Where ya been? Returning to the #LETJOG14 fold at last

It’s been a long while since I updated this blog and there have been a fair few reasons for my lack of activity. I know it’s a bit of a downer, but I’ll pick them off one at a time…

  1. Injury: After a first couple of great weeks on the run I came back from a 13 miler, started playing with the kids and then something went in my lower back. It went and it was gone for some time. It’s still not right now over a month later, but it’s much better.
  2. Work: Work has been incredibly busy and I have been exhausted for much of the last couple of months. Coffee intake has gone up
  3. Sleep: This has been a fairly consistent complaint for me, but there’s no getting away from it. On top of the busy time at work, rarely securing a full night’s undisturbed sleep hasn’t helped. The source of disruption is my gorgeous youngest daughter and her unpredictable sleep patterns, which is not something we’ve been able to directly influence so far. We’re continuing to try to crack this one!
  4. Illness: Almost inevitable after the above, it would seem. Severe man flu followed by lingering chesty cough further delayed my return to the running fold with any consistency.

All of the above are particularly annoying because I went dry in January and was hoping to use that as a springboard to start the year off in style.

So, it wasn’t to be. But I’m back and I’m feeling positive. When I set up #LETJOG14 I knew the challenge would need to allow for periods like this, I just didn’t think it would happen so soon in the year.

My level of social engagement around the project – and running chat too – is directly related to my level of activity at the time, so I’m sorry for letting the feeds on Twitter and Facebook dry up a little.

I’m just working on keeping myself in half decent shape now and building up that distance without going overboard to catch up. I hope everyone else has had more fruitful running experiences so far in the year and I look forward to catching you on the road to John O’Groats soon.

#LETJOG14 Week One - And The Gloves Are On

Hello!

The #LETJOG14 challenge is officially underway and the Facebook group and Twitter channel are buzzing away with tales of distances covered and soggy trainers. Around 20 people are already logging miles, with considerably more following the feeds and more new names appearing each day, so not bad from a standing start.

Personally speaking, I’ve managed three runs this week and covered 34.54 km in the process, two solo and one with fellow #LETJOG14 participant, Rich Fogg (@TelcoGeek) and, while the running chat with Rich was great, the runs definitely got easier as the week went on.

An average of 17 miles for 52 weeks is going to take some doing for anyone who is not already covering that kind of distance - that’s me - but it’s going to keep me at it, so to speak, and that’s what I need. 

One thing I wanted to mention here is the blogging that’s going on around the challenge too, as some of you might not have seen it. It’s been great to read the blogs now starting to appear and also to see the diversity of people getting involved.

If you are blogging about it, please feel free to share your updates in the Group and on Twitter, using #LETJOG14 or @LETJOG14 (so I can easily RT is with others). The same applies to any links to your runs on Garmin, Nike+, etc.

Here are the intro posts I’ve read so far and you can read mine here too:

Paul Weston - http://100wordspermile.co.uk/first-run-year/

Patrick Smith - http://t.co/OKy0hfS7SW

Becky Willoughby - http://t.co/bUH33sFX9y

Laura Bristow - http://t.co/GUnQYCwRCv

Apologies if I’ve missed your blog off the list. Ping me a note below and I’ll put it in my post next week.

Until next time, happy running/cycling/swimming!

Dan.

Running On Water
I’m down in Cornwall at the moment and took the opportunity to head out for a coastal run this afternoon.
It was a lovely, clear winter’s day and I managed to cover road, beach and dunes. In fact, I think dune running could become a thing for me.
It’s my last run before the #LETJOG14 year starts and it was lovely.
At the end was reminded of one of the things that’s changed over the last few years in terms of my attitude toward running.
If you get a chance to run somewhere new, do it. Whether that’s on holiday, bidding friends or family, traveling on business - just do it.
It breaks up the normal routine and it gives you a chance to drink in more life.

Running On Water

I’m down in Cornwall at the moment and took the opportunity to head out for a coastal run this afternoon.

It was a lovely, clear winter’s day and I managed to cover road, beach and dunes. In fact, I think dune running could become a thing for me.

It’s my last run before the #LETJOG14 year starts and it was lovely.

At the end was reminded of one of the things that’s changed over the last few years in terms of my attitude toward running.

If you get a chance to run somewhere new, do it. Whether that’s on holiday, bidding friends or family, traveling on business - just do it.

It breaks up the normal routine and it gives you a chance to drink in more life.

My #LETJOG14 Intro Post

I’m going out on a limb and posting this picture of me. That and answers to my own intro post suggestion in the hope other participants in #LETJOG14 do too. There are more than a dozen of us gearing up for the challenge already and anyone else can get involved too. Maybe this’ll help convince you. Here goes…

I’m posting the questions here, so feel free to use them as a reference point.

How would you describe your current attitude/approach to running?

Frustrated but optimistic. I’ve run a lot in 2013 and I’m still suffering as a result. However, I’m up for this challenge. It will keep me on the run and I’m giving some serious consideration to trying out improving my technique as I go. I’ve never thought about that at all in the past, so that’s progress for me.

Do you have a running career highlight? What is it?

I have three: Nailing a marathon (and going sub 4-hours) in October 2012; Going sub-1:39:00 in a half marathon in Sept 2013; Going sub 45 for the first time on a 10km race in Sept 2013.

Each was the result of a huge amount of work and I don’t know if I can go faster. 2014 will tell me, I think.

Why are you taking on the #LETJOG14 challenge?

I want to keep running and this will keep me in the discipline. Fundraising has been a massive driver my my previous runs, but I feel like I need to give people a year off my asking them for money. I’ll be back for more in 2015 :).

The challenge really appeals though because I know how much running as part of a community or group can support people and bring the best out of people. I’m looking forward to meeting some new people too.

How long do you hope to cover the distance in? Do you have a specific date in mind?

Injury allowing, I’d like to nail it in under 10 months. I’m aiming to have this done by late October. I don’t actually want to do it much faster than that because I want to run for the majority of the year.

How do you plan to cover the distance? Are there any events you’ll be running in throughout the year?

#LETJOG14 will make the training runs count, so I’m planning to do three events throughout the year. This will include a Spring half - possibly Bath in March, a Summer trail half (+ a bit more) at the Great Trail in Keswick and the Great South Run in October.

What’s the one thing your fellow participants should know about you, outside of running?

I am addicted to crisps. And cake. And coffee. But mainly crisps.

Building Up a Who’s Who Of #LETJOG14

#LETJOG14 is starting from 1 Jan 2014. But what is it though? It’s a challenge to run the equivalent distance of Land’s End to John O’Groats (approximately 874 miles) during the calendar year. Run it as fast as you like, but just make sure you’ve done it before 31 December 2014.

Assuming you take the full year, it averages out at around 17 miles per week. That’s a fair distance to cover, but it’s a great target for a fledgling runner and doing it in less time is where I think the seasoned runners will find inspiration.

So, why am I posting this? Every Sunday evening I’m planning to check in on Twitter and Tumblr with an update on my progress toward the target distance and I hope you’ll do likewise on the #LETJOG14 tag.

But before we do that I’d certainly like to get to know some of the people who are signing themselves up for the challenge a little better. With that in mind, I’d like you to post an update - you choose the medium - to answer these questions at some point before you get underway:

How would you describe your current attitude/approach to running?

Do you have a running career highlight? What is it?

Why are you taking on the #LETJOG14 challenge?

How long do you hope to cover the distance in? Do you have a specific date in mind?

How do you plan to cover the distance? Are there any events you’ll be running in throughout the year?

Post your update and share it using #LETJOG14 and keep an eye out for the chatter from other participants. I promise there are others, and I hope the number grows throughout 2014.

I’ll be posting my answers at some point in December and I look forward to reading yours too.