It’s my daughters birthday today, she’s 31 and we had a lovely weekend celebrating. It reminded me just how close I am getting to the big 50 this May. I’m really looking forwards to being able to say I’m half a century old although I’m not sure it will make a lot of difference, my granddaughter still thinks she knows more than me at 9! I will continue to kid myself that I’m getting older and wiser.
A very busy start to the year, starting a new role at work and getting to know colleagues in the Nordic region with trips to Germany, Finland, Norway, Sweden and Denmark. Planning Run the World and trying to fit training in has been a challenge but I have had some fun trying out new winter kit in Nordic temperatures as low as to -15C. However hard it is balancing work schedules, family and running, its also a great opportunity to experience different cultures as I Run Europe in 2018, so no complaints.
Last week I was in Turku, Southwestern Finland, running along the River Aura, in the early hours and dark evenings. The River was literally frozen over and a few fearless locals were skiing on it! I could have actually have run on water but I stuck with the tow paths. It gave me a fabulous opportunity to really test my new kit, big thanks to my sponsors Ron Hill, Altra and Yorkshire Runner. A few of you have been asking about what kit to wear in such temperatures and, though I’m no expert, I’ve had a few absolute winners and a few failures too, so I’ll share my experiences, later this week.
Freezing temperatures made nose breathing very challenging, as I’m sure you can imagine but I stuck with it. I am determined to continue with John Douillard’s approach to Effortless Running, trying out ‘Breath Easy’ strips this week. By combining Chi Running, which I learnt almost 10yrs ago, and Nose Breathing, I’m hoping I’ve found the key to minimizing stress on my body. My heart rate is much lower, but I’m going very, very slowly – by March I should start to see a difference, ready for my next big challenge.
Excitement has started to build for the next stage of Run the World- finishing the run across Germany and continuing on to Czech Republic, destination Karlovy Vary. On St Patricks Day I will start running from the exact spot I stopped in December, Eversberg, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. I will run solo for 400k to Karlovy Vary, a beautiful spa town with famous thermal springs. It will be a roughly a marathon a day for 10 days. This will break my record for the longest run I’ve ever done.
It will be one more country border crossed and one more ‘longest ever’ mental and physical boundary crossed. I love the way my mind does not conceive of the fact that this is impossible anymore. It makes me realise again, that regardless of age, we can continually break our self imposed boundaries, and those boundaries others set for us, achieving tomorrow what today might seem completely impossible. Run the World is no longer impossible, its perfectly possible and its happening.
Planning is already underway for the main event of my 50th year, as in mid to late summer I will run continuously for 6 weeks. My aim is to complete around 1200k until I reach the Adriatic Coast and get closer to concluding my Run across Europe – Continent 1 of Run the World.