Maths has never been my strongest subject. As I cruised past the 50 mile mark a couple of weeks or so ago, a thought struck me briefly – “that’s 10% done already” was the thought. It took about three seconds of logic processing to realise that 50 miles is not actually 10% of 5000, but 1%. This then led me to a further thought. “I’m only going to get 1% closer to the end every time I complete 50 miles” was the thought. “Blimey”.
All that this thinking is doing is reinforcing what I already know; that 5000 miles is really far. Really really far. Someone asked me at work this week whether I had actually stopped to think about how far it actually is, or whether the enormity of the task is beginning to dawn and I think that the honest answers to those two questions are (1) of course I bloody well have, I’m not a complete idiot, and (2) it has now.
I wrote some blog posts a couple of years ago when I was attempting to run 1,000 miles in a calendar year, to test out my hypothesis that it was indeed possible to run 20 or so miles a week every week for a year and still maintain a healthy balance of home and family life with a full time job. One of the posts I wrote was about how to eat an elephant – this was a popular trendy Management type question a few years ago – of course you don’t eat elephants, they’re rubbery and endangered – the Manager training person is asking the question in order to get to the point that in order to eat an elephant, you need to break it up into small parts. An elephant is big, so the only way you can think about eating it, is in small, manageable pieces. 1,000 miles in a year is big, so you break it up. 5000 miles is a massive distance – if you think about running 5,000 miles then your head explodes and you sit in a corner saying “bibble”; so break it up into small, manageable bits. That way running 5000 miles is dead easy……..
So, I’m now 100 miles in, and therefore 2% through the challenge! I’ve done just over 100 miles in less than a month, so I’ve done 1/50 of the challenge in 1/60 of the time, and my fundraising total has just gone over £1,000 so even though everything has gone a bit quiet on the money front, I’ve made 1/25th of my notional target (although I don’t really have a target as such, my aim is to raise as much money as possible and to raise awareness of Kirkwood Hospice).
That’s a reasonable start. I just need to keep remembering that every tiny piece of this elephant consumed, even a couple of mouthfuls (a parkrun) or a hearty meal (15 miles) or even a feast (a marathon) is getting closer to the goal of having a totally consumed beast.