25–26 Jan 2025 251 days to go! #RunShow

Going Long

Outdoor cross-country running in early sunrise concept for exercising, fitness and healthy lifestyle

So last month was my worst month in a while and I’m sorry for that super negative blog but this month I’m pleased to say has been AWESOME!

After taking a bit of a break last month and re-introducing cross training (weights and squash primarily) I’ve had one of my most successful running months in a long time! I’m so much happier (apart from that gap post run and pre-food when I’m a terrible human!) I’ve managed to run 11 times and cover a total of 140 miles which includes one aborted run after 2 miles (for a work phone call) and also taking a break for the last 5 days!

I suspect that my newfound success it is down to the following reasons:

  • Having a break – I was putting myself under a lot of pressure to run certain distances and having a break made me realise how much I love running and also allowed some of my niggly injuries time to heal
  • Organised races – I did a couple of half marathons this month which were so much fun (more about those later)
  • Cross Training – I am still getting some back pain but it is definitely minimised when I do more weight training
  • Doing what my body wants – I’ve cut short a couple of runs but also extended runs too. I tend to run a 5 or 7-mile loop from my house and if I feel good then I just add another loop It’s also a good safety net if I get tired as I’m never more than 3.5 miles from home
  • I have grown a beard. Loads of cool ultra-runners have beards so maybe they’ll let me in the cool gang now?!

For those of you who follow us on twitter you will also see that we’ve been at both the Reigate and Ealing Half Marathons which I completed dressed as a giant raccoon! This was SO MUCH FUN! People shout all kinds of things at you on the way round and the banter is brilliant. I have never been more popular than when I’m in the suit and I now have repetitive strain injury from high fiving like 5 million people ? It does get hot in the suit – especially at Ealing when the weather was like 20 degrees! I finished Reigate in 2:12 and Ealing in 2:19 which is slow for me but considering the increased training and the ridiculous outfit I was happy with those times. I have Lincoln Half marathon this weekend so if the weather is ok I might see if I can push it and break 2 hours – that would be hilarious but it’s obviously not easy but I will try it soon I promise #rocketraccoon

Run Reigate I have to say is my favourite race for a very long time – it is so slick and professional and it feels like a major event. We met Kelly Holmes, there was a massive event village and thousands of people running along a beautiful course with lots of local support. I’d advise anyone to do this race and as an event organiser myself – I tip my cap to the Race Director as it was faultless in execution.

Ealing half was also an amazing race – starting and finishing in a beautiful park and with incredible local support all the way round. We were lucky enough to meet Susie Chan at this one who was a fantastic compere and is a super nice lady. (Check me out hob-nobbing with all these famous people!) Someone described the support at Ealing as “similar to the support you get at the London Marathon but a bit more personal” and I think that is a perfect description.

I probably could have pushed the last 60 miles I needed to hit 200 this month but I eased off the training bit this week as I’ve had loads going on with work and I don’t want to burn out. I feel strong and healthy so am now definitely ready to have a go at the 100 miles in 24 hours again! I can’t promise I’ll make it this time but I can promise I’ll try and keep on trying until I do!

I have Lincoln half this weekend and then Birmingham marathon (as the raccoon) on the 15th followed by a run from Surrey to Bognor Regis on the 22nd with some mates (30-40 miles we think.)

So (provided I survive all of those) I think I’ll aim for the end of October or start of November to try the 100 miles in 24 hours again. I genuinely have no idea if I’m ready for it but I really want to keep pushing myself so let’s see what happens!

Hope you guys are all running strong and please do tweet me any tips, questions, advice (or abuse) to @raccoonrunner