My latest challenge: running at least 10K every day throughout 2016

 

I have never been a particularly good runner but it’s something I enjoy doing and I’ve run a handful of marathons over the years (nothing particularly fast so don’t be too impressed!). This year, though, is a little different. I have set myself a running challenge that will really test me: to run at least 10K every day throughout 2016 in a bid to raise money for St. Mary’s Hospice. St Mary’s Hospice provides specialised supportive and palliative care for people with life limiting conditions throughout South Cumbria where I live.

Running up Scout Scar

Regardless of the aches and pains, regardless of my travels, regardless of the weather and regardless of my work commitments, I’ll be doing my utmost to keep to my goal of running at least 10K each and every day of the year, and will be looking to raise 10K (£10,000) for charity in the process. The distance itself isn’t so bad, but doing it ‘day in, day out’ is going to be really challenging. It means that I’m running the equivalent of around a marathon every 4 days – throughout the year.

Running with George

I’m preferring to run off-road most of the time, to minimise impact on my joints, often accompanied by our dog, George, who loves coming out with me but must be covering about five times the distance I am doing due to the amount he runs back and forth. It’s quite hilly where I live and already I’ve clocked over 300 miles and completed more than 30,000 feet of ascent (that’s higher than Everest is from sea level!).

George

And it has already been testing at times. When in Turkey recently, I knew I was going to be busy all day (attending the World Tourism Forum, followed by a blogger event in the evening), so got up at around 6am in order to pound the streets of Istanbul in darkness before the long day ahead. I did at least get to see a lovely sunrise on that occasion.

Sunrise in Istanbul

I’ve also suffered with Achilles tendonitis a little, but am managing to keep those pains at bay by rolling the backs of my calf muscles over a rolling pin (sounds odd, I know, but it was a tip I picked up on YouTube and it seems pretty effective should any fellow sufferers wish to know!). And just a couple of days ago, I fell whilst out on my run, hurting my knee and a rib (I’m wondering if I’ve cracked a rib), so yesterday’s run proved to be particularly challenging… but I’m pleased to say I made it despite the discomfort!

I’ll be reporting on my progress from time to time, primarily on my justgiving page, so please follow me there. If you could be so kind as to make a donation, that would be really appreciated – your money will go to a great cause. If you aren’t able to donate, if you could simply share this page with friends or on your social media channels, that would be fantastic also. Thank you for your support!

You can make a donation by visiting my JustGiving page at http://www.justgiving.com/notanother10k – thank you!

Comments (26)

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  1. Liz Peterson says:

    Wow, Paul! That is super awesome and such a fantastic way to explore new cities!

    Watch that injury though. I have an IT-Band injury at the moment and it’s no fun at all going from lots of running to total rest. Good luck with the fundraising – I have no doubt you’ll crush 10k!

  2. This is a wonderful cause to be a part of! Not only do you end up maintaining a healthy lifestyle, you’re also committed to a meaningful cause! What a great goal for the year! I’ve always put a lot of emphasis on making sure the body is lithe and healthy all year round so I can enjoy my life and my travels. I am not that great of a runner either but it’s such an easy work out – you can squeeze it in anywhere in the world! It also helps me clear my head. Good luck on this endeavour, Paul! I’m rooting for you!

  3. What a fantastic challenge! I know how on some days running 10k seems like a step too far, but forcing yourself to do it EVERY day is impressive. What an example of grit and perseverance.

  4. Paul Johnson says:

    Thanks, everyone! I’ve had some challenging days already.

    As mentioned in the blog post, I fell the other day and, at first, I thought I’d just hurt my knee (and pride, although I think only one person may have seen me go over!). Later, though, my lowermost rib on my right side was quite painful – I’m not sure I’ve cracked it, but bruised at the very least and still tender now. Running the next day with that discomfort was certainly testing, and it was a very slow one!

    Today (run number 51) was another challenge. I am away at a sailing event at the moment but seem to have left my trainers at home. I didn’t realise until later in the day when I came to do my run and so I’ve ended up just running in normal shoes!!! Far from ideal but I managed it!

  5. SANČI says:

    Amazing, what an inspiration! Your dedication is truly inspiring. Let’s hope you don’t have any more injuries.

  6. Vaughan says:

    Paul you’re a maniac. A hero no doubt, but an absolute maniac! Well done for taking up the challenge and best of luck for the cause. You’ve definitely inspired me to keep paddling every morning (well, not on weekends.) Great to have met you in Istanbul!

  7. That’s quite a challenge you’ve set yourself and for such a worthy cause. Wishing you the best of luck for an injury-free year and many contributions for St Mary’s Hospice.

  8. It is a worthy cause, and a huge effort. 10K is a long way and good luck.I am behind you all the way and I would be if I was running I aim for 10,000 steps, which in Paula steps is about 8km, and mostly that is because I pick coffee shops further away.

  9. Erin says:

    Now that is quite the goal. I’m not much of a runner so call me impressed. Also the photo of your dog running – adorable. How could you not want to run with a cutie like that to follow you?

  10. noel says:

    What a fantastic way to challenge yourself and doing this daily with an amazing goal to raise funds for your Hospice. Keep up the daily challenge, rooting for you from abroad.

  11. That’s an amazing challenge you have set yourself, day in day out. Wishing you well throughout the year. I’m looking forward to following your journey.

  12. Kate H says:

    Wow, impressive goal and great cause! I’m inspired…I can’t run a 10k currently, much less a 10k every day. Good for you! Thanks for sharing your goal and your cause :) Look forward to reading updates on your daily 10k adventures.

  13. Paul Johnson says:

    Thank you again – for those that are interested in following progress, I’ll try to provide monthly updates here.

    Here’s what I managed in January:

    TOTAL DISTANCE FOR JAN – 208.4 miles

    31st Jan – 6.7 miles
    30th Jan – 6.7 miles
    29th Jan – 6.7 miles
    28th Jan – 6.4 miles
    27th Jan – 6.7 miles
    26th Jan – 6.6 miles
    25th Jan – 6.7 miles
    24th Jan – 7.3 miles
    23rd Jan – 6.5 miles
    22nd Jan – 6.7 miles
    21st Jan – 6.7 miles
    20th Jan – 6.7 miles
    19th Jan – 6.7 miles
    18th Jan – 6.7 miles
    17th Jan – 6.9 miles (estimated – battery ran out on phone)
    16th Jan – 6.7 miles
    15th Jan – 6.7 miles
    14th Jan – 6.8 miles
    13th Jan – 7.7 miles
    12th Jan – 6.5 miles
    11th Jan – 6.7 miles
    10th Jan – 6.7 miles
    9th Jan – 6.7 miles
    8th Jan – 6.7 miles
    7th Jan – 6.4 miles
    6th Jan – 6.6 miles
    5th Jan – 6.7 miles
    4th Jan – 6.7 miles
    3rd Jan – 6.7 miles
    2nd Jan – 6.7 miles
    1st Jan – 6.7 miles

    Other stats/info:

    Falls: 1
    Injuries: just a little Achilles tendonitis
    Weight change: -3 lbs

  14. Paul Johnson says:

    And here’s what I managed in February:

    TOTAL DISTANCE FOR FEB – 192.4 miles
    TOTAL DISTANCE SO FAR THIS YEAR – 400.8

    29th Feb – 6.7 miles
    28th Feb – 6.7 miles
    27th Feb – 7.8 miles
    26th Feb – 6.6 miles
    25th Feb – 6.5 miles
    24th Feb – 6.9 miles
    23rd Feb – 6.7 miles
    22nd Feb – 6.7 miles
    21st Feb – 6.5 miles
    20th Feb – 6.5 miles
    19th Feb – 6.6 miles
    18th Feb – 6.6 miles
    17th Feb – 6.6 miles
    16th Feb – 6.7 miles
    15th Feb – 6.7 miles
    14th Feb – 6.4 miles
    13th Feb – 6.6 miles
    12th Feb – 6.7 miles
    11th Feb – 6.7 miles
    10th Feb – 6.7 miles
    9th Feb – 6.7 miles
    8th Feb – 6.7 miles
    7th Feb – 6.7 miles
    6th Feb – 6.5 miles
    5th Feb – 6.4 miles
    4th Feb – 6.5 miles
    3rd Feb – 6.7 miles
    2nd Feb – 6.7 miles
    1st Feb – 6.6 miles

    Other stats/info:

    Falls: 1
    Total falls so far this year: 2

    Injuries: a bit of tendonitis particularly in the first half of the month, and a sore knee and rib from the fall

    Weight change: -1.75 lbs
    Total weight change so far this year: -4.75 lbs

  15. Liz Posmyk says:

    Great post, lovely photographs… and what a beautiful environment in which to complete your challenge.

  16. What an inspiration, the best of luck for the rest of the year – when you’re finished you should see how far your miles would get you from your house!

  17. Paul Johnson says:

    Thank you.

    At the moment, I’m averaging around 6.7 miles a day. If I could sustain it throughout the year, bearing in mind this year is a leap year(!), this would mean a total of around 2,450 miles which would take me anywhere in the UK. :)

    It would be just a little bit short of going from John O’Groats to Land’s End, and back, and then back to Land’s End again. Or, to put in another way for our US friends, it’s about the same as going from New York to Los Angeles (as the crow flies).

  18. Deb says:

    Outstanding job! You’re right, the trick is doing it every day regardless. Life has a way of throwing up many barriers. I do love running when I’m travelling much more than at home. The time flies by because I have new things to look at. Keep up the good work!

  19. Paul Johnson says:

    Thank you! :)

    Yesterday’s run was a rather eventful one to say the least! I was on Scout Scar (the place you see in the first three photos above) which is a limestone escarpment close to where I live. The photographs don’t really show it, but there is a cliff with quite a drop. You get a better idea from this footage I shot with a drone:

    (see my post about the drone I used for this, by the way, here)

    Anyway, I was running along with our dog, George, minding my own business. He likes to say ‘hello’ to other dogs being walked and had just been to see one little dog, but she yapped at him a bit, and we just kept on running. Next thing I know, a few seconds later, we heard screams from behind. This same dog had just vanished over the cliff edge and the two ladies with her had seen her disappear. I didn’t see it happen but turned back, got George on the lead, and approached the cliff edge. At first, there was no sign of her – I thought it highly likely that the fall could have killed her, or at the very least resulted in a serious injury. It must have been around a 30-foot drop and the dog was only small.

    After looking for a short while, I was amazed and relieved to see the dog trotting about, not knowing what to do (there was no easy way back up). I said to these two ladies that I would try and get to the dog by running back down and round, and trying to get to the point where she was. As you can see from the video, it isn’t easy terrain and there are lots of thorny trees to negotiate. Eventually, with a bit of guidance from the people above, I managed to get to where the dog had last been seen. I still had our dog at this point, so secured his lead to a tree and went looking to see if I could locate the one that had fallen (she hadn’t been seen for a short while at this point). Thankfully, she came into view shortly after and was happy enough to approach me and let me pick her up. Apart from a small cut above her eye, she seemed to be OK.

    I called up to one of the owners to say that I would return to the road with the dog, but that it would take me a while. It hadn’t been easy getting to her, and now I had to get back with my dog on the lead, and this other dog under my arm, trying to negotiate the scree and uneven steep ground. I’m pleased to report that I was able to successfully return her to her owners, but the whole operation must have taken about an hour.

    They offered to give me a lift home but I still had my 10K to complete! :)

  20. Wow what an adventure. You deserve a medal :) I can imagine that the lady owners must have been thrilled you were there…otherwise the dog may have got lost by the sounds of it, even after surviving such an incident.

    And to make it even more heroic, the continuation of the 10k Paul :)

  21. Paul Johnson says:

    I can’t say the owners didn’t thank me, but I think they were more in a state of shock than anything at the time.

    March now complete!

    TOTAL DISTANCE AS OF 31st March – 620 miles

    Other stats/info:

    Falls: 0 (but I did rescue a dog that fell off a cliff!)
    Total falls so far this year: 2

    Injuries: not been too bad this month

    Highlight: running the Lakeland Trails Cartmel 18K Challenge on 19th March. Finished 67th out of a field of about 450 (I was in the ‘Challenge’ rather than the ‘Race’) with a time of 1hr 42m 55s.

    Weight change: -1.25 lbs
    Total weight change so far this year: -6 lbs

    My run on 1st April was also something of a milestone in that it was my 92nd run of the year, so it means that I am now over one quarter of the way towards completing the challenge. Still a long way to go, but a significant chunk already done!

  22. Anastazja says:

    Hi Paul,

    This is a great challenge! A massive well done!

    I am also doing a very similar challenge. I’m running a minimum distance of one mile (Sound very small compared to yours) every day throughout 2016. I’m doing this challenge to raise money for The Children’s Society. I’ve been suffering with an illness in the last few years, so this is not only to challenge me physically but also a mentally.

    I have a Facebook Page “365 Miles in 365 Days 2016″ https://www.facebook.com/365miles2016/

    And a Fundraising page: https://www.justgiving.com/365miles2016/

    I would love to get in touch with you, to perhaps for you to share some running tips – I’m still a beginner.

  23. Paul Johnson says:

    Hi Anastazja

    Good luck with your challenge! How’s it going so far?

    At the end of this month, we’ll be exactly one third of the way (122 days) into our respective challenges… so only double what we’ve already done by then still to go (I’m not sure if that sounds encouraging or demoralising, mind!)

    I am not an especially good runner so don’t know if I can help as far as tips are concerned. Personally, I find that the earlier in the day that I can get my run done, the better, leaving me with the rest of the day to get any tasks done. That works well for me also because we have a dog that needs ‘walking’ and he doesn’t like to wait until the afternoon… :)

    Happy running,

    Paul

  24. Anastazja says:

    I know! Cannot believe the first 4 months are nearly down!

    I have found that as well, however I’m not a morning person, so waking up super early to try fit in a run before work at 9am isn’t for me. So I tend to do the runs straight afterwork so I can still fit in an evening to relax. And then run in the mornings on weekends.

    Do you have any tips for recovery? What kind of exercises/stretches have you been doing to avoid these horrendous muscle cramps?

    Happy running to you too!

  25. Paul Johnson says:

    I’m not very good when it comes to stretching. I tend to do it as and when I need, rather than as a routine. I’ve had a bit of tendonitis around the Achilles area on and off, and whenever I get that, I do an exercise I found on YouTube where you basically sit on the floor and roll your calf muscle over a rolling pin. I find that really helps even if it’s a little comfortable, along with stretching my calfs.

    The other things that I find useful for avoiding injury are to run off-road (most my runs are on the fells in Cumbria, rather than on tarmac, so less impact) and to run slowly. I don’t tend to go for a time at all – I just look to get the distance done and still be in a fit state to run the next day :)

    Tomorrow I am actually taking part in a local trail event, so it’ll be 17K rather than just 10K for that one – I can’t help trying to go for a better time in those, so I might be suffering come Sunday’s run!

  26. Paul Johnson says:

    April now complete, despite feeling rather unwell for a few days towards the end of the month, which made it more challenging than usual!

    TOTAL DISTANCE AS OF 30th April – 833 miles
    (213 miles completed in April)

    Other stats/info:

    Falls: 0
    Total falls so far this year: 2

    Injuries: not been too bad this month

    Highlight: running the Lakeland Trails Hawkshead 17K Challenge on 16th April. Finished 35th out of a field of about 409 (I was in the ‘Challenge’ rather than the ‘Race’) with a time of 1hr 33m 30s.

    Weight change: -1.5 lbs
    Total weight change so far this year: -7.5 lbs

    Now that I’ve completed the first two days of May, I am over one third of the way into the challenge. Still an awful long way to go.

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