As the British Summertime is reigned in, it's at this point in the year I can feel quite reflective on the early mornings I'm usually awake. This is noticeable by the 6 draft copies of quarterly written blog posts I have hanging around when I sign in (This has been in draft for over a month).
Since April/May time, when on day shifts (7am-7pm) I've been setting my alarm at 4am to leave Bedford by 4:30am, I can then take the 50-mile journey without hassle and get close to work by 5:30am. Allowing for a good hour of training before I start my 12-hour shift. I have absolutely loved this part of training. Running around the areas of Latimer, Little Chalfont and even Roald Dahl's residence of Great Missenden.
There's plenty of changes I've had to make to the way I operate away from training over this last couple of years, responding and sending emails, travelling the 100+ round trip to work, waxing my legs (I'll expand later). This has been more noticeable this year, making time for the things you want to do is important. Vital in fact if you want to remain balanced and content, knowing your efforts will eventually create the desired effect, paid or unpaid.
I can now reflect on where we've arrived at today, with 3 weeks until we start from AAMI Park, Melbourne to begin what was an idea over 5 years ago. A year and a half of professional strength and conditioning work to change my body from a dumpy Rugby League player to get to an efficient endurance runner.
The last couple of years has seen people from 3 different charities come together, Roald Dahl's Marvellous Children's Charity, Miracle Babies Foundation and Children's Tumour Foundation of Australia. Professional sports companies backing the challenge, Canterbury, Inov-8, Amourskin and recently Runderwear. Including Beds Chamber of Commerce into the mix, waiving the joining fee in return for advertising to a different audience.
We have also seen free time and advice given from friends and family, digital marketing, chiropracting, graphic design and illustrations, representatives in meetings on behalf of The Longest Try, organising of fundraisers, here and in Australia. More recently the donation of a motorhome to make our journey financially viable and safe.
Closer to home my work place, Arqiva who have been supportive ever since I mentioned this challenge was taking place, my line manager, manager and even MD have shown their support with donations, mini fundraisers and the time off required to complete The Longest Try, the same respect goes to those working with Miriam at Bedford Hospital, at no point have either employers made situations difficult.
It was our hope we would attain some level of sponsorship, this hasn't occured to date, so The Longest Try is entirely self funded. We still have a huge list of things to get through, including supplements, clothing, motorhome delivery and legs waxing, it aids Miriam with her massaging, absolutely nothing to do with running faster!
This will be my last blog post before we start on October 22nd. We have done all we can here to make this happen and we know we'll be in Melbourne in 3 weeks’ time. After that it's 6 weeks hard work to Brisbane. Keep following @thelongesttry for updates.