A challenge has to be challenging – especially if you’re going to ask people to donate to charity in return for your efforts. That’s why I am taking on a big challenge this month – to run a 10k every day in May!
Originally I was running the Blackpool marathon on 26th April to raise money for Versus Arthritis. My target was £500 and, as with most of my ideas, it was a bit last minute. Not the marathon, just the idea to use it to raise money for charity.
But, with the whole coronavirus global pandemic, the Blackpool marathon was postponed until the end of September. However, I remain unconvinced that it will actually go ahead at all but I still wished to raise money for Versus Arthritis.
Why Versus Arthritis?
I’ve written many times about the fact I have rheumatoid arthritis.
While my condition is under control through medication (methotrexate) and I am generally feeling pretty good, this is still a chronic disease with no cure. Essentially rheumatoid arthritis is the body’s own immune system attacking itself, usually the soft tissue in joints that over time causes them to break down.
There are many forms of arthritis. In the UK, around 400,000 people suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, and women are twice as likely to have it compared with men. There is no cure.
I have chosen to raise money for Versus Arthritis as I’d like to see this disease talked about in the mainstream media far more than it is. I’d like it to lose it’s stigma as an old person disease, after all, it affects people of all ages and I was 35 when I was diagnosed.
The 10k a day in May challenge is born
Until the 1st of May, I had no idea I was going to take on the challenge of running a 10k every day in May. The idea only came to me when I was out running one of my favourite trail routes on the first day of the month.
After my sub-20 minute 5k challenge in April, I needed something else to focus my training into and I do my best thinking while I’m out running.
I can pinpoint exactly where I was when I had the idea. I was running down a hillside on a public right of way passed a huge lake being created in the grounds of the new Ravenswick Hall. I remember thinking that the owner must have so much money and how great it would be to be able to use that money to support charities close to my heart.
I’m not jealous that this football chairman (of a north-east club) is so loaded that he can build a 10-bedroom country pile, complete with gym and pool complex, staff housing and a lake. Good luck to him. I can just think of better uses for that amount of money – that’s all.
The challenge in numbers
As I write this I have completed three 10k runs so far – days 1, 2 and 3.
That first run, on local trails, was actually over 11km but the rules I’ve set out are as follows:
- I must run a minimum of 10km each day in May
- I can complete the distance each day in more than one running activity (i.e. I could do two 5km runs)
- I can run outdoors or on the treadmill
That’s a pretty straightforward set of rules.
So, when I have completed this challenge I will…
…have run 31 days straight
…have covered a distance of over 310km (193 miles)
…have completed over 385,000 steps
…have spent about 30 hours running
…have broken my monthly distance record
It will be interesting to look at the actual stats on the 31st May and compare.
Taking nothing for granted
Before anyone checks out my Strava stats and argues that running 10k is well within my abilities let me remind you that I will be running this distance every day for a month.
This is going to take a toll on me and I have to ensure that I am doing other things to maintain my body such as stretching and foam rolling. As I write I am currently rolling my foot with a tennis ball (much to Duke’s annoyance).
I am taking nothing for granted in pursuit of my goal.
Given that I will be getting close to 200 miles this month, all being well, then I am of course tempted to throw in a few extra miles to get to that milestone while I’m at it.
Follow my challenge
As well as regular posts here on my blog I will be posting daily on my Instagram account after each run so you can follow my challenge there.
If you are feeling generous then any donation would be gratefully received on my JustGiving page: