After returning from holiday and recovering from jet lag, a family bereavement and my knee playing up. October was fast disappearing and I had yet to set myself a challenge. It came to me on my second consecutive run. How many miles could I achieve in a week? I had to abandon this straight away as I strained my calf muscle and so, spent the next few days frustratingly inactive. But, i still wanted this challenge, plus, I couldn't think of anything else.
The following week came and so i went for it. Again, this was badly planned as the previous night i had played squash for the first time in a few years and so had the dreaded squash bum and thighs to contend with. But, i was not trying to break any speed records etc and so took each day as it came and decided ad hoc on where to run and what distance depending on how i felt (which was generally pretty tired i have to say, not helped by having a groin strain by day 3).
Day1(pm) Baddesley, 8 miles off road.
One of my usual runs through uplifting wooded areas. Upset to see the loggers destroying another area of local forest - why do they do this?!
Day 2 River Itchen, 10 miles mainly off road (18)
Another favourite (in fact i love all these runs). A short road section to Otterbourne woods. Then down to the river, a stunning up and down loop of this breathtaking area.
Day 3 New Forest, 15 miles off road (33)
A superb rolling loop around Fritham. Plenty of deer, pony and donkeys to look out for to keep the mind ticking. extremely tired towards the end where i think i might of pulled my groin huddling the heath. My only run I drove to.
Day 4 Ampfield, 14 miles off road (47)
Sore groin but more energy levels (my yin yang). Weather still holding out perfectly on some great trails. Worried that evening that my challenge could be over depending on how it goes tomorrow.
Day 5 Winchester, 18 miles off road (65)
Got to Winchester via the Monarch and Claradon Ways and although my groin was stiff and unsettling it was no worse and so i pushed in an extra loop for extra mileage. Has to be one of my favourite runs (have i said that already?). It does take in all there is. Trails, woods, open land, rivers, hills, a village, a town and a city on a beautiful Autumn's day.
Day 6 Eastleigh Running Club, 7.5 miles road (72.5)
I have contemplated joining a running club for a while now. I run on my own and maybe it was worth trying to link up with like minded people. So i went down and the rain certainly came down. We ran at pace and stopped every so often for people to catch up. Not my ideal running with roads and breaks but the club itself is full of enthusiastic friendly people and so will be a good break from my routines especially through the winter.
Day 7 Southampton, 21 miles (93.5)
Stiff groin today due to the extra pace that was put on last night resulting in a very slow pace, but, I got the mileage in (and some hills). A great run, this has a strange feeling of solitude even if surrounded by 2 large towns and a city and with the fresh downpours it felt like a proper wet and muddy winter run.
Day 8 Chandlers Ford, 8 miles (Yeeha made it = 101.5)
Bread and butter run. Finished off with the run i do the most and made sure i did it before 5pm and so it falls into a calender week i have completed these runs and made my goal.
Totals : 101.5 miles in 15.5hours)
So, delighted that i had run over 100miles in a week, my previous best was around 40 miles. And now done something i know I could handle if I ever needed to do this sort of mileage again. Although next time with lessons learnt I would definitely not play squash the day before as this prevented me from doing a couple of double daily runs early in the week so that i could take in a much smaller run at some point and then maybe be able to go for an extra long run. For next time then, if i have the urge.