Challenge 11: Grantham Ultra

For my 11th Challenge I chose to enter the Grantham Ultra. This is a two day event organised by It consists of two 29.3 mile runs which in the main follow the Grantham Canal Towpath.  

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Challenge 10: Food for thought...

Today I set off for a run in the forest under clear blue skies. The weather & scenery should have made for a beautiful run. A chance to escape some of life's stresses, to relax, to enjoy the beauty of the english countryside. Unfortunately my legs had other ideas & I was soon reduced to a walk as the trail gently climbed.

As I walked I was able to lift my vision & take in the colours & shades around me. To admire the trees. To reflect on the time it must have taken for them to establish themselves & grow. To reflect on the difficulties they must have faced & overcome.

I then tried to relate this to the time & effort it takes to achieve athletic goals & the huge array of potential obstacles to achieve success. For me two of the biggest recurring obstacles are time (lack of) & poor diet.

The former is 'simply' a question of poor time management. The later is,  for me, a much bigger issue. I have always struggled to eat sensibly & wisely.  In the days when I was training consistently I was able to get away with poor choices because I was burning so many calories. Now my training time is significantly less the flaws in my diet are impossible to hide from. Among the most obvious manifestations are the increased effort required to achieve a given physical goal; wild fluctuations in energy & mood; & ever tightening clothes.

I am aware of these issues. It would be difficult not to be. I am also aware that the way I deal with stress is to comfort eat. Despite this awareness & the negative cycle it creates I have failed to take sufficiently positive action to break free from it. On today's 'run' I decided to set the twin goals of improving my diet & loosing weight as the next challenge within Challenge639. This is a departure from the previous challenges & clearly carries some personal risks including ridicule &  embarrassment. However, ignoring these issues whilst championing the benefits of exercise would be wrong, perhaps even negligent. What we eat & drink is relevant, it fuels our bodies. Burdening our bodies with excess weight (fat) through poor diet or excessive eating is unhealthy & unwise.

So over the next few months I will detail the steps I am taking to achieve a better, more balanced diet & my progress in improving my body composition. I will provide weekly updates on my progress. The first of these will be an honest assessment of where I am now. My start point.  I will then outline the steps I take, the resources I use & the strategies I adopt to help me achieve the positive changes I seek.


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Challenge 9: Slippery when wet...

Today I towed the line at the Meon Valley Plod. This is a 21mile mixed terrain run that as the name suggests winds its way through the Meon Valley. As I waited for the start I withdrew into my own little world of self doubt & annoyance for not staying in the warm- the sensible option.   

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