deserve a rest.

For me, this is just the beginning of the next chapter – I’ve got a challenge to complete!

Thanks to Juneathon I am now over a third of the way through my 800km fundraising challenge for Maggie’s Centres but there is still so much further to go.  My boss suggested I do a personal Julyathon but I’m not sure I, or The Wife (who has been incredibly patient, understanding and hardworking during Juneathon with all the extra laundry, mealtime changes & blogging time!) could cope with that.

We’ve got friends coming to dinner tomorrow night so it’ll be the first proper rest day in a  month.  And then I think I’ll be aiming to hit at least 4 runs a week to take advantage of the long summer days and clock up as many miles as possible.

To all of you who have read my first ever series of blogs I thank you for your support, comments and encouragement.  I hope you have enjoyed reading them as much as I have enjoyed writing them.  The end of Juneathon won’t see the end to my blogging but I can say for certain that I will not be blogging anywhere near as frequently – it’s just too time consuming and I’ve got a wife to give some attention!

There is just one final thing for me to say.  It’s a bit of a favour really.  If you have read my blog and enjoyed just one of my entries please can you promise that you’ll do (at least) one of the following in the next week:

And this is really cheeky, but if you don’t ask, you don’t get:

Thank you all for reading my ramblings and thank you in advance for doing me a favour!

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