I’m still training hard for the event and completed my first marathon on Sunday 21st April! It was in fact a marathon plus a bit extra (27.4 miles rather than the usual 26 miles 200 yards) and my time was 4 hours 17 minutes. I’m pleased with this given that the route was quite hilly. Mine was a totally unofficial marathon planned and organised by myself and undertaken to show solidarity with my training partner, who ran Sunday’s 2013 London Marathon in aid of Bliss, a charity for premature babies.

As far as regular training is concerned I run three times per week: a 16-18 mile trail run at weekends, a Tuesday or Wednesday night sprint interval session and a Thursday or Friday night 8 mile trail run.  I also do a thrice weekly upper body workout comprising as many sets of push-ups, crunches and burpees as I can pack into a 20 minute session. In-between all this I squeeze in various physically challenging microadventures to top up my training and keep me out of trouble.

Looking ahead, however, I need to focus more on the fundraising aspects of the challenge – which is something I’ve neglected thus far – and on actually getting out in the hills with map and compass under different weather conditions. With this in mind I have a very challenging 75 mile endurance walk planned for the coming weekend, which will take in all of Shropshire’s highest peaks. I also intend to celebrate my 42nd birthday on the 18th May by completing the Welsh 3000s.

One area I’ve completely overlooked to date is the cycling aspect and I’m conscious of the fact that the clock is ticking. I’ve decided to make May 1st my start point in this respect and with my current level of fitness I should be able to build up to long distance/high speed rides fairly quickly. I must confess however, that my recent cycling experience has been with mountain bikes and the thought of jumping on a road bike and dealing with road traffic again is a bit unnerving. The last time I cycled on the road some idiots in a car pulled alongside me, grabbed hold of my t-shirt and tried to pull me off my bike! They thought it was hilarious, I was rather less amused…


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