Couch to #E1Run – The Story So Far… – #GetOutside @Pledgesports @OrdnanceSurvey @TrailRunningMag

Join the support and pledge for adventure -> #E1Run

I decided that I should put some words down to explain a few things.  Why is it I keep saying ordinary people can achieve extraordinary things?

Some already know my journey to this point…  Preparing to run the length of Europe, self supported, but others are new to the journey so it seems right to share the story and explain why I really do believe that anyone can do what I do and that I am in no way anything other than ordinary.  I have no special gifts and seek recognition for any form of prowess.  I simply try to inspire others through the simple act of being nothing other than ordinary.  So here it is…  The beginning and story so far…

My lungs burn, my muscles scream at me to stop and I feel like I’m fighting gravity and the ground with each step.  BEEP!

That’s my signal to stop.  I double over, feeling sick, out of breath and head spinning from the exertion.  “How on Earth am I going to do another 7 of these??”

Truth is, I’d jogged…  I hate this term!  I’d ran for no more than 30s and I was already feeling like death!  “Why on Earth would anyone do this for fun?”

The odd thing is that the C25K app I downloaded quickly changed to the 10k version, then the half marathon and finally the marathon version, something I never thought I would describe when talking about my past, present and future!!

This was July 2102 and the start of a year which led me close to (and I admit this with great reluctance and a the bitter taste of what I experienced) taking my own life on several occasions, only to turn to running for a moments escape from the bitterness that I felt.  The thing is, I am now living in a way I need thought possible, never imagined I would be capable of and that seems to have allowed me to let go of so much anger, pain and blame.

I was unfit, I was overweight, the world I’d created for myself and the dreams I’d nurtured were falling apart around me and although I didn’t know it at the time, I was taking slow and deliberate step into the pit of depression, unable to stop myself and unaware of what was happening to those I cared for.  The result was living along in a flat, in a town where I knew few people and having to live off £80 a week.  Those were dark times, but my decisions had led me there and I refused (I refuse to this day) to change my decisions and all the way through I continued to run, discovered the joy of running in the Peak District and developed a love for the peace and clarity it gave me.

All the while I research running.  It felt instinctively wrong.  I was fighting the ground, I was putting in lots of effort for little gains in speed, giving me the sensation of being inefficient, until I chanced on the concept of barefoot running and correct running form.  It all made perfect sense!  Each step was a use of energy and if we run poorly, we need more energy to sustain that particular motion forwards.  I began to change my running.  My running began to change me.  I skipped the marathon distance, and with 20 miles of run walking I entered a 50 miles ultra!

3 weeks I trained for it.  I finished.  I didn’t understand how, but I finished.

The switch had been flicked and now I was looking for challenges, running the same hill rep 652 times back to back, covering 75 miles and gaining the same amount of ascent as Mt Fuji was the start of running barefoot from Land’s End to John O’Groats, which became the catalyst to preparing to run the 4750 mile long E1 trail.

The point is simple…

It takes little more than persistence to change our view point from ‘Running Sucks” to “Love to run”, no more.  It’s the same principle with any thing we can’t do and find challenging, but we are all made to take on these challenges if we can just remove the blinkers that we self apply through our pursuit of comfort and ease.

Ordinary people can achieve extraordinary things.

Join the support and pledge for adventure -> #E1Run


#RunE1Trail Niggles! Funding Pains – #GetOutside #Crowdfunding @PledgeSports

So, attempt number 5 begins…  
Four incarnations of this post have faltered. Maybe there is something telling me that I need to just type and not think about it. I have worries about the E1 trip and as apposed to focusing on getting the distance covered each day, worrying about the lack of detailed mapping in European countries, finding sources of food for each day or having the equipment I need to help make the trip safe and to a point comfortable, they are focused on getting the funding needed to provide food on the trip!
So, in the last two weeks of training around the Lake District, I have in effect been hiding my head in the fells, avoiding the problem and generally focusing on the part of the planning and preparation that I have full control over… The fitness to pull this insane running route off and be the first person to run form the top to the bottom of Europe.

There will be equipment needed and once I start to run, I wont be able to stop and negotiate with prospectus sponsors. People offer support, but then the support seems to be lost in the ether or noncommittal promises. It seems that no one wants to believe in a person’s ability to pull off something extraordinary, unless they are of extraordinary stock. I guess I will have to tighten my belt and live more frugally than I currently do and save even more money for the trip.

 So, there are 85 days left to raise £3000. Most of which will be budgeted for food (£15 per day max), which is going to be the most important aspect of the budget since covering 30+ miles per day is going to need energy from somewhere.

Thanks for all those who have joined in with the adventure by supporting via tha PledgeSports page. I really do appreciate the support you have shown. I promise to make the E1 run a success, something to be proud of and that hopefully inspired others to take on challenges.