We have reached day 31 of the 2014 5×50 challenge. That’s a whole month of the challenge completed; a month of exercising every day. I have also passed the 100 km mark for the challenge and that’s a good feeling.
The mathematically astute among you will quickly note that 100 km over 31 days doesn’t average out to 5 km per day. You would be right. You see, today my tally on the 5×50 website says:
What it doesn’t show is that I have spent some of those days playing football (and I have absolutely no idea how far I run in an hour of football so that goes down as a zero) and I have spent some of those days in the swimming pool. One of the great things about the 5×50 challenge is that it gives you the option to substitute 30 minutes (or more) of an alternative activity. 30 minutes in the pool is achievable; 5 km in the pool would take me hours.
I am pleased that I have managed to still average over 3 km per day, even allowing for the pool days and the football sessions. This year, as well as challenging myself to actually finish the challenge, I also wanted to complete more running days. Back in 2012, when I completed my first 5×50 challenge, my saviour was my bike and I spent several days quickly churning through 5 kms on two wheels. Whilst this did mean that I covered the requisite distance, I was doing it in the quickest and easiest way. Was that the best approach to the challenge?
This time around, I haven’t clambered onto my bike once. Instead, I have tried to get as many running days under my feet as I sensibly could. My knees may not allow me to run every day but I have managed many more running days than I had first thought. This has included two visits to the Parke parkrun where I was able to get my 5 kms completed in the beautiful Dartmoor landscape of Parke.
And at the risk of sounding incredibly smug, I have also been able to attend several guilt-free festivals during the past 31 days, including the Bay Horse Easter Beer Festival, the Tuckers Maltings Beer festival and the Exeter Festival of Food and Drink. Guilt-free because I was able to sip that pint or tuck into that burger (or, on a good day, both) knowing that I already had my 5 km under my belt. A 5 km run in the morning and a trip to a beer festival in the afternoon: it pretty neatly encapsulates what I was aiming to achieve when I first wrote the tag line that you will find up there at the top of each page of this blog.
Crikey, I do sound a bit smug don’t I?
Before I get carried away, there are still three weeks to go, still plenty of kms to get through before I can say that I’ve completed this challenge. One month in, however, and I’m feeling reasonably confident that I will get there. I also have an additional challenge to undertake this weekend because, spurred on by the 5×50 challenge, I have entered my first ever race. Okay, so the website technically calls it a “fun run” but I’m not expecting it to be that much fun. It is part of Relish Running Races series of races this Sunday at Killerton, home to the killer parkrun and it is my first paid entry to a running event. It’s not much in the grand scheme of things, but it is a first for me and it has been inspired by the 5×50 challenge.
All I need to do now is to try and conserve some strength before Sunday. Whilst still completing my 5 kms each day. Any thoughts?