So here we are; 2 weeks before I start my #100mile24hour run for CHUF (Children’s Heart Unit Fund at the Freeman Hospital), so I think it’s only appropriate that I write a little bit about it and how I’m feeling.
I still can’t quite believe it’s come round so quickly; it seems only yesterday that I sat and read about the amazing Chris Brisley (Twitter @TakeaChallenge) and his 101 mile run from coast to coast in Devon. The more I thought about his run the more I knew it had lit something inside of me. The thought of taking on such a solo challenge really appealed to some sadistic part of me and it felt like a fantastic opportunity to tell as many people about CHUF whilst hopefully raising a lot of money along the way. At the time I never considered the volume of training I would need to complete over the next 6 months and I can completely understand why my wife looked at me like I had two heads as I announced my intentions.
Having spoken to Chris and my wonderful physio Damon (Twitter @MySportsClinic) I quickly understood the areas that I would have to focus on during my preparation. Much to my surprise this wasn’t just about running hundreds of miles; but upper body and leg strength and most importantly my core stability. The outcome of this has been that I have completed roughly 10-12 core stability sessions per week for months now, and as much as I hate it, daily leg weights sessions that never seem to get any easier. On top of this I have supplemented my running with more hours on my indoor bike turbo trainer than I care to remember and my running mileage is as high as it was when I used to compete as a half decent Half Marathon runner!
To put this in perspective, when I used to compete as a runner I would run around 70-100 miles a week through the winter; this would equate to around 12-13 hours training a week. For the past 3 months I have maintained a weekly training volume of over 16 hours, with some weeks in excess of 20 hours. Yet as I sit here really thinking about it, I have not got a clue whether it’s been sufficient. How much training is enough when you are taking on such a huge challenge and is it possible to ever feel physically ready? I think not!
I understand that the 100 mile run represents not only the hardest physical challenge I have ever taken on, but also the most demanding psychologically and emotionally. It will force me to search inside myself far deeper than ever before and probably take me to emotional places that are quite dark. However let me assure you of one thing; I will finish it!
The reason I will finish it is because of Seb and all the other heart children. The pain I have endured during the training and then the run itself are insignificant when compared to what Seb suffered after his surgery. So when things get tough and I feel like I can’t go on; I will remember the long hours when Seb lay in Intensive Care, with more tubes and wires than seem possible for one so small. I will remember the 6 hours when Nadine and I had to distract ourselves whilst he was on the operating table, and I will remember the day that we thought we might lose him. Then I will put my head down, wipe away the tears and carry on; because it is all I can do.
All I ask of everyone else is to help me spread the word of this run (#100mile24hour), the charity that it’s all about (CHUF) and how people can donate (see below)? If I don’t achieve success in these areas then all this has been is a slightly deranged ‘heart’ Daddy running a lot of miles in a huge amount of pain for nothing!
I will be starting the 100 mile run at Eyemouth (10 miles north of Berwick on the South Eastern coast of Scotland) on Friday 6th April at 11am and will make my way down the Northumberland Coastal Path. The plan is to finish on the golden sands of Tynemouth Long Sands Beach at 10.30am on Saturday 7th April, so feel free to pop down and see me limp over the finish line.
I promise you I will finish this, but I need your help to make it a success. Thank you.
To follow my progress, find us on Twitter @Seb4chuf.
To donate please text ‘CHUF99’ and £5 or £10 to 70070