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Cathy's R.E.D January 2017 Diary

By Chris Wood, 02 March 2017 – 0 comment


Day 1:

Could only fit in a run in the dark and picked up youngests’ head torch by accident. Turns out she's been reading under the covers and the batteries were spent. I discovered this when I left the streetlight behind one kilometre into my run. With all of 2 lumens and the merest slither of a crescent moon I managed to run 4k without injuring myself. On the plus side, my view of the stars was unhindered.

Day 2:

Replaced batteries and could actually see the white road markings in the fog last night. Another 4km banked even though my Strava decided to turn itself off four metres into the run. Grrrr.

Day 3:

RED January run was a bit breezy. Castles, rivers, Buzzards and Robins joined me along the way.

Day 4:

I had my two little mates with me on a beach run today. 3k followed by lunch cooked on a campfire in the glorious sunshine while the waves lapped gently nearby.

Day 5:

Brrrrrrrr. Chilly run number 5 today with an air temperature of -3. Today's run was full of Pheasants, woodpeckers, dippers and sheep sporting magic markers on their tummies. Clocked up just under 20k so far this week so on target for 100k for Run Every Day January. Hope my shoes aren't too frozen tomorrow.....

Day 6:

I've only just realised I can add a blog to the fundraising page! I've never run 6 consecutive days before and while I was looking at the splashes on the window this morning I realised why. It was cold, damp and very grey today BUT I did clock up another 5k AND get my first sponsor! Alas, there is no visible reduction in waistline to report yet but I do seem to have cravings for porridge and runny boiled eggs with soldiers.

Day 7:

In a supreme effort to delay today's run as long as possible I successfully put away all the Christmas decorations, framed a bunch of photos that have been sitting on the side for a very long time and re-arranged the airing cupboard. However, you wonderful people have already helped me achieve over 50% of my sponsorship goal so I had no choice but to climb into wet shoes and head out into the murk. THANKYOU! (It really does make it easier)

Day 8:

Fresh off the train from our Milton Keynes Shop I made hubby join me for run #8 so far this year. Just passed the 40k mark. Today was supposed to be a nice little 8k circuit just outside Penrith taking in Brougham castle and the picturesque A66 but alas we were halted by a subtle red sign stating "Bridge Collapse Imminent Danger of Death". Storm Desmond is still winning over a year after the floods!

Day 9:

...and I managed to dodge the downpours but there was a penalty to pay. (Alas, I can’t include video in this document, therefore you have been spared the real time footage of me running through a farmyard ankle deep in brown nasty that wasn’t mud!)

Day 10:

Oh my goodness - you amazing people! You have already sponsored me MORE than my goal!!! Thank you sooooo much. Run number 10 and I'm getting faster; I just shaved 5, yes 5 minutes off the same 4K route I ran on the first of Jan!!! (Although admittedly I had lighting issues that meant shuffling at a snails pace on the original run) ??

Day 11:

Today in numbers:

  • Time spent listening to storm at 4:30 this morning - 60 mins
  • Time spent hoping running shoes might have blown away - 59 mins
  • Time spent hunting for hand carved wand for daughters Harry Potter night - 150 mins
  • Time spent running through thick mud while being overtaken by leaves and pummelled by sideways sleet - 64 mins...
  • Number of seasons experienced during run - 4
  • Total kilometres run in January so far - 60
  • Number of wands found - 0

Day 12:

Much better with friends (and a bit if snow!) Yellow weather warnings and the tabloids screaming about the "killer freeze" has resulted in some lovely outings amid the snowy hills these past few days. The downside of this is that I have got carried away with distance resulting in achy legs for the first time this year. Another down side is wet shoes. Very cold, wet shoes. So cold and wet, in fact, that I actually wore my summer running shoes today - a terrible decision as it turned out because their gorgeous colours have now got a muddy splat right across the front.

Day 13:

With achy legs, a biting wind, slush underfoot and very wet shoes from yesterday, today was definitely the hardest day to get out of the door so far.

Day 14:

Very chilly run with very tired legs in the snow today. Fantastic Peak District scenery as I am spending the next three days supporting my friend on The Spine Race – 108 miles that he has to cover in 60 hours. Parked up in the snow now waiting for Chris to arrive at first crew meet up. He's just minutes away !!!

Day 15:

Only managed to squeeze 2.5km in today on account of having spent the night kipping in a van. The good news is that I can recover tonight by.......kipping in a van. Missing my own Casey crew back home but now waiting for Chris Worton to drop into Gargrave as he reaches the 3/4 point of his Spine Challenger. Go Chris!

Day 16:

Was a small skip around Hawes. Small distances these past few days as have only had 8 hours sleep in three days. In other news: Chris Worton did it!!!! He crossed the finish line at 5pm this evening after having covered 108 miles since Saturday morning!

Day 17:

Today was by far and away the hardest to get out into the grey drizzle and put more kilometres in my legs. They felt like lead, my calf muscles were screaming on any uphill, paracetamol only made a small dent in the thumping headache I've had all day - running this charity challenge has really got me thinking about how people with anxiety and depression deal with these symptoms (and worse) every single day. Frequently with no end in sight.

P.S: Passed 80km today

Day 18:

Couldn't face a run today so went for a 10k "chat" with fellow RED runner Keira Booth. We were nattering so much that we completely forgot to take any pictures and completed the circuit in our normal running time! This was something of a surprise as we greeted each other this morning with a synchronised whinge about how exhausted we were.
Our daily exertion was eased by scrummy chocolate orange brownies with white choc chips (baked by eldest) washed down by a flask full of Assam tea - with a unique hint of Pantene. (Forgot I used the plastic milk bottle for my shampoo when I went to India.)

Day 19:

In order to take lunch with the ladies this afternoon I had to fit in an early run today. This was especially important as I was swapping banana walnut loaf for topsoil. So I squelched hand in hand with youngest down to school in order to run the long way home. A superb lunch was enjoyed, there was plenty of high quality natter, I got my topsoil and managed to nick the remainder of the banana loaf (apologies Keira Booth but you can't go leaving blueberry and lemon curd roulade on the side and expect me to leave the loaf behind!!) Now just a whisker away from reaching that magic 100k.....

Day 20:

Hubby joined me as I passed the 100k mark today. Thought I'd take him on one of my favourite 7k's - turns out it was closer to 7 miles. A very muddy 7 miles. Ooooops!

I PASSED 100km TODAY!!!!!!!! I honestly had no idea if I would even be able to get out everyday, let alone achieve my pledged distance with time to spare!!! Who knows what distance I'll be able to cover before the 31st? I can't wait to see..... Hope the ground dries out a bit though.

Day 21:

Frozen shoes and stiff legs were eased by sunshine and glorious blue skies this morning. A hard frost is still on the ground where the light of the sun hasn't yet hit.
This challenge is to raise money for a suicide awareness project but it is also hoped it will raise awareness of mental health. Without even trying I can think of five family members and close friends that I see frequently who are currently taking medication for Depression, Anxiety or PTSD. They range wildly in age and have found themselves in a dark place for a variety of reasons including bereavement, physical illness, abuse or simply because they remained strong for too long.
Our physical and mental health are only temporary.
A big, heartfelt thank you to everyone who has sponsored me so far. If you are able to, please consider sponsoring me via the link below or get in touch to pledge by other means. Or - you could do something even more amazing and make a phone call to someone on their own, write a letter to someone recently bereaved, meet for a coffee with a friend you know to be a bit down or even just send a card to a distant family member bearing three important words: "Thinking of you".
Make time for each other in this crazy world because it is not an easy place to navigate on your own.

Day 22:


Day 23:

Was very tempted to drag a red balloon with me on this run what with it being the 50th birthday of Milton Keynes. Shout out to all those other red ballooners out there who appeared in the original 80’s TV advert. If my memory serves me correctly the MK Bowl DJ had 2 songs: 99 Red Ballons & Wake Me Up before You Go Go!

Day 24:

With the stunning Pennines behind me I made a short video while running today showing the sheep patiently waiting for their lambs to appear. The other night when I had been running through the same field I had fifty pairs of sheepy eyes staring back at me. Then one of them coughed and I nearly soiled myself. My goodness they sound human!

Day 25:

Sunshine, mud, more mud, a surprise river crossing, a little bit more mud and delicious baked comestibles on the roadside. Then we went back to Keira Booth's to shovel......more mud. Anyone else sensing a theme here?

Day 26:

I am a study in yawning. I yawned all the way dropping youngest off at school today. I yawned all the way home. I like to think I improved - maybe I should write a book about it...
Today was spent studying Cumberland mud (as opposed to yesterday's Westmoreland) and I can report with some confidence that Cumberland mud is colder and contains more ice crystals. It also plays havoc with your digestion so much so that if I hadn't been running with hubby today I would have bailed at 3km. (Although to be fair, this may have more to do with scoffing two boiled eggs rather than just the energy sapping properties of the mud) Happily we covered 7.5km in the winter sunshine taking me to within a whisper of 140km in total. So far.....

Day 27:

The small window for todays run vanished when the Headmaster sidled up to me this morning to remind me that I was about to miss a deadline. I had filed a letter in my February pile instead of my January pile by accident. Aaaarrgh! And so it was, I found myself sitting in Tebay services at 10am, rattling off an essay on why parents should vote for me to be the next Parent Governor. It's possible I should have included a photo of my disorganisation highlighted by the fact I had a partially carved wand poking out the top of my rucksack. (Which is, in fact due for completion in Feburary so technically I'm on a winner with that one....)
Fortunately, I finished preparations at work in time to fit in a swift 2km prance around Llanberis in the dim light of another failing headtorch.

Lucky we sell batteries!

Day 28:

6:30am. Rain. No sign of daylight but I was welcomed back into the village to Joes’ smiley face above our shop. Now it's time to pack for a day on the hill with the Joe Brown Big Winter Walk - our friends at Plas Y Brenin, the national Mountaineering Centre, assure me there's some snow up there somewhere.....

Day 29:

Got back to the flat at 10 last night absolutely pooped after a great day on the hill and working the evening of the Joe Brown Big Winter Walk at Plas Y Brenin. Brilliant 7 hour winter day on the Carneddau (two and a half of which were in crampons) AND there was enough snow to throw ourselves down to practice ice axe braking - a lot of me hurts this morning!

So a very sloooow 2.5km this morning as I am off out on the hill again today. It was just me and the Llanberis rowing team up at dawn. The sunrise looks promising but the forecast says otherwise.....

Day 30:

The theme of today's run was "All Over Body Ache". Had another excellent winter day on the Glyders yesterday with another goodly few hours in crampons. What a cracking weekend and to cap it all...........I'VE RUN 150k!!!!!!!!

RED January Day 31 COMPLETE!

Well that was moist!

Earlier this month I pledged to run everyday this month to raise money for Carlisle Eden Mind. I thought that IF I could manage to actually get a run in everyday I might be able to run 100km this month.

Turns out I ran 160 instead - 100 miles!!!!

You never know what you are capable of until you try.


January in numbers:

  • Total miles run: 100 (160km)
  • Av. time spent out in the fresh air running per week: 4.5hrs
  • Av. distance per week: 38km
  • Ascent: 2700m (8,850 feet) (2 x Ben Nevis approx.)
  • No. of pairs of running shoes worn out: 1
  • No. of pairs of running tights worn out: 1
  • National Parks Run In: 4
  • No. of cups of tea drunk roadside (both with and without a hint of shampoo): lost count
  • No. of castles run past: 3
  • No. of Harry Potter wands carved, sanded and pyrographed: 1
  • No. of positions of school governor achieved: 1
  • Monies raised in total: £415

THANK YOU! For your amazing donations. Collectively over £15,000 has been raised to help Carlisle and Eden's Suicide Awareness Project. That's enough to train over 600 people to identify and support someone in need. Every week, someone in Cumbria takes their own life because they just can't see a way out of their darkness. Thanks to your donations, 600 people will have the training to talk confidently to someone in need without worrying about saying the "wrong thing" and therefore saying nothing at all.
P.s: I went for a run today.....

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