An ARUK press release went out today and there has been a certain amount of Twitter activity, so with possible newcomers to the blog in mind I’m going to start today’s entry with a bit of a reminder on why it’s here in the first place. I’m Chris Wright, originally from Sheffield, now living in Sitges, Spain and working in Amsterdam (I didn’t say it wasn’t complicated).
Last year I ran 5km or more every single day – whatever the weather, however I felt, wherever I was – in order to raise funds and awareness for Alzheimer’s Research UK. Through the JustGiving page I raised just over €8,100 thanks to the vast generosity of (mainly) friends and family.
This year the challenge is to run 2016km between 1st Jan and 31st December. In theory I’m allowed to skip days but (as you’ll see from the previous entries if you want to page through) that isn’t something that I really want to do. At all.
Though today especially it was REALLY TEMPTING.
(Here endeth the user-friendly intro – you are massively welcome to read as much of the blog as you like; it goes back to Dec 31st 2014 “The Night Before” which was, as I write, the last day that I haven’t run at least 5km. There’s one entry per day except for… well, that would be telling. Answers on a postcard anyone? Fingers on buzzers?)
This morning I was awake at the semi-bestial hour of 3:33. Probably due to the cocktail of pills I’m consuming for the (slowly diminishing? Is it really though?) back pain, I actually felt pretty good, though the thought of just getting up and doing the run at that evil time didn’t enter my head. The only effect was that once the alarm went off at 0600, the thought of paying it any heed at all was laughed off and I alternatively snoozed, luxuriated, made up excuses not to get up, and dreaded the effect on my day that my laziness was having.
Eventually the last of these factors outweighed the rest and I crawled out of the pit just after 0730; criminally late for an Amsterdam day. Already having discarded any intention to run until the evening, it was a rush to get ready and off to work.
At about 1700 or so I sat in the office listening to the wind wail around the building and the rain splatter on the windows and cursed my foolish younger-by-thirteen-hours self while frantically trying out ideas for a time machine. Nothing for it but to brave the vile weather to make it home, then brave it all over again on a quick-as-possible 5k.
Running in horrible weather is bizarrely nowhere near as unpleasant as walking in it. Once changed and back out on the streets the run itself was actually fine. I ran over the Prinsengracht and left to Brouwersgracht, right and over Keizers to the Herengracht and all the way along there, over Raadhuistraat, Leidsegracht et al to the right onto Nieuwe Spiegelstraat which – if you please – is STILL sporting its Christmas decs! They’re very nice but, well, it’s nearly February.
Up to the Prinsengracht again and all the way back along to Westerstraat and home.
5km, 25:38. Really hoping that I can make the run tomorrow morning and save myself the painful anticipation of the post-work version!
(Year 1 of the Bahá’í calendar; Samuel Morse sends the first electric telegram from Washington to Baltimore; (it’s fun to stay at the) YMCA is founded in London; Charles Goodyear patents the vulcanization of rubber; Gustav Erik Pasch invents the safety match; Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation (seen as the precursor to Darwin’s Origin of Species) is anonymously published; The Second Coming of Jesus doesn’t happen, leading to The Great Disappointment (I didn’t make that up))