So, this is an introduction to what will be short (I promise!) monthly blogs charting the background and then final 3 months of my 12-month charity challenge.
I started my 5k Every Day challenge on 1st March 2020 tying in with TEP’s Charity Year. Then a global pandemic hit and waxing lyrical about my challenge just didn’t seem right so you have been spared…. until now.
This first blog explains a little of the background. But firstly TEP’s chosen charity – Claire House Children’s Hospice. Claire House is close to TEP’s heart as our colleague and my friend’s young son Benjamin and the family were supported by the charity and their amazing staff. Sadly Benjamin’s condition was terminal and he passed away in January 2020. Claire House helped the family create some magical memories during his short life.
We are raising money for the charity so they can continue their great work and I hope I can do my little part in this.
So how am I doing my part? There were plenty of ideas whizzing around my head, I knew it’d be physical but beyond that had no real idea what I would be setting myself up for.
I’ve always loved swimming, in particular, braving the open water. Then 2019 became the year of running where thanks to a bit of healthy competition I went from just about dragging myself around a weekly ParkRun (spurred on by the promise of coffee and breakfast cake afterwards!) to completing my first half marathon (plus a few more), joining a local running club and jumping feet, head and face-first into the mud and craziness of cross country. I knew I wanted something more than a one-off event for 2020.
With TEP’s charity year starting in March I had some time to ease my way in and set about mulling it over with (and boring!) friends talking through various options when we returned after the Christmas break. Nevermore so than when out on lunchtime wanders navigating the underpasses of Birchwood for my daily flat white fix.
During these walks, I’d regularly pass 2 or 3 consultants from one of our neighbours in the Genesis Centre out on a lunchtime run. New Year, new resolutions nothing strange there. But as February approached I noticed they had been out every day without fail and it wasn’t long before my inquisitive nature (cue barrage of questions) took over. Their challenge – running 5k every day for a year which started on New Year’s Day. Impressive!
So there it was I thought … I’ll join them but start in March, run 5k every day for a year – happy days! As I canvassed opinion with those competitive friends I mentioned earlier, whilst I got words of encouragement I noted a wry smile and slight shaking of the head. Nothing strange there so I just shook it off. Then in early February during a post ParkRun coffee and cake (yes despite being a running regular I totally still do that!) one of my speedier runner pals and more straightforward (thankfully!) talker warned me it’d most likely break myself (I already have form for breaking and plenty of physio bills for a broken calf!), particularly if I wanted to carry on training for the half marathons and cross country.
Then an idea hit, I can’t run it every day but I can swim, run and cycle (I am just about a short distance cyclist with a very pretty and shiny new bike).
I am the girl who does the three parts of a triathlon but refuses to sign up for one … finishing a single event is for celebrating not transitioning in my book! Anyway, I digress…
And there it is …. 5k every day just doing it the Shilcock Way – swim, run or cycle.
I started on the 1st March 2020 and have completed at least this distance via one of these activities every day since. I’ve set challenges within challenges (ever the competitive one!), filled my flat with more gear than I probably need and continued to entertain (my words not theirs) friends with updates. So far it has been many things – easy, boring, fun, hard, but always my constant companion. My escapades have certainly been more solitary and local than I planned or would have liked but I have had some great support and words of encouragement from friends and colleagues so thank you all.
So introduction and first blog down – which so far has been the hardest bit of the challenge. Who knew a chatterbox would find it so hard to write and need so much caffeine! Thanks for making it to the end.
I’ll get my next post out in December charting some of the highs and lows (and vaguely funny pics hopefully) of my journey so far but if you would like to make a donation to Claire House in the meantime then please visit our JustGiving page.
Hope you will join me for my next instalment – until next time,