Stocking Fillers

Posted on: 26 Dec 2014

By Paul ... Happy Christmas to anyone reading our blog, we both hope you had a fantastic festive day yesterday, and thank you for your interest in our fund raising challenge and support over the next 5 months.

Xmas day obviously counted as a ‘non-training’ / ‘rest’ day for this particular 555 challenger, and predictably probably undone several weeks of training, with the usual non-stop barrage of irresistible food and drink from my very talented wife, Sam. The fridge full of leftovers this morning is proving a serious physical and mental obstacle to getting training back on track too!

A half-time football report on my Xmas match would probably say ‘Calories 5 – 0 Paul’ after yesterday. The thing is though when you commit to something as big as running a marathon, as the countdown accelerates which it inevitably will now that the big hurdle of Xmas is behind us and London looms 121 days away, you have to start saying ‘No’ more forcibly to the stuff you love but shouldn’t really have. So, after giving myself an Alex Ferguson style hair-dryer half-time talking to this morning, I’ve started the second half of my Xmas match strongly with a 7 mile loosener around Burghfield on a beautiful, if somewhat fresh and crisp winter morning, and resisted the fresh croissants, for a plate of fruit at breakfast.

‘Calories 5 – 2 Paul’, with a quarter of the match to go, I’m making a comeback, but there is the Boxing Day family get-together at my mum’s to negotiate this afternoon, so it’s going be a proverbially tough last 15 minutes or so to determine if I can pull another goal back or two, or give in take a true hammering from team Calories ;0)

Keeping the festive football analogy going, my 555 challenge events start coming thick and fast over the next couple of weeks just like the football schedule at this time of year. Challenge Number 1, the Gut Buster 2014, is just 48 hours away, so a 10 mile slog over the mud (or perhaps ice, going on the weather forecast) of Mortimer should mean Team Paul get a few goals back over Calories in this Sunday showdown.

Looking beyond the Gut Buster though, my second event of the 555 challenge is coming rapidly into focus as it is only two weeks and a couple of days away before I will taking on a 12KM run in the French Alps known as La Guisanette (, slip-sliding my way across the snowy peaks of Serre Chevalier with in excess of 500m of ascent to tackle in ridiculous sub-zero temperatures.

This seemed like a good idea a few months ago when we were thinking up my 555 schedule as I wanted to make the challenges as diverse and interesting as possible, experiencing the widest possible variety of running event formats that I could. I am still sure it will be an awesome experience, but I would be lying if I did not admit to now feeling some anxiety about how big a challenge running on snow, up a mountain in sub-zero temperature with several hundred French runners who are probably trained like mountain goats may well be!

Xmas Day did however provide some direct support for this challenge as Santa filled my stocking with a few pieces of kit that you apparently must have to take on a challenge such as La Guisanette.


So I at least now have some of the gear, if no real idea!

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