Sunday 26th June
Today was all about running with my good friend Youngy and Jazz whom I met at University in Cardiff some 10 years ago. We were running today in memory of Dan Young, Chris’s younger brother who’s life was tragically taken back in January 2016. I also met Luke for the first time today as well. Luke and I connected over our shared gratitude for the Bristol Children’s Hospital. I’m so sorry to say that Luke’s story doesn’t have the happy ending that ours did and his little boy tragically passed away in April 2015. Luke is running to build to the London Marathon in 2017 raising money for the Children’s Hospice South West (justgiving.com/LComptonCHSW).
Inspired by his brother’s running feats from last year, Chris’s running today was just incredible. The Torbay Half is a double loop along the seafront between Paignton and Torquay. We ambled to the start line as the 10 second count down echoed under the pier and away we went. For the next 2hrs45mins Chris didn’t stop running. With a couple of pinchy hills down the middle of the course, Chris was obviously suffering as we made the first turn at 5km but we just kept moving forwards, counting to 100 over and over again. At 15km when we came to the last turn Jazz made a dash for critical energy gel substitute (Cadbury’s 99 Flakes) and we kept grinding on. At 18km we had stories of Dan and at 20km we had a few bursts for the line!
I’ve got such admiration for what Chris achieved today. Having just flirted with the glimpse of a struggle that Chris and Luke continue to endure, these runs have required 2 hour doses of unrelenting focus to accompany the suffering. I believe the challenge has helped me re-build from a tough end to 2015 and I hope it can do the same for these guys. The determination from Chris to never stop and just keep moving forwards was something that I am going to carry with me for many weeks to come.
I’m so grateful for everything that the Bristol Children’s
Hospital did for our family. Tonight, more than any other night I’m so tremendously thankful for the opportunity to put Autumn to bed and kiss her goodnight. Life’s a lottery and I feel so humbled that we got another chance with our little girl.
To Chris and Luke, you’re both an inspiration- keep moving forwards. My thoughts are with you both XOX
Wednesday 22nd June
Inspired by last week’s run I desperately tried to gather together a social group for this Week 25 of 52 based at the University:
It didn’t disappoint. Despite getting dragged along for the first 10km, the effort only really kicked in with 2km to go to the end. Today I was joined by colleagues and friends from the University of Bath.
So I planned 4 x 5km loops around the University that would start and finish at the front door to drop off and pick up willing runners. Loop 1 was with Chris Burling and Craig Proctor- Chris being a sub 90min half marathoner and Craig being a freak of physiology I got dragged along like a rag doll to a new PB for 5km of 21mins14secs. With Sam Holmes joining us for the second loop the pace didn’t really abate…10km PB 46mins24secs… loop 3 was a party run. Having thoroughly rinsed me, Chris and Craig dropped out, up-stepped the tennis programme: Barry Scollo , Pete Martin, Matt Smith and S&C colleague Dan Nisbet. Back around the loop. 4th rep, just Matt and Dan remained, we (I) emptied the tank!
Ragged, covered in mud and soaked with a mix of sweat and rain I staggered back into the tennis hall just in time to watch some matchplay with the kids. Fantastic end to a great 1/2 marathon. Thanks to everyone who came out for their support, can’t describe how much of a difference it makes to have people to push me along and keep me company.
25/52 runs down, 27 to go. Next one Sunday!
Wednesday 15th June
Unbelievable what difference a week makes. Week 23 was the absolute toughest 2 hours of this challenge so far. Tonight could not have been better. Tonight I had the pleasure of Mike Holding’s company, a friend from back in my Loughborough days. Not sure Autumn felt the same about Mike’s company so we put her to bed and headed out just the two of us!
We wanted something scenic and somewhere he’d never been before so headed off down the river run. I haven’t had company on a run for around 2 months and it just made all the difference- amazing the effect that it had on the whole experience. I don’t think I’ve felt that good since the Bath Half with a few thousand people to cheer me on. Amazing what a difference it makes to be out of your own head and in conversation with someone else. It wasn’t like we coasted either, we ran pretty hard throughout, with quite a lot of bog to slow us down and around 250m of incline throughout the route we came in in a decent time of 1hr50mins. Sure we could probably have knuckled down and run faster but it wouldn’t have been anywhere near as enjoyable. As we finished coming up Purdown the storm clouds from earlier had paled into a crisp sunny evening over the city skyline- a beautiful end to the day. Even when we decided to add an extra km to make sure that Mike’s Strava record read 13.1miles (and mine read 22.1km!) that wasn’t a problem… felt like I could have run all night!
The last few weeks since the Bristol 10km have shown me the massive positive impact of company along the way. This whole journey will be so much more enjoyable and successful the more people I get involved along the way.
Thursday 9th June
Tonight’s run was nothing short of an ordeal for pretty much every step of the way. It’s been one of those weeks where I’ve just kept putting it off and putting it off. With the week slipping away tonight seemed the lesser of two evils between Thursday and Friday night. Not a great place to start mentally! Usually I reserve the mental thrashing for the last 5km but tonight the gremlins came from minute 1 and lasted until minute 112.
I often spend large chunks of time on these runs breaking the KM’s up in my head, timing when I’ll finish or generally focussing on the end point. Then there’s a second voice in my head that reminds me to just enjoy running, run tall and see if I can just cruise along- like a hippie in my head! I enter the runs thinking it will be a bit of Bobby Time, a chance to have a think through some stuff but I seldom drift into other thoughts. My conscious brain just hosts a conversation fighting off the negative and welcoming the hippie in.
Tonight, the hippie brain didn’t stand a chance. My conscious brain wasn’t even in the mood to entertain it either. This was a massive slog tonight. It was hot and despite my best efforts to feed and hydrate today I felt like I was low on energy, lethargic and tired…. The perfect shitstorm!
Up to the Downs and round to Clifton my negotiation was:
“What would you prefer?”
“Would you prefer that Katie rang you now to say that you needed to stop so that we could take Autumn to hospital again?”
“Would you prefer to spend the next 2hrs running or in hospital?”
“Would you prefer to stop and do it tomorrow?”
“Would you prefer to stop all together and give everyone back their money?”
The answer is clear… so like a sulking little child I just kept on running. It sure wasn’t pretty, it sure wasn’t quick but I got it done, another one in the bank. I’m a bit disappointed I couldn’t control my mental state better but at least I can still control my legs to put one step in front of the other! Reminding myself of the gratitude required for the lucky position that we are in. I often forget how lucky we are but 2hrs of running a week is nothing. I would do it every day if I had to.
Please hit up justgiving.com/bobsm100 if you haven’t already!
P.S Getting the last Full Fat Coca-Cola on the shelf when you’re extremely thirsty and low on blood sugar is a euphoric moment, I recommend getting into this state just to experience how good that tastes!
Tuesday 31st May
What started as a innocuous trot out on a Tuesday night turned into one of my most beautiful runs so far. Starting straight out of my back door into rolling fields of Purdown, looping down and under the motorway to find a hidden gem in Bristol- The Froome Valley Pathway. Starting close to the city centre I covered 11km of running with a total of 100yds of roadway- the rest is a riverside walk heading north out of the city. By the time you resurface out of the forest and into civilisation you’re miles from home. I made a loop around the village at the top of the track hitting 11km and then dropped back into the Froome Valley to head back home. I arranged to meet Katie in St Paul’s on her way back from town, the plan was to meet her and Autumn and walk back to our house together. At 21.1km I gave her a ring- As it was I completely missed where our paths should have crossed-she was 1km away in St Werburgh’s-jog on! Catching up with her my eventual total was 22.1km for the day- I would suggest that this could come off next week but I imagine Katie would start another petition on Facebook to deny that.
Please take a look at justgiving.com/bobsm100 if you would like to support my fundraising for the Bristol Children’s Hospital. If you’d like to ioin even for just a few KM’s then please get in touch.