Guest Blog: Ryan Maley
So throughout the month of June I have set myself the challenge of running 100km. Equivalent to a 10km race each three days, or 25km per week, it’s certainly going to be a challenge for me.
During the period of lockdown I have enjoyed running more than ever before. The novelty of being able to get out of the house, the incredible weather we have been getting in the UK, and the need to keep fit when doing very little else have all played their part. However, I have only been averaging around 50-60km per month whilst really pushing myself, so the step up to 100km is going to be a huge challenge.
I am doing this to continue raising funds for my nephew to get an off-road wheelchair so that he can join in with family walks and explore the countryside that we all take for granted. Charlie has cerebral palsy meaning that he is a full-time wheelchair user, and often misses out on the outdoor activities that we take part in as a family. If you have time, you can read about their story here: www.walkorwheel.co.uk/blog/experiences/our-story/.
By getting this off-road wheelchair, it would give Charlie the freedom he so deserves. The amount we have to raise is £15,000, although we have already raised an incredible £10,000. If you could donate anything at all, it would be hugely appreciated and go to an amazing cause.
Early start today to get a run in before the heat of the day. As I currently work from home, I got up at 6:45 to leave the house at 7. Wasn’t hugely motivated after a poor night’s sleep due to the heat, but got up no problems.
Decided to head on one of my favourite 10km routes, though I wasn’t sure I would be able to make it with achy legs and my first early morning run for some time. The route takes me through Milnrow to the top of Kiln Lane, along Wildhouse Lane to a thankfully quiet Hollingworth Lake, one loop around the lake and back, and I was pleasantly surprised to hit the 10km fairly comfortably, albeit in a slower time than usual.
Really happy to get a 10km under my belt on the first day, which hopefully lets me get through a couple of shorter runs through the rest of the week to keep on track.
Not much to report from day 2, enjoyed the last of the warm weather with a few beers after work. On to day 3…
Start of the grizzly weather today was slightly depressing, but made for a much cooler run. Headed on one of my most common runs, a quick 5km around the village over lunch. I experienced a bit of ankle pain in this one but hoping it’s just getting used to my new running shoes. It’s my day off tomorrow so hoping to get at least another 5km under my belt, but we will see how it goes.
Another really good day today, managing to get 7km in over lunch. Another one of my local favourite routes, heading through the walking and cycling routes of Kingsway Business Park and back along the Rochdale Canal. Even though this was a longer run, it felt much easier today than yesterday. Feeling good and hoping to get at least 30km before the end of the week.
A rest day today, planning another 10km at weekend and wanting to rest for a couple of days beforehand.
A second rest day in a row, playing a family zoom quiz tonight, eating curry and drinking wine. Wish me luck on tomorrow’s 10km…
Toughest run so far today. Had very little motivation to run, especially after slightly too much wine and curry last night.
However, I set off on one of my new runs from home up to and around Ogden Reservoir. It has some pretty menacing hills to start which I struggled with, and they are cobbled and fairly slippery at the moment so I took it slow, but the best thing is that from 6km onwards it’s pretty much all downhill, which you certainly earn after the first part of the run. It definitely blew the cobwebs off!
First week already done, and managed to complete just under 33km which I am very happy with. On course to comfortably complete the challenge, but I know there’ll be some ups and downs and tough days in the next few months.
Rest day today, nothing to report.
Felt good today so decided to squeeze in a few more kilometres on my lunch. Headed on one of my fairly regular runs again through the Kingsway Business Park and back along the Rochdale Canal, and felt really comfortable. Until 5km. As soon as I hit 5km I hit a huge wall and felt like I was running through mud. Made it to 6km running and then had to stop and walk the rest of the way home.
Going to take another rest day tomorrow and hope that I’m feeling better for Thursday when I am hoping to get another 10km under my belt which should take me near enough to 50km.
Rest day again today, feeling good for another 10km tomorrow.
Pushed through a tough 11.5km run today to reach a total of 50km so far this month, halfway to my goal after 11 days so far!
Felt hard from around 7km onwards but broke through the wall and really pleased to get to the halfway point which feels like a good mental barrier to get through. Hoping the nice weather that’s in store next week will help me get a few more kilometres under my belt, but for now it’s a couple of rest days to look forward to.
Pushed through another 6.6km today, but struggled through most of the way again. It was a really hot morning and the legs are aching something awful. Keeping pushing through to that goal though, 2 weeks in and 56.6km total so far, definitely ahead of schedule!
Ran a quick 5km today to get myself over the 70km mark, on an early run around the village. It’s certainly getting tougher as the challenge goes on, but certainly feeling that I am getting there, and feeling good about the achievement!
Decided to get a few more kilometres in before the heat of the next few days hits! Pleasantly surprised to get another 8km in along one of my common routes. Even though the heat hasn’t properly started yet it was hot and muggy!
HOT! Rest day.
HOT! Rest day.
Struggling through these last few runs, but today was my penultimate run, and I managed to tick off another 10km, taking my total to 90km exactly! This was a nice Hollingworth Lake run in the teeming rain, but after the heat of the last few days it was nice to be able to stay cool. Still completing my 10ks in under an hour despite various aches and pains, so happy with that. One more to go 💪
So I am over the moon to have finished my challenge. Early morning 7am run this morning in the pouring rain before work, but couldn’t be happier to be finished. It’s been really really tough at times and my knee has completely given out after this last run, but I did it! Feels great to complete a challenge and all for a great cause. We have also hit the target today which is a great feeling on my last run. A huge thanks to everyone who supported me or donated during this challenge, your money really will change lives!