It started in 2015 as a '15 in 15' challenge to run 15 marathons in a calendar year. 15 soon became 17 and by the year was over had become 18. The plan is to keep running, keep raising awareness of mental health issues and to do so in the blue of the Mind vest.
For 2017 I have set myself the target of running 2017 miles, through training runs, marathons and ultra marathons. In the past 2 years I have already ran 35 marathons for Mind, and this year I'm aiming to run (at least) another 15 to get that total to 50.
Each month I also plan to have a separate challenge, such as running a particularly challenging race, Escape From Meriden I'm looking at you.
January started by attempting to run 10K everyday, for all 31 days in the month.
For February I returned to Bolton Abbey to run both days of the Bolton Abbey Trail Marathon, whilst in March I completed my first Ultra of the year with the 32 mile Haworth Hobble.
100 Mile attempts, 24 Hour Races, Conquering Mountains and running numerous races in a day/weekend are also lined up for later in the year.
Keep a track of my miles here: https://www.strava.com/athletes/729581
In 2014, after many years of suffering with the condition I was diagnosed with depression. My first bout of depression came as a teenager, I would constantly withdraw myself from social situations, sitting in a dark room by myself pretending to study, when I was just hiding from others. I even had a ‘secret bench’ in the town where I could sit for hours out of view from everyone. The second bout began in 2013 and combined with the Anxiety, Stress and Insomnia I was suffering at the time it began to take over my life. Last year was a horrific year for my partner and her health, as her partner and caregiver the pressure of having to keep Jenny fed, keep her sane, keep the house clean as well as working a full time job and spending any spare time I had running all over the county and raising money for charity became too much. Eventually something had to break, and unfortunately for me it was my mental health.
With everything that was going on at the time the stress at work became too much, I would have to force myself out of bed every morning, knowing I had to go in as one of us had to work. I could feel the tension headaches building, smell and taste the blood before the nosebleeds started. I’d lose the ability to concentrate and find myself staring at my computer screen for 15-20 minutes at a time unable to focus on any of the letters on the screen. Every night I would go home and lay wide awake until the early hours of the morning, getting 2, maybe 3 hours sleep before the cycle repeated. As I laid there, unable to sleep my mind couldn’t help itself but to run through the events of the previous day, events I would begin to get stressed about all over again and the headaches and nosebleeds would return. The memory loss was the biggest worry, I’ve always been a bit forgetful but this was happening everyday, I’d constantly be walking into rooms and forgetting why the minute I stepped through the door.
As time wore on the symptoms intensified and I would go from breaking down in tears a couple of times a weak, to every day until it reached a pointed where I was breaking down several times each day. I was hiding it all from those around me, my family had no clue what was going on, Jenny only knew snippets and the energy it took to appear ‘normal’ in front of everyone was only draining me //more.
Many illnesses and conditions are widely spoken about and displayed for all to see, but I feel that their is a taboo about openly discussing mental illness. I hope to help raise awareness of how many people suffer silently with their condition, to show that it can affect anyone and to raise money that can go towards helping those that need it most.
Marathons For Mind
01/01/2015 - Liverbird New Year's Day Marathon
31/01/2015 - Peddar's Way Ultra
28/02/2015 - Belvoir Challenge
22/03/2015 - Canalathon 75K Ultra
19/04/2015 - Huddersfield Marathon
26/04/2015 - London Marathon
17/05/2015 - Dukeries Ultra (40 Mile)
13/06/2015 - Norfolk 100K
28/06/2015 - Wakefield Marathon
04/07/2015 - Hamsterley Marathon
30/08/2015 - Halifax Marathon
20/09/2015 - Ladybower 50
27/09/2015 - Robin Hood Marathon
11/10/2015 - Yorkshire Marathon
15/11/2015 - Hell of a Hill Marathon
20/11/2015 - Kirkstall Abbey Trail Ultra
21/11/2015 - Kirkstall Abbey Trail Marathon
31/12/2015 - Liverbird New Year's Eve Marathon
30/01/2016 - Peddars Way Ultra
27/02/2016 - Bolton Abbey Trail Marathon
12/03/2016 - Leeds & Liverpool Canal Canter
13/03/2016 - Leeds & Liverpool Canal Canter
10/04/2016 - Manchester Marathon
29/05/2016 - Edinburgh Marathon
13/06/2016 - Norfolk 100K
02/07/2016 - Hamsterley Marathon
03/07/2016 - Leeds & Liverpool Canal Canter Take 2
30/07/2016 - Manvers 12 Hour
24/09/2016 - Sir Titus Trot
25/09/2016 - Robin Hood Marathon
09/10/2016 - Yorkshire Marathon
29/10/2016 - Dusk til Dawn 50
05/11/2016 - Kings Forest 50K
19/11/2016 - Kirkstall Abbey Trail Maraton
04/12/2016 - Leeds & Liverpool Canal Christmas Cracker
28/01/2017 - Sir Titus Trot
25/02/2017 - Bolton Abbey Trail Marathon
26/02/2017 - Bolton Abbey Trail Marathon
11/03/2017 - Haworth Hobble
01/04/2017 - Calderdale Hike
15/04/2017 - Northampton Cakeathon
You can keep up to date on my races by visiting runtothemoon.co.uk or following @thatmoonrunner on Twitter.
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