If you know your Star Wars pop culture you’ll appreciate that Stormtroopers are notorious for failing to hit their targets. I was always the exception to this, managing to smash all of mine. This accolade was stripped from me April as I failed and I felt like quitting for the first time ever.
The month started off so well. I was in my pre deployment isolation and at a fairly loose end, so I ran a half marathon on April the 5th, the planned day for the cancelled Reading Half Marathon.
I then deployed to Afghanistan, to an altitude of 6000 feet and in a dusty and hotter environment. I had ever intention of running on a treadmill in an air conditioned gym for the entire deployment, however Covid-19 mitigation measures had ripped right through that, as the indoor gyms were all closed! I also had the obvious distraction of my primary job and learning all about my new responsibilities. The Stormtrooper had to take a back seat and over 2 weeks went by without me putting the suit on. Covid-19 was the dominant news story and understandably all thoughts about fundraising were aimed at the NHS and healthcare workers. I contemplated cancelling the challenge as the odds simply seemed stacked against it.
Please see the post I put on Facebook as I was weighing up my options. Make a Star Wars Wish & Spread A Smile
That said, on April the 23rd I began running. It was hard, really hard. The altitude was over a mile high and it was warmer than the UK. I ran 7 miles in the evening in darkness, then a couple of days later I ran 10 miles.
I was determined to turn this around and reach my target but it would be a big challenge. I then ran a 13.1 followed by a 6 mile run and then a 5 mile run. All of these miles were run at night time as it had started to cool and was slightly more bearable. I reached the last day of the month and had 22 miles left to complete my target. I was determined to slog it out over 4 hours or so, but for a reason I can’t go into all of my time and capacity that night was dominated by an unforeseen event that I had to deal with and I had no time to run.
I failed to hit my target for the first time ever. Was I gutted? Yes a bit but not totally. I was back, I was getting used to the altitude and temperature. I was going to turn this around and May would be my month!!