365 Days Down and I Did It!

Celebrating finishing my 5k every day challenge.

365 days down and I did it!! I ran, cycled or swam every day for a year.  And it’s now time for my last blog and the scary totting up of My Year in Numbers. Plus never one to resist a chat I have answered a few Q&A’s people have asked along the way. 

Before I sign off, I first want to thank everyone who has helped make this happen. The amazing CSR team at TEP and those who have encouraged me by reading my blog, donating and sending messages of support.  Also, thank you to TEP for generously match funding our target amount. 

And a special thanks to Profile Security Services Limited, Promovo Systems Ltd, Mitchell Group, Intertek, McCarthy Distribution Ltd, Element Sustainability, Hive Land & Planning, Huckle Ecology, Ecology Services Ltd, Michael Dyson’s, Deans Computer Services Ltd and Airedale Forestry Ltd.

Finally, I am extremely lucky to have some great friends who have been with me all the way, convincing me I could take up this crazy thing and then encouraging me, checking in, doing the odd 5k in support and acting as editor for my blogs. As with a lot of things in life I couldn’t have done this without them.

There is also still an opportunity to donate should you feel able via the link here.

So that’s all folks …. I’d say until next time but don’t worry there won’t be a next time! 


5k best moment?

The finish line!

Tough, as there have been so many, so much so, this is the third best moment I’ve picked.  No wonder it has taken some time to get this out!  It has to be the last day and figuring out (with a little help from my friends!) my way to own it, celebrate it and go out with a bang.  Lockdown restrictions and still on a running ban meant I had to swerve my original plan and instead make “Shilcock’s” version of a triathlon become a reality.  I saw the sunrise on the bike, hiked up Manod Mawr and swam in Llyn y Manod.  All possible from my front door, with constant sunshine and blue skies all the way! I even managed to make the transition enjoyable with fizz, cake and a 360-degree view of mountains.  And the best part, finishing it off with my favourite team cheering me on, my Welsh family!  As I swam back in to shore, their smiles, cheers and that banner – that moment will always be one of my happy places. 

Most Challenging 5k?

Ha, the most challenging nearly made the grade as the favourite… says a lot about me I guess.  So it is the Birchwood cross country.  Just look back at the picture … that scowl really does tell a thousand words.  Most of them unrepeatable!  I came off in much worse shape than the brambles I was careering through and ached for days, but it was all so worth it.

Overall Highlight?

Hands down all the money my challenge has personally raised, which currently sits at over £3k.  To see people’s generosity really means the world to me and has been overwhelming.  I know what a difference it will make to families at Claire House.  

On a personal level, it has given me so much.  Sitting down isn’t something I do well, so I don’t really need encouragement to get outside, but with the challenges we have all faced over the last 12 months, the daily 5k gave meaning and a real focus to get out each and every day. They proved invaluable. 

Plus the opportunity this has given me to connect with people – again something that we are all struggling to get at the minute.  It seems funny to think of now, but I really wasn’t planning on broadcasting my challenge too widely.  But via the blog and a particulary daunting Whats App broadcast (that really did take some convincing to do!) I have reconnected with some old friends and clients.  Going public really was the best decision I took both for the fundraising total and me so thanks to everyone who told me to do it.

Worst Moment?

Katie on Crutches

Those post-Christmas days, on crutches, moving house and then snowed in.  I was running on empty so pushing the bike 500m to the main road to start a pretty scary ride was not fun.  I would spend the slow hobble trying to decide if it was time to stop – the fun certainly had – but that wasn’t really what this was about.  Despite buying a turbo trainer ‘just in case’ and lining up reserves in TEP’s running group (thanks guys!) I did manage the minimum 5k each day outside, under my own steam.   I stayed just the right side of the line (I think) but never again do I plan on knowingly cycling in snow, ice or gales on poorly lit, highly gritted, very fast country roads. 

The Session You Are Most Proud Of?

I’m most proud of managing to complete the whole challenge, never giving up and even in the low times still getting myself out there.  But as I have said before, the bike really did become my lockdown best friend.  The 5k per day was a minimum (check those stats to see how much more I managed!) and the long cycles allowed me to get some head and physical space away from my Liverpool flat, see the sunrise and get out in the countryside with my favourite playlists as the backing-track to my mind’s wanderings. 

To pick one in the “athletic” category, then it has to be the first 100+km bike ride. Donning my cycling shorts (ha no longer restricted to the 90s!) a solo venture covering four counties and ending up sat in the sunshine eating my third breakfast at Risley Moss.  Never did I imagine I’d cycle one way to Birchwood let alone do the return trip … definitely a day for smiling. 

Favourite New Gear?

It has to be the DryRobe. The oversized changing fleece robe (standard-issue pink of course!) I have for pre/post swimming changes.  I think everyone at Manley Mere will benefit from me not struggling to get changed in my car in the future!  The DryRobe allows me to sit at the water’s edge after a swim, wrapped up warm,  taking in the stillness of the mountains (unless my favourite little people are there with plenty of noise) with a flask of coffee and ginger oatcakes … doesn’t get much better than that.   

Least Favourite gear?

So, the bike I love, the gear I don’t!  Or more accurately I just can’t get my head around putting it together!  The hours researched definitely outweighs the benefits, particularly as most of it remains unassembled in my spare room.   I’ve decided this is maybe no bad thing in the case of the cycling cleats. I already come with a health warning, so being clipped into a bike could end badly!  And it is with a definite smile that I will be sending back the turbo trainer in its unopened box.

What’s Next??

I’m writing this on Day 1 … Day 1 of no challenge.  I actually think this is going to be the hardest part for a while, not having a daily challenge.  But I definitely won’t stay still for long.  With swimming being my first love and running coming in close behind, getting both regularly back in my life is definitely my priority.   I’m sure it won’t be too long before I’m setting my sights on the next event. Hopefully less solo, definitely done within one day rather than 365, but just as challenging, invigorating and fun.  Oh, and there are those cancelled races that eventually will get rebooked … who knows 2021-22 could end up a busy one!