The end of the year certainly didn’t quite go to plan at all. Just goes to show that you have to take advantage of the good times because you never know what is going to happen further down the road.
Thankfully I didn’t pick up an injury, however moving house and a new job threw a major spanner in the works. I never for moment envisaged that my new gym would not have any rowing machines available and this proved to be a problem because it is not a simple thing to improvise.
So what were my final results:
Running – Ardnamurchen Lighthouse to Lowestoft.
Success. I managed to complete this part of the challenge, 855km, back in September and I then decided to push on to reach 1000km for the year. This took some motivation including running 30km whilst on holiday in Gran Canaria and then having to run 14km on the 31 Dec to take me over the finish line to finish on 1001km for 2016.
Cycling – John O’Groats to Lands End.
Success. For some reason my map said I had finished before I had actually reached the distanced that I had pre-planned, which was 1550km. As previously mentioned the move of house and jobs greatly affected my routine, however I was able to continue my cycle commute at my job. Unfortunately the distance of my daily commute reduced from 7km to only 2km a day. Thankfully with some additionally time on the bike in the gym I was able to reach my target.
Rowing – The length of the Thames
Capsized. This is where it all went wrong. By the end of the year I had reached 272km which on my virtual map put me at Canary Wharf. Like an episode from the Boat Race, the Thames water was choppy and my rowing boat started to take on water. No matter how much bailing I did, it was time to abandon my boat, swim to shore and have a well earned pint.
It was really disappointing that I ended up being 74km short on my target. If I had known months ago that my new gym would not have a rowing machine then I could have aimed off for it. Sadly this is the very nature of life, you can never predict what is around the next corner so you must always endeavour to do as much as you can today.
When I set myself this challenge a year ago I knew it was going to be tough, but then, if it were too easy where would the challenge be. I certainly learnt where my strengths lie and that is with my running. An injury free year meant that I not only reached this target, but kept going and broke through the 1000km for the year. I also learnt that if it wasn’t for the fact that I cycled to and from work, I would have found that aspect of the challenge even more difficult than what it was.
The biggest lesson I learned was that I really do not like rowing! Getting on a rowing machine every now and then is manageable, however when I had to hit a weekly target doing something that I didn’t particularly enjoy was difficult. Finding the motivation was difficult when I would sooner get outside and go for a fun, especially during those beautiful summer days.
I am delighted that I completed two thirds of the challenge, a little disappointed about the rowing but I will get over that. Time to move onto something new, that doesn’t involve rowing.