T-49: Preparing for the 210 miles along the south coast for the Lifeboats (RNLI)

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Some of you already know that I run quite a bit. When I say “quite a bit”, what I really mean is long distances, and quite frequently. I know how to turn up the pace, but it doesn’t really do much for me. So, I prefer to test myself by running longer distances which means that there are plenty of reasons that I can use to explain why I am running so slowly, and so that there are no immediate comparisons that most people can make. Yes…. I am slow and proud of it!

Last year, I ran quite a bit, and quite long distances. I knocked out a 100 mile race along the South Downs Way  from Winchester to Eastbourne over little more than a day. I also ran almost 200 miles along the Kent coast from Dartford to Hythe.  Many of you also generously sponsored me and my friends to run this, and we raised around £1,800 in the process.

Since I am a bit of a completist, the fact that the rest of the UK coast is sat there, and I haven’t run it yet, makes me want to fill the gap. So in 10 weeks time I will run 210 miles from Hythe to Portsmouth, and then around the Isle of Wight. We will do this between 1 – 4 April. This time, two of us – me and my friend Keith, will be joined with another running buddy – Paul. Other running friends Marek and Michael (who ran with us last year) will be joining us for day 1 and 2.

This year we are raising money for RNLI. Seemed only fitting since we are running along the coast – and of course, we thought that it might be possible to get a selfie at some of the lifeboat stations too. I think we would be pushing our luck if we asked for a rib ride across to the Isle of Wight!

So, what am I doing to prepare?

  1. Running some hills. I enjoyed doing some hill training with my running club in Greenwich Park a few weeks back. The route this year is going to be super hilly! I also ran in some muddy, hilly conditions recently – 35 miles in 7 hours on a tough course in Kent at Ranscombe. I have a 6 hour run coming up on Valentines Weekend, and also a social (ha!) 40 mile run on the South Coast path soon too.
  2. Running a lot of miles. I am already on 290 miles for the year (as of 11 February). A combination of social runs (Tate Modern to Erith and back was a highlight last month ), and running with my London club – Serpentine  – where my wife Susie has also joined me. Oh, and a bit of runcommuting. And some lunchtime runs with work colleagues. And of course I am in the Running the Distance 1,000 mile challenge (this coastal run will help bump me up the leaderboard !!).
  3. Losing a few pounds. While running lots of miles should, in theory, help drop a few pounds, it doesn’t really work with me….. so, I am trying to eat a bit healthier and, er, just less. Oh, and failing to drink wine all of the time. (It is tough because our house is full of wine because we live so close to France). So, I want to drop a good round 14 pounds before this little adventure along the coast.
  4. Lining up some support and help from friends for the long weekend of the run. We were lucky to have friends last time who met us at regular points along the route to feed us with peanut butter sandwiches and chocolate cake. As we are going out of our neighbourhood of Kent, I am getting others involved with the help of social media. A few local running clubs will join us along the route, and we have even managed to get a running chap to offer us his summer house in Portsmouth for when we finish so that we can get a bit of sleep!
  5. Inevitably, it means working out which shoes to wear for different sections of the route, and using this as an excuse for buying more stuff. Fortunately, I tend to run in pretty cheap stuff (I used £8.99 shoes for part of the run last year), so it shouldn’t break the bank, and I have also snaffled some skechers go run ride 4s which are lovely and comfortable.

If anyone fancies joining us for part of this – please let me know. If you don’t fancy running, but do fancy turning up with a couple of jelly babies, mars bars, and a cup of tea….. or to just point and laugh at what a state we are in half way through our challenge – then that’s great too. If you want to sponsor us – then that would be marvellous, though I am never sure why anyone would do that for something that I can 1. Do. 2. Enjoy.

Here is the fundraising link – https://www.justgiving.com/HythetoIOW

Stupid Runner Phil Bradburn

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