On September 30th 2018 I will start running from Land’s End as I head up the length of the country, finally finishing at John O’Groats. Whatever happens, this is going ahead with 100% certainty!
However, my run will no longer be a world record attempt…
While this is probably not much of a shock to most people as you realised from day one, how ambitious, unlikely and pretty stupid that idea was; I still fully believe I had a chance of at least getting close to the record.
Unfortunately, with 7 weeks until the run, I have no choice but to admit the world record is no longer within my reach. My confidence in thinking I could break the record came from my idea that if everything I planned, thought up and implemented came together, I would be lined up for a very fast LEJOG run. As it turns out – things don’t always go to plan!
Things started very positively. I completed my first ultra marathon within a few months of training, I completed my first 50 miler not long after that and I was set up to complete a 100 miler shortly after. But….it all started to go wrong and I just haven’t been able to pull things back together.
A couple of small injuries held me up a little bit, finding the huge amount of time to run the distances I need to proved really difficult and the hottest summer I can remember certainly made for interesting training conditions. For me though, the biggest chink in my training armour has been my now weakened mindset. I’ve always had a strong mindset and I have always been able to push myself further than most have thought I could. However, since being ill, I just don’t have the same mental fortitude I once had. This has been the hardest thing for me to deal with through my running. Knowing that I can physically run as far as I need to but my mind forcing me to stop and I just haven’t been able to overcome this. It pains me to say it but I am much weaker, both physically and mentally, than I have been previously.
The one thing I have realised above everything else through all of this is that testicular cancer may be easily treated and your physical journey with it may be short; but the mental journey is much longer and harder to get through.
This is no time for excuses though as I have a very short period of time before my run starts and there is still plenty to do. The world record may be gone but the awareness raising is still as important as ever.
My run may not be for a word record anymore but it is for something so much more important. It is to get people talking, not only about the physical symptoms and treatment of testicular cancer, but also helping people talk about the psychological effect it has.
The new plan, which is subject to change seeing how well my last one worked out, is to take around 14 days to complete the distance. This is still a quick time with some big distances needed each day but it seems much more realistic now.
7 weeks to go….